The Cowtown Humanist
The Official E-Mail Publication of the Humanists of Fort Worth; E-mail:
A chapter of the American Humanist Association,
and allied with the Council for Secular Humanism
May 2003 Volume 5, No. 2
E-mailed April 30, 2003


Meeting Night Changed to 3rd Tuesday of the Month;
Fort Worth Humanists Are En-Raptured by Carson;
Harrison Resigns; HoFW Seeks New V.C./N.L. Editor;
Non-Members Must Pay Up, or No More Newsletters

Members to "Speak Out" at Meetings On Personal Non-Belief;
Next Granbury Rd. Adopt-a-Street Cleanup Set for Sat. May 24;
Two Annual Humanist Socials Planned for June and December;
May Meeting to Launch the First of 12 Evolution Study Classes;
Subsequent Evolution Classes Will be on 2nd Wednesdays;
HoFW to Collect Canned Goods for Needy Families;
HoFW Supports National Day of Reason on May 1



         More than a dozen people expressed interest in the planned video
presentations on evolution and Darwinism. The Board decided to present the
premier session as the meeting program for May. And according to a decision
at the latest membership meeting, the regular meetings will now be held on
the third Tuesday of the month.
         So, to clarify: the May meeting will present the beginning
one-hour VCR tape on the study of evolution. It will be on May 20th., the
3rd Tuesday of the month, from
7 PM to 8:30 PM. The site will be the
Westside Unitarian Universalist Church,
6901 McCart Ave., in Fort Worth.
         Following is a brief description of what the first lecture contains:
         Lecture One: Before Darwin:
         Scope: People have speculated about the origins of species ever
since they noticed that, in nature, likes breed with likes, and produce
more of the same. If so, some asked, where did the first members of each
species come from? The Bible says that God created Adam and Eve to start
the human species and suggests that God specially created all the various
kinds of plants and animals. Some early Greek natural philosophers proposed
the idea of organic evolution but never fully developed it.
         By 1800, the ancient accounts of origins no longer satisfied many
scientifically sophisticated Europeans. French naturalist Georges Cuvier
maintained that species were not created recently in some singular Garden
of Eden. His study of the fossil record indicated that various species had
appeared and disappeared over vast eons of geologic history. However, he
did not find evidence of lineal descent linking species. Rather, he
concluded that the earth's history was punctuated into epochs by
life-destroying catastrophes, with a distinctive array of species
populating each epoch. This was the leading scientific theory of origins
Darwin's youth.


         The next meeting will have a very brief business segment so we can
elect a new vice chair, and a new newsletter editor. Wallace Harrison has
enjoyed the privilege of serving the members of HoFW for the past year.
However, he is contemplating a possible out-of-state relocation with his
family in the near future, and cannot spare the time that his current
duties require. So he has submitted his resignation, to be effective May 20.
         In addition to those two spots, the organization needs someone to
take over the responsibility for mail/e-mail list maintenance, and to serve
as moderator of the "" e-mail "chat" list.
         The duties of Vice Chair are really not that challenging. (As vice
chairman, I have had nothing to do, and I feel immensely qualified to do
that.) You get to attend the quarterly Board meetings, and stand in for the
Chairman when he can't attend a function. Of course, the bylaws assign the
responsibility for the newsletter to the vice chair, but they also allow
for that function to be assigned to someone else.
         The job of newsletter editor can be as demanding or as leisurely
as you care to make it. Your current editor had his own ideas about what a
newsletter should be. It requires much of my time, but it's a labor of
love. Hopefully, someone is waiting in the wings to show how to do it better.
         However, communications are essential to the growth (even the
continuity) of an organization. So, if no one has either the talent or the
desire to produce a full-fledged newsletter, a bare-essentials
meeting-announcement and simplified activity report is actually all that's
required. In fact, in conveying the essential facts, the writer of this
newsletter could have stopped writing, and you readers could have stopped
reading after the opening bold-faced headlines.
         The list-keeper merely keeps up with changes in the roster and
informational mail/e-mail lists for official notices and newsletters. The
group e-mail moderator receives notices of who has signed onto or off of
the list, and adds or deletes names as needed. He or she also monitors the
messages and tries to maintain relevance, order, and civility.
         If you want to take over all three of the open jobs -- great. But
please give some thought to becoming part of the management team in at
least one of the needed areas. If you are willing, but might not be at the
May meeting, please volunteer, or submit your candidacy to Chairman Russell
Elleven via phone at 817-370-2171, or e-mail:



         The evolution studies, which begin on May 20, will be continued on
the former regular meeting nights of HoFW, the 2nd Wednesday of each month,
from 7-9:15 PM. The location: the
Westside Unitarian Universalist Church,
6901 McCart Ave., in south Fort Worth. The first session following the May
20 meeting will be June 11.
         The course is open to Humanists of Fort Worth members only, so if
you haven't paid your dues for the new year yet, come prepared to do
so.  (The new dues structure is outlined below.) Because it would be
advantageous to complete the gathering of information prior to next year's
Darwin Day exercises (Feb. 12), the lessons will most likely progress at
the rate of two hours per session, per month. The meetings would run from
May through November (or possibly December, if the group wishes to take off
during June or July).
         The course, "The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy,"
from The Learning Company, chronicles the history of organic evolution in
12 one-hour lectures. The first four lectures notes how mainstream western
scientists conceived of origins prior to 1858, and details the life and
work of Charles Darwin. The middle four lectures reveal the period from
1875 to 1925 when biologists struggled to come to terms with the theory of
evolution, and determine how the process operated. The final four lectures
carry the debate over evolution to the present, including increased
resistance from conservative Christians.
         The outline for the second lecture is as follows:
         Lecture Two: Evolution in the Air:
         Scope: The idea that species evolve from pre-existing species
began gaining currency early in the nineteenth century. Many factors
pointed toward it. First, the emerging fossil record suggested change over
         Today's species did not appear among older fossils, and many
ancient types are extinct. Cuvier might explain these observations with
successive creations and catastrophes, but to his colleague at the French
natural history museum, Lamarck, the evolution of new species from
pre-existing species seemed more likely. Lamarck's hypothesis remained a
minority view, however, because his explanation for how evolution operated
-- that acquired characteristics are inherited -- lacked credibility.
         Beyond the fossil record, developments in geology laid a
foundation for evolution theory. Building on the work of James Hutton, the
gentleman-scientist Charles Lyell developed the gradualist theory that
existing processes acting over time are sufficient to shape the earth's
features. This approach posited a very long earth history without
catastrophes. The earth's environment would change over time under Lyell's
view, suggesting that species living in it must differ as well. This was
the springboard for
Darwin's thinking about evolution.

         What is "the rapture," or the "millennium," and where does the
idea come from? The following definitions and scripture quotations might
help set the stage for the information covered at the April meeting of HoFW:
         Random House College Dictionary: "rapture: Ecstatic joy or
delight; the feeling, especially in religious ecstasy, of being transported
to another place or sphere of existence."
         The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New
College Edition: "rapture: the state of being transported by a lofty
emotion; ecstasy. The transporting of a person from one place to another,
especially to heaven."

         The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New
College Edition: millennium: 1. a span of one thousand years, a millenary.
2. A thousand year period of holiness during which Christ is to rule on
earth. 3. A hoped-for period of joy, serenity, prosperity, and justice."
         The Bible: 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: "The dead in Christ will rise,
then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in
the clouds to meet the Lord."
         1 Corinthians 15:51-53: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall
not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling
of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead
shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this
corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
         Revelations 20:4-6: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them,
and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were
beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had
not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark
upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with
Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the
thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and
holy is he who hath part in the resurrection; on such the second death hath
no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign
with him a thousand years."
         Revelations 21:1-4: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for
the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no
more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God
out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a
great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men,
and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself
will be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from
their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away."

         The featured speaker for the April meeting of the Humanists of
Fort Worth was Dan Carson, a senior optical engineer for surgical products
research and development division of Alcon Laboratories Inc. of Fort Worth,
who presented "A Skeptical View of the Rapture."
         About himself, Dan says the following:
         "My childhood was very ecumenical, with the Jews paying my
Protestant father enough money to send me to Catholic school. I have read
about history since I was able to read, with the history of religion being
a particular interest. I have taught classes on the history of Christianity
at several area Catholic churches, and currently attend
St. Ann's Catholic
Church in Burleson. (Remember that the premier Renaissance humanist, Thomas
More, is a Catholic saint!). I am also active in support groups and
fundraising for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. My other interests
include beer brewing, astronomy, and bicycle repair."
         The following is this writer's attempt to capture the essence of
Mr. Carson's presentation. I apologize for any inevitable inaccuracies.

         Mr. Carson began by noting that predictions of the end of the
world -- including the rapture -- abound, but that what we're hearing is
not the usual religion. He said that, as a long-time student of history, he
has two specific difficulties with the "left-behind" scenario: (1) it's not
old enough, and (2) it's out of date.

         Many people in the early church didn't want the book of
Revelations to be in the Bible, and available to ordinary people, because
of its apocryphal pronouncements. The book, as written, was apparently
understood by the author and his immediate audience, but hardly anyone
else, and has led to a multiplicity of interpretations.
         In the 5th century, many people thought that the world would come
to an with the end of the
Roman empire. This was partly fueled by
Nebuchadnezzar's dream in the book of Daniel -- with the book ending after
the fourth kingdom, which was the
Roman empire.
         Later, when the world didn't end at that time, some scholars
advised to not take the book of Revelations too literally.
St. Augustine
was one of those who decided that the
Roman Empire would not be the last in
the world, and that the numbers in Revelation were best not taken
literally. (He came to the same conclusion about the numbers in Genesis.) A
majority of religious scholars determined that the Millennium began around
the birth of Christ, not something set for the future. Those who did point
to the future, saw it as something we were working towards, not a
prediction. Christians were supposed to work to make the world a better
place, one that would befit the return of Jesus.
         During the middle ages, there were numerous self-serving
commentaries and alleged biblical prophesy which accused any "other"
religious sect, or its leader, of being the anti-Christ.
         The scientific age, with our modern way of looking at things,
started around 1600. It was around 1650 when a Bishop Ussher determined
that, according to deductive interpretation of the Bible, the world was
created on
October 23, 4004 BC. (Someone later determined that it was at
9 AM.) Starting in 1700, the dates of Biblical occurrences
that Ussher developed were placed in the margins of the King James Bible,
which gave them a false aura of authenticity.
         European Christians started coming to the "new world" in 1492,
with the Puritans coming to
New England around 1600. Not only did they have
a chance to remake their political and religious world, but they also had
whole continents of heathens to try to convert to Christianity, which they
believed would hasten the pending second coming of Christ.
         From the 1800s, with the evangelical movements, we have seen a lot
of Utopian activity, and Millennial cults. In the 1830s, a veteran of the
Mexican War, Captain William Miller, deduced that the world might come to
an end in 1843. He had read Daniel,
8:14, which said: "And he said unto me,
unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be
cleansed." Miller used Ussher's dates, and converted the days to years to
arrive at his projection. Many evangelicals pounced upon his hypothesis and
had masses of people believing that the second coming of Christ was set for
that year, 1843.

         Once again, the Millenial prediction was wrong, but as usual, the
believers simply moved on to the next projection. For example, the
Adventists trace themselves back to the Millerite movement. But the
unsuccessful Miller experiment prompted others to feel that they could
somehow figure out when the end of the world would occur. Not long
afterwards, there was the Apocalyptic-like Civil War, which many people
thought would end the world as we know it. But that was also wrong.
         In 1862, John Nelson Darby, another Protestant from
, came to the U.S. to preach about the end of the world. His
message, however, was somewhat different from his predecessors. He deduced
that just prior to the predicted seven-year period of tribulation ("hell on
earth"), all the true believers will be snatched up from the earth. Then,
Jesus will make his return, and we will have the thousand-year millennium,
then the last fling of evil, before launching into the eternity of peace
with Jesus and God.
         Darby, prior to his death, made friends with a young Cyrus
Scofield published a reference bible, where he plucked scriptures
from the Bible that he felt would substantiate Darby's version of prophecy.
This -- again, as with Ussher's margins in the King James Version, and
other footnoted Bibles -- provided fuel for those who would say, "It's in
the Bible, so it must be true," even tough it wasn't part of scripture.
         In the late 1940s, Billy Graham used the Scofield Reference Bible
to spread the same message, and Hal Lindsey continued the message in 1970
with his book,"The Late Great Planet Earth."
         Darby also borrowed some Biblical passages, written during the
Babylonian exile, about the people of
Israel being returned to their
country, and the temple being rebuilt in
Jerusalem. He projected them to be
in the future, as part of his prophetic timeline. After World War II,
Darby's message gained credibility with some believers because of: (1) the
establishment of the modern state if
Israel, and (2) the creation of the
atomic bomb, which provides a ready means of  worldwide destruction. During
the cold war,
Russia was seen as the Gog and Magog that come from the north
Israel. And since Israel was founded in 1948, many felt the end would
come within a Biblical generation, thus in 1988. There was even a book, "88
Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988."
         Tim LaHaye, author of the "Left Behind" series of books further
promotes Darby's rapture thesis, and claims it to be a literal
interpretation of the Bible. But, if the rapture reasoning is a valid
interpretation of the Bible, why did it take until 1862 to figure it out?
Yet, none of the many people who have read the Bible in those 1,800 or so
years prior to Darby seemed to have come to that conclusion.
         That is the basis of my objection that the theory simply isn't old
         In 1863, Heinrich Schliemann and other archeologists began
extensive excavations of important sites that have great bearing on the
Bible. In 1890, the first cache of documents written in New Testament Greek
found in the Egyptian desert. In the 1940s, the Dead Sea Scrolls were
uncovered. The "Left Behind" advocates have ignored everything that went
before, and aren't using any that the new scholarship that has been
revealed since.
         That is the basis of my objection that the theory is out of date.
         So, why should anyone care? Does it matter that they are wrong?
         While we can usually simply ignore most non-scientific theories,
the philosophical implications that are derived from this worldview are
rather extreme. They invite people to ignore the world's -- and their own
-- deficiencies and problems because "God's going to come along with a
permanent fix any minute now." Some of these people love to report bad
environmental news, since it translates to a timeline for Jesus to return.
Their message is: "Bad news is good news; don't worry, be happy; don't fend
for yourself, God will provide for your future -- soon."
         Darby's projection of the
Israel which was described by the
prophets from the time of the Babylonian exile, to be the
Israel of today
is particularly dangerous. They take statements in the Bible that God will
Israel to imply God's support of the current state of Israel. When
they buy Israeli bonds, or voice support for Israeli protection, that's OK.
But their encouragement of the expansionist political parties who are
making new settlements in the
West Bank is dangerously misguided.
         For example, Genesis 15:18 reads: "In the same day the Lord made a
covenant with Abra(ha)m, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from
the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:" But watch
what would happen if Israel tried to expand in either of those directions.
         Also, fundamentalists and Millenialists have newly started to
preach that Muslims worship a false god. So killing them to get them out of
the way, as the Caananites of old did when they encountered Joshua, is
deemed acceptable.
         Much of these beliefs seem to have strayed quite far from the
teachings of Jesus. In his day, there were zealots who thought that they
could start a fight with the more powerful Romans, and that just because
they were religiously orthodox, God and his angels would intervene on their
behalf at the last minute. Jesus tried to warn them that this was not going
to happen.
         It seems that in every age, someone reads events related in the
Bible, and decrees that is just what is happening now. Or is about to
happen. Yet, these people did not have clairvoyance. As a matter of fact,
the word "prophet" that was originally written in the Bible in the Hebrew
language, would more closely translate to "spokesman." These people were
reporting on what was occurring then, not trying to predict the future.
Worldwide Bible sales are clocked at about 45 copies per minute, and it's
likely that most buyers want help in living their lives in the present, and
preparing for the hereafter, not for trying to accurately predict the future.
         The following quote is from one of the fundamentalist
websites:  "One of the leading Christian historians of the 20th century,
Kenneth Scott Latourett, observed that, from the 19th century onward,
American protestants have tended to ignore developments that had taken
place in Christianity in the old world after the 1st century.This has led
to the unhappy situation whereby American protestants, especially
evangelicals and fundamentalists, are without their identity. They are
unaware of their spiritual roots, and consequently prone to theological
fadism. This lack of historical perspective has resulted in a myopic
perspective in theological and Biblical understanding. Proclaiming to honor
the Bible alone as an authority, we have in fact committed ourselves on the
one hand to reinventing the wheel, while on the other, to understandings
that both the Bible and theology often built upon lines of inferior quality
to the giants of the past."
         A good companion read to the foregoing information are several
articles in the
July 1, 2002 issue of Time magazine.
         Even though the people making these claims seem to have quite a
bit of influence on the media, such radical views are nothing new. Four
hundred years ago, the biggest trend in Christianity was Calvinism.
Calvinism brought the Puritans from
England, many of whom died while trying
to carve out a living from the wilderness. Later it caused the execution of
King Charles I, the thirty-years war in
Germany, and placed very energetic
missionaries all over the world. But their idea of strict predestination --
their pessimistic view of humanity, and their belief that God arbitrarily
pre-assigns certain people to hell -- was so contrary to people's
experience that they faded from favor. You'd be hard-pressed to find a
strict Calvinist anywhere today.
         As an example of the consequences of believing in this particular
end-times scenario, some years ago an Australian evangelical tried to start
a fire in the al-Aqsa mosque in
Jerusalem to make way for the Third Jewish
Temple that they predict will be built before the end.
         Therefore, any belief that goes extremely contrary to human
experience, including this end-of-the-world Millennialism, is likely to die
out also.
         In post-meeting correspondence, Mr. Carson wrote: "I enjoyed
meeting your members and hope to make it back again sometime."


         Immediate Past Chairman, Mike Haney, has agreed to chair the
Adopt-a-Street Committee. He has set the date for the next pickup of trash
Fort Worth's Old Granbury Rd. as Saturday morning, May 24, at 7 AM. Mike
is requesting volunteers to help pick up discarded treasures from both
sides of
Old Granbury Rd., from the intersection of University Drive,
to Trail Lake Drive. The group meets in the parking lot of the
Osteopathic Medical Center at the intersection of Old Granbury Rd. and
University Drive. It's a pleasant outing -- and a worthwhile cause -- and
fellowship may be continued at the following Dutch-treat breakfast. If you
can participate, contact Mike at 817-737-7047; or e-mail him at


         As we reported last month,  the annual dues are now $24 for an
individual, and $36 for a household (including all family members living at
the single address). However, each member (or household) who chooses to
receive the newsletter and other official notices via e-mail instead of
postal mail, receives a discount of $6 per year off their annual dues."
This means that individual members will pay $24 for the year if they
require mailed newsletters, but only $18 if they get their newsletter via
e-mail. Couples, or families, will pay $36 if requiring a mailed
newsletter, but only $30 if getting the information by e-mail.
         The previous practice of sending the newsletter (mail or e-mail)
to anyone interested in receiving it will cease. Prospective (non-)members
will be retained on the mailing list, but will receive only sporadic bits
of information, perhaps quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. (The
frequency has not yet been determined by the Board.) Additionally, the HoFW
website ( will continue to announce the upcoming meeting, but
will no longer display the most recent versions of the newsletter.
         And you must be a member to attend the meetings.
         If you want to be a part of the Humanists of Fort Worth, and/or
continue to receive information about the organization, you may pay at the
next meeting. Or you may contact the treasurer via mail, or e-mail. Contact
Dolores Ruhs at 1036
Hilltop Pass, Benbrook TX 76126-3848; e-mail: (Phone: 817-249-1829)
         If you live outside the area (outside the counties that border
Tarrant), you may be retained on the informational e-mail list at no
charge, or may subscribe to the mailed newsletter for $12 per year.


         The Board of Directors for the Humanists of Fort Worth met on
Monday, April 14 at the home of Chairman Elleven, and were regally
entertained by Mr. Elleven and his lovely and charming wife, Gayle.
         Most of the decisions of the Board are contained among specific
topics previously discussed in this newsletter. Other decisions of note follow:
         FISCAL YEAR CHANGE -- Next year, the organization will hold its
annual business meeting in May, and will hear a proposal to change our
fiscal year to begin
July 1, 2004.
         MORE SOCIABILITY -- The Board decided to hold two social events a
year. The first event, newly created, will be a summer picnic in
's Trinity Park. It's scheduled for Sunday, June 22, at 2 PM. This
will take the place of the regular meeting for June. The other will be a
continuation of the Holiday/Winter Solstice dinner event that was so
well-received last December. That will also replace the regular monthly
meeting in December.
         COMING OUT -- Starting in May, one member per-meeting will be
asked to “Speak Out,” (for up to ten minutes) on why or how the member
became a Humanist, or a non-believer.
         SOCIAL ACTION -- Members are being asked to bring a canned good or
other non-perishable food item to the monthly meetings. These will then
be  donated to Westaid at the U.U. church, which are then redistributed
through the JPS/Como Center to needy area families. We will also continue
to seek opportunities to publicize our group through informational display
tables, and at holiday book wraps.


        LET US REASON TOGETHER -- A National Day of Prayer is scheduled
May 1, 2003.
         The National Day of Prayer Proclamation by George W. Bush, the
President of the
United States of America, reads in part: "Since our
Nation's founding, Americans have turned to prayer for inspiration,
strength, and guidance. In times of trial, we ask God for wisdom, courage,
direction, and comfort. We offer thanks for the countless blessings God has
provided. And we thank God for sanctifying every human life by creating
each of us in His image. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we call
upon the Almighty to continue to bless
America and her people."

      Shirley (Mrs. James) Dobson, chairman of the National Day of
Prayer Task Force (NDP), writes on the
<>  website: "James 5:16 tells us
that the prayers of the righteous are 'powerful and effective,' and we
anticipate that God will move in tremendous ways on May 1 in response to
His people's petitions."
         The Humanists of Fort Worth leaders are joining other freethought
groups in endorsing a National Day of Reason, on the same date, citing
reason as a reasonable alternative to prayer. The National Day of Reason
website ( offers the following information:
         "Many who value the separation of church and state have sought an
appropriate response to the federally-funded National Day of Prayer, an
annual abuse of the constitution. Nontheistic Americans (including
freethinkers, humanists, atheists and agnostics), along with many
traditionally religious allies, view such government-sanctioned
sectarianism as unduly exclusionary.
         "A consortium of leaders from within the community of reason
recently endorsed the idea of a National Day of Reason. This observance
will be held in parallel with the National Day of Prayer, on the first
Thursday in May (
1 May 2003). The goal of this effort is to celebrate
reason -- a concept all Americans can support -- and to raise public
awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by
government intrusion into the private sphere of worship.
         "There is great potential this year to give voice to our shared
concerns about the serious threats to the wall separating church and state."
         TREASURER'S REPORT -- Treasurer Dolores Ruhs reported a positive
balance of $473.56.
         NEXT BOARD MEETING -- The next quarterly meeting of the Board of
Directors is set for
July 14, 2003 at the home of Secretary Reed Bilz.



         This is just a reminder to mark your calendar: The next HoFW
meeting is at
7 PM, Tuesday, May 20 at the Westside Unitarian Universalist
Church. It's in the northeast corner (in the rear and to the left) of a
small shopping center at
6901 McCart Ave., Suite 125, in south Fort Worth.
It's the first left turn (east) off McCart, just south of where W. Cleburn
Rd. and Southpark meet (the first traffic light south of Alta Mesa).
         The current agenda includes: (1) Elect a new vice chair; (2)
Appoint a new newsletter editor; (3) Assign the list-maintenance duties;
and (4) View the first two lectures of The Theory of Evolution: A History
of Controversy.
         There will not be an official pre-meeting, dinner/get-together.

         You should also mark your calendar for the following summer functions:
         June 11, Wednesday,
7-9:15 PM -- Evolution studies at Westside UU
         June 22, Sunday,
2 PM -- HoFW 1st Annual Picnic at Trinity Park.
         July 9, Wednesday,
7 PM -- Evolution studies at Westside UU Church.
         July 15, Tuesday,
7 PM -- HoFW monthly meeting at Westside UU Church.


         The American Humanist Association will conduct its 62nd annual
conference, "Making Humanism Count: Unity in Action,"
May 9-11, 2003, at
the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in
Arlington VA (just south of
Washington DC).
         The American Humanist Association unites diverse groups and
creates synergy among those who share the Humanist values of reason,
democracy, and social justice. This year’s conference will be held in
conjunction with the General Assembly Meeting of the International Humanist
and Ethical Union, which the AHA is hosting. Among the line-up of awardees
and speakers, are Rabbi Sherwin Wine, Kate Michelman, and Ralph Nader.
Special Events include:
         Release of Humanist Manifesto III, Humanism and its Aspirations,
the successor to Humanist Manifestos I and II.
         American Humanist Seminar on “Making Humanist Ethics Work,” led by
Dr. Arthur Dobrin, Leader Emeritus of the Ethical Humanist Society of Long
Island. Two of Dobrin’s books include: Ethics for Everyone: How to Increase
Your Moral Intelligence; and Teaching Right from Wrong: 40 Things You Can
Do to Raise a Moral Child.
         Opening Plenary Panel, consisting of moderator Levi Fragell of the
International Humanist and Ethical Union, Stefen Jonasson of HUUmanists,
Rabbi Sherwin Wine of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, Jone Johnson
Lewis of the American Ethical Union, and Mel Lipman of the AHA.
         AHA/IHEU Joint Symposium, “Humanism: Engaging the
World—Confronting Injustice.”
Humanist Lobby Day in DC, which offers activists an opportunity to visit
national legislators and policy makers to further Humanist priorities.
         For more info, contact AHA at: 800-837-3792;;


         The Objectivist Center will hold its 14th annual summer seminar at
Bentley College in Waltham MA (10 miles west of Boston), June 28-July 5,
2003. The program will feature lectures, courses, and workshops covering a
wide range of topics including philosophy, politics, culture, arts, and
applications of Objectivism. For more info, contact TOC at: 845-471-6100;;


         The Freedom From Religion Foundation will conduct their 26th
annual FFRF convention, October 10-12, 2003 at the Washington Court Hotel
on Capitol Hill, in Washington DC. For more info, contact FFRF:
608-256-5800; freethoughttoday@ffrf.or;

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