October 24 in freethought history…

eugeniescott2October 24, 1945 – Anthropologist and anti-creation science activist Eugenie Scott is born. From 1987 to 2013 she served as Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. She was a key player on behalf of the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v Dover, the federal court case that ruled the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classes was illegal.

October 24, 1991 - Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry dies in Santa Monica, California, aged 70. Star Trek (which aired from 1966 to 1969) presented a near-utopian 23rd century Earth: enlightened, progressive, free of racial hatred and almost devoid of religion. Star Trek has gone on to become one of the most successful entertainment franchises in history, thus far spawning six television series, thirteen feature films, and countless comics, books, toys and other merchandise. In a 1991 interview Roddenberry said that from a fairly early age “it was clear to me that religion was largely nonsense, largely magical, superstitious things.” His advice on dealing with religious people: “If people need religion, ignore them and maybe they will ignore you and you can go on with your life.”

October 24, 1998 – American physician and sex educator Mary Calderone dies in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, aged 94. She founded the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), served as medical director of Planned Parenthood, and was instrumental in convincing the American Medical Association to reverse its policiy banning the disseminating of birth control information to patients. She was named Humanist of the Year in 1974 by the American Humanist Association.

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