Welcome to the Jefferson Center

The Jefferson Center is a community of humanists, atheists, and freethinkers in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon

Members of the Jefferson Center share a thirst for knowledge and a secular world view. If you value fairness and clear thinking you are welcome to join us. We sponsor ongoing events, including public Lectures on history, philosophy, science and society, plus thought-provoking Salons, a book group, a science group, and social gatherings.

People who seek truth free of superstition will find good company here. Click for more

Click to view our video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McEwhE9OLz8

Upcoming Events

Click links for details



“The Feeling of Knowing: The complex relationship of emotion and reason” Sun, 03/08/2015 - 4:00pm The Salon on Sunday, March 8, at 4pm: "The Feeling of Knowing: The complex relationship of emotion and reason." Why do some people persistently believe in the existence of impossible supernatural entities? Or reject well-founded science? Or vote against their economic interest? Or put America’s children at risk for measles? Or blindly ignore evidence in favor of fallacious reasoning? A common answer is that in such cases, emotion has overwhelmed reason—e.g. “politics of fear.” Since Jeffersonian times, important parts of our culture have believed that we can be reasonable only when we suppress emotion. Other parts of our culture want to elevate emotion above reason, at least some of the time. Both of these views assume that reason and emotion are opposites or even enemies. But recent brain science, as revealed in books read by the Jeff Center and Brain Books discussion groups, fairly blows this model out of the water. Emotion and reason are intertwined—in all of us, pretty much all the time. Sandra Coyner, as moderator, will lead us to share our experiences with this complex relationship of emotion and reason. She will also present a brief introduction to some evidence-based explanations of how we “know,” leading us perhaps to increased humility, and appreciation of our own flaws and of others’ integrity.
Salon Planning Committee Meeting Mon, 03/09/2015 - 5:00pm On Monday, March 9th, at 5pm there will be a Salon Planning Committee Meeting at the Jefferson Center. All members are welcome to attend. We welcome your involvement and input.
New Scientist Discussion Group Thu, 03/12/2015 - 4:00pm Our New Scientist drinking and discussion group will meet Thursday March 12th, at 4pm at El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, in their back side room.
Book Group: "The Improbability Principle" Mon, 03/16/2015 - 2:00pm “The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day” by David J. Hand (2014).
Brain Books: "End this Depression NOW!" by Paul Krugman. Tue, 03/24/2015 - 1:30pm Brain Books: "End this Depression NOW!" by Paul Krugman (paperback with new preface, 2013) Looks at the current U.S. economic situation from the perspective of economics based on reason.
New Scientist Discussion Group Thu, 04/09/2015 - 4:00pm Our New Scientist drinking and discussion group will meet Thursday April 9th, at 4pm at El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, in their back side room.

Lecture

Information about the current lecture (if one is scheduled within the next six weeks) is summarized here. For lectures that may be scheduled farther in the future, click here.

Salon

  • 03/08/2015 - 4:00pm

    The Salon on Sunday, March 8, at 4pm: "The Feeling of Knowing: The complex relationship of emotion and reason." Why do some people persistently believe in the existence of impossible supernatural entities? Or reject well-founded science? Or vote against their economic interest? Or put America’s children at risk for measles? Or blindly ignore evidence in favor of fallacious reasoning? A common answer is that in such cases, emotion has overwhelmed reason—e.g. “politics of fear.” Since Jeffersonian times, important parts of our culture have believed that we can be reasonable only when we suppress emotion. Other parts of our culture want to elevate emotion above reason, at least some of the time. Both of these views assume that reason and emotion are opposites or even enemies. But recent brain science, as revealed in books read by the Jeff Center and Brain Books discussion groups, fairly blows this model out of the water. Emotion and reason are intertwined—in all of us, pretty much all the time. Sandra Coyner, as moderator, will lead us to share our experiences with this complex relationship of emotion and reason. She will also present a brief introduction to some evidence-based explanations of how we “know,” leading us perhaps to increased humility, and appreciation of our own flaws and of others’ integrity.


Book Group

  • 03/16/2015 - 2:00pm

    “The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day” by David J. Hand (2014). Examines phenomena that seem “miraculous” to many people, and explains the mathematics showing that such events are in no way paranormal or supernatural.


New Scientist

  • 03/12/2015 - 4:00pm

    Our New Scientist drinking and discussion group will meet Thursday March 12th, at 4pm at El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, in their back side room. El Tapatio is located behind Ashland Motor Company at 1633 Hwy 99. Please join us if you enjoy talking about science--both the latest news and broader issues in science and society--while enjoying your favorite beverage and nibbles. See you there!

  • 04/09/2015 - 4:00pm

    Our New Scientist drinking and discussion group will meet Thursday April 9th, at 4pm at El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, in their back side room. El Tapatio is located behind Ashland Motor Company at 1633 Hwy 99. Please join us if you enjoy talking about science--both the latest news and broader issues in science and society--while enjoying your favorite beverage and nibbles. See you there!

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