Magazine article The Humanist

Editor's Note

Magazine article The Humanist

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

AWARDS CEREMONIES are fun, right? People who receive awards from an august body at some sort of gala, such the American Humanist Association's Humanist of the Year banquet, are usually very bright and interesting, and you never really know what they're going to say. Kurt Vonnegut famously dissected why his dog wasn't a humanist and had the audience rolling in the aisles when he quipped that his dearly deceased comrade Isaac Asimov was "in heaven now" PZ Myers tore a page from a Gideon Bible he'd taken from his hotel room to point out just how thin the story creationists hold up against the whole edifice of evolutionary science really is, and Ted Turner shared his amazement that he was still alive after the things he'd said about birth control and overpopulation ("who knows, when you pick up a paper tomorrow, I may not be" he joked). He also cut an audience member off when addressed as Mr. Turner: "Call me Ted. After all, there's so few of us we ought to be on a first-name basis."

All kidding aside, when it comes to the exemplary humanists honored annually by the AHA we can always count on the caliber of their intellect and integrity, and look forward to their keen and unique articulation of humanist principles. And the award acceptance speeches that succeed most not only enlighten us, but create a sense of unity such that these famous folks are at once beyond and one of us.

2011 Humanist of the Year Rebecca Goldstein certainly succeeds, going deep and lyrical in her acceptance speech given at the AHA's annual conference in Boston this past April and adapted herein. …

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