Community Lunch: Joseph Priestley, English Unitarian Minister and Chemist

Sunday, March 24th 2013 at 12:00 pm
The Red Lobster Restaurant, 2625 West International Speedway, Daytona Beach (Route 92 & I-95 Exit #261)

Presented by James Strayer.

Joseph Priestley, English Unitarian minister and chemist, was born, in England in 1733.

Priestley argued that writing a history of science was important since it could show how human intelligence discovers and directs the forces of nature. The history of science also illustrated the general progress of mankind.

In 1772, Priestley isolated oxygen and observed its importance in combustion. His History of Early Opinions concerning Jesus Christ signaled renewed controversy since it defended Unitarianism and attacked such doctrines as the inspiration of scripture, the virgin birth, the Trinity.

This talk is about being respected and condemned by scientists, politicians, and religions all in a life time.


Come join the discussion moderated by Jim Strayer.

Born and raised in Adrian, Michigan, Jim Strayer earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science Degree from the University of Michigan.

Since earning these degrees, he has attended Pratt University in New York to study chemistry, Wayne State University in Detroit to study ecology, and Michigan State University to study environmental problems. He has thirty-four years of teaching experience; twelve at the high school level and twenty-two at the community college level. He was given the “Outstanding Teacher Award” at Washtenaw Community College in 1985.

Because of his interest in Charles Darwin he and his wife went to London to spend a day at Down House, the home of Charles Darwin. He also spent days at the new Darwin Centre, the wing of London's Natural History Museum.

Some of his publications are: "The Scopes Evolution Trial; The Battle Continues", Humanists of Canada, Fall 1994 (#110); "Thomas Huxley Debates Bishop Wilberforce", Humanists of Canada, Winter 1993/94 (#107); "Creating Creationists; Creationist’s Use Of “Science” Texts", American Atheist, Summer 2001, Vol. 39, No. 3. He has co-authored an article, "Creation vs. Evolution: Effects on Learning Biology", which appeared in the September, 2001 American Biology Teacher.

Jim has been a speaker many times at Daytona State College, for many Unitarian, Humanist, and Freethought groups, as well as scientific and teaching organizations. He was presented the Florida Humanist Lecturer of the Year Award in 1993.


The public is invited. Our usual agenda is lunch from noon to 1:00 PM, presentation from 1:00-1:30 PM, and Q&A until 2:00 PM. You can order from the lunch menu.

There is never a charge for Friends of the Center, so join at the meeting for special rates and to support our community.

The Center for Inquiry-Daytona Community has never charged for attending a lunch or meeting. However, we do encourage you to join CFI–Transnational which supports our community. They are dedicated people who promote science, reason, and free inquiry in all areas of human endeavor.

Reservations are helpful but not mandatory. We've never turned anyone away!

Make your reservation for the event simply by emailing or calling (386) 671-1921 to reserve your spot. Please give names as they are to appear on name tags.