February 2019 Newsletter
Upcoming HAAM Events
The Incompatibility of Science and Religion
Saturday, February 16th, Canad Inns Polo Park, 1405 St Matthews Ave, 5:30 PM
Can science and faith to co-exist peacefully? We welcome scientist Dr. Simon Potter to talk about his experiences.
Click here for details.
HAAM and Eggs Brunch
Sunday, February 24th, Perkins Restaurant, 1277 Henderson Hwy, 9:30 AM
Our monthly informal get-together. All welcome.
Click here for details.
Save the Dates
Monthly meeting – Video Night, Saturday March 9th, Canad Inns Polo Park, 5:30 PM. More info TBA.
Check our Events calendar for the latest information on all upcoming events.
Upcoming Community (Non-HAAM) Events
Advance Care Plans (Health Care Directives)
Presented by members of the Dying with Dignity Winnipeg Chapter.
Next workshops in Winnipeg will be held on Saturdays at 10:30 AM –
February 16 at the Fort Garry Library, and April 13 at the Henderson Library.
There will also be a workshop in Steinbach on Saturday March 30 at 1:00 PM.
Click here for details and to register.
For up-to-date information on upcoming non-HAAM events, visit our Community Events page.
Charity of the Month
The Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program
Did you know that burrowing owls do NOT actually burrow? They get their name because they nest in burrows, but they cannot dig the burrows themselves. They rely on animals like badgers, foxes, gophers, and ground squirrels to dig burrows for them.
So what happens when land is cultivated and farmers exterminate ‘pests’ like foxes and gophers? You guessed it… There are fewer than a dozen pairs of burrowing owls left in Manitoba, and fewer than 800 left in all of Canada.
And yet a single family of burrowing owls can eat 1800 rodents and 7000 insects during a summer. Wouldn’t it be better to encourage the owls to flourish?
The Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program studies these owls, and in 2010, began reintroducing breeding pairs to southwestern Manitoba. The program also offers educational presentations to increase public awareness of the owls and the importance of grassland conservation, and works with landowners who have suitable habitat to encourage protection for the owls.
You can see burrowing owls in ‘person’ at the Assiniboine Park Zoo and Fort Whyte Alive.
Let’s give a hoot about our fellow creatures and help these beneficial little birds get re-established in our grasslands.
Donations for the Charity of the Month are accepted at any of our events. Tax receipts are available for donations over $10. If you would like to donate but cannot attend the meeting, you can do so via the ‘Donate’ button on this page. Just include a note letting us know that the money is for the charity.
Election results from our AGM
Meet your new HAAM executive for 2019:
President – Pat Morrow
Secretary – Cheri Frazer
Treasurer – Henry Kreindler
Members at Large are Tammy Blanchette, Norm Goertzen, Tony Governo, Donna Harris, Sherry Lyn Marginet, Arthur Prystenski, Caren Schramm, Dorothy Stephens, and one other who needs to remain anonymous.
Many thanks to Donna Harris for serving as President for the past 6 years! (And also for staying on as a member-at-large.) You’ll find a list of our executive (with photos) here.
Reminder – Humanist Canada Essay Contest
Don’t forget to encourage your favorite teenager to enter this competition. There is $4000 in total prize money. Open to all Canadian high school students. Entry deadline is March 1st. Complete contest details are available on the Humanist Canada website.
Partners for Life Report (blood donations)
We pledge 25 donations a year, and in 2018 we came SO close! At year end, we had 24.
Let’s get off to a great start to meet our goal this year! If you haven’t donated recently (or ever), do it now!
Click here for all the information you’ll need to get started. (Everyone is welcome to participate; you don’t have to be a paid HAAM member, just a supporter.)
February 12th is Charles Darwin’s 210th birthday, and International Darwin Day – a global celebration of science and humanity. Darwin Day inspires people throughout the world to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity and hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin. More info, including educational resources, are at DarwinDay.org.
Today, more than ever, we need to stand up for science!
Spread the word! (click image to enlarge)
HAAM President interviewed for Canadian Atheist
One of Pat Morrow’s first assignments as our new president was an interview for the Canadian Atheist website. In addition to discussing his own beliefs and background, Pat took the opportunity to tell readers a little bit about HAAM.
“Everybody has issues and goals that are important to them and they all overlap. What’s important is we harness these passions and all work together. Not just inside our local organizations but all across the country.”
Awesome interview, Pat! Inspirational, positive, and insightful!
Make sure to read the whole interview.
Book of the Month: Why Evolution is True
If you’ve left conservative Christianity (or any other religion, for that matter), you may now accept evolution, but still not really understand how and why it’s true. Or maybe you understand the basics, but have a hard time explaining them and coming up with examples to demonstrate your points when challenged by a creationist. Then this book is for you! Author Jerry Coyne is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, where he specialized in evolutionary genetics – so he knows his stuff. Why Evolution is True provides a succinct summary of the facts supporting the theory of natural selection, and reviewers note that you don’t have to be a scientist to understand it.
Coyne explains the basics of evolution in just under 300 pages. He covers the geological and fossil history that corroborates it; how fossils came to be; missing links and transitional fossils; animal vestiges; embryonic development; bad design; bio-geographic separation; dimorphism; dead genes; genetic drift; sexual selection; and the evolution of the modern-day human. There’s also a great glossary of terms at the back.
Along the way, Coyne also discusses (and refutes) common creationist arguments, such as that `everything happens by chance’, and misinterpretation of dating methods.
Why Evolution is True has been called “one of the best current books on evolutionary theory”. It’s a clear look at a complex subject. You’ll want to have this material in your knowledge base.
All our library books and DVD’s are free to borrow for paid HAAM members.
Visit our Library page if you would like to borrow this book.
Meeting Venue Update (decisions, decisions…)
We’ll be back at Canad Inns Polo Park for our February and March meetings, since the U of W was booked for only one meeting as a trial of the venue. So what was the verdict?
On the plus side for the room at the U of W: it’s centrally located and on major bus routes, the meeting room is larger, it’s quiet and private, we can serve food and drinks, members can bring their own food and drinks (which makes attending more affordable), and noise level isn’t an issue.
On the minus side: parking isn’t as convenient, and the table set-up made it difficult to socialize and mingle.
On balance, there were more positives than negatives, so we’ve decided to try the U of W again, hopefully for our meetings in April and May. We plan to re-organize the tables to facilitate socializing, and maybe get a pot of coffee going… As with any major decision, we will never be able to please everyone 100%.
Stay tuned for updates. When meeting dates and locations are confirmed, they’ll be posted on our Events page.
Why doesn’t God make himself Known?
Good question. It was posed online to Peter Enns, who is a member of HAAM’s Steinbach offshoot, the Eastman Humanist Community.
You can read his answer on our Perspectives page. What would your answer be?