November 24 in freethought history…

November 24, 1632  – Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza is born Benedito de Espinosa to Portuguese-Jewish parents in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A lens-grinder by trade, he is best known for his magnum opus Ethics, which opposed mind-body dualism and equated God with Nature (he was vehemently excommunicated by the Jewish community in Amsterdam for his efforts). He died in 1677, aged 44.

originofspeciesNovember 24, 1859 – Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is published by John Murray in London, England. It’s central concept–that all earthly life is descended from a single, simple ancestor, and that random mutation combined with environmental pressure causes species to change over time–was controversial at the time, and continues to be controversial to the present day (although the current controversy is of a religious, social and political nature rather than scientific).

November 24, 2007 – The first episode of the American Freethought podcast is released, hosted by John C. Snider and David Driscoll.

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