Information on public speaking engagements.
We can provide speakers for schools, colleges and other organisations on Humanism, and subjects relevant to Humanism.
This section will always be up to date with information from our latest public speaking engagements. If you would like us to contribute to your event, please contact us.
Margaret Nelson led a discussion at a Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource Forum of Faiths on 16 October 2007. The others speakers were Manwar Ali (Muslim), Robin Herne (Pagan) and Shpetim Alimeta ("thinker" of Albanian origin).
For those who don't know me, I'm a Secular Humanist. I make that qualification because in the States there are Religious Humanists as well as Secular Humanists.
However, in Great Britain and other countries where there are Humanist organisations that are part of the International Humanist & Ethical Union, Humanism is totally non-religious. It's an approach to life for people who've rejected religious and supernatural explanations for life, the universe and everything, and whose ethical outlook is based on our common humanity and our experience. We have a naturalistic view of life, rather than a supernaturalistic one. Science can't explain everything but it can and does help us to understand our place in the natural world, and where there aren't any answers, we prefer to leave a question mark, rather than explain the gap in our knowledge with a religious answer.
If you’re a Radio 4 listener, you’ll know that the debate about including atheist/humanist thoughts for the day in the Today programme has been hotting up. We’ve had an email from Naomi Phillips, Public Affairs Officer at The British Humanist Association, as follows:
We seem to be getting somewhere with our campaign to have humanist voices included on Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’. Last week both BHA member Lord Harrison of Chester and Jonathan Bartley of Ekklesia (the Christian think tank with which the BHA has worked on issues like creationism), himself a contributor to Thought for The Day, made the case on the Today programme for including humanist contributors.
Monday 12th February is Darwin Day, the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809. Scientists, Humanists and Rationalists around the world will be celebrating Charles Darwin’s birthday in a variety of ways.
Charles Darwin’s book The Origin of Species set out his theory of evolution by natural selection.
Whenever I get the chance, I tell children in Suffolk schools about evolution. It’s surprising, and worrying, how few seem to know much about it. Unless they know the truth, they are susceptible to the lies being promoted by Creationists who are distributing “Intelligent Design” teaching materials wherever they can.
This is how I’ve introduced evolution in schools:
The actor Warren Mitchell, most well-known for his role as the bigoted Alf Garnett in “Till Death us do Part”, is a distinguished supporter of the British Humanist Association. He’s of Russian Jewish descent, and has been quoted as saying, “I enjoy being Jewish, but I’m an atheist”. There are many atheist Jews like him. Warren tells a story about visiting Northern Ireland, where he was asked if he’s a Catholic or a Protestant. “I’m Jewish,” he replied.
John Lennon said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Those plans might include New Year’s resolutions. I never make any, knowing from experience that things will happen regardless. Not that I don’t intend to make an effort to sort out the more disorganised parts of my life – that’s work in progress – but there’s no reason why I should be any more successful if I start a list of things to do on 1st January than at any other time of the year.
On this day (24th November), 147 years ago, Charles Darwin’s revolutionary book, On the Origin of Species, was published. His theory of evolution by natural selection is still generally accepted as the best explanation of how life on Earth developed.