Attempts to positively rebrand atheism

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The atheist Sam Harris told a Newsweek reporter about atheism and public relations, "Frankly, it has a terrible PR campaign... It is right next to child molester as something you don't want to be."[1]

Many atheist publicity campaigns, particularly one's by militant atheists, are generally designed to be provocative which has the effect of further lowering the public's view of atheism/atheists due to religious individuals being offended (see: Views on atheists).

The atheist Sam Harris told a Newsweek reporter about atheism and public relations, "Frankly, it has a terrible PR campaign... It is right next to child molester as something you don't want to be."[1]

Concerning distrust of atheists, sociological research indicates that atheists are widely distrusted in both religious cultures and nonreligious cultures.[2][3][4][5] According to a study published in the International Journal for The Psychology of Religion: "anti-atheist prejudice is not confined either to dominantly religious countries or to religious individuals, but rather appears to be a robust judgment about atheists."[4] The study found that many atheists do not trust other atheists as well.[4]

A major obstacle to atheists public relations efforts is that the world as a whole is becoming more religious and secularization rates are zero in several developed countries.

In March 2015, the atheist philosopher John Gray in an article at The Guardian titled What scares the new atheists reported: "Today, it’s clear that no grand march is under way...The resurgence of religion is a worldwide development...For secular thinkers, the continuing vitality of religion calls into question the belief that history underpins their values."[6]

According to the American Marketing Association a brand "is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers." Marketing experts also endeavor to change people's perceptions of ideologies, political parties, political candidates, etc. through branding efforts as well.

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, using a wealth of demographic studies, argues that there will be a significant decline of global atheism in the 21st century which will impact the Western World.[7] See: Desecularization

Atheists have made various attempts to rebrand atheism such as the Brights Movement, the New Atheism movement, the We Are Atheism campaign and the Out Campaign. Most of these efforts were ill-conceived or had scandals associated with them or backfired in other ways. For example, the New Atheism movement launched in 2004. The University of Minnesota reported in 2016 that over the previous ten years Americans negative view of atheists sharpened.[8]

The Innis Maggiore Ad Agency, which works with major corporations, says concerning rebranding/repositioning: "When a brand’s meaning is strongly established in the mind, it’s extremely difficult — if not impossible — to change. It is possible to refine, adjust and hone a brand’s meaning when necessary. But repositioning a brand with a wholesale change? Hardly a chance."[9]

Professor Eric Kaufmann predicted that somewhere between 2021-2050 the secular population will plateau in Europe and in the developed world and then decline.[7] Given the difficulty of changing the "atheism brand", if Kaufmann is correct, this means that atheists will in all likelihood run out time in terms of changing the atheism brand.

In the United States, the American Atheists organization has executed poor conceived public relation attempts. For example, the American Atheists sponsored an aggressive and controversial billboard and an interview with Fox News occurred as a result of the billboard (see: VIDEO). The ex-president of American Atheists David Silverman has a degree in marketing. But despite his degree in marketing, according to fellow atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers, Silverman was stuck defending a "badly designed, ugly" sign.[10]

New Atheism movement

See also: New Atheism

The term New Atheism, which first appeared in the November 2006 edition of Wired magazine, is frequently applied to a movement spawned by a series of six best-selling books by five authors that appeared in the period between 2004–2008. These authors include Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Victor J. Stenger.[11]

Richard Dawkins said about New Atheism, "[O]ur struggle is not so much an intellectual struggle, as a political one: What are we going to do about it?”.[12] Rhetorically, new atheists often took an aggressive, intolerant tone (see: Atheism and intolerance).

Steven Poole wrote in The Guardian about New Atheism: "New Atheism’s arguments were never very sophisticated or historically informed."[13]

New Atheism and celebrity atheists

See also: Atheism and mass murder and Irreligion/religion and war and Atheism and violence and Celebrity atheists

It is estimated that in the past 100 years, governments under the banner of atheistic communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives.[14] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[15]

Theodore Beale notes concerning atheism and mass murder:

Apparently it was just an amazing coincidence that every Communist of historical note publicly declared his atheism … .there have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm … These twenty-eight historical regimes have been ruled by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao …

The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.

The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition. It is not only Stalin and Mao who were so murderously inclined, they were merely the worst of the whole Hell-bound lot. For every Pol Pot whose infamous name is still spoken with horror today, there was a Mengistu, a Bierut, and a Choibalsan, godless men whose names are now forgotten everywhere but in the lands they once ruled with a red hand.

Is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things? If that is not deemed to be conclusive, how about the fact that the average atheist crime against humanity is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians, even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities with which to commit them. If one considers the statistically significant size of the historical atheist set and contrasts it with the fact that not one in a thousand religious leaders have committed similarly large-scale atrocities, it is impossible to conclude otherwise, even if we do not yet understand exactly why this should be the case. Once might be an accident, even twice could be coincidence, but fifty-two incidents in ninety years reeks of causation![16][17]

The article Why the arguments of the ‘New Atheists’ are often just as violent as religion states:

Celebrity atheists such as Richard Dawkins appear to claim the moral high ground when it comes to violence. Dawkins, along with Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens, insist that because religion is intrinsically violent, then atheism is inherently more pacific. After all, if all the evils in the world can be blamed on religion, then arguably eliminating religion is not only desirable but a moral obligation for atheists who believe in peace.

Yet our research shows that in the War on Terror, these atheists have been surprisingly willing to align themselves with policies which are at least as violent – and in some cases more so – than many of those perpetrated in the name of religion...

Their arguments are not new. But, unlike more ponderous academic atheist philosophers, they seemingly cultivated combative and acerbic, media-savvy personae. Their success at writing bestselling books, giving engaging public talks and cultivating a global following through social media, has made them minor celebrities. For example, Dawkins has been depicted in South Park, Family Guy and The Simpsons – and even made a cameo appearance in Dr. Who.[18]

Decline of the New Atheism movement

See also: Decline of militant atheism in the West and Decline of New Atheism and the media

On November 6, 2015, the New Republic published an article entitled, Is the New Atheism dead?[19] In 2013, Theo Hobson wrote an article published at The Spectator entitled Richard Dawkins has lost: meet the new new atheists[20] The atheist and evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson wrote, "The world appears to be tiring of the New Atheism movement.."[21]

In 2015, the atheist author Joshua Kelly wrote:

...since the death of Hitchens: angry atheism lost its most charismatic champion. Call it what you like: New Atheism, fire-brand atheism, etc., had a surge with the Four Horsemen in the middle of the last decade and in the last four years has generally peetered out to a kind that is more docile, politically correct, and even apologetic.[22]

YouTube's atheist Thunderfoot said about the atheist movement after Reason Rally 2016 had a very low turnout:

I'm not sure there is anything in this movement worth saving. Hitchens is dead. Dawkins simply doesn't have the energy for this sort of thing anymore. Harris went his own way. And Dennett just kind of blended into the background. So what do you think when the largest gathering of the nonreligious in history pulls in... I don't know. Maybe 2,000 people. Is there anything worth saving?[23]

Professor James W. Jones wrote at a Oxford University Press website:

We seem to be witnessing a broad reaction against the New Atheism movement by atheists as well as religious believers, whether undermining the idea of a long-standing conflict between science and religion, or taking a critical view of their political agenda. James Ryerson recently examined three new books (including my own) in the New York Times Book Review – a small sample of a growing body of work...

The New Atheism movement is receiving a powerful attack from another side as well — the politics implicit in their worldview. Two books published this year exemplify this critique, in which militant atheism is seen as an anti-progressive “secular fundamentalism.” C.J. Werleman, in The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists, himself formerly a militant atheist, describes the New Atheists’ uncritical devotion to science, their childish understanding of religion, their extreme Islamophobia, and intolerance of cultural diversity.[24]

Besides the death of Nitchens, another major of factors which caused the decline of New Atheism were: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence due to his Elevatorgate scandal and his critical comments toward Islam (see: Richard Dawkins and Islamophobia accusations).

As far as PZ Myers losing influence, in April 2015, Atheist Ireland announced, "Atheist Ireland is publicly dissociating itself from the hurtful and dehumanising, hateful and violent, unjust and defamatory rhetoric of the atheist blogger PZ Myers."[25] The atheist biologist Massimo Pigliucci said of Myers, "one cannot conclude this parade without mentioning P.Z. Myers, who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet...".[26] Myers' also lost favor among his fellow atheists after his inappropriate remarks about the death of the popular comedian Robin Williams.[27][28] Myers is one of the more prominent bloggers at Freethought Blogs and the blogging website has been losing a significant amount of web traffic since 2012 according to Quantcast which directly measures its web traffic.[29]

In addition, New Atheism's abrasiveness/aggressiveness caused it to wore thin over time in terms of its public relations (see also: Atheism and public relations).

Theo Hobson on young atheists and the New Atheism approach

Theo Hobson wrote in The Spectator in 2013:

The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure...

Atheism is still with us. But the movement that threatened to form has petered out. Crucially, atheism’s younger advocates are reluctant to compete for the role of Dawkins’s disciple. They are more likely to bemoan the new atheist approach and call for large injections of nuance. A good example is the pop-philosopher Julian Baggini. He is a stalwart atheist who likes a bit of a scrap with believers, but he’s also able to admit that religion has its virtues, that humanism needs to learn from it. For example, he has observed that a sense of gratitude is problematically lacking in secular culture, and suggested that humanists should consider ritual practices such as fasting.[20]

We Are Atheism campaign

See also: We Are Atheism

The We Are Atheism campaign is an initiative launched in 2011 to promote atheism by means of having atheist be more outspoken about their atheism instead of hiding it from others.[30]

As far as various views on atheists within the United States, research in the American Sociological Review finds that among several groups listed, atheists are the group that Americans relate least to in terms of their vision of American society and are the group most likely to be mentioned as one that Americans would not want to have marry into their family. [5] Dr. Sam Harris is one of the founders of the New Atheism movement. Sam Harris is quite aware of the stigma surrounding atheism and has even advocated that atheists no longer call themselves atheists.[31] In fact, Dr. Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation."[31]

We Are Atheism scandal

See also: Atheist organizations and scandals and Atheism and stealing

Hemant Mehta wrote in 2015:

Earlier this year, I posted a series of concerns I had about a group called We Are Atheism.

The group raised money from atheists after tragic events and natural disasters, supposedly to help victims and their families, but the money didn’t always make it there. In some cases, it was given to people completely unaffected by the tragedies, unbeknownst to the donors at the time. The co-founders said publicly they weren’t taking a salary, even though they were. They said donations to the group were tax-deductible, even when they weren’t....

Several former board members of We Are Atheism later spoke up about why they resigned; their reasons included a lack of financial transparency in the organization.

Since all of that went down, Lee Moore took over as President of We Are Atheism and Amanda Brown stepped down from the board (she no longer has a formal connection with the group).

Moore vowed to get an independent tax firm to look over the group’s finances and pledged to make things right...

So what happened with that independent tax firm?...

Simply put: They couldn’t complete the audit. They asked Brown for access to certain accounts involving We Are Atheism’s money and they didn’t receive it.[32]

Brights Movement

See also: Brights Movement

Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins endorsed the Brights Movement.

The Brights Movement was started in 2003 by Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell in 2003 in order to assist in the advocacy of a naturalistic worldview.[33][34] The Brights Movement is an internet constituency rather than a movement. The Brights movement had a media campaign and was announced in Wired magazine (by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins), Free Inquiry (by Richard Dawkins), and on the New York Times op-ed page (by the philosopher and atheist Daniel Dennett).

Although the Brights Movement was not successful due to many people indicating the name of the campaign gave the impression of intellectual smugness, the publicly given rationale for the movement was that atheism needs a more bright/warm/cheerful/positive/inquisitive image.[35][36][37] See also: Atheism and inspiration.

The ABC commentator John Allen Paulos remarked of the “brights” campaign, “I don’t think a degree in public relations is needed to expect that many people will construe the term as smug, ridiculous, and arrogant.”[37] The Brights Movement largely came about because the label "atheist" has such a bad reputation. The atheist Sam Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation." (See also: Views on atheists and Atheism and social outcasts).[31]

According to a 2003 Skeptical Enquirer article by Christ Mooney, "From the start, the “brights” label label reinforced a longstanding stereotype. Atheists already have a terrible rap for being coldhearted rationalists who attend Mensa gatherings and dismiss religious believers as simple-minded fools."[37] In October of 2003 in a article in the Guardian Dawkins associated being a "bright" with being an intellectual.[38]

See also: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and social intelligence and Atheism and intelligence

RationalWiki and its branding problems

See: RationalWiki and its branding problems

Atheism and historical revisionism

See also: Atheism and historical revisionism

Voroshilov, Molotov, Stalin, with Nikolai Yezhov.jpg
Nikolai Yezhov walking with Joseph Stalin in the top photo taken in the mid 1930s. Subsequent to his execution in 1940, Yezhov was edited out of the photo by Soviet Union censors.[39]

Historically and presently, most atheists lean politically left (See: Atheism and politics).

Theodore Beale wrote about secular leftists and leftists in general:

Regardless of whether it is...Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, or the vast and corpulent mass of feminists, the Left has an observable tendency to shun debate. They assert many different reasons for doing so, but the truth is always revealed by their seemingly contradictory willingness to debate the incompetent and the overmatched....

One of the things that has been interesting to observe over time is the way that the heated attacks on me, both in public and via email, have all but disappeared even though my overall readership has never been larger. Why is this? My theory is this is because most of my critics, be they atheists, feminists, evolutionists, or free traders, have learned they simply cannot win in a direct confrontation. They can't openly criticize my ideas because they have learned, much to their surprise, that they cannot adequately defend their own.

As Aristotle pointed out more than two thousand years ago, even at the rhetorical level, the side more closely approximates the truth will tend to win out, because it is easier to argue when your arguments are based on truth rather than falsehood. Events will always ultimately prove the arguments of the global warmers, the godless, the female supremacists, the socialists, the Keynesians, and the monetarists to be false because their ideas are false. This is why a good memory is one of the most lethal weapons against them and why it is so easy to win debates against them, as given enough time, they are going to contradict themselves.

Why? Because they have no choice. Being false, their positions have to be dynamic, which means they can never hope for any significant degree of consistency. This is why ex post facto revision and double-talk are the hallmarks of the Left, and is why the first thing Leftists do when they are in a position of power is to erase history and attempt to silence any voices capable of calling attention to their fictions and contradictions.[40]

See also:

Soviet Union and historical revisionism

In terms of academic and popular history, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) often engaged in historical revisionism via their control of political/ideological public discourse (media, education, etc.) and via the monitoring/silencing/imprisonment/persecution of citizens through the KGB.[41]

During and subsequent to the rule of Nikita Khrushchev (1956–64), there was competition between the pro-Stalinists and anti-Stalinists in terms of how Soviet history was portrayed.[42]

Richard Dawkins, atheist atrocities, and historical revisionism

See also: Richard Dawkins, atheist atrocities, and historical revisionism and Atheism and communism

Militant atheism was a part of communist ideology and this is still the case in communist China (See: Atheism and communism). For example, in 2014, the Communist Party of China reaffirmed that members of their party must be atheists.[43][44]

As noted above, Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[45] See also: Atheism and mass murder

Dinesh D'Souza took Richard Dawkins to task for engaging in historical revisionism when it comes to the atrocities of atheist regimes and declared Dawkins "reveals a complete ignorance of history".VIDEO.

In a recent interview D'Souza declared:

Richard Dawkins argues that at least the atheist regimes didn't kill people in the name of atheism. Isn't it time for this biologist to get out of the lab and read a little history? Marxism and Communism were atheist ideologies. Stalin and Mao weren't dictators who happened to be atheist; atheism was part of their official doctrine.

It was no accident, as the Marxists liked to say, that they shut down the churches and persecuted the clergy...[46]

See also:

Dinesh D'Souza stated in another interview:

As one writer put it, “Leaders such as Stalin and Mao persecuted religious groups, not in a bid to expand atheism, but as a way of focusing people’s hatred on those groups to consolidate their own power.” Of course I agree that murderous regimes, whether Christian or atheist, are generally seeking to strengthen their position. But if Christian regimes are held responsible for their crimes committed in the name of Christianity, then atheist regimes should be held accountable for their crimes committed in the name of atheism. And who can deny that Stalin and Mao, not to mention Pol Pot and a host of others, all committed atrocities in the name of a Communist ideology that was explicitly atheistic? Who can dispute that they did their bloody deeds by claiming to be establishing a “new man” and a religion-free utopia? These were mass murders performed with atheism as a central part of their ideological inspiration, they were not mass murders done by people who simply happened to be atheist.[47]

Karl Marx said "[Religion] is the opium of the people". Marx also stated: "Communism begins from the outset (Owen) with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction."[48]

Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote regarding atheism and communism: "A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."[49]

In 1955, Chinese communist leader Zhou Enlai declared, "We Communists are atheists".[50]

Atheist Daniel Dennet's commentary on Joseph Stalin

The new atheist Daniel Dennett attempted to minimize the atheism of the militant atheist Joseph Stalin. Dennett said, “ …it occurred to me—let’s think about Stalin for a moment. Was he an atheist? You might say well of course he was an atheist. No, on the contrary. In a certain sense, he wasn’t an atheist at all. He believed in god. Not only that, he believe in a god whose will determined what right and wrong was. And he was sure of the existence of this god, and the god’s name was Stalin.”[51]

Atheist historical revisionism about the birth of modern science

In his essay Of Atheism Sir Francis Bacon wrote: "I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran (Koran), than that this universal frame is without a mind."[52]

A notable fact in relation to Christianity and science is that the birth of modern science occurred in the geographic area of Christianized Europe.[53] Christians awed by the grandeur of God's creative work have long striven to understand His creativity through scientific study.

Sociologist Rodney Stark investigated the individuals who made the most significant scientific contributions between 1543 and 1680 A.D., the time of the Scientific Revolution. In Stark's list of 52 top scientific contributors,[54] only one (Edmund Halley) was a skeptic and another (Paracelsus) was a pantheist. The other 50 were Christians, 30 of whom could be characterized as being devout Christians.[54] Stark believes that the Enlightenment was a ploy by militant atheists to claim credit for the rise of science.[55]

In False conflict: Christianity is not only compatible with Science - it created it. Stark writes:

Recent historical research has debunked the idea of a "Dark Ages" after the "fall" of Rome. In fact, this was an era of profound and rapid technological progress, by the end of which Europe had surpassed the rest of the world. Moreover, the so-called "Scientific Revolution" of the sixteenth century was a result of developments begun by religious scholars starting in the eleventh century. In my own academic research I have asked why these religious scholastics were interested in science at all. Why did science develop in Europe at this time? Why did it not develop anywhere else? I find answers to those questions in unique features of Christian theology.

Even in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the leading scientific figures were overwhelmingly devout Christians who believed it their duty to comprehend God's handiwork. My studies show that the "Enlightenment" was conceived initially as a propaganda ploy by militant atheists attempting to claim credit for the rise of science. The falsehood that science required the defeat of religion was proclaimed by self-appointed cheerleaders like Voltaire, Diderot, and Gibbon, who themselves played no part in the scientific enterprise......[55]

There is abundant amount of historical evidence which demonstrates a causal relationship between the Christian world of ideas and the rise of modern science.[56][57]

Professor Eric Kaufmann, who specializes in demography and politics (and is an agnostic), wrote:

Worldwide, the march of religion can probably only be reversed by a renewed, self-aware secularism. Today, it appears exhausted and lacking in confidence... Secularism's greatest triumphs owe less to science than to popular social movements like nationalism, socialism and 1960s anarchist-liberalism. Ironically, secularism's demographic deficit means that it will probably only succeed in the twenty-first century if it can create a secular form of 'religious' enthusiasm." [58]

Internet atheists frequently engage in historical revisionism as far as the rise of modern science in Christianized Europe.[56]

For more information, please see: Christianity and science

North Korea and the start of the Korean War

Since the beginning of the Korean War (1950–53), the communist government of North Korea, which practices state atheism,[59] has repeatedly falsely denied that the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched the attack which began the war.

Evolutionary pseudoscience and historical revisionism

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics.[60]

The creation vs. evolution issue is a matter which deals with historical science and not experimental science.[61]

The atheist Ernst Mayr was a Harvard biologist and served as director of Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology from 1961 to 1970.[62][63] Mayr was a prominent evolutionist and was referred to as "the Darwin of the 20th century".[64]

Mayr wrote:

Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science—the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place.

Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.[65]

Evolution and fraud/speculation posing as fact

human evolution
Nebraska man was made famous by Henry Osborn of the American Museum of Natural History. Nebraska man turned out to be nothing more than a single pig-like tooth.

Evolution is a pseudoscience that engages in historical revisionism and often has speculation posing as historical fact (see: Evolution and Cases of Fraud, Hoaxes and Speculation and Atheism and deception and Evolution and just so stories). In January 2012, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching published a study indicating that evolutionary belief is significantly based on gut feelings.[66] See also: Causes of evolutionary belief

A notable case of a scientists using fraudulent material to promote the theory of evolution was the work of German scientist and atheist Ernst Haeckel. Noted evolutionist and Stephen Gould, who held a agnostic worldview[67] and promoted the notion of non-overlapping magesteria, wrote the following regarding Ernst Haeckel's work in a March 2000 issue of Natural History:

"Haeckel’s forceful, eminently comprehensible, if not always accurate, books appeared in all major languages and surely exerted more influence than the works of any other scientist, including Darwin…in convincing people throughout the world about the validity of evolution... Haeckel had exaggerated the similarities [between embryos of different species] by idealizations and omissions. He also, in some cases — in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent — simply copied the same figure over and over again.…Haeckel’s drawings never fooled expert embryologists, who recognized his fudgings right from the start. Haeckel’s drawings, despite their noted inaccuracies, entered into the most impenetrable and permanent of all quasi-scientific literatures: standard student textbooks of biology... Once ensconced in textbooks, misinformation becomes cocooned and effectively permanent, because…textbooks copy from previous texts.... [W]e do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks!"[68]

An irony of history is that the March 9, 1907 edition of the NY Times refers to Ernst Haeckel as the "celebrated Darwinian and founder of the Association for the Propagation of Ethical Atheism."[69]

Stephen Gould continues by quoting Michael Richardson of the St. George's Hospital Medical School in London, who stated: "I know of at least fifty recent biology texts which use the drawings uncritically".[68]

Paleoanthropology, speculation and intellectual dishonesty

A rendering of "Piltdown Man", already entrenched in scientific literature in 1922.

Paleoanthropology is an interdisciplinary branch of anthropology that concerns itself with the origins of early humans and it examines and evaluates items such as fossils and artifacts.[70]

Dr. David Pilbeam is a paleoanthropologist who received his Ph.D. at Yale University and Dr. Pilbeam is presently Professor of Social Sciences at Harvard University and Curator of Paleontology at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. In addition, Dr. Pilbeam served as an advisor for the Kenya government regarding the creation of an international institute for the study of human origins.[71]

Dr. Pilbeam wrote a review of Richard Leakey's book Origins in the journal American Scientist:

...perhaps generations of students of human evolution, including myself, have been flailing about in the dark; that our data base is too sparse, too slippery, for it to be able to mold our theories. Rather the theories are more statements about us and ideology than about the past. Paleoanthropology reveals more about how humans view themselves than it does about how humans came about. But that is heresy.[72]

Dr. Pilbeam wrote the following regarding the theory of evolution and paleoanthropology:

I am also aware of the fact that, at least in my own subject of paleoanthropology, "theory" - heavily influenced by implicit ideas almost always dominates "data". ....Ideas that are totally unrelated to actual fossils have dominated theory building, which in turn strongly influence the way fossils are interpreted.[72]
The Canadian anthropologist Paul Gosselin points out that evolution is a secular origins myth.[73] See: Evolution as a secular origins myth

Evolutionist and Harvard professor Richard Lewontin wrote in 1995 that "Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by some paleontologists, no fossil hominid species can be established as our direct ancestor...."[74] In the September 2005 issue of National Geographic, Joel Achenbach asserted that human evolution is a "fact" but he also candidly admitted that the field of paleoanthropology "has again become a rather glorious mess."[75][76] In the same National Geographic article Harvard paleoanthropologist Dan Lieberman states, "We're not doing a very good job of being honest about what we don't know...".[76]

Concerning pictures of the supposed ancestors of man featured in science journals and the news media Boyce Rensberger wrote in the journal Science the following regarding their highly speculative nature:

Unfortunately, the vast majority of artist's conceptions are based more on imagination than on evidence. But a handful of expert natural-history artists begin with the fossil bones of a hominid and work from there…. Much of the reconstruction, however, is guesswork. Bones say nothing about the fleshy parts of the nose, lips, or ears. Artists must create something between an ape and a human being; the older the specimen is said to be, the more apelike they make it.... Hairiness is a matter of pure conjecture.[77][78]

Creation scientists concur with Dr. Pilbeam regarding the speculative nature of the field of paleoanthropology and assert there is no compelling evidence in the field of paleoanthropology for the various theories of human evolution.[79]

Evolution and just so stories

The Question evolution! campaign poses 15 questions for evolutionists.[80] See: 15 questions for evolutionists

Question 12 is:

Why is evolutionary ‘just-so’ story-telling tolerated? Evolutionists often use flexible story-telling to ‘explain’ observations contrary to evolutionary theory. NAS (USA) member Dr Philip Skell wrote, “Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive—except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed—except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.”[80]

For more information please see:

Richard Dawkins lost a debate to a rabbi and then denied the debate ever took place

See also: Richard Dawkins and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Atheism and Debate and Atheism and cowardice

Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins

The new atheist Richard Dawkins had a debate with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was named the London Times Preacher of the Year 2000 and is the author of 20 books.[81]

Recently Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote:

...Dawkins attacked me on his website and denied that he and I had ever debated. My office quickly posted the full footage of a two hour debate which took place on October 23, 1996, a debate which Dawkins actually lost after a vote taken by the students as to which side, science or religion, caused more students to change their minds. In my article on the subject responding to his attack I was extremely respectful of Dr. Dawkins and was therefore shocked to receive a letter in return in which he accused me of speaking like Hitler. Had the noted scientist lost his mind? Hitler? Was this for real?[81]

WorldNetDaily offers the following quotes of Rabbi Boteach about debate and the initial denial by Dawkins that the debate never took place:

That is a particularly bold untruth. Our debate, which took place at St. Catherine's College, Oxford on Oct. 23, 1996, attracted hundreds of students and featured, on the atheist side, Prof. Dawkins and chemistry Prof. Peter Atkins, and on the religion side, me and Prof. Keith Ward, Oxford's Regius Professor of Divinity. Student president Josh Wine was in the chair," the rabbi explained.

"In a vote at the end of the debate as to how many students had changed their minds after hearing the arguments, Dawkin's side was defeated and religion prevailed, which might account for his selective memory," he wrote.[82]

Shmuley Boteach (see license agreement)

Rabbi Boteach reported at Beliefnet:

I also gave Dr. Dawkins the opportunity to even score by accepting a further debate, at the time and place of his choosing (within reason, of course), to which he has yet to respond.[81]

A video of the debate that Dawkins lost to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is available at Rabbi Schely Boteach's website.

A supporter of the Question evolution campaign wrote:

We don't believe a word Richard Dawkins says and for good reason. For example, he claimed to have never debated Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, but then he had to admit a debate took place as it was videotaped. According to the student audience, the rabbi won the debate as he convinced more students of the validity of his position concerning the existence of God.

Furthermore, an angry and embarrassed Dawkins then claimed the rabbi shrieked like Adolf Hitler. Now tell me, how do you forget a debate with a rabbi who supposedly shrieks like Adolf Hitler? Obviously, Dawkins exposed himself for the clown and fraud he is.[83]

Richard Dawkins' historical revisionism about whether or not he was ever an atheist

Despite arguing for the position of militant atheism previously, the agnostic Richard Dawkins deceptively gave the Archbishop Dr. Rowan Williams the impression that he never was an atheist.[84][85][86]

Dawkins has exhibited a history of erratic behavior in terms of his public persona and whether or not he is an atheist or an agnostic (see: Richard Dawkins and agnosticism and Richard Dawkins' Publisher's notice of his upcoming book and the issue of inconsistency and flip-flopping).

Celebrity atheists

See: Celebrity atheists

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 NEWSWEEK Poll: 90% Believe in God, Newsweek 2007
  2. Study: Atheists distrusted as much as rapists
  3. Atheists Widely Distrusted, Even Among Themselves, UK Study Finds, Christian Post, 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Anti-atheist distrust ‘deeply and culturally ingrained’, study finds, The Independent, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 Edgell, Gerteis & Hartmann 2006
  6. What scares the new atheists by John Gray, The Guardian, March 3, 2016
  7. 7.0 7.1 *Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  8. Atheists Remain Most Disliked Religious Minority in the US
  9. Repositioning a Brand: JCPenney showed brand reinvention can stretch only so far by Dick Maggiore at the Innis Maggiore Ad Agency
  12. Faithless: The politics of new atheism by Steven Kettell
  13. The Four Horsemen review - whatever happened to ‘New Atheism’? by Steven Poole, Thu 31 Jan 2019 02.30
  14. Multiple references:
  15. Rummel, R. J. (November 1993). "How many did communist regimes murder?" University of Hawaii website; Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  16. Vox Day (Theodore Beale), The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens (Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, Inc.), 2008, p. 17.
  17. Ammi, Ken (June 11, 2009). "Atheism [quoting Vox Day]". Creation Ministries International. Retrieved on July 19, 2014.
  18. Why the arguments of the ‘New Atheists’ are often just as violent as religion
  19. Is the New Atheism dead? by Elizabeth Bruenig, New Republic, November 6, 2015
  20. 20.0 20.1 Richard Dawkins has lost: meet the new new atheists by Theo Hobson
  21. The New Atheism as a Stealth Religion: Five Years Later by David Sloan Wilson, Evolution Institute website
  22. Uproar Against Dawkins Is Sign of New Atheism Retrogression by Joshua Kelly
  23. Even atheists bash 'Reason Rally'
  24. Growing criticism by atheists of the New Atheism movement by James W. Jones, Oxford University Press, OUPblog
  25. Atheist Ireland publicly dissociates itself from the harmful and hateful rhetoric of PZ Myers by Michael Nugent, April 7, 2015
  26. Reflections on the skeptic and atheist movements By Massimo Pigliucci Scientia Salon, Posted: May 13, 2015
  27. On Robin Williams's Death, a Revealing Dispute Between Atheist-Evolutionist Spokesmen
  28. P.Z. Myers is (Surprise!) Unmoved By Suicide of “Wealthy White” Robin Williams
  29. Freethoughtblogs - Quantcast
  30. About We are Atheism
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2
  32. An Update on We Are Atheism by Hemant Mehta, September 15, 2015
  35. The future looks bright, by Richard Dawkins, The Guardian
  36. [ The Bright Stuff], Daniel Dennett, The New York Times
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Not Too “Bright", Skeptical Enquirer, Chris Mooney, October 15, 2003
  39. The Commissar Vanishes
  40. The distaste for debate, Theodore Beale
  41. Klaus Mehnert, Stalin Versus Marx: the Stalinist historical doctrine (Translation of Weltrevolution durch Weltgeschichte) Port Washington NY: Kennikat Press 1972 (1952), on the illegitimate use of history in the 1934–1952 period
  42. Roger D. Markwick, Rewriting history in Soviet Russia : the politics of revisionist historiography, 1956–1974 New York ; Basingstoke : Palgrave, 2001, on legitimate Soviet Historiography particularly in the post 1956 period.
  43. China’s Communist Party Reaffirms Marxism, Maoism, Atheism, New American, 2014
  44. China's Communist Party Bans Believers, Doubles Down On Atheism
  50. Noebel, David, The Battle for Truth, Harvest House, 2001.
  51. Atheism
  52. Bacon, Francis, Of Atheism
  54. 54.0 54.1 Williams, Alex,The biblical origins of science, Journal of Creation 18(2):49–52, August 2004.
  55. 55.0 55.1
  57. Christianity and the birth of modern science
  58. Shall the religious inherit the earth? - Eric Kaufmann
  59. Elizabeth Raum. North Korea. Series: Countries Around the World. Heinemann, 2012. ISBN 1432961330. p. 28: "North Korea is an atheist state. This means that people do not pray in public or attend places of worship. Buddhist temples exist from earlier times. They are now preserved as historic buildings, but they are not used for worship. A few Christian churches exist, but few people attend services. North Koreans do not celebrate religious holidays"
  60. Evolution is not operational science
  64. Ernst Mayr, Darwin’s Influence on Modern Thought, Lecture 1999, ScientificAmerican .com, 2009.
  66. 68.0 68.1 "Another Evolution Fraud Exposed" -, INVESTIGATING GENESIS SERIES.
  68. Encyclopedia Britannica (online): Paleoanthropology
  69. Answers in Genesis, Those Fossils Are A Problem
  70. 72.0 72.1 Sean Pitman, M.D., Thoughts on Evolution From Scientists and Other Intellectuals
  71. Myths of Origin and the Theory of Evolution
  72. Brad Harrub, Ph.D., Bert Thompson, Ph.D., and Eric Lyons, M.Min., Human Evolution and the “Record of the Rocks”
  73. Brad Harrub, Ph.D., The “Glorious Mess” of Human Origins
  74. 76.0 76.1 National Geographic (online edition), Joel Achenbach, PALEOANTHROPOLOGY, Out of Africa, Are we looking for bones in all the right places?
  75. Frank Sherwin, M.A., "Human Evolution" An Update
  76. Bert Thompson, P.H.D. and Brad Harrub, P.H.D., 15 Answers to John Rennie and Scientific American's Nonsense
  77. 80.0 80.1 15 questions for evolutionists
  78. 81.0 81.1 81.2
  80. Richard Dawkins and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach debate
  81. 'I can't be sure God DOES NOT exist': World's most notorious atheist Richard Dawkins admits he is in fact agnostic, Daily Mail, 24 February 2012
  82. Richard Dawkins: I can't be sure God does not exist
  83. Richard Dawkins on militant atheism