February 24 in freethought history…

charlesdarwin144x144February 24, 1871 – Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex is published in the United Kingdom. In this follow-up to his popular and controversial On the Origin of Species (1859), Darwin tackles mankind’s place within the realm of evolution by natural selection, laying out the (still, in the 21st century) case that man, like all other creatures on earth, evolved from a pre-existing species.

February 24, 1975 – Bangladeshi blogger and secular activist Asif Mohiuddin is born in Kolkata, India. In 2013, Mohiuddin was stabbed by Al-Qaeda inspired assailants for his public criticism of the mistreatment of women and the death penalty for apostasy in Islam. He survived the attack, which was a catalyst for widespread protests and counter-protests; ironically, the Bangladeshi government’s reaction was to shut down secular blogs and arrest secular bloggers, including Mohiuddin, who was also imprisoned. He now lives in Berlin, Germany.

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