Sometimes, tracing the arguments of New Atheists is a little like trying to navigate one of Escher’s stairways.
One of the ironies emerging about the New Atheists has to do with the fact that they assign an important role to evolutionary theory* in their attempt to annihilate religious belief. However, evolution does not appear to be playing ball! The Sunday Times** ran an article by the science editor John Leake, entitled, “Atheists are a dying breed as nature ‘favours faith’”. He reports on an eighty-two country study entitled The Reproductive Advantage of Religiosity, led by Michael Blume of Jena, which found that those whose inhabitants worship at least once a week have 2.5 children each, and those who never worship have 1.7 – which is less than the number needed to replace themselves. Leake contrasts Dawkins argument that religions are like mental viruses that infect people and impose great costs in terms of money and health risks, with Blume’s work, which suggests the opposite: evolution favours believers so strongly that over time a tendency to be religious has become embedded in our genes.
One might have thought that, if the New Atheists are right about evolution, they, of all people, would be the most enthusiastic about spreading their genes. Clearly not.
Perhaps, then, all we have to do is wait?
However, perhaps not; for even though the New Atheists seem to have lost interest in spreading their genes they have not yet abandoned the propagation of the “memes”.
~ excerpt from ‘Gunning for God’, Why the New Atheists are missing the target by John C. Lennox, Lion Hudson 2011, p.25