Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

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There are 2 entries for this date: Michael Kinsley and Paul "PZ" Myers
Michael Kinsley

Michael Kinsley

On this date in 1951, journalist Michael Kinsley was born in Detroit, Michigan. He earned his BA at Harvard in 1972, attended Oxford, and earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1977. Named editorial and opinion editor of The Los Angeles Times in June 2004, Kinsley previously was founding editor of Slate.com. His journalistic credentials include working as a contributing writer for Time magazine and The Washington Post. Kinsley was editor and author of The New Republic for two decades, writing the column, "TRB From Washington." He has been editor-in-chief of Harper's and editor of the American Survey Department of The Economist. Kinsley was managing editor of The Washington Monthly, and co-hosted CNN's "Crossfire" for six years. He played himself in the 1993 movie, "Dave." Among his recent columns was "A Gay Marriage Success Story" (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 12, 2004), in which Kinsley wrote: "Such a development is not just amazing. It is inspiring. American society hasn't used up its capacity to recognize that it harbors injustice, and it remains supple enough to change as a result. In fact, the process is speeding up. It took African American civil rights a century, and feminism half a century, to travel the distance gay rights have moved in a decade and a half." Kinsley identifies himself as a "nonbeliever."

"As a devout believer, [Gen.] Boykin may also wonder why it is impermissible to say that the God you believe in is superior to the God you don't believe in. I wonder this same thing as a nonbeliever: Doesn't one religion's gospel logically preclude the others'? (Except, of course, where they overlap with universal precepts, such as not murdering people, that even we nonbelievers can wrap our heads around.)”

—Michael Kinsley, "The Religious Superiority Complex: It's OK to think your God's the greatest, but you don't have to rub it in," Time Magazine, Nov. 3, 2003

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Paul

Paul "PZ" Myers

On this day in 1957, biologist Paul Zachary “PZ” Myers was born. Myers is a biology professor at the University of Minnesota-Morris. His specialty is developmental biology and he is a proud proponent of science, evolution and atheism. “Pharyngula,” his science blog, is partnered with National Geographic and has won numerous awards, including a 2005 Koufax Award for Best Expert Blog and an award from Nature. Myers was named Humanist of the Year in 2009 by the American Humanist Association, and won the International Humanist Award in 2011. Myers makes his religious beliefs clear on Pharyngula: “If you’ve got a religious belief that withers in the face of observations of the natural world, you ought to rethink your beliefs — rethinking the world isn’t an option.”

He graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in zoology in 1979 and went on to earn his Ph.D in biology from the University of Oregon. Before going to UM-Morris, Myers worked at the University of Oregon, the University of Utah, and Temple University. Myers studies zebrafish and cephalopods, an ink-squirting class of marine animals, most notably octopuses and squids.

“What I want to happen to religion in the future is this: I want it to be like bowling. It's a hobby, something some people will enjoy, that has some virtues to it, that will have its own institutions and its traditions and its own television programming, and that families will enjoy together. It's not something I want to ban or that should affect hiring and firing decisions, or that interferes with public policy. It will be perfectly harmless as long as we don't elect our politicians on the basis of their bowling score, or go to war with people who play nine-pin instead of ten-pin, or use folklore about backspin to make decrees about how biology works.”

—Myers in an interview in the 2008 documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Compiled by Sarah Eucalano

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

If you would like to be placed on the "Daily Freethought" e-mail list to automatically receive the calendar notice, log in and edit your email settings (My Membership). Or, email  and include your first and last name with your request for verification purposes. This email service is limited to members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation or subscribers to Freethought Today. To become an FFRF member, click here.


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