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Short Reflections on Secularism w/ Dr. Herb Silverman


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Canadian Atheist

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/09/08

“The short text divides into three sections with “Introduction to Herb,” “Ask Herb,” and “Ask Dr. Silverman.” Each built in terms of complexity with the first as a biography of Silverman; the second as an educational series on secular activism in a dialogue format with Silverman; and the third as an educational series on the philosophy of mathematics and then moving into some mathematicization of secular activism – in a manner of speaking – in another dialogue format with Silverman. In a natural way, the introductory section of the three provides some basis as to the identity of the “Ask Herb” and the “Ask Dr. Silverman” person (same person). The second section focuses on the public life of Silverman. The mathematics section focuses on some facets of the academic and professional life of him. Herb and I discuss secularism from a variety of angles with an educational and dialogue format in mind. His articles appear in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Humanistic Judaism, The Humanist, Free Inquiry, The Secular Outpost, and, with Short Reflections on Secularism (2019), Question Time & Canadian Atheist between February 15, 2019 and August 30, 2019, as well as other publications.

Many in the secular movement may not realize the impact of this liberal, Jewish, and Yankee atheist. He was born in Philadelphia and earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Syracuse University. He is the former Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the College of Charleston. He published more than 100 research papers on mathematics and received a Distinguished Research Award. He earned the American Humanist Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He authored Complex variables (1975), Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt (2012) and An Atheist Stranger in a Strange Religious Land: Selected Writings from the Bible Belt (2017). He co-authored The Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in America (2003) with Kimberley Blaker and Edward S. Buckner and Complex Variables with Applications (2007) with Saminathan Ponnusamy.”:


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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