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

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. Hosted by the Freethought Society.

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.

Click here to RSVP on Facebook and set an event reminder.

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Alan Mann Princeton, Dept. of Anthropology

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  • George

    Scott, I think Jim is referring to the political and educational problems facing our country among a large segment of the population.

    September 28, 2011

  • Carol E R.

    I wish I had something uplifting to say in response to your pessimism, Jim, but I too amd very disheartened by the race to lower and lower levels of willful ignorance among a growing segment of society. BUT... I do believe that it's important that those of us who treasure knowledge and learning hold on to that, because I still hold hope that eventually history will look back on this time as a new dark ages. Reason always trumps superstition, but sometimes it takes a while.

    September 5, 2011

  • Jim L.

    I am pleased to see Dr. Mann will speak on this important subject. But I fear that any such presentation or effort made within the USA cocerning this topic is simply a waste of time and energy. Americans on the whole, seem hell bent on DEvolving. It probably is too late to change this now.

    September 4, 2011

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