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Darwin Day 2018

in Sydney will be a members and friends meeting to be held:
at the February HuVAT meeting Humanist House 10 Shepherd St Chippendale Sunday 11 Feb 3 pm.
If you consider yourself a friend and wish to attend but don't know any member send an email from the link below.
Refreshments will be served after the talks.

Richard Dawkin honorary president of Darwin Day.
Darwin Day's international home page

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Darwin Day 2018

Presented by Erik Aslaksen, Victor Bien and John August

This will be our 2018 celebration of Charles Darwin`s theory of evolution (now more accurately thought of as the law of evolution).

Erik Aslaksen will be speaking in reference to his book The Social Bond. Erik tells us:
Society is a highly complex, dynamic, and self-organising system, but in this presentation I show how we can discern some of its basic features by means of a very simple model, in which the exchange of information between individuals plays the dominant role.
Erik's experience, gained in the US, Switzerland and Australia, covers fields as diverse as microwave components, power electronics, quantum electronics, and communications, and ranges from basic research to corporate management. In recent years his main interest has been in the area of systems engineering, engineering management, philosophical aspects of engineering, and the interaction between technology and society. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW and of the International Council on Systems Engineering, and is the author of six books (one with W.R. Belcher) and more than eighty papers.

Victor Bien, past Treasurer, will be speaking on the biological and geological history behind the Tasmanian Tiger, tracing Australia back to the super continent Gondwana hundreds of millions of years in the past. A new discovery has been driven by the discovery of whole specimens of baby thylacines stored in a basement since the 1930s so the scientists could reconstitute its DNA!
Darwin saw a beginning, but could not forsee the grand developments which have followed.

John August will report on two so-called "living fossils" in Australia - the Nothomyrmecia ant, currently found around Poochera in SA. This ant has behaviour unlike many other ants, suggesting few evolutionary changes since changing from a flying wasp to an ant. Also the Wollemi Pine - a recent discovery in the Wollemi forest, having distinctive bark and very much appreciated. I'll also take a look at some of the biological categories in terms of families, species and so on.

These talks are intended to stimulate questions and discussion inspired by these words from Darwin's book The Origin of Species, "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.".

Charles Darwin (b. 12 Feb 1809) whose promulgation of the Theory of Evolution, or descent with modification through natural selection, has had as profound an effect on how we view and understand the natural world as any other scientific theory ever proposed.

Darwin's influence on Modern Thought. Click here for paper by Ernst Mayer

Some key points from the article: Darwin introduced historicity into science (chemistry and physics do not have this character); he rejected all supernatural explanations; he refuted typology or essentialism -which says living things are invariant and stable, they are not; variation characterises living things, refutation of typology amounts to refutation of racism amongst other things...

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