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Public Meeting: Sehoya Cotner, “Are We Still Evolving?”& Board Elections

You may attend any part of the meeting you wish, here's the schedule:

1:00-1:15 p.m. – Informal Gathering Time
1:15-1:45 p.m. – Business Meeting (board nominations)
1:45-2:00 p.m. – Break
2:00-3:30 p.m. – Program
4:00-whenever – Dinner at Q. Cumbers (7465 France Ave S, Edina)


Sehoya Cotner to Speak on “Are We Still Evolving?” 

Evolution is a controversial topic, but even among those who accept evolutionary science, human evolution can be a hot-button issue. Even among scientists, some claim that humans, via modern medicine and other technological innovations, have removed themselves from ordinary selective pressures. Is this the case?

Sehoya Cotner's discussion will give a brief overview of what evolution is and the criteria for natural selection, and then she'll address the topic of human evolution. She'll present data on popular perceptions of human evolution, and then give examples of human populations evolving right before our eyes. She'll end with some "points to ponder."

Sehoya Cotner is a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota. She teaches The Evolution and Biology of Sex, Marine Animal Diversity, Biology of Galápagos, Coral Reef Ecology, and Evolution. Sehoya's research interests focus on strategies for effective communication of science (specifically, evolutionary biology) to non-scientists. A recent interest has become the use of sex to engage students in learning about the basic tenets of biology (e.g., evolution, molecular genetics, and biological ways of knowing

In an interview with Specimen Magazine, Dr. Cotner said:

It’s clear that we have a big science problem in our country. . . . I don’t think it’s exclusively a U.S. phenomenon. . . . There is non-science everywhere. There is pseudo-science or creationism in place of evolution. I don’t care how enlightened we think the country is.

She is the coauthor with Randy Moore of Arguing for Evolution: An Encyclopedia for Understanding Science.


Board Elections

Elections for the board will occur at this meeting. A full slate of candidates was nominated at the January 19th Minnesota Atheists monthly meeting. All candidates are running unopposed. The nominees are:

• President: Eric Jayne

• Associate President: Stephanie Zvan

• Chair: Heather Hegi

• Associate Chair: Joseph Homrich

• Secretary: Jill Carlson

• Treasurer: Chris Matthews

• Directors-at-Large: Phil Cunliffe, August Berkshire, and Georgia Tsoi

Because of an unforeseen scheduling conflict with the normal board meeting time, Joseph Homrich withdrew his candidacy on January 29th. 

Candidate statements from nominees who submitted them can be found in the February Newsletter.


Board Nominations:

Due to the withdrawal of the associate chair nominee, I will ask for nominees for this position at this meeting.


Minnesota Atheists is a non-profit organization run by volunteers who are elected on an annual basis by the dues paying membership (Join or Renew your Membership here). The board consists of the president, associate president, chair, associate chair, secretary, treasurer, and three directors-at large. To qualify for the board, an at-large nominee must be a dues-paying member in good standing for at least six months prior to the date of election, and a nominee for any other position must be a dues-paying member in good standing for at least one year prior to the date of election. Candidates must be nominated by another dues paying member in good standing. The nominee does not need to be present. 

If you have any questions, please contact Heather at [masked] or any other board member. Click here to see who's on the 2013 Board.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a wonderful time!

    February 20, 2014

  • August B.

    She brought up an important point: just because a mutation could help a population doesn't mean that it will happen. You have to get lucky and have that random mutation in the first place. After that, if it's a mutation that confers a survival advantage and can be inherited, natural selection will tend to favor it.

    February 19, 2014

  • Heather H

    I forgot to ask, if anyone is interested in writing the review of Sehoya's presentation for the March Newsletter. Please let me know by replying here or emailing me at: [masked]
    Thank You!

    February 18, 2014

  • Rhonda

    I'm still bringing cookies; however, I won't be going to QCumbers now, so if you want some Girl Scout cookies, you can follow me out to my car after the meeting. Stop and get some milk on the way home!

    1 · February 16, 2014

  • Steve P.

    Sorry I have to miss this as I have an out of town family function.

    February 15, 2014

  • George K.

    I think everyone should read a post in Pharyngula today, http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/02/14/the-state-of-modern-evolutionary-theory-may-not-be-what-you-think-it-is/.

    The state of modern evolutionary theory may not be what you think it is

    February 14, 2014

  • Valerie O.

    1 · February 14, 2014

  • Rhonda

    Thank you for inviting her to come back! Loved her talk last year!

    1 · February 1, 2014

    • August B.

      What do you mean "no pressure"? I'm addicted to Girl Scout cookies!

      1 · February 12, 2014

    • Rhonda

      Well, I'd be happy to enable you, August! :)

      2 · February 12, 2014

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