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Mission Projects Staff Lecturers

Buckner, PhD, Ed

Subject: Humanism and Church/State Separation
Email: ed@buckners.us

About:
Buckner, son of a low-church Episcopal (American version of Anglican) clergyman, was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia, 8 March 1946. In 1968, he married Lois Diane Bright Buckner and they have a son, Michael E. Buckner.

Buckner received his B.A. from Rice University, 1967; his M.Ed. from Georgia State University, 1975; and his Ph.D. at Georgia State University, 1983. His doctoral dissertation was entitled Professional and Political Socialization: High School Science Teacher Attitudes on Curriculum Decisions, in the Context of the “Scientific” Creationism Campaign [in Cobb County, Georgia] – the dissertation has been cited in an article in Skeptical Inquirer.

For the Freethought Press, he has edited books by Massimo Pigliucci, Keith Parsons, Carol Faulkenberry, and Edwin Kagin.

With his wife Diane, he co-edited freethinker and retired FBI agent Oliver G. Halle’s Taking the Harder Right. With his son, Michael, he co-edited Quotations That Support the Separation of Church and State (1995). Also, he wrote the concluding chapter, “Winning the ‘Battle Royal,’” of Kimberly Blaker’s Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in America (2003).

From 2001 to 2003, he was Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism.

In addition to writing many letters to the editor, Buckner has debated and spoken around the United States about freethought and secular humanism, often about the Treaty of Tripoli and “This Is a Free Country, Not a Christian Nation.” In Free Inquiry (Fall, 2002), he wrote “I May Pledge Allegiance, But Not To Any God” supporting deleting"under God" from the pledge. At the Godless Americans March on
Washington in 2002, Buckner he declared, “No More Lies!” He gave the keynote talk for the Atheist Alliance International conference in 2004.

He is the author or co-author of chapters or entries in three books being published in 2007:“Secular Schooling” in Parenting Beyond Belief, ed. by Dale McGowan “This is a Free Country, Not A Christian Nation,” (with Michael E.Buckner) in Everything You Know About God is Wrong, ed. by Russ Kick Several entries in The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, ed. by Tom Flynn

Buckner is a member of the Advisory Board for the Secular Coalition for America and is on the Advisory Board of the Godless Americans Political Action Committee. His topics for talks or debates include but are not limited to:
Separation of Church and State
USA: Free Country or Christian Nation?
It Makes More Sense to be an Atheist/Secular Humanist than to be a Christian

Some of Buckner’s writings and talks can be found at the following:
http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/buckner_tripoli.html
http://www.secularhumanism.org/columns.php#buckner
http://nobeliefs.com/GAMOW/GAMOW36.htm
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ed_buckner/
http://www.mindspring.com/~wjager/buckner.html

Dawkins, Richard

Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understand
Oxford
UK

Subject: Evolutionary Biology
Weblink: http://richarddawkins.net
Email: contact@richarddawkins.net

About:
Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, a position he has held since 1995. The Wall Street Journal said his “passion is supported by an awe-inspiring literary crafsmanship.” The New York Times Book Review has hailed him as a writer who “understands the issues so clearly that he forces his reader to understand them too.” Among his books are The Ancestor’s Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil’s Chaplain and The God Delusion.

Miller, Geoffrey

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131
USA

Subject: Evolutionary Psychology
Weblink: http://www.unm.edu/~psych/faculty/lg_gmiller.html
Email: gfmiller@unm.edu
Phone: (505) 277-1967

About:
Evolutionary social psychology is my main focus, especially the study of human mental adaptations for judgment, decision-making, strategic behavior, and communication in social and sexual domains. This includes work on mutual mate choice and sexual selection theory, analysis of human mental traits as fitness indicators (reliable cues of underlying phenotypic traits and genetic quality), analysis of social attribution heuristics as adapted to the statistical structure of individual differences (including genetic and phenotypic covariances), and analysis of animate motion perception mechanisms as adapted to typical patterns of intentional movement. Also, consumer behavior: applications of evolutionary psychology in product design and aesthetics, marketing, advertising, and branding (book in progress on this topic); use of genetic algorithms for interactive online product design. Clinical interests: Applications of fitness indicator theory to understand symptoms, demographics, and behavior genetics of schizophrenia and mood disorders. Other interests: origins of human preferences, aesthetics, and utility functions; human strategic behavior, game theory, and experimental economics; ovulatory effects on female mate preferences; the intellectual legacies of Darwin, Nietzsche, and Veblen.

Lecture topics include:

Evolutionary psychology, especially the evolutionary origins and
adaptive functions of: human moral virtues, intelligence, creativity, art, and music

Human sexuality, mate choice, and intimate relationships

Naturalistic perspectives on consumerism, capitalism, marketing, advertising, product design

Darwinian aesthetics; the biological origins of beauty, art, music, and humor

The evolutionary genetics of individual differences in intelligence, personality, and mental health

For a list of Professor Miller’s current publications, please visit his website at:
http://www.unm.edu/~psych/faculty/lg_gmiller.html

Myers, PZ

University of Minnesota
Morris, MN 56267
USA

Subject: Development and evolution, Creationism vs. science, Science
Weblink: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/
Email: pzmyers@pharyngula.org
Phone: (320) 589-6343
Fax: (320) 589-6371

About:
Dr. PZ Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He maintains a popular weblog, Pharyngula, and is a columnist for Seed magazine. He is a developmental biologist who sees evo-devo as a new and important part of our explanation of evolutionary history, and is an outspoken atheist who promotes the need for a rational and natural vision of how the universe works.

Thomson, Jr., James Anderson

Clinical Faculty
University of Virginia Scho
Charlottesville, VA 22903
USA

Subject: Darwinian Psychiatry
Email: jat4m@virginia.edu
Phone: 434-296-2801

About:
Dr. Thomson works in the areas of Adult General Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. His lectures include an introduction to Darwinian psychiatry, an evolutionary view of depression and suicide, how sexual side-effects of psychotropic medications jeopardize romantic love, marriage and fertility, and ‘Dying to Kill’, the dynamics of suicide terrorism.

Dr Thomson writes, “I was rescued from an incomplete education by Robert Wright’s The Moral Animal. Books can change lives. That one did. It made me dedicated to the mastery of evolutionary biology (Darwin, Dawkins, etc.) denied me in college and medical school and to active participation in the new world of evolutionary psychology and Darwinian Psychiatry.”

A lecture by Dr. Thomson sponsored by the Richard Dawkins Foundation can be viewed at:
http://richarddawkins.net/articles/1710