Category Archives: Chicago Humanities Festival

Ant Encounters

Ants are interesting creatures. Deborah Gordon (unfortunately of no relation to me) began her talk by debunking a few crucial common misconceptions about ants, how they operate their hill, and how they live their lives. It is a common belief … Continue reading

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The Bonobo and the Atheist

Contrary to what you might gather from the title of his talk, Frans de Waal began by making the distinction that he is neither an atheist nor even agnostic. He considers himself an apatheist, someone who does not believe or … Continue reading

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Are We the Last Neanderthals?

Summary: Dr. John Hawks was the speaker. He summarized a lot of research about Neanderthals, much of which is not so different from what we know about the ancestors of humans: they used tools, cooked meat and grains, decorated themselves … Continue reading

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Ant Encounters

Deborah Gordon, a professor at Stanford who has done revolutionary research in the world of ant ecology, presented about how ants interact with one another and compared their social habits to those of humans (and various other organisms). She detailed … Continue reading

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Neil Schubin — The Universe Within

I found the concept behind Neil Schubin’s talk fascinating. He spoke about seemingly unrelated topics, like his love affair with rocks, fish, the universe, fossils, internal body clocks, fruit flies, ice, and the Cold War. Then he managed to tie … Continue reading

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How We Should Treat Animals

The big question that was addressed in this lecture was how humans should treat animals. This led up to questioning whether animals were similar to humans and if that should have any effect  on how we interact with them. It … Continue reading

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Tracing Our Ancestors

Rick Kittles was an amiable speaker that spoke an air of confidence which gave the impression that he knew exactly what he was talking about. A professor at UIC, he was featured in the PBS series “Finding Your Roots.” He … Continue reading

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