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- May 2016: We welcome the new Executive Director of the ACLU of Connecticut, Steven Glassman, as the featured speaker at our May monthly meeting. Our Humanist Convesations meeting morphs into Humanist Explorations, while examining the life of the famous illustrator Norman Rockwell. Viktor Frankl's classic "Man's Search for Meaning" is the subject of our book discussion. Our May outing is to New Haven's historic Grove Street Cemetery.
- April 2016: We celebrate our anniversary and are pleased to have Alison Cunningham, the executive director of Columbus House, talk to us about “Ending Homelessness in Our Time.” Our book group discusses Matthew Stewart’s surprising examination of the thought behind the founding of the USA: “Nature’s God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic.’ Our Humanist Conversations event will be delayed a week due to the CARE conference, and will cover the authors and artists of the Algonquin Round Table and their “Ten Year Lunch”. There’s a chance to visit the Peabody for an exhibit on human origins in the first of our monthly outings.Also, Yale Humanist Community is holding its annual Humanism at Yale Week, and there are chances to do good during the Week of Action: a charity walk for Foodshare in Hartford, and a blood drive at the New London Public Library.
- March 2016: Dr. Lawrence Rifkin returns as our guest speaker with “Why Darwin Matters.” Our board meetings will start 30 minutes earlier at 2:00 PM due to changing commitments of our board members. The book group discusses Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.” At Humanist Conversations we will learn about the epic task of building the Panama Canal.
- February 2016: The book group discusses Ari Shavit’s epic history of Israel "My Promised Land." Humanist Conversations considers whether the failure of the 1845 Franklin Expedition is related to the water contamination problem in Flint, Michigan. An update on the Speaker Fund Challenge. There’s lots going on at the Yale Humanist Community, USNH, and the upcoming CARE Conference and Reason Rally.
- January 2016: At Humanist Conversations, Steve Boshi will introduce us to atomic scientist Dr. Lise Meitner with a one hour documentary on her life. Steve is also a featured speaker at our monthly meeting, where he and Susan will share the highlights of a trip to Russia. The book group discusses Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God", with supplemental reading from Ms. Hurston's autobiography.
- December 2015: Time for our annual meeting and election of officers for 2016, plus our winter solstice party. Tom & Deiidre Kennedy host another annual dinner at their home. The book group discusses Mary Johnson's "An Unquenchable Thirst", with Ms. Johnson in attendance. At Humanist Conversations, Steve Boshi will share a 1996 comedy drama about parents and children applying for admission to Cambridge University.
- November 2015: HAC member Nina Stein describes her visit to Israel/Palestine with a peace group. Humanist Conversations discusses a TED talk on how the US now handles political prisoners. The November book discussion is on William J Stuntz’s “The Collapse of American Criminal Justice.” Programs at USNH and Yale Humanist Community include a special Carl Sagan Day appearance of Sagan’s son, author Nick Sagan. Plus volunteer opportunities to prepare and/or deliver Thanksgiving meals, or longer-term opportunities in New Haven and Bridgeport.
- October 2015: Chris Stedman, Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community, returns as guest speaker at our monthly meeting, asking “Can You Really Love Your Enemies?” Humanist Conversations takes a road trip to the Wilson Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library. This month’s discussion centers on Robert Reich’s documentary “Inequality for All.” Our Book Group’s selection for October is Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here.” We have an update on the Aid in Dying bill. Plus programs at USNH and Yale Humanist Community.
- September 2015: Humanist Conversations takes a break. Dr. John Pawelek tells us about his latest research, and summer conferences in Italy and Croatia at our monthly meeting. Our Book Group will discuss Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath: Life & Loathing in Greater Israel.” We are live streaming the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.
- August 2015: David Schafer is the featured speaker at our monthly meeting. His talk will be on “Understanding Climate Change.” Humanist Conversations discusses the 2011 HBO documentary “The Loving Story.” Our Book Group will discuss “Roger Williams & the Creation of the American Soul” by author and historian John M. Barry.
- July 2015: Humanist Conversations takes a break. Our monthly meeting will feature Doug Peary's latest "Humanist Hero," John Dietrich, the Unitarian minister and religious humanist who became known as the Father of Humanism. Our Book Group will discuss Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s novel “36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction.”
- June 2015: Instead of the usual Humanist Conversations meeting, we will be visiting the Yale Art Gallery to view the Critique of Reason exhibit, with an earlier start time of 12:15 PM. Our monthly meeting will be replaced by the annual picnic, which this year will be held at Gayle Walter's home in New Haven. Our Book Group will discuss Katha Pollitt’s “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.” Thanks to some generous donations, we raised over $1000 for the Connecticut Food Bank’ in the Walk Against Hunger on May 17.
- May 2015: Ken Feder is the featured speaker at our monthly meeting. His talk will be on rock art in North America. Our Book Group will discuss David Niose’s “Fighting Back the Right”, which is about corporate power. David will join the discussion via Skype. During the “Week of Action” from April 30 to May 6 you’ll have a chance to walk or run to support mental health. We will be walking in the Connecticut Food Bank's Walk Against Hunger on May 17.
- April 2015: David Niose returns as the featured speaker at our 26th Anniversary Meeting on Sunday, April 19. David will tell us about good news in Humanism. The Book Group’s rescheduled discussion of Sam Harris’s book: “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion” is on April 18. The Yale Humanist Community is staging a “Humanism At Yale Week” culminating with this month’s “Humanist Haven” We have two charity walks coming up in May: one during the “Week of Action” plus our annual entry in the Connecticut Food Bank's Walk Against Hunger.
- March 2015: We use our Humanist Conversations time slot on the first Saturday to host Tim Appleton of Compassion and Choices with an update on this year’s aid in dying bill. Our monthly meeting will feature Steve and Susan Boshi with another travelogue, this time covering the art and architecture of Great Britain. The Book Group discusses another of Sam Harris’s books: “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion.” Vanessa Zoltan, the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard, is guest speaker at this month’s Yale Humanist Community “Humanist Haven”
- February 2015: At our monthly meeting we will celebrate Darwin Day with a talk on “The Evolution of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution” by our own Dr. David Schafer. We will also mark Darwin Day with a Birthday Bash at Eli’ on Whitney on the day itself. The Book Group discusses “Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality,” by psychologists Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. Humanist Conversations discusses Steven Brill’s 26,000 word Time cover story on healthcare. Former AHA President David Niose’s visit has been rescheduled for February 28. The annual Darwin Day dinner in Norwalk is on again. Connecticut SMART Recovery has a new Facebook page. Tony Pinn is guest speaker at this month’s Yale Humanist Community “Humanist Haven”
- January 2015: PJ Deak presents a travelogue of a family trip to Guatemala and the Maya at our monthly meeting. The Book Group discusses another of Barbara Ehrenreich’s books: “Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America.” Humanist Conversations discusses I.F. Stone’s suspicion that there’s something weird about the Trial of Socrates. Former AHA President David Niose has a new book out, and will be visiting us to talk about it at a special meeting.
- December 2014: It’s time for our Annual Meeting and Elections. As usual, the evening will start with a potluck dinner, and the meeting will be followed by our Solstice Party and silent auction. The Book Group discusses “Ecotopia” by Ernest Callenbach. Humanist Conversations discusses a New York Times video on women in Afghanistan.
- November 2014: Humanist Conversations considers Ezekiel Emanuel’s Atlantic article. Wendy Webber of the Yale Humanist Community is the speaker at our monthly meeting. The Book Group discusses “The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin.
- October 2014: At our monthly meeting, Chris Stedman, the Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community, talks about building briges with the wider community. Humanist Conversation follows up Dr. John Pawelek’ talk on his experiences in Tehran with a talk by Azar Nafisi, author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” The Book Group discusses “Dog Whistle Politics” by Ian Haney López.
- September 2014: Dr. John Pawelek returns as guest speaker at our monthly meeting, describing how it feels to attend a scientific conference in Tehran . Humanist Conversationsdiscusses two TED talks on understanding power and economics. The Book Group discusses “Dog Whistle Politics” by Ian Haney López. Michael Werner’ leadership seminar for the Connecticut Coalition of Reason is coming up. The People’s Climate March in NYC is on September 21.
- August 2014: At our monthly meeting, David Schafer compares the new and original series of “Cosmos.” Tom Platt leads a discussion on Death at Humanist Conversations, based on an interview with Yale’s Professor Shelly Kagan. The Book Group discusses an article on “The Case for Reparations,” and picks a book for September. Michael Werner is coming back to Connecticut in September to give a leadership seminar for the Connecticut Coalition of Reason.
- July 2014: Dan Blinn is our guest speaker at our monthly meeting, talking on being “a Humanist in Israel.” Humanist Conversations discusses Barbara Ehrenreich and David Brooks on living life on your terms. Our discussion of Carl Sagan’s “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark” is coming up on July 12. There’s another chance to walk at Fitzgerald Trails in Woodbridge.
- June 2014: At our monthly meeting the ACLU of Connecticut’s Executive Director, Andrew Schneider, asks if it’s time to rein in the surveillance state. We’ll watch French economist Thomas Piketty make his case at Humanist Conversations. Our next book discussion, on July 12, will be on Carl Sagan’s “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.”
- May 2014: Ken Feder returns with a talk on the Bermuda Triangle at our monthly meeting. Humanist Conversations discusses “Your Inner Monkey.” Our book group is reading Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”
- April 2014: Humanist Conversations discusses an Independent Lens documentary on using children to effect change. Our 25th Anniversary Meeting will start with a potluck dinner and feature a talk by co-founders Bob and Joanie Rafford. We will discuss Daniel Everett’s book “Don’t Sleep; There Are Snakes.”
- March 2014: Our Humanist Conversations meeting will be replaced by a return visit by Eugene Kogan in a special afternoon meeting about Nuclear Proliferation. Our regular monthly meeting will feature author Arthur Saxon on P.T. Barnum. Frans de Waal appears at the Yale Humanist Community on March 5, and we will discuss his book “The Bonobo & the Atheist” on March 29. Our book group will try again to discuss Daniel Quinn’s “Ishmael.”
- February 2014: Paul Chiariello of the Yale Humanist Project is our Darwin Day guest speaker. Humanist Conversations watches historian Richard Slotkin on the role of guns and violence in our society. Our book group is reading Daniel Quinn’s “Ishmael.”
- January 2014: Steve and Susan Boshi return with highlights of another trip to Europe. Humanist Conversations watches a biography of Nelson Mandela. Our book group will try again to discuss Stephen Greenblatt’s “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern” after last month's snow storm.
- December 2013: It's time for our annual meeting, elections, winter solstice party, and silent auction. Humanist Conversations discussed a video of Michael Sandel talking about his latest book “What Money Cannot Buy,” and will watch a biography of Nelson Mandela in January. Our book group will discuss Stephen Greenblatt’s “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.” Tom & Deidre Kennedy host a casual dinner on the 25th, replacing our traditional annual brunch.
- November 2013: Humanist Conversations discusses Sean Carroll's talk from this year's AHA convention. Paul Chiariello of the Yale Humanist Project talks about the "Importance of Community" at our monthly meeting. Our book group is reading Stephen Greenblatt’s “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.”
- October 2013: Doug Peary is our guest speaker at this month’s monthly meeting with the latest in his series of biographies of famous humanists. This time the subject will be the founder of Ethical Culture, Felix Adler. Humanist Conversations discusses the recent PBS documentary “Israel: Facing the Future.” Our book group will discuss Sam Harris’s “Free Will,” at Stephany Cousins’s home. And it’s time for the SANE conference.
- September 2013: Humanist Conversations learns about the origins of the Billie Holiday song “Strange Fruit.” Our guest speaker at this month’s monthly meeting will be Yale cancer researcher Dr. John Pawelek. Our book group will discuss Bertrand Russell’s “Why I Am Not a Christian.” The first SANE conference will be held on October 19 in West Haven.
- August 2013: Humanist Conversations visits “Ben’s Mill.” Daniel Finn of Pioneer Valley Local First will be our guest speaker at this month’s monthly meeting. Our book group will discuss Peter Singer’s “The Life You Can Save.” The Hartford Area Humanists is holding a fundraiser for the fall SANE conference. We have an afternoon meeting to discuss Alain de Botton’s ideas in his TED talk “Atheism 2.0.”
- July 2013: Greg Shenk tells us about research into the nature/nurture question. Humanist Conversations discusses desert reclamation. Our book group is reading Philip Pullman’s “The Golden Compass.” The Hartford Area Humanists dinner meeting guest speaker is our own Dr. David Schafer. There is a fundraiser for the fall SANE conference.
- June 2013: It's time for our annual picnic. After being snowed out in February, Steve and Susan Boshi treat us to a tour of Italy from a humanist perspective. Our book group is reading Michael Shermer’s “The Believing Brain.” Humanist Conversations will watch and discuss the movie "The Soloist."
- May 2013: Dr. Ken Feder tells us what's going on at the Mystery Hill site in New Hampshire. Humanist Conversations discusses issues of self-identification. Our book group is reading the late Joe Bageant’s “Deer Hunting with Jesus.” The Hartford Humanists dinner meeting guest speaker, will talk on transhumanism. Our annual picnic is coming up on June 1.
- April 2013: Dr. Robert B Tapp will be our guest speaker at our Anniversary Meeting on Thursday, April 11. Humanist Conversations considers death with dignity. Our book group discusses Greg Epstein’s “Good Without God.” Our Hartford-area dinner meeting will be devoted to setting up an organization, Hartford Humanists, to expand activities for humanists near Hartford.
- March 2013: Humanist Conversations looks at the PBS American Experience series on “the Abolitionists.” Ken Feder of CCSU will return as our guest speaker with a talk on “Lye Stones, Cider Presses, and Sacrificed Virgins: Converging Evidence at the Mystery Hill Site in New Hampshire.” Our book group has a busy month with the rescheduled discussion of Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” followed by the previously scheduled discussion of “The Plague” by Albert Camus. HAC’s Doug Peary will be the guest speaker at our Hartford-area dinner. Doug will be talking about efforts to get Compassionate Ending legislation passed in Connecticut.
- February 2013: Kim Hynes of Connecticut Common Cause talks about the Citizens United decision's effect on the 2012 elections. Humanist Conversations explores building communities. Our book group is reading Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature.” The guest speaker at our Hartford-area dinner will be Dan Finn of Pioneer Valley Local Food First. Fred Edwords of UnCOR will be presenting a workshop on publicity.
- January 2013: Escape the snow with a humanist look at the architecture and art of Italy at our monthly meeting. Humanist Conversations discusses the PBS special “After Newtown.” We will discuss ’s “Freefall” by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz at our book discussion. Stiglitz is also featured in the USNH Friday night cinema this month. Our Hartford-area dinners resume with a talk on the Pardons Project.
- December 2012: Time for our annual meeting, election of officers, and approval of bylaws. Bring a book or movie to share at our Humanist Conversations session. We will discuss Roland Merullo’s “Breakfast with Buddha” at our book discussion. Don’t forget to join us at our annual brunch.
- November 2012: Kim Hynes of Connecticut Common Cause will tell us about the effect of the Citizens United decision on elections at our monthly meeting. Our Humanist Conversations session was to have been replaced by a training session by Fred Edwords of the United Coalition for Reason, but that event was postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Our book discussion group is reading Jennifer Finney Boylan’s “She’s not there: a life in two genders.”
- October 2012: At our monthly meeting, Dan Blinn will tells us what to expect in the recently started Supreme Court session. Our guest speaker for the Hartford-area dinner will be State Representative Prasad Srinivasan. Humanist Conversations will learn about the Uprising of ’34. Our October book discussion will celebrate the work of the late Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. by reading his novel “Galápagos.”
- September 2012: Andrew Schneider, the executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut, returns as our guest speaker for September with a profile of the clients in three civil liberties cases. Our Hartford-area dinner attendees will hear about the first Camp Quest held in Connecticut from Jason Deeble. Our Humanist Conversations group will consider Steven Pinker’s assertion that violence is diminishing. We’ll hear from Henry Auer about Global Warming at a special late afternoon discussion. Our September book discussion will be on Charles C Mann’s “1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.”
- August 2012: Our guest speaker for our monthly meeting (on a Sunday), will be David Niose, President of the American Humanist Association and author of “Nonbeliever Nation,” and his book is the subject of our August book discussion. Nancy Boone of CABHN will tell our Hartford-area dinner attendees about the challenges of meeting basic human needs in Connecticut. Marsha Zellner is leading a hike at the Darling House in Woodbridge, and then giving us a version of her talk “Does It Bite?” Our Humanist Conversations group will watch a debate between Susan Jacoby and Dinesh D'Souza on “Is Christianity Good For American Politics?”
- July 2012: Conversations looks at E.J. Dionne on political divisions. Our monthly meeting features Gregory Shenk on “Sociobiology at Sixty-Six”. Dennis Paul Himes is our Hartford-area dinner speaker. We’re discussing John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules”, and watching the movie adaptation. David Niose’s new book will be for sale in anticipation of his talk in August.
- June 2012: Our monthly meeting is replaced by our annual picnic! Stephany Cousins hosts our discussion of the late Christopher Hichens’ “got is not Great: How religion poisons everything.” This month's “Humanist Conversations” session looks back at Elia Kazan’s involvment in the House Unamerican Activities Committee witchhunts. David and June Schafer send a thank-you. Former “Hartford Courant” journalist and author Susan Campbell is our Hartford-area dinner speaker.
- May 2012: This month's “Humanist Conversations” session revisits the recent Reason Rally. Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” is the subject of this month’s book discussion. Doug Peary profiles David and June Schafer in this month’s main meeting. Larry Rifkin is our Hartford-area dinner speaker.
- April 2012: CCSU’s Ken Feder returns as our 23rd Anniversary speaker with a story of “Lost Civilizations and Lost Innocence.” This month's “Humanist Conversations” session discusses election issues. We discuss Hanna Rosin’s “God’s Harvard.” Daisy Cheng-Milano is our first Hartford-area Dinner speaker and brings us up to date with efforts to set up a coalition of humanist, atheist and secular groups in Connecticut.
- March 2012: CFI’s Tom Flynn returns with a guide to Robert Ingersoll and the Freethought Trail. Our “Humanist Conversations” session remembers the Freedom Riders. We’re reading Hanna Rosin’s “God’s Harvard.”
- February 2012: Our “Humanist Conversations” will be based on “Hot Coffee,” a documentary on the McDonald’s coffee case. David Schafer tells us about “Charles Darwin and the Meaning of Life.” The next book discussion will be on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
- January 2012: Steve and Susan Boshi describe their recent trip to France from a humanist perspective. Our book group discusses “Half the Sky.” Our February “Humanist Conversations” will be based on a documentary on the McDonald’s coffee case: “Hot Coffee.”
- December 2011: Time for our Solstice Party (with music and a silent auction). We’ve been invited to join the new Secular Coalition for Connecticut. For the January Conversations we’ll watch a video debate on whether the world would be better off without religion.
- November 2011: The next book discussion will be on Dan Ariely’s “Predictably Irrational.” Dr. John Hooper, president of the Unitarian Univeralist Humanists (HUUmanists) will talk about Humanism and Naturalism.We have more social walks in Woodbridge. Humanist Conversations looks at Ray Kurzweil’s ideas.
- October 2011: Doug Peary presents “Baruch Spinoza, Humanist Hero.” We discuss Russell Shorto’s “Descartes’ Bones.” Humanist Conversations looks at Michael Sandel’s interview on the Big Think.
- September 2011: The next book discussion will be on Russell Shorto’s “Descartes’ Bones.” David Schafer will talk about the Origins of Humanism.We have more social walks in Woodbridge. Humanist Conversations examines the idea of identity using Michael Sandel's series on “Justice” We're invited to a cook-out in Middletown on Labor Day.
- August 2011: Gregory Shenk considers “Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.” We’re reading Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” and we’ll be showing John Ford’s classic film adaptation of the novel. We have another social walk in Woodbridge. The Lyons host a picnic in Cornwall, Connecticut. The Humanist Conversations time slot will be taken by another “Bring a Poem” session. We're invited to a cook-out in Middletown on Labor Day.
- July 2011: David Schafer talks on American Poetry at our first “Poet-Luck.” We're invited to a cook-out in Middletown on July 4th. Humanist Conversations returns to “Forgiveness.” Our book discussion group is on Stephen Prothero's "God is Not One." The discussion is preceded by another social walk in Woodbridge.
- June 2011: It's time for our annual picnic. There's a conversation with the film maker and a viewing of "The Pledge of Allegiance Blues." Humanist Conversations discusses “Forgiveness.” Our book discussion group is reading Stephen Prothero's "God is Not One." Join us for a social walk in Woodbridge.
- May 2011: Humanist Conversations finally shows and discusses “The Great Pink Scare.” Our 22nd anniversary speaker will be our own Doug Peary, talking about his own life and beliefs. There's still time to bring a poem to our next book group meeting. Join our team to walk in the Connecticut Food Bank's “Walk Against Hunger.”
- April 2011: Sean Faircloth, the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, is having a busy weekend April 2/3, with 4 appearances in southeast Connecticut, including one for HAC at 5:00 PM on Sunday, April 3. There's no Humanist Conversations meeting this month. Doug Peary will mark David Hume's 300th birthday with a "Humanist Hero" summary of Hume's life and works. Our next book group meeting has no set reading; attendees are asked to bring a poem to share. And it's time for the Connecticut Food Bank's "Walk Against Hunger."
- March 2011: Our book group will discuss “Monkey Girl” by Edward Humes. CCSU archaeology professor Ken Feder gives us his guide to 50 sites in the USA to see before you die. Humanist Conversations discusses a recent 60 Minutes show on healthcare issues.
- February 2011: The Humanist Conversations discussion of “The Great Pink Scare” gets postponed for the second month running. Our book group will discuss “The Color of Water” by James McBride. Vlad Chituc, president of the Secular Student Alliance at Yale visits us to talk about his organization.
- January 2011: June Schafer talks on humanist and social action. Humanist Conversations considers “The Great Pink Scare.” Our book group will discuss “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson.
- December 2010: Time for our Winter Solstice Party (with pot-luck dinner and a silent auction), plus the annual meeting and elections. Humanist Conversations revisits Michael Sandel’s “Justice” series. Our book group is reading “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson.
- November 2010: Humanist Conversations looks at the forced relocation of the Cherokee and their establishment of a western-style nation in an attempt to prevent it. Our book group discusses Desmond Morris’s “The Naked Ape.” Frequent contributor to Free Inquiry Lawrence Rifkin will be our featured speaker at our monthly meeting. We hold a pot-luck dinner just before Thanksgiving.
- October 2010: Our second annual Ig Nobels web cast replaces the September Hartford-area dinner. No Humanist Conversations this month. Our book group discusses Pearl Buck’s classic novel “The Good Earth.” ACLU of Connecticut executive director Andrew Schneider will talk on Church/State entanglements in Connecticut.
- September 2010: John Pawelek returns with a talk on skin pigmentation. Humanist Conversations looks at school-builder Greg Mortenson. Our book group discusses Pearl Buck’s classic novel “The Good Earth” and shows the 1937 film of the book.
- August 2010: Humanist Conversations revisits a TED talk by Michael Shermer on belief. Our book group discusses a biography of Paul Robeson. Mickey Koth and David Schafer review Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s latest autobiographical book at our monthly meeting. We start winding up our look at the history of early Christianity. Our New Haven area dinner moves to Fairfield this month.
- July 2010: We try to follow the convoluted history of Christianity in the fourth session on the historicity of Jesus. Humanist Conversations ties a TED talk by Michael Shermer on belief into Independence Day. Our book group is reading a biography of Paul Robeson. Brian Ditter and Tara McLaughlin invite us to a July 4th barbeque in Middletown. P.J. Deak is the speaker at our monthly meeting.
- June 2010: Time for our annual picnic. Humanist Conversations discusses populism. Our book group is reading a biography of Paul Robeson. The third session on the historicity of Jesus. Brian Ditter and Tara McLaughlin invite us to barbeques in Middletown.
- May 2010: Center for Inquiry Executive Director Tom Flynn is the featured speaker at our Anniversary Meeting and potluck. Humanist Conversations discusses recent developments in "Net Neutrality." David Schafer leads us through the historicity of Jesus. Our book group discusses Michael J. Sandel's "Justice."
- April 2010: Featured speaker Ken Feder talks on the end of the world in 2012. Humanist Conversations returns to the question of human nature. David Schafer starts a new series on the historicity of Jesus. We will be watching a movie based on Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."
- March 2010: Featured speaker Dr. Robert Rafford celebrates William Lloyd Garrison. See the rest of the "Evo-Devo" NOVA program at Humanist Conversations. David Schafer leads us through contradictions in Genesis. Our book group discusses Mark Twain's "Letters from the Earth." There's a chance to see a Twain-based movie in April. Ken Feder will talk on 2012 at our April monthly meeting.
- February 2010: Humanist Conversations discusses humanism itself. To celebrate Darwin Day, David Schafer guides us through "Evo-Devo." We learn about isotopic dating in our series on the Bible from a historical perspective. Our book group is reading Mark Twain's "Letters from the Earth."
- January 2010: Richard Duffee talks about Poverty. Humanist Conversations discusses a Bill Moyers Journal segment on foreclosure counselling. Our book group discusses Richard Feynman's "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman." David Schafer leads us through the Sumerian texts that influenced the authors of the Book of Genesis.
- December 2009: Our Solstice Party, annual meeting and elections are coming up. P.J. Deak talks about Charles Dickens's trip to the USA. Humanist Conversations discusses a film of W. Somerset Maugham's short stories.
- November 2009: Humanist Conversations discusses a Marxist economist's take on the recession. David Schafer leads an exploration of Gilgamesh. Featured speaker M. Barton Laws gives us a different view of health care at our monthly meeting. We're reading Founding Faith.
- October 2009: We'll learn "Joe Gould's Secret" at our monthly meeting. Humanist Conversations looks at the origins of a neo-conservative. The Bible Discussion group meets for the last time. There's a new location for our Hartford-area dinner.
- September 2009: Humanist Conversations looks at Charlie Chaplain's classic film about the Great Depression: Modern Times. We will to discuss Barack Obama's "the Audacity of Hope." P.J. Deak guides us through the origins of the anti-slavery movement.
- August 2009: David Schafer answers the question of what Humanists were doing during the nineteenth century. Humanist Conversations continues our look at health insurance with Robert Reich's views on the influence of lobbyists. The Bible Discussion group meets again, and we discuss the second half of Jennifer Michael Hecht's "Doubt."
- July 2009: We’re celebrating Independence Day with another showing of “1776”. (We last showed it in 2003.) Humanist Conversations continues our look at health insurance at home and abroad. We’re discussing Carl Sagan at a picnic at Bill & Kathy Lyons' home.
- June 2009: The Raffords invite us over for another picnic. Mark Twain is HAC Vice-President Doug Peary's latest "Humanist Hero." Humanist Conversations looks at health insurance at home and abroad. We're reading the second half of "Doubt," interspersed with Carl Sagan. The Bible Reading Group gets to Proverbs, Isiah, and Jeremiah.
- May 2009: Humanist Conversations considers how sorting ourselves into like-minded groups impacts American society. Dr. Ken Feder returns for our monthly meeting with a talk on the tragic loss of the Peking Man fossils. We're reading "Tuesdays with Morrie." The Bible Reading Group gets to David, Solomon and beyond.
- April 2009: It's our 20th anniversary, and our inaugural speaker, Fred Edwords, returns with a talk on "Making Humanism Relevant". Humanist Conversations looks at the latest developments in the bailout. The Bible Reading Group gets to David, Solomon and beyond. We're reading the first half of "Doubt". In May we're going to "Walk Against Hunger" with the Connecticut Food Bank.
- March 2009: Author Dale McGowan visits with a talk and seminar about "Parenting Beyond Belief". Humanist Conversations examines how President Obama is framing his message to Congress. Samuel, Saul and Psalms: the Bible Reading Group tries to make sense of it all. Two more book discussions coming up in April and May.
- February 2009: We mark Charles Darwin's 200th birthday with a lecture on “Cancer as an Evolutionary Phenomenon” from cancer researcher Dr. John Pawelek. The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism is one of several sponsors of a first annual Darwin Day dinner. The discussion of “What Evolution Is” by Ernst Mayr happens this month. Humanist Conversations looks at some of the hidden details of the civil rights movement. We're trying another new restaurant in West Hartford for our social dinners.
- January 2009: Humanist Conversations watches a critique of Michael Moore by his fans. Paul Gobell tells us about the foundations of humanist ethics. We're reading “What Evolution Is” by Ernst Mayr.
- December 2008: American Atheists' President Ed Buckner joins us for our Winter Solstice Party. Humanist Conversations examines the cell-phone driven conflict in the Congo. We're reading Upton Sinclair's “The Jungle”. Our next chunk of the Bible covers Joshua, Judges, and “Women in the Bible.”
- November 2008: Humanist Conversations considers 60 Minute's program on the financial crisis. Eugene Kogan returns with a post-election wrap-up with an emphasis on international relations.
- October 2008: Manny Ratafia reviews the emerging sources of energy. Humanist Conversations asks what your important issues are for the upcoming election. We discuss Doris Kearns Goodwin's “Team of Rivals”.
- September 2008: Humanist Conversations considers Primetime's program on an emergent China.
- August 2008: British humanist Margaret Kennedy Knight is Doug Peary's latest Humanist Hero. “Bring a book” to Humanist Conversations. Get ready to discuss Muhammad Yunus's book Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. The fifth session of the Bible Reading Group will cover "The Ten Commandments" to "Worship on the Road".
- July 2008: Humanist Conversations considers The Omnivore’s Next Dilemma. Following some major conferences, it's time for another summary of the state of humanism. We'll be discussing George Bernard Shaw's play The Devil's Disciple, and watching the Hollywood film version. The fourth session of the Bible Reading Group will cover "Joseph" to "a Covenant with God".
- June 2008: Public service - communications media teacher and videographer Dror Kahn joins us to talk about Humanist Proselytizing in the Information Age. Humanist Conversations discusses Lester Brown's inaugural Distinguished Lecture at the Berkeley Institute of the Environment.
- May 2008: Humanist Conversations discusses access to water. For our anniversary meeting we welcome the executive directors of Camp Quest, Inc. and the Secular Student Alliance, who will tell us how they're reaching the next generation of humanists. We'll be discussing Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. The third session of the Bible Reading Group will cover "the God of Old" to "Dinah".
- April 2008: Doug Peary uses Robert G. Ingersoll's words to show how Abraham Lincoln was seen by his contemporaries. Humanist Conversations considers where we get our election news from, and whether we should trust it. The second session of the Bible Reading Group will cover Genesis to Abraham. Our next book is Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. There will be a short business meeting during the monthly meeting to discuss donating one "campership" to Camp Quest.
- March 2008: Ken Feder returns with a talk on the Loch Ness Monster. Humanist Conversations looks at Ralph Nader's effect on the upcoming presidential elections. Camp Quest is conducting a fund drive.
- February 2008: At Humanist Conversations we'll look at newer technology for enjoying humanist sources on the internet. Our featured speaker at our monthly meeting will be Khalil Iskarous. Details on the next book discussion and our new Bible Reading Group.
- January 2008: Humanist Conversations on "Freedom to Vote: Protecting the Ballot". Doug Peary returns for our monthly meeting with another short biography: Stephen Jay Gould, Humanist Hero.
- December 2007: More on George Lakoff's Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think. Our annual brunch has a new location. It's time for the annual meeting and winter solstice party.
- November 2007: Humanist Conversations to discuss Frontline's Showdown with Iran. Our monthly meeting features the new Executive Director of the ACLU of Connecticut, Andrew Schneider. Our next book discussion is on George Lakoff's Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think.
- October 2007: We celebrate the life and achievements of Sherwin Wine, founder of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Our next book discussion is on The Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in America, by Kimberly Blaker (Editor). Humanist Conversations will feature a presentation on Loyal Rue's book on naturalizing religion, Religion is Not About God.
- September 2007: Art historian Dody Gall will be our guide to the history, arts and architecture of Indochina. Humanist Conversation discusses the third and final episode of A Brief History of Disbelief. Our next book discussion is on Brooke Allen's Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers.
- August 2007: Eugene Kogan's talk rescheduled for August. Humanist Conversation discusses the second episode of A Brief History of Disbelief. A chapter of Carl Sagan's Varieties of Scientific Experience will be discussed at our August 11 picnic.
- July 2007: Welcoming back Eugene Kogan. No Humanist Conversation this month. Next book discussion on Carl Sagan's Varieties of Scientific Experience.
- June 2007: Our annual picnic is scheduled for June 2nd. David Schafer and Michelle Koth to discuss Is Islam Compatible with Western Democracy?. Humanist Conversations confronts the meaning of Religious Humanism.
- May 2007: Humanist Conversations watches that Enron movie. Our anniversary meeting features Ellen McBride, former president of the American Ethical Union (AEU), who will introduce us to the Ethical Culture movement.
- April 2007: Yale's Professor Bruce Russett tells us "Why There Is Already More Peace Than You Think." Humanist Conversations reconsiders some of Sam Harris's speculative claims. Hartford area dinners move to Lemongrass in West Hartford.
- March 2007: Humanist Conversations makes way for a special visit by Secular Coalition for America lobbyist Lori Lipman Brown. On a return visit for our monthly meeting, Professor Ken Feder talks about an archeological mystery here in Connecticut: the Barkhamstead Lighthouse community.
- February 2007: We welcome back Doug Peary with a talk on Julian Huxley, Humanist Hero. Humanist Conversations considers whether recent books by Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are striking the right tone. Our Hartford area dinner moves to Mayor Mike's restaurant.
- January 2007: Our guest speaker is author Jennifer Miller. Humanist Conversations shows Iraq for Sale. Plus another dinner at Black-Eyed Sally's in Hartford.
- December 2006: Humanist Conversations defines Scientism. We end out the year with our Solstice Party and annual brunch at Shangri-Lee in Cheshire.
- November 2006: We welcome back Dr. Steven Novella, President of the New England Skeptical Society, to bring us up to date on Weird Science. Humanist Conversations continues the topic of Moral Realism and the secular basis for ethics. Plus a hike in East Rock Park, and a dinner at Black-Eyed Sally's in Hartford.
- October 2006: Dr. David Koepsell, Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism, will talk on Secular Ethical Alternatives: Moral Realism. Humanist Conversations discusses global warming. Plus a trip to see Julia Sweeney's Letting Go of God in NYC, and a hike in the northwest hills.
- September 2006: We welcome Professor Barry Kosmin, director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) at Trinity College, Hartford. Humanist Conversations discusses resistance to change, even trivial change.
- August 2006: Doug Peary summarizes a recent conference on church/state separation. Humanist Conversations discusses ABC's 20/20 program with George Stephanopoulos on the political polarization of America. An extra social dinner at Northern Galapagos. A picnic at the Lyons' home in Cornwall. Plus at trip to the Darwin exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.
- July 2006: Dr. Lesley Hart to speak on Meeting the Challenge of Special Needs Children in Ghana at our monthly meeting. Humanist Conversations discusses declarations of rights, from the Bill of Rights to the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights.
- June 2006: Humanist Conversations to show Robert Greenwald's film WalMart: The High Cost of Low Price. David Schafer considers the state of humanist education at our monthly meeting.
- May 2006: Immigration issues are the focus of our Humanist Conversations meeting. At our anniversary meeting, physicist and teacher Dr Ellery Schempp will share his thoughts on Church-State separation 40 years after his protest against mandatory bible readings in public school.
- April 2006: Hartford Courant writer Joel Lang will talk about the North's long-term Complicity in slavery. Humanist Conversations holds a planning meeting. Time to start reading Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code for the May book discussion.
- March 2006: Doug Peary's latest Humanist Hero is Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume. Next book discussion is on Blood and Oil by Michael T. Klare.
- February 2006: David Schafer surveys Darwin After a Century and a Half. Humanist Conversations considers American anti-intellectualism and how it influences the Republican war on science.
- January 2006: Ecotourism entrepreneur John Miceler returns.
- December 2005: Solstice Party time. At Humanist Conversations we'll show parts of The God Who Wasn't There.
- November 2005: Our featured speaker will be Thomas Clark of the Center for Naturalism: Tough Mind, Tender Heart: The Progressive Implications of Naturalism.
- October 2005: Skeptical archaeologist Ken Feder's annual visit considers conspiracy theories about the face on Mars. Next book discussion is on the End of Faith by Sam Harris.
- September 2005: Our monthly meeting will survey the state of Humanism. A late summer picnic at the Lyons home in Cornwall.
- August 2005: Local author and the Humanist contributor Brian Trent to talk at monthly meeting. We'll be celebrating Labor Day with Studs Terkel's Working
- July 2005: Eugene Kogan returns to consider the future of the Democratic Party: Liberalism or Leadership? The next book discussion will be on Antonio Damasio's Looking for Spinoza.
- June 2005: The annual picnic is here again! Conversations addreses the concerns behind so-called Intelligent Design. Upcoming book discussion on George Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant.
- May 2005: Richard Dawkins is the latest subject of Doug Peary's Humanist Heroes series. Conversations considers how humanist was atheist Ayn Rand?
- April 2005: 16th anniversary speaker Ross Henry advocates Humanist Evangelism. Conversations to discuss Whose Life Is It?
- March 2005: Nash Boutros asks us to consider Is Freedom Overrated? Conversations considers Was Darwin Wrong? Our book discussion is on Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. We try a new location for the New Haven area dinner.
- February 2005: Our first Darwin Day celebration features Prof. Massimo Pigliucci: "Evolution: Is it a Logical Fallacy?" Conversations discusses Humanist Manifesto III.
- January 2005: Environmentalist Jon Miceler returns with an update from the borders of India, Tibet and Myanmar. Conversations considers the best material for explaining humanism. Manny Ratafia hosts a book discussion on Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer; Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements."
- December 2004: Rounding out the year with our annual elections and Solstice Party. Conversations and a book discussion coming in January.
- November 2004: Our guest speaker will be Robert Nave, Executive Director of the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty. Book discussion on Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate.
- October 2004: CCLU Legal Director Annette Lamoreaux to speak on Civil Liberties and the Election. HAC to show the documentary Unconstitutional. Book discussion on Demonic Males.
- September 2004: CCSU's Ken Feder tells us Why archeaology didn't solve the Roswell UFO incident, and why it should have. Vegetarian potluck coming in October.
- August 2004: David Schafer holds a democracy workshop. Danbury/Waterbury area dinners go Portuguese.
- July 2004: Virginia Clark on English freethought; David Schafer on the state of Huumanists and the annual UU General Assembly. Finishing up our book discussion on the Worldly Philosophers.
- June 2004: Annual Picnic at the Raffords; discussing the Humanist Institute over dinner; movie Night coming up in July; our second book discussion.
- May 2004: Joe Gerstein is our 15 Anniversary Speaker. Special meeting coming up on Multiculturalism. Doug Peary's book is out.
- April 2004: Doug Peary celebrates the life of Corliss Lamont, Humanist Hero. Humanist Conversations to consider if US foreign policy is stuck between Iraq and a hard place.
- March 2004: Our panel looks at the (often dark) history of Christian passion plays. Humanist Conversations asks if there's a god gene.
- February 2004: Artist Nick Orsini asks Why are the walls empty?. Humanist Conversations examines the background of the civil rights movement.
- January 2004: Walter Wells presents an appreciation of multi-talented Paul Robeson. Humanist Conversations considers Patriot Act II.
- December 2003: Solstice party, elections, and by-law changes. A final reminder about Sherwin Wine's talk.
- November 2003: Doug Peary to present Bertand Russell, Humanist Hero. Sherwin Wine to speak in Westport.
- October 2003: Monthly meeting moves to Sunday 26th so we can hear Nick Nyhart talk on Clean Elections.
- September 2003: Ken Feder returns with a talk on the mysterious builders of mounds in the Midwest. Obituary and memorial for Bob Wolsch.
- August 2003: David Schafer and Manny Ratafia bring us up to date on Humanism after a busy summer of meetings. Conversations revisits Evil. A second picnic at the Lyon's home in Cornwall.
- July 2003: Walter Wells to talk about Italy and Humanists.
- June 2003: time for the annual picnic; Conversations considers After the Iraq War; Nash Boutros reprises Evil in Woodbury.
- May 2003: we try again to present Doug Peary with Walter Kaufman, Humanist Hero; let's hope there's no snow storm this time. (The events for June in this version, which was mailed to members, are completely wrong.)
- April 2003: AHA Executive Director Tony Hileman shares his views on The Future of Humanism.
- March 2003: Ecotourism entrepreneur Jon Miceler to talk on Saving Threatened Species and Creating Third-World Jobs
- February 2003: Doug Peary offers Walter Kaufmann as a Humanist Hero, plus Humanist Conversations tackles expressing our views positively; what are we for, not what are we against?
- January 2003: Walter Wells surveys Humanism in Italy, plus Humanist Conversations gets a report on the Godless Americans March on Washington.
- December 2002: Another Solstice Party, plus Humanist Conversations considers women's issues after Taslima Nasrin's visit.
- November 2002: Two appearances by Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin; Bob Rafford talks about Genealogy and Humanism, plus Humanist Conversations considers vegetarianism.
- October 2002: Manny Ratafia on Pharmaceutical Pricing, plus Humanist Conversations exchanges book recommendations.
- September 2002: Ken Feder returns to talk about Mysterious Circles of Stone: Megalithic Monuments of Western Europe.
- August 2002: Mickey Koth's second installment of Women and Islam.
- July 2002: David Schafer brings us up to date with Current Trends in Humanism, while Humanist Conversations starts planning for the Fall.
- June 2002: The Annual Picnic. Humanist Conversations consider Communal Conflicts.
- May 2002: Doug Peary returns to present Clarence Darrow, Humanist Hero. Humanist Conversations consider Israel and Palestine.
- April 2002: Tom Ferrick, the Humanist chaplain at Harvard, helps us celebrate our 13th Anniversary. Humanist Conversations about The Moral Implications of Cloning and Stem Cell Research.
- March 2002: CCLU Executive Director Teresa Younger to speak on Civil Liberties and the War on Terrorism. Humanist Conversations about Enron.
- February 2002: Obituary and memorial service for Nat Wolf. Nick Orsini will be the monthly speaker.
- January 2002: Walter Wells on orchidectomy and its applications in opera: "Girls will be Boys."
- December 2001: Rounding out the year with the Solstice Party.
- November 2001: Mickey Koth considers "Women & Islam."
- October 2001: Plato rears his ugly head again as Drs Bob and Lois Wolsch talk about the problems of literacy.
- September 2001: Manny Ratafia on the Cost of Prescription Drugs. Plus details on Fall talks from the Wolsches and from Mickey Koth.
- August 2001: Panel discussion on Globalization.
- July 2001: Humanists consider evil at a later than usual monthly meeting.
- June 2001: Our annual picnic is earlier this year. Where does Humanism go from here?
- May 2001: Our 12th Anniversary party, more dinner meetings, and a local talk by Michael Shermer.
- April 2001: Humanist Conversations celebrate superstitions, and "Darwin's Bulldog" turns out to be a Humanist Hero.
- March 2001: Humanist Conversations about the social necessity of nuturance, Paul LaCombe to ask
if Death With Dignity has delivered, and the Mystic group discusses the role of arts in society.
- February 2001: Membership dues reminder, a return visit by the ever-entertaining Ken Feder, and
the Mystic group discusses transplant ethics. (We also have a poster for Ken Feder's
- January 2001: Background to the Human Genome Project: David Schafer on genes; plus the silent auction
results, new officers, and new meetings out in Mystic.
- December 2000: Another annual meeting brings another chance to participate in our silent auction,
pot-luck, and election of officers.
- November 2000: Mickey Koth presents “Margaret Knight, Humanist Shero,” Walter Wells wins another
award, and an appeal to deliver turkeys...
- October 2000: With elections approaching, humanistic viewpoints from both major parties.
- September 2000: Doug Peary's encore performance of: “Voltaire, Humanist Hero.”
- July/August 2000: Manny Ratafia: “Alternative Medicine: One Man, Two Views.”
- June 2000: Doug Peary presents “Richard Feynman, Humanist Hero.”
- May 2000: Lois & Bob Wolsch to speak at the eleventh anniversary meeting.
- April 2000: Jane Haddam to supply “Ammunition?”
- March 2000: Al Rader on China.
- February 2000: Our Valentine's day presentation, and the debut of the Professional Directory.
- January 2000: The results of the silent auction, and Cornel West.
- December 1999: The annual meeting and party.
- November 1999: The Cardiff Giant hoax.
- October 1999: The election cycle starts.
- September 1999: David Schafer on “Science and the Humanist.”
- August 1999: Mostly on P.B. Shelley.
- July 1999: FUUS vote becomes moot. Directions to the picnic, and some poetry.
- June 1999: Ron Loomis talks about Cults on Campus. The Humanist Conversation is about the Biological Basis of Morality.
- May 1999: Our tenth anniversary.
- April 1999: Doug Peary's latest Humanist Hero is Isaac Asimov.
- February 1999: Ghostbuster Joe Nickell visits Yale.
We welcome contributions for the newsletter. Send electronic submissions to the
editor, or mail to: Humanist Association of Connecticut, 27 Thornton Street, Hamden, CT 06517-1321.