Category Archives: agnosticism

May 18 in freethought history…

May 18, 1872 - Philosopher and activist Bertrand Russell is born in Trellech, Wales. Aside from his career contributions to philosophy, mathematics, linguistics and computer science, he was a lifelong critic of war and an advocate for progressive social causes. He … Continue reading

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May 6 in freethought history…

May 6, 1862 - Philosopher and social reformer Henry David Thoreau dies in Concord, Massachusetts, aged 44. He is best known for his memoir Walden; or, Life in the Woods (a call for simplicity, thoughful living, and closeness to nature) and his … Continue reading

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May 4 in freethought history…

May 4, 1825 - English biologist Thomas Huxley is born in Ealing, United Kingdom. Huxley’s work in comparative anatomy led to his conclusion (widely accepted by scientists today) that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Huxley was an energetic advocate for colleague Charles … Continue reading

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April 18 in freethought history…

April 18, 1857 - Attorney and civil rights activist Clarence Darrow is born in Kinsman, Ohio. He is best known for leading the defense in famous 20th-century cases like Leopold and Loeb and the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial. Darrow was active … Continue reading

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March 13 in freethought history…

March 13, 1791 – Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, Part I, is published in London, England. (Part II would be published eleven months later.) In this landmark book, Paine asserted the sovereignty of the individual, government by assent of the … Continue reading

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February 4 in freethought history…

February 4, 341 BCE – According to ancient sources, the Greek philosopher Epicurus is born on this date (10 Gamelion of the old Attic calendar). Although little of his written work survives, fragments of his proto-scientific treatise On Nature. Epicurus is … Continue reading

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January 22 in freethought history…

January 22, 1906 – British secularist and publisher George Jacob Holyoake dies in Brighton, England, aged 88. Holyoake was a prolific writer and lecturer, and a leader in England’s nascent freethought movement. He was the last person convicted of blasphemy in the United … Continue reading

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January 15 in freethought history…

January 15, 2013 – Bangladeshi blogger and secular activist Asif Mohiuddin is 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 … Continue reading

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November 9 in freethought history…

November 9, 1934 – Astrophysicist and science popularizer Carl Sagan is born in New York City. Aside from his peer-reviewed accomplishments as a scientist, he was a prominent speculator about the possibility of extraterrestrial life (he organized the creation of … Continue reading

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October 5 in freethought history…

October 5, 1958 – Astrophysicist and science popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson is born in New York City. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, and was at the forefront of the movement … Continue reading

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