Category Archives: Humanism

Climate Change Panel Discussion

HSNM is sponsoring a panel discussion on October 26. For a downloadable version of the flyer, please click OctTalkFlyerRev.


Scholarship Writing Contest

Humanist Society of New Mexico Announces High School Writing Contest

Winner will receive a scholarship to attend CNM

The Humanist Society of New Mexico (HSNM) is now accepting applications and essay entries from

graduating high school students who want to attend Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). Students are asked to submit an application form along with an essay of 600 to 800 words on any aspect of humanist values. The application form and complete details are posted on the HSNM website,, along with information about humanism, and links to local and national humanist resources.

The selected student will receive a scholarship grant to cover the first year of tuition at CNM, renewable for a second year if the student maintains a 3.0 average. The winner may enroll in academic or certificate programs. The contest is open to any student in the Albuquerque school system who will graduate before the start of the CNM fall term. The selection will be made by a committee of HSNM members (relatives of the selection committee or HSNM board are not eligible to enter). All applications are confidential and will not be shared with anyone outside of HSNM.

The deadline for application is May 1, 2018. There will be a personal interview for the finalists between May 10 and 15. The winner will be announced on May 26 at HSNM’s May Speaker Meeting, to be held at Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave. NE, from 10:00 a.m. to Noon.

The winning essay will be published in HSNM’s June 2018 Newsletter.

To download the grant application form, click here: CNM-Grant


Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize = Equality

Friday, March 10, 2017

12:00 to 1:00 – Program and Speakers

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM – Visit Legislators, network and get more information

NM State Capitol Rotunda
Santa Fe

Sponsored by: Albuquerque-NOW, SWLC, League of Women Voters, AAUW, Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, SWOP, and others

Free and open to the public
For more information:


Celebration of Women’s History Month – 12:00 to 1:00

* honoring the importance of women in developing our democracy and building our state
* recognizing the role that young feminists play in shaping our future.

The Program will have a diverse group of speakers who will highlight the ongoing work to achieve equal rights by:

* ensuring existing laws to protect women’s rights are strengthened and enforced, and
* new laws to address unequal treatment based on gender are enacted.

Visits with legislators, Networking, Information Tables- 10:00 to 3:00

~~Participating organizations will have information tables along the East Hall~~

Participants and the public are invited to visit all our NM legislators to thank them for their work on behalf of women and ask for their support for the work that still needs to be done.

Anthropology at UNM and Around the World- August 27 Speaker Meeting

Anthropology at UNM and Around the World, OR
Canteens Through the Ages

10 AM to Noon
Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue NE

Kristina Whitney will be guiding us through the exciting research  going on in the Anthropology Department at UNM. She will also share with us some of her own research on canteens. The history behind their origin is complex and global, and underscores how quickly the world became interconnected as North and South America were being explored and colonized.

Kristina Whitney is in her final semester of studies for her MA in public archaeology at UNM. Her thesis is on settlement patterning of pastoral groups in southeastern Ethiopia, with the aim to aid in establishing an archaeological baseline for an understudied area in Africa.

Other research interests include the origin and use of a specific canteen style in the American Southwest, and the connections of that style to canteens in the Mediterranean and Middle East. She is working on a publication for that research now, but it has not yet undergone peer review.

Kristina is also interthat has beenested in how archaeology is perceived by the public and how it can be utilized to foster a sense of community and sense of place, while also realizing that archaeology needs to gain a larger part of the public interest as a science in order to maintain relevance within the current congressional atmosphere.

She obtained her BA in anthropology at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, where her senior thesis focused on Byzantine water jugs. She’s been able to maintain her interest in water vessels through her canteen research, while also maintaining a global outlook on archaeology as a tool for investigative discovery. She grew up around Tucson and spent most of this summer on an archaeological survey of national parks in southeast Arizona.

Celebrate Women’s Equality Day

Come to a Rally at Civic Center Plaze in Albuquerque
Friday, August 26 between 11 AM and 1 PM

Over the past few years the Humanist Society of NM and the Albuquerque Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) have held public celebrations of Women’s Equality Day to remind all citizens that the right to vote comes with the responsibility to vote and that our work for women’s inclusion as equal partners with men in our country will not be done until the Equal Rights Amendment, written by Alice Paul in 1923, is ratified by 38 states and added to the Constitution.

The Southwest Women’s Law Center, in collaboration with Abq-NOW, League of Women Voters and other women-focused local and statewide organizations, will hold a rally at Civic Center Plaza in Albuquerque on Friday, August 26 between 11 AM and 1 PM. The event will feature real-time linkages via Skype, Facebook and Twitter with women from all 33 counties in NM projected on a jumbotron. The women will speak about issues of concern that impact their lives and the lives of women in their communities.

The objective of the celebration is to get women to vote and vote their mission, whatever it is. To that end it will focus on getting every woman, who is eligible, registered to vote with an emphasis on 17-year-olds who will be 18 by November 8, 2016.

There will be no political speeches nor promotion of any candidates or platforms. Ultimately, the goal is to build a community of strong women who will rise up, get engaged, and get to the polls in 2016.

For more information and to participate in this event, please contact Pamelya Herndon, Executive Director SWLC, at 505-244-0502 or .

History of Women’s Suffrage and Women’s Equality Day

On June 4, 1919, Congress, by joint resolution, approved the woman’s suffrage amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. The House of Representatives had voted 304-89 and the Senate 56-25 in favor of the amendment. It had taken 71 years, since the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments, to get to this point.

The national campaign to have the amendment ratified by 2/3 of the 48 states was led by suffragists, Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, who used different tactics but got all the states needed for ratification by August 18, 1920. Women’s right to vote in the US became the law of the land when it was added to the Constitution on August 26, 1920.

In 1971 Bella Abzug, Representative from New York, was successful in having a bill passed in Congress to have August 26 recognized annually as Women’s Equality Day.

For more information and to participate in this event, please contact Pamelya Herndon, Executive Director SWLC, at 505-244-0502 or .

Submitted by Sylvia M. Ramos, MD
ERA Task Force Chair, Albuquerque-NOW

Planned Parenthood: What is it and What’s going on?

March 2016 Speaker Meeting – March 26, 10 AM to Noon
Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central NE, Albuquerque

by Marshall Martinez

Marshall Martinez is the Public Affairs Manager in New Mexico for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Marshall will speak about Planned Parenthood, cover who Planned Parenthood is and why it gets involved in advocacy.

Subjects like funding, procedure bans, “witch-hunts”, legislation, what’s upcoming for 2016, and how you can get involved. Come and hear an informed speaker on these subjects– it’s going to be a great talk.

A native New Mexican, Marshall has spent a majority of his life as an organizer, even when he didn’t know what that was. Working in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Awareness as a teenager in Alamogordo New Mexico, Marshall learned at a young age how important comprehensive and responsible sexuality education is, and in this work was able to draw the connection beyond sexual health to emotional and mental health for teenagers.

After moving to Albuquerque in 2001 he began a formal career in political and community organizing, working for organizations like the League of Conservation Voters, AFSCME Public Employees Labor Union, and serving multiple years on the board of Equality New Mexico. Marshall’s passions have always been strong on the issues of Reproductive Healthcare Access. Being raised by a strong mother, and having two younger sisters, he sees the sacredness of Women’s Bodies and destinies and works hard to ensure their choices about them are respected.

Creationism Under the Hood

February Speaker Meeting
Saturday, February 27, 10 am to 12 noon
Free and Open to the Public

Special Collections Library, Botts Hall
423 Central Avenue NE

Cargo-Cult Science in the Intelligent Design Movement’s Attack on Evolutionary Algorithms

by Dave Thomas

Genetic (or evolutionary) algorithms have been used many times to successfully “breed” innovative answers to difficult problems in physics, math and biology. Creationists realize that the successes of such programs provide additional evidence for evolution, and have mounted a vigorous attack on Genetic Algorithms. Dave Thomas countered these attacks a few years ago by publishing a new genetic algorithm for solving the difficult “Steiner network problem”. Intelligent design creationists have since reacted by publishing two “analyses” of the Thomas algorithm. Dave will show that these new attacks are based on fallacious logic and outright misrepresentations. Are the creationists wrong? Is 1217 less than 1246? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “Yes!”

Dave Thomas is a physicist and mathematician. He received bachelor degrees in mathematics and in physics, and a master of science in mathematics, from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he was awarded the Brown Medal and the Langmuir Award.

Dave is president of the science group New Mexicans for Science and Reason (http://www., and also is a Fellow of CSI (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), the publishers of Skeptical Inquirer. He has published several articles in Skeptical Inquirer on the Roswell and Aztec UFO Incidents, as well as on the Bible Code. Dave has also published in Scientific American (Dec. 1980 cover article), and has several patents. He received the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of Darwin Award in 2000.

Dave is past president of the Coalition for Excellence on Science and Math Education (CESE), and is past president of the New Mexico Academy of Science.

Kitzmiller v Dover: Intelligent Design on Trial

Special January Speaker Meeting

Saturday, January 23, 10am-noon
Botts Hall, Special Collections Library
423 Central Avenue NE, Albuquerque
Free and open to the public

December 20 was the anniversary of a very special day! “The anniversary of what?” you ask: “Vaspasian claims the title of Emperor in the year 69?”  No. “The release of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in 1946?”  Nope. “Uri Geller’s birthday?”  Nooooo.  Hint: It’s not the day that would live in infamy, but it did mention “breathtaking inanity.” Ah, now you guessed it.

It’s the tenth anniversary of Kitzmiller v. Dover, when intelligent design went on trial!

Our meeting will start with a viewing of the PBS’ Nova “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial”. Following, we’ll ask for your thoughts about the debate between evolution and intelligent design: should it be taught in secular schools and what’s happened in the ten years since Dover.

Please come, watch and participate.

Leland Franks Obituary

Another valued member of HSNM has passed on…

Leland Franks, 87, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. Born on 5/11/1928 in Huntington, WV to Nora Beldner and Harold Franks, Leland grew up in WV and graduated from Logan High School. He moved to ABQ in 1953 from Lexington, KY after graduating from UK Law School. The Army called him to Albuquerque, and he stayed. He began his career as an accountant but soon changed to law. Self-employed for most of his career, he had many distinguished clients.

A past president of the Humanist Society of NM, he enjoyed going to their meetings. Up until about 6 months ago, he would go hiking every Sunday with a group of Humanist friends. Leland and his wife would take his children and grandchildren to CO on annual vacations for a number of years, and many great memories were made on those trips.

He was preceded in death by his mother Nora B. Franks.

Surviving are his loving wife Judy; daughter, Lela Tomlinson, of WA; son Adam (Sandra), of WA; daughter, Vivian (Calvin) Wisemann, of ABQ; and step-son Dan Engler of PA. Also survived by his five grandchildren: Amanda Franks, Jacob (Amanda) Franks, Aaron, Carlee, and Celina Wisemann; and his two great-grandsons and one due in November to Celina Wisemann and Daniel Duran; step-grandchildren Josh, Nic and Jacie Engler and four step-great-grandchildren. Also survived by his cousin, Michael (Susan) Rancer and half-sister Linda Beebe.

Friends will be received at the home, 615 Ridge Pl. NE, on Sunday, 10/18/15 from 1 – 4 pm.

Jack Fuller Obituary

Jack Fuller Obituary

by Gail Rubin

Jack died September 7, 2015

Jack Fuller, 83, a long-time member of HSNM, has laid down his hiking poles for the last time. Only a month after he and his wife Helen returned from a hiking trip to Iceland, which included soaking in the natural hot springs there, multiple myeloma unexpectedly cut short his life.

Jack was a man ahead of his time. A native of Palestine, Texas, he graduated high school at age 16, graduated college at 20 and got his PhD in physics by age 24. After graduation, he taught physics for two years at Baylor University, his alma mater. It’s also where he met his future bride, Helen Langston. They took a chemistry class together. He thought she was a little weird because she brought her pet rat to class and kept it on the windowsill. They married on August 23, 1953.

In 1959 they moved to Los Alamos where they reared two daughters: Karen (married to Dave Ruelli) and Lori (married to Martha Coder). Jack is also survived by his brother, Jerry Fuller, sister Jean Conroy (married to Martin Conroy), and great-granddaughter Korrine Blossom.

He worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1959 until he retired at age 55 in 1988. He started in space physics and later became a group leader for satellite detection and then weapons engineering. He listened to group members and was known as being a good man to work for.

Jack was a man of enthusiasm – for hiking and fitness, for piloting planes, for skiing and tennis, and enjoying classical music and reading books. He was a vegetarian who ate bacon. He loved Mexican food, especially Helen’s chile rellenos.

After his daughter coerced him into going skiing the first time, he bought equipment for the family, skied two days every weekend and later served on ski patrol. In 1968, after reading Aerobics by Ken Cooper, Jack started running and ran regularly for the next 30 years, after which running was replaced by hiking. When hiking, Jack was well known for getting off the trail. He liked to explore and bushwhack, and preferred fresh vistas on loop trails over out-and-back hikes (hence the bushwhacking). He designed and constructed personalized hiking poles for himself and their humanist hiking friends.

While Jack liked dogs, the family didn’t have their own. He’d get his doggie fix by interacting with the canines he encountered hiking and talking with the neighbors.

According to their daughter, Jack and Helen were the “poster children” for maintaining weight and fitness while aging. They vigorously hiked in the Sandia foothills on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and worked out at the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Jack was very much a scientist in his thinking and studied scientific subjects all his life. He was a great teacher and was good at explaining without making you feel stupid. When helping with physics homework he would patiently say, “Let’s look at it this way,” and “Did you draw a picture?” and proceed to explain how to approach the problem. He taught his sister, wife, daughters and grandson how to drive. His sister Jean recalls that she spent more time in reverse than drive.

After retirement, Jack was instrumental in organizing the Retired Public Employees of California – New Mexico chapter. He served as president of the organization for 17 years.

Jack was a man who was “all in” when he decided to do something. Then, when he was finished, he was finished. Jack Fuller has finished with this life, and it was a good one.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests you get outside and take a hike in Jack’s honor. Or, consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society specifically to help those with multiple myeloma.

Leland Franks said it best when he spoke at Jack’s memorial on Sept. 13: “It’s hard to say good-bye to a good friend.” We are missing Jack greatly, and holding Helen close in our hearts.