Should atheists form 21st century Virtual Think Tanks?



The members can be formed from sites like this. In the last two weeks on TV (in Britain) four of five times guests brought on to comment on things as far apart as the war in Afghanistan and child care standards were from Think Tanks. 


Could virtual atheist Think Tanks, not needing the funds or costs associated with buying a premises, be formed on the internet ready to provide a spokesperson where religious matters were in the news or put out press statements. Particular Think Tanks could study and track particular religions or particular religious issues nationally by combining regular participants based over a wide area. The Virtual Think Tank would compensate for local areas where individual atheist were thin on the ground. The Think Tank would do regular research and act as a collective intelligence gathering machine by allocating members areas of study. The Think Tank can be so set up as to be able to provide a media commentator, backed up by the knowledge provided by the Think Tank, to make media appearances locally.

Different types of Think Tank could be set up to deal with different levels of activity; local, national, continental, or global. VTT could be used to counterbalance the huge resources of organised religion by deepening vertically the movement at the top level of the Zeitgeist and spreading it to all levels of society.

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iMac/G5/built in cams (green light comes on and all)
if you're talking video conferences... I'm sure there's software
actually if you started multiple camchats and used the 'show all windows' short cut/button

virtual think tank
Actually I did not even consider video conferencing. It would be useful at times for the members of the team to connect face to face using web cams but I don't think that always helps ideas develop.

The web allows more flexibility and more time to consider comment and go back over parts of a discussion. Live discussions lose facts and depend too much on short term memory. The 21st century World Wide Web allows more time for points to be researched and overcomes personal time constraints.

The thing is overall if media outlets are using Think Tanks for commentary why not use the web to bring together teams of people to study and comment on particular subjects of interest to atheists.

For example; Evolution

An Evolution Think Tank could bring together Evolutionary biologists with a team of people in various parts of the globe who keep an eye on their local media for stories or articles pertaining to or mentioning Evolution. They would all be part of an online Think Tank. As soon as one of them spots a local media article that contains a misinterpretation or misrepresentation of some aspect of evolution they can contact the media outlet with a correction which would carry more weight under the auspices of the name of the Think Tank (say CUE: Centre for the Understanding of Evolution). The way things work that would carry more weight than just a single individual while making sure the comment was factually correct. In that way you combine the knowledge of the biologist with people who can media watch locally.

Religion has legions of organised followers, PR men, Intitutes to study this n' that, commentators and billions of dollars so something like virtual Think Tanks might be a cheap way to counteract it with facts.
An "Evolution Think-Tank" is a pretty bad idea. It would do more harm than good because it would give the appearance of evolution being ideological. Evolutionary theory may be ideological for you and many other atheists, but it shouldn't be.
I'm betwixt and between about atheist organisations at the moment. They say you can't herd cats but you can certainly corrall them. I see atheist organisations that have hierachal structures run by commitee and dominated by chairmen/women.

Joining helps add numbers and records a trend so while joining might be worth it to some degree I'd question whether there is any intrinsic value beyond that. But I'm only saying that from this part of the world and it may be completely different in other countries.

Think Tanks or groups of people interested in studying something like Evolution and set up to help the public understanding of it would not be the same thing.

Using the internet as a 21st century resource expertes in a particular field can be linked to a wide range of people over a wide area.
My experience of atheist’s organisations in this part of the world was partly why I thought there needs to be a better way of allowing atheists to co-operate and have an effect. A lot of atheists organisations in my experience are chairman (and I'm referring specifically to men) dominated. A Think Tank or whatever else it's called would bring people together on something specific and form then into a team.
Mabe Think Tank is the wrong word. At this point in time Evolution is by far and away the best explanation for life on this planet. The Institute would exist to put out information, correct errors in news reports and eventually provide spokesmen for media stories.
An Evolutionary "think tank" or whatever it was called would put out information about evolution in the same way that publishing a book on evolution does except with people ready to answer misconceptions in the media as they arise.

Another group could be called the Dictionary Think Tank. They could dispel common misapplications of different terms. For example calling atheism a "religion" or calling evolutionary theory an "ideology".




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