J's phylogenetic tree


Our mission is two-fold, in order of priority:

  • To create and enhance in-person community and networking for people in the Richmond, Virginia area who hold naturalistic worldviews
  • To provide in-person educational and topical discussions among the same


Naturalism is the perspective that nothing supernatural exists.  Most naturalists rely on science as the best guide to what exists, and believe that everything is physical.  Many atheists, humanists, skeptics, freethinkers, and Buddhists are thoroughly naturalistic in their perspective.


In 2003, a few individuals in the Richmond, Virginia area used the fairly new tool Meetup.com to express their interest in forming a local group centered around the recently announced Brights movement.  The Brights movement was an international attempt to promote naturalistic worldviews.  Around the same time, a couple of other people in the Richmond area became interested in naturalistic worldviews through Tom Clark’s website naturalism.org.  Eventually word of mouth and the Meetup effort combined.  The first actual meeting, with two people present, was in fall of 2004.   Eight people showed up at the next meeting.  And so it grew, by word of mouth and by Meetup membership.  Eventually the group adopted the name Richmond Reason and Naturalism Association, and consistently held at least one meeting a month, usually two or more, up to the present.