- Differences Between Secular and Religious Minds
Please join Greater Worcester Humanists for our May 14 meeting. Catherine Caldwell-Harris will speak on The Differences Between Secular and Religious Minds. You are welcome to arrive and mingle around 6:30 PM. We will begin the formal meeting at 7 PM. Are there cognitive and personality styles that tend to go along with belief in God vs. skepticism/atheism? In recent decades, there has been rapid change in scientific attitudes towards individual differences in personality and cognitive styles. Traditionally in the 20th century, it seemed odd and even obviously incorrect to claim that any one group of people had certain personality traits. Today this is accepted, especially when couched in terms of statistical probabilities. We will discuss stereotypes that audience members may bring up, and how valid they are (e.g., Engineers are logical, artists intuitive). We will then review evidence that personality and cognitive styles contribute to belief in God and our broader understanding of humans' place in the universe. If religious and secular minds differ, are are short-term artifacts of the recent cultural changes? What are the implications for society and our lives? Speaker Bio: Catherine Caldwell-Harris, Associate Professor of Psychology at Boston University, has conducted research in several areas within the cognitive and behavioral sciences, including psycholinguistics, cross-cultural psychology, and individual differences. She notes that everyday observations, as well as research, suggest that causes of individual differences in religious belief are a complex outcome of genetic temperamental predispositions, family upbringing, societal values, and idiosyncratic life experiences. In one of Dr. Caldwell-Harris’ studies, atheists reported finding as much meaning in life as did religious persons, but they eschewed terms related to supernaturalism (like ‘spiritual’), and focused their moral concerns on the pragmatic here-and-now. Dr. Caldwell-Harris has also studied low religious belief in individuals with Asperger Syndrome. Dr. Caldwell-Harris is developing a new project to study religious doubt in Turkey, a country where she has long conducted research on topics including bilingualism and individualism-collectivism.
- Dine & Talk at Rye & Thyme in Leominster
Reba and I are hosting a Dine & Talk at Rye & Thyme https://www.ryeandthyme.com/ in Leominster. Please RSVP by 7PM Monday, May 6th if you're interested in joining us! There is free parking behind the building.
- Movie Night - The Best of Enemies
Someone suggested we go to a movie as a social event! The movie is The Best of Enemies: The true story of the unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. During the racially charged summer of 1971, Atwater and Ellis come together to co-chair a community summit on the desegregation of schools in Durham, N.C. The ensuing debate and battle soon lead to surprising revelations that change both of their lives forever. The movie is showing at 6:25 pm at Showcase North in Worcester. We’ll meet in the lobby around 6:00. If you need to reach me, my cell phone number is[masked]. - David Bainbridge
- Dine & Talk at Mezcal in Leominster
Reba and I are hosting a Dine & Talk at Mezcal in Leominster. Please RSVP by 7PM Monday, April 15th if you're interested in joining us for delicious Mexican food! There is lots of free parking behind the building.
- Resisting White Supremacy
Please join Greater Worcester Humanists for our April 9 meeting. Ken Wagner will give a presentation on Resisting White Supremacy. You are welcome to arrive and mingle around 6:30 PM. We will begin the formal meeting at 7 PM. Ken Wagner leads workshops on White Privilege/White Supremacy, focusing on helping white people understand the racial component of their identity, and how to live with authenticity and integrity as a white person in a society grounded in white supremacy. His talk will focus on understanding the structural foundation of racism quite apart from the bigotry and discrimination that flows from individuals and how it exists almost independently of individual racist people. After a Q and A, we will divide into groups to discuss some issues that Ken will present us such as what the role of white people can or should be in racial justice movements, what our role in Black Lives Matter might be, and what it means to be in solidarity with people of color and what it looks like to exhibit ally behavior. We’ll discuss situations and responses, i.e. things we commonly hear but are sometimes frustrated in responding to in an effective fashion. Speaker Bio: Ken Wagner is former president of the Clara Barton District of the Unitarian Universalist Association. He currently serves on the UUA’s Nominating Committee and was one of the founding members of the New England Region’s Antiracism/Anti-oppression/Multicultural Transformation team called GRACE. He has also served for the last nine years on the Executive Steering Committee of the Allies for Racial Equity and just completed a two year term as president of that organization. Ken frequently speaks at church and community events across the country with a focus on the examination of race and the impact of white supremacy on our lives. Since 2014, he has been facilitating 8-week workshops focused on resistance to white supremacy at more than twenty congregations and community groups across New England. Ken has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin and lives with Laura in Marlborough. They have four children and three grandchildren.
- Shelley Segal HOLY TOUR Concert (singer/songwriter/skeptic/atheist/humanist)
This is not a GWH Event, but has been posted here since it may interest GWH members. From the Meetup Page (https://www.meetup.com/Greater-Lowell-Area-Science-based-Skeptics/events/259882939/): Hello All! We're delighted to invite you to experience musician Shelley Segal with guitarist Rob Robertson, who are returning to visit the Greater Lowell area once again! Shelley is currently on tour for her latest EP release, HOLY. Her last concert here was in 2015 and we all had a great time. If you're unfamiliar with Shelley's background; see her biography and promo here. https://bit.ly/2U3qtB2 Why the title HOLY? "I grew up in a religious household, a religious community that ascribes holiness to certain behaviours, physical items and even to people. What is holy was dictated to me and to adherents of my childhood religion for centuries by others, exclusively by men. I believe that it should be up to each of us to decide what is holy and sacred to ourselves. By calling myself holy, my stories, my experiences and my voice holy, I elevate myself and my experiences. I also challenge those who try to define what is holy for others and those who try to use the idea of holiness to create a hierarchy often placing themselves at the top." http://ventsmagazine.com/2019/03/04/interview-shelley-segal/ IN THE MEDIA Broadway World says, "Segal's Americana-tinged latest tackles homesickness ("Already Gone"), religion and leaving the strict Jewish upbringing of her youth ("Holy Man"), a true crime story a murder/suicide ("San Antonio"), national tribalism ("Blood"), love and life partnership ("Here") and consent in the time of #MeToo ("No".)" https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwmusic/article/Shelley-Segal-To-Release-HOLY-EP-38-20190301 In a recent interview with Americana Highways, Shelley said "'Blood' forces us to question what we are basing our perceived differences on. It asks us to question why we hold onto tribalism and what we should do in the face of the suffering it causes." https://americanahighways.org/2019/01/22/song-premiere-shelley-segals-blood-from-upcoming-release-holy/ SCHEDULE 6 pm - Settle in and order food and drinks. Get chatty with others. 7 pm - The performance begins. You can still order food and drinks. ? pm - A brief interval. 9:30 pm - Rick's closing time. SUGGESTED DONATIONS We are asking for a minimum donation of $15 per person. There's also a time saving option of directly donating to Shelley here: (https://www.paypal.me/lowellconcert) You will also be able to purchase albums & donate at the event with cash or cards. Choosing to donate before the concert is strongly encouraged as it helps timewise. If you cannot afford to contribute; we understand. Don't hesitate to attend. If you can't attend, you can still donate and support Shelley. All donations will go to Shelley to cover her expenses and support her activism in our community. Religious communities and woo-woo meetups raise money hand over fist to promote the unreal. How can we better support reality-based activists like Shelley? VENUE The owner, Rick, has kindly offered us this space for free. In kind, it's helpful for us to show our appreciation by purchasing food and drinks. This is a special event for our like-minded communities including fellow skeptics, humanists, atheists, and secularists. We can't wait to see you there with Shelley and Rob! Please post any questions or comments below. Darrick & Lindsay :) *We suggest subscribing to Shelley on Patreon. Get access to more of her music, unique content & more. (https://www.patreon.com/ShelleySegal/) Starting at $1/per month.
- It’s Getting Hotter and We are Causing It
Please join Greater Worcester Humanists for our March 12th meeting. Dr Michael Mallary (a member of our community) will give a presentation titled "It’s Getting Hotter and We are Causing It." You are welcome to arrive and mingle around 6:30 PM. We will begin the formal meeting at 7 PM. The science and politics of how we got here, where we are, and where we are going will be discussed. Suggestions for how we can mitigate what is very likely to be a climatic disaster in this century and for many centuries beyond will be presented. Dr Mallary ([masked]) received his PhD in High Energy Physics from the Calif. Inst. of Tech. in 1972 and his S.B. from M.I.T. in 1966. He did research in H.E.P. as a professor at Northeastern University until 1978 (20 publications) when he went into industry. Since then, he has been awarded 165 patents and authored 37 more publications. All of your magnetic disk drives utilize some of these inventions. In 2004 he authored Our Improbable Universe (Thunder’s Mouth Press). It traces the evolution of the raw energy of the Big bang into our collectivity of mind. We now threaten to throw it all away with Global Warming. Appendices V and VI of the 2d edition (2018) address this issue. Videos of presentations at the Silicon Valley Humanist Community Forum in 2011 and 2012 on Our Improbable Universe and Global Warming are available at http://vimeo.com/35172497 and http://vimeo.com/53999586 respectively. ** In the event of severe weather, please check here for updates **
- GWH Monthly Meeting: Darwin Day
NOTICE: This event has been rescheduled to Tuesday, February 19 due to forecast of snow on Feb 12. Please join Greater Worcester Humanists for our February 19 meeting. In honor of Charles Darwin's 210th birthday (born Feb[masked]), our speaker is Dr. Philip Bergmann, Associate Professor of Biology at Clark University. Dr. Bergmann's topic is "On the Existence and Persistence of Intermediate Varieties: A New Take on One of Darwin's Evolutionary Worries" We will have cake for Darwin's birthday! You are welcome to arrive and mingle around 6:30 PM. We will begin the formal meeting at 7 PM.
- Humanism 2019: The Challenge of Eternal Vigilance
Please join Greater Worcester Humanists for our January 8 meeting. David Niose will speak on "Humanism 2019: The Challenge of Eternal Vigilance". You are welcome to arrive and mingle around 6:30 PM. We will begin the formal meeting at 7 PM. David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association's Appignani Humanist Legal Center and former president of both the AHA and the Secular Coalition for America, will discuss some of the major issues facing humanists and organized humanism in the the coming year and beyond. With the 2018 election now behind us, Niose will discuss such questions as: What Church-State issues will be in the forefront in the coming year? Are there new possibilities for the Humanist movement in the changing American landscape? What about the Christian Right, anti-intellectualism, corporate power, and other obstacles to humanistic policy? Are the dynamics evolving--or not? Niose will discuss the activist issues that are likely to be front-and-center as we make our way through 2019 and head toward yet another election year in 2020. David Niose is legal director of the American Humanist Association, a Washington-based group that advocates for church-state separation and the rights of secular humanists. Niose has litigated constitutional cases in state and federal courts all over the country and has written extensively about secularism in America. He served as lead counsel in a case that challenged the "under God" wording of the Pledge of Allegiance, which went before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2013. Niose is author of the bestselling Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans (Palgrave Macmillan 2012) and Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason (St. Martin's Press 2014). He also writes for Psychology Today and has been published in numerous other publications, including the Washington Post, Newsday, Huffington Post, Salon, and others.
- GWH Holiday Luncheon
That time is here again and the date is set! Please join us for our GWH annual holiday lunch at Val's in Holden. The cost is $30 per person and payable by Sunday, December 2. We have multiple ways to RSVP and pay: * Follow this link to pay online (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=GW7YNGFX6SLBA) through Paypal. You do not need a Paypal account to use a Credit or Debit card. Use the "Pay with Debit or Credit Card" button below the Login button on the Paypal login screen. * Contact Don Guyton directly at [masked] or[masked] * Mail a check to Greater Worcester Humanists, P.O. Box 60403, Worcester, MA[masked]. Please postmark payments by Sunday, December 2. Please note in the check's memo section that the payment is for the Holiday Luncheon. Please consider donating something for the silent auction and raffle. Art work, photography, and small antiques are most welcome! We also appreciate gift cards, books, homemade foods, and hand made goods of all sorts. Please let the Don Guyton know so that we may plan to include your donation in our auction/raffle display. We're looking forward to seeing you there. Happy Holidays!