He says it’s a train wreck:
Mainly what happened is that the credibility of science was stolen to bolster rationalizing prior bigotries. People were drawn into the Church of the New Atheism by Islamophobia, but rather than being enlightened about the unity of humanity, they instead learned that bastardized evolutionary theories could be weaponized to justify all kinds of abuses, because that’s what the self-appointed “leaders” were doing.
And that’s another thing — who put Dennett, Harris, Dawkins, and Hitchens in charge? They got profiled in Wired with ominously shadowy portraits (omens of the “Intellectual Dark Web” to come), and they made a video in which they appointed themselves “The Four Horsemen”. Whatever the New Atheism was, it was structureless, so it was easy for a couple of early popularizers to fill the vacuum. Watching a PR move rapidly turn into a de facto powerbase that would quickly dominate conferences and writings left me uneasy — but as long as we weren’t building idols and golden thrones for the Tetrarchs I figured this, too, would pass. Unfortunately, while it didn’t get to the golden thrones stage, for too many people the four turned into oracles whose dicta should not be questioned, and dissent would lead to being ostracized. It only took a year to build a cult of personality.P. Z. Myers, “The train wreck that was the New Atheism” at Pharyngula
To judge from PZ’s post, it looks as though the new atheists are turning on each other instead of on the rest of us. Doesn’t a proverb somewhere cover that?
See also: And Now For Something Completely Different… Darwinian PZ Myers Laments The Sad State Of Atheism Today That was mid-last year. Seems to have gotten worse.
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