Secular Conversations

The Public is Welcome

Humanists of North Central Florida programs are offered monthly in collaboration with Master the Possibilities Lifelong Learning Center in Ocala, Florida.  Join the conversation on the third Saturday each month.

Freethinkers, including atheists, agnostics and others, participate in respectful dialogue, sharing ideas on a variety of subjects. Videos, essays, participants and guest speakers may be used to enhance topics. 


Ryan Cragun Speaking at Master the Possibilities at On Top of the World on September 15, 2018

Please look at coming events below and register.  

All talks are at 2:00 pm on Third Saturdays

At Master the Possibilities On Top of the World

Live Oak Hall

8413 SW 80th Street

Ocala, Florida 34481

Free Admittance for Residents of On Top of the World and Stone Creek

All others pay $5 registration fee at the door

Register online or at the door, or call (352) 861-9751.


November 17, 2018

Heath Care Is a Human Right

Presented by Chad Hood, MD
A long-time supporter of a single-payer heath care system, and in this presentation he will explain how such a model could provide health care for ALL Americans and still save billions of dollars each year. Dr. Hood is a physician at the Gainesville VA Medical Center, assistant professor with University of Florida, and coordinator of the Alachua County Labor Coalition’s “Just Health Care” campaign, dedicated to the idea that health care is a human right.

Bio:  Dr. Chad Hood is a Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine (Board Certified 2000 – 2020).  Associate Chief of Staff for Education, V.A. Medical Center, Gainesville, FL (2014 – present).  Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL (2012 – present).

January 19, 2019

“Political Islam.” 

Presentation deals with the non-religious part of Islam (i.e., Political Islam) which impacts Christians, Jews, Humanists, Atheists, LGBT and everyone else.  Political Islam also impacts that portion of the Islamic population best categorized as “Mecca Muslims.”  Extensive graphics and visuals will be used.  Q & A will follow the presentation.    

The presenter is a retired Naval Officer with experience in the Intelligence Community.  

February 16, 2019

Going Ape: Florida’s Battle over Evolution in the Classroom

Presented by Brandon Haught

Science textbooks are under attack. Science curriculum is under attack. It’s 2019 in Florida and we’re still witnessing lawmakers, school boards, and average citizens denying the reality of basic science concepts and attempting to influence what is taught in our schools. Science teacher and author Brandon Haught will share highlights of the battles over the teaching of evolution that have raged for more than 90 years, including the present day, here in the Sunshine State. Learn how the current conflicts directly impact our children and what you can do about it.

Bio: Brandon Haught is a Florida high school science teacher, author of Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom published by the University Press of Florida, and founding board member of the science advocacy organization Florida Citizens for Science.

March 16, 2019

Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse Center 

Presented by Judy Wilson, Ph.D.

April 20, 2019

Human Trafficking

Presented by:  Dawn Westgate, and Niki Tripodi

Dawn Westgate, Executive Director of Kimberly’s Center.  Dawn has been with the organization for 14 years. and holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from UCF and a Bachelors in Psychology from St. Leo’s.   

Niki Tripodi, Development Director at Kimberly’s Center.  Niki has joined the organization for 2 years ago bringing over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, communications and knowledge in strategic partnerships and maximizing relational networks.    

Kimberly’s Center, located in Ocala, can be best described by the mission: Our Community working together to protect, serve, and advocate for abused and neglected children.  Kimberly Center is Marion County’s compassionate response to the trauma of child abuse in a safe and child friendly environment. Through specialized services, the smallest victims receive quality and timely care by sharing their story and beginning their path to a healthy future.  

May 18, 2019 

Astronomy Saves the World: Securing our Future Through Exploration and Education

Presented by Daniel Batchelor, Ph.D.

Dr. Batcheldor will discuss his book by the same title which details the avoidable and unavoidable threats to our existence and provides the case for astronomy being part of everyone’s education. Our future is hopeless without a well-informed and cohesive global society. We all need the sense of wonder and cosmic humility that astronomy instills. Astronomy is the great educational motivator regardless of demographic, and it is rich with history, science, art, engineering, music, and mathematics. It is the lesson for all humankind. Astronomy can be the key to comprehensive emancipation via education and provide us a united path into the deep future.

Bio: Daniel Batcheldor  is the Head of Aerospace, Physics & Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology.  He holds a BSc (Honors) degree in Astronomy and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Hertfordshire. His research started with super-massive black holes and using the Hubble Space Telescope to examine how they may have played a role in the evolution of galaxies. He has been conducting research into the next generation of devices that are theoretically capable of imaging Earth-like planets around other stars, and has had his research flown on board the International Space Station. He is also conducting research into how we may be able to live of the land in space using the resources found on the moon and Mars.

Watch a video about who the Humanists of North Central Florida Are by clicking the link below:

Humanists of North Central Florida (HNCFL) in Ocala welcomes your interest. Join the conversation by clicking here.

Past Secular Conversations

Ibram Kendi-MasterPoss

Ibram X Kendi, PhD discussing his 2016 National Book Award winning book, “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.”

Hassan Shibly MasterPoss

Attorney Hassan Shibly, director of the Council on American & Islamic Relations

Rev Leroy Chandler

The Rev. Leroy Chandler honors Juneteenth, in his presentation, “Slave Ships Emerge in American Cities.”