February 12, 2016 is Darwin Day.

CFIC Members or other organizations in your community may be organizing Darwin Day activities, check below often for updates!

 

Darwin Day is a global commemoration of the birthday of Charles Darwin and his watershed contribution to science, On the Origins of Species by Means of Natural Selection, in which he lays out the theory of evolution. Darwin Day is also a perfect occasion to celebrate free thought, scepticism, reason, and science in general, all of which are at the core of secular humanism.

Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809. Darwin Day is celebrated on or around February 12. Canadians are getting involved in many ways.

Canadians are having an international influence on Darwin Day! On Friday, February 12, the University of South Florida will be hosting a series of lectures by Dr. Gillian Barker, of the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Barber will be speaking about many topics. Her lectures include “Human Nature in Darwin’s World” and “Geofunctions: A New Concept for Understanding Global Change.” Read more here (http://darwinday.org/event/usf-darwin-day-2016/).

If you can’t make it out for any of the festivities, don’t despair! There are plenty of things you can do at home to celebrate Darwin and his wonderful contribution to science.

If you have kids, plan a visit to the zoo. Ask animal experts to illustrate and explain the examples of adaptations in animals. Spend some time reading with your kids from Richard Dawkins’ The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True, an illustrated science book aimed at children. Also consider I Wonder by Annika Harris (the wife of neuroscientist and author Sam Harris), a fictional tale that encourages kids to revel in the mystery and awe of not knowing.

You might spend your Darwin Day searching the Web or your local library for films and/or videos of lectures about Darwin and evolution, or about any other scientific curiosity you might have.

You might consider writing to your MP about a Darwin Day resolution. In the U.S., such a resolution has been introduced. It states that the House of Representatives “(1) supports the designation of ‘Darwin Day’; and (2) recognizes Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge.” The Ontario Humanist Society is working to this end. Read about it here (http://ontariohumanists.ca/actions/us-aha-support-the-darwin-day-resolution).

However you choose to celebrate, CFIC wishes you a wonderful Darwin Day!

Saskatoon

In Saskatoon, on Saturday, February 13, the Saskatoon Skeptics and CFIC will be hosting presentations from two speakers. Dr. Jeffrey Lane, from the University of Saskatchewan, will be discussing the adaptation to climate change seen in mammal systems. Dr. Ryan McKellar, from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, will be discussing diversification, extinction, and the deep-time component of evolution. Read more here (http://darwinday.org/event/saskatoon-2016-darwin-day-celebration/).

Calgary

Dr. Jim Linville, Professor of Religious Studies at University of Lethbridge is tentatively scheduled to speak on February 28th, 2016 on the topic “Each After Their Own Kind“. The talk will focus on how creationist museums are not all created equally.  Dr. Linville offers an overiew of the diverse museum landscape and takes you on an illustrated tour of some of the museums in Alberta, Kentucky, Texas and California.

Mount Royal University, Fine Arts Building Room EA 3001

4825 Mt. Royal Gate SW

Toronto

In honour of Darwin Day, CFIC Toronto launches a Pseudoscience Discussion Group. The meeting will take place in CFIC’s office at 55 Eglinton East, Suite 307, at 7:00pm on Thursday, February 11th, with monthly gatherings thereafter.  We will start with a video introducing Pseudoscience, followed by a discussion of how to identify false claims and spurious arguments. Monthly topics will focus on different types of pseudoscience such as homeopathy, astrology, and alternatives to vaccination.

On Tuesday, February 9, the Royal Ontario Museum is hosting its annual Darwin Day lecture, entitled “The Future of Science: Who Will be the Next Charles Darwin?” Evolutionary biologist and co-host of Discovery’s Daily Planet, Dan Riskin, will be discussing what made thinkers like Darwin so special, and whether, in our world of specialisation, there will ever be another. Read more here (http://darwinday.org/event/the-future-of-science-who-will-be-the-next-charles-darwin/) and here (http://www.rom.on.ca/en/whats-on/annual-darwin-day-lecture).

Also in Toronto, on Sunday, February 14, CFIC will be hosting its regular Atheists & Friends Sunday Meetup, at which Darwin and Darwin Day are sure to come up.  Why not be the one to start the Darwin discussion! Read more here (http://centreforinquiry.ca/event/cfic-t-o-atheists-and-friends-meetup/2016-02-14/).

 

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