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Fred Edwords (Emeritus)
Mr. Fred Edwords
Director of Planned Giving
American Humanist Association
The Humanist Institute
New York, NY and Washington, DC
Thoughts on Human Origins
Humanism is an intellectual, ethical, and aesthetic way of life wherein the universe is viewed as natural. This excludes supernatural or mystical beliefs, such as in a supreme being or higher reality. If engaged as a personal outlook, humanism is commonly regarded as a secular philosophy. When practiced in a community setting with celebration and song, it can be called religious.
As one who has been a humanist all my adult life, I find this worldview continually enriched by the discoveries of science, especially in fields that can teach us more about ourselves as a species. But beyond the answers provided by discovery, there is the excitement of the quest itself. Many humanists have found a satisfying sense of purpose and an expansive outlet for their love of mystery within the depths of the scientific enterprise.
One attraction of science is that its limitations are still unknown. Many areas formerly thought beyond its reach have yielded new understandings after serious exploration. So the pursuit is open ended. It is far too soon to attempt to demarcate which areas of inquiry are or are not within its scope. In this light, scientific curiosity should remain unfettered as it continues to expand the frontiers of knowledge.