Next Meeting – “Whatever happened to the UFOs?”
Tuesday 17 December 7.30 — 9.30pm, at the Bull
Was the star of Bethlehem a UFO? Well some 'UFOlogists' think it was. Furthermore, despite the recent full disclosure of their UFO files by the Ministry of Defence UFO believers still think that all those blobby pictures of lights in the sky are evidence that we are being visited by aliens on a regular basis.
Our topic for this festive season is UFOs, but don't worry we are not going to sit around looking at videos of indistinct lights in the sky and considering cattle mutilation cases. Peter Morgan is going to look at the whole UFO phenomenon as an example of modern folklore which in these days of high tech communication is still alive.
UFOs of course raises the further issue of whether there might be life teeming on other planets.
In 1961 Frank Drake formulated the famous Drake Equation by which it is supposed that an estimate can be made of the number of ET civilisations throughout the galaxy. The original estimate was between 1,000 and 1,000,000. On the other hand proponents on the Rare Earth Hypothesis argue that the conditions on earth are just right for life and it is unlikely that this precise set of circumstances have arisen anywhere else in the cosmos.
What would aliens look like if we really encountered them? Most Close Encounters on record describe beings who are suspiciously humanoid, with a hint of reptile or insect. And if they can't speak English then at least they can communicate telepathically.
Come to the Stoa while we look to the stars this Christmas!
What is the Stoa?
The Stoa is a philosophy discussion group which meets every month in the The Bull pub in Tanners Street, Faversham to talk about serious issues but without being too solemn about it. None of us are professional, academic philosophers and although it's "popular" philosophy we're interested it's never dumbed-down!
When do you meet?
We meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7.30 — 9.30pm although many members continue informal discussion in the bar after the meeting finishes.
Where do you meet?
We meet in the back bar of The Bull pub in Tanners Street, Faversham, ME13 7JL. Directions...
How much does it cost?
There is no charge for membership but we do have a whip-round of £1 each just to cover the cost of the room.
What kinds of things do you discuss?
Browse through our Topics page to see what we've discussed at previous meetings.
What do you do?
Each meeting is led by a member or a visiting speaker and is generally based one or more articles we have all read (although it's not critical that you read the articles beforehand). Links to all the articles can be found on the Topics page and the dates of meetings can be found on the Schedule page (which includes a link back to the relevant reading).
Who can attend?
Everybody is welcome!
How can I get on your mailing list?
Drop us a line via the Contact form and you will be receive our monthly bulletin "News from the Stoa".
In classical Greek architecture the stoa was the covered promenade attached to the marketplace which became the place where philosophers frequently met to dialogue and debate. In fact it was this habit of regularly meeting in the stoa that earned the 'Stoic' school their epithet: it simply meant "guys who hang out at the stoa and chew the fat!". I like to think that the title of our group suggests an open marketplace where ideas can be traded and critical thinking is our currency.
What is Marginalia?
Marginalia is a blog containing random notes, scribbles, comments, jottings and drolleries on a variety of philosophical topics, including those discussed at the Faversham Stoa. While the notes in the topics section of this site are intended to be fairly impartial, the ideas and polemics in Marginalia are unapologetically my own. You are welcome, indeed encouraged, to append your comments to the entries and start a conversation.
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