Host: Ste (xJw Friends)

Venue: Natural History Museum

Date and Time: 14 July at 10am

RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/xjwengland/events/239996625/

The Museum’s spectacular new central space reopened on the 14th of July. The star of the new Hintze Hall will be a blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling.

Dippy the beloved diplodocus cast will no longer be on public display because it is going on a UK tour, starting in 2018. The blue whale is a brilliant educational tool for explaining how evolution by natural selection works and by attending the tour, you will learn about the various pieces of evidence for common descent. The fact that it is a mammal which went back into the sea endowed it with many features which show the power of evolution.

Due to the misinformation spread by the “Society” and some prominent fundamentalists, some, by no fault of their own, have a very limited understanding of the evidence for common descent and for evolution by natural selection. Even if you are a believer in creation, it might be an eye-opening experience for you to see and examine the evidence for yourself, or it may help you reconcile your faith with modern science.

Since the human genome was fully sequenced in 2003, an enormous amount of light has been shed on our understanding of our place in the Tree of Life.

The museum has a lovely Interactive Film called “Who do you think you really are?” presented by David Attenborough which starts at 11am on Saturday

Because of the knowledge of evolutionary biology that I have built up since leaving the bOrg, and my knowledge of the “Society”‘s teachings that NHM staff are bound not to have, I will do a tour of the relevant parts of the museum and go together to see the Attenborough film.

The tour will be designed for those who don’t understand the theory and its implications, those who are confused at the great deluge of information about evolution that we are bombarded with, those who and those sit on the fence regarding evolution and creation debate (not to convince you not to believe in God, but to expose you to the evidence for common decent or help you reconcile it with your faith).

The plan is to aim for 10:00, when the museum opens, in the main hall with the new blue whale skeleton. We’ll wait for the inevitable late-comers to trickle in, I’ll scout the area to make sure the exhibits I want to discuss are still there and we’ll start the tour at 11:00.

Depending on what is on in the Darwin Centre or the Attenborough Studio and at what time, we’ll either go to see a live presentation first, or do the tour first. We’ll spend time after the film learning about the evidence for the evolution of different species, including humans, elephants, whales, horses and fish using the exhibits at the museum, as well as audiovisual media.

Perhaps even a post-tour lunch could be organised as well in The Delhi Brasserie (134 Cromwell Road, SW7 4HA).

and/or a few drinks at the Hoop & Toy pub (34 Thurloe Place, SW7 2HQ)

For a small taster of what is in store, click this link to find out about new discoveries about the dinosaurs: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/dinosaur-family-tree-gets-major-makeover.html

I hope people are interested. Let me know if you’d like to attend or contribute intellectually to the tour.

Ste

p.s. Please remember that not only am I organising this tour for free, but also I am paying meetup organiser dues of about £12/month out of my own pocket, so if you can, please PayPal a small amount to xjwmeetup@hotmail.com or bring some change to pay for the upkeep of the group.

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