It seems the atheist forum at RichardDawkins.net has imploded in somewhat messy fashion due to the heavy-handed management of the tech team whilst Dawkins himself was off jaunting about Australia. Peter Harrison, an ex-moderator of the forum in question, has posted an insider’s account of how “arguably the best atheist forum on the internet” was effectively destroyed from the top down here on his blog.
Whether it was the best atheist forum or not, it was undoubtedly one of the largest, so the loss of the community is significant and it has generated a huge amount of angst in member of the community.
Richard Dawkins himself has responded in a locked post here, effectively apeing the line spouted by the two admins who shut down the Dawkins forum whilst dismissing out of hand the concerns and worries of the thousands of community members left disenfranchised by the whole affair. In the aftermath, scores of breakaway fora have formed, each clamouring to be the new safe haven for the displaced Dawkinsites and competing for attention.
It’s an interesting reminder that no matter how rational and scientific atheists may claim to be, at the end of the day they are still only human and just as prone to petty internal politics as anyone else, regardless of beliefs or lack of them.