Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Our January Meeting: A Debate

Our January meeting is an experiment in using a Debate format. The proposition to be debated is: "A disembodied mind is impossible." Joe Fearn will argue that the notion of the soul as a disembodied person, or discarnate consciousness, is unintelligible. Stephen Milton will argue the opposing case. The arguments are likely to cover such related concepts as ghosts and spirits and artificial intelligence. Others present will be able to take part in the discussion at the end of the debate phase, and perhaps vote on who they think has won the debate.

The venue is the Notley Room at the White Rock Hotel, 7 pm on Thursday 12 January 2012.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Prof Brian Cox: Physics or Metaphysics?

Much as I appreciate the work of the physicist Brian Cox in popularising scientific knowledge and countering nonsense or pseudoscientific "woo", there were a couple of occasions in his programme "Night with the Stars" on BBC2 TV last night where it seems to me he slipped from physics to metaphysics.
This was also noted by Arifa Akbar in a review in The Independent:
Physics began to sound first like metaphysics ("Particles that make this diamond are in communication with every one of you and with everything in the universe") and then, like Buddhism ("When I heat this diamond up, all the atoms in the universe change their energy levels... Everything is connected to everything else"). These wondrous statements made quantum physics seem suddenly clear cut, until it got complicated again.

Similarly David Butcher in The Radio Times:
he shows how diamonds are made up of nothingness, and how one such precious gem in the heart of London is in communication with the largest diamond in the cosmos. He also reveals how things can be in two places at once

It is good to see the actual equations of quantum physics, or a version of them, in this case Feynman's path-integration method, actually being shown in a popular presentation, but the interpretation given to it is just one of many, none of which are yet entirely satisfactory. The problem is that electrons are not analogous to "particles" of sand, although that term is still used to describe them. I sometimes think that they are perhaps more like a "cloud" or "swarm". Surely his interpretation of the Pauli exclusion principle is just plain wrong.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

December Free-For-All

Our December meeting, at 7pm on 8th December in the Notley Room at the White Rock Hotel will be open for anyone present to give a five-minute talk or presentation on anything they think may be of interest to us. It doesn't have to be a rant or specifically about Humanism. The timing will be flexible.

We will also vote on the decision that was held over from our AGM, whether to change our relationship with the BHA from Affiliation to Partnership. We will also review other activities such as attendance of members at meetings of BHA Group and SACRE Representatives and at the NSS AGM, and the successful launch of our Twitter account @HastingsHumanists).

Friday, 11 November 2011

Decisions at our AGM

The following are the decisions made at our Annual General Meeting. Since the minutes I took are rather illegible, and my memory is known to be fallible, please notify me if you spot any errors or omissions. There were 16 members in attendance and one apology for absence.

The annual membership fee remains at £5, and the cost of attending a meeting will be £2 (this is to cover the cost of the room which is currently £30 for two hours but may go up next year). The start-time of meetings will be 7 pm instead of 6:30 pm in future.

The Chair, Stephen Milton, and Secretary, George Jelliss, were reelected. Lesley Arnold-Hopkins stood down as Treasurer but becomes Deputy Chair. Duncan Cleverly becomes Treasurer as well as Social Secretary. Helene White remains formally Assistant Treasurer.

Lesley and Duncan will open a twitter account (@HastingsHumanists). Helen Mitcham will act as a Group Representative at GRAM. The decision whether the group should be an Affiliate or Partner of the BHA was postponed, and Felicity Harvest agreed to examine the BHA proposals in more detail and report back to the committee. We will continus to send Humanist Observers to the East Sussex SACRE, and lobby for more formal recognition.

So far only two meetings are definite for next year: January will feature a formal Debate between Joe Fearn and Stephen Milton on "Is a Disembodied Mind Possible?". June will be a talk from Barbara Burfoot about the Sea of Faith organisation. Enquiries for other outside speakers are in progress. Offers of talks from members (Joe Fearn on the Anthropic Principle, George Jelliss on Rewriting of History, and on Scepticism) are so far available to fit in the programme as needed.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Summary of Our 2011 Meetings

I've made a new page in the Hastings Humanists section of my website, which summarises all our meetings during 2011. This includes links to the video and other sites mentioned in Stephen Milton's talk on Science and Society. I intend to add further links for the other meetings in due course.

A Rainbow at London Bridge

On Wednesday afternoon I went to London for the Conway memorial lecture, which was about Jeremy Bentham and his extensive unpublished works. It proved to be mainly about his views on sexual relationships rather than secularism. The poddelusion people were there, so it can be heard on their recording. It seems Bentham's views anticipated those of the Australian philosopher Peter Singer, such as those on infanticide, which have been in the secular news (e.g. see New Humanist) thanks to Nadine Dorries accusing all humanists of favouring the killing of children on the least excuse!

I bought a ticket to Charings Cross as usual, but my train was "terminated" at London Bridge. We were advised that our tickets could be used on the Underground, but mine wouldn't even let me out of the station! It was raining and I decided to make use of my free bus pass, and catch a bus direct to Holborn. While I was waiting at the bus stop at one end of the Bridge a beautiful full half-circle rainbow appeared, like another Bridge in the sky, framing the scene that included Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the 'Gherkin' and other buildings. For a while there was even a partial secondary rainbow above the main one. I do love rainbows! I think I may take the London Bridge route in future.

OOPS! I intended to post this on my Jeepyjay Diary pages, but seem to have pressed the wrong buttons. Anyway it's not entirely irrelevant to Hastings Humanists, so I will let it stand.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Agenda for Our 2011 AGM

Hastings Humanists, Annual General Meeting

6:30 pm, Thursday 10 November, Notley Room, White Rock Hotel

1. Reports by the Society's Officers, including Secretary and Treasurer, on
the year's events and progress.

2. Discussion on the present organisation of the group (e.g. do we need to
appoint more people to specific tasks). Election of Officers. The current
Treasurer has expressed the intention to stand down. (To vote you must have
paid the £5 annual membership fee.) The fee structure is also up for
discussion. Should we make meetings free, with just optional donations?
Should we keep the £5 annual membership structure?

3. Debate on our relationship with the BHA (and NSS): Affiliation,
Partnership or Independence? This is in response to the BHA's proposals for
new terms and fees. The issue of donations to support the BHA and the
encouragement of BHA direct membership has also been proposed for

4. Involvement with East Sussex SACRE: should we continue to have an
observer, and lobby to have a member on one of the subcomittees?

5. Expansion of activities. Suggestions have been made that we open a
Hastings Humanists twitter account, and support Non-Prophet Week. Are there
local issues we should be campaigning about? e.g. Council prayers. Assisting
formation of a Local AHS student group.

6. Programme for next year. Any ideas for subjects we should deal with, or
speakers we might attract, or days out?

Sorry if this Agenda is a bit sketchy. We are a rather informal group. There
will be opportunities for other issues to be raised if there is time.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Science and Society

Our next meeting is on Thursday 13 October in the Notley room at the White Rock Hotel, starting 6:30 pm.

The speaker is our Chairman, Stephen Milton. He has provided the following summary of what he wants to talk about.


The question that I would invite you to debate with us is

Scientific discoveries will continue to transform society. But with every nook and cranny of the scientific world taking a lifetime to master, how can any member of society contribute to institutions that maintain a balanced view?”.

Is there now a risk that the ‘bunch of nutters’ (Vince Cable 2011) in the American Tea Party are just a harbinger of something much worse – a full blown anti-science movement where dogma transcends evidence. Are we seeing a reaction to the ‘Future Shock’ created by the continuous changes in everyday life forced on us by the exponential growth of scientific discovery? It would not be the first time that successful societies have foundered in this way China, the Ottoman empire, Europe’s own dark ages.

Despite the enormous benefits that we have derived from science there is an increasing gulf of understanding between its practitioners and the majority of the population.

Come to join in the debate.


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Another Social Meeting in September

Since only a few people bought tickets for the evening out in London to celebrate the life of Marlene Dietrich on 7 September, I thought members might like another Social meeting locally. So as an experimant I have arranged for a meeting at the Persia Restaurant on Thursday 15 September at the usual time 6:30 pm. Tea, Coffee and Biscuits will be available.

The Persia Restaurant is on the seafront between the White Rock and the Pig in Paradise. Anyone wanting alcoholic drinks can go to one of these other venues after our meeting to continue socialising, if so desired.

Our usual programme will resume in October with the postponed talk by Stephen Milton.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Social Events

At our meeting in July it was decided to have a social meeting on 11 August in the bar at White Rock Hotel. We also appointed Duncan Cleverley as our Social Secretary (is that the right title?) to plan more such activities in future.

It was also proposed that a group of members should have an outing to the "Affectionate Tribute to Marlene Dietrich" to be held at Conway Hall in London on 7 September in support of the Secular Europe Campaign. I asked for those members who have bought a ticket to let me know, so that we can know how many are going, but the response so far has been minimal.

In was proposed that the talk by Stephen Milton on 8th September be postponed to October, but if interest in the Conway Hall trip is low, perhaps we should reinstate this. We can assess the situation on 11th August.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Our July Meeting: Cosmology and RE

A PDF poster is now available to download from HERE advertising our next meeting, which is at 6:30 pm on 14th July in the Notley Room at the White Rock Hotel.

The main subject is: Cosmology - Do We Need To Know How It All Began? In the absence of Prof. Stephen Hawking or Prof. Brian Cox this will be introduced by our Secretary, George Jelliss from a philosophical point of view: Could Everything come from Nothing? What is Time? In the Beginning was...?

In view of our failure to get representation on the East Sussex SACRE we will also devote some time to discuss what our attitude should be to Relgious Education. This video (see bottom of page) of a debate at UCL on 15 June is worth listening to in this connection.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

East Sussex SACRE excludes Humanists

On Wednesday two of us, George Jelliss and Stephen Milton, attended the East Sussex SACRE (Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education) as Humanist Observers. Any member of the public is permitted to attend these meetings as an observer, although the room would have been overfull had all the 30 or so eligible members turned up. As it was there was some danger of the AGM being cancelled as being non-quorate, until one C0fE representative and a second teacher arrived late. Even then the interpretation of 1 out of 4 CofE representatives as meeting the requirement of "one third" being present seems very questionable arithmetic, but we've not seen the exact wording of the constitution.

One of the items on the agenda was to consider "Membership/make up of East Sussex SACRE" which mainly meant us presenting our case for a Humanist to be included on one of the four subcommittees. George Jelliss had prepared a one-page submission on this, and there was a short question and answer session to follow. We were then excluded from the meeting while the members debated the issue. The outcome we were told was that all four subcommittees had voted against our inclusion, although we could remain as Observers. The four subcommittees consist of A: Various Christian denominations and other religions (16); B: Church of England (4); C: Teacher Associations (6); D: Local Authority Councillors (5). Each group has one vote, regardless of number of members.

I give here the text of the submission:

The Case for Humanist Representation on the SACRE

Religious Education as taught today evolved from Religious Instruction, as it was when I was at school in the 1950s, and is now a much more widely based introduction to the beliefs and customs of people around the world, and of the pupils in our schools. There is a strong case for teaching it as "Ethics and Philosophy" or even "Humanity". This very issue was debated a few days ago, 24 June, in an interview by John Humphrys with the Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard, and the Director of the National Secular Society, Keith Porteus Wood. [1]

Current non-statutory guidance from the Government is that Religious Education should examine religious and non-religious perspectives, and cover issues such as meaning and purpose of life, the self, the nature of reality, right and wrong, what it means to be human, and worldviews that offer answers to such questions. Secular Humanism is a widely held worldview which covers all these questions. [2]

Human Rights law means that there should be no discrimination on grounds of religion or belief. Under the European Convention it does not matter whether the beliefs are categorised as religious. Freedom of thought and conscience (Article 9) applies as much to atheists and sceptics as to religious believers. [3]

Under the Equality Acts there are specific statutory requirements for Local Authorities not to act in a discriminatory way, and to promote equality of treatment, and the law defines religion or belief to include non-religious beliefs. [4]

As a matter of actual practice the British Humanist Association confirms that almost half of the SACRE in England and Wales have a humanist representative, either as a full voting or non-voting co-opted member, and there are now numerous examples of humanists as full members of group A. Other SACRE are actively seeking to appont a humanist representative. The guidance states that the numbers of persons appointed to represent each "denomination" should reflect broadly its proportionate strength in the area. On this basis it could be argued that the Sacre and ASC should have more than one humanist member!

To summarise. Exclusion of humanists is evident discrimination against a large group of the population, including the school population. It is only fair that Humanists should have a role in monitoring how their views are taught. The inclusion of humanists will be good for the democratic reputation of East Sussex Council. I hope that you would regard me personally as a suitable candidate, but I hope that you will vote for my inclusion not on personal grounds but as a matter of principle, of conscience, of anti-discrimination and fairness.

[1] See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9521000/9521641.stm
[2] Religious Education guidance in English schools: Non-statutory guidance 2010
[3] European Convention http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/treaties/html/005.htm
[4] Equality and Human Rights Commission, http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

G. P. Jelliss 27 June 2011.

Clearly we may need to reconsider our future strategy on this issue. Statistics from the BHA indicate that 43 SACREs already have Humanist members on Group A, and 17 others have co-opted Humanist members.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

A Sceptical View of the King James Bible

The following is a copy of the press release I have sent out to publicise our June meeting, adding a link and omitting contact details:


A Sceptical View of the King James Bible.

The Hastings Humanists meet at 6:30 pm on Thursday 9 June in the Notley Room, White Rock Hotel. Entry fee for non-members is £2.50.

This talk is to mark the 400th anniversary of publication of the English translation of the Bible, authorised by King James the First. Well known writers, including Richard Dawkins, have praised the quality of the English used, although many readers now find it difficult to understand.

Perhaps it should be replaced by a modern alternative such as "The Good Book" compiled by the Humanist philosopher A. C. Grayling.

The speaker, Ken Humphreys, author of "Jesus Never Existed" will discuss how the KJV Bible affects our perception of Jesus, and whether its elevated literature obscures the historical realities.

There will be time for a question and answer session following the talk.

A PDF poster for this meeting is now available to download. I have also attempted to revive our newsletter in a new form, as a web page. Both are available HERE.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

New Date and Venue for May Meeting

New Date: Thursday 19th May 6:30-8:30pm.
New Venue: Seafront Room, White Rock Hotel

For anyone not familiar with the venue: White Rock Hotel is almost opposite the Pier. The Seafront Room is on the left as you enter through the revolving doors. There is also a bar on the right as you enter which you are free to use, before and after the meeting.

Speaker: Lesley Arnold-Hopkins
Subject: A celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of David Hume

This will consist of a short presentation about his life, times and ideas, together with a discussion of these and related issues. One of the subjects he is associated with is whether an Ought can be derived from an Is; which is the subject of the most recent book from Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape). Other issues he is famous for are the evidence necessary to prove a miracle, and the reliability of inductive reasoning - and much else I'm sure!

No charge for this meeting, though we may accept donations.

A PDF poster is now ready to download.

Sunday, 8 May 2011


Sorry folks. The 12 May meeting is off due to another double-booking by the Arts Forum. I'm not sure at present if there will be a replacement meeting.

Julian Huxley & The Big Questions

There was an interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday in their Archive on 4 series that I heard by accident. It is an assessment of the life of Julian Huxley by Jim Al-Khalili, with contributions by Desmond Morris and others. It can be heard on listen again for seven days. It includes his ideas on progress in evolution, and on eugenics and race, and on the difficulties of combining popular presentation of science with academic respectability.

Another programme worth watching is last Sunday's "The Big Questions" which was on the King James Bible, with Richard Dawkins and co. It is available for a week on iPlayer. There is also a YouTube version which may be around for longer.

Friday, 6 May 2011

David Hume Tercentenary

Our next meeting on Thursday 12th May is to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of the philosopher David Hume, and will consist of a short presentation about his life, times and ideas, together with a discussion of these and related issues.

One of the subjects he is associated with is whether an Ought can be derived from an Is; which is the subject of the most recent book from Sam Harris. Other issues he is famous for are the evidence necessary to prove a miracle, and the relability of inductive reasoning.

I've decided to make this a Free meeting, and more of a round-table discussion than a talk. Our treasurer Lesley Arnold-Hopkins who was to have presented the introduction will not be able to come due to her other commitments as a BHA celebrant, but she has provided me with her notes.

If there is time we can also discuss other issues, so please let me know of any topics you would like to raise.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Grayling's Good Book

I've obtained a copy of A. C. Grayling's chunky Good Book (600 pp + viii) subtitled A Secular Bible. Although it has a cover price of £25 it can be obtained from Amazon for £15.25. Like a traditional bible it is divided into 14"Books" and each Chapter consists of numbered Verses, printed in two columns. Some of the verses are rhyming couplets, though this is not brought out by the typography.

The aim of the book, which has evidently been a labour of love over many years, has been to provide a distillation of traditional secular "wisdom", but brought up to date. By far the majority of the material comes from Grayling's encyclopedic knowledge of the Greek and Roman periods. The most recent influences cited (on page 599) appear to be no later than 1910 (Clemens, i.e. Mark Twain, and Sully-Prudhomme).

Book 1, "Genesis" is an updated version of "The Nature of Things" by Lucretius. By far the longest Books are "Histories" (pp.172-358) which is an account (presumably from Herodotus and Thucydides) of "the great war between East and West, on which the hinge of history turned" i.e. the war between Persia and Greece, and "Acts" (442-559) which concern the lives of Lycurgus, Solon, Pericles, Cato and Cicero. Like the Old Testament these pages include many accounts of gruesome acts of tyrants, particularly the Persian ruler Cambyses. The "Parables" owe more to Aesop (or possibly Dunsany) than Matthew.

It is difficult to make a judgment after a first somewhat cursory reading, but I get the feeling that there is too much sugary "goodness" and stern "duty" in the book, particularly in the Books on "Wisdom", "Proverbs" and the like; personally I would like much more leeway for foolishness and scepticism. I wonder if the author plans to follow up sometime with a "New Testament" that brings in more twentieth century wisdom - if there was any.

Addendum: What the book lacks, from the point of view of one largely ignorant of Roman history is some better indication of the sources. For instance the text "Consolations" addressed to Marcia (of whome there were many in Roman history) is from Seneca, and the text in "Concord" put into the mouth of Laelius is from Cicero. No doubt both of these are too well known to a classicist to need mention, but I had to do a computer search to find them.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

New Date for April Meeting

The Humanist Tradition in Counselling and Psychotherapy

by Andrew Colquhoun

will now be on Thursday 21st April,
at the Arts Forum, 36 Marina, from 6:30 pm.

The change of date is due to a clash with the film society.
Thanks are due to Andrew for being willing to change the date.

The talk will cover the various schools of therapy and their history, with emphasis on the humanist tradition in person-centred and cognitive behavioural therapy, and will also touch on national policy and regulation.

As usual there will be a question and answer session to follow.

Friday, 1 April 2011

April Fooling

There are some really good April Fool articles being published, as well as some very poor tries. Among the latter are the Guardian claiming to have adopted the Monarchist cause, and Ekklesia claiming the Church of England is rebranding. The best ones read as if they could well be true, at least for the first few paragraphs. The following are my top three (so far at any rate):

Skepticism is just another cult.

Scientology to be taught in RE.

Christian persecution and the great atheist conspiracy.

At least I think they are April fooling!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Humanism in Counselling and Psychotherapy

The Humanist Tradition in Counselling and Psychotherapy

The April lecture to Hastings Humanists will be given by Andrew Colquhoun, who provides counselling and psychotherapy services in Hastings (at 44 Wellington Place). His talk will cover the various schools and their history, with emphasis on the humanist tradition in person-centred and cognitive behavioural therapy, and will also touch on national policy and regulation. This is a subject in which great strides in scientific effectiveness have been made in recent years.

The meeting is at the Arts Forum, 36 Marina, from 6:30 pm, Thursday 14 April.

The above is the wording of a press release I have sent out. A PDF poster advertising the lecture is available here. This is an unusual subject and I hope it will be of interest to a wide range of members. The talk will be followed as usual by a question and answer session.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Skeptics in the Pub comes to Lewes

I've only recently found that there are now Skeptics in the Pub meetings being organised in Lewes, at the Elephant and Castle, White Hill. The March 24 Meeting, featuring Simon Singh on Alternative Medicine is already sold out. There are meetings planned from April to August, but it looks as if it is necessary to book in advance.

There is also an established programme in Brighton. They meet at the Caroline of Brunswick, 39 Ditchling Road. The April 12 talk is by David Aaronovitch on Conspiracy Theories.

There are other Skeptics in the Pub groups all round the country, though not all are as active.

Friday, 18 March 2011

A Multifaith Royal Wedding?

Our discussion of Monarchy v Republicanism at our March meeting didn't get very far. In fact there was such an evident disparity of views that I thought it best to cut that part of the discussion short in case it led to violence! On the other hand our discussions on the Census and on Disestablishment were largely consensual.

There are a lot of amusing suggestions coming forward on Twitter on the subject of making the Royal Wedding a Multi-Faith event. This spoof seems to have originated from a Jewish Chronicle article.

A pastafarian (follower of the flying spaghetti monster) suggests serving meatballs and spaghetti. An alarming number call for human sacrifice: Wiccans want to burn a chief constable in a giant wooden effigy in Trafalgar Square: Hindus favour the Queen committing Sati on the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral pile: Jedi's want to see Charles chop off William's hand with a light sabre. Pagans want a bearded Chief Druid to lead the celebration ... Oh, hang on ...

Monday, 14 March 2011

Local BBC Radio Sussex

I had a phone call from BBC Radio Sussex last week asking if I would be willing to appear, via telephone, on their Sunday morning programme, at the impossible time of 7:15 in the morning. Fortunately they got Mr Edmonson from Worthing Humanists to chat to them about the Census campaign, and he came across quite well. Not having listened to anything much on local radio I tried to continue listening to the programme, but found it to be three hours (6 to 9) of relentless religiously biased propaganda. I did think of phoning in to express some contrary views, but after spending some time searching for the contact details, found better things to do. It is perhaps fortunate that these religious programmes are mostly confined to times of the week when very few people will be listening. What are the chances of getting the BBC to put on a three-hour broadcast with a relentlessly atheistic slant?

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Our March Meeting

Humanism and the State.

This will be the subject of the next Hastings Humanists meeting at 6:30 pm on 10 March at the Arts Forum, 36 Marina, St Leonards on Sea.

There will be a round table discussion of Humanist views on issues such as the reliability of the Census, Monarchy versus Republicanism, Disestablishment of the Church of England, and any related questions people might like to raise. The entrance fee for nonmembers is £2.50.

The Census on 27 March will again include the leading question: "What is Your Religion?" To avoid the misuse of statistics to justify government involvement of religious organisations, Humanists urge everyone who does not actively practice a religion to tick the "No religion" box, and not to enter joke answers.

The above is the wording of a Press Release that I have sent out. Members are urged to bring their arguments and opinions and questions on these issues so that we can have a lively debate. The Census is on 27 March and the Royal Wedding in April, so these are topical issues. The current revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East may also have some bearing on these subjects.

A PDF poster for this meeting is now available.

Friday, 18 February 2011

East Sussex SACRE meeting

I went to the East Sussex SACRE meeting as I have been doing for a couple of years. The latest meeting was held at Uckfield, which is very awkward to get to by public transport from Hastings (train to Eastbourne, and 54 bus to Uckfield). Even by car it is a long journey. I was kindly given a lift back by one of the SACRE members. Unlike the previous meeting in Uckfield last year this time there was a full complement of 18 people round the table.

Although it had been agreed at the last meeting that the question of whether a Humanist could be co-opted onto the committee (as opposed to being an observer as I am at present) would be placed on the agenda, this was not done (and I didn't see a copy of the agenda until the tea break). I raised this issue at the end and have been given to understand it will be discussed at the next meeting in June. Not that there seems to be much difference between the two roles; I still would not have a vote on anything.

The East Sussex Agreed Syllabus for RE is due to be launched at a meeting in Lewes scheduled for 21 March.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Do You Adam and Eve It?

At our February Meeting Dr Tom Rees will be talking to us about Adam and Eve. Did they really exist? What is the scientific evidence? Who were mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosome Adam, and why did they never meet?

The science of genetics has come a long way in the last 50 or so years since the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA and it is surprising what it can tell us. This subject should also be of interest to religious believers.

We didn't get a mention in the local press this week**. Probably since I was late sending out the press release. However a PDF poster is now available from the Hastings Humanists page on my website. Also I've had difficulty printing this out, since the black ink cartridge on my printer seems to be faulty. So if members can print and distribute some this would be helpful.

**Correction: Our member Rose points out that there was a notice in the Hastings Observer. It is on page 26.