Having listened politely to a lot of Christian propaganda for the last few weeks, I’m starting a list of atheists’ songs for the season. Please chip in with any other tunes that celebrate the northern hemisphere solstice-times but without reference to religion. Just drop ‘em in the comments.
Here’s my atheistic starter list (order has no meaning):
- Winter Wonderland
- Jingle Bells
- Let It Snow
- Sleigh Ride
- Frosty the Snowman
By the way #1, if you thought that one or more of those songs is, in fact, a Christmas song, please own up to your mistaken impression in the comments, too. By the way #2, I’m not into the Frosty-is-a-symbol-for-reincarnation interpretation.
Well, sorta. In the old-style, Julian calendar, which was the system of dating is use at the time, today would be the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton. That date translates to 4 January 1643 in our current calendar.
Mr. Newton (sounds funny, hunh?) described some of the most important scientific concepts in human history:
- Mechanics (Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687) which accounted for movements of stellar objects;
- Gravitation or, more technically (I think), “gravity,” which provides a generally workable account of the attraction between objects predicated on the differences in their masses; to be sure, this was modified later by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity;
- Calculus, the description of mathematical functions that are the basis for much of our understanding of science and technology; there must’ve been something in the air, ’cause Sir Isaac came up with this about the same time that Gottfried Leibniz had it.
In a slightly ironic turn, some folks recommend that people celebrate Newtonmass as an alternative to Christmas, despite Newton’s religious views that embrace theism.