*Calendar of Events*

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.

Previous Meetings


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
2006 is the International Year of the Neanderthal. 150 years since the discovery of the first Neanderthal fossil near Dusseldorf, Germany, an international group of scientists gathered at the University of Bonn to discuss new research results. Dr. Lynn Fisher, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Springfield, who attended the conference, reported to us on changing views of Neanderthals, their behavior and their relationship to modern humans.
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February 11 - Darwin Day Celebration
Instead 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.
January 3 - A DVD Presentation of The Ancestor’s Tale, by Dr. Richard Dawkins
“In 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 the latest, best thinking on biology and a fascinating history of all living things.”


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 State Museum, 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 open discussion.
October 4 - Ape to Man
The 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 obsessive searching.”
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 Salter’s experiences were reported in the MUFON Journal and was featured on the CBS special “Visitors from the Unknown”. We listened to and discussed an audio recording of John Salter’s talk.
August 2 - Open Discussion
It had been awhile since we’d had a meeting with no planned topic, 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
You 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
As 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 Channel’s Mythbusters. 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 - Crop Circles
This 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 fad 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
Nova recently aired two programs of interest to REALL. “The Boldest 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 Vinland Map, 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 evolution trivia.
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 Carnegie Room North. Rather than hold a meeting literally next door, we attended his talk.
January 4 - Open Discussion, Baby!
The 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 discussion time..

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