Welcome to Dorset Humanists

Dorset Humanists welcomes atheists, agnostics, sceptics, secularists and all who question organised religion. Join us to live without religion, using reason, evidence, science and ethical behaviour. See 'About Us' and 'About Humanism'. Receive the free monthly pdf Dorset Humanists Bulletin/Newsletter. A partner of British Humanist Association.

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!

Please help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at) for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

July Bulletin

DWPeter Tatchell is a fearless defender of human rights, not just in the UK but in numerous other countries, and we are delighted to have him speaking to us this month. Please arrive early to secure a seat, as we’re expecting a full venue. Peter last visited Dorset Humanists in 2005.

Also in this month's Bulletin, we bring you reports of our recent talks on Buddhism and Agnosticism, and our usual roundup of interesting local events including Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival, where we’ll have a stand to help promote our group and humanism.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.
David Warden
Chair, Dorset Humanists

Science & Pseudoscience: How to Tell the Difference

Science & Pseudoscience 17th July 2014Thursday 17th July 7.30pm
The Green House Hotel,  4 Grove Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AX

A Discussion with Science Journalist Peter Hadfield

In these times of information overload, media hype, disinformation, and chequebook journalism, how do reasonably intelligent people ensure we are accurately informed about science? What sources can we trust and what are the relative merits of books, websites, newspapers, and scientific journals?

With a particular focus on the topical issue of climate change, science journalist Peter Hadfield and Chair of Dorset Humanists David Warden will discuss how credible information is gathered, how to spot bogus information, and how to minimise the risk of being deceived.

Peter Hadfield is a firm defender of science and a staunch critic of pseudoscience, creationism, and global warming denialism. He regularly debunks pseudoscience and conspiracy theories on his YouTube channel, Potholer54, which now has approaching 90,000 subscribers, and also hosts the annual Crocoduck Awards.

“Join us for this lively discussion in which Peter Hadfield will guide us through the process of defending ourselves against pseudoscience and scientific deception”.

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

(The Green House Hotel can also be accessed by car and on foot via it’s rear driveway in Gervis Road. Gervis Road is well lit and has roadside parking available).

Please help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at) for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Thomas Hardy and the Poetry of Unbelief

HardyThursday 26th June 7.30pm 
Avenue Restaurant, 33 West Street, Bridport***, DT6 3QW    

A West Dorset Humanists’ event with John Hubbard.

John Hubbard shares his passion and enthusiasm for Hardy’s verse in this selection of readings with commentary. Readings will include around twenty poems, both familiar and unfamiliar, including The Oxen, The Darkling Thrush, God’s Funeral and Afternoon Service at Mellstock. John’s selection has been chosen to illustrate Hardy’s relationship with the world in which he lived, and his developing unbelief.

We are expecting a highly enjoyable evening for devotees of Hardy’s works, as well as a great introduction for those coming to them for the first time.

John gave this talk to West Dorset Humanists nearly 3 years ago and received rave reviews from everyone who came along. We will be meeting in the room upstairs at the Avenue Restaurant. Drinks will be available from the Bar and, if you'd like to eat before the talk, the restaurant will be serving food from 6.00pm (for more details, visit

£3 Entry cost.     Everyone welcome!

***Please note: This talk is in Bridport and not at WDH’s regular venue in Dorchester. The venue was listed incorrectly in Dorset Humanists’ June Bulletin. We apologise for any inconvenience caused***.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.