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Capital District Humanist Society

The Capital District Humanist Society provides a supportive community for exchanging ideas, heightening our knowledge of the world and ourselves, fostering moral and ethical growth, and promoting the principles of secular humanism.

CDHS is a member organization for individuals who share humanist values and who reside in the Capital District region of New York State and neighboring areas. Our values include commitment to free inquiry, rational thought, life-long education, democracy, social concern, and fellowship.

The Society provides various activities including monthly speakers, socials, book discussions, and a newsletter.

In Memoriam:

Richard H. McMahan, Jr.


Richard H ("Dick") McMahan Jr. served as our (Capital District Humanist Society, Albany, NY) newsletter editor for as long as I can remember. He was very witty, sharp, and always gathered the greatest articles from around the globe to embellish our monthly publication, and therefore our gatherings. His pointed editorials kept the paper fresh and interesting. It was he, that made certain it was delivered to the printer and was always on time. In short, he helped make our somewhat disorganized group appear to be less like a herd of cats and more like the force of secular thought and cohesiveness that we would like to be in the Capital District of New York. 
It was also Dick who came up with the brilliant idea and follow-through of a karaoke sound system, so that our presenters would not suffer laryngitis the day after a speech in front of our organization.
I can say without reservations that everyone here was sad to see him move away (though we all understood his wanting to be with family), and certainly enjoyed his occasional kind comments emailed to one or more of us, after he left, letting us know that he was keeping a watchful eye.
We will certainly miss him. Good-bye our friend.
Wolfgang Kurth



The Capital District Humanist Society presents:



Dr. Frank H Wind:

 Storm Clouds over the Grand Canyon—
Science vs. “In the Beginning…..”

A storm of controversy erupted late in 2003, with the publishing and placement in the Grand Canyon bookstores of a book entitled, Grand Canyon: A Different View. The book, edited by Tom Vail, is a collection of 23 essays that argue that the geologic section exposed in the Grand Canyon and the canyon itself are the result of ‘Noah’s Flood’. The presence of this slim volume, replete with both Old and New Testament references and enough bad science to refill the canyon, raised the hackles of the presidents of seven national science organizations. They jointly signed a letter to the park’s superintendent urging him to remove the book. Apparently, in an effort to placate some outraged Grand Canyon employees, the book was moved from the natural science section to the ‘inspirational’ reading section of the park bookstores. To counteract the monumental falsehoods in the “different view”, in 2016, eleven well-credentialed geologists published “The Grand Canyon: Monument to an Ancient Earth”, with the subtitle, “Can Noah’s Flood Explain the Grand Canyon?” We’ll contrast the ideas put forth in these two publications.

The author holds a Bachelors’ degree in geology from Queens College of the City University of New York and Masters and PhD degrees in geology from Florida State University. His fields of study were stratigraphy, depositional environments and micropaleontology. He joined Texaco USA and spent 22 years in service and research laboratories in Los Angeles, Denver and Houston, serving as a reservoir geologist until he retired in 1999.

Sunday, May 14th, 2017


  • Refreshments 12:30; Program 1:15 p.m.
  • Room 224, Campus Center, Sage Colleges Albany Campus
  • New Scotland Ave. at Academy Road, Albany
  • Admission: Free.

  • The Public is Cordially Invited to Attend!

Presented by The Capital District Humanist Society

Details and directions: 518.533.2666, or our directions page

Monthly meetings

CDHS meets on the second Sunday of each month in Room 224 of the Campus Center at the Albany campus of the Sage Colleges, at New Scotland Avenue and Academy Road.

We gather at 12:30 pm. Program starts at 1:15. Light refreshments are provided.

Click here for directions.

Click here for the upcoming meeting.


Other Activities

In addition to monthly speaker presentations, we hold monthly social events, and sponsor a reading group, and a discussion group.

CDHS Meetup Page!

We encourage all CDHS members to go to our new MEETUP page:
-and click on "JOIN". Not only can you get up to the minute postings of events posted to the page, but if you join the meetup, you will be emailed any announcements or schedule changes as they occur. You will then NOT have to go to the meetup page to find out about the latest changes, they will be automatically emailed to you. If you need more information, please contact Fred Levine.


CDHS is affiliated with the three major humanist organizations:



Members and subscribers receive our publication, The Humanist Monthly. If you are interested in more information about CDHS, give us your name and email address, and we will send a sample copy or two with no obligation.

Contact us for further information at: webmaster (at) humanistsociety (dot) org

Send website comments to: webmaster (at) humanistsociety (dot) org