Harry Potter and the Cancel Culture – 15th October
Mel presented (via Zoom) about the increasing intolerance in our society and one of her examples was the recent controversy over comments made by JK Rowling.
13/03/2020- CANCELLED : Apologies for short notice- A doctor, who is also a member of Ely Extinction Rebellion, has just advised their members against attending meetings now & we cannot expect the speaker to go against this advice.
We’ve all heard a lot about Extinction Rebellion and here’s an opportunity to find out more about them.
Extinction Rebellion Ely describes itself as a non violent direct action movement demanding urgent action in the face of a climate emergency.
How do we reach net zero carbon emissions together and safeguard the future of our planet? It’s certainly a huge challenge to win hearts and minds.
Q&A session will follow the talk.
NOTE : This meeting is the 2nd Saturday in the month not the usual 3rd Saturday.
February is LGBT History Month. Mel’s talk looks at transgender terminology, science, history, politics, and law, in the context of her own transition and everyday life. It’s a re-run of her previous talk, from over a year ago, but adapted to offer something new and (hopefully) interesting to those who heard the first version.
All welcome and Mel will be very happy to answer any questions you may have at the end of her presentation.
At this time of year the issue of how best to demonstrate Remembrance can be a challenge for many Humanists. Many reject the attempts to glamorise or celebrate war, yet want to show respect to and remember those who have died as a result of wars and conflict. How best can we do this? This Ely Humanists event will be lead by David Williams, a former-serving officer in the RAF and committed Humanist who will discuss some of the challenges he and other Humanists face and the ways in which he has come to terms with them.
Julia Ewans is Hon Treasurer of the Cambridge Local group of Dignity in Dying. She will tell us about the past, present and future of the campaign here in the UK and of developments around the world.
An informal ‘Bring and Share’ picnic in the lovely Jubilee Gardens
James, our Secretary, will lead a discussion on the fascinating book ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree. He will present on the book recounting how a 3,500 acre farm in West Sussex was handed back to nature, and with minimal human intervention the land is full of rare life where biodiversity has rocketed. Described as “Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of Britain’s rural ecology, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.
John Turner is Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of East Anglia in the School of Biological Sciences. Formerly a Professor of Biology, his research on genetics has led to discovery of genes that regulate defence, fertility, and stunting in a wide range of organisms including plants. His current interest is in variations in the human genome that influence variations in intelligence
My talk will address that most important of all human abilities: the ability to think and reason, which we usually refer to as intelligence. Our intelligence sets us apart from all other life-forms and although some animals do show intelligence, it has not been found to the same extent as it appears in humans. I will make the case that individual humans differ in their intelligence, that these differences are largely inherited, and that intelligence is a major determinant of life’s outcomes. I will present the new research findings that have identified differences in our genes that determine these differences in our intelligence. I will make the case this new knowledge will have powerful influences upon our capacity to discriminate between individuals, which could be used for both good and bad, and which requires very careful scrutiny at a very early stage – such as now.
Is it possible to be spiritual and yet not believe in the supernatural (i.e. Gods)? Can a person be spiritual without belonging to a religious group or organization? Basing his thoughts on the book ‘Spirituality for the Skeptic’, by philosopher Robert Solomon, our co-chair David will lead a discussion based on the model of a vibrant, fulfilling spirituality that embraces the complexities of human existence and acknowledges the joys and tragedies of life…but without the need for the supernatural parts of religion.
|Meeting Room Address (not for mail):
6 The Cloisters, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4ZH.