It’s hard to imagine a more extraordinary claim than that some hidden intelligence created a universe of more than a hundred billion galaxies, each containing more than a hundred billion stars, and then waited more than 13.7 billion years until a planet in a remote corner of a single galaxy evolved an atmosphere sufficiently oxygenated to support life, only to then reveal his existence to an assortment of violent tribal groups before disappearing again.

— The Fantasy of the Deathbed Conversion. Indeed. I wonder who makes that claim, or ever has? Also, there have been a great many deathbed conversions, even if Christopher Hitchens isn’t one of them. (Oscar Wilde was, though: see Richard Ellman’s biography for the definitive treatment of the issue.)

Nothing is more common in New Atheist rhetoric than the bald unsubstantiated assertion. Surely no group in history have ever prattled so much about “evidence” while not rousing themselves to seek any.