Past Events - 2000
Our current calendar of events is on our home page and in our newsletter.
- There was no board meeting in December.
- Our annual meeting, pot-luck dinner, winter party and silent auction was held on Monday, December 18th. We
started with the election of officers, an a short musical performance.
- At the Humanist Conversation on Friday, December 8th, we discussed an article by Alan Wolfe from the October
2000 issue of Atlantic Monthly: “The
Opening of the Evangelical Mind.” The subsequent discussion of pseudo-intellectualism and the
dressing up of Creationism as Intelligent Design by Phillip Johnson and Co. led to the fixing of the topic
for discussion in January.
- Our meeting on Monday, November 20th, featured Mickey Koth talking on “Margaret Knight: Humanist Sheroe.” David
Schafer mentioned this article
on religious belief in the UK during the Q&A.
- Our Humanist Conversation on Friday, November 3rd centered around a one-hour video from the PBS series "The American President." The video, "The Balance of Power," covered presidents Madison, Polk, Taft,
and Clinton, and it "examines presidential leadership in an era of an increasingly divided government."
The viewing was followed by spirited discussion.
- Our monthly meeting on Monday, October 16th, featured a pre-election presentation on Humanism and politics,
with Theodore Johnson, M.D. presenting the Republican face of Humanism, and Bill Goward representing the Democratic
point of view.
- Our Humanist Conversation on Friday, October 6th was designed to enhance Doug Peary's talk about Voltaire,
and featured two short pieces of background reading that illustrated intellectual thought at the time of Voltaire.
- Our meeting on Monday, September 18th, featured HAC president Doug
Peary with an encore performance of his “Humanist Heros” talk on Voltaire.
- Our first dinner meeting in the Hartford area was held on Thursday, August 31st, at Carmichael's Restaurant,
682 Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford .
- Our meeting on Monday, August 21st, featured HAC vice-president Manny Ratafia with a talk entitled “Alternative
Medicine: One Man, Two Views.” Manny presented his interpretation of the pro-mainstream and pro-alternative medicine
viewpoints. Spirited discussion from the audience proved that members have deeply held views about the subject.
- Our Humanist Conversation on Friday, August 4th featured a return to pizza. The discussion was about pragmatism,
with digressions into logical positivism among other things. Click here for some
- Our annual picnic was held at the Raffords' house in Middlebury on Sunday, July 2nd, from 12 noon to 4 pm.
Once again we had good weather and an enjoyable afternoon.
- At the Humanist Conversation on Friday, June 30th at 7:30 PM, we will discuss selected chapters from Isaac
Asimov's autobiography, “I.Asimov : A Memoir.” These are detailed in the newsletter. We will order out for Chinese food again.
- Our meeting on Monday, June 19th, featured the latest installment of HAC President Doug Peary's “Humanist
Heroes” series, this time featuring physicist Richard Feynman.
- At the Humanist Conversation on Friday, May 26th at 7:30 PM, we discussed Chet
Raymo's collection of essays, “Skeptics and True Believers:
The Exhilarating Connection Between Science and Religion.”
- Our dinner meeting on Tuesday, May 23, at the Yankee Silversmith
Inn, was well attended. The service alone was worth the price of admission.
- Our 11th anniversary meeting on Monday, May 15th featured Lois and Bob Wolsch on “A 3 R's for Humanism,” an
impassioned plea to increase our relationships with the community at large.
- At the Humanist Conversation on Friday, April 28th at 7:30 PM, we discussed the second essay in Richard Feynman's
book “Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen Scientist.” The consensus was that this transcript of an early
speech was not Feynman at his best.
- Our meeting on April 17th featured Jane Haddam, president of the Connecticut
chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Jane's talk,
“Ammunition: Things You Might Not Know About Separation of Church and State at the Founding of the Nation,” presented
an interesting picture of early America, with only 1/3 of the population “churched,” state establishments favoring
no particular denomination, and the First Great Awakening being seen at the time as a PR stunt by failing preachers.
- The Humanist Conversation on Friday, March 31 at 7:30 PM was on the topic of “The Death Penalty.” For more
details and some links to investigate, click here.
- For our March meeting, on Monday, March 20th, Al Rader presented highlights from a trip to China.
- Our first dinner meeting was held in Southbury on Thursday, March 16th, and was a great success. The discussion
over dinner included an update on what happened to Madalyn
- The Humanist Conversations met on Sunday, March 5 at 3:00 PM. The discussion was based on an article by Robert
M. Price, “Of myth and men: a closer look at the originators of the major religions — what did they really say
and do?”, found in Free Inquiry, Winter
1999/00, p. 24-36.
- Our February meeting on Monday, February 21st featured a Valentine's Day program, with Frank Vernava speaking
on “Eros, Philia, Agape, Humanism, and me.”
- At our Humanist Conversation on Friday, January 28th at 7:30 PM, two possible humanist viewpoints on the World
Trade Organization were presented by John Magnesi and David Schafer.
- Our January 2000 meeting featured HAC past President David Schafer on “African American Intellectuals and
Humanism,” and was based on Cornel West's writings on pragmatism in 20th century African American thought.
Past Events - 1999
- Our annual business meeting and party was on Monday, December 20th. After the elections, we had music and poetry,
and a silent auction. The pot-luck appetizers were a great success.
- Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Humanist Conversation in November was on Sunday, November 28th at 3 PM,
instead of the usual Friday time slot. The subject was “Democracy and Humanism.” One of the articles discussed
is available on the web: David Schafer's “The Dilemma of Democratic Education, from Humanism Today.
- The speaker at our monthly meeting on Monday, November 15th at 8 PM, was Dr. Kenneth
L. Feder, Professor of Anthropology at CCSU, who told the story of the Cardiff Giant, an archeological hoax from
upstate New York. This is just one subject covered in Ken's book “Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology.”
- Friday, October 29th, the Humanist Conversation was on David Schafer's article “A Scientist Looks at Evolution
and Religious Humanism” in the summer 1996 issue of Religious Humanism.
- The presentation at our monthly meeting on Monday, October 18th at 8 PM, was a talk by the Gowards entitled
“Slow Boat to Paradise.”
- Friday, October 15th, there was an extra Humanist Conversation on Richard Dawkins's book “Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder.” Mickey Koth won the contest by supplying the correct combination for
Dr. Dawkin's new bicycle lock.
- On Friday, October 1st, the Humanist Conversation was on Jared Diamond's “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.”
- HAC President David Schafer gave the presentation at our monthly meeting on Monday, September 20th. The subject
was “Science and the Humanist.”
- The first meeting of the New London group was held Saturday, September 18th at 1 PM at the Mystic & Noank
Library, and the speaker was David Schafer, who spoke on “Varieties of Humanism.”
- James “The Amazing” Randi played to a packed crowd in the Davies Auditorium,
Yale, on Friday, September 10. The Humanist Association of Connecticut co-sponsored Randi's visit along
with the New England Skeptical Society.