24 December 2011


Who's Number 1 ???

The Best Schools website had chosen the world's top atheists.

Among the 50, there are people whose names almost everyone will know and many I didn't recognize.  I am listing here those with whom I am most familiar. Use the link at the bottom on this post to see the entire list.

48. Dan Barker  - co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation
45. James ("the Amazing") Randi - illusionist
42. Greta Christina - writer and blogger (I just posted something about her a few weeks ago.)
37. Ayaan Hirsi Ali -  her book "Infidel" presents an inside look into Islam from a
          girl's/woman's point of view.
35. Woody Allen - director
34. Ian McEwan - novelist
31. Philip Roth - novelist
18. Paul Kurtz - professor, author, founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
13. Sam Harris - author
10. Christopher Hitchens - journalist, essayist
 9. Stephen Hawking - mathematician, cosmologist
 8. Steven Weinberg - Nobel Prize Winner - Physics
 7. Richard Dawkins - scientist, author
 5. Daniel Dennett - professor of philosophy, author

Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit that the top four names were not familiar to me, but I will definitely be learning more about them.

For the criteria used to select those included on the list and the entire list of the top 50 atheists in the world today, click HERE.

Comments welcome on any of these questions:
Who would you add to the list and who would you drop?
What are your thoughts on the criteria used to choose those included on the list?
Who would you choose as your #1 choice or perhaps your top 5?


Snowbrush said...

Woody Allen is a "top atheist," but Annie Laurie Gaylor didn't deserve mention! What in the hell do you have to do to qualify as a "top atheist"?

Venus Alexis said...

Pat Condell, although he is English and not American!! Just the same, he is my favorite of all athesits!!

C Woods said...

Re: Venus's comment:

I added a link to Pat Condell's web site (http://www.patcondell.net/) in case anyone is interested. Look for it in my "Freethought Resources" list which is supposed to be on the right sidebar but I see that it moves to the bottom of the page sometimes.

C Woods said...


If you click on the link at the bottom of the post you can read the criteria used to choose the people who made the list. Like any such list, which is mostly subjective, everyone has an opinion about who should have been there and who should have been skipped.

I didn't remember seeing Annie Laurie on the list and when I went back, unless I am missing her, she isn't there.

I don't know if Annie Laurie should be in the top 50, but if she had been included, I would write in her defense:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is one of the groups which is most vocal and effective in fighting religious infringement of U.S. Constitutional mandates against government endorsement of religion. Annie Laurie, as a co-president of the group, often appears on news spots nationwide to speak about the group's actions. Her mother was one of the founders and Annie Laurie, early-on, even while a college student contributed to the group's monthly newspaper and has published several important freethought books. She has been in the forefront of the atheist movement for more than 30 years, even before Dan Barker became a member of the group ---and her husband.

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