The Fading Dawkins

Just a couple more data points that show the New Atheist movement is no longer significant to the mainstream culture.

The New Atheist movement has long been tied to the popularity of Richard Dawkins. Yet consider two recent facts about Dawkins that are quite different from the golden years of New Atheism.

First, I just posted about a published study that portrays Dawkins as being bad for science.  If you search Google news with Dawkins’ name, you’ll find more than a half-dozen articles promoting this study.  What you won’t find is the infamous Gnu pushback.  No angry tweets from Dawkins himself.  Nothing from Sam Harris.  Nothing from PZ Myers.  Nothing from Jerry Coyne or any of the other usual suspects.  The lone voice of pushback came from blogger Hemant Mehta, whose push back lasted about 2 hours given his 8-10 posts/day policy.

In the golden years of Gnu, there would have been the “rapid response” reply from various directions, especially with the juicy Templeton angle.  It’s starting to look like there’s no one out there to defend Dawkins.

Second, Dawkins has been on a speaking tour recently in the United States.  On Nov 1 and 2, he had a “public conversation” with Sam Harris.

In the golden years of Gnu, there would have been a couple of news reports about this talk filled with some click-bait quote and I’d probably be blogging about something they said.  But despite Dawkins’ return to the speaker circuit, and despite him teaming up with Sam Harris for two days, I can’t find a single report.  No one outside that theater is interested in what two of the Four Horsemen had to say.

Look, Dawkins and Harris will always have their place among the Madalyn Murray O’Hair crowd.   But as far as breaking out into the mainstream is concerned, the fad has run its course.

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3 Responses to The Fading Dawkins

  1. RegualLlegna says:

    New atheist = SJW atheist movement that grew with the “Rule of Cool” (Internet Version) and apparently is dying thanks to the same rule, largely because of they lack of constructivism, cohesive meaning (reason to form and maintain a group identity) and lack of actual long term progress for they anti-religious aim (some Gnu still claim that religion is “dying” fast: disappear in less that one or two generations).

    Is easy to see why they break in even more smaller groups that care more about long standing social justices (anti-racism, feminism, anti-bigotry, pro-humanism, political correction, etc.) and others groups (the mayority of the Gnus) that care more about the maintenance of they own Staus Quo, thanks to they auto-imposed “cannot think/speak (sometimes do) wrong status”, only care about social justices when they can use anti-religion promotion because by they standars atheists (they) are the most vilified creatures in the whole Creation.

    I personally see this as the effect to do claims for rights for too long while excluding the duties that give meaning and validity to those rights, one example, using simple proportional logic, is the attacks on feminism, i mean for every human male are 4-5 human females why any meaninful human social movement will have a male mayority with almost the opposite difference will want to attack a women minority in they own group and claim equalty, the Gnus are sad as a group and lack much of what i say is “Philosophical Quality” that is necesary to spread they phylosophy. At the end of the day the best examples of groups identities with atheistic world views are the Phylosopher Atheist (any respectable known intellectual atheist pre-Gnus), The Communist (not goverment is perfect but works), and the Racists-Nationalists-Secularist (most North Europeans countries leaders, almost or maybe? 100% whites), the last ones are the worst because they countries depend more of international trade to function but they are too prideful to make other people in the world have a spotlight.

  2. Terry Barnes says:

    I have a question for anyone who is familiar with the new atheism movement. How many people went to these events in the past?

    I looked up the venues that Dawkins is speaking at and some of them seem pretty small…like approximately 700 seating capacity. Admittedly, the largest venue in Los Angeles sold out (1400 seats), but didn’t Dawkins sell out bigger places in years past?

  3. pennywit says:

    I don’t know how many people went to events … but I’ve never attended one of them myself. I hang out in a couple online atheist/agnostic communities, and I’ve read a couple of the New Atheist books, not really more than that. I do donate to a couple of the atheist nonprofits/lobbying groups on occasion because I support their work on church/state separation issues.

    Beyond that, I have no particular interest in associating with an explicitly atheist social group or attend conferences, etc., specifically devoted to atheism. In fact, the one time somebody tried to approach me and start a conversation based on the fact I was reading The God Delusion in public, I shooed him away. My agnosticism is one part of me. It is not all of me.

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