This weekend, an estimated 20,000 agnostics, atheists and ardent secularists gathered on the National Mall in rainy Washington DC. They were attending the first Reason Rally, an event intended to “unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society… and having a damn good time doing it!” Lawrence Krauss, Michael Shermer, Eddie Izzard — they all spoke to the crowd. And then came Richard Dawkins, the high priest of reason, the author of The Selfish Gene, who spent decades teaching evolutionary biology at Oxford. In the middle of his 16 minute talk, he tells the audience, “We’re here to stand up for reason, to stand up for science, to stand up for logic, to stand up for the beauty of reality, and the beauty of the fact that we can understand reality.” I’m with you Richard on that. But then comes the scorn we’re now so accustomed to (“I don’t despise religious people; I despise what they stand for.”), and my guess is that changing perceptions of agnostics, atheists and secularists will need to wait for another day.