The New Atheism

What’s New About The New Atheism?

Victor Stenger answers the question.

The New Atheism is the name that was attached, often pejoratively, to the series of six best-selling books by five authors including myself that appeared in the period 2004-2008. Since then many have joined the movement, with an upsurge in books, freethinker organizations and an exponential expansion on the blogosphere, spreading the word on atheism to thousands. The message of New Atheism is that it is time to take a far less accommodating attitude toward religion, including moderate religion, than has been exhibited in previous years by atheist authors and, in particular, by non-believing scientists.

In the United States science is locked in a battle with conservative Christians over the teaching of evolution and creationism in schools. So far, a series of court decisions going back to the mid-eighties has prevented attempts by some states to insinuate ‘creation science’ and its later version ‘intelligent design’ into the science curriculum of public schools as an alternative theory to Darwinian evolution.

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