AHA Board Member
Phone: (781) 275-9261
Abby Hafer is a speaker, writer and humorist who particularly loves taking on Intelligent Design, Creationism, the idea of a rigid gender binary, the politics surrounding these subjects, and science denialism in general.
Many years ago, she realized that science denial is a political issue, not a scientific one. With this in mind, out, she realized that what we need are political-style arguments in defense of good science. Her presentations contain bulletproof science, but are short, easy to understand, easy to repeat, and make the opposition look bad. She uses humor to puncture bad arguments. Crucial questions are raised, such as “Why do mens’ testicles have such a bad location?”, “Who does God like better, us—or squid?” and “If men were created first, then why are there so many species that have only females?”
People tend to remember Dr. Hafer’s talks, and tend to invite her back. She has spoken at numerous conferences. She has written a book titled The Not-So-Intelligent Designer—Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not which was published in 2015. Her second book, Darwin’s Apostles—The Men Who fought to Have Evolution Accepted, Their Times and How the Battle Continues, co-authored with Dr. David Orenstein, will be published in November 2019 by Humanist Press.
Dr. Hafer has a doctorate in zoology from Oxford University, and teaches human anatomy and physiology at Curry College. She is a former DJ and loves doing radio (and TV).
She has three evolution-related presentations, and a gender binary debunking presentation:
UnIntelligent Design: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and ‘Intelligent Design’ Does Not
Why do men’s testicles hang outside the body? Why does our appendix sometimes explode and kill us? And who does God like better, anyway–us, or squid? These and other questions are addressed in UnIntelligent Design—Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not.
Dr. Hafer argues that the human body, though no less beautiful or marvelous for being flawed, has many faulty design features that would never have been the choice of an intelligent creator. In addition to pointing out problematic aspects of human anatomy, Dr. Hafer also gives examples of solutions to these problems that are found in other members of the animal kingdom. She then asks why other animals got better body parts than humans did, and wonders if this means that the designer prefers other animals to human beings. She also deals quickly and comprehensively with the idea of irreducible complexity.
Animals That Shouldn’t Exist, According to Intelligent Design
One of the great things about evolution is the sheer weirdness of its results. This talk focuses on some animals that you just shouldn’t go to your grave without knowing about, and discusses some of the philosophical conundrums implied by their very existence. Find out about some of the most lovable and fascinating members of the animal kingdom, and why they knock some of our most fondly-held ideas into a cocked hat.
Biology and Intelligent Design–They Really Speak Different Languages (and I can prove it)
Intelligent Design (ID) claims to be science. When you read papers by ID authors, they often use scientific-sounding language. However, the papers often seem to rely too heavily on argumentation and lack the use of, or even reference to, data. In this talk, the problem is quantified in a carefully dispassionate way and it comes up with some very interesting results. It also discusses the Discovery Institute’s fundamental antipathy to science, as revealed by the Wedge document.
Debunking the Gender Binary:
Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong: Part 1–The Gender Binary
Why does sex exist? What are males for? Is the gender binary real? And why does a microbe have the swingingest sex life of all? The answers to these and other crucial questions are answered in this presentation.
In debunking the gender binary, Dr. Hafer starts by talking about how sex evolved in the first place, and then talks about sex and gender in the zoological realm, and the vast array of relationship and reproductive arrangements to be found in nature. She then ends by talking about how morality regarding women’s reproductive rights, the rights of LGBTQ people, and indeed morality in general should not be based on the say-so of supernatural beings and their supposed interpreters.
- Her interview on NPR and PRI.
- Animals That Shouldn’t Exist, According to Intelligent Design (YouTube)
- UnIntelligent Design (YouTube)
- Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong: Part 1—The Gender Binary (YouTube)
Travel expenses are necessary, and honoraria are nice, but not necessary.