Each year, the New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab teams up with the Hudson Valley Humanists to hold a symposium near or on the date of Charles Darwin’s birthday (February 12th). Traditionally, students and members of the lab present studies they have been working on to members of the Hudson Valley Humanists. According to the Hudson Valley Humanists’ manifesto, they are a “growing group of non-religious people of all ages who embrace a secular life stance in our community” (“HUUmanists History and Mission”). The Humanists often hold meetings and events to inspire “hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all” by promoting the advancement of science and reason (“HUUmanists History and Mission”). Events, such as the Darwin Day symposium, are often spearheaded by Carol and Paul Auer.
On February 19th 2023, The Hudson Valley Humanists hosted members of the SUNY New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab at the New Paltz Community Center for the 7th annual Darwin Day symposium. The event was chaired by Dr. Glenn Geher’s student, Julia Lombard, with immense support from Humanists, Carol and Paul Auer, and Tiya Cotter. Around 61 people attended the event in-person and virtually on Zoom. In light of its relevance today, the theme chosen for this event was The Impact of Technology from an Evolutionary Perspective. Members of Dr. Glenn Geher’s Evolutionary Psychology lab presented published studies, on-going studies, research proposals, and literature reviews related to the theme.
The diverse presentation topics ranged from the evolutionary psychology of estrangements and ghosting to digital mental health interventions used for mismatch-related conditions. Presenters included, Dr. Glenn Geher (director of the New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab), Jacqueline Di Santo (past co-supervisor of the New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab and current professor at SUNY New Paltz and Marist), Emma Jerabek (undergraduate senior at SUNY New Paltz), Ethan Eisenberg (undergraduate senior at SUNY New Paltz), Julia Lombard (current co-supervisor of the New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab and undergraduate junior at SUNY New Paltz), Kyle Powell (first year Masters student in the Psychological Science program at SUNY New Paltz), and Sarai Garcia (undergraduate senior at SUNY New Paltz).
The audience members were captivated by the lab’s informative presentations. After presenting, the lab members opened the floor for questions, which sparked a professional and engaging discourse. The Hudson Valley Humanists, who share an interest and passion for evolutionary principles, provided interesting points of conversation and unique suggestions for potential future studies. Collaborating with the greater community is a crucial value of the New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab as the members are constantly seeking new perspectives and ideas. The lab also cherishes sharing and teaching others about the fundamental applications of evolutionary principles in the modern world. The Hudson Valley Humanists could not have been more of a receptive group for this event. The New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab cannot wait for next year’s symposium!
I look forward to having Glenn and all those in the Evolutionary Psychology Lab present to us every year on Charles Darwin’s Birthday. Entertaining, informative and it gives me hope for mankind!” -anonymous comment from an audience member
About the uu humanist association. (2012). UU Humanist Association. https://www.huumanists.org/about
7th annual darwin day symposium (2023). The Hudson Valley Humanists. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj4vaMJP0kY