It should go without saying that both Fundamentalist Christians and New Atheists base their history on what they ‘want’ to be true, not what ‘is’ true, and then take their crackpot ideas as historical fact. I thought I’d evaluate which side has the bigger issue with it:
- Human/dinosaur coexistence.
- Joseph was Imhotep.
- Ben Carson’s view on the pyramids.
- Anything to do with Nephilim.
- Certain fringe ideas in biblical archaeology, such as claiming that Noah’s Ark has been discovered.
- Crusade Apologetics.
- Hitler was an atheist.
- America was founded as a Christian nation.
- The Nazis were militant homosexuals.
- Any downplaying of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, for that matter.
- Apologism for Karadszic and Miloševic.
- The shroud of Turin.
- Overstating the very real evidence for Jesus.
- The Catholic Church is a veiled continuation of Babylonian paganism.
- Allah originated as an evil demon in Sumerian mythology.
- Hanzi of Genesis.
- Anything about Ebla. (An Ancient city in Syria)
- Cultures all over the world have a flood myth, therefore a global flood happened.
- Darwin was a massive racist who supported genocide and eugenics.
- Darwin had a deathbed conversion.
- Darwin thought the eye was too complex to arise by chance.
- The banana is a creation of God, rather than one of men.
- Hitler derived his ideas from Charles Darwin.
- Neanderthals were fully human.
- No one other than the Hebrews in the ANE didn’t distinguish between the heavens and the atmosphere.
- Margaret Sanger supported genocide.
- British Israelism.
New Atheist bad history:
- Jesus mythicism.
- Jesus plagiarised from pagan myths.
- Myth of the flat earth.
- Anything about the Council of Nicea.
- Christians destroyed the Library of Alexandria/Serapaeum because they hated knowledge.
- Christians killed Hypatia because they hated science. (Rather than people who just so happened to be Christians killing her due to a political dispute)
- Christianity destroyed Classical science and ushered in the dark ages.
- Exagerrating the role of the Inquisition.
- Exagerrating the extent of witch hunts.
- Christianity became a major player via forced, violent conversion.
- Claiming Giardano Bruno was a scientist, or that he was killed because he supported heliocentrism.
- Paul mythicism (a fringe view, even among the fringe).
- The Galileo affair was an example of the Church dogmatically opposing heliocentrism in the face of all the scientific evidence. (Which at the time did not exist)
- Downplaying the role which Christianity has had in creating modern western cultural values.
- Downplaying (and sometimes outright denying) the atheism of Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot and others and the role in played in their atrocities.
- Claiming Hitler was a devout Christian.
- Claiming the Catholic Church supported the Nazis.
- Islam only had a golden age because Christian Europe was so bad.
- Lebanese DNA disproves the biblical conquest narrative.
- The classical world was a utopian era of freethought and tolerance, destroyed by those evil Christians.
Ideas held by both:
- Allah is based on a pagan moon God.
- Easter is based on a pagan festival. (At most only the name was)
- Revisionist history of Young Earth Creationism, suggesting that it was always the ‘dogmatic’ belief of Christians in the face of all scientific evidence.
- The festival of Sol Invictus/Mithras/Saturnalia is the foundation of Christmas.
- Taking the mosaic law out of historical context, therefore it must be the result of divine guidance and is either, a law which Christians must follow today, or proof that God is a violent, sexist, racist, homophobic bigot.
So I’ve counted more bad history amongst fundamentalist Christians. The difference is however, that there bad history is rotundly lambasted by the media when it comes up, and rightly so. That by New Atheists however, is either simply ignored, or outright promoted. And that is the reason why I consider the latter to be more dangerous, and why I will continue to focus on it.
What do you think?