March 26, 1944 – Biologist and atheist activist Richard Dawkins is bornÂ in Nairobi, British Kenya. He has written numerous books for general audiences, including The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, A Devil’s Chaplain, The God Delusion, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution and The Magic of Reality. Most recently he has published a two-part autobiography: An Appetite for Wonder and Brief Candle in the Dark.Â He has been named one of the “Four Horsemen” (along with Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and the late Christopher Hitchens) of New Atheism for his forthright and often strident defense of rationalism and crticism of religion. Dawkins has been a lightning rod for controversy, sometimes of his own making: in recent years he has been taken to task for several tin-eared comments regarding Islam, sexual harassment at skeptic conventions, date rape, and the desirability of aborting Down syndrome fetuses.
March 26, 1993 – Unitarian and humanist leader Edwin H. Wilson dies in Salt Lake City, Utah, aged 94. He was minister to several Unitarian congregations during his lifetime. He took part in the drafting of the Humanist Manifesto in 1933 and Humanist Manifesto II in 1973. He was named Humanist of the Year in 1979 by the American Humanist Association.