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Dr,. Alan Mann: "What does it mean to be human?"

 UPDATE- the room has been moved from the Skyline Room to the MONTGOMERY AUDITORIUM. All other details remain the same.


Dr. Alan Mann, physical anthropologist from Princeton University, will give a presentation entitled " What does it mean to be human, and how did we evolve this capability?" on Thursday, September 29, 2011, in the Montgomery Auditorium at the Phila. Free Library.

When and in what context did modern humans become “human”? We know that we differ in substantial ways from chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, but when did these unique attributes arise and how can we account for them? The fossil and archaeological record provides some revealing insights into when our uniqueness appeared. The process through which we emerged as this special species, however, does not support traditional religious views of how we became unique. This record requires that religious concepts of the ‘soul’ or other special other-worldly qualities be seriously reconsidered. Dr. Mann will address these questions and more during his presentation.

This is an encore appearance for Dr. Mann with the Freethought Society. His 2005 speech was highly rated by the audience and those who saw Dr. Mann’s fantastic PowerPoint presentation requested him again.

Dr, Mann is Professor at Princeton University and Professor Emeritus of University of Pennsylvania, holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Mann's interests include paleoanthropology and human evolution. Professor Mann is also affiliated with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton. He teaches courses on human adaptation and evolution and a summer field course on modern human origins in France. He jointly developed, with Janet Monge, an exhibit on the biological consequences of our evolution at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia. Dr. Mann is a long time Humanist.


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  • Carol E R.

    Dr. Mann was fantastic. He kept the audience's rapt attention and people didn't want to leave and end the evening. I'll be writing a full review and will post the link here.

    September 30, 2011

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