October 30, 1459 – Italian scholar Poggio Bracciolini dies in Florence, aged 79. He is best known for his discovery, in a German monastery, of the only surviving manuscript of De rerum naturaÂ (“On the Nature of Things”), an instructional poem written by the Roman philosopher Lucretius, explaining the philosophy of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. Epicurus’s work helped set the stage for modern science, denying supernaturalism, insisting on natural causes of physical phenomena, theorizing that all things are made of atoms, and proposing a solution toÂ the puzzle of free will.
October 30, 2000 – American entertainer and TV personality Steve Allen dies in Los Angeles, California, aged 78. He was the first host of the longrunning Tonight ShowÂ on NBC, among numerous other accomplishments. Allen was a secular humanist, and a memberÂ of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP, now the Committee for SkepticalÂ Inquiry) and the Council for Secular Humanism. His many books include two titles on “the Bible, Religion & Morality.”
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