Science @ the Hub: Human Evolution

The Global Dispersal of Homo Sapiens and the Archaeology of Computational Complexity

Dr. John Hoeffecker, from the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado Boulder was November’s featured speaker for the science talk.

The Hub specializes in creating moments and situations where folks representing diverse viewpoints and backgrounds mingle.  The exchange of ideas is essential to culture and society and at the Hub we do our part to help in the free flow of ideas.

Dr. Hoeffecker’s talk was wide ranging and deep and possessed a great deal of interaction with the event’s attendees.  He took all questions seriously which helped make the talk feel more like a conversation.

Below is an excerpt from elsewhere on secularhub.org, copied and pasted here because they say it better than I ever could:

Anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) dispersed out of Africa several times after 300,000 years ago, but only one of the dispersals (beginning ~60,000 years ago), was ultimately global in scope, including Australia, the Eurasian arctic, and Western Hemisphere. The global dispersal entailed occupation of habitats and climate zones never previously occupied by earlier forms of Homo, probably because of relatively low plant and animal productivity and extreme winter temperatures. Adaptation to these habitats and climates required technologies of structural and functional complexity
comparable to those of recent hunter-gatherers in similar settings, including mechanical artifacts and insulated clothing. Archaeological evidence of such technologies is found in Africa after ~100,000 years ago and associated with the spread of modern humans into Eurasia and beyond. The quantum jump in technological complexity suggests an
increase in the complexity of the computations that underlie the design of artifacts, which in turn suggests that changes in human cognitive faculties underlie the global dispersal of Homo sapiens.

John F. Hoffecker ● since 1998, research faculty at Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado at Boulder
● BA in archaeology (Yale 1975), MA in anthropology (University of Alaska 1979)
● investigated archaeological sites in central Alaska related to early occupation of Beringia during 1980s (Science paper in 1993)
● PhD in anthropology (U of Chicago 1986) with focus on Paleolithic archaeology of Russia and Ukraine
● research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory (1984–1998)
● researched Neanderthal sites in northern Caucasus with Russian colleagues in 1990s (including Mezmaiskaya Cave, which yielded Neanderthal skeletal remains)
● author of Desolate Landscapes: Ice-Age Settlement in Eastern Europe (Rutgers U Press, 2002)
● researched earliest known modern human occupations in Eastern Europe (central plain) with Russian colleagues during 2001–2009 (Science paper in 2007)
● author (with co-author Scott Elias) of Human Ecology of Beringia (Columbia U Press 2007)
● researched early Inuit sites in northwest Alaska during 2000–2011
● researched early modern human sites on East European Plain with Ukrainian and Russian colleagues during 2012–2018 with focus on geochronology
● author of Modern Humans: Their African Origin and Global Dispersal (Columbia U Press 2017) (Choice “outstanding academic title” 2019)

EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson  Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Satanic – Episode 71

From time to time we are lucky enough to experience a true cultural shift.  These shifts represent changes to the old ways of acting and thinking, and they can sweep away old, outdated ideas and replace them with the NEW.

Today on the Secular Hubcast we are very proud to present an event which took place where we welcomed members from The Satanic Temple of Colorado into our midst.  These Satanists very generously shared their time and insight with the Secular Hub community in a fantastic event that helped to show how alike we all really are.  Please enjoy.

This was a Humanism at the Hub event.  Check out the next upcoming event on meetup

For the most up-to-date info on TST Colorado activities visit them on FaceBook

If email is more your thing then speak with Viktor by emailing him at media@thesatanictemplecolorado.com

GUESTS:

The Satanic Temple Colorado membership:

Virgil, Amanda Racket, Viktor LaMent, Damien Luciano

Secular Hub membership:

Tom Kellog, Jerry Gilbert, Melissa and Chris

HOST, EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Coffee and Community – Episode 69

Sundays are not so holy anymore.  Not if we have anything to say about it.  And so we have coffee and community, a place for nonbelievers to get together.  To share in that tradition and basic human need of community and togetherness is what brings us together.

C & C is one of the Hub’s longest-running and most popular events.  It’s a great way to share a drink, break bread, and share ideas and learn from each other.  Just don’t call it atheist church, thankfully we’re not worshiping or idolizing anything except that blessed molecule, caffeine.

GUESTS:

Many guests and attendees including:

Chauncey, Becky, Joe, Mugsy, Lianna, Cathy, Pam

HOST, EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Welcome to the Stage – Episode 66

Life is a constant process of things getting used up and then being renewed.  It’s true whether you’re talking about an individual, an organization, or an ecosystem.

The Secular Hub goes through many changes and renews itself with infusions of fresh energy and ideas in the form of new members and volunteers.  It’s a hallmark of a healthy organization that times of change are actually times of growth that spur us to be even better than we were before.

On this episode we speak with the Secular Hub’s newest board members, Monica and Dana.  It’s incredible to think that the Board membership is composed of six (6!) women and only one man.  Dirk, you better watch out!

We’re very happy to welcome our newest Board members and wish them great success as they fulfill their terms of service to the greater community.

GUESTS:

Secular Hub Board Members Monica and Dana

HOST, EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Andrew L. Seidel, Author and Attorney – Episode 65

On September 7, 2019 Andrew Seidel visited the Secular Hub and spoke to a packed house.  The Hubcast was on hand to catch his talk as well as the audience participation time afterward.

Andrew Seidel has been working with Freedom From Religion Foundation for years and has come to be posted as the Director of Strategic Response.  As a trial lawyer he has argued successfully in favor of free speech and the separation of church and state.

In his new book, The Founding Myth, Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American, Andrew discusses his research on our nation’s beginnings, what was happening in America at the time, and what it means for us today.  This was a fantastic event at the Hub and we at the Hubcast are proud to present the audio from this great event.

GUESTS:

From Freedom From Religion Foundation, Director of Strategic Response, Andrew Seidel

From Denver Metro FFRF Chapter,  Claudette and Joel

Follow them on Meetup, Face Book, or visit their site

EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Oh, Are We Ready? – Episode 64

Some events at the Secular Hub are just an absolute delight to go to, and everyone who attends helps a worthy cause at the same time.  This week on the Secular Hub, Jesse attends the Hub’s annual chili cook-off and conducts a few casual interviews with some of the attendees.  It’s a slice of life from our fun times.

The Secular Volunteer Corps organized and hosted, and the proceeds of the fundraiser are being directed to Heart 9/11.  All together we raised over $300 to donate to this great charity.

I’ve always felt that the Hub should be a source of power and support to other organizations, so it was delightful to participate in such a great event.  Thanks Monique for organizing and running this thing!

GUESTS:  Monique, Chauncey, Others

HOST, EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Atheists Who Help – Episode 62

All hail the Volunteer Queen!

Doesn’t it seem like it can be really hard to help sometimes?  Many of us have the impulse and desire to help but don’t know how to make a meaningful difference.  It’s common enough to look for a group, an organization already established to make it easier.

Monique is our guest this episode and we discuss how a group makes those volunteer opportunities available in the first place.  Monique is a long-term volunteer and Hub member, currently holding three volunteer positions including:

Check out Heart 9/11.  This organization is designed to help first responders, and it is the organization our Chili Cook Off will be benefitting.

GUEST:  Monique

HOST, EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Episode 60 – Interview with a Holy Man

One great thing about the Secular Hub is that there is no religious affiliation to the group.  Just go there and you’re free from religion, dogma, indoctrination.

But that doesn’t mean we’re totally cut off and removed from all the people out there who do practice.  In fact, many of our members came out of some form of religious tradition.

What makes people stay in religion, or leave religion?  It’s a trade off with positives and negatives, so what makes one person stay in a religion and another person leave?

Today we speak with someone who stayed.  Mark Gomez is the pastor of SOLA church in Littleton, Colorado.  He’s been active in that community for years but came into studio to share a little in the atheist community we have here in Denver.

Visit the website of Sola Church here.  All their sermons are posted, like episodes in a podcast

Here’s a crazy story from NPR about how someone’s good intentions can really hurt a lot of people

If you’re on the South side of town stop in at GraceFull cafe.  They sell food like any restaurant but provide meals free of charge to those who need it

GUEST:  Pastor Mark Gomez

HOST, EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

What is a Secular Conference? – Episode 58

Colorado Secular Conference 2019

CSC 19 brought together hundreds of atheists and freethinkers from around the nation, as well as dozens of groups and vendors.  It was a special opportunity for community, camaraderie, and support as well as the vital exchange of ideas and lived experience on a large scale.

The Secular Hubcast was on hand to capture the moment by conducting interviews with some familiar voices and many new ones.

I know what I’ll be asking folks for the next little while:  Where’s the next conference you’ll be attending?

To learn more, contact the organizers, or buy merch pay CSC 19 a visit at their online home

Please visit the websites or social media of our special guests to let them know you heard them on Secular HubCast:

Seth Andrews, The Thinking Atheist program

Annie Laurie Gaylor, Freedom From Religion Foundation

Shelley Segal, Musician

Visit the websites of the guests we interviewed in this episode:

Humanists Doing Good  These guys have a lot of volunteer opportunities, if you’re in Grand Junction

We welcomed the The Satanic Temple Colorado to the conference and come to appreciate their nontheistic religion.  Thanks and we’re looking forward to seeing you again sometime

evolvefish.com  Check them out, they have what you neeeeeed!!

Skeptic Bret, host of Athiests on High podcast as well as an organizer for Pike’s Peak Athiests, has a lot to say

HOST, EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Episode 57 – Feeding on the News 3

Once again we at the Hubcast delve into the news.  It never stops flowing and by paying attention over time we hope to learn and grow more, and possibly achieve some kind of wisdom and familiarity with the world.

First we discuss the testimony of Robert Mueller before Congress.  We also look at developments in the stories of well known pedophiles and child pornographers.  Not a pretty subject but one we shouldn’t be afraid to speak of.  Especially as we look at alleged connections between these shady figures and our own government.

HOST, EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

HOST:  Paul Schilling

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
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Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)