Religionists are obviously upset at further confirmation that not everyone shares their views and that some of us are becoming more vocal about this.
Thankfully Christian religionists are no longer attacking those from different denominations as heretics or defaming those from different faiths as being infidels. Rather, Christians, particularly evangelical (fundamentalist) Christians and Biblical literalists continue their illogical and ill-informed attacks on those areas of scientific knowledge that disprove the Book of Genesis.
Not only are religionists worried that their attempts to promote creationism are meeting resistance from evolutionary biologists such as Dawkins, but they are scandalized that Dawkins is "promoting" atheism and some have been so ridiculous as to claim that Dawkins is heading up a cult, founding a religion, and converting those lacking powers of critical thinking to adopt an atheistic lifestyle in response to Dawkins' charismatic personality. If Dawkins were converting, by sheer force of personality, those incapable of critical thinking, then we should have seen mass conversions from creationism to atheism.
In point of fact, Dawkins is merely encouraging those who are already atheists to stand up and be counted.
Read Richard Dawkins' Introduction to The Out Campaign here: "Religious people still outnumber atheists, but not by the margin they hoped and we feared."
My atheism began in early childhood with an awareness that God was a human invention. On the basis of the illogic inherent in any belief in supernatural creation of life and humans, I reached personal disbelief before my teens, and reached certainty that no supernatural deity exists by early adulthood.
My logic-based convictions do not, of course, prove that there is no God any more than fervent claims of religious experiences can vote a God into existence. (This should not be a numbers game, though it is refreshing to see that there are so many of us.) Equally, a declaration of atheism does not prove that biological evolution is a fact or that current evolutionary theories provide a complete explanation for the observed phenomena. Demonstration of the fact is provided by the voluminous, multi-field evidence, and refinement of the theory grows with each empirical find.
As Dawkins suspects, I, like so many atheists, have previously made little fuss about my absolute certainty that there are no gods. I have long practiced religious tolerance, and I do not see atheism so much as a manifestation of religious intolerance as an insistence on truth. However, as one of scientific bent and education, I am as thoroughly fed up with anti-scientific, bigoted, illogical, ignorant, deceitful, self-advertizing, self-congratulating religionists as they are dismayed by the persistence of scientific refutation. The atheist backlash is late in coming and I am sufficiently ticked off to stand up and proclaim a conviction that I reached long ago by way of critical thinking. It is impossible to prove a negative, just as it is impossible to demonstrate the existence of something that does not exist.
I predict that the next stage in the creationist campaign will probably involve a proliferation of purple Rs, Cs, Gs, or even JCs on blogs and internet websites. Ken Ham could come out with an "AiG" emblazoned t-shirt showing him posing with a dino, Behe could market the image of a bacterial flagellum, or Dembski could profit from a "filter" logo. If they do, I want a commission for thinking of it first. Or did I?
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