Presentation by Jon Peters. Since the Human Genome was sequenced more than a decade ago, scientists have been mining it for evolutionary relationships. Several new discoveries have confirmed our shared ancestry with the apes, and has confirmed our exit out of East Africa tens of thousands of years ago. Dr. Peters has been active promoting secular humanism and rational thought with the Center For Inquiry (Portland). In 2008 he founded Secular Humanists of East Portland. He has been the recipient of several teaching awards.
Applying Humanism (a discussion group)
Future topics may include gay rights, factory farming, climate change, the finality of death, the role of science, and humanist ethics, just to mention a few possibilities. We’re looking to have exciting and stimulating discussions. To this end, we’ll sometimes be focusing on areas where Humanists are likely to disagree. We'll be seeking an understanding of how differing opinions can arise from the same worldview and the same core values. We hope that this kind of understanding will help to reduce the destructive effects that disagreements can have in a group. We want to describe who the Humanists of Greater Portland are – to paint a picture that is useful in strengthening our self-identity and in educating non-members.
We hope that future members of HGP who wish to pursue personal growth will find fulfillment by participating in these discussions. No one will be told what to believe. Rather, people will be provided a humanistic environment and will be encouraged to evolve their own views and approach to life. Core values are not beliefs. They express what we are passionate about. They are key to addressing fundamental human needs. Along with the naturalistic worldview, core values provide a starting point for determining what ideas and behaviors are rational, reality-based, and meaningful. They focus on what serves human well-being. We hope that, working together, we can get beyond personal blind spots, broaden our perspectives, and improve our understanding of ourselves, others, and the world in which we live.
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