By another atheist, who actually knows a bit of history. The decline of new atheism has resulted in, among other things, atheists having to pick up their game in history:
In August 2019 I wrote a detailed analysis of a series of claims about history made by the atheist activist who calls himself “Aron Ra”, all of which were completely wrong. As a result, I entitled my article “’Aron Ra’ Gets Everything Wrong” and, over 6,000+ words, detailed exactly what he gets wrong and what the actual historical information is. That is, after all, the focus of this blog: atheist activists who mangle history and repeat errors and myths without checking their facts. “Aron Ra” is a classic example, and one worth tackling because (i) the myths he presents as fact are ones commonly parroted by other atheists, (ii) he has something of a platform thanks to his anti-Creationist work, with 35,600 Twitter followers and 246,000 YouTube subscribers and (iii) he delivers his pronouncements on history with vast self-assurance and more than a little pomposity.Tim O’Neill, ““Aron Ra” responds … badly” at History for Atheists
Ra, of course, defended himself but O’Neill dismissed his defence.
Here are two of the Ra claims O’Neill thought were wrong, with some thoughts from me (O’Leary for News):
- That Copernicus was in danger of being “caught and killed” and avoided this by his timely death
(No. The Polish Church was pleased with Copernicus because his theories were thought to show that Poland was not the science backwater that the Vatican suspected it was.)
- That Galileo’s heliocentrism was something he could “show to be true” and the Church forced him to “lie” about this
(No. No one could have shown that heliocentrism was true at that time. Cardinal St. Robert Bellarmine advised Galileo to treat his theories as a hypothesis – which would likely be safe – but Galileo insisted on portraying them as fact, and that’s what got him into trouble.)
So far as we know.
See also: How did new atheism become the godlessness that failed?