Speaker Meetings

November 2017

Saturday, november 25, 10 AM – Noon

Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque

Free: Open to Members and prospective members

Basic Income for a Happier Society

Speaker:  David Stelle, HSNM Member

More info (sorted alphabetically):

Basic Income Earth Network

Basic Income for the US (by AdamAnimates)

Duty to Work, The

End our cultural obsession with work (by Big Think)

Free Money: The Surprising Effects of a Basic Income Supplied by Government

H Philes, The – (David’s blog on Humans & Happiness)



October 2017

Saturday, October 28, 10 AM – Noon

Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque

Free: Open to Members and prospective members

Challenges of LBGTQ civil rights advocacy under the Trump administration.

Speaker:  Adrian Carver, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico


September 2017

Saturday, September 23, 10 AM – Noon

Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque

Free: Open to Members and prospective members

What is Classical Music, and Why Do I Love it?

Speaker:  Richard Grady, former music professor, trumpet player and HSNM member


August 2017

Saturday, August 26, 10 AM – Noon

Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque

Free: Open to Members and prospective members

Highlights of the 2017 American Humanist Conference.

Speakers:  Helen Fuller and Carolyn Jo Glen (HSNM Members)


July 2017

Saturday, july 22, 10 AM – Noon

Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque

Free: Open to Members and prospective members

New Dangers to Reproductive Healthcare

Speaker:  Kayla Herring, Planned Parenthood


June 2017

(No speaker this month)


May 2017

(No speaker this month)


April 2017

Saturday, april 22, 10 AM – Noon

Center for the Book, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque

Free: Open to Members and prospective members

Health Optimization – Changing the Trajectory in an Unhealthy Family

Speaker:  Brent

With over 25 years of health optimization experience Brent will be sharing his story of being the only one in his immediate and extended family to change the trajectory of poor health and disease to a vibrant healthy life. He will share the secrets and benefits he has discovered along this journey.

Brent has been a gym owner, fitness trainer, taught Qigong and breath work, coached people on nutrition and the power of smoothies, and facilitated wellness retreats. He is now an ardent supporter of a whole food plant based eating program.

More info:       (thanks Brent, this is great!)

P-POD Annual Conference in ABQ May 18th – 20th at UNM
Plant Based Prevention of Disease

The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougal

Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P4pk-UffE0­ part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl97IvbfUNQ­ part 2

Healthy at 100 by John Robbins

What the Health? documentary

Forks Over Knives documentary

Food Choices documentary

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

March 2017

Saturday, March 25, 10 AM to Noon
Botts Hall, ABQ Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue, NE
Free: Open to Members and prospective members

Transgender Rights: A Threat of Serial Discrimination Officially Approved

Speaker:  Adrian Lawyer

Adrian Lawyer is the director of the transgender speakers bureau in Albuquerque/State of New Mexico. Adrian is a female to male transgender person and is a fierce fighter for transgender equality. He will be speaking on the plight of transgender persons as it’s shaping up during the Trump Presidency, especially in light of Trump’s executive order rescinding President Obama’s allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their sexual identity and not of their birth gender.

More Info:   Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico

February 2017

Saturday, February 25, 10 AM to Noon
Botts Hall, ABQ Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue, NE
Free: Open to Members and prospective members

“Brainstorming” Session

We are asking all members and prospective members to attend in order to plan HSNM’s activities for 2017 and 2018. Suggestions for social activities (picnics, ice-cream socials, pot-lucks or whatever), Darwin’s Day 2018, international woman’s day 2018, etc. Please bring your suggestions for projects and speakers, or any other topics you wish to discuss.

January 2017

Saturday, January 28, 10 AM to Noon
Botts Hall, ABQ Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue, NE
Free and Open to the Public

Kink and the Sexual Underground

Nancy Ava Miller is a graduate of the University of Maryland. She has a degree in Hypnotherapy, MEd, Cht and is a former teacher of TM. She also is a former Maryland school teacher.

Nancy’s real interest is in what used to be the sexual underground and lately is becoming very mainstream. Do you see people out and about with piercings, tats and leather? The “Shades of Grey” books are popular now, introducing the Fetish lifestyle to many. However, before there was “50 Shades of Grey” there was Nancy Ava Miller.

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Nancy was being published and giving many workshops on what today we would call alternative sexual lifestyles. If you are curious about Kink and have a open mind please don’t miss this talk. Nancy will also have handouts, read from one of her books and have some at the talk for sale. She currently resides, when not traveling doing workshops, in the East Mountains of New Mexico.

December 2016

(No speaker meeting this month)


November 2016

General Membership Meeting

Saturday, November 29, 10 AM to Noon
Botts Hall, ABQ Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue, NE
Free and Open to the Public

Fall is finally here and the leaves are falling.

Our next speaker meeting in November will be used to announce the new board officers for the Humanist Society of New Mexico!

Everyone is invited to come and discuss what direction you want to go for the new year. Please bring your ideas on what you would like to see HSNM become and accomplish. We would love to hear and discuss everyone’s ideas!

October 2016

Life as a Transgendered Woman and Activist

Saturday, October 22, 10 AM to Noon
Botts Hall, ABQ Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue, NE
Free and Open to the Public

Donna Tara McCaughin, Tara, as we know her, came out as transgendered in 2000 and had her gender re-assignment surgery in 2001 at Chonburri, Thailand. Her talk will be about her life as a transsexual woman since her surgery.

She will touch on her life as a transgender activist, describe how she has helped fight against discriminatory antitrans laws and her belief that the future will lead to a greater acceptance of marginalized trans persons.

September 2016

A Day at the Museum (of Natural History and Science)
1801 Mountain RW, Albuquerque

Free and Open to the Public
Saturday, September 23, 10 AM to Noon

This September we are unable to meet in our usual place, so why not meet in a different time as well? Back to the time just after the formation of our universe, or our galaxy, or the formation of the Earth. We could go back to the time when the dinosaurs were in charge. Where would such a place exist? The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, of course. We’re planning to meet in the Museum lobby at 10am on September 24th.

We get a group rate if there are ten or more of us. RSVPS would be desirable (but not required.) Please call Tara at (352) 484-7135 to RSVP, or for a ride to the Museum.

August 2016

Anthropology at UNM and Around the World, OR
Canteens Through the Ages

Free and Open to the Public
Saturday, August 27, 10 AM to Noon

Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue NE

Kristina Whitney will be guiding us through the exciting research  going on in the Anthropology Department at UNM. She will also share with us some of her own research on canteens. The history behind their origin is complex and global, and underscores how quickly the world became interconnected as North and South America were being explored and colonized.

Kristina Whitney is in her final semester of studies for her MA in public archaeology at UNM. Her thesis is on settlement patterning of pastoral groups in southeastern Ethiopia, with the aim to aid in establishing an archaeological baseline for an understudied area in Africa.

Other research interests include the origin and use of a specific canteen style in the American Southwest, and the connections of that style to canteens in the Mediterranean and Middle East. She is working on a publication for that research now, but it has not yet undergone peer review.

Kristina is also interthat has beenested in how archaeology is perceived by the public and how it can be utilized to foster a sense of community and sense of place, while also realizing that archaeology needs to gain a larger part of the public interest as a science in order to maintain relevance within the current congressional atmosphere.

She obtained her BA in anthropology at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, where her senior thesis focused on Byzantine water jugs. She’s been able to maintain her interest in water vessels through her canteen research, while also maintaining a global outlook on archaeology as a tool for investigative discovery. She grew up around Tucson and spent most of this summer on an archaeological survey of national parks in southeast Arizona.

July 2016

Saturday, July 23, 10 am to noon
Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central NE, ABQ
Free and open to the public

Report on the AHA 75th Annual Conference

by Babs Mondschein

The AHA annual conference is an entire weekend full of scientists, scholars and intellectuals. Babs will fill us in on the talks, people and special events and give her impressions of the conference.

Babs holds a BA in Sociology with emphasis on social welfare, and a MA in Special Education with emphasis on adolescents. Babs is meetup organizer for ASK (Atheist Skeptical Kingdom, a secular community) and is in the process of starting the first chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State in New Mexico.

June 2016

Saturday, June 25, 10 am to noon
Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central NE, ABQ
Free and open to the public

Report on Orlando Visit
by Ananda Parnell, President, HSNM

Ananda reported on her experiences doing survivor counseling in Orlando Florida after the mass shooting there.

Ananda has degrees in English, German, Business Administration, Education, and chaplaincy. She teaches World History and ESL courses at Highland High School, as well as writing, communication, critical thinking, and logical reasoning at the University of Phoenix Albuquerque campus. She strives to use quality practices and programs through curriculum development and instruction for the success of all students with all learning backgrounds.

May 2016

Saturday, May 28, 10 am to noon
Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central NE, ABQ
Free and open to the public

Secrets of the Roundhouse Revealed-
What’s New in the NM Legislature

In May our speaker will be Gwyneth Doland, a multimedia journalist with New Mexico PBS, KUNM Radio, and New Mexico in Depth. She will be filling us in on all of the goings on at the Santa Fe Roundhouse. Come and find out what your legislators are up to!

You may know Gwyneth from “New Mexico in Focus” on PBS.  She covers government and politics on the radio, television and online for the grant-funded People, Power and Democracy project. She is also an adjunct lecturer in the Communication and Journalism Department at UNM.

Gwyneth investigated corruption in state government in 2015 and 2012 for the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. She was previously the executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, the editor of pioneering online news site, The New Mexico Independent, and a staff writer for the Santa Fe Reporter and the weekly Alibi. She is a former director of the Journalism and Women Symposium and the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter.

April 2016

Saturday, April 23, 10 AM to Noon

Bad Clowns!

Benjamin Radford is back!! One of most popular speakers from last year will be returning to talk about his new book Bad Clowns! Bad clowns are all around us, in movies, on TV, in books, and elsewhere. From the Joker to Krusty to Pennywise, they are a pop culture phenomenon. Benjamin Radford recently published the first book on bad clowns, and will be joining us to talk about the history, variety, and cultural impact of these malicious misfits of the midway. For more information, see http://unmpress.com/books.php?ID=20000000006199&Page=book.

Benjamin Radford, M.Ed., is a scientific paranormal investigator, a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, and author, co-author, contributor, or editor of twenty books and over a thousand articles on skepticism, critical thinking, and science literacy. He is the author of Mysterious New Mexico: Miracles, Magic, and Monsters in the Land of Enchantment. Radford is also a columnist for Discovery News and LiveScience. com.

March 2016

Saturday, March 26, 10 AM to Noon

Planned Parenthood: What is it and What’s going on?

by Marshall Martinez

Marshall Martinez is the Public Affairs Manager in New Mexico for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Marshall will speak about Planned Parenthood, cover who Planned Parenthood is and why it gets involved in advocacy.

Subjects like funding, procedure bans, “witch-hunts”, legislation, what’s upcoming for 2016, and how you can get involved. Come and hear an informed speaker on these subjects– it’s going to be a great talk.

Botts Hall, Special Collections Library
423 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque
Free and open to the public

A native New Mexican, Marshall has spent a majority of his life as an organizer, even when he didn’t know what that was. Working in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Awareness as a teenager in Alamogordo New Mexico, Marshall learned at a young age how important comprehensive and responsible sexuality education is, and in this work was able to draw the connection beyond sexual health to emotional and mental health for teenagers.

After moving to Albuquerque in 2001 he began a formal career in political and community organizing, working for organizations like the League of Conservation Voters, AFSCME Public Employees Labor Union, and serving multiple years on the board of Equality New Mexico. Marshall’s passions have always been strong on the issues of Reproductive Healthcare Access. Being raised by a strong mother, and having two younger sisters, he sees the sacredness of Women’s Bodies and destinies and works hard to ensure their choices about them are respected.

February 2016

Saturday, February 27, 10 am to 12 noon

Creationism Under the Hood: Cargo-Cult Science in the Intelligent Design Movement’s Attack on Evolutionary Algorithms

by Dave Thomas

Genetic (or evolutionary) algorithms have been used many times to successfully “breed” innovative answers to difficult problems in physics, math and biology. Creationists realize that the successes of such programs provide additional evidence for evolution, and have mounted a vigorous attack on Genetic Algorithms. Dave Thomas countered these attacks a few years ago by publishing a new genetic algorithm for solving the difficult “Steiner network problem”. Intelligent design creationists have since reacted by publishing two “analyses” of the Thomas algorithm. Dave will show that these new attacks are based on fallacious logic and outright misrepresentations. Are the creationists wrong? Is 1217 less than 1246? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “Yes!”

Dave Thomas is a physicist and mathematician. He received bachelor degrees in mathematics and in physics, and a master of science in mathematics, from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he was awarded the Brown Medal and the Langmuir Award.

Dave is president of the science group New Mexicans for Science and Reason (http://www. nmsr.org), and also is a Fellow of CSI (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), the publishers of Skeptical Inquirer. He has published several articles in Skeptical Inquirer on the Roswell and Aztec UFO Incidents, as well as on the Bible Code. Dave has also published in Scientific American (Dec. 1980 cover article), and has several patents. He received the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of Darwin Award in 2000.

Dave is past president of the Coalition for Excellence on Science and Math Education (CESE), and is past president of the New Mexico Academy of Science.

January 2016

Saturday, January 23, 10 am to 12 noon

Kitzmiller vs. Dover: Intelligent Design on Trial

We will view “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” (PBS Nova) and discuss the debate between evolution and intelligent design, and what’s happened in the ten years since the Dover decision.


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