Book Review: Against All Gods: What’s Right and Wrong About the New Atheism by Phillip Johnson and John Mark Reynolds
Price: US$10.20; NZ$29.97
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Intervarsity Press (May 2, 2010)
This book’s subtitle intrigued me – “What’s right and wrong about the new atheism.” Has Phillip Johnson, the “Godfather” of “intelligent design” and harsh critic of evolutionary science and “scientific materialism” got something positive to say about “new atheism?” Does he think people like his arch-enemy Richard Dawkins have something right?
Johnson claims in the book’s introduction: “our intention is not to attack the atheists but to explore the case they are making.” And: “the arguments for atheism should be taken seriously and considered both respectfully and critically.”
Now that would be a change, wouldn’t it? Many religious authors jumped on the bandwagon of analysing and criticising “new atheism’ after publication of the best-selling books by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Victor Stenger and Ayaan Hirsi Ali in recent years. But their bias, personal attacks, straw clutching and straw mannery make most of them useless. Perhaps Phillip Johnson will break ranks and honestly elaborate on his philosophical differences with science and atheism instead? Perhaps he will admit the popularity of these books may be because they have identified some real problems?