Category Archives: Previous Meetings

Annual End of Year Meeting – November 15, 2015

The Oxford Humanists Educational Association met at 4:00 PM on November 15th at the Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, NC.  Officers for 2016 were elected and they are as follows:  Dan Winslow, President; Dr. Frank McKay, Vice-President  and Silvanus Slaughter, Secretary-Treasurer.  Dr. McKay presented a design for business cards and promotional materials to be printed and distributed beginning in December. 

Afterwards, members discussed President Winslow’s proposal for establishing a “National Day of Reason” on May 5th of each year as a day of Celebration for Constitutionalists, Humanists, Secularists and Critical Thinkers which will focus attention on Humanism and its perspective on life and liberty which is grounded in “arts and sciences, logic and reason,” and represents humanity’s best choices for enjoying Today and planning for Tomorrow.

A “New membership” program was discussed and outlined.

Member Wayne Spencer reviewed “The Moral Landscape” by author Sam Harris, which was followed by discussion on topics varying from the decline of Arabic culture during the rise of fundamentalism, climate change, the ISIS conflict in the Middle East to the necessity of identifying the ethical architecture of every established philosophy.

August 17th, 2014: Picnic Party at conservation property in Oxford, NC

 PICNIC ON 60 ACRE CONSERVATION PROPERTY!!!!!! We hope there is enough room for all of us!!! 

 

We will meet at Dan and Evelyn’s 60 acre conservation property in Oxford; directions will be sent separately by email.

They have a log cabin on the property and they will provide a simple lunch for us starting around 12:30 PM. We can have our meeting and then go out for a walk on a hiking trail on the property. Or hang out on the porch; your choice.

Dress appropriately for hiking/walking, bring your insect repellent, etc.


Picture3 picnic 2 picnic1

Pool Party and Social—Sunday, July 20th, 12:30 PM

Swimming pool

Bring a Friend, a Swim Suit and Towel!

A pool-side social with Pizza and soft drinks provided. Contributions welcome.  Some Humanist business to be conducted but mainly a relaxed afternoon with friends and hopefully some new members to meet.

Location is at Dan and Evelyn’s Lake House in Townsville, NC; see below and see you on the 20th!!!!!!!!!!!

Pizza

potluck1Driving directions to be provided soon to those unfamiliar with the location. Email Dan or Frank if you have not received those directions by Saturday the 19th at seculardan@gmail.com or frankmckay@oxfordhumanists.org.

Sunday, May 18th, Meeting at Georges Family Restaurant-Oxford-12:30 PM

Potluck3

Address: 104 E Industry Drive, Oxford, NC, Oxford, NC

Another relaxed Social Meeting with Food and Great Discussion! This time: not pot luck, but Georges Luck! We’ll update you with directions later if you have not been to Georges before. 

Oxford Humanist Educational Association members are hosting meetings every third Sunday of the month, March through December 2014 at 12:30 PM. See full year schedule below and place on your calendar!!

Expect Humanist gossip, current news, book and article reviews, pool parties, wandering about Dan and Evelyn’s Lake property or their Granville County conservation property or another venue at someone else’s house or a restaurant, are all possibilities. 

Bring your friends and relax with us; a group of people who think outside the box.

LET US KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING IN CASE WE NEED TO INFORM THE RESTAURANT.

Dates for our meetings this year:

Saturday, June 21st/ Sunday, July 20th/Sunday, August 17th/Sunday, September 21st, Sunday, October 19th/Sunday, November 16th/Sunday, December 21st  

How about those neat coincidences with the above meeting dates; most are the 3rd Sunday of the month but two land on the first day of NEW SEASONS-the fall equinox and the winter solstice!!!

Sunday, April 20th, 2014-Pot Luck Lunch Social Meeting

Potluck4

Another relaxed Social Meeting with Food and Great Discussion! Yes, it is Easter!!

Location: Karen Carpenter’s House-Durham, NC/ Directions & address to be sent by email

We could discuss the two articles below which we recommend to you for reading;

(They are stored on this site and can be read here) 

Facing the Myth of Human Progress: Why the Human Experiment is Failing so Quickly/Truthdig / By Chris Hedges

Is Industrial civilization heading for collapse Natural and social scientists develop new model of how ‘perfect storm’ of crises could unravel global system/By Dr Nafeez Ahmed. This is an easy to read summary.

The technical study for this second article is here: Is Industrial Civilization Heading for Collapse-actual study

Or we could discuss anything you might like!!

Oxford Humanist Educational Association members are hosting potluck lunches every third Sunday of the month, March through December 2014 at 12:30 PM. See full year schedule below place on your calendar!! 

Expect fascinating, out of the box discussions as well as gossip, current  Humanist news, book and article reviews, pool parties, wandering about Dan and Evelyn’s Lake property or their Granville County conservation property. Other venues at someone else’s house or a restaurant, are all possibilities. Potluck dates and time of day are unlikely to change, but meeting places will vary.

Bring your friends and relax with us; a group of people who think outside the box. Bring a pot luck item if you would like to do so but that is not necessary.

If you plan to bring children let us know so that age appropriate supervision and activities can be provided for them.

Dates for the year:

  • Sunday, April 20th
  • Sunday, May 18th
  • Saturday, June 21st-Special Meeting-To be AnnouncedPotluck2
  • Sunday, July 20th
  • Sunday, August 17th
  • Sunday, September 21st
  • Sunday, October 19th
  • Sunday, November 16th
  • Sunday, December 21st  

 

Potluck3

March 16th Meeting and 2014 Meeting Schedule

potluck1

Sunday, March 16th, 12:30 pm;  First Potluck Lunch of the Year!

Oxford Humanist Educational Association members are hosting potluck lunches every third Sunday of the month, March through December 2014 at 12:30 PM. First meeting on March 16th. See full year schedule below—place on your calendar!!

Potluck4Humanist gossip, current news, book and article reviews, pool parties, wandering about Dan and Evelyn’s Lake property or their Granville County conservation property are all possibilities. 

Bring your friends. If you plan to bring children let us know so that age appropriate supervision and activities can be provided for them. Potluck dates and time of day are unlikely to change, but meeting places will vary; you will be notified of location by email. 

Food item duplication can be minimized by contacting Dan and Evelyn who will keep a list of who is bringing what. Please contact them at 252-438-8501 which is their lake property number.

Potluck Dates 

Sunday, March 16th Our First potluck lunch will be Sunday, March 16th -12:30 PM. Directions have been sent to Members by email.

 Yearly Dates below:

  • Sunday, March 16th
  • Sunday, April 20th
  • Sunday, May 18th
  • Sunday, June 15thPotluck2
  • Sunday, July 20th
  • Sunday, August 17th
  • Sunday, September 21st
  • Sunday, October 19th
  • Sunday, November 16th
  • Sunday, December 21st  

Potluck3

New Years Social Event-Wednesday, January 1, 2014

new years

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

12:00 NOON TO 4:00 PM; STOP IN ANYTIME AT THE MEETING LOCATION!

An informal Meet and Greet to welcome in the New Year!!! All Members welcome

(location and directions to be sent to members).

Hope to see some of the new members who have signed up recently!

 Happy New Year_2014

OHEA Meeting Press Release: The Ussher Chronology: The Age of the Earth–The Bible or Modern Science?

Sunday, November 17, 1:30 PM—South Granville Library, Creedmoor, NC—1547 South Campus Drive, Creedmoor, NC

Bishop James Ussher

Bishop James Ussher

In Europe of the 1600’s, people and Christians in particular, had great curiosity about the age of the Earth.

The Ussher Chronology published in 1650 (English version, 1658) was a time-line of the history of the world created from a literal reading of the Bible by James Ussher, the Archbishop of Armagh (Church of Ireland). The Bishop is pictured above. This history stated that the universe was created only a few thousand years ago by God as described in the first two chapters of the Biblical book of Genesis.

But Humanists do not accept the Bible as a viable source of geological or other scientific knowledge; therefore we plan to review the age of the Earth as determined by the scientific method. 

Dr.Edward Stoddard, retired NCSU Geology professor, will take us through the fascinating journey of discovery in the field of Geology which led to a more rational estimate for the age of the Earth.

Look forward to an exciting presentation including visual aids and a subsequent group discussion of this topic. We will all no doubt learn some scientific principles, some methods of critical thinking and most of all some methodologies of Geology. We will thank Bishop Ussher for his first attempts at estimating the age of the Earth and wish that he could have been with us to see how the human thought processes have improved over the centuries.

Science teachers and their students are encouraged to attend. Bring a friend or neighbor! Bring a bishop, minister or pastor. 

The public is invited.

View and Read the Complete Ussher Document here.    Bishop Ussher document

___________________________________

Dr. Edward Stoddard Brief Biography:

Education: Associate Professor Emeritus: A.B. in Geology, Amherst College, 1971, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 1976

Dr. Stoddard states he is person who loves studying rocks out in the field. He was trained as a metamorphic petrologist, which means a person who particularly likes to study rocks that have been transformed from one type to another by time, pressure and heat.

He told us that “I augment my field studies with laboratory work, commonly working with colleagues who specialize in those areas, including geochronology (the age of rocks).  I have been conducting geological mapping in the North Carolina Piedmont for over 30 years, and have intensified mapping activities since my retirement from N.C. State University in 2006, mainly because I have been employed part-time with the N.C. Geological Survey.  Recently, I have also been working on geological guides for hiking trails and greenways.”

(The South Granville Library is not a sponsor of this event and has no affiliation with the Oxford Humanist Educational Association)

Social Lunch/Business Meeting: Saturday, September 28; 12:00 noon: Georges Family Restaurant, Oxford

Lunch Meeting

Dan and I are calling an informal meeting of members and would very much like you to join us at a social lunch on September 28th of this month. We would like to have these kind of informal meetings in between our larger scale, more formal meetings.

This Dutch lunch will be held at Georges Family Restaurant at 104E. Industry St, Oxford, NC 27565 at 12:00 noon. They are north of Walmart. If driving past Walmart on your right, just go about a mile to E. Industry Drive and take a right. Georges is almost immediately on your right.  

We’d love see you on the 28th; bring a guest! We are inviting all members of OHEA.  

We can have this relaxing lunch and chat and celebrate some of our organizational steps forward acheived in the last few months. We will also be voting on Bylaws for our new 501(c)3 organizational structure; see the Bylaws here. 

We are still working on a speaker for a more formal meeting on November 16th of this year; we’ll keep you up to date on that.  

Thanks much/ Please RSVP with an email to Frank with his address below.

Frank McKay

frankmckay@oxfordhumanists.org

Private Member Meeting: Celebration of World Humanist Day

World Humanist Day

 

 

 

 

 

June 22, 2013 · 11:00 AM

Dan and Evelyn’s Home

World Humanist Day Celebration! A Poolside Outing!

LET’S CELEBRATE WORLD HUMANISM DAY, WITH AN OUTING, A POOLSIDE SOCIAL EVENT AT DAN AND EVELYN’S HOME!

Humanism truly is sweeping the planet.

Humanism is a democratic and ethical life philosophy that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. Science and Reason guide the humanist and a respect for all human beings.

It began with thinkers in Ancient Greece. Then it revived among intellectuals in the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. As the modern scientific age snowballed, religion retreated and secular humanism soared.

Back in the 1980s, some Humanist groups launched World Humanism Day, observed every June 21 on the summer solstice. Choosing the time of longest daylight was designed to symbolize the light of reason overcoming the darkness of superstition.

We will celebrate this day on Saturday, June 22nd. 

We’ll have some great conversation and yard games to play. Food from the barbecue will be there; bring your favorite beverage. What would be a celebration of Humanism without a small or giant yard sign or banner with your favorite Humanism thought or concept. Bring a friend or family member and most of all bring your belief in Humanism as a  system that a truthful person can embrace.

If you enjoy a little cooking, feel free to bring a little dish for all of us to share. And of course, bring your swim suit if you are so inclined!

Many other events to celebrate that day. Evelyn’s birthday is on the 20th of June and Dan and Evelyn’s 49th Wedding Anniversary is on the the 21st of June! Plenty to celebrate!

Get it on your Calendar! We shall send you directions to Dan’s later.

Swimming pool

OHEA Meeting Press Release: Local Day of Reason

Graphic-national day of reason-jpg

We will celebrate the National Day of Reason on Saturday May 4, 2013, as the Local Day of Reason

Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, NC—-1:30 PM

Local Day of Reason-May 4th, 2013

The Oxford Humanist Educational Association’s Local Day of Reason is our membership’s recognition of the cultural significance of the National Day of Reason as established by the American Humanist Association in 2003, as a secular reaction to the National Day of Prayer. A brief understanding of National Day of Prayer history and goals is essential to understanding the AHA’s reaction to today’s increasingly politicized National Day of Prayer.

What are the origins of the National Day of Prayer and why is it controversial? For that understanding see the write-up by Dan Winslow, Chairman of OHEA. 

Reasoning enables us to free ourselves from misinformation that affects our lives and prevents us from (1) making important decisions based on unproven beliefs, (2) substituting wishful or wistful thinking for reality, (3) basing conclusions upon prejudicial thinking (4) acting on indoctrinated fears and (5) accepting factual misunderstandings.

However, reasoning processes are fallible and it is easy to be misled by the apparent reasonableness and accuracy of personal and/or group logic. If we are to reason effectively and improve our decision making skills and our lives we must be aware of the various mistakes that can be made during the thought process that create false “logic.” For an outline of those errors in logic, also see the link to Dan’s document above.

Secularists believe that governmental institutions and their policies should be separate from religious institutions and their policies and that government should be neutral on religious matters because governments represent all people within their jurisdictions, and cannot prefer those holding some religious beliefs over those holding different religious beliefs. Human political decisions are by definition made by people, not by invoked religious entities and should not be biased by religion’s belief systems, many of which are based on emotional concepts and are only unfounded beliefs. 

Humanists believe Americans should strive to teach Reason in our general education programs and promote its immense value to the individual and society.

So on May 4th the Oxford Humanists will celebrate the incredible potential of Reason. We shall examine where the absence of Reason often occurs in government policy making and discuss distortions of Reason often found in the Democratic process. We will have speakers, literature and other organizations will join us.

The public is invited.

(See post-event media coverage article)

OHEA Meeting Press Release: Separation of Church and State

ChurchConstitution

January 20 · 1:30 PM

South Granville Public Library, Creedmoor, N.C.

Separation of Church and State

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)

“We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation.  We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.” – President Barack Obama

________________________

 At this meeting we shall discuss the concept of the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE in the United States and ask the obvious question of how is this issue related to humanism? 

Jennifer Rudinger, Executive Director of the North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union will be a guest speaker and discuss the work of the ACLU relative to separation of church and state issues that arise in North Carolina and how her organization responds to them. She will also hand out printed information.

Our founding fathers had differing religious views  and many were obviously secular in their thinking. Most held very passionate beliefs and feelings for preventing government from establishing a national religion. Essentially, they wanted to prevent said government from even hinting at seeming to prefer one religious belief over another. You will see that the Founding Fathers thoughts are clear on keeping government out of our lives in terms of religious belief except to protect our civil rights and freedom to think independently about such beliefs and belong to any church, or none, as we so desire.

However, as we are all well aware, problems of keeping the church and the state politically disconnected are a constant challenge. Throughout the history of the United States and up to this very moment, individuals and organizations are accused of violating the first amendment protecting our religious freedom and the separation of church and state. 

A recent article summarizes what some consider violations of our religious civil rights. 

A question/answer and discussion session will follow Ms. Rudinger’s presentation.

The Public is Invited

(see post meeting newspaper article about this meeting)

Private Member Meeting: National Fritters Day Celebration with Dan & Evelyn Winslow

Party-timeDecember 2, 2012 · 1:00 PM

All OHEA members are invited to Dan and Evelyn’s home for the National Fritters Day Celebration!

It’s a real national celebration day but who cares!

We will provide tea, soft drinks and a suitable finger food. Fritters may or may not be provided. Please bring a chair, your favorite beverage and, if you can, your favorite side dish.

We’ll send directions soon.

See you on the 2nd of December!

fritters

 

OHEA Meeting Press Release: Living as a Gay Person in North Carolina

It's our Turn\

October 28, 2012 · 1:30 PM

Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, NC

Living as a gay person in North Carolina; the psychological, legal, and discriminatory impacts

Dr. Ann Louise Barrick, a psychologist who recently retired from UNC-Chapel Hill and Elaine McNeill, a former educator, joined their lives 39 years ago and subsequently became Granville County homeowners, gardeners, and politically active members of Granville County’s Democratic Party.

Dr. Barrick and Elaine McNeill will relate the personal story of their long and loving relationship including their struggle against inequality and discrimination.

An open discussion of discrimination against gays and gay marriage will follow.

The public is invited.

OHEA Meeting Press Release: Was Buddha a Humanist? Comparing Buddhism and Humanism

 

September 30, 2012 · 1:30 PM/Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, NC

The Great Statue of Buddha Amitabha in Kamakura, Japan

The Great Statue of Buddha Amitabha in Kamakura, Japan

Buddhism and Humanism

Our Meeting will be a discussion of this topic. Dr. Michael Macklin, a psychiatrist, university professor and scholar with the Won Buddhist temple will speak to us on the fundamental tenets and practices of Buddhism. An open discussion period will follow. Time allowing, several scenes from an award winning Buddhist video will be shown.

Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha, professed no more than to teach men the way by which they can liberate themselves as he liberated himself. Lucretius in Rome, hundreds of years later, taught that the universe functions without the aid of Gods and that religious fear is damaging to human life.

Humanism holds dearly to these same tenets of Buddha and Lucretius. We shall discuss these intertwining ideas and see if we can discover other connecting and common thoughts within and between these philosophies.

The Public is invited.

Charles Darwin

OHEA Meeting Press Release: Darwinism Updated; A Look at Modern Darwinism

Darwinism Updated

A Discussion of Modern Evolutionary Biology by Frank McKay: The Public is Invited

Richard H. Thornton Library, July 28, 2012, 1:30 PM

Frank McKay, Ph.D., Vice Chairperson of OHEA, will lead a discussion on July 28th 2012 on “Modern Darwinism.” He will give a quick review of the history of evolutionary science and focus on the more recent revolution of thinking about the evolution of social interactions between organisms now referred to as the science of Sociobiology.

Charles Darwin’s profound idea on the evolution of living things was first detailed in his famous book in 1859. At that point in the history of Science, the genetic material, DNA, and the concepts of genes and chromosomes were unknown and this limited Darwin in his understanding of how organisms evolved. Regardless, his main idea of Natural Selection excited naturalists and biologists who soon applied his ideas to their studies on many different species around the world. They published their findings and more and more support for natural selection was provided, solidifying the Theory of Evolution.

The scientific community embraced Darwinism and any well-trained biologist today accepts Darwin’s main thesis as fact and not theory– that living things have evolved over long periods of time, wherein their populations adapt to new and changing environments by Natural Selection. The evidence is overwhelming. Evolutionary science applied mathematics, including statistics, to their work and it became a full-fledged scientific field. 

The development of evolutionary ideas from 1859 and into the 20th Century is a fascinating story and involved (1) understanding how traits are passed from one generation to the other, (2) elucidating the molecular structure of the genes, (3) studying how competition between organisms occurs and (4) consideration of how we must think of evolution occurring in populations of a species, one generation after another.  As the sciences of genetics, molecular biology, paleontology, etc., developed, Darwin’s main thesis of Natural Selection was reinforced and improved.

In the middle of the 20th Century a small but exciting  kind of revolution was occurring in Evolutionary Biology  wherein workers in the field focused on the question of what natural selection is actually selecting. The question was: “Is Natural Selection selecting a whole species, populations of the species, individuals or genes?” The technical question is: What is the unit of selection? This has profound meaning for animal behavior and the very broad questions that can be expressed anthropomorphically such as: “Are animals mainly selfish and will never assist other animals if it ‘costs them’ too much?” “Why then do parents’s so obviously assist their offspring?” “How has cooperation evolved in animals?” “Does Natural Selection ‘select’ animals who behave in ways which help the species survive or is that only an anthropomorphic illusion and the Selection process is selecting only ‘selfish’ genes?”  These questions were the central focus of this revolution in thinking about animal social behavior and what natural selection is actually selecting. And because humans have evolved like other living creatures, these questions are today being applied to human psychology, sociology, communication, and our interaction with others.

Come to the meeting on July 28th and help us discuss these fascinating scientific issues now under the rubric of the science of Sociobiology or Social Ethology.

See McKay Discussion outline.

The Public is invited.

OHEA Organizational Meeting Press Release-June 2012

Attend the Oxford Humanist Educational Association organizational meeting!

June 2, 2012 · 1:30 PM—Richard H, Thornton Library, Oxford, NC

Dan Winslow, Frank McKay and Evelyn Winslow of Granville County, NC are establishing a new group of Humanists in their County and have advertised the organizational meeting as open to the public.

They have invited Han Hills, President of the Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear to speak at this meeting and present a regional overview of the present state of regional development of Humanism. He will give that overview as well as advice on developing a Mission Statement for a new organization, functions that a Humanist society can provide in a community, what the legal structure of such a society might be and other thoughts on planning and goals.

Harry Shaughnessy of the Triangle Freethought Society will also be present to provide insight into starting a new Humanist Organization.

A Q&A session will follow the meeting.