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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Darwin Day, 2009

We are excited to inform you that we will be hosting the 2009 Darwin Day event in the Noel Ryan auditorium of the Mississauga Central Library on February 10th at 7:00pm.

Our speaker is Dr. Jason Wiles, biology professor at the University of Syracuse and co-director of the Evolution Education Research Centre with Dr. Brian Alters at McGill University in Montreal. He will be speaking to the public on the topic of evolution in education and why this basic tenet of biological life on earth is still misunderstood and refuted by a majority of the general population.

2009 being the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, one would have thought that evolution would have been as common a concept at that of gravity or heliocentricity. However, this is not so as evidenced by current polls.

Understanding why required appropriate research, funding for which was denied by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) a major source of funding for such research. It was the focus of an issue of Humanist Perspectives and a source of major embarrasment for the Council.

Prior to Dr. Wiles presentation, we will have Dr. Douglas Currie, Entomology curator at the Royal Ontario Museum, give us a sneak preview into the new Schad Gallery of Biodiversity portraying the natural history of a planet in peril.

HPHC November meeting

Our November meeting was held in the boardroom of the Creditview Animal & Bird Hospital in Mississauga and was attended by several members.

The topic of discussion centred around our mortality as recent celebrations at the beginning of the month revered the souls of the dearly departed. Death is a topic not very often visited in daily conversations and it is an issue that all too often is swept under the rug unless confronted through reality.

The 'spirited' discussion covered much ground from dying with dignity to living wills. It was resolved that we should invite members of the Canadian group Dying with Dignity to one of our next meetings to hold a workshop on preparing a Living Will.