AHA Hosts Darwin Day Event Featuring Daniel Dennett, PZ Myers, Jen McCreight, and Fred Edwords

The American Humanist Association is pleased to sponsor its 2012 International Darwin Day premiere event, “Darwin on the Palouse,” to take place in Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington, in celebration of Darwin Day in 2012. The event, organized by the Palouse Coalition of Reason (Palouse CoR), will host leading atheists and evolutionary thinkers PZ Myers, Daniel Dennett, Jen McCreight and Fred Edwords.

Daniel Dennett and PZ Myers will speak in the Cub Senior Ballroom at Washington State University in Pullman on February 9, starting at 7:00 PM. Fred Edwords and Jennifer McCreight will speak in the Clearwater Room at the University of Idaho in Moscow on February 10, starting at 6:00 PM. Both events are free and open to the public. Additional details can be found at www.DarwinOnThePalouse.org.

These events are being promoted with a media campaign that includes billboards, radio spots and newspaper ads in outlets across the region. Members of the Palouse Coalition of Reason are also putting up posters and engaging in other efforts to increase awareness. The two billboards announcing the events are in Moscow on the west side of Highway 95 southbound, just north of Sweet Avenue, and in Pullman on the south side of Highway 270 eastbound, just west of Airport Road. Both are illuminated at night.

“We have teamed up with the new Palouse Coalition of Reason to bring four of the nation’s preeminent speakers on science and philosophy to middle America,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We also wish to mark the 203rd birthday of Charles Darwin in a big way, celebrating his continuing contribution to humanity, science and rational thought.”

“The point of this ongoing nationwide awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of atheists and agnostics living in the United States,” explained Tyler Palmer, Humanists of the Palouse president. “Such non-theists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. We hope our effort will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren’t alone.”

The four speakers are as follows:

Daniel Dennett is a philosopher, author of “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” and the 2004 Humanist of the Year of the American Humanist Association. He is among the world’s most popular atheist speakers, being one of the “Four Horsemen,” along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. He is co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University.

PZ Myers is an internationally popular blogger through his blog “Pharyngula” and the 2009 American Humanist Association’s Humanist of the Year. As an outspoken atheist he has traveled the world speaking to packed auditoriums, often countering the arguments of creationists. He is a University of Minnesota Morris biologist. Myers was also recipient of the 2011 International Humanist Award.

Fred Edwords is an internationally known humanist leader and debater of creationists. He has served as editor of the “Humanist” magazine and president of Camp Quest and is currently national director of the United Coalition of Reason and national director of the International Darwin Day Foundation.

Jen McCreight, the author of the blog “Blag Hag,” made an international name for herself in 2010 with Boobquake, a movement that went viral when she asked women all around the world to expose as much cleavage as they dared to counter the claim of some Muslim clerics that scantily clad women caused earthquakes. She has become a public voice for science and reason.

The Palouse Coalition of Reason (PalouseCoR.org) is made up of atheist, freethought and humanist groups working together in the Pullman, Washington, and Moscow, Idaho area. The twin goals of the coalition are to foster a sense of community among the like-minded and raise public awareness that people who don’t believe in a god or gods can be decent citizens who contribute to the larger society.