|In timelines, atheism timeline, or “timeline of atheism”, refers to dates, periods, or times of significant atheist or atheism events, incidents, happenings, and or movements.|
The following is a work-in-progress timeline of atheism:
|Fire, earth, water theory:|
The Egyptian first dynasty formed centered around the state religion of Heliopolis creation myth, according to which first there was a watery abyss (Nu), out of which land or earth arose (Geb), from which the fire or the sun (Ra) burst forth, self-generating all the other gods and humans out of his mouth:
The pyramids were built in symbolic representation of Heliopolis creation myth:
|Flux and fire philosophy:|
Greek philosopher Heraclitus (535-450BC) developed a “flux and fire” philosophy, according to which, in his view:
“The universe, that is the all, is made neither of gods nor men, but ever has been and ever will be an eternal living fire, kindling and extinguishing in destined measure.”
In short, three elements: fire, earth, and water, are all that exist, but that, among these, “fire” was the primary element, controlling and modifying the other two, and that everything is in a continuous state of flux, or change, and war and strife between opposites is the eternal condition of the universe.
An implicit assumption in this logic is underlying premise that movement and change would require space or a “void”, or space devoid of the three elements: (Ѻ)
|Denial of void:|
Greek philosopher Parmenides (510-450BC), head of the so-called Eleatic school, whose members included Melissus (500-440BC) and Zeno of Elea (495-430BC), noted as teacher of Leucippus, in reaction to materialism philosophers, in what some have referred to as an "attack" (Ѻ) on Heraclitus, argued that all that existed was some type of immovable “being”, and concordantly that “non-being” or void was impossible—the following fragment from Melissus gives the gist of this argument: (Ѻ)
“There is absolutely NO void. For void is not-being and the nothing could not exist. And it does not move. For it cannot more in any direction. But it is full. For if there were void, it would move into that void, but since there is no void it has nothing to move into.”See: Heraclitus vs Parmenides
Greek philosopher Leucippus (500-450BC), in objection to Parmenides debatable assertion that vacuums are a natural impossibility (see: nature abhors a vacuum), posited:
and conceives of “godless” atomic theory, to explain everything, thus launching the Greek atomic theory school (shown in gray):
|First "labeled" atheist:|
Greek thinker Protagoras (c.490-420BC) becomes the first person to be “labeled” an atheist, for the following views:
“Concerning the gods, I am unable to discover whether they exist or not, or what they are like in form; for there are many hindrances to knowledge, the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of the human mind.”
“There are two sides to every question.”
Though technically, these views are what we now characterize as “agnostic”, a term coined in 1869 by Thomas Huxley.
Greek philosopher Democritus (c.460-370BC), student of Leucippus and mentor to Epicurus, via atomic theory, discards all religious doctrine, particularly belief in the existence of gods (or God), with the exception that he retains the theory of the “soul”, which he conceives of as follows:
“The soul consists of fine, smooth, round atoms, like those of fire. These are the most mobile of all. They interpenetrate the whole body, and in their motions the phenomena of life arise.”Epicurus (307BC) would build on this atheism-infused logic with the addition of his clinamen theory of free will, i.e. that humans have free will owing to the “swerve of the atom” (see: Epicurean swerve).
Photo: Democritus mediating on the seat of the soul (Paris Salon, 1868)
Some (Palmer, 2013), to note, state that Democritus had a residual belief in gods, thinking of them as types of atomic construction.
Hebrew redactors de-deified (monotheized) the Egyptian creation myths (see: religio-mythology transcription) into the Biblical creation as described in Genesis:
Greek thinker Diagoras (c.448-388BC), aka “Diagoras ‘the Atheist’ of Melos”, a disciple of Democritus (Ѻ), cited by Cicero, among others, sometimes referred to, in the history of atheism (Ѻ), as the “first atheist” or history's earliest known “confirmed atheist”, as some (Ѻ) describe him:
Athenagoras, in his A Plea for the Christians (200AD), refers to Diagoras as follows:
“With reason did the Athenians adjudge Diagoras guilty of atheism, in that he not only divulged the Orphic doctrine, and published the mysteries of Eleusis and of the Cabiri, and chopped up the wooden statue of Hercules to boil his turnips, but openly declared that there was no God at all.”
Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270BC) introduced the "problem of evil", or paradox of evil, thus laying question to the so-called "power" of god and or existence of god:
The paradox of evil, i.e. the existence of "unnaturalness" (evil), in a godless universe, was solved, via thermodynamic reasoning (coupling theory), in 2011 by American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims.
Greek philosopher Lucretius (99-55BC) publishes On the Nature of Things, wherein, in his summary of the main points of the atomic theory of Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, in poetic form, on “gods” his aim is the following:
“My object is to dispel the fear of the gods, which arises simply from the fact that there are so many things which men do not yet understand, and therefore imagine to be effected by divine power.”
On where everything came from, without a "creator", Lucretius has the following to say:
“For surely the atoms did not hold council, assigning order to each, flexing their keen minds with questions of place and motion and who goes where. But shuffled and jumbled in many ways, in the course of endless time they are buffeted, driven along, chancing upon all motions, combinations. At last they fall into such an arrangement as would create this universe.”
Together, Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, and Lucretius become the original "four horsemen of atheism"; a term reverberated in new atheism terms, referring to Dawkins, Dennet, Harris, Hitchens.
In 391AD, Roman emperor Theodosius I declared paganism illegal, after which either all or part of the Library of Alexandria, the storehouse of the world’s knowledge, was burned down.
This was one of the stepping stones to the start of the dark ages (500-1500).
Greco-Roman Alexandrian thinker Hypatia, the only known female universal genius, after proving heliocentric theory, via the stone dropped on a moving boat experiment, declaring that myths should be taught as myths, and that all formal religions are delusive, was stripped, stoned, dismembered, and burned to death:
The Roman empire falls and dark ages (500 to 1500) ensue:
In 642, Alexandria was captured by the Muslims, who, under orders of Caliph Omar, burned all books, per the following logic:
“If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran, destroy them.”
Florentine-Roman Latin manuscripts scholar Poggio Bracciolini's discovers the then known only surviving copy of Lucretius’ 55BC On the Nature of Things, had 50-copies made, resulting in the launch of the Renaissance, the start of modern science, and the revival of atheism, per the logic of atomic theory.
One found its way into the hands of Giordano Bruno, who became (1600) the most-famous "asserted atheist" to be burned at the stake.
American historian Stephen Greenblatt’s 2011 The Swerve argues cogently that Bracciolini’s discovery, and subsequent unleashing of Epicurian swerve theory, launched the renaissance, breeding an entire lineage of great atheist-like thinkers: Bruno, Galileo, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Freud, Darwin, Einstein, and Thomas Jefferson.
French scientific scholar Etienne Dolet (1509-1546), in 1535, was rumored to be a “materialist” and to deny the immortality of the soul (Ѻ), and eventually was convicted of the “crime” of atheism, tortured and then burned, with his books:
Others executed for the crime of atheism include: Lucillio Vanini (1619), Kazimierz Lyszcznskiin (1689), and Jean-Francois de la Barre (1766).
The Florentine synod prohibited the teaching of Lucretius (atomic theory) in schools:
English thinker Francis Bacon publishes his essay “Of Atheism” (Ѻ) , wherein he labels the atomic theorists as the "atheism school", with their improbable, in his mind, assertion that beauty and order could have arisen via the action of atoms (or four elements) with a divine marshal:
“Nay, even that school which is most accused of atheism doth most demonstrate religion; that is, the school of Leucippus and Democritus and Epicurus. For it is a thousand times more credible, that four mutable elements, and one immutable fifth essence, duly and eternally placed, need no God, than that an army of infinite small portions, or seeds unplaced, should have produced this order and beauty, without a divine marshal.”
|Infinity of inhabited worlds:|
Italian thinker Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), a debatably-labeled (Ѻ) (Ѻ) “atheist” and or “courageous thinker who lay under the stigma of atheism” (Ѻ), in opposition to Thomas Aquinas’ causality argument, added Lucretius’ atomic theory together with Copernican heliocentrism to argue for an infinite world’s hypothesis, and for these views, which he would not recant, was burned at the stake:
Bruno's burning, in the history of atheism (Ѻ), is said to mark a transition point for the re-emergence of atheism; though, to note, his works remained on the Index of Prohibited Books until 1965, and it was not until 2000 that he received a public apology from the Catholic Church.
Italian physicist Galileo Galilei is put on trial for “suspicion of heresy” for his telescope-based observational assertion that the “earth moves”, which thus conflicts with the Biblical model that the earth is stationary and at the center of the universe, convicted, made to recant, and put on house arrest for the remainder of his days:
See also: Science v. religion legal cases
In 1647, French thinker Pierre Gassendi revives atomic theory, with the publication of On the Life and Death of Epicurus, followed by Arrangement of the Philosophy of Epicurus (1649), wherein he coins the term “molecule”, but avoids the “charges of atheism” by locating the physical "causal" agency in atoms, albeit connected back to the creator, i.e. first cause, as follows: (Ѻ)
“The first moving cause in physical things is atoms; while they move through themselves and through the force which is continually received from the Author from the beginning, they give motion to all things. And therefore, the atoms are the origin, principal, and cause of all motions that are in nature.”
English science-philosopher Thomas Hobbes publishes his Leviathan: or the Matter, Form, and Power, of a Common Wealth Ecclesiastical and Civil, an attempt to develop a political theory out of the mechanical view, described by British atheism historian David Berman, as a “crypto-atheistic work”:
English natural philosopher Walter Charleton (1619-1707), the so-called “main conduit for the transmission of Epicurean ideas to England”, and friend of Thomas Hobbes and reader of Pierre Gassendi, published his The Darkness of Atheism Dispelled by the Light of Nature, followed by Physiologia Epicuro-Gassendo-Charletoniana: or a fabrick of science natural, upon the Hypothesis of Atoms (1654), largely based Gassendi’s Animadversiones (1649), Epicurus's Morals (1656), and Natural History of the Passions (1674).
The 1677 British Blasphemy Act specifically mentioned “atheism” as a crime punishable by death. The 1697 version of the Blasphemy Act is shown below: (Ѻ)
In Italy, cardinal Leopoldo de Medici (1617-1675) (Ѻ), a noted science instrument pro scholar, and associate of atomic theory pro (Ѻ) thinker Christiaan Huygens, who spent four hours each day 'up to his neck in books', curiously, discretely warned local scholars that atomic theory would no longer be tolerated.
In Pisa Italy, eleven men and women were accused of denying the existence of god, the doctrines of creation, afterlife, and Christ’s divinity, believing instead that the world was eternal and best explained by atomic theory.
In Naples Italy, de Cristofaro was imprisoned for six years for teaching Lucretian atomism.
French Catholic abbe Jean Meslier, was found, upon his death (dereaction), to have penned three duplicate copies of a soul-denying, God-denying, free will-dismissing, religion-debunking opus entitled Testament; an example view:
“For everything they tell you about beauty and magnificence of the one [heaven], or the terror and frightfulness of the other [hell], is only a fable; there is no more good to hope for or evil after death.”
Meslier is a top six extreme atheist, whose atheism was considered “too extreme” for Voltaire and written with a “frenzied anger” (Nick Spencer, 2014) that makes Dawkins' The God Delusion look tame.
His work is described, by Michael Palmer (2013), as “an all-out assault on the divinity of Jesus, miracles, the authority of the New Testament, revelation, the principle dogmas of the Church, Christian morality, and life after death.”
His main promoter, of late, has been French new atheist Michel Onfray, one the best-selling atheist in France in the last decade.
French physician and “extreme materialist” (Ѻ) philosopher Julien la Mettrie—a translator of Seneca’s essay on happiness—in his The Natural History of the Soul (1745), argued for a mechanist materialistic position, according to which there was no need of the soul to animate matter, that life was a property of matter, not something breathed into; to quote:
“What is the soul, but an empty word to which no idea corresponds?”
Likewise, his 1747 Man a Machine, dubbed a “materialist manifesto” (Ѻ), rooted in quasi-atheistic principles, caused a scandal because it denied Cartesian dualism, i.e. it denied that there was a distinction between humans, who alone had souls (in the pineal gland), and animals who, like machines, had none. He rejected immortality, arguing that humans, like all other beings in the entire universe, consist of nothing but matter. He attacked the monadism proposed by Gottfried Leibniz and his supporters as “incomprehensible” writing that:
He was known throughout Europe as an advocate of godlessness and vice, was eventually condemned, his books were burned, after which he fled to Prussia, where he was granted a safe haven by King Frederick II, where he was asked to be the King’s personal physician. (Ѻ)
French thinker Baron d’Holbach publishes his The System of Nature: or the Laws of Moral and Physical World, the first avowedly atheist book, sometimes referred to as the “Atheist’s Bible”, one example quote as follows:
“What, indeed, is an atheist? He is one who destroys delusions which are harmful to humanity in order to lead men back to nature, to reality, to reason. He is a thinker who, having reflected on the nature of matter, its energy, properties and ways of acting, has no need of idealized powers or imaginary intelligences to explain the phenomena of the universe and the operations of nature.”
His book was banned and publicly burned.
In response to Joseph Priestley’s book against atheism (Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion, 1772) An anonymous “Mr. Hammon” (see: Priestley Unbeliever), later said to be English chemist-physician Matthew Turner (Ѻ), or possibly two authors combined, published Answer to Dr. Priestley’s Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever (Ѻ) , in which, by stating the following, becomes the first overt or avowed atheist in Britain:
“As to the question whether there is such an existent being as an atheist, to put that out of all manner of doubt, I do declare upon my honor that I am one.”
The US Constitution comes into force, in the text of which the word "God" does not appear:
American 2nd president John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli, with its famous clause about religion in the United States, hence making it the law of the land there after:
| Separation of church and state:|
American President Thomas Jefferson stated the model of separation of church and state:
“The legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions; the act of the whole American people declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
See: Neil Tyson's 1999 "Holy Wars" article on "if the talk is in America" distinction.
French physicist Pierre Laplace famously tells French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, when queried as to why there was no mention of "God" in his celestial mechanics, that: "he had no need of that [god] hypothesis:
This, historically, is known as the: Napoleon Laplace anecdote, probably the most-cited atheism "event" in the timeline.
German polyintellect Johann Goethe published Elective Affinities:
“The four things I loathe the most are: tobacco smoke, bugs, garlic, and †.”— Johann Goethe (1795), Venetian Epigram 66
“Morality is found in the ‘symbols’ of physical chemistry.”— Johann Goethe (1809), conversation with Riemer, Jul 24
Prior to this: (a) in 1758 (age 9) erected an altar of natural products, derived largely from his father’s natural history collection, surmounting it with a candle, which he lit when making his devotions, the whole surmounted by the fire principle element sulphur, signifying the unity of nature, (b) in 1770 (age 21), completing his law degree dissertation on “The Legislature, On the Power of the Magistrate to Determine Religion and Culture”, in which he contended, among other things, that “Jesus Christ is not the author of Christianity, but rather a subject composed by a number of wise men and that Christian religion is merely a rational, political institution”, and (c) in 1784 (age 35) discovered the human intermaxillary bone, thus satisfying to his own mind the relatedness of humans, via morphology change, to other animals, per his tripartite metamorphology evolution theory.
The gist of the principle expounded in the novella is proposition that what is moral or amoral, in human affairs, is NOT something judged by God, but rather "acts" and reactions resulting from "choices" made, via mediation of forces, largely external to oneself, are determined by the “moral symbols” and equations of physical chemistry, thus usurping morality theory as previous conceived by the worlds religions, and thereby “overturning everything holy” as Heinrich Heine (c.1810) put it.
| Decipherment: |
French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, building on previous work of Thomas Young (1814), announced the transliteration of Egyptian scripts; after which, in the decades to follow, scholars were able to read Ancient Egyptian inscriptions and literature; which began to illuminate the finding that Christianity is modified Egyptian mythology:
German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach, influenced by the earlier ideas of Georg Hegel, published The Essence of Christianity, which advocated liberalism, atheism and materialism, which influencing both Karl Marx and Frederich Engels, which later gave birth to “Marxist-Leninist atheism”, forcibly made into a national ideology by Vladimir Lenin in the 1920s.
In 1849, English clergyman-abnegator James Froude published Nemesis of Faith, about a young priest whose faith comes into question in light of early 19th-century developments in science and history; example quote: 
“What is man the wiser or the happier for knowing how the air-plants feed, or how my centuries the flint-stone was in forming, unless the knowledge of them can be linked on to humanity, and elucidate for us some of our hard moral mysteries?”On 1849, Froude’s book was burned in the class of moral philosopher William Sewell, an event recounted by student Arthur Blomfield as follows:
“I had just bought the Nemesis of Faith, when I attended a lecture by Rev. William Sewell. He declaimed loudly against Froude’s Nemesis of Faith. Hearing, on my own confession, that I possessed it, he requested me to bring ‘that book’ to him. No sooner had I complied with his request than he snatched the book from my hands and thrust it into the blazing fire of the college hall. I see him now, with hall poker in hand, in delightful indignation, poking at this, to him, obnoxious book. In a few hours this ‘burning of the book’ was known all over Oxford. The burning only served as an advertisement.”
Sewell decried Froude’s work as a “wicked book” and this, supposedly, has been the last a book has been publicly burnt in a college hall. Froude went on to do the first English translation, albeit anonymously, of Goethe's Elective Affinities, a treatise of physicochemical based morals.
English naturalist Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species:
which proposes a naturalist (god-free) model of human origins; this resulted in the various ongoing tumultuous “God vs Darwin” debates erupted in its wake.
His books were burned. (Ѻ)
German physicist Rudolf Clausius publishes The Mechanical Theory of Heat, wherein he usurps the power of God with his declaration of the two laws of the universe:
At the Belfast British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) meeting, Irish physicist John Tyndall debated Scottish physicists Balfour Stewart and Peter Tait, who were of the view that science and religion could be integrated so as to explain morality, life, death, and immortality. Tyndall employed the absurdity of the all terrestrial things or living agents (Joseph Butler, 1736) arising from "dead atoms" argument, so conclude that religion needs to step aside; his unbendable opinion being the following:
“All religious theories, schemes and systems, which embrace notions of cosmogony, or which otherwise reach into the domain of science, must, in so far as they do this, submit to the control of science, and relinquish all thought of controlling it.”The Tyndall-Stewart-Tait debate continued until 1878, culminating in James Maxwell’s last and final poem “A Paradoxical Ode” (1878).
Russian philosopher Fyodor Dostoyevsky published his The Brothers Karamazov, in which the following well-cited questionable statement appears:
“If god does not exist, than anything is permitted.”
English atheist activist Charles Bradlaugh (1833-1891) , after getting elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, is refused a set and arrested for refusing to “swear to God”, as required by in the Oath of Allegiance, in declaring his allegiance to the British monarch:
“I, (Insert full name), do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”
and that "we have killed him" or at least killed our belief in the existence of god as the arbiter of absolute moral principles.
In 1909, Russian political theorist Vladimir Lenin, in his “Materialism and Empirio-criticism”, written from extensive notes on Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and Marx, he outline his belief that questions concerning the ideological class struggle could be answered
In 1917, he became the leader of Russia, and initiated a systematic, aggressive and uncompromising movement of antireligious agitation and founded a whole institution of professional atheist propagandists who spread all over the country after and were the ‘foot-soldiers’ of the antireligious campaigns meant to eliminate religion so as to make the populace atheists.
Owing to objections to the teaching of the “godless doctrine of evolution” (John Butler, 1922) to children, the State of Tennessee passed the “Butler act”, which reads as follows:
"That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any University and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals."
The case went to trail when high school biology teacher John Scopes was accused of violating the state's Butler Act, thereafter coming to be known famous as the “Scopes monkey trail”, i.e. a “Darwin vs God” stylized debated about what Bible-debunking forms of education state funded institutions should be allowed to teach.
|Einstein on god's dice:|
In 1926, and the years thereafter, Einstein, began to employ belief system-imbibing "god talk" in his objections about quantum mechanics:
“Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the "old one." I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.”— Albert Einstein (1926), letter to Max Born on quantum mechanics“Nature doesn’t know chance, it operates on mathematical principles. As I have said so many times, God doesn’t play dice with the world.”— Albert Einstein (1943), conversation with biographer William Hermann
In 1927, at the 5th Solvay Conference, Paul Dirac, Werner Heisenberg, and Wolfgang Pauli, were sitting around the while sitting in the hotel’s smoky lounge, and, as recalled by Heisenberg, Dirac went off on rant about religion, triggered by Einstein’s habit of referring to God during discussions of fundamental physics:
“If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions ... Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards — in heaven if not on earth — all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.”
At the end of which Pauli, when asked what he thought, declared:
“Well our friend Dirac, too, has a religion, and its guiding principle: There is no God and Dirac is his prophet.”
— Wolfgang Paul (1927), response to Dirac’s rant, which made everyone laugh, including Dirac
Later Dirac wrote:
“Any further assumption implied by belief in a God which one may have in one’s faith is inadmissible from the point of view of modern science, and should not be needed in a well-organized society.”— Paul Dirac (1933), unpublished handwritten note
|Publication:||Moral compass issue:|
One summer night, Wolfgang Pauli and Werner Heisenberg, following a Copenhagen meeting on quantum mechanics (with Niels Bohr), entered into a dialogue on god and soul, wherein, as recounted by Heisenberg (below), Heisenberg stated frankly that the main issue (or tension) is that we don’t yet have a gravito-electromagnetic force based "moral compass", the way sailors do for directional guidance in the earth’s magnetic force:
Pauli: “Do you believe in a personal God? I know, of course, how difficult it is to attach a clear meaning to this question, but you can probably appreciate its general purport.”
Heisenberg: “May I rephrase your question?” “I myself should prefer the following formulation: can you, or anyone else, reach the central order of things or events, whose existence seems beyond doubt, as directly as you can reach the soul of another human being? I am using the term ‘soul’ quite deliberately so as not to be misunderstood. If you put your question like that, I would say yes. And because my own experiences do not matter so much, I might go on to remind you of Pascal’s famous text, the one he kept sewn in his jacket. It was headed “Fire” and began with the words: “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – not of the philosophers and sages.” “In other words, you think that you can become aware of the central order with the same intensity as of the soul of another person?”
Pauli: “Perhaps.” “Why did you use the word ‘soul’ and not simply speak of another person?”
Heisenberg: “Precisely because the word, ‘soul’, refers to the central order, to the inner core of a being whose outer manifestations may be highly diverse and pass our understanding.
Heisenberg: “If the magnetic force that has guided this particular compass – and what else was its source but the central order – should ever become extinguished, terrible things may happen to mankind, far more terrible even than concentration camps and atom bombs. But we did not set out to look into such dark recesses; let’s hope the central realm will light our way again, perhaps in quite unsuspected ways. As far as science is concerned, however, Niels is certainly right to underwrite the demands of pragmatists and positivists for meticulous attention to detail and for semantic clarity. It is only in respect to its taboos that we can object to positivism, for if we may no longer speak or even think about the wider connections, we are without a compass and hence in danger of losing our way.”
In reaction to the 1953 "Red Atheism Scare", the term "under God" was added to US Pledge of Allegiance:
In the wake of the 1953 “Red Atheism Scare”, the US Congress passed the H. J. Resolution 396 act, which replaced the 1782 E pluribus unum or “Out of Many, One” national motto with "In God We Trust" as the official motto of the US, and changed the one dollar bill, the following year, as follows:
The teaching of evolution is banned in four states; and evolution theory was barely mentioned, or avoided entirely, in most schools and textbooks for the previous three decades, owing to public and political pressure against textbook publishers.
With the Russian launch of Sputnik, president Eisenhower begins pushing for ramped up science and math education as a matter of national security.
Time magazine publishes their famous "Is God Dead?" issue:
Time magazine publishes their followup "is God coming back to life?" issue:
The world’s first in vitro child was born, namely an embryo was created outside the human body, existing for a short time; which ushered in the “embryo morality debate” about what to do with the excess embryos: story them, discard them, donate them to another couple? In 1987, the Catholic Church published their official statement on cloning: (Ѻ)
“Cloning is categorically considered contrary to the moral law, since [it is in] opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union.”
The Edwards vs Aguillard case, on the teaching of creationism, heard by the US Supreme Court, which ruled that ruled that a Louisiana law requiring that creation science be taught in public schools, along with evolution, was unconstitutional because the law was specifically intended to advance a particular religion. This resulted in creation science writers switching to the use of “intelligent design” in place of the now unconstitutional “creationism” term:
|Stem cell morality:|
Scientists reported work on isolating human embryonic stem cells, i.e. cells derived from embryos, which are destroyed in the process:
This launches the so-called stem cell morality debate, i.e. whether or not stem cells derived from embryos that are destroyed, destroys a “soul”? The question here being at which point the “soul enters the zygote” at or very near the moment of conception, sometime before embryo reaches the 150-cell-state. Bans and restrictions on stem cell research have been existence ever since.
English atheist physical chemist Peter Atkins debates American theologian-philosopher William Craig:
Atkins pretty much loses, being he is ill-schooled for dealing with the types of questions Craig poses, basically just repeated some previously penned lines of argument.
President George W. Bush bans research on stem cells:
“At its core, this issue forces us to confront fundamental questions about the beginnings of life and the ends of science.It lies at a difficult moral intersection, juxtaposing the need to protect life in all its phases with the prospect of saving and improving life in all its stages. My position on these issues is shaped by deeply held beliefs. I believe human life is a sacred gift from our creator.”
Muslim terrorists bomb the Twin Towers in an act of “jihad” (Ѻ), an act of "striving in the way of God (Allah)”, per Quranic reasoning, believing they will go to paradise, quote per Victor Stenger:
This launches the so-called “new atheism” movement, generally marked with the publication of atheist Sam Harris’ 2004 The End of Faith.
California voters passes Proposition 71, supporting stem cell research in the state, via pumping $3 billion taxpayer dollars into funding—a proposition opposed by groups such as the Roman Catholic Church and individuals such as Mel Gibson, the following 2006 cartoon showing that the debate, underlyingly, revolves around questions about "soul" or (ensoulment) and life or point of life initiation or start (or coming alive):
American PayPay employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim launch YouTube. Soon thereafter, not only religion vs science debates became public, but also top atheism channels and communities began to form; the top 15 1M+ views channels shown are below (as of 7 Oct 2014), ranked by views per sub (v/s) catch rate:
1. The Atheist Voice | Hemant Mehta (Ѻ) (6 Jun 2013) 7.2M views | 100K subs (72 v/s)
2. Evid3nc3 | Christopher Redford (8 Nov 2007) 4M views | 42K subs (95 v/s)
3. Cristina Rad | Cristina Rad (Ѻ) (20 Sep 2008) 10M views | 99K subs (101 v/s)
4. CultOfDusty | Dusty Smith (Ѻ) (9 Dec 2008) 19M views | 179K subs (106 v/s)
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Time published their “Evolution Wars” issue on intelligent design and the teaching of human origins in high schools, in the wake of the the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District lawsuit, filed by a group of parents against their creationism-believing, evolution-doubting school board members, namely: Alan Bonsell (left), an auto and radiator repair shop owner, who was concerned with "issues of morality", or the lack thereof, associated with teaching evolution and the origins of man, and Bill Buckingham (right), a retired police officer:
Both advocated bringing intelligent design into the science classroom; several high school science teacher has their jobs threatened if they taught Darwinian evolution.
In reaction to the Mar 2005 anti-terrorism conference in Madrid, arisen in the wake of the 9/11 bombings, American chemist Harold Leonard sends a one-page letter, entitled “Chemical Thermodynamics in the Real World”, to the Journal of Chemical Education, wherein he suggests that the physicochemical humanities logic contained in American physical chemist Frederick Rossini's 1971 Priestley Medal address, by the same title, has the power to explain the human condition, specifically to help us “find a formula for fighting terrorism, while preserving civil liberties”, a seemingly innocuous proposal that sparks vehement objection response from American Christianity-believing physical chemist John Wojcik, hence officially launching the Rossini debate and ongoing God vs Gibbs debates.
US Senator—turned President (20 Jan 2009)—Barack Obama, one of the four supposed non-religious and or atheism-associated presidents, along with Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and William Taft, during his presidential campaign speech, stated the following about moral values and religion:
“Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”
Polls of 34 countries find that the US is the second greatest country, behind Turkey, to admit dis-belief about evolution, specifically some that 60 percent of Americans do NOT believe in evolution:
English biologist Richard Dawkins publishes his The God Delusion, themed on the following premise:
“When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.”— Robert Pirsig (1991), Lila: Inquiry into Morals
wherein the Dawkins scale is found, thereafter becoming the leading atheism or rather "new atheism" spokesperson and advocate in the decade to follow, i.e. one of the so-called “four horsemen of atheism”, along with Christopher Hitchens (God is Not Great, 2007), Daniel Dennett (Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, 2007), and Sam Harris (The End of Faith, 2004).
In 2006, Dawkins also found the Dawkins Foundation (Ѻ), the antonym of the Templeton Foundation, so to say, promoting science-based reasoning over that of spirituality-based reasoning.
Time publishes their “God vs Science” issue, a debate article on the query “can religion stand up to the progress of science?”, the synopsis of which being that God is now the one is on trial, and frequently loosing.
Literal creationist Ken Ham opens the $27 million dollar Creation Museum in Kentucky, with its own Noah's Ark partial replica, among 23 other classic Biblical apologetics "exhibits" (Ѻ), such as attempts to reconcile geology, fossil evidence, evolution, etc., with a literal six-day interpretation of the Bible—the following depiction seeming to be the height of idiocy:
Homology | Exhibit Description: “Dr. David Menton, biologist, talks about the similarities (known as homology) in the skeletons of vertebrates. While the biology is similar in many ways, the differences between man and any of the animals are obvious. Most importantly, God created man in His image and with the ability to communicate with Him by reading the Bible and talking to God in prayer.”
This prompts noted visits by: author Charles Pierce, and followup book Idiot America (2 Jun 2009), the synopsis being that America is boldly “walking backwards into the 21st century”, comedian atheist Bill Maher (2007), per his film Religulous, atheist blogger Paul Myers (7 Aug 2009), and most-famously a debate, held there, between Ham and Bill Nye (4 Sep 2014).
American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims solved the so-called “great problem of natural philosophy” (1836), per the defunct theory of life solution, thus debunking one of the last remaining strongholds of religion, namely the seeming “how life came from non-life” problem, which tends to be one of the top objections (e.g. its American atheist e.g. Aron Nelson’s creationism foundation fallacy #6 (Ѻ)), or rather "the last hiding place for honest creationists" (2014), to why people don’t believe in evolution, see: molecules-to-man evolution:
"Life", in short, is a hand-me-down defunct model, i.e. divine "breath of life" infused notions, from clay creation myth, of Anunian theology (75% of the world's religions are Anunian-based), and like the akin now-defunct concepts of "ether" or "caloric", it is something that does not exist.
American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims solved the so-called Epicurean “paradox of evil” (i.e. problem of evil), per the assertion that the existence of "unnaturalness", i.e. evil (in religio-mythology speak), in a godless universe, is the product or rather aspect of thermodynamic coupling, per the following logic:
(a) A person is large multi-element reactive animated molecule (human molecule).
American electrical engineer Libb Thims, in possible reaction to the Redford “The Values We All Stand For” video, began to display “In θΔics (thermodynamics) We Trust” renditions of the US one dollar bill on the Hmolpedia homepage:
American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, after testing a Guttenberg-based calendar (2011) in manuscript form, a Newton-based calendar online (2012), introduces the working non religio-mythology based Goethean calender dating system online, into the articles of Hmolpedia, by dating reaction existences (life spans) using BG/AG dating (as opposed to Christ (Osiris) based BC/AC dating):
Atheists unveil supposed “first atheist monument” allowed on government property in the United States (Ѻ), with engraved quotes from: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Madalyn O’Hair after attempting unsuccessfully to have nearby 10 commandments monument removed:
The Air Force Academy removed its mandatory “so help me God” pledge, specifically citing a desire to “…build a culture of dignity and respect” inclusive of nonreligious cadets.” (Ѻ)
The decree, however, is not yet wide uniform, e.g. the following year (5 Sep 2014), see above, a US airman, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, was kicked out of the Air Force because he refused to cite an oath containing the phrase “so help me God.” (Ѻ)
Australian historian and philosopher of science John Wilkins publishes his developmental hypothesis of belief acquisition model: (Ѻ)
American atheist electrical engineer Bill Nye, aka “Bill Nye the Science Guy”, debates Ken Ham, curator of the AnswersInGenesis.com website, which defends every story in Genesis as being true, and head of the Creation Museum:
Nye pretty much loses, being his stock arguments and rebuttals were empty and vacuous, not to mention that he was unaware that Genesis story is but a re-write of the Heliopolis creation myth (i.e. Anunian theology).
The film God’s Not Dead, based on the 2013 book God’s Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty by Rice Brooks, is released, on a Christian in the class of an atheist philosopher professor, whose faith in god is tested, grossing $63 million, within six months of its release, with a budget of $2 million, a 32-fold increase.
Saudi Arabia, per decree of King Abdullah, passes new law which applies to any Saudi citizen or a foreigner residing in the kingdom who 'calls for atheist thought, in any form, or calls into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion, on which this country is based’, punishable by up to 20-years in prison (Ѻ), which affects some 5% of Saudi Arabians consider themselves atheists and a further 19% consider themselves ‘non-religious', which affects some 7 million Saudi citizens. (Ѻ)
|God void issues:|
Article in The Spectator, entitled “The Return of God: Atheism’s Crisis of Faith” (Ѻ), on moral talk, gives wind to the view that the new atheists are beginning to lose steam as they interject into the dense god void issue quagmires:
American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims launches the new Atheism Reviews YouTube channel to focus on critique and correction of religion vs science (37M), science vs religion (107M), and atheism vs religion (4M), etc., debates, historical and modern:
American atheist activist Jaclyn Glenn published a video summary of her experiment in which first attempted to raise money, for the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, via two different guises: first as a Christian organization (for two days) then as an atheist organization (for two days), finding that the latter raised twice as much money, but faced great stigmatism and cultural disapproval, showing that the 17th-century "burn the atheist" mindset is still alive and well in the modern mind:
New Pope Francis declares evolution true, big bang real, God not a magician with a magic wand, and that science does not contradict creation as described in Genesis: (Ѻ) (Ѻ)
|History of atheism:|
American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims finishes making the video rendition of this atheism timeline, which is a product of the need to better visualize and order the growing number of "big atheism" event dates in history, one of which being Thims, lower left, being cited, in the Spanish magazine Triple≡Bond Chemistry article “Chemical Formula of a Human” (2013), as tentative proof of the non-existence of god:
| See also|
● Bible vs. physical science conflicts
● Evolution timeline
● Goethe timeline
● Reductionist anti-reductionist debate
● Science-religion controversy
● Science vs religion debates
● Whewell-Coleridge debate
1. (a) Nietzsche, Friedrich. (1882). The Gay Science (God is dead, 5+ pgs, esp. §125: The madman, pgs. 119-120). Cambridge University Press, 2001.
(b) God is dead – Wikipedia.
2. Bacon, Francis. (c.1610). “Of Atheism”, Publisher.
3. Problem of evil – Wikipedia.
4. Thims, Libb. (2011). “Thermodynamic Proof that Good Always Triumphs over Evil”, Journal of Human Thermodynamics, 7: 1-4.
5. Thims, Libb. (2011). Purpose? (in a Godless universe). (94-pg manuscript) (unfinished); Online as 105-page unfinished manuscript (14 Apr 2013). IoHT publications.
6. Cole-Turner, Ronald. (2003). “Religion Meets Research”, in: God and the Embryo: Religious Voices on Stem Cell Research and Cloning (editors: Brent Waters and Ronald Cole-Turner) (pg. 8). Georgetown University Press.
7. Humes, Edward. (2007). Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul (four state ban, pg. 7). Harper Perennial.
8. Wallis, Claudia. (2005). “The Evolution Wars”, Time, Aug 07.
9. Cray, Dan. (2006). “God vs. Science”, Time, Nov 05.
10. William Lane Craig vs Peter Atkins – YouTube.com.
11. Marx-Leninist atheism – Wikipedia.
12. Anon. (2014). “Molecules to Man is a Fallacious Argument” (Ѻ), Blog, Mar 30.
13. (a) Miller, Jon D., Scott, Eugenie C., Okamoto, Shinji. (2006). “Public Acceptance of Evolution” (pdf), Science, 313:765-66, Aug 11.
(b) Anon. (2006). “Did Humans Evolve? Not Us, Say Americans”, The New York Times, Aug. 16.
(c) Big Daddy? (Chick tract) – IronChariots.org.
14. (a) California Proposition 71 – Wikipedia.
(b) Fuentes, Thomas. (2009). “Prop 71”, BlogSpot, Dec 3.
15. (a) Bush, George W. (2001). “Radio Address by the President to the Nation” (Ѻ) (Ѻ), Bush Ranch
Crawford, Texas, Aug 11.
(b) Park, Alice. (2012). “George W. Bush and the Stem Cell Research Funding Ban” (Ѻ), Time, Aug 20.
16. (a) Obama, Barack. (2006), “Call to Renewal: Obama on Church and State” (vid) (Ѻ) (full text), Jun 28.
(b) Greene, Joshua. (2013). Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them (pgs. 175, 182). Penguin.
17. Jefferson, Thomas. (1802). “Letter to the Danbury Baptists”, Jan 1.
18. History of atheism – ArgumentsForAtheism.com.
19. Stenger, Victor J. (2013). God and the Atom: from Democritus to the Higgs Boson: the Story of a Triumphant Idea (banned, pg. 55). Prometheus Books.
20. Berman, David. (2013). A History of Atheism in Britain: From Hobbes to Russell (pg. 110). Routledge.
21. Staff. (2013). “Fórmula química del ser humano” (Chemical Formula of Human), Triplenlace Quimica, i.e. Triple≡Bond Chemistry (triplenlace.com), Sep 4.
22. Nu means “abyss” (Ѻ); Ra means “mouth” (Ѻ)
23. Palmer, Michael. (2013). Atheism for Beginners: a Coursebook for Schools and Colleges (Protagoras, pg. 15; Bruno, pg. 22). Lutterworth Press.
24. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 326). HarperOne.
● History of atheism – Wikipedia.
● Atheism timeline – Faithology.com.