Whenever you’re new to a subculture or movement, it’s hard to get your bearings as to what’s what. In order to help people explore the various movers and shakers I compiled this list, orignally in the for of an e-mail to send to anyone it might be helpful. I must give credit to The Secret Atheist for taking the e-mail, formating it, and adding some stuff of his own.
Dan Barker — Barker is a former evangelical preacher and musician turned prominent atheist. He is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and has published two books, “Losing Faith in Faith,”
Richard Dawkins, Ph.D. — A British ethologist and evolutionary biologist. He is a fellow of New College, Oxford and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995-2008. Dawkins is a highly prominent proponent of evolution and atheism. His book, “The God Delusion” is a best seller, he has worked on a number of documentary films, and has given three TED talks.
Daniel Dennett, Ph.D. — Dennet is a philosopher who studies human consciousness. One of his most well-known books is “Breaking the Spell,” in which he talks about religions, how they evolve, and how they can be studied like other natural phenomena. He has given anumber of TED talks.
Bart D. Ehrman, Ph.D. — One of the foremost biblical scholars. He became an atheist over the course of his studies in biblical languages and specializes in textual criticisms of the Bible. He is head of the religion department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has published a number of books in his field including, “Misquoting Jesus.” (He gave alecture with this title at Stanford in 2006.).
Sam Harris, Ph.D. — Harris is a neuroscientist and CEO of Project Reason. He is best known as the author of “Letter to a Christian Nation”, “The End of Faith”, and most recently,“The Moral Landscape”. He has given a TED talk and recently spoke on the topic covered in his new book at the New York Society for Ethical Culture.
Christopher Hitchens — An English-American author and journalist. He has been described as, “a bit abrasive, no holds barred,” but, “extremely smart and witty”. As a journalist he witnessed, first hand, sectarian warfare and killings in various parts of the world. Perhaps his most famous book is “God Is Not Great”, which makes the argument that religion, on average, negatively effects the world.
The Amazing Atheist — This guy’s got an eclectic personality, many videos don’t directly pertain to atheism but a few do and are worth a watch.
DeistPaladin — Obviously not an atheist, but he is anti-religion. He co-founded the Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers. His videos cover a number of topics including evolution, Christianity, and Islam. Most of his videos look at the Bible from a skeptics point of view.
Potholer54 — Potholer54 is a science correspondent who has worked for the BBC and others. His “Made Easy” series covers many scientific explanations for life, the universe, and everything in an easy to understand manner.
PZ Myers, Ph.D. — Myers is a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota Morris and a very well-known science and atheism blogger. He is very vocal about his opposition to religion, intelligent design, creationism, and pseudoscience in general. He also often posts about cephalopods.
James Randi — Randi is a well-known debunker and skeptic. He has had a standing reward of $1 million for anyone who can demonstrate paranormal abilities under testable, repeatable scientific conditions since 1964. No one has yet been able to claim the reward. There are a number of videos up on Youtube. Check out his lecture on homeopathy.
Julia Sweeny — Is best known from her work as an SNL cast member, but has since created and performed three autobiographical monologues including “Letting Go of God” which traces her journey to atheism. She has three TED talks.
Atheist Alliance International — Hosts the largest atheist conference in a new location each year.
Beyond Belief — Similar to The Amazing meeting.
The Center for Inquiry — Seeks to foster critical thinking and skepticism.
Darkmatter2525 — Satirical cartoons.
EdwardCurrent — Satirical videos where he pretends to be a devout believer. He is sort of to Youtube commentary video what Stephen Colbert is to political punditry.
Mr. Deity — Mr. Deity is a web series that focuses on God and his crazy hi-jinks. Regular appearances are made by his assistant Larry, Jesus, and his wife Lucy (Lucifer). They are in season 4 right now.
NonStampCollector — Rough-drawn cartoons illustrating contradictions in the Bible, among other things.
The Atheist Experience — An hour long call-in web series discussing many topics.
Atheist FAQ — An FAQ by the Athiest Community of Austin attempting to dispel some of the myths and lies associated with atheism.
Iron Chariots — Counter-apologetics wiki.
TED — Technology Entertainment and Design. Not specifically atheist, but many of the leading atheist thinkers have presented multiple TED talks. TED was formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.” The talks are limited to 18 minutes.