Overland versus the ‘new atheism’

Perhaps you're familiar with Jeff Sparrow's article published by New Matilda in June of this year, 'Where Have All The Progressive Atheists Gone?'1, wherein with a new Global Atheist Convention announced for Melbourne in 2012, the supposed, inherent, right-wingedness of the 'new atheists' is lamented. If you haven't, my apologies in advance to non-Australian readers.

'The so-called New Atheist movement, in which Hitchens is a key figure, is not progressive in the slightest. On the contrary, it represents a right-wing appropriation of a once-radical tradition - and it’s well past time that so-called left-wingers, both in Australia and elsewhere, stepped up and said so.'2

Never mind the insinuation that progressives not on-board with Sparrow's particular brand of radicalism can be reasonably dismissed as merely 'so-called' left-wing – that's par for the course. More to the point I'm making, it's telling when a critic uses the term 'new atheist' in all seriousness, and more-so when the novelty is 'so-called', disputing something nobody claimed. It almost always warns of an insufficient curiosity toward the subject being discussed, coupled with sloth and overconfidence.

Like a hundred and one scare-mongers before him, the likes of Sparrow already know what the 'new atheists' are up to - they don't need to investigate!

In as far as Sparrow's targets are smeared as ultra-right proto-fascists in the original article3, and a subsequent rejoinder4, PZ Myers has the issue pretty well sewn-up56. And if Sparrow were just some random author in the alternative media, and if this instance was all there was, I'd be walking away with a laugh like many others witnessing the exchange.

Jeff Sparrow, one of the 'Austudy Five' of Australian political lore, a man with a radical political history marked with enough of the narcissism of small differences to make even the splitters of Monty Python's Life of Brian blush, is the current editor of the long-running, radical-left Australian literary magazine, Overland. If you were left wondering where all of this was coming from, or what it's all about, Overland is a good place to start searching.

I'll home in on two particular points of Sparrow's that I think presage some of what's going wrong, before moving on to details from a more problematic episode.

'What’s for progressives to celebrate in huge audiences listening to such a repellent figure [Hitchens]?'7


'No-one’s going to burn you alive if you don’t believe in the Trinity; you are not going to lose your job if, like millions of other ordinary Australians, you’re unconvinced by Genesis.'8

Not that I'm by any means restricted to one author to deal with the first point - the standard rebuttal hardly being original - I'll cite Hitchens, who in invoking Karl Popper in Letters to a Young Contrarian, wrote...

'It is very seldom, as he [Popper] noticed, that in debate any one of two evenly matched antagonists will succeed in actually convincing or “converting” the other. But it is equally seldom that in a properly conducted argument either antagonist will end up holding exactly the same position as that with which he began. Concessions, refinements and adjustments will occur, and each initial position will have undergone modification even if it remains ostensibly the “same.”'9

On the topic of contention central to Hitchens being labeled 'repellant', my own 'initial position' is much the same as that of PZ Myers in that I've never supported the Iraq war (although I don't go as far as asserting that Hitchens has ever advocated genocide1011). However, like many others, I won't suggest people be so bloody-minded they can't see the wisdom of engaging with a 'repellent figure', should such a potential interlocutor promise to be educative.

I suspect many people could learn more from ten minutes of heated argument with Hitchens on one of his average days, than from ten years worth of tepid agreement with Michael Moore at his best.

As for this claim that Australians aren't figuratively being burned alive, I'm almost surprised that Sparrow indulges in such nationalism. Call me Orientalist, but I see no good reason for the Australian progressive-left to restrict its concerns to Australian atheists, nor do I see convention attendee's concerns as likely being restricted to Australia's borders.

(I'll take this opportunity to urge the organisers of the 2012 Global Atheist Convention to consider attempting to secure Leo Igwe as a speaker – his concerns about the state of affairs for secularism in Nigeria are worthy of a large audience in their own right, and provide a source of education for those in developed nations needing a bit of perspective).

As for Australians not losing jobs on account of being atheists... During just a brief period at South Australia's own little (and now retired) Trades Hall, and more generally amongst unionist circles, I've seen ample evidence of people losing their jobs (or having their jobs threatened) on account of their godlessness. To what extent this happens in the greater population, I don't know, but I do know that it does happen (and I've been led to suspect it's more concentrated in non-governmental, social-service workplaces that elsewhere).

Sparrow's experience at Victorian Trades Hall is of considerably greater depth and duration, which raises in my mind the matter of how - if he's so interested in the matter as to be moralising - he hasn't noticed something going on. With various religious institutions currently lobbying Australian governments for exemptions from discrimination legislation, and with the continued use of government funds in discriminatory employment practices already established (such as in the current School Chaplaincy Program), Sparrow's naivety looks manufactured.

But Sparrow's recent outburst of niche-fashionable, sexed-up righteousness, contrary to what you may suspect, isn't nearly as bad as it gets from the Overland stable. Not even by half.


While I'm not entirely happy with the way the concept of Orientalism has in part been mutated into a convenient shut-up for lazy poseurs as if ipso facto, lit-crit were also ethics, I don't by any means write Said off either. In particular one of my favourite quotes is from Orientalism. Summoning Flaubert, Said argued...

'Knowledge no longer requires application to reality; knowledge is what gets passed on silently, without comment, from one text to another. Ideas are propagated and disseminated anonymously, they are repeated without attribution; they have literally become idées reçues: what matters is that they are there, to be repeated, echoed, and re-echoed uncritically.' – Emphasis added. 12

Enter Dr. Ned Curthoys of Australian National University, literary theorist and scholar of amongst others, the works of Edward Said. In 2008, Curthoys wrote a feature diatribe for Overland titled 'Against The New Atheism', in which it was hysterically fabulated that in fact, the 'New Atheism' was really something approaching a new anti-Semitism.

'Sadly, the combative atheism of Dawkins and Hitchens, and the virulent Islamophobia of attention-seeking atheists such as Michael Onfray, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris, repudiates the progressive and cosmopolitan spirit of much Enlightenment thought. Instead, the new atheism presents a crude, often hate-filled confection of caricature and prescription, contemptuous of any belief, practice or desire not conforming to Western scientific rationalism.'13

I'll avoid the long-winded details of the 'combative atheism' of Dawkins and Hitchens (a notion itself endlessly 'echoed, and re-echoed uncritically'), and focus on Daniel Dennett. Even if you view the term 'Islamophobia' as unproblematic (I don't), in what sense does this describe Dennett? And in what sense is Dennett an 'attention seeker'?

Curthoys doesn't give the reader a single example of anything Dennett has ever argued, 'Islamophobic', 'attention-seeking' or otherwise. This has the immediate effect of making Curthoys' depiction look an awful lot like a 'crude', 'hate-filled' caricature. Like the po-faced use of the term 'new atheist', critiques of Dennett bereft of citation also make reliable litmus tests for insufficient curiosity.

Even so, even if you are familiar with these particular tropes, unless you're particularly jaded you'll still have reason to find what follows in Curthoys' article rather surprising. (At this point, jaded readers will already have their Sokal-like-reflexes set to fire off from a hair-trigger).

'Dawkins is a fanatical Darwinian geneticist, a monomaniacal materialist neither brooking alternatives to Darwin’s hypotheses nor willing to problematise the racist, colonialist legacy of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. When it comes to the problem of religion’s survival, Dawkins is, in fact, a naive social Darwinist, agog that religion, ‘so wasteful, so extravagant’, has survived Darwinian selection which ‘habitually targets and eliminates waste’.' 14

Wrong. The waste and extravagance pertains to the question of religion's survival, or more specifically to the survival of any inherited tendency towards it. This notion of an evolutionary problem – a political problem as distinct from a puzzle – is just Curthoys putting words in Dawkins' mouth.

The question of extravagance and waste is one of finding a plausible Darwinian explanation (and not just some just-so story either). Before finding and checking such explanations against evidence, evolutionary biologists tend to accept that there is most probably some reason why expensive traits are there, even if they don't know what those reason are. Dawkins argues as much in the relevant chapter15, not that you can tell from Curthoys' uncited and indiscriminate salad-tossing of Dawkins' words.

Curthoys' use of the term 'agog' in this case, is reminiscent of many a bad b-grade movie with The Mad Scientist caricatured as scheming, aloof and unsympathetic in the throws of obsessive curiosity and manipulation. Those wanting something more authentic could look to understand the context behind a frequently misconstrued quote from Darwin's correspondence of 1860 with American botanist Asa Gray.

'The sight of a feather in a peacock's tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!'16

Darwin wasn't literally sickened, or driven to fear that he was proven wrong as many a creationist would have you believe, but people would also be deeply mistaken to view puzzles such as the peacock's tail as rendering evolutionary biologists 'agog'. The range of dispositions available to scientists in such situations is far less black and white than that.

In the section of The God Delusion Curthoys lifts words from, taking care to note 'somewhat extreme and exaggerated terms', Dawkins addresses the issue of the evolution of resource-expensive traits by quoting Lewontin for a one sentence explanation of an 'adaptationist' principle17. But you can read Darwin himself from The Origin of Species, to get a feel for just how uncontroversial this kind of thinking is, scientifically speaking.

'Organs now of trifling importance have probably in some cases been of high importance to an early progenitor, and, after having been slowly perfected at a former period, have been transmitted in nearly the same state, although now become of very slight use...' 18

In terms of Darwinian evolution, what is true of 'organs of little apparent importance' holds true for inherited instincts as well, any possibly inherited instinct for religion not withstanding. The point is not that it's wasteful and extravagant and therefore it should have been eliminated. The point is that something expensive has persisted, even flourished over generations, that this is unlikely to have happened by pure chance, and that yet it appears to be without apparent reason. This suggests there is most probably a hidden Darwinian explanation waiting to be realised.

While I may be accused of not stepping outside of the paradigm of 'Western scientific rationalism' to refute Curthoys, neither the above, nor Dawkins' particular argument carry the genocidal overtones inferred by Curthoys' incredibly selective quoting. There's no meaningful moral sense in which any of this could be called socially Darwinist – there's nothing Spencerian or dog-eat-dog about it. This conflation of Dawkins' evolutionary descriptions with social prescription is a common mistake that's entirely avoidable if you've read and understood anything that Dawkins has had to write on the cruel side of nature. You could also disabuse yourself of this kind of misunderstanding by watching part two of Dawkins' documentary The Genius of Charles Darwin, in which not for the first time (and contrary to Curthoys' allegation) Dawkins discusses the misappropriation of Darwin's ideas for 'racist, colonialist' and other nefarious ideological purposes19. (Indeed, Dawkins comes out swinging on the side of the welfare state).

Curthoys may or may not be forgiven his apparent technical ignorance (I'll leave that to the reader and the literary theorists), and he may be forgiven for overlooking the mentioned documentary (being aired in the UK only shortly before the issue of Overland in question was published). But this lack of investigation into the very issue which Curthoys chooses to raise (Dawkins' supposed social Darwinism/moral egoism), an issue with an established history in public debate going as far back as the faux-controversy generated by Mary Midgley's 'Gene-Juggling' in 197920, is just incredibly lazy.

What's more, Curthoys is making essentially the same mistakes as Midgley in his fumbling with evolutionary language. Backpedaling somewhat, but still equivocating in the process, Midgley, some years after the original stoush (but well before Curthoys was anywhere on the scene) revised her original concerns.

'Foremost among the snags of this sociobiological language is the equivocal use of words like ‘selfish’, ‘altruistic’, ‘spite’ and ‘manipulate’, a use which not only suggests psychological egoism to the surrounding peasants, but clearly at times misleads the writers themselves. It is because the word ‘selfish’, with this sense, is the key term of The Selfish Gene, and receives a poetic celebration there unparalleled in other sociobiological writings, that the book struck me as exceptionally likely to block the acceptance of Darwinism... Dr Dawkins tells us that he is obviously not using the word selfish in any sense which could excuse this interpretation. It is, he says, a harmless, well-known technical term, referring only to behaviour, viz, to that which in fact increases an entity’s own chance of survival. Selfish, then, means here something like ‘actually self-preserving in the long run’. He correctly points out that biologists writing on evolution do now use the term in what he calls this ‘special, restricted sense’. Accordingly, ‘a philosopher who wishes to understand biologists must therefore learn this basic feature of biological language’' 21

Never mind that Dawkins wasn't adopting the position of someone addressing the 'surrounding peasants' - anyone actually familiar with this 'sociobiological language' would know that its use by biologists isn't at all equivocal, a number of these definitions for example, being tightly defined by W.D. Hamilton in his seminal 'The genetical evolution of social behaviour' I & II of 1964 22. This being from where the concepts of Hamiltonian 'altruism' and 'spite' were ultimately derived, going on to become established in the technical language well before Midgley vented her outrage.

Midgley was being disingenuous when she ceded that 'biologists writing on evolution do now use the term' (emphasis added), because in addition to Hamilton having set the standard for much of this kind of language much earlier, his seminal work was cited in The Selfish Gene – the very text Midgley was critiquing. I guess simple things like bibliographies aren't edgy enough for some academics.

Curthoys makes much the same mistake, substituting meanings in his treatment of phrases like '...targets and eliminates waste', insinuating something sinister when nothing of the sort exists, and when the kind of language being used isn't particularly novel. That he has the well documented errors of Midgley (and others) to learn from makes this all the more damnable. Dawkins was right; philosophers (and literary critics) who wish (or need) to understand biologists must learn the basic features of biological language - if not also nurture a knack for understanding the prose of the more popular iterations.


Not before going on to uncritically cite Chris Hedges' hysterical I Don't Believe in Atheists (2008) to lambast supposed 'new atheist' aggression, Curthoys goes on to demonstrate yet further misunderstanding of his intended targets.

'The brutal, genocidal imaginary of the new atheism (the tawdry Sam Harris, for example, openly contemplates a nuclear first strike on the Arab world and praises the use of torture against terrorists), its thin bourgeois elitism, hypocritical denunciation of religious certainty and the puerility of its politics, is a consequence of a shallow rationalist optimism, a theory of human progress that ignores or evades the contribution of modern ideological utopianism, stimulated by the possibilities of technological domination and the rationally organised elimination of ‘waste’ elements, to the horrors of the twentieth century.' - Emphasis added. 23

Aside from the Gish-gallop of accusations, most unaccompanied by attempts at substantiation, the main problem for Curthoys in the first part of this smear is that Sam Harris only contemplates a nuclear first strike on Muslim nations in as far as the scenario may be a possible future result of a failure of geopolitics – that if humanity continually gets it wrong, the insanity of a first strike may eventually be the least insane option24. Harris doesn't advocate that this actually happen, he advocates that people wake up before it does.

Furthermore, Harris doesn't 'praise' the use of torture. Indeed, throughout the relevant section of The End of Faith, Harris repeatedly expresses disquiet at the idea of its use25.

What Harris does do in The End of Faith, as many moral philosophers have similarly ventured to do before him (seemingly often with far less controversy), was to propose a problem. Specifically that if one accepts carpet bombing as being in any context justifiable (where clearly many innocent people will die), then it's inconsistent to also argue categorically against torture (where possibly only one individual may suffer in order to prevent some catastrophe).

Whether or not you find Harris convincing on the matter, the reality of what he ventures is hardly similar to the caricature of lurid salivation Curthoys scrawls out.

In the duration between the publication of The End of Faith and Curthoys' article, in addition to the mentioned work of Chris Hedges26, many have assumed this sanctimonious, fact-challenged posture towards Harris (such as John Gorenfeld27), specifically on these kinds of issues. And in these years the misrepresentations have been roundly discredited ad nauseum.

Similar to Mary Midgley's original attack on Dawkins, it was all old news before Curthoys came anywhere near it (albeit not quite as old). His errors are all the more tiresome for it.

The treatment of the matter of utopianism isn't much better.

If Curthoys had better familiarised himself with the relevant work, he'd have known far from being ignored or evaded, it's a common talking point for Daniel Dennett at least, that previous attempts at secular utopianism have failed horrifically28. This is in part why Dennett advocates a patient, non-coercive approach, making one central policy prescription in his 'new atheist' text; the compulsory study of world religion in schools2930.

The intent of this policy, and through the eventual development of other means, is to peaceably reach either an increase in atheism, or liberal theism, or a combination of both. Considering Dewey's view on extracting the good from religion, without the bad, Dennett comments in discussion with Robert Thurman...

'No. In fact, I don't know whether some version of that would be a good idea or not. I don't think that Dewey had studied religion enough to know, and I haven't studied it enough to know. What I do think is important that we do right now, is educate each other a lot more. '31


'I do think we need to study religion carefully. I don't think I have the answers. I think I have the questions... I do believe that those people, who are deeply religious, and who are deeply moral, will want to join in this effort. I welcome them, and if they find that my book is outrageous or offensive to them, I submit that it is not deliberately offensive, it is an attempt to level the playing field.' 32

Really, this is the stuff of 'brutal' or 'genocidal' utopian thinking? I'm detecting a hypocritical denunciation of certainty, but Dennett isn't the source.

Again, Curthoys doesn't give the slightest hint of having ever read a single word uttered or authored by Dennett, which if actually the case, would go a long way in explaining the bizarre misapprehensions.

'...Repeated without attribution... ...repeated, echoed and re-echoed uncritically.'

A certain amount of glossing over the details (usually technical) helps if your project is getting from the likes of Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins (or anyone else for that matter), to a largely predetermined, but particularly ill-fitting caricature. In the case of Curthoys' screed, that caricature being...

'...the violent animus of the new atheists towards religion – and their reliance on a developmental narrative of human history proceeding from the mythic to the rational – is a barely camouflaged resumption of Euro-Christian hostility towards the annoying persistence of a Semite who should have disappeared long ago, making way for a modern dispensation and a newly elect people at the vanguard of history.'33

Violent animus! Developmental narrative! Sinister pseudo-technical terms to ape anodyne actually-technical terms! Conclusions enabled without application to reality! FROTH!

The resumption of 'Euro-Christian hostility towards the annoying persistence of a Semite' is 'barely camouflaged' in the 'new atheist' rhetoric, in the same way Jesus is sometimes 'barely camouflaged' in grilled cheese. What we have here is ultra-piety-induced literary pareidolia.


I've mentioned Harris' challenge involving the differences between torture and carpet bombing for a particular purpose other than direct, factual refutation. I've mentioned Dawkins' The Genius of Charles Darwin, in particular having the un-cut interviews in mind, for much the same reason. Not because these form part of some kind of central dogma for the 'new atheism', but because of significant differences of opinion between prominent 'new atheists', and a potential for eliciting aporia, sources like these represent.

Hitchens for example, has been a fierce opponent of domestic wire-tapping and torture, yet has variously endorsed the use of cluster bombs. Not that I find Harris' proposed dilemma completely engrossing, it could at least prove more informative to ask Hitchens what he thinks of this problem, than to ask for recitals of Monty Python (thank you Tony Jones3435).

If there's such a thing as a 'new atheist', then Peter Singer has to be one – he spoke at the last Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, he wrote the source of a much repeated, positive blurb for The End of Faith, and he doesn't think much of religious morality. In Dawkins' uncut interview with Peter Singer from The Genius of Charles Darwin, Dawkins cedes somewhat that eating meat (in particular the consequences of its processing) is by his own reasoning, unethical, all while admitting he still eats it36. Surely pressing Dawkins on the matter, even if potentially awkward, would be more educational than asking him how he defines the word 'success' (I'm looking at you Andrew Denton37).

Singer and Dennett realise the nature of the is-ought problem in the conventional manner, contra Harris' The Moral Landscape, where it is argued that a practical way around the problem exists38. Surely the consequences for moral policy making would be better served by investigating these contradictions, than regurgitating bits and pieces of Chris Hedges' various paranoid fantasies.

What about Dennett versus Kitcher on replacing the opiate of the masses, or Sikivu Hutchinson on social justice and organised atheism in light of atheism's libertarian population?

(I'll take this opportunity to urge the organisers of the 2012 Global Atheist Convention to consider attempting to secure Sikivu Hutchinson as a speaker.)

Why isn't Leslie Cannold a utilitarian? What does she object to in Singer's meta-ethics? How does she think this pans out for secularism?

Often we see critics in privileged positions - those with the opportunity to facilitate public debate – avoiding questioning Dawkins or Hitchens on their specific differences on the matter of the Iraq War, even when the topic is at hand. Why?

If the 'new atheism' is sufficient to warrant attention, and if the professed moral concerns of the critics are genuine, then surely what the 'new atheists' actually think, and where they are in substantial difference, is of critical interest. People should be able to look to Australian public intellectuals and the Australian media to see genuinely incisive questions asked whenever the 'new atheists' visit down-under.

Instead we see an Australian literary magazine being used for the kind of cheap and easy insinuations and misattributions any fool could dredge up from Answers in Genesis. All while the more conventional media continue to ask a little too frequently, and with a little too much force, the kind of cute questions you'd expect from an insecure culture needing affirmation from abroad. While being careful not to be too Byronic about things, it has to be said that this is a little depressing.


In a book review from 2009 that's almost worth a critique of its own, Jeff Sparrow wrote for Overland of The End of Faith...

'The difference between The God Delusion and the (sic) End of Faith [is] like thatbetween (sic) listening to an erudite but slightly eccentric prof, and being cornered in the kitchen by an opinionated bore during a party.'39

These things being subjective, it's possibly a fair cop.

It'd also be fair to say that reading Curthoys and Sparrow critiquing the 'new atheism' is a bit like watching undergrads make great displays of conviction to niche-fashionable piety, under the mistaken assumption this hides that they've neglected to do the weekly readings. At any rate, this is possibly what a good part of the Australian media and intelligentsia has in store for those attending the 2012 Global Atheist Convention; noise, posturing, accusation and not nearly enough investigation.

It'll be interesting to see which sources stand out above the din as particularly informative. I have doubts that Overland will be one of them.

  1. Jeff Sparrow (2011) 'Where have all the progressive atheists gone?', New Matilda []
  2. Jeff Sparrow (2011) 'Where have all the progressive atheists gone?', New Matilda []
  3. Jeff Sparrow (2011) 'Where have all the progressive atheists gone?', New Matilda []
  4. Jeff Sparrow (2011) 'The Left, the Right and The New Atheism: a response to PZ Myers', Overland. []
  5. PZ Myers (2011) 'Atheism ≠ fascism', Pharyngula. []
  6. PZ Myers (2011) 'I'm back, and I'm still not a fascist', Pharyngula. []
  7. Jeff Sparrow (2011) 'Where have all the progressive atheists gone?', New Matilda []
  8. Jeff Sparrow (2011) 'Where have all the progressive atheists gone?', New Matilda []
  9. Christopher Hitchens (2001) Letters to a Young Contrarian, Basic Books. []
  10. PZ Myers (2007) 'FFRF Recap: heroes of the revolution, Hitchens screws the pooch, and the unbearable stodginess of atheists', Pharyngula. []
  11. I was once convinced of this based on reading PZ Myers' eye-witness account, but after seeing the video footage this is no longer the case. I recant my former position on this specific point. []
  12. Edward Said (1978) 'Redrawn Frontiers, Redefined Issues, Secularized Religion', Orientalism, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. []
  13. Ned Curthoys (2008) 'Against The New Atheism', Overland, No. 192. []
  14. Ned Curthoys (2008) 'Against The New Atheism', Overland, No. 192. []
  15. Richard Dawkins (2006) 'The Roots of Religion', The God Delusion, Bantam Press. []
  16. Charles Darwin (2011) 'Darwin, C.R. to Gray, Asa, 3 Apr [1860]', Darwin Correspondence Project, University of Cambridge. []
  17. Richard Dawkins (2006) 'The Roots of Religion', The God Delusion, Bantam Press. []
  18. Charles Darwin (1859) 'Difficulties on theory', The Origin of Species, John Murray. []
  19. Richard Dawkins (2008) The Genius of Charles Darwin, IWC Media. []
  20. Mary Midgley (1979) 'Gene Juggling', Philosophy, 54, No. 210. []
  21. Mary Midgley (1983) 'Selfish Genes and Social Darwinism', Philosophy, 58, No. 225. []
  22. W.D. Hamilton (1964) 'The genetical evolution of social behaviour' I & II, Journal of theoretical biology, 7. []
  23. Ned Curthoys (2008) 'Against The New Atheism', Overland, No. 192. []
  24. Sam Harris (2006) 'The problem with Islam', The End of Faith, Simon & Schuster Australia. []
  25. Sam Harris (2006) 'A science of good and evil', The End of Faith, Simon & Schuster Australia. []
  26. Chris Hedges (2008) I don't believe in atheists, Free Press. []
  27. John Gorenfeld (2007) 'Sam Harris's Faith in Eastern Spirituality and Muslim Torture', AlterNet. []
  28. Rob Hogendoorn (2006) 'Transcript of Daniel C. Dennett in conversation with Robert Thurman', Mind and Reality Symposium, Columbia University. []
  29. Rob Hogendoorn (2006) 'Transcript of Daniel C. Dennett in conversation with Robert Thurman', Mind and Reality Symposium, Columbia University. []
  30. Daniel Dennett (2006) 'Now What Do We Do?', Breaking the Spell, Viking. []
  31. Rob Hogendoorn (2006) 'Transcript of Daniel C. Dennett in conversation with Robert Thurman', Mind and Reality Symposium, Columbia University. []
  32. Rob Hogendoorn (2006) 'Transcript of Daniel C. Dennett in conversation with Robert Thurman', Mind and Reality Symposium, Columbia University. []
  33. Ned Curthoys (2008) 'Against The New Atheism', Overland, No. 192. []
  34. Christopher Hitchens & Tony Jones (2009) 'Christopher Hitchens and Tony Jones: Does Religion Poison Everything?', Festival of Dangerous Ideas, ABC Big Ideas. []
  35. I'm biased, for obvious reasons. []
  36. Richard Dawkins (2008) The Genius of Charles Darwin, IWC Media. []
  37. Richard Dawkins & Andrew Denton (2009) 'Episode 6: Richard Dawkins', Elders with Andrew Denton, ABC. []
  38. Sam Harris (2010) The Moral Landscape, Bantam Press. []
  39. Jeff Sparrow (2009) 'the end of faith, the beginning of bigotry', Overland. []

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