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Foundations of Evolution -- Celebrate Darwin Day with Baltimore CoR

Mike Reid

President, Washington Area Secular Humanists

As have all accomplished scientists, Charles Darwin built on the work of his predecessors. In this talk with accompanying slide presentation, Mike Reid will discuss the amazing ideas of Erasmus Darwin (Charles’ grandfather who speculated on organisms originating from primitive ancestors), James Hutton (the 18th-century geologist who discovered the antiquity of the Earth and speculated on natural selection), Sir Charles Lyell (the geologist who inspired Darwin and later became his close friend), Alfred Russel Wallace (the naturalist who independently discovered organic evolution and natural selection), and others who while less well-known also made essential contributions. He will argue that Charles Darwin was the greatest of the evolutionists, but not the first or only one. He will also make the case that precursory scientific discoveries had to have been made and that society had to have reached a certain level of social, political, economic, and technological development before evolutionary theory could be formulated.

Mike Reid is the president of the Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH), the parent organization of the Baltimore Secular Humanists. He holds degrees in geology and computer systems. He formerly taught geology and astronomy at a community college in California and works in the aerospace field and the space program. He has a long-standing interest in the history of science and in the 19th century.

This CoR event is hosted by the Baltimore Secular Humanists and the Baltimore Ethical Society.

Washington Area Secular Humanists website:

Baltimore Coalition of Reason website:

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