Category Archives: astronomy & space

The SnideShow Episode 007 – American Eclipse

Listen: 007 – American Eclipse I interview David Baron about his new book American Eclipse, which tells the story of the Eclipse of 1878 and the rush by Americans–some famous, some not so famous–to collect as much scientific data as possible … 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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April 12 in freethought history…

April 12, 1961 – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human being in space and the first to orbit the earth. Contrary to popular belief, Gagarin, who kept his Christian faith under wraps to avoid antagonizing Communist authorities, did … Continue reading

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April 6 in freethought history…

April 6, 1697 – The first documented use of the term “freethinker” is found in a letter from Irish scientist and political writer William Molyneux to English philosopher John Locke. Molyneux refers to fellow Irishman John Toland as “a candid … Continue reading

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March 9 in freethought history…

March 9, 1957 – Biologist, Pharyngula blogger and atheist activist Paul Zachary “PZ” Myers is born in Kent, Washington. Myers has been a lightning rod for controversy: he was criticized for desecrating a Eucharist; he was denied entry to a … Continue reading

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February 19 in freethought history…

February 19, 1473 – Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus is born in Torun,  Poland. Copernicus is best known for advocating a heliocentric model of the Solar System, in contradiction to the long accepted geocentric model. During his lifetime, he privately circulated copies of … Continue reading

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February 17 in freethought history…

February 17, 1600 – After being found guilty of heresy by the Roman Inquisition, Dominican friar Giordano Bruno is burned at the stake in the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome. Bruno accepted (the then heretical) Copernican heliocentrism, but also theorized that … Continue reading

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February 15 in freethought history…

February 15, 1564 – Astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei is born in Pisa, Italy. He is best known for his discoveries by use of the newly developed telescope, including the four largest moons of Jupiter. Galileo was infamously convicted by the … Continue reading

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February 13 in freethought history…

February 13, 1633 – Italian astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to face the Inquisition on charges of heresy, for teaching that the earth revolves around the sun in contradiction of Roman Catholic doctrine. He would eventually be found … Continue reading

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January 8 in freethought history…

January 8, 1823 - Alfred Russel Wallace (co-discoverer, with Charles Darwin, of evolution by natural selection) is born in Wales. His essay “On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type” was the catalyst Darwin needed to finally … Continue reading

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