As a tribute to the Decline of New Atheism, let’s pause for a moment of silence and contemplate the accomplishments of the movement’s movers and shakers.
The Four Horsemen
Christopher Hitchens: Passed away in 2011 and has now become immortalized among the dwindling number of Gnus as an internet meme.
Daniel Dennett: They needed a Fourth Horseman to make the metaphor work so he was it. Other than getting into arguments with Sam Harris about free will, Dennett has never produced much as a leader of the Gnus.
Richard Dawkins: After the success of his God Delusion, his reputation has taken a nose dive. He appeared in a documentary with Lawrence Krauss that was a complete flop. His two volume autobiography was also a flop. Dawkins retained attention through persistent tweeting which, ironically, earned him the reputation of being a racist and a sexist. Early in 2016, Dawkins suffered a stroke which he attributed in part to all the stress from tweeting. Currently, he no longer tweets often and when he does, he seems obsessed with the Brexit vote.
Sam Harris: Perhaps because he was sensing the decline of the New Atheism movement, Harris attempted to expand his market and appeal to the New Age crowd as an atheist guru, even offering instructions on how to meditate. But his marketing plans fell apart after he couldn’t resist the urge to attack the entire religion of Islam over and over again. These days, he is either in a meditative sleep to convince himself that Sam Harris does not exist but, when conscious, is trying to prove to the world that Sam Harris is not a racist.
The Fifth Horseman
With the death of Hitchens, several New Atheists with PhDs auditioned for the role as a replacement Horseman. None of them caught on.
PZ Myers: Wrote an atheist book that was a flop and then became the driving force in splitting up the Gnu community into rad fem faction and the non-rad fem faction. His once popular blog is popular no more and he is currently being sued by feminist Richard Carrier.
Jerry Coyne: Wrote a book promising to mainstream the idea that science and religion are incompatible. It was a flop. These days, Coyne occasionally writes about atheism, but spends more time posting about cats, food, and his fellow leftists who seek to impose more and more limits on free speech. But he still doesn’t allow dissenting views on his own blog.
Peter Boghossian: Wrote a book about how to convert people to atheism, but it was ignored by everyone outside the Circle of Gnu. His promised army of Street Epistemologists never appeared. These days, he has been working with intellectual giants (like John Loftus) to develop an app that is supposed to help Gnu’s win arguments.
Richard Carrier: Never really had a shot at being the Fifth Horseman, but he gets a mention because he has a PhD (something he never forgets to mention). He published his book defending the crackpot myther notion, but these days, the feminist atheist finds himself suing other feminist atheists for being banned from conferences and blog networks because of allegations concerning his treatment of women. Oh, Carrier’s avid fans from around the globe can still comment on his new blog as long as they pay him.