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Upcoming Events – February 2019

Announcing two events – Feb. 12th and 13th:

(1) The Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science will host Pascal Boyer, cognitive anthropologist and author of “Religion Explained

“Why humans do not understand humans societies: Evolved Intuitive Sociology and the Social Sciences”

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 (International Darwin Day)
1:00 – 2:30 PM
Psychology Building Room 101
Busch Campus

From the abstract: “Understanding the evolutionary challenges of coordination helps provide more psychologically plausible social sciences.”
For more, click here to go to the RuCCS posting for this event

Also see Dr. Boyer’s most recent book “Minds Make Societies: How Cognition Explains the World Humans Create

(2) Humanist Community at Rutgers University –
Open Discussion

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 PM
College Avenue Student Center
Atrium Conference Room
126 College Avenue, New Brunswick

Grab something to eat in the food court and join us for a conversation about the work of Pascal Boyer, or recent events, or whatever else might be on your mind. All Rutgers students, faculty, and staff are welcome to join the dialogue.

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Hello HCRU Subscribers!

We thought you may be interested in a recent article about Rutgers Professor and HCRU Faculty Adviser Dr Julien Musolino.  The article, titled Students in Rutgers Psychology Class Probe Religious Mind and published on the Rutgers SAS website, explores the unique content and approach to the study of religion that the course offers.

The course explores religion from a scientific perspective, covering domains ranging from neuroscience to American culture, and even human nature more broadly.  Over the semester, the 200 students registered for Dr. Musolino’s “Religious Mind” ask: Why do we believe in Gods?  And further, distrust atheists?  Do human beings have souls, and is there an afterlife? And does religion make us moral?  Throughout the course, students are encouraged to answer these and many others questions by sifting through the empirical research we have to date.

As one sophomore Uri Veit explained, “I’d never come across a college class that analyzes religion from an empirical scientific perspective… I spent most of my life around religion and I want to understand those beliefs from the psychological perspective.”

If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to contact the Humanist Community at Rutgers.  You can also read Dr. Musolino’s book The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain by Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs, which is read during the course, in the link provided.

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The Humanist Community at Rutgers University newsletter will be starting a new monthly digest of articles published by Rutgers students and alumni on Applied Sentience – a new national platform for the next-generation of Humanist thinkers.


The Fiction Fallacy: Part 1, The Problem” by Alex Ioakimidis

Check out Alex’s first article as one of AS’s newest Staff Writers!  Alex, a Rutgers undergraduate, explores the use of “What If?” questions in fiction and wonder whether they can be of any real, substantive use in developing answers.

Of Hidden Gods: Sometimes Absence of Evidence IS Evidence of Absence” by Paul Chiariello

Have you ever talked with a theist who admits there aren’t any good argument or evidence for God, but still states that this doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist?  AS Managing Editor and HCRU Director Paul Chiariello argues that, while this maxim is usually true, there are exception and evidence for God is one of them.

Reason vs Religion at Rutgers: Julien Musolino Debates Mark Baker” by Leo Kozachkov

Leo, a Rutgers undergrad and frequent writer for Applied Sentience, reviews the recent Veritas Forum event at Rutgers in which HCRU’s very own Faculty Adviser and author of the recent book The Soul Fallacy debates linguist Mark Baker on their “perspectives on Science and Faith.”

Why We’re Here: Exploring the Causes of Hong Kong’s Protests” by Denzel Zhu

The recent Pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong marked an important moment in the history and future of the city state.  But as things usually are, the issues at the core of the protest are complex.  n this article Denzel, a Rutgers Sophomore, clears up some of this complexity in his thorough analysis.


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Unfortunately, regular office hours with Humanist Chaplain Barry Klassel at the RISN House have been canceled for the remainder of the Spring semester.

However!  If you would like to schedule a time to explore what Humanism is, talk about problems or stress you’ve having, what to get more involved with the Rutgers Humanist Community, or anything else then don’t hesitate to send us an email.

You can schedule a meeting with Barry by emailing him at

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Office hours this week have been canceled.

Barry will be busy planning an exciting event with Rutgers administration and the American Humanist Association, tentatively titled ‘The Future Common Ground Conference’.    More details in the soon.  Stay tuned!

Barry will still be available to talk online or set up a appointment.  Just send him an email at <>

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Alexander Ioakimidis, a Rutgers University undergraduate and double major in Astrophysics and Philosophy, has just joined Applied Sentience‘s ranks as their newest staff writer!

Applied Sentience is a “Next Generation Humanist Thinkblog.”  You can check out a list and bios of their Staff Writers, including Alex, from all over the country in the link.

You can also check out the writer’s archives for AS’s two other current Rutgers staff writers Heather Yaden and Leo Kozachkov.  Former AS staff writers from Rutgers include Paul Jones, James Carroll, Harold A. Mesa, and Emma Leigh.

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Storytelling is a powerful tool for social change and building community.

The Embracing Identities Project is searching for personal stories of coming out as LGBTQ and atheist in a variety of communities. Our mission is to increase understanding of the diverse collection of people who identify as queer and faithless, examine the intersections of identities and experiences within this group, and to inspire others to embrace their identities within their communities.

You can read more about the project and how to apply here on Applied Sentience.

Check it out and spread the word!

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The People’s Climate March at the UN aims for nothing less than to change the course of history.  During a meeting of international leaders set to debate climate change, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to urge dramatic reduction in global warming pollution.  We need to show these governments that the people are on his side.

Thousands have already registered.  To find out more and be part of history yourself, please go to the People’s Climate March website.

A Humanist contingent will be outside the New York Society for Ethical Culture at at Central Park West and W. 64th street which borders the Park starting at 10:30 am.  The march itself begins at 11:30 am.  The (more…)

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Have you checked out Applied Sentience yet?

Applied SentienceAbout a year ago the Rutgers Humanist Community started a community blog for Rutgers undergrads, grads, and recent alumni to get their ideas out in the world.  And we have had an absolutely amazing time!  In the past year we’ve published nearly 100 articles ranging over every topic under the sun and all with the goal of helping our frail humanity “find beauty in the world and explore how to live in it.

Check out the links to the articles below to read some great article by Rutgers’ up-and-coming Humanist thinkers and activists!

The Importance of Science Literacy – Even for Scientists!

Buddhism & Humanism: Two Sides of the Same Coin, Part 1

Why I Went Back to Sunday Assembly: Thoughts on a Growing ‘Atheist Church’

4 Lessons from My Failed Project as an Able-Bodied Ally

Also, make sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

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Today, April 30th, Rutgers University held their annual memorial service for students who have died over the course of the year.  The event is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students in collaboration with Student Life, the Interfaith Chaplains Association at Rutgers and CAPS.  This year the event was held at the Rutgers Student Center in the Graduate Student Lounge.

The Humanist Community at Rutgers was one of a number of Chaplaincies to offer words of solace to the grieving families.  Our Assistant Humanist Chaplain David Yaden read a poem, below.  Afterwards David (more…)

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Nikki Stern, author of “Hope in Small Doses,” comes to Rutgers on Tuesday, January 28 to optimistically kick off the Spring semester in an event sponsored by the Humanist Chaplaincy and cosponsored by the Rutgers Integral Spiritual Network.

The talk will take place at 7:30pm in Demarest Educational Building (not the dorm), which is behind the Second Reformed Church, 100 College Avenue, second floor Gym.  The entrance is on Mine Street at the back of the Rutgers Fed. Credit Union Parking Lot. Free parking for visitors is available in lots 26 (closest), 30 and the College Ave. Parking Deck.

Stern will describe how family history and personal experience, including her husband’s death on 9/11, have led her to search for a practical definition (more…)

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Rutgers Secular Communities and Students are Invited:
HumanLight 2013

Let’s celebrate the end of another semester and another year.  Let’s celebrate the light we bring into each others’ lives by expressing our highest ideals. Let’s celebrate Reason, Compassion and Hope.

Come and join us for good food, good company, and good discussions.

When: Tues., 12/10, 7:30-8:30 pm
Where: RISN House lounge, 14 Stone Street, behind the Second Reformed Church and across College Avenue from the campus.

For more information on HumanLight, check out the link to the New Jersey Humanist Network’s page.  And don’t hesitate to send us an email or leave a comment!

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Register to participate.

Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) and a new student group committed to working with RAH – (SO-RAH). need help with upcoming events (you can wear your group’s t-shirts):

  1. SO-RAH Hunger Games (4/11), providing food for young students WHO CAME FROM FOSTER CARE SYSTEM.
  2. ***Volunteers at Community Food Bank of NJ (4/13, 11:30am-1:30pm) – 10 SLOTS AVAILABLE! , Transportation to Hillside provided from campus
  3. NJ PIRG Hunger and Homelessness campaign. Collect food from households in New Brunswick and spread the word about hunger issues

Volunteers at Elijah’s Kitchen, New Bruns. (4/13) – NO MORE SLOTS AVAILABLE; next openings in June and after.

CONTACT RutgersHumanist [@] for information.

~Barry Klassel

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Looking for a summer internship?

Want to make a difference in the world?

Foundation Beyond BeliefFoundation Beyond Belief is a non-profit devoted to “encouraging and demonstrating Humanist generosity and compassion.”  FBB does this by focusing on fundraising and sponsoring charities working in the areas of Education, Poverty and Health, Human Rights and the Natural World.

They also engage in inter-religious cooperation through their Challenge the Gap program that works with charities based in other worldviews.


From May 1 to August 31, 2013 Summer Interns will work online at home in the areas of:

  • Assisting the Foundation with membership development
  • Researching and selecting featured charities
  • Donor management
  • Outreach, communications (including blog and social media)
  • Program design
  • And creative organizational development

Click here to learn more about their Summer Interns Program.

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