The Death of ‘New Atheism’

By Tom Gilson Published on October 27, 2017

For a while it seemed like a movement set to take on the world. Today it’s gasping for a few last hopeless breaths of seeming respectability.

“New Atheism” hit the world like a storm in the early 2000s. It started with a small book by Sam Harris titled The End of Faith, arguing that 9/11 happened because “faith” does that kind of thing. Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins each published strident, mostly angry atheistic books soon after. They got the title “the Four Horsemen” of New Atheism.

Dawkins rolled on to gain international rock star status, capped perhaps by his appearance at the March 2012 “Reason Rally” on the Mall in Washington, D.C., It drew an impressive 10,000 to 20,000 attendees on a damp and blustery spring day.

Now even secular people say that New Atheism has grown old and tired.

Seeds of Decay

The seeds of its decay were in it from the beginning. It called itself a movement of reason. But its “reason” was never about thinking well to reach sound conclusions. It was about starting with the one approved test and reaching the one approved conclusion: “If it isn’t scientific, you can’t know it’s true; therefore you can’t believe anything religion says.” That claim itself can’t be proven scientifically, which makes it not much of a foundation for “reason.”

I was at the Reason Rally in 2012, along with a group from the Ratio Christi campus ministry. One of the atheist stars on stage that day, a singer/pianist whose name I have mercifully forgotten, sang a song about the Pope that featured more than 70 instances of the F-word. My friend Blake and I spoke with P.Z. Myers, biology professor from Minnesota and a second-layer New Atheist leader, who told us he could never visit any church because he couldn’t be civil there.

I had an extended conversation with an attendee who didn’t care much about Jesus’ resurrection, but was intensely interested in “how the donkey talked.”

That was just over four years ago: Has anyone heard from Richard Dawkins since then?

Dawkins himself urged the crowd to take up the (ahem) reasonable strategy of ridiculing Christians’ beliefs. The next year he was voted the world’s “top public intellectual.” That was just over four years ago: Has anyone heard from Richard Dawkins since then?

Elevatorgate and In-Fighting

A few people have. Atheists, actually. And they’re not happy. He’d gotten himself involved in discussions over “Elevatorgate,” an incidence of alleged sexual harassment taking place at a 2011 atheist convention. He’d embarrassed both himself and the whole atheist movement with sexist comments on Twitter.

It was perhaps the earliest sign of atheist in-fighting over what to believe, how to behave, and more. No one in the movement — and least of all Dawkins, the movement’s leader — has come out of it looking very strong.

There’s more behind New Atheism’s collapse, including, per the ever-insightful Shadow to Light blog, the New Atheists’ “failure to gain traction in academia,” which I would rephrase as their failure to produce any intellectually respectable thinking on their side. There are solid-thinking atheists, but they have stayed clear of this New Atheist movement.

Shadow to Light also attributes New Atheism’s demise to the election of President Obama, which stripped the in-fighting New Atheists of a useful common political enemy. And to Richard Dawkins himself:

In essence, Dawkins shredded his credibility with a thousand cuts courtesy of Twitter.  It all culminated with the once popular science author being deplatformed, an event that contributed to his stroke and the end of his twitter popularity.

And with that, the New Atheist movement was gone. 

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  • Trilemma

    Christianity has its revivals that come and go. Apparently atheism does too. Must have something to do with human nature.

    • Or spiritual activity. Or tidal rhythms. Or seasons. Or regular orbits. Or decadal ocean currents. Or…

      Come to think of it, having a cyclical pattern doesn’t really imply anything at all without further investigation.

      • Trilemma

        Just because a period of enthusiasm in atheism has died down doesn’t mean atheism is dead or that there won’t be a future resurgence of enthusiasm in atheism.

        • davidrev17

          Thankfully, the tragically erroneous belief(s) in atheism – or any other false god’s/God’s for that matter – will inexorably come to their “appointed end,” in perhaps the not-too-distant future; an historical fact to which the following roughly 2,700 year-old “predictive prophecy” certifiably and/or perfectly attests. And please note carefully, the very last verse…Isaiah 9:

          “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

          “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.

          9) “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD [i.e., “Yahweh,” the “only true and living God”) as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:1-9)

          (BTW: The same “prophetic” theme is also proclaimed by another prophet of Israel (Zechariah) some two-centuries later, since biblical scholars have long-since recognized that the Divinely-inspired Judeo-Christian Scriptures (i.e., the 66-Books of the Holy Bible) “contain fully 25% predictive prophecy”; thus inerrantly, exquisitely, or perfectly/precisely fulfilled in the past, whereby the only remaining UNfulfilled prophecies specifically relate to the ultimate restorative future of this planet – and its rational/moral “specially-created” inhabitants called Homo sapiens.)

          “And the Lord will be king over ALL the earth. On that day the LORD (“Yahweh”) will be ONE, and his name ONE.”

          (Zechariah 14:9/ESV – emphasis mine – but please read the entire 14th chapter for precise context.)

  • Vince

    Polls show that most atheists (in the US, anyway) are single males. Boasting about their atheism is a way to boost their low self-esteem. They have no families or deep relationships, but they can feel intellectually superior to others by believing that atheists are smart and religious people are stupid. In my experience, they’re at the mental level of twelve-year-old boys telling the three-year-olds, “Hey, kids, there is no Santa Claus, it’s all fake.” They aren’t doing this out of compassion or any desire to “enlighten” the younger child, it’s just a way of saying “I’m smarter than you, you dumb cluck.”

    If all you’ve got in life is calling other people “stupid,” you have no life at all.

  • GLT

    The ‘New Atheism’ was just the same old atheism, only angrier. The Four Horsemen were and are intellectually bankrupt and tried to hide that fact by being overtly aggressive and rude. None of the four are anything more than schoolyard philosophers, hardly the intellectual giants some saw them to be.

    • I believe that I read no fewer than four, separate critiques of Dawkins’ “rebuttal” of Aquinas’ Five Reasons in “The God Delusion” from professional philosophers. They all agreed that Dawkins had not the faintest idea what Aquinas actually meant for at least two of the five, and that he hadn’t really addressed the rest. One claimed that he would have given Dawkins a failing grade if he’d submitted those few paragraphs on a freshman philosophy exam.

      Schoolyard philosophers, indeed. My observation was “Dawkins may be a decent biologist, but he’s an amateur philosopher at best.” The biologist to whom I said it replied that he couldn’t see that Dawkins was even a decent biologist, but I have no way to assess that observation.

      • GLT

        Dawkins is actually a zoologist, not a biologist and he has done very little in the field of zoology. Most of his time has been spent writing his nonsensical books, which are philosophical in nature, not scientific, and touring the atheist lecture circuit.

        As for Dawkins’ talents as a philosopher, they are non-existent, he would be laughed out of any first year philosophy class.

  • Charles Burge

    To Richard Dawkin’s credit, he’s an equal-opportunity offender. He denigrates Islam as much as he does Christianity. I think that was one of the reasons the left cast him out of their midst. Which just goes to show that for the left, their dogma is more important to them than honest critique of anything (or even dishonest, for that matter).

  • JP

    I love Dawkins. His writings have helped me in so many online discussions with atheists. He articulates his absurd views clearly and he is one of their authorities. Just look up his quotes and share them with atheists.

  • Craig Roberts

    Wait. Dude had a stroke? And it had something to do with his crazy atheist attitudes? Seriously!?!

  • Patmos

    “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” -1 Corinthians 1:20

    Paul in demonstration of the Spirit and power dismantled unbelief a long time ago, but people like living in a house torn down for whatever reason. It’s one of the great mysteries, and even Jesus himself marveled at unbelief (Mark 6:6).

  • davidrev17


    Interesting angle here brother. However, given the logically incoherent nature re: the worldview of atheists duly noted in your article (i.e., scientism and/or naturalism), perhaps you’ll consider doing an article on the equally incoherent worldview beliefs of professing Christians here in pluralistic, secularized “God Bless America,” where all Gods/gods are considered subjectively imaginary, thus equal in the eye(s) of the beholder?

    This approach should prove to be truly thought provocative Tom, as currently some 2/3 (or more, depending on the survey) of those counted in our numbers, reject ANY notion of absolute truth; not to mention their adhering to the wholly UNbiblical belief that ultimately “all roads lead to God” – while simultaneously retaining the truly incoherent belief that the Lord Yeshua/Jesus ALONE, is “the [only] way, the [only] truth, and the [only] life, and that NO ONE will come unto the Father, except THROUGH the Son of God Himself.” (e.g., John 14:6, emphasis mine of course.)

    And the statistical numbers in said 21st-century surveys, only serve to further muddy the theological waters – when it comes to the OTHER NON-negotiable categories of “absolute truth,” of which comprise historical Orthodox Christianity.

    Yet rather strangely, we Christians here seem to triumphantly gloat over the failure of the New Atheists to successfully institutionalize the “death of truth” throughout the West; while we remain utterly oblivious to its existential reality within the professing “Body of Christ,” and the pervasive damage this insidiously contrived scourge has clearly wrought upon the “Great Commission” – mandated by the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, in Matthew 28:18-20?? (See also Jude/Judah 3)

    Please: “Let my people think”! And may we all pray that the Holy “Spirit of Truth” Himself bring Richard Dawkins to His knees, while there’s still time…

  • mchasewalker

    I am aghast at the insidious shadow boxing required in order to claim one’s self a Christian and a theist. The crushing reality is that your strawman argument against “New Atheism” is as shallow, self-manufactured and a projection of a cognitive bias and flawed heuristic reasoning as your belief system itself. Inventing or imagining enemies (HAAD) is a natural by-product of evolutionary processes. Canonizing, projecting and fabricating them as real threats is paranoid, delusional and destructive. Whatever solace you find in an Iron Age belief system is no longer an agent for knowledge, but pseudoscience and as Foucault once observed: “You know the difference between a real science and a {religious} pseudoscience? A real science recognizes and accepts its own history without feeling attacked.”

    • Dant e

      Definitely struck a nerve.

      • mchasewalker

        The only people who believe New Atheism is anything but an empty catechresis are those who habitually replace logic, reason and intelligence with primitive instinct and cultural paideuma.

        • davidrev17

          My friend, I obviously don’t know the “hearts & minds” of people, of whom openly “…darken counsel, by [declaring] words without knowledge” – i.e., yourself, Richard Dawkins et al. – but I am well aware of former brilliant atheists, of whom possessed the necessary wisdom and humility to leave no-stone-UNturned in their genuine search for ultimate, absolute TRUTH – of which brought them to their rebellious-knees, at the feet of none other than that hated carpenter & Jewish rabbi, Yeshua of Nazareth!

          And I have in mind people like the late C.S. Lewis; or former atheist/molecular biophysicist -now world-class theologian – Oxford’s Dr. Alister McGrath (3 PhD’s.); or even the late Anthony Flew, of whom had openly repudiated atheism, and at least had acknowledged some form of Deism, before his death – due to the overwhelming “implications” of 21st-century scientific research alone…from cosmology, to molecular biology! I would also encourage you to pursue the facts re: the Christian conversion, before his death in ’05 I believe, of the former atheist Nobel laureate (1996), Dr. Richard Smalley, Rice University. Dr. Smalley, had shared the Nobel Prize with the late Dr. “Sir Harold Kroto” (a personal friend of Richard Dawkins), and one Dr. Robert Curl, professor emeritus @ Rice University as well.

          Needless to say, Dr. Smalley had vigorously repudiated any-and-every materialistic chemical evolutionary theory re: the “origin of life,” before he died, after having studied the compelling (2004) “Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Square Off,” by Dr’s. Fazale Rana (chemist) & Hugh Ross (astrophysicist). BTW: The evangelical Christian, Dr. Hugh Ross, was chosen to deliver the eulogy at Richard Smalley’s funeral; of which rather curiously, the atheist Harold Kroto refused to attend??

          And incidentally, one last brilliant evangelical Christian scientist, from whom you’d do well to learn, is four-to-five-time? Nobel laureate nominee, Dr. Henry F. “Fritz” Schaefer, professor of quantum chemistry, University of Georgia, widely considered to be “one of the most distinguished physical scientists in the world.” If you’d simply humble yourself and read Dr. Schaefer’s (2013 – Second Edition) “Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?”, you just might realize how firmly entrenched, and thus effective, your own metaphysical materialist (i.e., philosophical) indoctrination has been, at the hands of those from whom you’ve been “imbibing so heavily, from the wells of naturalism”??

          Barring that, you have the following statement, or eternal “promise” from OUR Creator – meaning the physical/bodily resurrected & glorified historical person, called Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth – either working for you, or against you; since after all, it’s ultimately YOUR decision:

          ▪ ▪ ▪

          “At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30)

          “For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those of whom are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18; but please consider entire context, from verses 18-30.)

          • mchasewalker

            Indeed, you ‘do not know the hearts and minds of people’, but then you hypocritically proceed to project, assume, and regress into a codex of logical fallacies and cognitive biases so numerous as to nullify the premise of your albeit sincere, but circular argument. (see Pronin, Emily; Matthew B. Kugler (July 2007). “Valuing thoughts, ignoring behavior: The introspection illusion as a source of the bias blind spot.)

            And, just as I scoffed at the originating author’s vainglorious and laughable crusade against the tilted windmills of “New Atheism”, I will similarly respond:

            By your own demonstration you’ve studied the biographies of converted atheists/scientists, Christian apologists, and Biblical scholars, and support your conclusions with Biblical passages that some modern scholars consider forgeries ( See Ehrman, Crossan, Carrier, Helm, Dougherty, and others.) After which you project your own circumspect biases upon me by erroneously assuming I have not investigated these areas assiduously. This in itself is circular reasoning in Violation of the philosophy of science, e.g. Lee Strobbel claims science made him an atheist, and then confirmed his belief in god.

            Which only proves my original argument, ergo, QED. Or, maybe I can refer you to something more relatable to your indoctrination: Mathew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. King James Bible

    • NellieIrene

      I enjoyed the brief article on the waning of the neo-Atheists.

      Speaking of things that are “pseudo”. You spouted a lot of pseudointellectual drivel just to haughtily condemn those who believe in a Creator. Basically calling us antiquated mental midgets. I have often wondered why the air of superiority by angry atheists, such as yourself, when you can’t disprove the existence of a creator to scientific satisfaction anymore then we can prove it to scientific satisfaction.

      • mchasewalker

        Eristical and aghast, but hardly angry. As for your other supernatural claim, The Laws of Physics, Quantum theory and a dozen other scientific disciplines support the lack of need for such a Creator. As for being mental midgets, in classical Greece and Rome, it was widely remarked that “fools” tended to be religious, while the “wise” were often skeptics. According to the latest studies out of the University of Oxford including the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis developed by Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, “Religion is a primitive instinct, whereas Intelligence means rationally solving problems as a means to overcome instinct. Overcoming religious instinct means being intellectually curious and thus open to non-instinctive possibilities.” Edward Dutton, a research fellow at the Ulster Institute for Social Research in the United Kingdom.

        • NellieIrene

          You gave no debate in your original post. You vented, angrily. You were more then a little annoyed by the author’s writing.

          “The Laws of Physics, Quantum theory and a dozen other scientific disciplines” are unable to disprove the existence of a creator. Which is why the search goes on within the scientific community for how we came to be. That continuing search also shows that atheists are, in many ways, more dogmatic than those who believe in a creator. Because atheists believe unequivocally that one does not exist. Which means that all of the rest of your, once again, pseudointellectual post is of little value. Except to insecure atheists who simply must find something to support their own perceived intellectual superiority for clinging to their unsubstantiated belief that there IS no creator.

        • GLT

          “The Laws of Physics, Quantum theory and a dozen other scientific disciplines support the lack of need for such a Creator.”

          Really? Perhaps you would be so kind as to explain exactly how they do that?

          “in classical Greece and Rome, it was widely remarked that “fools” tended to be religious, while the “wise” were often skeptics.”

          And that worked out real well for both civilizations, didn’t it?

          “Overcoming religious instinct means being intellectually curious and thus open to non-instinctive possibilities.” Edward Dutton

          Sounds very philosophical, however, it is palpable nonsense. Care to provide any logical support to this assertion, or are you just throwing it out there in an attempt to impress everyone?

      • Kathy

        I corresponded via e-mails with an atheist/freethinker/humanist for a year. His arguments actually strengthened my faith tremendously. What was most interesting is that I was willing to read books that he recommended, yet he refused to read the many recent books on evidence for a Creator, the life of Jesus Christ (yes, His name actually is Yeshua as “davidrev17” pointed out) and the Bible itself.

    • Aliquantillus

      Pseudointellectual nonsense. Please state your position in clear terms and demonstrate it clearly. The main point of this article is that the foundational idea of the New Atheists — “if it isn’t scientific, you can’t know it’s true; therefore you can’t believe anything religion says” — is a claim which itself cannot be scientifically demonstrated. This main point still stands.

      • mchasewalker

        I made my statement clearly and forcefully. As for your other assertion, let me remind you that Anything which can be introduced without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” The term New atheism is a ruse, a trope, and a meaningless canard rejected by atheists yet perpetuated by those who need to invent phantoms to box with in order to make their supernatural claims more realistic. Your discursive and paralogical summation of the foundational idea of {so-called }new atheism”, oy, is as empty as the term. If you want clarification, I suggest you acquire a dictionary. If you want to understand atheism, I suggest you actually ask one rather than by project your own delusional fears on them.

        • Nonsense. Your original statement is nothing but bluster filled with badly-chosen, multisyllabic jargon strung together by grammatically unsound connections. Basically, all you said was “I think religion is insane, and I know a bunch of psychological terms with which I can tar it without providing a single instance illustrating how those terms apply.” There’s no argument that I can see, just hostile conclusions.

          “Anything that can be introduced with out [sic] evidence, can be dismissed without evidence” is true but misleading. Do you not employ logic? Logical syllogisms are built and at least partially assessed without evidence; we use them to test whether our reasoning is valid. Invalid syllogisms are dismissed “without evidence,” but that’s not to say that one can dismiss an invalid syllogism out of hand; you actually have to make an argument demonstrating that the syllogism is invalid, and that argument has to withstand appropriate rebuttal. (“Soundness” is assessed using evidence in part, but “validity” is not.)

          However, I’ll employ your little game of pretending that “without evidence” means “I can dismiss it without offering a single, sound reason” and simply dismiss your comment as nothing but ill will. When you’re ready to stop playing word games and actually offer an argument, we’ll all be ready to meet it with appropriate reasons.

        • GLT

          “Anything which can be introduced without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

          Why don’t you provide us your evidence in support of atheism?

          The term New Atheism was coined simply to distinguish the new attitude of anger and hatred perpetrated by some modern proponents of this stillborn philosophy. An attitude which started with Murray O’hair and was based on intellectual bankruptcy and outright hatred.

          • “Why don’t you provide us your evidence in support of atheism?”

            The evidence in support of atheism is merely the fact that believers in various gods can’t produce good evidence to back up their claims about gods. It’s theists making the claims, not atheists.

            It’s theists arguing “This god exists, and here’s why.” It’s atheists replying, “Your evidence is bad, your arguments are bad, so, no, I’m not buying your claims.”

            Because, you know, buying into the claims of snake oil salesmen merely means that you’re gullible.

            In regard to your comment about Madalyn Murray O’Hair – in fact, the term “New Atheist” came about in the 21st century following the publications, speeches, and debates by Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins (and others) in the wake of 9/11 (the year 2001). The term was apparently first used in 2006. So you’re way off.

            And since you bring up the topic of anger and hatred, yes, let’s talk about the anger and hatred and bigotry against atheists expressed by Christians for, oh, how many centuries now? And your Christian literature is still permeated with it, whenever you discuss atheists. Just as a related example, Jessica Ahlquist, a 16 year old high school girl, was an atheist who received all kinds of threats, including of rape and of murder, from Christians.

            And if we didn’t live in a country with a relatively long tradition of secular government, we’d be just as bad off as atheists are in Muslim countries, thanks to you Christians precisely because of all of the anti-atheist hatred and bigotry you’ve generated over the centuries, and that still features readily in Christian rhetoric and literature today.

            But thank you for bringing up the hypocrisy. I appreciate it.

          • GLT

            Steve Greene,

            “It’s theists making the claims, not atheists.”

            Page one of the Atheist Debater Handbook: Always shift the burden of proof to the opponent. Assert he is the one making the claim and therefore the one who must support it with evidence. If this is done often enough and with an air of authority you may be fortunate enough to succeed in convincing him you do not need to provide evidential support for your position. If you do not succeed n this technique you will inevitably be in trouble as you have nothing in the way of intellectual content upon which to base your argument. It is at this point you will need to move into the realm of ad hominem arguments.

            “long tradition of secular government,…”

            You’re funny. Secular governments which are based on Judeo-Christian beliefs and traditions. Good grief man, read some history.

            “Jessica Ahlquist, a 16 year old high school girl, was an atheist who received all kinds of threats, including of rape and of murder, from Christians.”

            If that occurred and IF it was directed at her by Christians, it is inexcusable. However, do not be so naive as to believe atheists are somehow immune to such actions. History proves otherwise.

            “thanks to you Christians precisely because of all of the anti-atheist hatred and bigotry you’ve generated over the centuries, and that still features readily in Christian rhetoric and literature today.”

            I think it is more the fact you cannot support your position with any kind of intellectual integrity which leads you to frustration, which in turn leads you to anger resulting in you viewing honest critiques of your position as anger and hatred towards you and your position.

    • GLT

      “A real science recognizes and accepts its own history without feeling attacked.”

      Would that be why modern ‘real’ science, more specifically, modern evolutionary science, wishes to silence any and all criticism, because it is so confident in its own history and narrative?

      As for the New Atheism, no one need construct strawman arguments against it, it crushes itself under its own palpable nonsense. Its proponents defeat themselves with their ignorance and anger. Hitchens is dead and Dawkins, Dennet and Harris basically ignored.

      • “Would that be why modern ‘real’ science, more specifically, modern evolutionary science, wishes to silence any and all criticism…”

        Proving that you’ve apparently never actually read any of the actual scientific research in evolutionary biology and paleontology. Not to mention displaying the zany, irrational – and amusing – conspiracy theory mentality of the creationist mindset. But we “new atheists” – who are all “gone” now according to the clownish pretension of the OP – do appreciate it when religious believers open up with their palpable nonsense in honestly expressing how religious belief relies on misrepresenting and attacking science with ignorance and anger.

        • GLT

          Steve Greene,

          “Proving that you’ve apparently never actually read any of the actual scientific research in evolutionary biology and paleontology.”

          Unfortunately for you, you’re wrong. I have read the actual science. In fact it was reading the actual science which turned me from being an evolutionist to a creationist. The ‘actual science’ is nothing more than elaborate just-so stories riddled with vague comments about how things may have, possibly occurred, it would seem like, apparently, etc., etc. That is not science, that is strictly narrative.

          “But we “new atheists”,…”

          New atheists have nothing more to offer than the old atheists, just tired, worn out rhetoric. All the new atheists bring to the game is more arrogance and a great deal of ad hominem and foul language. Hardly an advancement intellectually.

  • Atheism is absurd. I’ve never heard, read, or seen an atheist defend their views. They simply assert and attack. Subtle secularism is a far more pernicious threat to Christians and their children, but it is easily countered as well when you understand its threats.

    • Things were different before “Internet” became a household word.

      I got onto the Internet back in 1988, at which time pretty much the only people on it were research scientists, graduate school students, cutting-edge IT professionals, and military technicians. Everybody was bright, and the medium for discussion–mostly USENET–was email-based, so comments were seldom ad hoc because participants had time to think, research, compose, and edit.

      I met plenty of atheists back then who thought deeply and defended their views ably–or at least, defended their views in such a way that I had to rethink my own.

      Now that every cat and dog has access to the Internet, yes, it’s difficult to find an atheist that is not merely a Village Atheist and who actually has a properly-functioning brain. I know one or two, but not many.

    • “I’ve never heard, read, or seen an atheist defend their views.”

      LOL! Speaking of what is absurd, there’s not much that can compete with the absurd assertions and attacks religious apologists employ all the time. (Like some of the attacks against science we’re observing right here in this comments section.) Thank you for demonstrating.

      • Steve, all you can do is laugh, and then deflect? I’m afraid, sir, you’ve proven my point perfectly. Thank you!

  • W.A. Jones

    Somewhere on Youtube is the clip of a young college kid asking Dawkins, “What if you’re wrong?” His red-faced, insulting reaction to an intellectual question is something to behold.

    There is also the video of a middle-aged British man telling Dawkins that his faith is no fantasy or fairy tale to which Dawkins pats him on the head and explains that he believes that way because he was raised that way. I have always wanted to ask Dawkins: “So a child reared under your roof would be the same, right?”

  • Richard Dawkins is out of the limelight … so therefore atheism is false? I realize that can’t be what you’re saying, but then what are you saying?

    Are Christian claims true while other religions’ claims false? If so, then show us. I spend my days looking at what passes for good evidence for this, and I’m continually disappointed.

    • qedlin

      Atheism is false for multitudes of reasons but the article’s author was referring to the veritable cult of new atheism that Dawkins and the other highpriests were espousing having virtually evanesced with the fall of Dawkins’ respectability.

      “Are Christian claims true while other religions’ claims false?” There are many claims of other religions that are true. This is because all humans have the image of God and therefore have some understanding and sense of truth and morals. However, the differences between all religions conclude that not all can be true. From the Christian perspective, any denial of the deity of Jesus Christ is false, making any religion’s claims that deny Christ false. There is sufficient evidence that Christ was/is all that he claimed to be so that the evidential faith in Christ is justified.

      • I hadn’t noticed Dawkins’ fall in respectability. Perhaps I haven’t been paying attention. But the popularity of one or another celebrity isn’t particularly interesting to me. I’m more focused on whether the claims of Christianity are true or not. So far, I’ve seen no good evidence, and I’ve been blogging about it for years.

        Perhaps here again I haven’t been paying attention?

        • qedlin

          I agree, I also have not noticed any drop-off, I was just listening to one of his YouTubes today.

          There are many aspects of Christian claims that can be examined. As a Christian, I can assure you that the claims that are truly Christian are true, while the history of the religion may have generated claims and positions that are not be true. Differentiating the truth of Christianity from all the rest seems to be a challenge for some. Where to start? It seems the scientific facts of creation are a good start.

          • I can assure you that the claims that are truly Christian are true

            OK, but you can appreciate, I’m sure, that your personal testimony is as relevant to me as a Sikh’s personal testimony.

            Differentiating the truth of Christianity from all the rest seems to be a challenge for some. Where to start? It seems the scientific facts of creation are a good start.

            Sure, if you want to summarize the best argument or two from you standpoint, I’d be interested to read it.

            I’ve written extensively about this at my blog. If you want to read what I’ve written about most apologetic arguments, click on my name to find the link.

          • “It seems the scientific facts of creation are a good start.”

            I agree.

            Creationism doesn’t even exist in any field of science; has (considerably) less than zero credibility; is well known to be a religion-based pseudoscience (being based on religious beliefs in religious doctrines derived from religious myths in a religious book); and creationist spokesmen are known as charlatans and snake oil salesmen, peddling scientifically bogus misinformation to gullible, scientifically illiterate religious audiences.

            Yes, that is a good place to start.

            I’m also very glad you brought it up – it makes a great counterpoint when people make boneheadedly idiotic (not to mention, pretty delusional) remarks like “And with that, the New Atheist movement was gone.”

          • qedlin

            Since you agree you will acknowledge that there are pathetically mistaken elements of creationism that do accede to the non-scientific, non-truthful, dogmatically restricted religious spirited few, who unfortunately influence the many and have been the builders of the wall between the Church and the science community. Fortunately, the facts of creation being revealed by most of science bring glory to God, validate the record of scripture and raise the standard of understanding to the level that fulfills Romans 1. Perhaps the thrust of the article is hopefully anticipating the continued discovery of science, the faith-based quasi-religion of the philosophical naturalists, will increasingly reveal the truth of universe reality, refuting and dismantling the ideology to a point of irrelevance. Regrettably, th spirit of disbelief is intrinsic to free will humanity and will be perpetually reborn.

          • “Fortunately, the facts of creation being revealed by most of science bring glory to God, validate the record of scripture and raise the standard of understanding to the level that fulfills Romans 1.”

            Nice try, but no cigar. The facts of science have perpetually discredited the religious doctrines built on what the Bible says.

            Moreover, with an argument like, ‘Oh gee whiz, golly, wow, the universe is filled with fascinating very cool things, therefore God exists’ (Romans 1), then you merely have an utterly vacuous argument. And if your argument is the ever-most-popular-religious-argument that ‘We don’t know about X, therefore God did it,’ then you merely have the god-of-the-gaps fallacy.

            “Regrettably, the spirit of disbelief is instrinsic to free will humanity and will be perpectually reborn.”

            Atheists are very well aware of how much religious believers despise critical thinking, skeptical inquiry/scrutiny, and requiring claims to meet sufficient standards of evidence. Which, by the way, are attitudes/procedures that science is built on. Religious believers of many stripes consider it regrettable that their religious beliefs are merely religious and nothing more. Just ask the Mormons, the Muslims, and the Lord Ganesha worshippers.

            So color me totally unsurprised about the nature of your remarks.

          • qedlin

            Unfortunately, I detect a severe bias and misunderstanding about God, true Christianity, and how science is revealing God to objective minds because it is God’s invention. Christians do not despise critical thinking even if they do not consider science knowledge such a high priority. Romans 1 can be seen as a warning that God has revealed enough of himself that all of us will be held accountable for not responding. Not sure of the following will help:
            Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth, the Hebrew word for heavens is the universe.
            Job 9: – The expansion of the universe
            Jeremiah 33:25 – The constancy of the laws of the universe
            Job 38 – the existence of dark matter
            Romans 8 – 2nd law of thermodynamics
            We are called to use our minds – Luke 10, science does this.
            We are called to seek knowledge, science does this. Proverbs 1:7.
            We are supposed to test everything and keep what is good – 1 Thess 5:21, science does this.
            Thinking and reasoning is human, science does this, Genesis 1:26–27
            God, the creator of all the universe and life, is not impressed with human intellect or discovery. Even though God invented science, and Christianity was the inspiration, it is not as important to him as having faith in him and loving others as ourselves. But science is increasingly revealing God through science.
            Which is more important, to live life knowing E=mc**2 or knowing that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves.
            There is no science quiz on entry to heaven, but there is clear mandate to love others. Jesus never spoke a science parable and scripture is focused on our relationship to God and each other, not scientific trivia.

  • jcamachott

    “That was just over four years ago: Has anyone heard from Richard Dawkins since then?”

    Man, are you serious?

    “And with that, the New Atheist movement was gone. ”

    Man……….are you….serious?

    So as if you hadn’t noticed there are new (common n) atheists who are becoming quite popular. Ali Rizvi, Yasmine Mohammed, Sarah Haider. So I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • David Sbabo

    I am amazed by the zealots. Even when they are slowy losing, they claim “we are winning !”. Don’t worry, the US will become secular in a few decades. Like any western european country. You can have any faith you want but the state and your work don’t allow them to interfere.

    And then you will be claiming “we won, see we can have our faith”.

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