Welcome to Dorset Humanists

Dorset Humanists is a welcoming group for humanists, atheists and agnostics who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. We meet in Bournemouth for informative and enjoyable presentations, debates and discussions on a wide range of subjects including ethics, science, religion, philosophy, politics, our environment and much more. We also organise regular social events.

Making Sense of Animal Rights

Making Sense of Animal Rights 13th September 2014Saturday 13th September 2.00pm 
Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown Bournemouth BH9 1TW

With Emeritus Professor of Genetics Norman Maclean

The relationship between animals and humans has been the subject of differing philosophical views for thousands of years and the controversy continues today. Science has shown beyond doubt that we are part of the same evolutionary continuum as all other life on earth, sharing behaviour, physiology and many of our genes with our animal cousins, yet even the most passionate animal rights campaigner would be unlikely to argue that a cockroach warrants the same rights as a human being. So how should we treat other animals, whether farmed, domesticated, or wild, and what rights should we accord to the diverse range of species with which we share our planet? Is a vegan lifestyle the only moral choice?

In this presentation, Norman Maclean will explain the important role played by scientists in providing us with a strong evidence base for improving animal welfare attitudes and practices, and argue that, as a minimum, animal rights should include rights to exist, to hold territory, to reproduce, and to be free from unnecessary pain and exploitation. He will also examine controversial topics such as intensive farming, badger culls, hunting for sport, and the use of large numbers of laboratory animals in medical research and product testing.

Join us for a thought-provoking examination of the animal rights debate with geneticist and author Norman Maclean

Norman Maclean (SDA, BSc, PhD, FLS, FIBiol) is an Emeritus Professor of Genetics at The University of Southampton. Besides genetics he has worked in wildlife conservation and river management. He is an elected Fellow of the Institute of Biology and the Linnaean Society and served as the editor of the Molecular and Cell Science section of the Journal of Fish Biology. He was also a Trustee of Marwell Wildlife Park for many years, and served as its Honorary Scientific Advisor. Norman is an active member of the British Humanist Association and currently serves as a chair of his local humanist group.

Norman has authored, co-authored and edited over a dozen textbooks and reference books in genetics and cell biology. Between 1984 and 1991 he edited an annual review entitled 'Oxford Surveys on Eukaryotic Genes' (published by Oxford University Press) and most recently edited ‘Silent Summer’ (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He is editor of the forthcoming book, ‘A Less Green and Pleasant Land (Cambridge University Press, 2014), due for release in February 2014. The book details the current state of wildlife in Britain and Ireland and offers an insight into the outlook for the future. Chris Packham wrote the foreword.

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

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