List of secular humanists

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This is a partial list of famous secular humanists.










  • Albert Jacquard: French geneticist and essayist.
  • Penn Jillette: American illusionist, comedian, musician, and best-selling author known for his work with fellow magician Teller in the team Penn & Teller, and advocacy of atheism, scientific skepticism, libertarianism and free market capitalism.
  • John Bercow





  • Erwin Neher: German biophysicist and Nobel Laureate in Medicine. Was one of 21 Nobel Laureates who signed the Humanist Manifesto.[6]
  • Huey P. Newton: African-American political and urban activist who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party.
  • Kathleen Nott: British poet, novelist, critic, philosopher and editor.
  • Gary Numan: English singer, composer, and musician.
  • Bill Nye: American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, mechanical engineer, and scientist. Named Humanist of the Year in 2010 by the American Humanist Association.[18]










  • Thom Yorke: English musician and singer-songwriter who is the lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the rock band Radiohead.


  • Frank Zappa: American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works.[89]
  • Howard Zinn: American historian, academic, author, playwright, and social activist.[106]

See also

Notes and references

  1. Clark Adams: 1969-2007, American Humanist Association News Flash, May 24, 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 The International Academy of Humanism at the website of the Council for Secular Humanism. Retrieved 18 October 2007. Some of this information is also at the International Humanist and Ethical Union website
  3. A Tribute to Steve Allen, by Paul Kurtz, Skeptical Inquirer magazine, January/February 2001. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
  5. Ralph A. Alpher. "COSMOLOGY AND HUMANISM" (PDF). Humanism Today. p. 15. Retrieved 17 January 2013. This leads inevitably to my identifying philosophically as an agnostic and a humanist, and explains my temerity in sharing my views with you.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 "Humanism and Its Aspirations - Notable Signers". American Humanist Association. Retrieved 4 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "African Americans For Humanism (AAH) Advisory Board". Council for Secular Humanism. Retrieved 27 May 2013. James Andrews (Professor of Mathematics, Florida State University)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Past AHA Presidents
  9. Asimov, Isaac (1994). I. Asimov: A Memoir. New York: Doubleday. p. 500. ISBN 0-385-41701-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Asimov, Isaac (1986-02-21). "Humanist: Making Bigger Circles" (Video). American Humanist Association. AME Inc. Retrieved 2015-01-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Distinguished mathematician and supporter of Humanism."Professor Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 Humanists of the Year
  13. had a "humanist funeral service." A quiet goodbye for TV's Ronnie Barker,, 14 October 2005. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
  14. Warren Allen Smith (2005). Gossip From Across The Pond. chelCpress. p. 28. ISBN 9781583969168. Leonard Bernstein (who once accepted an American Humanist Association award) |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Construction in the Third and Fourth Dimension". Princeton University. Retrieved 4 October 2012. The Putnam Collection Pevsner, with its handsome black granite pedestal designed by the sculptor, serves additionally as a memorial to the Danish scientist and humanist Niels Bohr (1885-1962), who had longstanding personal and professional ties with colleagues in the Department of Physics at Princeton. A quotation from Bohr's 1950 letter to the United Nations, enunciating the policy of Open World, flanks the paving stones at the base of the sculpture.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Jan Swafford (2012). Johannes Brahms: A Biography. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 327. ISBN 9780307809896. He continued, in high theological mode. Brahms was not about to put up with that sort of thing. He was a humanist and an agnostic. and his requiem was going to express that, Reinthaler or no. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Jacob Bronowski was a humanist, polymath and all round Renaissance man." [1]
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 18.11 18.12 18.13 18.14 18.15 18.16 18.17 18.18 18.19 18.20 18.21 18.22 18.23 18.24 18.25 18.26 18.27 18.28 18.29 18.30 18.31 18.32 18.33 18.34 Humanist Of The Year
  19. "Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, free-thinkers, fellow Humanists." -- First line of Brown's opening speech at the World Humanist Congress 2005.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 Chapter 13: Publication of "A Humanist Manifesto", from The Genesis of a Humanist Manifesto, by Edwin H. Wilson, Humanist Press, a division of the American Humanist Association, 1995. Retrieved 19 October 2007 from The Secular Web.
  21. The Humanist Interview: Noam Chomsky
  22. To all appearances, and by all accounts, he was what many might call a secular humanist." Professor Leon Botstein writes: "He emerged as an adult without an ongoing connection to religion."
  23. "BHA welcomes its newest Distinguished Supporter, Professor Brian Cox, as he talks "Big Science" at BHA's annual Voltaire Lecture". Retrieved 13 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Obama Family Tree | Stanley Ann Dunham | 'Most generous spirit' Archived October 7, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  28. Roger Ebert (April 17, 2009). "How I believe in God". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 5, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Stringer-Hye, Richard (1999), "Charles Francis Potter", Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, Unitarian Universalist Historical Society, retrieved 2006-05-14<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Wilson, Edwin H. (1995), "Chapter 2: The Background of Religious Humanism", Genesis of a Humanist Manifesto, The Secular Web Library, retrieved 2006-05-14<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. About Greg Epstein at Harvard
  32. Flynn, Tom (June–July 2008). "Secularization Renewed?". Free Inquiry. 29 (4): 14–15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Fourier, Joseph". Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia: The Ultimate Desk Reference. Merriam-Webster. 2000. p. 599. ISBN 9780877790174. As a scientist and a humanist, he epitomized the spirit of French intellectualism of the revolutionary era. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Does goodness require God? Do we need eternity for meaningful lives? Should we believe in God without evidence? Peter Cave’s new book, Humanism, is a welcome guide, with very human answers, to these questions and many more. With historical adherents as various as Mark Twain, Einstein, Freud, Philip Pullman, and Frank Zappa, humanism’s central quest is to live with meaning with no need for the supernatural."Peter Cave - Humanism
  35. "Stephen Fry: "it is essential to nail one's colours to the mast as a humanist."". British Humanist Association News. February 4, 2010. Retrieved 2012-06-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. 36.0 36.1 "Humanism and Its Aspirations - Nobel Laureates". American Humanist Association. Retrieved 23 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. A.C. Grayling's professional website, "Academic Interests" [2]
  39. "Handler says he's 'pretty much' an atheist..." Autumn of a book-lover’s contentment, Marvin Olasky, World Magazine, October 07, 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
  40. "Mr. Handler... describes himself as a 'secular humanist.'", Lemony Snicket reaches 'The End', By Todd Leopold,, October 5, 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
  41. "Are you religious?"
  43. In 1996 Hayden was recognized as the Australian Humanist of the Year with the statement that "The award is made because he has shown that an avowed atheist who describes himself as a secular humanist can occupy the position of Governor-General with mounting approval." Australian Humanist, No. 41 February 1996
  44. "Being an atheist--as I am--is not a necessary pre-condition for being a humanist." in his acceptance speech for "Australian Humanist of the Year", reported in Australian Humanist, No 42, May 1996
  45. List of awards and nominations received by Katharine Hepburn
  46. [3]
  47. "Humanism and Its Aspirations - Notable Signers". American Humanist Association. Retrieved 23 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  48. [1850-1952: The road to the founding congress], excerpted from International Humanist and Ethical Union 1952-2002: Past, present and future, Bert Gasenbeek and Babu Gogineni (eds.), De Tijdstroom uitgeverij, 2002, retrieved 19 October 2007 from the website of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
  50. 50.0 50.1 Humanist Manifesto II, by Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson, The Humanist magazine, September/October 1973, American Humanist Association. Retrieved from the website of the American Humanist Association 19 October 2007.
  51. Silverman, Herb. The Washington Post Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  52. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Humanist_Party
  55. "Stewart Lee". Retrieved 2010-11-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  56. Michel Morange (2005). "What history tells us III. André Lwoff: From protozoology to molecular definition of viruses" (PDF). p. 593. Retrieved 23 July 2013. His culture was not limited to biology: André Lwoff was a humanist (Lwoff 1981).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  57. "Paul MacCready, the inventor, defines it thus: "A secular humanist does not believe in God, and doesn't steal."" Paul Kurtz, Is Secular Humanism a Religion?.
  58. "British Humanist Association website". Retrieved 2011-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  59. "J. Robert Oppenheimer, Atom Bomb Pioneer, Dies". The New York Times. February 19, 1967. Retrieved 18 August 2012. A brilliant nuclear physicist, with a comprehensive grasp of his field, Dr. Oppenheimer was also a cultivated scholar, a humanist, a linguist of eight tongues and a brooding searcher for ultimate spiritual values.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  60. Ellen Page. "Girl Power". Retrieved 5 August 2012. To me, the idea is, ‘Why wouldn’t I be a feminist?’ Why wouldn’t everybody be a feminist, humanist, environmentalist? It’s so funny that environmentalism has such a stigma to it or that organic food is considered a fad. Actually, no, it’s the way we have been eating for 99.99 percent of the time human beings have been on Earth.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  61. Profile: Terry Pratchett "I'm a humanist, which means I'm an atheist, the trouble with being an atheist is that it lets God off the hook." BBC News. Retrieved 31 December 2008.
  64. Interview of Gene Roddenberry: Writer, Producer, Philosopher, Humanist, by David Alexander, The Humanist magazine, March/April 1991. Archived version accessed 19 October 2007.
  66. Sir Joseph Rotblat (1908 – 2005) - Scientist, peace activist and humanist.
  67. Ramendra Nath, Manbendra Nath Roy (1887—1954)," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
  69. Rosalind Carey, John Ongley (2009). Historical Dictionary of Bertrand Russell's Philosophy. Scarecrow Press. p. 94. ISBN 9780810862920. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  70. Stephen Law (2011). Humanism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 26. ISBN 9780191614002. Many prominent 20th-century thinkers were humanists, including Bertrand Russell,... |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  71. "There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge and wisdom. Shall we instead choose death because we cannot forget our quarrels? Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, nothing lies before you but universal death." [4]
  72. "Said takes on the responsibility for re-launching the figure of the intellectual humanist, by identifying the scope, the purpose and the role that the latter should have in the current day and age. According to Said, two key beliefs form the essence of humanism: firstly, the historical world is made by men and women and not by God and secondly, it can be rationally understood according to the principles formulated by Vico. The humanist is called upon to use philology as a rigorous instrument with which he contributes to the only form of knowledge available, namely, knowledge which is knowing how something is made."Edward W. Said, Humanism and democratic criticism, Il Saggiatore, Milan, 2007
  73. J. Götschl (1992). Erwin Schrödinger's World View: The Dynamics of Knowledge and Reality. Springer. ISBN 9780792316947. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  74. "Though his philosophical views evolved over the years--"The term that best describes me now is 'secular humanist,'" he explained--his characters continued to quote biblical passages, occasionally musing about the darker inconsistencies of religion. These thoughtful reflections were never heavy-handed; rather, Schulz had become the reigning master of the lighter-than-air, spiritually resonant comic-strip koan." David Templeton from the December 30, 1999-January 5, 2000 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.,Metroactive - My Lunch with Sparky, Metro Publishing Inc.,
  75. "Theologically speaking, Rod was what we call a naturalistic humanist..." Reverend Ernest Pipes, speaking of Rod Serling, who was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, California. Looking back: 'Twilight Zone' writer challenged prejudice, by Kimberly French, UU World magazine, Vol. XXI, Nol 4, Winter 2007.
  76. "Humanist Manifesto III Public Signers". American Humanist Association. 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  77. Stephen Law (2011). Humanism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 26. ISBN 9780191614002. Today's most prominent and influential ethicist, Peter Singer, is a humanist. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  78. Debrett's People of Today (2009)
  79. "Wole Soyinka's International Humanist Award acceptance speech – full text". International Humanist and Ethical Union. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  80. "Wole Soyinka wins International Humanist Award". British Humanist Association. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  83. Jeremy Mark Robinson (2007). The Sacred Cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky. Crescent Moon. p. 533. ISBN 9781861710284. Many critics have been sympathetic to the humanism underlying Tarkovsky's poetic, determinedly non-social-realist films. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  84. "Rerberg and Tarkovsky. The Reverse Side of 'Stalker'". Retrieved 15 August 2012. The humanist film director Tarkovsky crossed out his name, in the manner that repressed people were crossed out during the Stalin era.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  85. Mark Le Fanu (1986). "Obituary. Andrei Tarkovsky". The Independent. Retrieved 15 August 2012. Tarkovsky was born in the Ivavno region near Moscow in 1932, the son of a poet, Arseniy (still living), and an intelligent, cultivated mother who worked as a proof reader in the State printing house. Although the parents divorced when Tarkovsky was a child he continued to love and revere both of them. In fact, the private love of parents for children and vice versa (outside any possible ideological interference from the state) is one of the key humanist themes of his work.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  86. "Kinship with the natural World." Dennis McCarthy, Oregonian, November 19, 1998.
  87. "A Secular Humanist Declaration". Council For Secular Humanism. 1980. Retrieved 1 July 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  89. 89.0 89.1 "Does goodness require God? Do we need eternity for meaningful lives? Should we believe in God without evidence? Peter Cave’s new book, Humanism, is a welcome guide, with very human answers, to these questions and many more. With historical adherents as various as Mark Twain, Einstein, Freud, Philip Pullman, and Frank Zappa, humanism’s central quest is to live with meaning with no need for the supernatural."Peter Cave - Humanism
  91. David Hatcher childress, ed. (2000). The Tesla Papers. Adventures Unlimited Press. p. 15. ISBN 9780932813862. His idealism and humanism left him with little stomach for the world of industrial and financial intrigue. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  92. Peter Belohlavek, John W Wagner (2008). Innovation: The Lessons of Nikola Tesla. Blue Eagle Group. p. 43. ISBN 9789876510097. This was Tesla: a scientist, philosopher, humanist, and ethical man of the world in the truest sense. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  93. Jill Jonnes (2004). Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 154. ISBN 9780375758843. Tesla, just thirty-one, was as much a true humanist as ever, seeking to ease the hard labor of the whole world with his spectacular induction motor and alternating current system. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  94. Judy Wearing (2009). Edison's Concrete Piano: Flying Tanks, Six-Nippled Sheep, Walk-On-Water Shoes, and 12 Other Flops From Great Inventors. ECW Press. ISBN 9781554905515. Tesla, the unselfish humanist he was, would roll over in his grave. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  95. Marc J. Seifer (1996). Wizard: the life and times of Nikola Tesla: biography of a genius. Citadel Press. p. 506. ISBN 9780806519609. Frank Jenkins, "Nikola Tesla: The Man, Engineer, Inventor, Humanist and Innovator," in Nikola Tesla: Life and Work of a Genius (Belgrade: Yugoslav Society for the Promotion of Scientific Knowledge, 1976), pp. 10—21. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  96. "I found that Swedish Humanist Association existed and what they stood for, and as a result I became a member." Ulvaeus, in an interview by Christer Sturmark, from Humanisten, Issue No. 4, December 2005. Translation to English by Marika Granerus, posted at the website of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Retrieved 5 January 2007.
  97. "Cenk Uygur will Name his Son Prometheus". 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2011-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  99. "REMEMBERING GORE VIDAL: A MASTERFUL HUMANIST VOICE". American Humanist Association. Retrieved 1 August 2012. As honorary president of the American Humanist Association since 2009, Vidal added an enthusiastic, progressive and dynamic voice to the AHA and the humanist movement.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  102. Humanist Scholars To Examine Islam And The Koran, by Matt Cherry, Secular Humanist Bulletin, Volume 13, Number 1. Retrieved 19 October 2007.
  103. Joss Whedon on Humanism
  106. Humanist Voices: Howard Zinn (1922-2010)