Alister McGrath has been causing a few more ripples recently than professors of historical theology from Oxford tend to do. The reason is his recent book, The Twilight of Atheism, which my CADRE colleague Chris Price has commented on over at the CADRE blog. McGrath himself has penned an article for the London Spectator (free registration required) which outlines his ideas while also letting us know his next project is aimed squarely at Richard Dawkins.
The Twilight of Atheism declares the philosophical argument too close to call, but points out that atheism has been losing the propaganda battle due to the failure of avowedly atheistic societies. Furthermore, those who have painted atheism as progressive and rational have found it hard going to give any good reasons for atheism over secularism (where the state is neutral as far as religion goes rather than promoting its lack). Nowadays, western atheists tend to call themselves secularists while trying to subvert secularism to their own ends (witness efforts to outlaw religious schools in the UK or close down ethical debates on science). David Aaronivitch, one of Britain's wisest columnists (although still pretty ignorant about religion), nearly understood this in his article about McGrath in the Observer (ignore the headline which is just editorial).
Still, what I want to know is what McGrath thinks about neuroscience, the subject I'm thinking about at the moment. His opinion is relevant as he has a degree in molecular biology. Perhaps the McGrath's book on Dawkins will tell us this rather than just beating up Dawkins' rather weak philosophical stance. I don't want to be told Dawkins is wrong - I want to see answers to the arguments Dawkins would have made if he had actually understood the issues.