“They are idiots — intelligent people don’t do God”,  says some fellow, whose proposition has inspired me to compile an incomplete list of idiots in the West from ancient times to the present day: — Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, Jean Buridan, Nicolaus Copernicus, Francis Bacon, Giordano Bruno, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Gottfried Leibniz, Isaac Newton, Giambattista Vico, Thomas Bayes, Carl Linnaeus, Leonhard Euler, Roger Joseph Boscovich, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Joseph Priestley, Immanuel Kant, Karl Friedrich Gauss, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, Adam Sedgwick, James Clerk Maxwell, Gregor Mendel, Asa Gray, Louis Pasteur, William Kelvin, Miguel de Unamuno, Charles Pierce, Albert Einstein, Alfred North Whitehead, G.K. Chesterton, Arthur Eddington, Kurt Gödel, Georges Lemaitre, Frederick Copleston, Werner Heisenberg, Carl Weizsäcker, Henry Margenau, Fred Hoyle, John Eccles, Charles Hartshorne, Charles Townes, Stanley Jaki, Freeman Dyson, Edward O. Wilson, John Lucas, Michael Dummett, John Polkinghorne, Francis Collins, J.J. Haldane, John Barrow, Alvin Plantinga, Chistopher Isham, Saul Kripke, . . . — omitting of course such wavering, agnostic or mystical half-wits as Charles Darwin, Erwin Schrödinger, Paul Davies, etc. Yet there is something that makes me uncomfortable about this list. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but I have an uneasy feeling that at least some on this list are not idiots, or not when compared to anyone who would claim them to be such, which, if true, must lead me to affirm the falsity of the proposition that theists are idiots. I have even the inkling — the radical nature of which I almost dare not acknowledge — that anyone who believes that theists are idiots must be an idiot. But, as I say, it is only a feeling, and a somewhat unfashionable one too.
 “Yeoldetifosi”, commenting on Dave Hill, “Voice of Unreason”, Comment is Free (The Guardian’s weblog), 13th January 2009; original emphasis. (I have picked it as an example of the kind of pronouncement commonly made amongst the “new atheists” — i.e., those loud-mouthed ignoramuses and ideological crackpots led by a bog-standard scientist with the philosophical acumen of a standard bog who yet somehow appears to his followers as a fount of genius.)