Monday, September 26, 2011

Zombie Attacks! The Intellectual Laziness of the New Atheism.

Zombie Attacks!

The Intellectual Laziness of the New Atheism

I recently posted a review of John Loftus' new anthology, The End of Christianity, on Amazon, entitled, "Intellectually Lazy."  Thinking about it since, and interacting with others of the same school, it occurs to me that this may be the defining vice of the New Atheism.

In some ways, almost any absolute claim about "what is not," in a cosmos that includes at least one universe as vast, unexplored, and perhaps unexplorable as our own, would seem premature.  There are no pink unicorns?  Did you check the meadow behind the hop shed?  OK, have you checked every meadow on every planet in all 200 billion visible galaxies?

Recently a skeptic told me, "miracles don't happen."  How does he know that?  This is an entirely different kind of claim from, "Jesus changed water to wine," for which there may be positive evidence.  By the nature of things, one can only know that miracles have never happened, either by being God, and knowing all that has or has not occurred, or having some "inside baseball" understanding of the nature of reality.   

The main texts of the New Atheism, books by Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens, are sometimes even lazier than Loftus' books.  At least many of Loftus' authors have studied the subjects they're writing on.  Dawkins scoffs at the very idea of learning about Christian theology -- and as I and others have demonstrated, his ignorance on a variety of topics, from the history of communism to Medieval philosophy and American society is, indeed, profound. 

In some ways, Truth Behind the New Atheism was the easiest book I've written so far. I didn't have to learn any new languages, or study ancient worldviews.  Nor did I need to wait for other contributors to send chapters in, as I am presently doing with our new book. 

The Four Horses of the New Atheism were inspiring, as a Hun invasion is inspiring, or the sudden appearance of any barbarians who trample centuries of civilization underfoot.  After plucking Dawkins' The God Delusion off the shelf in Oxford, a town replete with history of which Dawkins seemed oblivious, I wrote ninety pages of response in a few days.  Of course, the actual book required rustling old volumes, refreshing memories, checking facts, even some original research.  But on most of the questions Dawkins and the other the New Atheists address, we seemed to have the home court advantage.  Responding seemed as natural as rushing to the gates of one's own castle, and pouring oil on the savages carrying the battering ram Grond down below.  ("Grond" being Mirkwook orcish for "scientism," I believe.)     

Reviews by people I respect, and whose disapproval would hurt, Christian and skeptic, were, I was happy to see, quite positive.  But attacks on the book also taught me something about the nature of the New Atheism.

A mild example is Victor Stenger's critique of my chapter on faith, in his book The New Atheism.  Dr. Stenger's critique is not mean or unpleasant, but it seems distracted.  It is as if Stenger simply skimmed the chapter and picked out a dozen or so passages to quote for his own purposes.  Stenger apparently did not feel the need to really read the book, still less think through its arguments: when preaching to the choir, quote-mining is more than enough.

A more personally-motivated response came from Hector Avalos, which I discussed in earlier blogs, here and then here.

One cannot accuse Dr. Avalos of laziness in the normal sense: he studies his targets in detail.  But opposing arguments are things to be defeated, and opponents people to discredit: it is as if he were playing a game of ping-pong, in which every point that lands wrong is a point lost.  "Must storm castle!  Must conquer Gondor!"    

An ad hoc band of amateurs also attempted, some with great fervency, to discredit The Truth Behind the New Atheism.  These folks are well-represented in reviews on one critic posted some 14 one-star reviews under various names!  (Several since deleted.)  Most of these reviews give the impression that the "reader" has also simply gone through the book and looked for things to object too, often by taking the original quote badly out of context, or "paraphrasing" it to death.  Stronger critiques would have been more interesting.   


A few days ago, criticisms of my last book also appeared on P. Z. Myers' popular Pharyngula web site.  This was my fault -- I stuck my nose into the hornets' nest.  But again, most of the hornets seemed surprisingly indigent.   

PZ had compared the New Atheists favorably to their allegedly uncool, dim-witted critics:

"(Atheism) is not cool at all. It’s the domain of nerds and geeks and sciencey weirdos with beards and snarky women who are way smarter than the guys chasing them. It’s not the coolness of atheism. It’s the lameness of religion . . .

"Look at me. I’m moderately popular, and I’m a schlubby college professor at a small college. I’ve got a beard and I wear nerdy ties. I’m nobody. But stand me next to a priest, or a creationist, and the contrast makes me look white-hot and super-cool, even though I’m not. It’s been my cunning trick for years.

"So the problem for Williams isn’t that atheism is cool at all — it’s that our cool/lame quotient rockets to stratospheric heights whenever we’re in opposition to old geezy wankers who are chanting antique gobbledygook about magic rabbis and dead people. And those apologists trying break into our schtick? All they are doing is making us look cooler."

I responded in a tone to match:

"I think the true secret of your success is you’re FUNNIER than the opposition . . . Yeah, Lennox, Hart, and McGrath are real dim bulbs, so slow they can barely catch a cold.

"Dan Brown was mildly good-looking, but that doesn’t explain the popularity of his schtick, either.  The real difference between The God Delusion and The Truth Behind the New Atheism, is that I know what I’m talking about. When talking about religion, Dawkins is Dan Brown with a British accent.

"I know you’re really into this “cult of smart” thing . . . but what better explains your success, and that of Dawkins, is that you are good writers, and amuse people — sometimes, even when you mean to. That, and the fact that lies still make it half-way around the world, while the truth is putting its shoes on — we’ll win in the long run."

Most of the hundred or so responses were obscene and / or vacuous.  PZ called me a "moron," and many of his mob followed that trail to the castle wall.  Others accused me of "lying," even madness.  Obscenities and empty scoffing were about equally in evidence. 

These attacks are zombie-like becasue they do not attempt to find my real vulnerabilities. "Christians are stupid" is one of PZ's favorite conceits, and "liars for Jesus" is a default mode for many in the skeptical memosphere.  Of course scoffing and obscene remarks are even more predictable and lemming-like behavior: nor were many of the insults even a little bit witty. 

The movie only gets interesting when the zombies evolve beyond such predictable behavior -- and so, perhaps, will this blog. 

After the initial, failed assault, movie zombies tend to evolve.  Sure enough, several skeptics also roused themselves from dogmatic slumber, googled The Truth Behind the New Atheism, and were soon attempting to deconstruct my immodest claim that "I know what I'm talking about." 

I explained that I was referring to subjects other than science, where I admit Dawkins has the advantage.  But the attacks mostly focused there, anyway, no doubt in part because Pharyngula is a science web site, and in larger part because PZ hates anything that he thinks smacks of "creationism" with a passion, as do other members of his ashram.      

So that's the context.  Here are the critiques, and why, while a little research is probably better than no research, these responses remain intellectually lazy.  I'll then add a few concluding thoughts (still in the way of brain-storming, not yet fixed conclusions) about intellectual laziness and the New Atheism. 

The Critiques and What's Wrong with them

#1  Glen Davidson: "See especially chapter 4, where idiot David simply assumes that the liars of the DI are in fact good faith critics of evolution, rather than the frauds and charlatans that they have always proven to be."

I usually ignore Glen, who tends to talk like this.  But he did the initial googling in this case (like the first Borg to partially adapt), so let's begin with him. 

Davidson's claims are baldly false.  In fact, I cite people on both sides of the argument, without ever "simply assuming" ID proponents are right.  (Whether or not they argue in "good faith" is irrelevant to any scientific issue, and beyond Davidson's knowledge.)  I encourage readers to read BOTH sides, and make up their own minds:  "A better way to decide . . . is to read both sides of the debate.  (Kenneth) Miller and (Michael) Behe have dueling articles online as well as in the book Debating Design . . . " (75)

Glen goes on: 

"In that chapter, aside from attacking evolution over the matter of abiogenesis–when the two are only hazily connected . . . "

Nowhere in the book do I "attack" evolution.  In fact, in chapter three, I argue for common descent -- which is what "evolution" is commonly interpreted to mean.  Nor do I claim that difficulties with the origin of life in any way discredit, say, Natural Selection. 

So Glen's claims are simply wrong.  Skimming a few paragraphs from The Truth Behind the New Atheism, he was too lazy to read carefully and represent my arguments accurately, still less consider whether they might contain anything worth hearing. 

#2  Anteprepo (quoting TBNA): "Chapter 3, page 55: 'All humanity came from one man and one woman,' we read….'Genetics has settled the matter in favor of Moses.'

Kel: "I really hope you’ve taken David Marshall out of context on this, because if you haven’t…. woah!"

Nigel: "It’s not out of context . . . "

What does "woah" mean here?  Apparently Kel thinks I said something not only false, but ludicrous, among the words cited. 

The apparent assumption is that I mean genetics has proven that humanity passed through a bottleneck of exactly one man and one woman some time in remote antiquity.  Probably the name of that man was "Adam," and the woman, "Eve." 

But is that what I meant?  Not at all.  Read the whole paragraph, and it is clear that its clear meaning is that, contrary to many alternative theories, genetics shows Moses right in maintaining the genetic unity of the human race:

"The world has often quarreled with Genesis, and gotten the worst of it . . . "

"'All humanity came from one man and one woman,' we read.  Greek philosophers, Gnostics, Hindus, the Nation of Islam, and some Social Darwinists said no, people are a mixture of free and slave, of spiritual, psychic, and physical, different parts in the body of Brahma, or separately evolved species.  Genetics has settled the matter in favor of Moses.  Francis Collins . . . notes . . . all races on earth share 99.9% of their DNA .  . . We are, he concludes, 'truly part of one family.'"

Anteprepo has not casually misquoted me.  And Nigel is not just a little wrong.  Anteprepo deliberatedly chopped complete sentences out of the original, changing its meaning, to produce the "woah" effect on gullible skeptics.   

Such rearranging may look industrious, but like all cheating, is actually lazy.  My real argument -- that Genesis got a lot right, not that Adam and Eve can be proven genetically -- is bypassed, and serious argument avoided, by the misunderstanding. 

But to give him credit, at least Kel did ask.  Perhaps he, at least, is not yet an assimilated member of the collective. 

#3 Nigel is also one of three or four posters in the thread who do more than simply converge on the Christian fortress with bandaged forearms outstretched.  Early in the discussion, I challenged PZ to a debate.  Nigel offered (with good cheer) to take his place. 

In a sense, this blog is a (slightly convoluted) response to that offer, and his arguments.     

Nigel went on to offer the following valiant attempt to justify an obvious bit of hypocrisy on the part of Richard Dawkins:

"David Marshall and folks like him are stuck trying to reconcile their belief with their knowledge. Reading the bits of his book available linked above, he does seem to be an intelligent person. He’s just an intelligent person stuck in the unenviable position of reconciling fact and fiction.

"Take, for example, his analysis of Dawkins on intelligent design (beginning on page 63). He notes that Dawkins says in one breath, “An example of irreducible complexity would indeed be a blow to Darwin’s theories,” followed by, “A search for an irreducibly-complex organ would be unscientific.” From this, David Marshall concludes that Dawkins admits irreducible complexity is a potential threat, but then claims that Dawkins disallows irreducible complexity as unscientific."

"This is, of course, a strange interpretation. What Dawkins is saying is that, should we run across a demonstrable example of a liver evolving from nothing, evolution would be thrown into disarray. However, a search for a liver evolving from nothing is an unscientific way to approach this potential shortcoming of evolution. Which it is. And that’s essentially what Behe and his ilk attempt. This is no different than admitting finding a rabbit fossil in the cambrian would be a blow to evolution (an example David Marshall uses), vs actually searching for that rabbit fossil in the cambrian. The former is scientific; the later is ideology."

This is clever, but turns the adjective "strange" on its head, and stretches logic to its breaking point. 

Science is not just the process of "running across" evidence: it is the process of actively looking for evidence to confirm or disconfirm theories.  Darwin obviously saw nothing "unscientific" about searching for organs whose complexity might refute his theory.  Dawkins recognizes this logic from the Master, but then forgets it two paragraphs later, to sink his teeth more deeply into ID flesh. 

Did Michael Behe first notice organs that seemed anamalous within the NDE paradigm?  Or did he first doubt the paradigm, and then look for the organs?  Does it matter?  Is one scientific, and the other not? 

The assumption here seems to be that searching for evidence that Darwin himself challenged his opponents to find, would somehow be "unscientific."  It is hard to see why, and the claim contradicts the plain meaning of Darwin's words. 

The laziness here (of a much lesser degree) seems to involve the attempt to discredit ID as "unscientific" in some definitional way, so the evidence can be dismissed in advance. 

"This is a subtle distinction, one that David Marshall exploits (out of ignorance rather than malevolence, I think) for his own end — the rationalization of his beliefs. He would allow cherry-picking of data (like Behe does) rather than a rigorous application of the scientific method: follow the evidence, wherever it may lead, and whatever sacred cows it might tip. (SEE today’s faster-than-light particles for a specific example of real science in action.)"

It is unclear why the possibility of finding evidence that disconfirms Einstein, shows that a "real scientist" should not look for evidence that disconfirms Darwin.  One would think this shows just the opposite.  And Darwin, as a great scientist, managed to write calmly about such attempts.  Behe clearly thinks he is following the evidence. 

The Lazy A

Obviously, atheists are a diverse crew.  If intellectual laziness defines them as a whole (I'm still thinking this through, myself), it does so (as this discussions shows) in a variety of ways:

* If atheism is the claim that there is no God, there may be an element of intellectual laziness at its core.  The beginning of wisdom, along with the fear of God, is to know the limits of our knowledge.  Technically, even Richard Dawkins admits he cannot positively rule God out.  But in practice, an often remarkable arrogance often tends to creep in, and the turtle in the well claims to know all of heaven.   

* One can google almost anything, nowadays, which furnishes the illusion of knowing something about it.  This can be dangerous

* Skeptics are "bright," to use Daniel Dennett's term.  Often even the dimmest atheist seems to accept that theoretical advantage as his birthright.  This seems to make it hard for many atheists with the goo-goo-googling fingers to really listen and take seriously opposing arguments: having taken the stance that "religious" people are by definition cretinous fools, they think they can win arguments like Neil beats Mr. Smith, standing in place and lazily deflecting his blows. 

* It's always easier to dismiss an opponent as a liar, a fool, or lunatic, scoff, swear, and imagine his slow, painful death, than to do real research, think matters through honestly, and debate fairly. 

Is intellectual laziness the hallmark of the New Atheism?  It's a question worth keeping in mind, anyway.   


Joshua said...

It's surprising that this post hasn't become a hornet's nest! Hahaha!

When I read it, I immediately thought of Peter Atkins in his casual interaction with John Lennox. Have you seen that?

In that, he keeps accusing theists of being "lazy" and "intellectually lazy". LOL Finally, friendly Dr. Lennox had to just confront him directly on it. To me, Atkins just sounds desperate.

David B Marshall said...

I think the hornets have already come, spent their barbs, and departed, frustrating at not breaking the skin.

Lennox is really good -- he takes Atkin's hard and unfair knocks, and replies with grace, simplicity, and reason.

I love this stuff by Atkins:

"He's a philosopher. And philosophers don't understand the nature of the world. Scientists understand the nature of the world. Philosophers are pessimists -- always putting a (break) in knowledge. Worst of all are theologians because they add obfuscation . . . Scientists come along to give the real answers, the evidentially-based answers, the reliable answers."

Poor Atkins. He obviously suffers from gross low self-esteem.

David B Marshall said...

By the way, that's a very smart debate ref -- tosses the ball on the court, then gets the heck out of the way.

Someone who knows something about history (or you can call me Paul) said...

Meet your first hornet.

I read what I could of your book on the new atheism on Google and I have to be honest I’m not impressed. I can see how your book must have been the easiest to write. Your bibliography seems lacking in solid, primary sources and you also fail to cite a source for some claims. I’m not trying to insult you but trying to get a handle on some of the outlandish things you’ve written. It looks to me like you rushed through the writing of this book. Can I ask how long it took you to write it?

I’m sure you’d like some examples of a few of the issues I found. The Greeks invented science, not Christianity. Your caricature of Richard Dawkins is so off the mark I’d call what you’ve written about him a form of slander. The bible did not end slavery. Even a basic history book on slavery will tell you this. Where did you get your information for this claim? You also blame atheism for Communism. How in the world did you come to that conclusion? In your fourth chapter you’re guilty of using the age old “God of the Gaps" argument and you seem to confuse abiogenesis (research into the origin of life) with evolution (what happens AFTER life started). These are two entirely separate issues. I could go on but I think that is more then enough for now.

David B Marshall said...

Someone: I love it when people attack my bibiography. In fact, my bibliography cite FOUR TIMES as many sources per page, as does Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion.

Does Dawkins make up for the low quantity of citations, by a better quality?

On the contrary. Dawkins' citations are largely from friendly web sites.

Here are some of the scholarly sources I cite, by contrast:

* Tomoko Masuzawa
* Richard Dawkins
* Sam Harris
* Alan Orr
* James Boswell
* Daniel Dennett
* Alister McGrath
* Hubert Yockey
* Nicholas Wolterstorff
* Michael Shermer
* Blaise Pascal
* Lisa Jardine
* Francis Bacon
* Carl Sagan
* Joseph Needham
* Rodney Stark
* EO Wilson
* GK Chesterton
* Huston Smith
* Bertrand Russell
* Stephen Hawking
* Charles Darwin
* CS Lewis
* Francis Collins
* Stephen Jay Gould
* Paul Davies
* Walker Percy
* Lin Yutang
* William James
* Ernest Becker
* Edward Tyler
* Denis Noble
* Emile Durkheim
* James Legge
* Nicholas Standaart
* Marcus Borg
* Walter Wink
* Robert Funk
* M. Scott Peck
* Tarif Khalidi
* Per Beskow
* Paula Fredriksen
* Richard Fletcher
* Ronald Nash
* Bart Ehrman
* John Farquhar
* Mohandas Gandhi
* Vishal Mangalwadi
* Robert Hooke
* Paul Brand
* Bernard Lewis
* V. S. Naipaul
* Brian Tierney
* Rene Girard
* Michael Burleigh
* Victor Hugo
* Gary Jensen
* Michele Goldberg
* Kevin Philips
* Chris Hedges
* Gregory Paul
* Robert Coles
* Arthur Brooks
* Fyodor Dostoevsky
* Richard Wurmbrand
* David Aikman
* Marc Hauser
* Brian Greene
* Raymond Martin
* NT Wright
* Rudyard Kipling
* Ronald Murphy
* Ivan Satyavrata

All of these men and women are eminent scholars or intellectual leaders. Many or most DISAGREE with my position. I know their positions; I've read their writings, in many cases fairly thoroughly.

And you want to claim Dawkins' book, which cites very little scholarship, and almost none on the "other side," is based on mature research, and I'm the lazy one?

Again, you waltz in here, not having read the book, not having even looked at the citations, and have the gaul to tell me what's not in them?

I'm beginning to think you're not just intellectually lazy, but also a fool.

Both Greeks AND Christians
"invented science," of course. It was invented twice, as is common in the history of invention, the second time more thoroughly.

I'm not going to answer your other comments, since they're just vacuous "did nots!" without a hint that you are even trying to deal with my arguments honestly.

I'm getting tired of this bombastic tone and the petulant, vacuous declarations. If you can make a real argument, try next time to make one. This kind of stuff gives laziness a bad name, and is getting boring.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Out come some very personal insults. And what did I do to deserve this? I just asked you how long it took you to write the book and noted a few issues I found. YOUR childish behavior is what’s uncalled for. And your bibliography looked very padded (not to mention poor).

You cite Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett but aren’t you arguing AGAINST them? I was referring to your sources of information and not every person you mention in your book. Speaking of which most of these people are religious apologists. I’d hardly call this a good bunch to cite from. But for the heck of it let’s just go through that list.

Tomoko Masuzawa - Here you only cite her and what she said about Boyle.

Richard Dawkins - Aren’t you arguing AGAINST him? Where do you cite him in support of an argument?

Sam Harris - Same problem as Dawkins

Alan Orr - You are just citing his opinions about two things but give no facts.

James Boswell - The only time you cite him is your very first chapter and it’s nothing but a quote of Samuel Johnson. So this “scholar” is out and pointless.

That was time consuming. The first 5 were pointless and you cite a few novelists too like Dostoevsky. What is he an expert in? I don’t think I’ll bother with anymore. It looks to just get worse for you.

David B Marshall said...

Somebody: You accuse me of "dishonesty," "slandering" Dawkins, failing to cite primary sources, and making "outlandish" arguments -- criticisms without a shred of reality to them -- without reading the book you claim to be criticizing, and without so much as leafing through the bio. Then when I mark this puerile criticism as bombastic and lazy, you have the nerve to ask, "What did I do to deserve this?"

Padded? Baloney. As already stated, my bibliography contains FOUR TIMES as many citations per page as Dawkins. And unlike Dawkins, I cite BOOKS by LEADING SCHOLARS on BOTH SIDES, not friendly web articles. Furthermore, I have been studying many of the topics covered here for decades, and would be more of an authority on them than Dawkins even if I cited NO print media. (Of which I gave a SAMPLE above.)

Few of these people are "religious apologists," and all who could plausibly be called that (Lewis, Pascal, and Chesterton) were also great scholars. Less than a third are even Christians! But I didn't expect you to recognize many of them, frankly, so I'm not surprised at this marked expression of ignorance, combined with the usual arrogance, from you.

I quote Samuel Johnson. Life of Johnson, by James Boswell, is one of the greatest biographical works ever written. Johnson was one of the leading literary scholars in English history, known for his wisdom, and my cite of his view on faith at the head of chapter 2 is apposite, and supports the point I make in that chapter extremely well. Your attempt to dis me somehow for offering so felicitous a citation is pathetic.

What is Dostoevsky an expert in? Good Heavens. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Somebody......... said...

The facts of the case are that you are guilty of those things. One thing is for sure you need to calm down when someone disagrees with you. I've ordered your book and I'll look it over myself. Let's see if you're telling the truth about your sources.

Someone.... said...

I had my order expedited so I could read this supposed dismantling of the New Atheism and I’m sorry I paid the extra money. I am even more astounded after reading your book in its entirety. I specifically looked at your sources and my hunch was correct. You padded your list because you cite Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Goldberg, Shermer, Hauser, Paul, Hawking, and Sagan but you do not cite them to support an argument, are arguing AGAINST them or you misquote them when you TRY to use them to support your position. For example, Hawking may have mentioned how Augustine was the first to argue that time did not begin until the universe’s creation but Hawking came to very different conclusions had you actually read the whole book and not to just page 8 in your copy. In later chapters Hawking argues that the universe had no beginning based on later research he conducted.

I was right the first time. Your sources almost exclusively rely on fellow Christian apologists. That’s shameful and very dishonest that you misrepresented your book’s sources the way you did.
Ignoring that, your entire book is horribly argued and your conclusions would make REAL scholars piss in their pants they’d laugh so hard at you (not the religious pseudo-scholars you cite). I almost fell off my couch laughing a few times myself! It’s clear that the New Atheists don’t need to fear you or your book in the slightest. Maybe I’ll forward my copy to Richard Dawkins for a good laugh. You’ve been to Oxford. How much postage would that be?

I find it amusing how you and your apologist pals shamefully live in this bubble that is so divorced from reality and when someone like myself comes along and pops that bubble you are so insecure in your beliefs you become hostile to critics.

You call me a fool but you might want to watch your step. You are in danger of hell fire!Matthew: 5:22: "But whosoever shall say 'Thou fool' shall be in danger of hell fire."

Hasta la vista jerk wad.

David B Marshall said...

Someone: I was going to say, "Thanks for buying my book." But all in all, it seems "a fool and his money are soon parted," may be more appropriate. I should have warned you that a good book is wasted on some readers.

Your claim was that my book was "lacking in solid, primary sources." When refuting someone, the books you are refuting are a "primary source." Citing such sources, having read them thoroughly first (unlike Dawkins, who seems to do his research on Google), is an important part of genuine research -- which you falsely alleged I did not do for this book.

In fact, a great deal of research went into The Truth Behind the New Atheism, which is why it has proven effective.

I misquote no one. You give no examples, because there are none.

But I see you are willing to lie through your teeth, to try to save face. It is a lie that I "rely almost exclusively on Christian apologists." In fact, MOST of the citations in the book are from NON-CHRISTIANS. In chapter 4, for instance, 27 citations are of non-Christians, 8 of Christians, with 2 unknown. So that is just a cheap, bald-faced lie.

And when I cite Christian sources, they are almost all renowned scholars in their fields, including those cited above. It is also a cheap and dishonest skeptical trick to dismiss eminent Christian scholars, cited for considered opinions on issues they have studied in detail in their own fields, as mere "apologists."

Your comment about Hawking is inane and mistaken. Yes, I read the whole book, of course. I cited him on Augustine, not on his opinions about how the universe began. (John Lennox has rebutted his more recent musings on that subject. And no, Lennox is not just an "apologist.")

Given the fact that every time you attempt a concrete argument, it turns out to be made of sand and pixy dust, held together with spite, yet grow no wiser when your most blatant errors are revealed, I'll file your general dismissals in the same waste paper basket as some of the other fanatics who inhabit the Internet.

Thank you, though, for so zealously illustrating my point in this thread. Intellectual laziness, indeed.

David B Marshall said...

Let's see. Chapter 5, of known sources, 32 from non-Christians, 6 from Christians.

Chapter 6, 20 non-Christians, 9 Christians.

Chapter 7, 32 non-Christians, 10 Christians.

Lies, damned lies, and comments by "Somebody Who Knows Something (?) About History."

XAtheistX said...

Speaking of your book on the New Atheism you might like to know that somebody has gone to the trouble of posting a long rebuttal:

What have you got to say to this?