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josie's avatar

Did a specific person dream up the "Atheist Atom"?

Asked by josie (30926points) May 29th, 2015

American Atheists (the non profit, not the people in the US who have concluded that there is no supernatural deity) has a symbol that looks like the Rutherford atom schematic, with an A in the middle.

It is clearly an accepted symbol-it is the atheist symbol on graves in Arlington Cemetery. If you have been to the cemetery, you have seen it.

Did a specific person think that one up?

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5 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

Certainly not! It was the product of random graphic mutations and selective pressures in competition with other logos.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Atom and Eve came up with it.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Their website doesn’t credit any one person with the design; I would guess it was designed by a committee, or that they commissioned it from someone.

Re. being an “accepted symbol”, it’s a symbol for American Atheists (the non-profit group), but obviously, that group doesn’t represent all atheists, or even all American atheists.

josie's avatar


Whatever, it’s good enough for the atheistic dead at Arlington.

Darth_Algar's avatar


It’s good enough for some. An atheist who does not align with that group may not chose to use it. I certainly wouldn’t. Just as there isn’t one single symbol to represent all Christians buried in US military cemeteries (I know, something other than a 1-represents-everyone policy must be hard to imagine).

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