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Supporters of the free, the curious, and the critical need to find ways to encourage a love of free, skeptical inquiry. Perhaps it’s time to collectively awaken from our “dogmatic slumbers,” celebrate inquiry, and light a candle or two in the dark.
On January 2th:
Isaac Asimov: Scientist, skeptic, humanist, and prolific author of both popular science and science fiction, (as well as writing about mathematics, the Bible, Shakespeare, etc.); wrote or edited about 500 books. He is, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, fondly regarded as one of the "Big Three" science-fiction masters of all time. His most famous work is the Foundation Series, along with his Robot series.
His popular science books developed scientific concepts from a historical perspective, and remain wonderfully clear and readable. Asimov was Vice President of Mensa International, and with his characteristic humility once admitted to have met only two people more intelligent than himself (Marvin Minsky and Carl Sagan).
On January 20th:
Great Orator of the Six Nations, also known as Red Jacket, his Indian name means He-Keeps-Them-Awake. In 1805, a missionary was sent to the Iroquois Confederacy to "spread the Word." The missionary said, among other things: "There is only one religion, and only one way to serve God, and if you do not embrace the right way you cannot be happy hereafter. You have never worshiped the Great Spirit in a manner acceptable to him; but have all your lives been in great errors and darkness."
His reply helps us better understand the backward, primitive evangelical savages that colonized 'early' America.
On November 9th:
Carl Sagan: Astronomer, skeptic, author, and world-famous popularizer of science extraordinaire. His award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, has been seen by more than 500 million people. The 1997 film Contact was based on his novel of the same name. Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books.
Visit our Carl Sagan Page to find out some of the billions and billions of ways you can celebrate his life and work.
On November 30th:
Mark Twain: Author, humorist, riverboat pilot, skeptic, gold miner, journalist, reporter, traveler, and perhaps the greatest American writer to date, a title that might reasonably be bestowed upon the author of the Great American Novel (which many think to be The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn). William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature," so high praise indeed.