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Darwin Day 2015 featuring Dr. Mark Reimers

–UPDATE– Instead of The Genius of Charles Darwin documentary, we will have Dr. Mark Reimers speaking on the evolution of the brain.

February 12th is International Darwin Day. This year it will also be Charles Darwin’s 206th birthday. On This month we will be joining with the International Darwin Day organization in celebrating Darwin and his history changing accomplishments.

Charles Robert Darwin at age 72. Painted by John Collier.
Charles Robert Darwin at age 72. Painted by John Collier.

Join us on Saturday February 14th at 1:00 PM for our Darwin Day celebration. Details and RSVP information are at the bottom of this post.

While Darwin’s remarkable impact on biology, cosmology, and the scientific process generally cannot be understated, it is again his undeniable desire for truth through scientific discovery, his unwavering curiosity to discover that which was hidden (naturally or purposefully), and his determination to brave intellectual depths that inspires us. ~ International Darwin Day

We celebrate Darwin Day because his discovery completely changed history and the way we look at our world. We also celebrate because there are many people who seek to discredit his work. Not because it is wrong, which it isn’t, but because they simply do not like it. And on this day we push back and laud the great man for his great accomplishments.

For our Get Together we will be joined by Dr Mark Reimers. He is a Professor of Neuroscience at Michigan State University. He also is a bicyclist, humanist, mathematician, scientist and a strong advocate of communicating science with the public

Dr. Mark Reimers

Our human mind and consciousness has evolved from an ape mind over the past six million years. How have our brains and genes changed to bring this about? We are very similar to apes in some ways, in which scientists previously thought humans were unique, but quite different in other ways, such as our capacity for joint attention, which scientists had not realized were so important. This talk will present genetic, anatomical, and behavioral evidence bearing on the changes to the brain that supported the emergence of the human mind and its capacity for culture.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

Please RSVP for more details and the location of the event. You can RSVP at our Meetup Page, our Facebook Page, or our Google+ Page.

See you there!

 

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe in the Theory of Evolution?

The "Creation Book"Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the theory of evolution? As a former Jehovah’s Witness who once spent an inordinate amount of time researching their Creation Book, I can tell you that the official answer is a resounding no. (The book is officially called Life-How did it get here? By evolution or by creation? But it is commonly just called the Creation Book by Jehovah’s Witnesses.) This book is the Watchtower Society’s magnum opus on evolution. Yet it remains infamous for an abundance of bad science, quote mining, and an embarrassing habit of strategically leaving off parts of quotes so as to alter their original meaning. (Yikes!) Many people have written about the book, including Austin Cline at About.com. Even Richard Dawkins devoted a chapter to it in The God Delusion. Think what you will, but it’s clear that the Society’s Creation Book has gotten around.

The Creation Book was first published back in 1985. Now, after remaining in print for more than two decades, it is no longer being produced. That hasn’t stopped the Watchtower Society from writing about the theory of evolution, but nowadays, the organization chooses to keep it all pretty simple. When you consider how many ex-Witnesses left the Society after doing extensive research on books like this one, that’s probably a good idea.

So what else has the Society said about evolution in recent years?

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