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.