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The invasion of the body snatchers has begun. Or at least, that’s how it seems, reading through Michael Shermer’s most recent ‘Skeptic’ column in Scientific American. Titled “Rational Atheism: An open letter to Messrs. Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens,” Shermer’s column urges that rational atheists, in the conflict between science and religion, need to “raise our consciousness one tier higher.”

Shermer warns that “anti-something movements by themselves will fail,” and advocates positive assertions about science rather than negativity about religion (I’m guessing Shermer’s good pal Randi is not of like mind). I guess he’s talking exclusively about religion with his suggestion that “it is irrational to take a hostile or condescending attitude”, considering this is the guy who turns up to UFO debates and waves toy aliens about. However, perhaps this is the start of a new, more open approach from Shermer, so let’s give him some kudos for this particular column. But he’s now issued the measuring stick for his own future work, so don’t be surprised to see me refer back…