The general thesis of the militant atheists is that science alone can tell us about the world. The argument put forward by opponents of militant atheism here is not dissimilar to that used against the verification theory: scientism tells us to take nothing on faith, but that itself is a faith statement. Because religion is regarded as a natural phenomenon. Richard Dawkins is the most prominent exponent of this new atheism. He is an evolutionary biologist and has been writing popular science books since 1976, starting with The Selfish Gene. As a scientist, he argues that a belief in God is irrational and, therefore, anyone who continues to believe in God is being ignorant and delusional. One reasonable criticism that can be leveled at the militant atheists is that they are prone to a form of radical reductionism that condenses a complex discipline into a series of deliberately provocative sound bites.