For details about our recent and upcoming meetings, please visit our Meetup.com web site.
REALL normally meets at 7:00 PM
on the first Tuesday of each month in Carnegie Room South of Lincoln
Library in Springfield, IL.
- December 5 - Video: Darwin’s Deadly Legacy
- This video was aired recently on "The Coral Ridge Hour," the weekly TV program hosted by Dr. James Kennedy on TBN. The short version is that the program blames Darwin's Theory of Evolution for, among other things, Hitler's Holocaust of the Jews. As skeptics and supporters of evolution, it goes without saying that we disagree. The video was only 60 minutes long, so we had plenty of time to discuss it afterwards. (Well, "discuss" might be too polite of a term.)
- November 7 - Neanderthal News, a presentation by Dr. Lynn Fisher
is the International Year of the Neanderthal. 150 years
since the discovery of the first Neanderthal fossil near Dusseldorf,
an international group of scientists gathered at the University of Bonn
discuss new research results. Dr. Lynn Fisher, Assistant
Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Springfield, who attended
conference, reported to us on changing views of Neanderthals, their
and their relationship to modern humans.
- February 11 - Darwin Day Celebration
of holding our regular meeting, we gathered together
to celebrate Darwin’s
birthday! Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809.
(We’ll met a day earlier for food, fun, &
trivia. Alas, this year we didn't have the
traditional “Primordial Soup”.) For more
information about Darwin Day
celebrations around the world, visit www.DarwinDay.org.
3 - A DVD Presentation of The Ancestor’s Tale, by Dr. Richard
The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution,
renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins presents his most
expansive work yet: a comprehensive look at evolution, ranging from the
latest developments in the field to his own provocative views.
Dawkins’s brilliant, inventive approach allows us to view the
connections between ourselves and all other life in a bracingly novel
way. The Ancestor’s Tale is at once a far-reaching survey of
latest, best thinking on biology and a fascinating history of all
- December 6 - The Evolution of a New Natural
History Exhibit: Changes
- How does a museum
exhibit come to life? Jessica Theodor, Assistant Curator of the Geology
Section at the Illinois
discussed the conception, planning and execution of the major
renovations to the Illinois State Museum's first floor natural history
exhibits. The museum began renovating their natural history exhibits in
October 2001. The
new exhibit, Changes,
opened in June 2004. It is an integrated look at Illinois environments
from 500 million years ago to the present. The exhibit features
dioramas, display cases, hands-on interactive elements, video, and
audio that emphasize relationships within an ecosystem and the link
between evidence and interpretations.
- November 1
- Open Discussion
- Members were encouraged to
bring their favorite topics, videos, or articles to the meeting for
- October 4 - Ape to
History Channel recently released a DVD of this 2-hour special, which
they aired this summer. “It has long been considered the most
compelling question in our history: Where do human beings come from?
Although life has existed for millions of years, only in the past
century-and-a-half have we begun to use science to explore the
ancestral roots of our own species. The search for the ultimate answer
has taken a number of twists and turns, with careers made and broken
along the way. APE TO MAN is the story of the quest to find the origins
of the human race—a quest that spanned more than 150 years of
- September 6 -
John Salter’s UFO Encounters
- In the
September issue of The REALL News,
Martin Kottmeyer discussed an October 1992 talk given by John Salter
about his encounters with UFOs and alien beings. John
experiences were reported in the MUFON Journal
and was featured on the CBS special “Visitors from the
We listened to and discussed an audio recording of John
- August 2 - Open
had been awhile since we’d had a meeting with no planned
so it was time for another one! Members were encouraged to bring their
favorite topics, videos, or articles to the meeting for open discussion.
- July 5 - The Eyes of Nye
might be familiar with Bill Nye the Science Guy,
a science show targeted at pre-teens. Well, Bill Nye has a new show on
PBS now called The Eyes of Nye,
targeted more at adults, but still with a humorous and very
entertaining slant. Recent episodes have discussed human cloning,
nuclear power, pseudoscience, and addiction. We watched a few episodes
and discussed them. (The Eyes of Nye airs on
Tuesdays at 9:00 pm on WILL.)
- June 11 - Picnic
usual, there was no meeting at the library this month, due to their
annual book sale. Instead, we met at Douglas Park for a potluck picnic!
Just like last year, a small amount of rain appeared, but quit after a
few minutes. Nice!
- May 3 - More Mythbusters
- We watched a couple of episodes of the Discovery
The Mythbusters (Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage) check out urban legends
by directly testing the claims. For example, will a sinking ship pull
you down to a watery grave? If you fall off a bridge, can you save your
life by throwing a hammer to break the plane of the water? With 30
years of special effects experience between them, the Mythbusters test
claims like these firsthand, often with explosive results, to declare
them confirmed, plausible, or busted.
- April 5 -
program, recently shown on the National Geographic Channel, discussed
the crop circle phenomenon and examined both the hoaxers and the
believers. What’s that you say? You thought the crop circle
was over with? You should have learned by now that no
paranormal belief ever dies.
Ever! There were over 200 crop circles reported in 2004. April-August
are the peak months, so the 2005 crop should be appearing soon.
- March 1 - Piltdown Man, Vikings in America
recently aired two programs of interest to REALL. “The
Hoax” asked, who created and promoted Piltdown Man, a fossil
skull that was claimed to be the missing link between apes and humans?
“The Viking Deception” considered whether the
claimed to show the New World long before Columbus arrived, is real or
is a highly convincing fake.
- February 12 - Darwin
Day & REALL Anniversary
February 12 was the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin.
February was also the 12th anniversary of the founding of REALL. To
celebrate, we got together at the Pasta House for food and some
- February 1 - Intelligent Design
On our regular meeting date, local anti-evolutionist John Mark Henry
presented “Intelligent Design: A Scientific Alternative to
Evolution”. This was held in Lincoln Library’s
Room North. Rather than hold a meeting literally next door, we attended
- January 4 - Open Discussion, Baby!
recent birth of a baby boy to REALL Chairman Wally Hartshorn meant no
time for planning a topic for this meeting. Instead, it was open
See Earlier Meetings