There’s an ugly aspect to these “new atheists” I’ve encountered over the years, whether online (Internet Infidels) or in person: speculation is anathema to them.
Like many in academia or in the sciences, they accumulate huge amounts of data and information from studies and statistics, but they’re too cowardly to venture to speculate on the larger ramifications of this information or try to connect it all into a theory. Why?
It’s likely that they’re too afraid to speculate because it seems unscientific and subjective. However, this utterly fails to understand that speculation is actually the very essence of rationality, and our means of connecting to reality, and seeing the abstraction.
For most “new atheists,” they stick to established facts, to safe studies, and stay within their micro-views of little pockets of reality, never to risk embarrassing themselves with speculation that could be wrong.
Moreover, this fear of speculation masquerades as skepticism, in which those so-called new atheists take deep pleasure in rejecting and jeering at theories or explanations before they go anywhere. In passing off skepticism as a badge of high intelligence, they’re only taking the easy road, because it’s rather easy to find arguments against any idea and fire from the safety of the sidelines.
They are never bold & audacious with ideas.
Max Planck said that scientists “must have a vivid intuitive imagination, for new ideas are not generated by deduction, but by an artistically creative imagination.”