The Humanist Union of Madison past events page
with links to meeting recordings, photos, and related web pages

Past Events Since 2004
WhenTopicLocation
Sun. Sept. 26, 2004 Brainstorming luncheon with Sarah Oelberg at which a group of members of Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society decided to form a humanist discussion group. Restaurant
Mon. Oct. 25, 2004 6:30 pm Organizational meeting. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Nov. 21, 2004
noon
A discussion of the history of humanism in America, particularly the humanist heritage of Unitarian Universalism as reviewed in a series of 3 sermons by Scott Prinster posted, at that time, on the First Unitarian Society web site. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Jan. 16, 2005 noon - 1:30 pm Lunch and discussion of Humanism and Its Aspirations, Humanist Manifesto III, available online at http://www.americanhumanist.org/3/HumandItsAspirations.htm. Prairie Meeting House
Wed. Feb. 23, 2005
7:30 - 8:30 pm
The Conflict Between Darwinism and Religion - talk and discussion led by Galen Smith, following Prairie's "Midweek Meal" potluck supper 6:30 - 7:30 pm. (Our February meeting, a bit belatedly, honors Darwin Day) Prairie Meeting House
Sat. March 12, 2005
By email vote we settled on the name Humanist Union of Madison for our group.
Sun. March 20, 2005
noon-1:30 pm
Lunch and discussion of Dominionism in American Politics led by Doleta Chapru. See Theocracy Watch for information on this topic. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. April 3, 2005
noon-1:30 pm
Lunch and discussion on Ethical Culture: An Overview led by Bridget and Thomas Doxtater, who were members of the Ethical Humanist Society of Greater Chicago before moving to Wisconsin. They have provided an outline of their presentation. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. May 8, 2005
noon-1:30 pm
Lunch and discussion of skepticism led by Susan Hagstrom. Two magazines, Skeptic published on the west coast and Skeptical Inquirer published on the east coast, were referred to. Susan provided general information on skepticism from the point of view of the West Coast skeptic methods, dealing with the 5 points of good skepticism brought up by Robert Todd Carroll, the author of the Skeptic's dictionary, handed out of a list of her favorite fallacies in argumentative styles, and said a bit about the 6 or 7 national skeptics conventions she has attended.
We also voted to affiliate with the American Humanist Association.
Prairie Meeting House
Sun. May 29, 2005
10:30 am
HUM was invited to join the Ethical Humanist Society of Greater Chicago at their annual Memorial Day weekend at Lake Geneva. Six of us (5 adults and a 1½ year old) drove down on Sunday morning in time for their 10:30 am platform program and stayed for lunch and other activities until mid-afternoon. Read the invitation from Thomas Hoeppner. Conference Point Center, Williams Bay WI, on Lake Geneva
Sun. July 17, 2005
noon
Lunch with Rev. Sarah Oelberg (humanist UU minister who was instrumental in the founding of our group last fall) at a Madison restaurant. This followed the 10 am Sunday morning program at Prairie UU Society where she spoke on the topic "Spirituality Without God". Met at Prairie Meeting House
Sun. July 31, 2005
during lunch
We shared a picnic table [photo] on the grounds of Park Hall in Sauk City, home of the UU affiliated Free Congregation of Sauk County, during the potluck lunch following the 5-congregation annual summer gathering of area UU churches hosted by the Sauk City congregation. We had an open discussion and met some new humanists. Park Hall, 307 Polk St., Sauk City WI
Sat. Sept. 17, 2005
4:30-5:30 pm
What's up with the Unitarian Universalist Infidels? Bob Park lead this discussion which was attended by about a dozen Prairie people, including some who have not been involved in previous Humanist Union discussions. We talked about the Unitarian Universalist Infidels mission statement, their presentations at the last two UUA General Assemblies, and their effort to provide a voice for UU atheists, agnostics, skeptics, freethinkers and secular humanists who are feeling increasingly marginalized within UU congregations that have moved theologically to the right. Prairie UU Society annual retreat at Bethel Horizons
Fri. Sept. 23, 2005
4 - 5 pm
It was not a Humanist Union event, but several Humanist Union participants joined an overflow crowd of about 250 to hear a talk by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Edward Larson on From Scopes to Intelligent Design, A Brief History of the Evolution/Creation Teaching Controversy. [poster] Rm 325-326 at the UW Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.
Sun. Oct. 9, 2005
noon-1:30 pm
Lunch and discussion - Reviewing Our First Year. We shared highlights from the Humanist Union's first year of monthly discussions (listed above) and collected ideas for future meetings. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Nov. 6, 2005
noon-1:30 pm
Lunch and discussion on Building an Ethical Society (or Whatever Happened to the Enlightenment) led by JoAnn and Thomas Hoeppner, leaders of the Ethical Humanist Society of Greater Chicago. The free-ranging discussion was attended by 22 adults and 2 two-year olds. Several of those attending had been involved this year in monthly discussions in the Madison Ethical Discussion Group of the Eight Commitments of Ethical Culture. Prairie Meeting House
Fri. Dec. 23, 2005
6-9:30 pm
Click for local details HumanLight celebration, cosponsored with the Doubters Group of First Unitarian Soc., and including a potluck, singing, a mug exchange, and more. [Details] [Poster (PDF)] First Unitarian Society Lower Meeting House
900 University Bay Dr
Sun. Jan. 29, 2006
noon - 1:30 pm
Tom Paine's AGE OF REASON Today (on his birthday) led by Warren Hagstrom. (Age of Reason is available online at http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/.) We shared a light lunch, with the presentation and discussion starting about 12:15 pm. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Feb. 12, 2006
noon - 2 pm
H.M.S. Beagle Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design: A Historical Perspective, presented by UW Prof. Ronald Numbers, author of Darwinism Comes to America, Harvard University Press, 1998, starting with lunch at noon, presentation starting at 12:20 pm. Our Darwin Day (Darwin's birthday) program was attended by 23 of us. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. March 19, 2006
noon - 1:30 pm
Mark TwainMark Twain on Religion was Marcia Johnson and Al Nettleton's topic. As usual we started with lunch at noon, with their presentation starting about 12:20 pm. They read selections from Letters From the Earth and other books. Marcia provided the dozen in attendance with printouts of Twain's quotes on religion from http://twainquotes.com/religion.html. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. April 16, 2006
7 - 9 pm
American Fundamentalists (Christ's Entry into Washington in 2008) Benefit Concert & Painting Display - Los Angeles artist and musician Joel Pelletier stopped in Madison to entertain us with his music and inform us with his mural-sized 8'x14' traveling painting titled American Fundamentalists (Christ's Entry into Washington in 2008) which can be seen at http://www.americanfundamentalists.com/. Joel says his work warns of the "dangers of loss of separation of church and state in American". Local musician Maggie "Catfish" Siegfried took the first set (guitar and vocals), Joel talked about his painting and "American Fundamentalism and the Threat to Democracy and Freedom of Faith", and Joel performed the closing set (guitar, vocals, piano). [press release] [poster] [more] Prairie Meeting House
Sun. April 30, 2006
noon - 1:30 pm
Barbara Park reported on Rabbi Michael Lerner's new book, The Left Hand of God, and on his April 22nd Keynote Address in Madison on Taking Our Country Back From the Religious Right. Prairie Meeting House
May 21, 2006
noon - 1:30 pm
A potluck picnic at noon was followed by Bob Park leading a discussion on the International Humanist and Ethical Union with a presentation titled IHEU, Voice for Humanist Values at the UN and Around the World for 50 Years. This followed a 10 am Sunday morning Free Forum at the Free Congregation of Sauk County on Ethical Culture, presented by Bridget and Thomas Doxtater, leaders of the Ethical Circle of Sauk County. Bob used the book International Humanist and Ethical Union 1952-2002 - Past, present and future, which had just been made available online. Excerpts from the book and the IHEU Web site are available as a 19 page Word document. [photo] FCSC's Park Hall
307 Polk St
Sauk City
June 25, 2006
5 - 7 pm
Beth Wortzel and Midge Miller provided a first hand report on the Spiritual Activism Conference which took place May 17-20 at All Souls Church, Unitarian, in Washington DC. (See http://www.tikkun.org/community/spiritual_activism_conference/ for preconference details and Rabbi Lerner's report for his long May 22 email message about the conference.) The meeting was cosponsored by the Humanist Union, the Program Committee of Prairie UU Society, and the Madison Ethical Discussion Group (MEDG). The evening started with a Prairie UU Society/HUM/MEDG potluck with Midge and Beth at 5 pm, followed about 5:45 pm by Beth's conference report, Midge's broader comments, and open discussion. An audio tape recording* of this meeting is available, and it is also available here as a 66 MB MP3 file. Prairie Meeting House
Fri. July 21, 2006
7 pm
A group of us went to see Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Westgate Cinemas, Westgate Mall on Whitney Way
Sun. July 23, 2006
noon - 1:30 pm
Doleta Chapru led a discussion on Kevin Phillips' book American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century. (See http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0603/S00296.htm for Penguin Books press release on the book.) Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Aug 27, 2006
noon - 1:30 pm
Following a potluck lunch Warren Hagstrom led a discussion on Public Attitudes Toward Atheists and Effective Responses, using research done at the University of Minnesota as published in the April 2006 issue of American Sociologial Review in an article entitled Atheists As "Other": Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society. Prairie Meeting House
Sat. Sept 16, 2006
4:30 - 6 pm
We viewed and discussed the 1 hour DVD The God Who Wasn't There at Prairie UU Society's annual retreat. See http://thegodmovie.com for more on the movie. Prairie UU Society annual retreat at Bethel Horizons
Sun. Oct. 22, 2006
5 - 7 pm
Prof. Denis Collins spoke to an evening potluck supper gathering on his new book, "Behaving Badly: Ethical Lessons from Enron." Prof. Collins is an award-winning author and teacher. He is Professor of Business at Edgewood College in Madison, where he is responsible for Social Responsibility and Business Ethics--components in the school's Business Programs. The meeting was jointly sponsored by the Humanist Union and the Madison Ethical Discussion Group. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Nov. 19, 2006
noon-1:30 pm
The Thought and Writing of Sam Harris, presented by Barbara Park and Randy Converse. Barbara talked about The End of Faith. We started off by listening to Holly Near's song I Ain't Afraid (which she sang at her Oct. 29 concert in Madison). Randy talked about Harris' contribution to Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place. Reference was also made to Harris' new book, Letter to A Christian Nation. Twenty people attended, and we had a lively discussion. An audio tape recording* of this meeting is available, and side 1 and side 2 of the tape are available here as MP3 files. [By and about Sam Harris - read or listen] Prairie Meeting House
Dec. 4, 2006
7 - 8 pm
Discussion of Values and the Golden Rule on WORT's community radio Access Hour by a panel including Bob Park of the Humanist Union, Rev. Charles Wolfe of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, Amir & Imam Salih Erschen of the Madison Muslim Dawa Circle, and (via phone hookup) Rabbi Shais Taub of Lubavitch of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Rev. Prakash Shakti of the Integral Yoga Institute, Buckingham VA. An audio tape recording* of this program is available, or you can listen to it online here (52 MB MP3). WORT, 89.9 FM
Madison
Sun. Dec. 17, 2006
12:30 - 2:30 pm
HumanLight celebration. We had a potluck luncheon, group singing of humanist-friendly songs, a poem reading and conversation for humanists in the greater Madison area and their families and friends. 21 attended. Here is the song book we used (PDF). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Jan. 28, 2007
noon-1:30 pm
The Faith Healers, presented by Susan Hagstrom. As usual, we started with a potluck lunch at noon. Then starting about 12:20 pm, Susan described a number of the techniques used by faith healers, and how James Randi and his colleagues uncovered their frauds. [resources] Prairie Meeting House
Sat. Feb 10, 2007
9 am - noon
UW-Madison's Second Annual Darwin Day - talks by Janette Boughman (Zoology), Elliott Sober (Philosophy), Bret Payseur (Genetics), and Michael Muehlenbein (Anthropology, UW Milwaukee). [details] [poster] UW Humanities Building, room 3650
Sun. Feb. 18, 2007
noon-1:30 pm
We discussed Darwin and evolution with UU minister Ralph Tyksinski and wildlife biologist Kathy Converse. This followed the 10 am Sunday morning program at the Prairie Meeting House at which Rev. Ralph's topic was Honoring Darwin. Besides followup discussion on the morning presentation we heard a preview of the 3 Sunday programs on evolution Kathy is planning for Sunday mornings at Prairie in March to May. Prairie Meeting House
Wed., March 14, 2007
7 - 8:15 pm
Sean Carroll The Making of the Fittest : What the DNA Record Reveals About Evolution by Genetics Professor Sean Carroll. Very recently, an important new aspect of DNA has been revealed: it contains a detailed record of evolution. That is, DNA is a chronicle of how the creatures that inhabit our planet have adapted to its many environments. Four of us from HUM attended this fascinating illustrated presentation and heard Prof. Carroll discuss this new DNA record and how it enables us to see how the fittest are made. Rm 1360 Biotechnology Center, 425 Henry Mall, UW-Madison
Thurs., March 15, 2007
7 pm
Movie poster The Humanist Union sponsored a viewing and discussion of the film Jesus Camp, using Prairie's projector and movie screen in the main meeting room. The event was free and open to the public, and attracted 8 students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a dozen previous HUM participants. We had a lively discussion following the film. (See http://www.jesuscampthemovie.com/ for information on the movie.) Prairie Meeting House
Sun., April 1, 2007
noon-1:30 pm
Galen SmithGalen Smith led a discussion on Naturalism, a Science-based Alternative to Faith-based Religions. See the Tenets of Naturalism, especially paragraph 2. The program is available as a 77 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). Prairie Meeting House
Sun., May 6, 2007
noon-1:30 pm
Randy Converse led a discussion on ideas from a monograph by his brother Steven titled Free Enough: Doing What Comes Naturally. (There is a link to the full 90 page document on the middle of the page at http://naturalism.org/.) Potluck lunch at noon, presentation about 12:20 pm. Prairie Meeting House
Sun., June 3, 2007
noon-1:30 pm
Andy Somers Andy Somers followed up on his series of Sunday morning programs on propaganda at Prairie UU Society by leading a discussion on RELIGIOUS PROPAGANDA: How to recognize and deal with it. Potluck lunch at noon, presentation 12:20 - 1:30 pm. The program is available as a 78 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). Prairie Meeting House
Sun., July 29, 2007
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch and discussion of Marilyn Westfall's June 9, 2007 presentation to the American Humanist Association's annual conference titled Humanism and UUism: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, led by Barbara Park, who attended two humanist events at the UUA General Assembly in Portland in June that had to turn people away because the rooms were filled to capacity. The presentation to the AHA is available online. Prairie Meeting House
Sun., Aug. 19, 2007
11:45 am - 2 pm
Jonathan Miller Potluck lunch at 11:45, 12:30 viewing and discussion of first hour of BBC TV series "A Brief History of Disbelief", written and narrated by English author, director and commentator Jonathan Miller. An extended version of an interview of Miller in the current issue of The Humanist magazine is avialable online. Prairie Meeting House
Sun., Sept. 2, 2007
3 pm
Informal discussion of church/state issues. Home of Ruth Calden, 4606 Waukesha St, Madison
Sun., Sept. 9, 2007
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:20 pm report on the Aug. 9-12 Skeptic's Toolbox 2007 workshop in Eugene, OR on Changing Minds, led by Susan Hagstrom. Prairie Meeting House
Fri., Sept. 14, 2007
9 - 10:30 pm
Viewing and discussion of second hour of BBC TV series "A Brief History of Disbelief", written and narrated by English author, director and commentator Jonathan Miller. Bethel Horizons Nature Center near Dodgeville
Fri. Oct. 12, 2007
5 - 6:50 pm
Dinner with Matthew LaClair, 17 year old speaker at the Freedom From Religion Foundation 2007 - 30th Annual Convention and recipient of their "Thomas Jefferson Student Activist" award. Matthew made New York Times headlines by exposing classroom proselytizing in his public school. (The New York Times article is available online.) The event was organized by the Humanist Union and Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics at UW-Madison. Seven of us joined Matthew and his father Paul for a very stimulating discussion over pizza. You can listen to this remarkable young man on a Free Thought Radio archive and hear one of his recordings of his teacher in class. [Event photos] Ian's Pizza
115 State St
Sun., Oct. 14, 2007
noon - 1:30 pm
Lori Lipman Brown Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 pm presentation by Lori Lipman Brown, Director of the Secular Coalition for America - A Place at the Table: How the Nation's First Lobbyist for Non-theists is Enjoying the Feast. A September interview of Lori is available online. 28 of us attended the program. [more] The program was broadcast on WIDE-LP, 99.1, low power FM radio in Madison, at 10 am the following day, and is available as a 57 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). [Event photos] Prairie Meeting House
Mon., Oct. 15, 2007
10 am
Humanism Today, a series of programs from either the Humanist Union of Madison or Humanist Network News. This was our first broadcast of a Humanist Union program, our program with Lori Lipman Brown which had taken place the afternoon before. The program can be heard by listening to the MP3 file linked to from the Oct. 14, 2007 program listing above.
(WIDE-LP ended two weeks of test broadcasting on Oct. 20. Broadcasting will resume when needed hardware is obtained. Programs planned for the Wider Horizons hour, which will include Humanism Today, are posted at http://madisonwi.us/WIDE-LP/MP3s/.)
WIDE-LP 99.1 FM
Sun., Nov. 4, 2007
noon - 1:30 pm
Dan Barker
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 pm presentation by Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation on Losing Faith in Faith. The program is available as a 53 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended).
Prairie Meeting House
Sun., Nov. 18, 2007
7 pm
Viewing and discussion of third and final hour of BBC TV series "A Brief History of Disbelief", written and narrated by English author, director and commentator Jonathan Miller. Home of Kathy and Randy Converse, 630 Pickford St.
Sun., Dec. 9, 2007
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:20 pm presentation on Humanism's Contemporary Challengers: Who controls our public image? Doleta Chapru reviewed contemporary groups and individuals who specifically define humanists as enemies to be loathed and feared, giving us a number of direct quotations. She also provided examples of writers whose recent books are supportive of humanism. The program is available here as a 60 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). Prairie Meeting House
Sun., Jan. 6, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon followed by presentation on Protecting Freedom of Speech in an Electronic Age. Some 24 of us heard Al Nettleton describe some of the threats and identify the major organizations working to protect the free exchange of ideas. Prairie Meeting House
Sun., Feb. 3, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:20 pm presentation on The Dalits' Struggle for Human Rights by John Eligandi, who worked for People's Action for Rural Awakening in Andhra Pradesh, India, from 2003 to 2005. The program is available here as a 57 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). [background article] Prairie Meeting House
Sat., Feb. 9, 2008
9 am - 4 pm
See 2/08 Natural History Magazine of Neil Shubin cover story Several Humanist Union participants attended Darwin Day 2008 at the UW-Madison, with Neil Shubin and others. Two of the talks are available to listen to online: Neil Shubin: Discovering how Fish Evolved to Walk: The Story of Tiktaalik (54 MB MP3) and Don Waller: Reshaping the Tree of Life: Human impacts on the future of evolution (53 MB MP3). [press release] UW campus
Sun., March 2, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, discussion starting 12:30 pm led by Prof. Tom Givnish - More about evolution of life on islands, an informal discussion with Tom Givnish. The program is available here as a 54 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). Prairie Meeting House
Sun., April 6, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 pm discussion on Richard Dawkins, the Man and his Message, following his March 11 talk on campus, led by Alfred Christiansen and Christina Klock. [Read about Dawkins] Prairie Meeting House
April 17 - 18, 20087th Annual International Bioethics Forum: Evolution in the 21st Century, cost $75. BioPharmaceutical Technology Center
Fri., April 18, 2008
6 pm
Eugenie Scott joined an informal panel of Humanist Union folks for a Q&A session which was recorded for broadcast on WIDE-LP. Dr. Scott was in Madison for the 7th Annual International Bioethics Forum. She is the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). After a potluck supper we spent a fascinating hour and a half plus hearing about her role in organizing fellow faculty members at the University of Kentucky to testify (successfully) against a proposal before the Lexington school board to start teaching creationism in the public schools in 1980, about the subsequent formation of the NCSE and its role in the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case in Pennsylvania in 2005, about the Peabody Award winning PBS NOVA documentary on that case, about the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and the deceptive description of the project given by the movie makers when they asked her, Richard Dawkins and others to be interviewed for it, about Science Debate 2008, and about Project Steve. Hear a brief audio clip of Dr. Scott on the NOVA web site. The first 1-1/2 hr. of the Q&A session is available here as an 83 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). Barb & Bob Park's house
Sun., May 11, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 pm Evolution in the 21st Century: Forum Report by Kathy Converse and Christina Klock, reporting on the 7th Annual International Bioethics Forum which they attended April 17-18. The program is available here as a 58 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). Prairie Meeting House
Sun., June 1, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Click to enlarge We had a potluck lunch at noon and a 12:30 pm presentation by Skip Evans on Americans United for Separation of Church and State, followed by discussion. Skip is the former president of the Atlanta Chapter of Americans United and interim president of the reactivated Wisconsin chapter. Humanist Union participants were joined by members of the AU-Wis. Chapter, bringing attendance to about 30. Prairie Meeting House
Sun., July 13, 2008
10 am
Religious Convictions: Reflections on Faith Healing, Children, and the Law was the Sunday morning program topic at Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society, presented by Shawn F. Peters. His talk is available here as a 24 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online. Prairie Meeting House
Sun., July 13, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 pm discussion led by Shawn F. Peters of UW-Madison on Faith Healing, Children, and the Law. The program is available here as a 57 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). [See his recent book] [Religion News Service interview] Prairie Meeting House
Sun., Aug. 3, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 pm discussion led by humanist UU minister Sarah Oelberg, who reported on the decline of the HUUmanists within the UUA, the New Humanism Conference hosted by the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard in April 2007, and the World Humanist Congress 2008 in Washington DC in June sponsored by the IHEU. The program is available here as a 51 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Sept. 14, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 pm panel on What it means to be a humanist. Bob Park, Doleta Chapru and Galen Smith gave their personal perspectives, followed by open discussion. 16 of us attended. The program is available here as a 59 MB MP3 file which you can download or listen to online (high speed connection recommended). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Oct. 5, 2008
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon. After 12:30 pm we heard from Ron Solomon, a vice president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, about Humanist Thought and Action in the U.S. and abroad. We talked about what we might address in a study group on ethical humanism and ethical culture. Hear the program here (57 MB MP3 file, 61 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Nov. 2, 2008
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm discussion on Politics and Religion: In Reason We Trust led by Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and co-host of Freethought Radio on Air America. Hear the program here (67 MB MP3 file, 73 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sat. Dec. 13, 2008
6 to 9 pm
Click for larger view For our December meeting, the Humanist Union hosted a HumanLight celebration again this year, with candles, music and food (potluck). Also, this year, participants brought favorite quotations from the books or speeches of Barack Obama to share.
About 200 of his speeches, from 2002 to 2008, are available online at http://www.barackobama.com/speeches/index.php. Of particular interest to humanists, at http://www.barackobama.com/issues/faith/ there is a link to a June 2006 speech by Obama which the Washington Post says "may be the most important pronouncement by a Democrat on faith and politics since John F. Kennedy's Houston speech in 1960 declaring his independence from the Vatican".
Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Jan. 18, 2009
2 pm
Click for larger view
Outing to Bartell's Drury Theatre to see a matinée performance of Blasphemy: An Unholy Trinity of Musicals by Catherine Capellaro. (See www.walmartopia.com/blasphemy). They were wonderful performances.
Bartell's Drury Theatre
113 E. Mifflin Street
Sun. Feb. 1, 2009
10 am
In honor of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, a presentation by Dr. Jane Shoup on Darwin and His Dangerous Idea. (You can hear the talk here (40 MB MP3 file, 44 min. long), and a transcript is also available.) Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Feb. 1, 2009
noon - 1:30 pm
Click for larger view Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30-1:30 pm Darwin Day Discussion led by Dr. Jane Shoup, who briefly traced the more noteworthy court cases surrounding evolution and creationism (Scopes Trial through Kitzmiller v. Dover). The 23 of us present had a lively discussion on population growth and our planet's limited resources. Hear the program here (63 MB MP3 file, 69 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sat. Feb. 7, 2009
9 am - 4:30 pm
Darwin Day 2009, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, featured talks by Sean Carroll, Patricia McConnell and Jeremy Jackson; a panel presentation by James Crow, Jeremy Jackson and Molly Jahn; and other events on the UW campus as listed on the schedule. Recordings of several of the talks are available online. UW Microbial Sciences Building [directions]
Sun. Feb. 8, 2009
12:45 pm
First monthly meeting of study group on Ethical Humanism as a Religious Approach, led by Ron Solomon, had 15 participants. See the outline of proposed topics. The discussion started at 12:45, but most of us started with a potluck lunch at noon. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Feb. 8, 2009
3 - 5 pm
Madison Skeptics heard about and discussed the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. (See http://skeptics.madisonwi.us/ and http://www.meetup.com/madisonskeptics/.) Claddagh Irish Pub, Middleton
Sun. March 1, 2009
12:45 pm
Second monthly meeting of study group on Ethical Humanism as a Religious Approach, led by Ron Solomon. See the outline of proposed topics. At our first meeting Ron handed out these 3 pages on Deed Before Creed: P1, P2, P3; and these 4 pages on Religion the Humanist Way: P4, P5, P6, P7 (small PDF files). Discussion starts at 12:45, potluck lunch at noon. (No Humanist Union meeting this month. Many of us are participating in this study group.) Prairie Meeting House
Sun. April 5, 2009
12:45 pm
Third monthly meeting of study group on Ethical Humanism as a Religious Approach, led by Ron Solomon. See the study materials online. The discussion started at 12:45, with a noon potluck lunch. (No Humanist Union meeting this month. Many of participated in this study group meeting.) Prairie Meeting House
Sun. May 3, 2009
3 pm
Madison Skeptics and the Humanist Union had a joint meeting to hear a presentation by Prof. Ronald Numbers on Anti-Evolutionism in America: From Creation Science to Intelligent Design. About 35 attended. Hear the program here (83 MB MP3 file, 1 hr. 31 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. May 17, 2009
12:45 pm
Fourth monthly meeting of study group on Ethical Humanism as a Religious Approach, led by Ron Solomon. See the study materials online. Discussion at 12:45, potluck lunch at noon. (The study group will not meet in June.) Prairie Meeting House
Sun. May 24, 2009
depart Prairie 9 am
Humanist Union trip to Sauk City to hear Speaker Andrew Kerr of the Free Congregation of Sauk County address Exploring Secular Humanism: Is It A Religion?. Rides to and from Sauk City were provided. Park Hall, 307 Polk Street, Sauk City
Sun. May 31, 2009
fair weather start time: noon
"Nonbelievers of Greater Madison Spring Family Picnic" sponsored by the Humanist Union, the Madison Brights and Madison Skeptics at Marlborough Park. See http://nonbelievers.madisonwi.us/ for event photos. Marlborough Park
Fri. June 19, 2009
5:30 - 7:30 pm
Potluck supper at 5:30, speaker and discussion 6:15 - 7:30 pm on The Atheist Alliance International (AAI). Our speaker was August Berkshire, VP of AAI, making his final stop on the multi-state tour outlined here. This was a joint meeting with the Madison Brights. Listen to the program here (63 MB MP3 file, 69 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. July 5, 2009
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Click for larger view Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm discussion led by humanist UU minister Jane Esbensen, who is also a graduate of the Humanist Leadership Studies Program of The Humanist Institute in New York. Listen to the program here (54 MB MP3 file, 59 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Aug. 2, 2009
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Our program, on Growth strategies for free thinking groups: what works and doesn't work?, started a little after 12:30 pm. A panel of representatives from the local Madison Brights, Madison Skeptics and Firist Unitarian Society Doubters Group and the national American Ethical Union and International Humanist and Ethical Union shared their experiences to start things off. An open discussion followed which ran beyond 1:30 pm. (Our potluck lunch from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm was incorporated into a larger all-Prairie UU Society potluck.) Listen to the program here (70 MB MP3 file, 77 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Sept. 6, 2009
noon - 4 pm
Click for larger view Potluck late summer family picnic in Marlborough Park. The Humanist Union, the Madison Skeptics, and the Madison Brights cosponsored a picnic for all greater Madison area free thinkers, humanists, skeptics, nonbelievers, agnostics, atheists, and their friends and families. Some newcomers came after seeing a short article in the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal with the headline "No God? No problem!" The article concluded "If an all-knowing, all-seeing, nonexistent deity rends the skies in anger and causes Biblical - in the historical and cultural sense only - amounts of rain to fall, the picnic will take place at the Prairie Meeting House, 2120 Whenona Drive." The weather was lovely. Marlborough Park
Sat. Sept. 12, 2009
6 pm
The Humanist Union, Madison Skeptics, and Madison Brights met to socialize over wine, cheese, cookies and other snacks with Sean Faircloth, the new Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. The evening's schedule was:
6:00 pm   Reception
6:30 pm Presentation
7:15 pm Questions and Answers
7:45 pm More socializing
Sean's presentation was on One Nation Under the Constitution. Listen to the program here (69 MB MP3 file, 76 min. long) and see photos here. For more about Sean see http://www.secular.org/bios/Sean_Faircloth.html.
Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Sept. 20, 2009
2 - 3:30 pm
The Madison Skeptics hosted Dr. James Conway, Assoc. Prof. - Pediatric Infectious Disease, School of Medicine and Public Health at the UW-Madison. Dr. Conway talked about vaccination issues. Listen to the program here (96 MB MP3 file, 1 hr 45 min. long). Following the meeting, the Skeptics adjourned to the Hubbard Avenue Diner (just across the parking lot) for continued conversation and refreshment. Middleton Public Library
7425 Hubbard Ave
Sun. Oct. 4, 2009
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm presentation by Ron Solomon on the American Ethical Union's decision to join the Secular Coalition for American and how he came to be named treasurer of the latter organization. Prairie Meeting House
Sat. Oct. 24, 2009
1 pm
Click for group pictures Discussion led by Ron Solomon on the Secular Coalition for American and issues they are engaged with this year in their lobbying in Washington DC, at the Prairie UU Society fall retreat. Listen to the program here (45 MB MP3 file, 49 min. long). Pine Lake United Methodist Camp, Westfield WI
Sun. Nov. 1, 2009
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, discussion 12:30 - 1:30 pm on issues raised by the insertion of religion into the health care debate in Washington, led by Julie Merrill-Quinn. Prairie Meeting House
Wed. Nov. 4, 2009
7 pm
The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and the DNA Record of Evolution by Sean Carroll. This is lecture 3 in the 150th anniversary "On the Origin of Species" lecture series organized by the Darwin 150 Project. A number of Humanist Union participants attended. [flyer] UW Microbial Sciences Bldg 1220
Sun. Dec. 6, 2009
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm presentation and discussion on How We Decide: from Logic to Faith led by Richard Russell. Richard provided copies of the following four handouts: blue, orange, pink, and green. Listen to the program here (63 MB MP3 file, 69 min. long), and read Richard's related Capital Times opinion piece here. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Dec. 6, 2009
1:30 - 2 pm
Humanist Union of Madison open house for Interfaith Awareness Week. Anyone planning to come just for the open house was encouraged to call the Meeting House between 11:30 and 12:30 Sunday at 271-8218. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Dec. 13, 2009
2 pm
The Why Files: Science Magazine meets Mad Magazine. Madison writer David Tenenbaum spoke to the Madison Skeptics about his involvement with the WhyFiles and science writing. Listen to the program here (71 min.). Middleton Public Library, 7425 Hubbard Ave
Wed. Dec. 23, 2009
5:30 - 9 pm
Click for event photos
Annual HumanLight celebration. See local event website for details. [flyer]
Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Jan. 3, 2010
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Click for larger view Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm group discussion on Humanist review of 2009 news stories/program ideas for 2010. Listen to the program here (60 MB MP3 file, 66 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Mon. Jan. 25, 2010
5 pm

Charles Darwin Versus Himself: The Secret Life of a Reluctant Revolutionary by David Quammen. [flyer] (See "Darwin's First Clues" by Quammen in the Feb. 2009 National Geographic.)
UW Microbial Sci., Ebling Symposium Center
Tue. Feb. 2, 2010
7:30 pm
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: An Evening Lecture by the outspoken author of "Infidel". Due to security screening of those entering the theater, the lecture did not actually start until 8:30 pm. The line of those with tickets waiting to enter stretched the length of the Memorial Union and down the stairs adjacent to the parking lot. [photos] [Event page on Facebook] Listen here to the lecture (49 MB MP3 file, 53 min. long) and most of the Q&A period (33 MB MP3 file, 36½ min. long) (back of the balcony recordings). Wis. Union Theater
Sun. Feb. 7, 2010
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm illustrated presentation for Darwin Day on Ardipithecus and human origins by Prof. John Hawks. (Click here for a National Geographic article on this 4.4 million year old human ancestor. For much more, see the series of articles available from Science magazine.) Listen to the program here (61 MB MP3 file, 67 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Mon. March 1, 2010
7:30 pm

Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer - part of the UW Distinguished Lecture Series. [more] You can watch the lecture here.
UW Memorial Union Theater
Sun. March 7, 2010
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm presentation on Gay-Affirming Religious Groups: Good News for Human Rights by Doleta Chapru. Listen to the program here (44 MB MP3 file, 48 ½ min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. April 18, 2010
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Click for group pictures Potluck lunch 11:45 am, discussion on The Human Heart of Humanism 12:30-1:30 pm led by Jane Esbensen, who shared the way she thinks about humanism and how it plays into her UU ministry. We also talked about how Sweden's experience in eliminating poverty might provide lessons that would be useful here. Listen to the program here (119 MB MP3 file, 87 min. long). Prairie Meeting House downstairs
Sun. May 2, 2010
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, presentation at 12:30 pm on Secular Humanism: Is It a Religion? by Andrew Kerr, Speaker of the Free Congregation of Sauk County, followed by discussion until 1:30 pm. Listen to the program here (84 MB MP3 file, 61 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. June 6, 2010
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
An all-Prairie potluck lunch at 11:30 am was followed about 12:40 pm by a photography slide show on The Capitol and the Moon, a Modern Stonehenge by John Rummel. We were impressed with the planning and photographic efforts over a period of more than 5 years that led to the photo of the moon and the capitol building, taken from 4 miles away across the lake, that is featured on the cover of the state's current Blue Book. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. June 20, 2010
noon - 3 pm
Atheists and Agnostics of Wisconsin Summer Solstice Picnic potluck to which all Madison area freethinkers were invited. [more] Henry Vilas Park, 702 S Randall Ave
Mon. June 21, 2010
6 pm
Potluck supper and video for World Humanist Day. This was an informal gathering for our first celebration of this annual event. After supper we watched a film considered controversial by some on the religious right, Heart of the Beholder. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. July 11, 2010
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Click for larger view Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm discussion of Good without God: Greg Epstein and the new humanism. Greg Epstein is the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University. Our discussion was led by Barbara Park, Doleta Chapru, and Bob Park, based on Epstein's 6/24/10 talk at the UUA General Assembly in Minneapolis and on his book Good without God. Listen to the program here (94 MB MP3 file, 68½ min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Aug. 1, 2010
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 - 1:30 pm presentation: Documenting The Amaz!ng Meeting 2010: A photographic report by Ingrid Laas, who took photos at "The Amazing Meeting 8", held in Las Vegas July 8-11, 2010, with James Randi, Richard Dawkins, Paul Kurtz, Michael Shermer, D.J. Grothe, Sean Faircloth, and many others. These meetings are "a celebration of critical thinking and skepticism" sponsored by the James Randi Educational Foundation, with thinking people gathering annually "to share learning, laughs and life with fellow skeptics and distinguished guest speakers." Listen to the program here (89 MB MP3 file, 65 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sat. Sept. 18, 2010
1 - 2 pm
"An Ancestor's Tale" presented by Al Nettleton at Prairie UU Society's annual fall retreat near Westfield WI. Al talked about some of the religious perspectives he gained from his atheist-Unitarian grandfather, passed around an old Bible with his grandfather's critical comments written in the margins, and talked a bit about his other grandparents. Then everyone else had a chance to talk about the religion(s) of their grandparents. Pine Lake Camp
Sun. Oct. 3, 2010
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Richard Russell Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 - 1:30 pm presentation on Justice and the Common Good by Richard Russell. We discussed issues raised by Michael Sandel in Chapter 10 of his 2009 book Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?, including attitudes toward separation of church and state by presidents Kennedy and Obama. About 20 of us attended. Listen to the program here (76 MB MP3 file, 55 min. long) and view the test results here. Prairie Meeting House
Thur. Oct. 14, 2010
7 pm

"Is God the Problem? - Christianity vs Atheism", a debate between Dan Barker and Dinesh D'Souza. See the Facebook page and poster for the event.
Wis. Union Theatre
Sun. Nov. 7, 2010
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 - 1:30 pm presentation on "Humanism and the Federal Government: Pro's and Cons" by Susan Hagstrom. Listen to the program here (98 MB MP3 file, 71 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Dec. 5, 2010
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Galen Smith
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm presentation on "Religious aspects of population growth" by Galen Smith. Listen to the program here (68 MB MP3 file, 50 min. long).
Prairie Meeting House
Sept. 9 to Dec. 9,
2010, Thur. noon

Evolution Seminar Series at the UW for the fall semester. These scholarly lectures, presented by the JF Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, are open to the public.
1360 Genetics/Biotech
UW-Madison
Thur. Dec. 23, 2010
5:30 to 10 pm

Our annual HumanLight celebration. Photos.   [flyer]
Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Jan. 2, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm presentation on "Bioethics beyond Terry Schiavo" by Mary Frantz. Listen to the program here (91 MB MP3 file, 66 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Feb. 6, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Click for larger view Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm discussion of the recent Christopher Hitchens v Tony Blair debate in Toronto on "Be it resolved, religion is a force for good in the world". Discussion leaders were Ken Haydock, Doleta Chapru and Frank Power. A transcript of all but the concluding remarks in the debate is available online and videos of the debate can be seen on YouTube. Also available is this BBC online news story. Listen to the HUM discussion here (78 MB MP3 file, 56½ min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Thur. Feb. 10, 2011
7 pm
The movie Creation, about the life of Charles Darwin, was shown and followed by a discussion of the film with UW History of Science professors Ron Numbers and Lynn Nyhart, and the University of Minnesota's Alan Love. UW Memorial Union
Play Circle
Thur. - Sat. Feb. 10 - 12, 2011Click for schedule
Darwin Day events on the University of Wisconsin campus. [more]
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, UW campus
Sun. Feb. 13, 2011
2 pm
Madison Skeptics met upstairs in the loft for food and drink, rational conversation, and good fellowship. No speaker was scheduled, just informal conversation, and we had lots of it. Barriques Coffee Trader, 127 W. Washington
Sun. Feb. 27, 2011
2 - 4 pm
Science Pub talk and discussion with Dr. Anders Carlson, professor of geology in the area of paleoclimatology. See related WSJ article. Brocach Irish Pub
7 W Main St
Fri. March 4, 2011
7:30 - 10 pm

We watched the Bill Maher film "Religulous" (101 min. long) in preparation for Sunday's discussion.
Barb & Bob's home, 5610 Hammersley Rd
Sun. March 6, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, video and discussion 12:30-1:30 pm. We viewed the 20 minutes of monologues by Bill Maher filmed at locations around the world and included on the DVD of his movie "Religulous". Then we discussed the film and the issues it raised. Listen to the HUM discussion here (63 MB MP3 file, 46 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. March 6, 2011
8:30 pm
Science Pub special meeting to preview a DVD of the TV show based on Olivia Judson's book, Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation. We'll meet in the dining area next to the bar at about 8:30 pm and then pop in the DVD about 9:00 to 9:15 when the crowd starts clearing out. [more] Avenue Bar
1128 E Washington Ave.
Sun. March 27, 2011
2 - 4 pm
Science Pub talk and discussion with Dr. Ronald Numbers, Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine. Brocach Irish Pub
7 W Main St
Sat. April 2, 2011
2 - 5 pm
United Coalition of Reason National Director, Fred Edwords, conducted a three-hour PR and media training seminar for members of all area groups in the "community of reason", whether the groups had committed to participate in a Madison area CoR or not. The seminar was free. It was in Rm B130 Van Vleck Hall, UW-Madison. ("Community of reason" is a generic term that includes all self-identified nontheistic organizations, whether they call themselves atheist, agnostic, bright, Ethical Culture, freethought, humanist, Pastafarian, rationalist, realist, skeptic, secularist, Unitarian Universalist, or whatever else.) [more] Rm B130
Van Vleck Hall
UW-Madison
Sun. April 3, 2011
10 - 11:15 am

Sunday morning service speaker at Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society was Fred Edwords presenting "A Humanist Look at Myth, Symbol, and Art". [more]
Prairie Meeting House
Sun. April 3, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm PowerPoint presentation on the history of the United Coalition of Reason billboard and bus ad campaigns by Fred Edwords, their National Director. Listen to the HUM program here (87 MB MP3 file, 63 min. long). (An older version of Fred's talk and slide show is available online at http://www.blip.tv/file/3059356.) Prairie Meeting House
Jan. 27 - May 5, 2011
noon Thursdays
Click for schedule
Evolution Seminar Series at the UW for the spring semester. These scholarly lectures, presented by the JF Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, are open to the public.
1360 Genetics/Biotech
UW-Madison
Sun. May 1, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Richard Dawkins. Click for larger view. Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm report and discussion on the American Humanist Association 70th Anniversary Conference by Susan Hagstrom, Bob Park and Barb Park, who attended the conference April 7-10 in Cambridge MA. You can see the full schedule of events, with links to audio recordings, here. Read about the conference awardees here and read an article about the conference here. Finally, see the short list of speaker links. On 5/1 we talked about some of these speakers and their topics and answered questions about others. Listen to the program here (83 MB MP3 file, 60 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Fri. May 13, 2011
7 pm

BC the black cat hosted his first Friday the 13th party at Bob and Barb Park's house. The humans brought food to share.
5610 Hammersley Rd
Sun. May 29, 2011
2 - 4 pm
Science Pub Nanotechnology Workshop by Angela Jones. Registration in advance is needed. You can register via the Science Pub website. Brocach Irish Pub
7 W Main St
Sun. June 5, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Jeff Sharlet. Click for larger view. Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm report on the April 10 keynote talk at the American Humanist Association Annual Conference by Jeff Sharlet and discussion of his book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power and his more recent book, C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. Presenters were Doleta Chapru and Susan Hagstrom. Twenty five of us attended. (See also the 1-1/2 min. video and synopsis and review of C Street:.) Listen to the program here (88 MB MP3 file, 64 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Fri. June 24, 2011
7 - 10:45 pm
Eight of us enjoyed film night at Rose & Galen's house. We watched Julia Sweeney's Letting Go of God and shared conversation and snacks. 218 Durose Terr.
Sun. June 26, 2011
2 pm
June Science Pub featured Dr. Judith Kimble. Dr. Kimble's lab works on molecular controls of stem cells in a small model organism called C. elegans. She talked about that research and how it fits into the broader scheme of stem cell controls and current progress in stem cell research in general. The discussion was upstairs at Brocach as usual. Brocach Irish Pub on the Square
Sun. July 10, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm open forum program, Compassionate engagement: personal examples of what we humanists are doing to make a better world. We took turns talking about what each of us has devoted time to, either individually or through participation in a group, to improve the lives of others at the local, state, national or international level. Listen to the program here (83 MB MP3 file, 61 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Tue. July 12, 2011
7 pm
Art Schmaltz presented a talk on "The Lunar Cycles and Human Evolution" at the UW Space Place Forum. UW Space Place, 2300 South Park St.
Sun. July 24, 2011
10 am
Multi-congregation program at the historic meeting hall of the Free Congregation of Sauk County on the theme of Humanism. A representative of each participating congregation presented a humanist reading. Park Hall
307 Polk St.
Sauk City WI
Sun. Aug. 7, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm

Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm program and discussion on Robert Green Ingersoll (1833 - 1899). We shared quotes from Ingersoll's writing and quotes from others writing about him. (For a collection of Ingersoll quotes, see quotes.) Listen to the program here (72 MB MP3 file, 53 min. long).
Prairie Meeting House
Wed.-Sun.
Aug. 24-28, 2011
The Democracy Convention in Madison.
Audio recordings of some of the sessions can be listened to online at Wisconsin Democracy Report.
Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 W Dayton St, & MATC downtown
Sun. Aug. 28, 2011
2 pm
August Science Pub will feature Dr. Emily Stanley. She researches aquatic biogeochemistry and how it is affected by restoration and management activities and river-wetland connections. Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sun. Sept. 11, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 - 1:30 pm program: Looking Back, Looking Forward. September marks 7 years since a group of Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society members decided to form the humanist discussion group which subsequently became the American Humanist Association affiliated Humanist Union of Madison. We talked about our favorite programs over the last seven years, ideas for future programs, and how to best take advantage of the publicity generated for our group by the Madison Area Coalition of Reason coming publicity campaign. Listen to the program here (74 MB MP3 file, 54 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Fri. Sept. 23, 2011
7 - 10 pm
The Spitfire Grill
Film night at Kathy & Randy's house. We shared snacks and conversation and enjoyed watching The Spitfire Grill.
630 Pickford St
Sun. Sept. 25, 2011
11 am - 2 pm
View flyer Madison Area Coalition of Reason picnic at Brittingham Park on Monona Bay. We reserved the picnic shelter, which kept us out of the rain that sprinkled briefly. [flyer] Brittingham Park, 401 South Brittingham Place
Sun. Sept. 25, 2011
2 pm
Elliott Sober Madison Science Pub speaker for September is Dr. Elliott Sober from the UW-Madison Department of Philosophy. He discussed intelligent design and creationism and answered questions in a lively discussion. Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sun. Oct. 2, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 - 1:30 pm a report from the Wisconsin blogosphere, from Blue Cheddar in person. See her blog stories, Facebook and Twitter posts and YouTube videos. Listen to the program here (88 MB MP3 file, 64 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Oct. 30, 2011
2 pm
Chris Hittinger Madison Science Pub. What could be more appropriate for Science Pub than an exploration of lager yeast? Dr. Chris Todd Hittinger, Assistant Professor of Genetics at UW Madison, describes a detective story that goes from 15th century Bavaria to Andean forests of Patagonia. Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sun. Nov. 6, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
John RummelPotluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 - 1:30 pm a discussion of Richard Dawkins' new book, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True, led by John Rummel. Listen to the program here (89 MB MP3 file, 63½ min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Dec. 4, 2011
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 - 1:30 pm informal planning session for this month's big event, the HumanLight party on Dec. 23. Prairie Meeting House
Through Dec. 15, 2011
noon Thursdays
Click for schedule
Evolution Seminar Series at the UW for the fall semester. These scholarly lectures, presented by the JF Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, are open to the public. (Some past talks can be listened to online at http://madisonwi.us/WIDE-LP/MP3s/index.htm#tue or http://madisonwi.us/WIDE-LP/Citywide/wh/index.htm#fri.)
1360 Genetics/Biotech
UW campus
Fri. Dec. 23, 2011
5:30 - 8:30 pm
Annual HumanLight party, now sponsored by MadCoR. We gathered in the Hearth Room of the Landmark Meeting House at 900 University Bay Drive. Music was provided by Ken Lonnquist and we had an environmental presentation by Dr. Shahla Werner of the Sierra Club. [details] 900 University Bay Dr
Sun. Jan. 15, 2012
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm presentation on "James Dobson: why his group Focus on the Family endangers America" by Susan Hagstrom. Listen to the program here (82 MB MP3 file, 60 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Jan. 29, 2012
2 pm
Madison Science Pub featured Mark Krasberg of UW Madison's Ice Cube project. Mark discussed the research project and showed us some amazing photographs of whales and other wildlife from Antarctica. Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Thur. - Sat. Feb. 9 - 11, 2012
Darwin Day 2012 - Unnatural history: What bizarre biology can tell us about evolution with speakers from the Field Museum, the Univ. of Virginia and Harvard. [schedule] [poster]
WID & Union South, UW
Sun. Feb. 26, 2012
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45 am, 12:30 pm discussion with Howard Katz, president of the Humanist Society, on Inside Humanism Today - Q&A. Howard is also on the Board of the American Humanist Association. We had a lively free ranging discussion touching on numerous topics. Listen to the program here (128 MB MP3 file, 70 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Feb. 26, 2012
2 pm
Madison Science Pub featured David Perlman, a grad student working with Richie Davidson doing brain imaging research on meditation. He talked about the implications of neuroscience for religion, spirituality, and society, and vice versa. His background is in physics. Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Thur. March 22, 2012 noonHow Eyes Evolved, Ivan Schwab, MD, UC-Davis. [poster] 1111 Genetics/Biotech
UW-Madison
Fri. March 23, 2012 7 pm
Film night at Rose & Galen's house. We watched The God Who Wasn't There and shared snacks and conversation.
218 Durose Terr.
Sun. March 25, 2012
2 pm

Madison Science Pub features Dr. Clark Johnson, Principle Investigator at the Wisconsin Astrobiology Research Consortium. He will discuss the origin of life, and the evolution of life on earth.
Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sun. April 1, 2012
noon - 1:30 pm
Reason Rally photo by Ron Solomon Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 pm report on the Secular Coalition's Lobby Day for Reason on March 23 by Ron Solomon and photos and commentary on the Reason Rally held in Washington DC on March 24th by Ingrid Laas and Ron. Listen to the program here (81 MB MP3 file, 70 ½ min. long). (One of the most popular speakers at the rally was Adam Savage of Mythbusters TV. Listen to the concluding 3½ min. of his talk here.) Prairie Meeting House
Fri. April 13
7:30 pm
BC the black cat hosted his 2nd Friday the 13th party at Bob and Barb Park's house. Humans brought snacks to share (with each other).
5610 Hammersley Rd
Sat. April 21, 2012 2 pmTim Farley: What's the Harm?, talk to Madison Skeptics. Listen to the program here (128 MB MP3 file, 94 min. long). Middleton Public Library
Fri. - Sun.
April 27 - 29
Freethought Festival 2012 with Sean Faircloth, PZ Myers, DJ Grothe, Kevin Padian and 17 other speakers. This is the official launch event for the Madison Area Coalition of Reason, free and open to the public. [more] Rm 3650, Mosse Humanities Bldg
Sun. April 29
2 pm
Madison Science Pub featured a panel of three UW-Madison grad students discussing the pros and cons, safety and risks of nuclear power. Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
present - May 10
noon Thursdays
Click for schedule
Evolution Seminar Series at the UW for the spring semester. These scholarly lectures, presented by the JF Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, are open to the public.
1360 Genetics/Biotech
UW-Madison
Sun. May 13
12:30 - 1:30 pm
Highlights from and discussion of the Freethought Festival 2012, led by 3 who were there: Bob Park, Ken Haydock and Leslie Starczewski. The festival was held in Madison April 27-29. Listen to the program here (71 MB MP3 file, 52 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. May 27, 2012
2 pm
Madison Science Pub featured UW-Madison geologist Dr. Shanan Peters discussing research just published in Nature magazine. Dr. Peters and co-author Dr. Robert Gaines propose a model for the formation of hard body parts during the Cambrian period over 500 million years ago that involves the mineralization of the oceans during a period of erosion. Listen to the program here (113 MB MP3 file, 1 hr. 22½ min. long). Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sun. June 10
12:30 - 1:30 pm
Susan Hagstrom led a program on Numbers, superstition and philosophy. Participants were asked to bring their favorite superstition/tale on 0, 13, or infinity to discuss. Listen to the program here (54 MB MP3 file, 40 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. June 24, 2012
2 pm
Madison Science Pub features Emily Miller, a teacher in the Madison Metropolitan School District for 13 years, and a member of the district's science leadership team. She has facilitated staff development with Inquiry for the 21st Century, a partnership with area school districts and the University of Wisconsin.
Miller will discuss the collaborative effort to develop the Next Generation Science Standards, in which she participates on the writing committee. The standards aim to be rich in content and practice across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. Partners in this effort include the National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sun. July 1, 2012
11:30 am - 1 pm
Noon - 1:00 pm an informal Q&A session with Peter Anderson on the topic of his morning presentation to Prairie UU Society on "Jefferson Is In My Mirror". Bring your thoughts on whether the material advantages Jefferson enjoyed as a slaveholder have a connection to materialism in America today. Our potluck was earlier than usual, starting at 11:30 am. Listen to the program here (79 MB MP3 file, 57 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Aug. 5, 2012
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 - 1:30 pm program on Out of the Flames by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone, presented by Barbara Park and Rose Smith. Barbara covered the part of the book dealing with the life of Michael Servetus and Rose covered the part the dealing with the few surviving copies of his book rejecting the trinity after John Calvin had him burned at the stake. Listen to the program here (96 MB MP3 file, 70 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Sept. 2, 2012
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 - 1:30 pm program on Today's Deportee presented by Mary Somers on her experiences as a volunteer nurse with No More Deaths in the Tucson AZ area and giving medical aid on the Mexican side of the border to people who have been recently deported. Listen to the program here (42 MB MP3 file, 71 min. long) Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Sept. 9, 2012
2 pm
Madison Science Pub speaker was Paul Radspinner, president of FluGen. The theme of his talk, in Paul's own words: "Mixing Species and the Universal Influenza Vaccine" or "What the hell are they doing with their pigs at the Indiana State Fair????" A former Hoosier waxes eloquent on the dangers of getting too close to Wilbur, the possible solutions and the impact on Charlotte's (and everyone else's) web. Listen to the program here (130 MB MP3 file, 95 min. long). Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sat. Sept. 22, 2012
11 am - 2 pm

Madison Area Coalition of Reason fall picnic at James Madison Park on Lake Mendota. [flyer]
614 East Gorham St, Madison
Sun. Oct. 7, 2012
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, program 12:30 to 1:30 pm, "Feminists Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory," on the issues raised in the current issue of the Humanist magazine by Gloria Steinem, Susan Jacoby, Sikivu Hutchinson and others, presented by Kathy Converse and Penny Eiler. You can read the Humanist articles online at http://thehumanist.org/september-october-2012/. Listen to the program here (89 MB MP3 file, 65 min. long).
Sun. Oct. 14, 2012
4 pm
Madison Science Pub speaker was Harold Tobin. Does it seem like destructive tsunamis and earthquakes are somehow more common in recent years? You're not imagining things; the Earth has been especially tectonically active since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Harold Tobin, professor of Geoscience at UW-Madison, studies the fault zones deep beneath the ocean floor that cause these earthquakes, with the goal of trying to understand how they work, why some cause tsunamis and others do not, and more. He discussed his research and the challenges and rewards of research at sea. Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sun. Nov. 4, 2012
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, program 12:30 to 1:30 pm on positive and negative aspects of the Latter Day Saint movement, presented by Jennifer Bunner, a former Mormon. Listen to the program here (93 MB MP3 file, 67 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Nov. 11, 2012
2 pm

Madison Science Pub speaker was UW Zoology grad student Joshua Pultorak, who is studying testosterone and pair-bonding effects on ultrasonic courtship vocalizations in a monogamous mouse.
Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sun. Dec. 2, 2012
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon. Our 12:30 to 1:30 pm program titled Holiday Wish List was an open discussion of things each of us would like to change about the holiday celebrations that affect us. Prairie Meeting House
present - Dec. 13, 2012
noon Thursdays

Evolution Seminar Series at the UW for the fall semester. These scholarly lectures, presented by the JF Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, are free and open to the public.
1360 Genetics/Biotech
UW-Madison
Mondays, 10 am
and 5 pm
Image from 11/18/11 Isthmus Humanism Today, a series of programs from the Humanist Union of Madison, the Humanist Hour of the American Humanist Assoc., or elsewhere, on west Madison's low power FM station, WIDE-LP. See the Monday program schedule. WIDE-LP
99.1 FM
SW Madison
Sun. Dec. 23, 2012
5 - 8 pm
Our annual HumanLight celebration was at Prairie this year. We started with a potluck supper followed by music and dancing. Our singing was accompanied by Ron on guitar and Mary on piano. Then Chris on sax and Ron on guitar entertained us with some duets. See the event website and our flyer. Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Jan. 6, 2013
~noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at 11:45, 12:20 to 1:20 pm program led by Al Nettleton on Searching for a Humanist meme in the ether. Al reported on his recent review of the treatment of humanism on the Internet. Listen to the program here (62 MB MP3 file, 45 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sun. Jan. 13, 2013
2 pm
At Madison Science Pub our speaker is Natalie Hagen, PT, DPT, who is a physical therapist at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. She has been in practice for 27 years, primarily in the acute and critical care areas. Special interests include working with patients who have sustained neurologic injury - particularly spinal cord injury and stroke, and those who have undergone solid organ transplant. She just completed a clinical doctorate where she looked at optimizing physical activity during hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) and she'll discuss physical therapy management of patients undergoing HSCT for cancer. Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Sun. Feb. 10, 2013
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon. The 12:30 to 1:30 pm program was an informal discussion with Shawn Francis Peters about his new book "The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era." [Video of the burning of draft files] Listen to the program here (106 MB MP3 file, 77 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
downstairs
Sun. Feb. 10, 2013
2 pm

Madison Science Pub features Dr. Riccardo Bonazza in the College of Engineering at UW-Madison discussing shockwaves.
Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, Madison
Thur - Sat.
Feb. 14 - 16, 2013
Darwin Day 2013 - The Mating Game - Reproductive Evolution in the Natural World
Life only exists because it can reproduce - and living organisms have sure found some odd ways to do it! Coinciding with Valentine's Day, this year the Crow Institute celebrates Darwin's birthday with a guided tour of some of nature's odder sexual strategies. Join us for the wild ride of evolution!
Schedule:
Thursday February 14
8am - 4pm: Teacher Workshop, led by Kristin Jenkins and UW-Madison faculty. Faculty presentations and demonstrations of hands-on activities. The cost for substitute teachers will be covered for participants. Lunch will be provided and participants will receive materials to take back to the classroom. Registration required.
7pm: Movie Night: Evolution Shorts: Love and Sex in the Natural World. Union South Marquee.
Friday February 15
7 pm: Keynote lecture by Kim Bostwick (Cornell University). Evolution Revealed: How to Evolve a Seductive Musical Instrument from Feathers. Location: H.F. DeLuca Forum
Saturday February 16
10am - 2pm: Tree of Life exploration stations and scavenger hunt. This activity is appropriate for all ages. Kids win prizes for completing the scavenger hunt. Location: Town Center at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
10:30 am: Lecture by Chris Smith (Willamette University): The most repulsive tree. The most remarkable fertilization system. H.F. DeLuca Forum
12:00 pm: Lecture by Matthew Dean (University of Southern California): Dolphin pelvic bones evolve in response to sexual selection. Location: H.F. DeLuca Forum
[more]
Town Center and H.F. DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery; movie at Union South
UW-Madison
Sun. March 3, 2013
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 to 1:30 pm program by Ken Haydock: The Secular Roots of Taoism - Q&A. Listen to the program here (82 MB MP3 file, 60 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Thur. March 7, 2013
7 pm
An informal evening of music with 2 members of the Freethought Band of Minnesota. Click below to listen:
Plains Song
Let the Good Times Roll
Good Without God
The Freethought Picnic
You Can't Push People Around
I've Got a Gal In Kalamazoo
Everybody Loves Saturday Night
Tell Me Why Parody
This Land Is Your Land - Freethought Version
He Never Returned
Vive La Compagnie
Take Five
5610 Hammersley Rd
Fri. - Sun. March 8-10, 2013Freethought Festival 2013 on the UW-Madison campus with Eugenie Scott, Greta Christina, Dale McGowan, Dan Barker and 11 other speakers. Talk titles linking to audio recordings of all 15 talks are posted on the WIDE-LP Freethinkers Hour page. Lowell Center
610 Langdon St.
Sun. April 7, 2013
noon - 1:30 pm
The Good News Club Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 to 1:30 pm program by Susan Hagstrom on Child Evangelism in our Public Schools: a report on the investigation by author Katherine Stewart. For background, listen to Katherine Stewart's 3/10/13 Madison talk: The Fundamentalist Assault on Public Education (48 min.), watch the 37 min. YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aISnyA6k5Io to which she contributed, or read her speech at FFRF's national convention in October in Portland, Ore., Christians mount public school stealth attack. Listen to the program here (91 MB MP3 file, 66 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sat. May 4, 2013
4 - 5 pm
Our May meeting was held as part of the annual spring retreat of Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society at a nature center near Dodgeville. Our topic was "Fundamentalist Mormons: When does civil liberty cross the line to criminal action?" based primarily on two books: Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer and Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower, led by Mary Frantz. Listen to the program here (79 MB MP3 file, 57 min. long). Bethel Horizons main building room 15
Sun. June 2, 2013
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch at noon, 12:30 to 1:30 pm program on The Secular Roots of Buddhism, Q&A - led by Ken Haydock. (No recording.) Prairie Meeting House
Sun. July 7, 2013
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch starting by noon, 12:20-1:30 open discussion on Building the Humanist Community in Madison - led by Ron Solomon & Bob Park. Listen to the program here (85 MB MP3 file, 62 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Saturday
August 3, 2013
6:30 pm
At our August meeting we viewed "Departures," a Japanese movie highly recommended by Jane Esbensen. No potluck this month, but there was snack food to share. We gathered and socialized starting at 6:30, and got the movie underway around 7:00.
Movie summary: Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and finds himself without a job. He decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled 'Departures' thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency. He discovers that the job is actually for a 'Nokanshi' or 'encoffineer,' a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art, acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed.
We concluded with a discussion of the life transition issues raised by the movie from the perspective of people who do not believe in an afterlife.
Barb & Bob's home, 5610 Hammersley Rd
Sunday Sept. 1, 2013
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch starting by noon, program 12:30 - 1:30 pm led by Susan Hagstrom on Favoring religion in the workplace: current actions in Wisconsin and abroad. Program description:
From Wisconsin's new 'religious liberty' proposed constitutional amendment, the Federal contraceptive coverage, IRS coverage attacks, and all around the world, the religiously minded are arguing that they should have the freedom to deny workers benefits, etc. based on their religion.
For background attendees were encouraged to read:
1) http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/proposals/sjr38.pdf
2) http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/02/23/147299323/law-student-makes-case-for-contraceptive-coverage
3) https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/human-rights-victory-new-mexico-court-says-religious-liberty-doesn't-justify
4) http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130617/NEWS06/130619302
5) http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/oops-five-conservative-irs-conspiracy-theories-fall-apart
6) Charity issues: http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/2500-fwvictory
https://www.au.org/church-state/julyaugust-2013-church-state/au-bulletin/around-the-world-Czech-republic-to-give
Listen to the program here (84 MB MP3 file, 61 min. long).
Prairie Meeting House
Saturday Sept. 28, 2013
3:30 - 5 pm
Booting Up Humanity with Professor John Hawks. The origin of our species was surprisingly complex. We have within us the genes of ancient Africans, Neandertals and a mysterious population known as the Denisovans. Only a relative handful of genetic changes mark humans today as different from these ancient people. So how did the characteristics of modern humans, including complex social systems, symbolic thought and language, evolve? New discoveries point in a surprising direction: Modern humans used a diversity of genes in a common social environment to bootstrap themselves to humanity. With the origin of modern human behavior, cultural evolution began to direct our genetic evolution, with rapid and unprecedented results. [more] Union South
1308 W Dayton St
Sunday Sept. 29, 2013
noon - 2 pm
Brave Genius: A Scientist's Journey from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize. Sean Carroll will chronicle the adventures of Jacques Monod, a co-founder of molecular biology, from the dark years of the German occupation of Paris to the heights of the Nobel Prize, his friendship with the great writer Albert Camus and his emergence as a public figure and leading voice of science. [more] Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
330 N Orchard St
Sunday Oct. 6, 2013
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch starting by noon, program 12:30 - 1:30 pm led by Stephanie Isaak on "FoodShare Outreach to Older Adults," a project she coordinates at the Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. Listen to the program here (76 MB MP3 file, 55 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sunday Nov. 3, 2013
noon - 1:30 pm
Potluck lunch starting by noon, program 12:30 - 1:30 pm - "Notes and Reflections on the Freedom From Religion Foundation 2013 Annual Convention" held Sept. 27-28 in Madison, presented by Susan Hagstrom and Henry Steinberger. Listen to the program here (58 MB MP3 file, 42 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sept. 12 - Dec. 12, 2013
noon Thursdays
Evolution Seminar Series at the UW for the fall semester. These scholarly lectures, presented by the JF Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, are free and open to the public. 1360 Genetics/Biotech
UW-Madison
Saturday Dec. 21, 2013
5 - 8 pm
HumanLight annual holiday party. We started gathering at the Prairie Meeting House at 5 pm for refreshments and conversation, with a potluck dinner from 5:30 to 6:30. Music by the Continental Drifters had been CANCELLED due to worries over an approaching snow storm. Prairie Meeting House
Sunday Jan. 5, 2014
11:40 am - 1:30 pm
After our usual potluck lunch, the program, presented by Ken Haydock, was from about 12:10 to 1:30 pm and was titled "Dr. Tyson Identifies Himself: A Consideration of Labels." The discussion starting point was a four-minute YouTube clip in which Neil deGrasse Tyson states his case at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzSMC5rWvos. Listen to the program here (114 MB MP3 file, 83 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sunday Feb. 2, 2014
noon - 1 pm
Potluck lunch starting by noon followed by open discussion of program ideas for 2014. Ideas so far (with links) are available here. Prairie Meeting House
Sunday March 2, 2014
noon - 1:30 pm
After our usual noon potluck lunch we heard 12:30 to 1:30 pm from Prairie member John Richards (back from Antarctica Feb. 15) about "The IceCube Project - Particle Astrophysics at the South Pole." The UW is playing a central role at this neutrino observatory. Listen to the program here (88 MB MP3 file, 64 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sunday April 6, 2014
noon - 1:30 pm
Our program from 12:30 to 1:30 pm by Nick Schweitzer of the UW Law School was on Evolution in the Courts. Nick reviewed the history of challenges in state and federal courts to the teaching of evolution, and the adaptation of those challenges to a changing environment over time, from Biblical Creationism to Intelligent Design and beyond. Listen to the program here (77 MB MP3 file, 56 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Fri.-Sat. April 11 - 12, 2014Freethought Festival 3, sponsored again this year by Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics (AHA!) at the UW-Madison. UW campus
Sunday May 4, 2014
noon - 1:30 pm
After our usual potluck lunch starting by noon, our program from 12:30 to 1:30 pm was led by Susan Hagstrom on "The younger generations and their Humanist activities - what's up." She reviewed what teenagers and college students who have been working on Humanist issues in the public area within the last couple of years have been doing. Listen to the program here (94 MB MP3 file, 68½ min. long). Prairie Meeting House*
present - May 8, 2014
noon Thursdays
Evolution Seminar Series at the UW for the spring semester. These scholarly lectures, presented by the JF Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, are free and open to the public. 1360 Genetics/Biotech
UW-Madison
Sunday June 1, 2014
noon - 2 pm
Potluck picnic at the Prairie UU Society Meeting House/Marlborough Park. Because of a 50% chance of rain in Madison on the morning of the picnic, we decided to meet at the Prairie Meeting House rather than at the picnic shelter at Marlborough Park in southwest Madison. However, about an equal number of picnic goers did not hear of the change, and went to the picnic shelter. We learned of this mid-way through the picnic by cell phone, by which time the sun had come out, and a number of us joined the picnic shelter group at the conclusion of the event. Prairie Meeting House
or
Marlborough Park
Friday June 6, 2014
8 - 9 pm
At the Prairie UU Society annual retreat the Humanist Union presented a showing of the documentary The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today about the McCollum case that went to the Supreme Court and brought separation of church and state to our public schools. Bethel Horizons, near Dodgeville
Sunday July 6, 2014
noon - 1:30 pm
We started with a potluck lunch at noon. Then from 12:30 to 1:30 pm Bob Park led an informal discussion on What can low power FM (LPFM) radio do for humanists and freethinkers? Recommended reading: The Case for Radio on the FUS website. Listen to the program here (67 MB MP3 file, 49 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sunday Aug. 3, 2014
11:45 - 12:30 pm
We had an Introduction to Sunday Assembly by Naomi Kroth, lead organizer of Sunday Assembly Madison, instead of eating first. (Presentation and discussion were not recorded.) Then we joined the Sunday Assembly Madison potluck picnic at Marlborough Park. Prairie Meeting House
Sunday Sept. 7, 2014
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
We heard Ingrid Laas and Amy Nowak Report on the first annual Humanism at Work Conference held in Chicago July 18-20 by the Foundation Beyond Belief. We started at 11:45 am with our usual potluck lunch, program 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Listen to the program here (65.5 MB MP3 file, 48 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Sunday Sept. 28, 2014
12:30 - 2 pm
This was the kickoff event for Sunday Assembly Madison. Our speaker was local secular celebrant Scott McAndrew. See also the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1438728566394760/ and the program for 9/28 here. If you are not familiar with the global Sunday Assembly movement, you can read about it at http://sundayassembly.com/. You can read about the Madison chapter in the Wis. State Journal front page story here. Listen to the program here (46 min. long MP3 file). Prairie Meeting House
Sunday Oct. 5, 2014
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
11:45 am potluck lunch, program 12:30 to 1:30 pm. "The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values," a book by Sam Harris, was reviewed by Susan Hagstrom, followed by discussion on the topic of the book, i.e., moral relativism - pros/cons, actuality/false, etc. Listen to the program here (80 MB MP3 file, 59 min. long). Prairie Meeting House
Friday Oct. 17, 2014
6:30 pm
Sunday Assembly Madison potluck supper at the Park's home. 5610 Hammersley Rd
Sunday Oct. 26, 2014
3 - 4 pm
At the Sunday Assembly Madison 2nd service the speaker was astrophotographer John Rummel talking and showing photos on "Amazing Universe: the Terrestrial to the Celestial." James Reeb UU building
2146 E Johnson St
Events with this background were co-sponsored by the Humanist Union of Madison.
Events with a gray background were not sponsored by the Humanist Union of Madison but some of us attended.

* If you wish to borrow a tape or obtain a copy, contact us at humanistunion@gmail.com.

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