Will The Real Top 50 Atheists Please Stand Up?

You may have seen the recent list of the world’s top 50 atheists.  While there were plenty of deserving names on it, it turns out it was the product of a creationist website.  This explains how Dawkins is #7 and PZ is in the high 40s.

So to hell with that list, let’s make our own!  I charge ye readers with the task of assembling a list of the fifty baddest ass, most prominent atheists in the biz.  Go nuts.

Oh, and let’s get Hitchens up toward the top where he belongs, eh?

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • RhubarbTheBear

    Hitch gets first place by virtue of his lack of deathbed conversion. Matt Dillahunty needs to be in the top 10.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Here’s a start:

    1. Richard Dawkins
    2. Christopher Hitchens (despite being dead)
    3. Daniel Dennett
    4. Sam Harris
    5. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    6. Greta Christina
    7. PZ Myers
    8. Jerry Coyne
    9. Jen McCreight
    10. Peter Singer

  • http://www.facebook.com/mriana mrianabrinson

    I could be outnumbered here, but I think Dan Barker should be #1 or at least part of the top 10. The problem is, I don’t know who I would remove from Tis Himself’s lists. It might just be he ties with someone. Think about it, Dan his wife Annie Laurie, sometimes take theists to court when they violate the Constitution and get things changed for the better. I’d say that is pretty bad ass.

  • kaorunegisa

    Hitch would have been number one even if he weren’t dead. As much as I like the other Horsemen, none of them rankled as much as Hitch did, none get away with as much as he did, and though it’s entirely subjective on my part, I think he was a better writer in terms of metaphor, clarity, and engaging reading. Dawkins is a close second, but I can’t help but feel like he’s talking down to me sometimes without trying. I know Hitch is talking down to me, and it gets me angry enough to do something about what he’s talking about.

    I haven’t had time to really work out a list, but I totally think Brian Keith Dalton should be in there. I mean, in the upper 30s or higher, but Mr. Deity does an excellent job of mocking intelligently.

    That, or I’ve been catching up on season four and it’s stuck in my head. One of the two.

    Also, there’s that one guy with the birthmark on his forehead…what’s his name again? Yea, there’s probably room on the list someplace for him.

  • http://www.skepticalseeker.com Mikel

    If you read the intro text to the list, you can tell it is not from a source friendly to atheists. At least I could tell.

  • sumdum

    Gotta have Neil Degrasse Tyson somewhere on that list. The man speaks with such passion, you could listen to him for hours. Although he calls himself agnostic, according to wikipedia, in my viewpoint if you don’t answer the question ‘Do you believe in one or more gods’ with yes, then you’re an atheist.

  • http://carlsagansdanceparty.wordpress.com Steven Olsen

    Part one stolen…
    1. Richard Dawkins
    2. Christopher Hitchens (despite being dead)
    3. Daniel Dennett
    4. Sam Harris
    5. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    6. Greta Christina
    7. PZ Myers
    8. Jerry Coyne
    9. Jen McCreight
    10. Peter Singer
    Part 2
    11. Dale McGowan
    12. Richard Carrier
    13. JT Eberhard
    14. Rebecca Watson
    15. Hemant Mehta
    16. Guy P. Harrison
    17. Ricky Gervais
    18. Penn Jillette
    19. Matt Dillahunty
    20. Sam Singleton

    • http://carlsagansdanceparty.wordpress.com Steven Olsen

      Part one stolen…
      1. Richard Dawkins
      2. Christopher Hitchens (despite being dead)
      3. Daniel Dennett
      4. Sam Harris
      5. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
      6. Greta Christina
      7. PZ Myers
      8. Jerry Coyne
      9. Jen McCreight
      10. Peter Singer
      Part 2
      11. Dale McGowan
      12. Richard Carrier
      13. JT Eberhard
      14. Rebecca Watson
      15. Hemant Mehta
      16. Guy P. Harrison
      17. Ricky Gervais
      18. Penn Jillette
      19. Matt Dillahunty
      20. Sam Singleton
      Part 3
      21. Greydon Square
      22. David Silverman
      23. Michael Shermer
      24. David Fitzgerald
      25. Neil deGrasse Tyson
      26. Brian Dalton
      27. Debbie Goddard
      28. Amanda Marcotte
      29. Susan Blackmore
      30. Dan Barker

      • MathMike

        31. Patton Oswalt
        32. Julia Gillard
        33. Greg Lammers
        34. Greg Laden
        35. Amy Davis Roth
        36. Darrel Ray
        37. Lauren Lane
        38. Steve Olsen
        39. Annie Callicotte
        40. DJ Grothe

  • http://carlsagansdanceparty.wordpress.com Steven Olsen

    Alright, you guys figure out the next 20.

    • papango

      I think we should make space at the bottom of the list for the Unsung Atheist. A grouping of all the local organisers and activists. I know the criteria included ‘celebrity’, which these people don’t have. But, if you look at it in terms of impact and reach, then all the people having quiet conversations with believers questioning their faith, working to keep religion out of places it doesn’t belong, donating as atheists to things like the Doctors without Borders, or the Kiva Atheists Group, and making sure that most people know at least non-baby eating atheist, I think it would add up.

  • Larry

    Some notable mentions
    Bill Maher
    Thunderf00t
    AronRa
    Tim Minchin
    Justin Trottier
    Julia Gillard
    Bobby Henderson

    • Natalie

      So far these suggestions have kicked ass, but can I nominate Maryam Namazie and veto Justin Trottier? :p

  • Art Vandelay

    Can’t not have Sagan in the top 30, right?

    • http://carlsagansdanceparty.wordpress.com Steven Olsen

      If we include dead ones, the list will be far too long.

      • Art Vandelay

        Yeah but then you’d have to exclude Hitchens which seems just wrong.

  • Art Vandelay

    Top 10 even.

  • gwen

    I think it’s great that we are disagreeing about the top 10 or 20, not because of a dearth of talent, but a surplus.

  • F

    What makes a person a top atheist? How does one become atheister than another?

    Or is this a top atheist something? I’d hate to use the term “personality”. “Activist”?

    Yeah, I basically get an implication, but what is actually meant by “top atheist”? {Obvious joke excepted.)

    And while anyone in the top 50 almost certainly deserves recognition, such a list is also exclusionary.

    Damn, am I a wet blanket or what?

    • ‘Tis Himself, OM

      There are two types of people:

      1. Those who make lists.

      2. Those who don’t.

  • http://clevelandatheists.com Sam Salerno

    Hitchens,Dawkins, Victor Stenger, Stephen Hawking, Stephen Weinberg, Dan Barker, Anne Laurie Gaylor, Maryam Namazi, Richard Carrier, Don Prothero, Jerry Coyne, P.Z. Myers, Greta Christina, Blag Hag, Jessica Ahlquist, Aron Ra, The Thinking Atheist, DPR Jones, Darkmatter2525, Non-stamp collector, JT Eberhard, Dan Deneett, Sam Harris, J. Anderson Thomson, Darrel Ray, Coctupus, David Silverman, Really Madylin Murray Ohare should be at the top of the list.

    There is a crap load more. But I’m just trying to mention the well known in the 21st century ones.


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