Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys,
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Richard Herbert, of Montgomery Castle (see here),
was the philosophy of choice for western sceptics
made atheism intellectually possible in 1859.
Before 1859, atheists existed, but they had no answer to the Argument from Design.
Modern atheist Richard Dawkins has said: "I could not imagine being an atheist at any time before 1859".
Indeed in the 17th century, Edward Herbert disbelieved that atheism could exist. He wrote: "In reality there are no atheists".
1st Baron Herbert of Chirbury, c.1609-10.
1st Baron Herbert of Chirbury.