Future Meetings

Religious Reactions to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

Date:        Monday 18th February 2019, 7.30pm
Venue:    Willerby & Kirkella Parish Institute, 58 Main St, Willerby, Hull HU10 6BZ

February 2019 will be the 210th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and John Hawkins, Chair of the group will be talking about the religious reactions to Darwin’s theory of evolution. Some might say that the Victorian public that first read or read about the Origin of Species were, for the most part, not biblical literalists believing in the literal truth of Genesis. For decades the most enlightened writers in the fields of science and religion had accepted that much of the Old Testament, and Genesis in particular, had to be read in a metaphorical sense. Nevertheless, since it was published Darwin’s theory has had a profound impact on the religious idea that human beings exist because of the deliberate act of creation of a wise and benevolent designer, what the clergyman William Paley compared to a watch maker. A famous debate took place in 1860 in Oxford between the Humanist Thomas Henry Huxley (great grandfather of the former president of Humanists Uk, Sir Julian Huxley) and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce (son of the Hull MP William Wilberforce). The debate is best remembered today for a heated exchange in which Wilberforce supposedly asked Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey. Huxley is said to have replied that he “would not be ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor, but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth”.

John says of his talk:

“Darwin published the 1st edition of ‘The Origin of Species’ on 24 November 1859. The majority of leading scientists at the time were either hostile to his theory of natural selection, or remained silent. What little support he got was from younger scientists, notably Thomas Henry Huxley, and on the continent Ernst Haeckel, a German biologist. In the US, Asa Gray took up his cause. While undoubtedly there was opposition to the theory from some religious figures and theologians, some of the strongest support came from leading churchmen, notably the Rev Charles Kingsley, the Rev Prof Baden Powell, the Rev Frederick Temple and on the continent David Friedrich Strauss, author of a highly controversial life of Christ.”

All welcome.

New Venue:

Willerby & Kirkella Parish Institute, 58 Main St, Willerby, Hull HU10 6BZ

The Willerby & Kirkella Parish Institute is within the library building shown above and we will be meeting in the front room on the ground floor on the left as you enter the building.

We will be continuing to have our book club events at the Tiger Inn.


United Nations Peacekeeping

 

Date:        Monday 18th March 2019, 7.30pm
Venue:    Willerby & Kirkella Parish Institute, 58 Main St, Willerby, Hull HU10 6BZ

UN Peacekeeping helps countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace by sharing the burden and ability to deploy troops and police from around the world, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to address a range of mandates set by the UN Security Council and General Assembly. Nigel de Lee was originally going to give his talk in November 2018 but it was cancelled because of a hospital appointment and so he will be talking to us at our March 2019 meeting where he will be giving a brief introduction to the United Nations and Peacekeeping, with a focus on the basic principles and matters arising from them. All welcome.


Law and Morality

Date:        Monday 15th April 2019, 7.30pm
Venue:    Willerby & Kirkella Parish Institute, 58 Main St, Willerby, Hull HU10 6BZ

Our speaker for our April meeting will be David Horsley who was for many years a history master at Trinity House School in Hull and is a former Mayor of Beverley. He is a theology graduate of Lampeter University and continues to be actively involved in local politics. David last spoke to us in March 2017 on Religious Education and schools. On this occasion he will be addressing the issue of Law and Morality. It has been said that Law is essentially a set of rules and principles created and enforced by the state whereas morals are a set of beliefs, values and principles and behaviour standards which are enforced and created by society. Legal and moral rules can be isolated with the former being created by the legislative institution of parliament, whereas the latter have evolved with and through society and are the standards which society in general accepts and promotes. Some laws mirror the majority of society’s moral view such as the prohibition against murder, but other laws such as those relating to same sex marriage, abortion or euthanasia are contested. All welcome.


AGM followed by “Humanism and the Intellectual Dark Web”

 

Date:        Monday 20th May 2019, 7.30pm
Venue:    Willerby & Kirkella Parish Institute, 58 Main St, Willerby, Hull HU10 6BZ

We will begin our May meeting with a brief Annual General Meeting to confirm the executive committee. If anyone is interested in joining the committee, please let group Secretary Tim Stephenson know as soon as possible. The AGM will be followed by a talk by Tim Stephenson on the rise of what has been jokingly referred to as “The Intellectual Dark Web” which is a network of public intellectuals including well known Humanists who have come to prominence because of the shift from mainstream media to increasingly popular online podcasts and YouTube conversations that has taken place in recent years. These conversations on politics, philosophy, science and religion are now watched my millions of people with a growing number of live events such as the discussion between new atheist Sam Harris, Professor Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray at the O2 arena in London in July 2018 which was attended by 8000 people. Tim is a keen supporter of the IDW and associated online magazines such as Quillette and will be making the case for a close fit between Humanism, the classical liberal tradition, freethought and the Intellectual Dark Web. See here for a recent article about the IDW: Looking for Enlightenment on the Intellectual Dark Web


The Relevance of History to Us


Date:    Monday 17th June 2019, 7.30pm
Venue: Willerby & Kirkella Parish Institute, 58 Main St, Willerby, Hull HU10 6BZ

Our June 2019 meeting will be a talk by Dr Christopher Fear on the subject “The Relevance of History to Us”. Dr Fear says of his talk,
“Each autumn, in universities from Cardiff to Sydney, students find themselves in seminar rooms invited to discuss the writings of long-dead European men concerning events and situations that are no longer happening—usually beginning in ancient Athens. But these people are not history students. They are not literature students either, necessarily. They are very often politics undergraduates, who are primarily interested in the political problems of today and perhaps tomorrow. So what relevance does history have to them, and to us, given that history does not really repeat itself, and that no historian has successfully demonstrated that his discipline can provide “laws” which we might use for predicting the future? In this presentation I discuss the way in which this and related questions were tackled in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s by the Oxford philosopher, archaeologist, and historian of Roman Britain, R. G. Collingwood. Collingwood’s answers do not help us to see into the future; they help us to do something much more important: to understand better the problems of the present.”
Dr Fear lectures in Politics at the University of Hull.
All welcome


Towards a National Education Service, an NES like the NHS:  thinking outside the box?


Date:    Monday 15th July 2019, 7.30pm
Venue: Willerby & Kirkella Parish Institute, 58 Main St, Willerby, Hull HU10 6BZ

Our July 2019 meeting will be a talk by Dr Jackie Lukes who is a long time contributor to the national debate on education through her work at the University of Hull, contributions to parliamentary consultations on education and work with the Socialist Education Association. Jackie spoke to the group on faith schools ten years ago in September 2009. This time she will be talking about the thinking behind the creation of a National Education Service, something that is a current Labour Party manifesto commitment. Is this an opportunity to create a cradle to grave education service free at the point of delivery similar to the NHS? All welcome.



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.