What would you call me?

I’ve got this book off at my publisher, and we’re still arguing over the title. Everything else looks good, but we can’t agree on this one rather big thing: my editor definitely wants it to be something personal and about me, of all people. So I have an exercise for everyone. Imagine an infidel like me with a book that skewers religion and triumphantly praises the godless way of life. Imagine the cover. There, in big bold print it says…

The __________ Atheist

Fill in the blank. Remember, it’s got to be provocative but positive, catchy and descriptive. I know you’re all thinking “Poopyhead”, but I’m gonna squelch that one right now. No scatology or obscenity, ’cause while it would be fine to be banned for the content, it’s so petty and superficial to be banned for the cover. It should be something that makes you want to reach out and buy it, too.

Oh, and no, you don’t get a cut for suggesting one adjective.


  1. drewl, Mental Toss Flycoon says

    Way too late to this party, but (apologies if these have been said already) here are my votes:

    I’d leave in the blank. Let it be an exercise for the reader.

    If you need an adjective, I’d pick ‘Functional’ or ‘Practical’. There are good precedents for those terms. So there’s my vote.

    *off to read the thread*

  2. doktorzoom says

    I Can’t Believe It’s an Atheist!

    If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Atheism

    No God, Please, We’re British

  3. chigau () says

    I hope you give your publisher a link to this thread.
    Then you can name The Book whatever you actually want to name it.

  4. Eric says

    To quote Justin Timberlake from The Social Network:

    Drop the “The”… it’s cleaner.

    The title should be:


  5. JimmyHaulinHogs says

    >>Fill in the blank. Remember, it’s got to be provocative

    Whatever you say…

    The Provocative Atheist

  6. Eric says

    As a follow up, I think the cover would look awesome if all it said was



    It almost comes across like a confession of sorts.

    Bold. Concise. Declarative.

    I win.

  7. Charlie Foxtrot says

    How about ‘Unhatted’

    “The Unhatted Atheist”

    …referring to the Planet of the Hats post from a while ago.

  8. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    An addendum to explain why I suggested the title “The Terrible, Horrible, No-good Very Bad Atheist”:

    It may be too US-centric and too targeted to kids who grew up in the 70s, like me. A favorite children’s book from that era is called Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. It’s a catalogue of complaints any kid can relate to and relish complaining about:

    Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair.

    And it got worse…

    His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV!

    I like how the title addresses all the stupid and incessant criticisms of outspoken atheists like PZ. “Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad” is exactly the shit Chris Mooney and his ilk have been shoveling for years. I think it would be fun to own it and lampoon it.

  9. johndavis says

    The Combative Atheist
    The Fervent Atheist

    and for laughs, The Well Endowed Atheist

    Obviously getting a cut would be ridiculous, but giving an ARC to the person with the winning submission would be cool.

  10. DexX says

    All of my favourites were already suggested by others within the first 40 comments. Clearly I am terribly unoriginal (either that or I have my finger of the pulse of the zeitgeist or whatever).

    Just to reiterate, though…

    The Devout Atheist
    The Evangelical Atheist
    The Unrepentant Atheist
    The Unabashed Atheist

    I like that all of these throw religious terminology back in the faces of the faithful.

  11. says

    Someone’s prolly already said it, but just in case…

    The Natural Atheist

    I like the “of COURSE I’m a fucking atheist, what happened to YOU?” vibe it has to it.

    The Inevitable Atheist

    The Anatomy of an Atheist

    The Reclaimed Atheist (or Atheism Reclaimed) sort of a take on the “reclaiming your virginity” stuff.

    The Five-Minute Atheist (Yeah, I have no idea…)

    Y’know, I’m starting to hate these rules.

    The Threat of the Atheist (they find out there aint none except to their delusions)

    The Once and Future Atheist

    The New Old Atheist, or The Old New Atheist

    The Eye of the Atheist

    Gotta say I like The Irreducible Atheist though.

    The Nail, The Cracker, The Trashcan and The Atheist (A Bedtime Story)

    The Illustrated Atheist

    The Measure of an Atheist

    The Damned Atheist (or That Damned Atheist?)

    The First Testament of an Atheist

    The Boy Are We Stretching For Titles Atheist

    The Last Temptation of an Atheist. Or maybe The Passion of The Atheist.

    The Guidebook for Building an Atheist

    The Atheist Next Door

    The Pope is an Atheist (Unrelated to your book, and possibly not true, man would it get headlines.)

    Yes, I am tired and have insomnia and am making no sense and you can ignore me, but I’ll continue. I like word games.

    The Grounded Atheist – Messages From On Low

    ok, sorry. done for now.

  12. Philip Legge says

    Unapologetic jumped straight to mind, but I’m leaning towards Unashamed as well… all of which have been suggested numerous times already. It’s a surprise to visit Pharyngula after a day or so of busy other stuff, and find 1,000+ comments on a thread already.

  13. John says

    I attempted to read through them all, but gave up. Still, I was surprised to see in the few hundred or so I did see, that: The Happy Atheist had not been suggested. Think of the book The Happy Hooker for one connection, but also PZ’s usual atheistic theme.

  14. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says

    Maybe drop the “The” (as suggested above).


    Feral Atheist
    Personal Atheist
    Utter Atheist (or Utterly)
    Naked Atheist
    Heathen Atheist (you mean they get worse?)
    Bedside Atheist (perhaps borrow homey/religiousy adjectives from way back when)
    Good News Atheist

  15. lordsetar says

    Throw me in the “leave the blank blank and have all the suggestions in the background in grey” camp.

  16. robro says

    i don’t know what to call it, but i’m excited about the idea of a whole book of PZ fulminating about gob, jeebus, evilution, and all that other pious crap, not to mention a few science bits.

    as with others here, just The Atheist immediately came to mind, or perhaps An Atheist since there are several around these days, but i sense the publisher is looking to give flavor to the title thus the need to adjectivify the noun-ish “Atheist”, so here’s another humble offering…

    The Naked Atheist
    The Iron Atheist

    on a whimsical note, The Bearded Atheist (or perhaps the off-formula The Atheist’s Beard) seemed appropriate.

  17. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says

    Deathbed Atheist (In it for the long run.)
    Children’s Atheist
    Inevitable Atheist (shit, mentioned above)
    Infinite Atheist (Eternal?)
    Anthropomorphic Atheist
    god’s Own Atheist (“God’s Own Country” = England)
    Teh Ebil Atheist ((+ Oberlord?) … Pick up because looks unusual/funny.)
    Defenestrated Atheist (sorry Ogg)
    Triune Atheist
    Virgin Atheist (Immaculate)
    Insufferable Atheist

    Atheist At Large
    Atheists Amongst Us (Go with HG Well’s movie postery feel)

    Home-schooling for Atheists
    Atheism for High-school Students
    Atheism 101
    An Atheist Primer
    (ie Assume we have succeeded and these are standard book titles.)

  18. Grant Gordon says

    I really like “The Complete Atheist”

    Religious people are always telling me I have a spiritual/god shaped hole in my life, they seem to think I’m somehow incomplete.

  19. McCthulhu says

    I think trying to jam one word in a small space is too confining. I would have called it, ‘Who is that guy with the beard at the podium?’

    Oh wait, ‘The Easy-PZ Atheist.’

  20. McCthulhu says

    The one at 222 (on FTB anyway), Uppruni’s suggestion of ‘The Irreducibly Complex Atheist’ certainly made me laugh. What a dig at PZ’s opponents in one swell-foop.

  21. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says


    Divine Atheist
    Devil’s Atheist (Devil’s Advocate)
    Magical Atheist

    The Atheist Home Compendium
    The Atheist Almanac (Both in old school covers)

    Malleus Atheiai (In bold gothic script “The hammer of the Atheists.”)
    Theophontes Atheiai (“godkilling/slaying athiests” … narcissistic, I know)

  22. marella says

    The Gnu Atheist

    This is definitely the one for all the reasons listed above. It would be spitting in the face of reason not to use the gift the interwebs have given you in this word. It is perfect; short, cute, and meaningful. All the rest are second rate in comparison. The artist can do something cute with a gnu if they like. I’d do something very cute and cuddly, like a My Little Pony Gnu (surely they must have one!) but that’s me.

    A subtitle is a good idea, I use them a lot on Amazon when looking at my recommendations list.

    How the internet will kill religion

    or something controversial like that.

    OT, just bought two tickets for next year’s Global Atheist Convention, I assume the book will be available to be signed there.

  23. Hamilton Jacobi says

    The artist can do something cute with a gnu if they like. I’d do something very cute and cuddly, like a My Little Pony Gnu (surely they must have one!) but that’s me.

    This is blasphemy.

  24. Bruce Gorton says

    It is a bad title for a book. I personally think The____X is a boring formulation.

    That said:

    The atheist who rode a triceratops

  25. PG says

    The Gnuish Atheist

    The Not So Gnu Atheist

    The Missionary Atheist

    The Facepalm Atheist

    The Everyday Atheist

  26. CTVeje says

    No idea if it’s been suggested, if it has it bears repeating:

    The Good Atheist

    It’s simple, it’s positive, it rolls off the tongue well, it states clearly and boldly that you can be good without God… and it’s sort of reminiscent of “The Good Samaritan”, only better. It also suggests, although it doesn’t say it outright, that there are bad atheists like there are bad members of any group, which may be uncomfortable but it is the truth. And as we all know the truth is everything.

  27. Jason says

    Actually, you should write “Athiest,” because nothing will make people more confused/irked than a spelling error in a published work’s title.

  28. muskiet says

    The right atheist.
    The enlightened atheist.
    The straight forward atheist.
    The professional atheist.

  29. says

    The Good Atheist

    […] it states clearly and boldly that you can be good without God… and it’s sort of reminiscent of “The Good Samaritan”, only better. It also suggests, although it doesn’t say it outright, that there are bad atheists

    Actually, when associated with “The Good Samaritan”, it implies that all other atheists are bad.

    It suggests that the subject is unusual for being “good”, rather than the norm.

    (If it is a book about atheism in general, then you could play on that implication and reveal that “the good atheist” is in fact most of them. But PZ is asking for a title that describes him specifically, and it would be hard to expand beyond the singular before appearing conceited.)

  30. witch-hazel says

    has anyone suggested

    the moral atheist?

    similar to #245, it asserts the idea of being good without god that a lot of believers seem to find, er, challenging.

  31. guti says


    FED UP

    … Atheist.

    (1st post – howdy!)

  32. says

    I always imagine something slightly more frightening for those who are scared of atheists would be something that would make it seem normal, everyday, like The Neighbourhood Atheist (which kind of makes you sound like Mr Rogers).

  33. says

    The Sceptical Atheist?
    The Cracker Atheist?
    The Zombie Atheist?
    The Trophy Atheist?

    It would help if you gave us a synopsis. I mean, are there even zombies in it? Ooh, I know, The Twilight Atheist. It would not make sense, but really boost your sales.

  34. says

    I started reading all the suggestions and, while funny, there seems to be a lot of people missing the point: viz. that PZ and his editor want people to read the book, not be frightened away by an aggressive title.

    After all, while preaching to the converted is fun, it should be reserved for those who peddle in faith, not facts.

    So, I’d vote for something soft, even cuddly (eek!), such as “The Joyful Atheist” or “The Natural Atheist”

    And written by “A to PZ Meyers”… unless you want to save that one for a sequel. That joke is too good to waste.

  35. Gazza says

    Was going to suggest The Avuncular Atheist. it has a nice ring to it and gives an air of the kindly uncle giving good advice. Only problem is my thesaurus lists Christian as a synonym

  36. says

    I’d be okay with “The Baby-Eating Atheist”. With a picture of PZ in a cheap devil costume, holding a fork, looking confused.

    Or (and I apologize) “The New Atheist: How An American Academic Saw A Movie, Ate A Cracker, And Changed The Way We Believe”.

    (About “The Good Atheist”: to me, with the reputation atheists have, it sounds like it assumes non-goodness is a defining characteristic of the atheist, and thus one needs to specify the contrary… “The Good Terrorist”, “The Good (post-WWII) German”?)

  37. Thommo says

    “The Gnu Atheist.” Nothing else comes close, and nothing much says “PZ” more.

    I was also thinking “The Shrill Atheist”, but Dawkins might want to use that.

  38. Birger Johansson says

    The cult-eating atheist (if it is not yet taken)

    The Rebublivore atheist (if it is stupidly theist, it is Republican)

    The Ctulhu-worshipping atheist (internal joke, no t recmmended for book aimed at a broader audience)

  39. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says


    Mortal Atheist (as opposed to the immortal)
    Ubiquitous Atheist
    Ideal Atheist

    Atheist Unbound (Compare Shelley’s “Prometheus Unbound” – in which Zeus is overthrown)

    Athiest Wakes! (compare Wyndham’s “The Kraken Wakes” – features giant squid. Link.

  40. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says


    Risen Atheist (through the ranks at least)
    Uncrucified Atheist (some goddists regret this)
    Platonic Atheist
    Adamant Atheist (Adamantine – unbreakable, unyielding)

    Lord Atheist (Teh Ebil Oberlord)

  41. BaldySlaphead says

    The Emperor Atheist
    The Supreme Overlord Atheist
    The Baby-Eating Atheist
    The Cracker-Murdering Atheist
    The Deiicidal Atheist

  42. Matthias says

    How about these:

    The definite Atheist (not really that provocative but still “positive, catchy and descriptive”)

    The Sleazy Rump Atheist (while some may argue that this one falls into the Poopyhead category, note that Sleazy Rump is an anagram of Paul Z Myers, so it would strike a nice personal note ;-)

  43. Gazza says

    Two possibilities ‘The Troublesome Atheist’ or ‘The Truculent Atheist’.

    If you go with the first you could use the line of Henry the VIII about Thomas Beckett. “will no-one rid me of this troublesome priest”

    The cover could feature you in Papal regalia with a big scarlet ‘A’ on the mitre.

    Only problem with that is the Archbishop of Canterbury might accuse you of copying him.

  44. Hullo says

    The Virtual Atheist
    The Modern Atheist

    Because, let’s face it, the Internet.

    The Whole New Atheist

  45. Gunboat Diplomat says

    The Amorous Atheist

    Just make sure they’d don’t put a picture of you on the front cover ;)

    No offence.

  46. Pete UK says

    I’ll go with “The Irreverent Atheist”, which someone has already suggested (kudos!)

    It’s witty and catchy, which is what you need in a book title, and true.

  47. David Utidjian says

    I really really liked “The Ardent Atheist” but there is already a website by that name. Doesn’t mean it can’t be used but… there could be issues. So I plugged it in to my dictionary thingy which also spits out a thesaurus listing for “ardent” an this is what I got (all 231 of them):

    Moby Thesaurus words for “ardent”:
    abandoned, ablaze, acquiescent, afire, aflame, aflicker, aglow, agog, agreeable, alacritous, alcoholic, alight, amative, amatory, amenable, amorous, and, anxious, assiduous, athirst, avid, baking, blazing, blistering, boiling, boiling over, breathless, broiling, burning, burning hot, candent, candescent, canicular, comburent, committed, compliant, conflagrant, consenting, constant, content, cooperative, cordial, crying, dedicated, delirious, desirous, devoted, devout, diligent, disposed, docile, drunk, eager, earnest,
    ebullient, emphatic, energetic, enthusiastic, erotic, excited, exciting, extreme, exuberant, fain, faithful, fanatic, favorable, favorably disposed, favorably inclined, febrile, fervent, fervid, fevered, feverish, fierce, fiery, flagrant, flaming, flaring, flickering, flushed, forward, fuming, game, genial, glowing, great, grilling, guttering, hard, hard-core, hardworking, hasty, hearty, heated, hectic, hospitable, hot, hot as fire, hot as hell, hot-blooded, hotheaded, ignescent, ignited, impassioned, impatient,
    impetuous, importunate, impulsive, in a blaze, in a glow,
    in earnest, in flames, in the mind, in the mood, incandescent, inclined, indefatigable, industrious, inflamed, insistent, intense, intent, intent on, intoxicated, keen, kindled, laborious, lascivious, liege, like a furnace, like an oven, live, lively, living, loverlike, loverly, loyal, madcap, mighty, minded, never idle, on fire, overheated, overwarm, parching, passionate, perfervid, piping hot, pliant, powerful, precipitate, predisposed, prompt, prone, provoking, quick, ready, ready and willing, receptive, red-hot, reeking, relentless, resolute, responsive, roasting, scalding, scintillant, scintillating, scorching, searing, sedulous, seething, serious, sexual, simmering, sincere, sizzling,
    sizzling hot, sleepless, smoking, smoking hot, smoldering,
    sparking, spirited, spirituous, staunch, steadfast, steaming,
    steamy, stimulating, stirring, strenuous, strong, sudorific,
    sweating, sweaty, sweltering, sweltry, thirsty, tireless, toasting, torrid, totally committed, tractable, true, uncontrolled, unextinguished, unflagging, ungoverned, unquenched, unremitting, unrestrained, unsleeping, unsparing, unwearied, urgent, vehement, vigorous, vinous, warm, warmhearted, well-disposed, well-inclined, white-hot, willed, willing, willinghearted, winy, with a kick, zealous

    Some of them outright suck, but most have some possibilities and have even been mentioned already in one form or another.

    I also like “The Ecumenical Atheist” as a little word play kinda thing.

  48. brendano says

    The Chainsaw Athiest
    (cuts through shit like you wouldn’t believe)

    Convenor of http://www.60secondscience.net
    A global science education project where you make a 60 second video to explain how the world works.
    Free entry, $11k in prizes, sponsored by Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Melbourne, Australia

  49. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    This has filled up. I’ve noticed that a lot of people have recommended just The Atheist. I think that title would be a bit presumptuous, and not in a cute religious-bating way.

    I’d find something that tells that PZ is not THE Atheist, but one of many much more compelling. I think that would appeal to the closet atheists and out and proud atheists and maybe even leave the religious with the impression of We [atheists] are everywhere MWHAHAHA ;).

    If only I could come up with an actual title! In case someone else mentioned this or recommended something that fits my description, sorry for not mentioning it but I have “only” read the first 7– comments and skimmed the rest in a minute.

  50. Roberto Aguirre Maturana says

    “The Inner Atheist”

    And the front cover should be made of a mirror-like material. I think that’s quite provocative.

  51. echidna says

    The spirited atheist.
    The blaspheming atheist.
    The heretical atheist.
    The empirical atheist.
    The unapologetic atheist.

  52. AussieMike says

    Lets borrow something from Dawkins and go for…

    The Selfish Athiest (in the same spirt of course)

  53. Mike says

    I don’t know if you already had this suggested and shot it down or not (didn’t see it in the comments), but you should drop the current title and name it “Pharyngula: The Book (Volume 1)”.

    …Or just call it “The Pharyngulator”…

  54. Krikkit says

    The Gnuest Atheist

    Sets you apart from the other Gnu atheists.

    The Honest Atheist

    The Bible Thumping Atheist

    No one can thump bibles like you can.
    That will get them thinking.

  55. MJM says

    Forgive me if someone has already brought this one up. The first thing that popped into my mind was “Galloping”. Am I dating myself?

  56. Budbear says

    When I see photos of you I think, “Adorable” and “Cuddly”. Go on ya big lug, show us how human you are.

  57. wren says

    Has someone said Intrinsic yet? I did a quick search for it but I didn’t see it.

    The Intrinsic Atheist
    Intrinsically Atheist


  58. Quoldibet says

    “Just Another Atheist”

    In recognition of the fact that Dr Myers is not THE Atheist. We are legion.

    I like “The Natural Atheist,” suggested several times already, and for good reasons.

    “Of Course I’m An Atheist / Nothing Else Makes Sense”

  59. redwood says

    Or an adverb and an adjective:
    The Perfectly Zealous Atheist

    Or not:
    Proudly and Zestfully Atheist

    The Pharyngula Zone–Science and Atheism

    The Easy PZ Atheist

    The Atheist of Steel

    The Skeptatheist

    Going Atheist

  60. says

    I also submit THE HAPPY ATHEIST, as it hearkens back to something Nabokov said, that one of the great taboos of American publishing was about “the happy atheist who lives a happy and useful life, and dies in his sleep at the age of 106.”

  61. Cal says

    Delurking to offer a few more suggestions, and support some made previously:

    The Compleat Atheist.
    The Articulat Atheist.
    The Unapologetic Atheist.
    The Unaccommodating Atheist.
    The Gleeful Atheist.
    The Blogging Atheist.

  62. Unselfish Jean says

    As someone suggested earlier, and if you were starting a title from scratch:

    Holy Shit

    Except it’s more of a Hitch title perhaps.

  63. Musical Atheist says

    Christopher Hitchens edited a book called ‘The Portable Atheist’ (my copy of which is too huge to fit in a coat-pocket or handbag, and therefore fails to do what it says on the tin) so if you’re using the same format it’s got to look good on the shelf next to that.

    The Stationary Atheist? No.
    The Discerning Atheist
    Your Friendly Neighbourhood Atheist
    A Suitable Atheist
    An Atheist For All Seasons

    I like ‘Gnu’ and ‘Compleat’.

  64. says

    Must admit I have read many, but not every suggestion. Maybe a repeat.

    The CATHOLIC Atheist

    Of broad or liberal scope; comprehensive: “The 100-odd pages of formulas and constants are surely the most catholic to be found” (Scientific American).
    Including or concerning all humankind; universal: “what was of catholic rather than national interest” (J.A. Froude).
    Of or involving the Roman Catholic Church.
    Of or relating to the universal Christian church.
    Of or relating to the ancient undivided Christian church.
    Of or relating to those churches that have claimed to be representatives of the ancient undivided church.
    A member of a Catholic church, especially a Roman Catholic.

    Many atheists (PZ?) like me are still catholic. Never excommunicated?

    I think your book includes lots of catholic related comment.

    Best of all it’s shocking, surprising and generates curiosity about what
    this seemingly contradictory title could mean.

    Catholics and atheists might be curious.

    It might offend catholics and atheists to be associated with the other.
    Great for stimulating book sales.

    If you use this title I would like an autographed gift copy. Otherwise I’ll buy it like everyone else.

    Have fun PZ!

  65. Wholly Cymbal says

    I have always enjoyed the word “indefatigable.”
    Also, if you want to make it personal while also reflecting the changing times:
    The COMMON Atheist
    Subtitle: In Its Natural Habitat

  66. The Rajah says

    Is this still on?

    The Ensnared Atheist – as in snared once too often by Poe’s Law
    The Fire-breathing Atheist
    The Witch-hunting Atheist

  67. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    The Latent Atheist
    The Observant Atheist
    The Post-Agnostic Atheist
    The Omnipresent Atheist
    The Galliform Soup Atheist
    The Pluripotent Atheist
    * Dictionary: Not fixed as to potential development.
    (reinterpreted ‘fixed development’ as indoctrination)
    Could go for a bait-and-switch:
    The Grandma-safe Atheist
    The Nonthreatening Atheist
    The Humble Atheist
    The Naughty Atheist
    The Quoteminable Atheist
    The Spiritual Atheist (*snortle*)

  68. captaindelaware says

    I’m a big fan of the “The _________ Atheist” but I have a few other suggestions

    The Cogent Atheist
    The Articulate Atheist
    The Un/Deobfuscating Atheist
    The Crackernapping Atheist

  69. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    The Pharynguloid Atheist

    (Is this the correct adjective to describe the Pharyngula stage of an animal? “pharyngulised”, “pharygeal” … )

  70. Sastra says

    Late to the thread and have not read all the entries — but just off the top of my head I like

    The Gnu Atheist


    The Unapologetic Atheist.

  71. Aquaria says

    The Manly Atheist.

    You’ll at least get Maddox to notice you.

    Or you could go the shocking route and be The Asshole Atheist. Or The Fucking Atheist. Either would get attention, that’s for sure!

  72. Thomas says

    In view of your strong opinions and the present attempts by some to establish state religion,
    I thought The Constitutional Atheist appropriate.
    Good luck with the title anyway.

  73. Android B says

    I like “furious” or “devout.”

    Of course, if I had my way, it would be “badassmuthafuckin'”

  74. Ismenia says

    I liked the “God-damned Atheist” suggested above. I think it captured your confrontational, plain speaking approach. However, I’ve always thought that a good name for you would be “Darwin’s Kraken”. How about that for a title?

    Maybe a subtitle with ‘atheist’ in it if you really want the word on the cover.

  75. Andy the ex cable guy says

    The Old Testament Atheist (That might get the Xtains to pick it up)

    The Atheist’s Bible

    The born-again Atheist

    The Billy Graham of Atheist

    The Clear minded Atheist

    The Unfaultable atheist

    The Dark Atheist

    The God Terminator

    The Cracker-gate Atheist

    The Atheist who new too much.

    Hell’s Atheist

  76. Jared Teets says

    “The ________ Atheist”

    Just have a drop-down box with a list of the most popular suggestions like a google search bar.

  77. Ragutis says

    Nearly 1200 suggestions? This is getting silly.

    So, in that spirit:

    Eternal Sunshine of the Atheist Mind

    Rise of the Planet of the Atheists (Hey, that one’s actually kind of cool…)

    Jay and Silent Bob Atheist Back

    Night of the Living Atheist

    The Fountainatheist

    The Atheist Who Knew Too Much

    To Catch an Atheist (You do kind of remind me of Cary Grant. If I squint. A lot.)

  78. arctic says

    Way too little caffeine has gone around. The outside the box literary/DC Comics inspiration needs to ramp up.

    That said, out of my tattered paper bag:

    The Unreconstructed Atheist
    The Hidebound Atheist (ref. Gould calling Coyne a “hidebound gradualist”)
    The Atheist Thunderbolt; (or just) Atheist Thunderbolt
    The Party Crasher Atheist

  79. thecrocheter says

    Incredibly late to the party, but how about the following (apologies if any have already been stated):

    I am Atheist, Destroyer of Religion

    The Best Damn Atheist

    The Anti-Cat Atheist

    The Bipedal Atheist

  80. SpaceIsFun says

    I really really like “The Anatomy of an Atheist”

    Already submitted by someone else, but excellent nonetheless.

  81. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says

    The fa-rən-ˈjē-lətēd Athiest

    This is perfect, because why:

    1. Gumbies read only: The __________ Atheist (The dictionary marks are intelektul and disappear of their own accord.

    2. Pharyngulites: Immediately recognise the in joke. Teh Ebil Oberlawd essentially invented the idea of pharyngulated polls. The reading would thus be: The (vote) YES! Squeeee squeee Athiest.

    3. General atheists etc: Intrigued by the unusual word, may recognise Pharyngula in there: The Pharyngula Atheist. (Aah yes, I’ve heard of him. Lemme take a look.)

    4. Less daft goddist: Intrigued by the unusual word, thinks it sounds like a form of punishment. “garroted”, “scourged”,”pharyngulated” ….: The Tortured Atheist. (Aah yes, that sounds wonderful. They deserve an eternity of pain!)

    It is a title that means different things to different people. It is self selecting and self-referencing.

    So there you go: “The Pharyngulated Atheist.” as written above. Please have a poll and vote “Yes”.

  82. Nature Dude says

    The Cephalopod Atheist

    The Squid and the Atheist

    The Reason You should be an Atheist

    The Only Way To Truth is to be an Atheist

  83. Donna says

    Someone has probably already said this –

    The Pharyngula Phenomenum

    just drop the Atheist off the end, you dont need it, we all know what you are :)

  84. Matthias says

    A couple more:
    The Whistle Blowing Atheist (as in “leaking the truth”)
    The Cocky Atheist
    The Defiant Atheist
    The Red Pill Atheist

    Of course, instead of “The Fucking Atheist” you could go for “The Erect Atheist”.

    Or, since I find myself subscribing to almost every statement you make or position you take, PZ (except maybe the bits involving beards), my personal choice would be “The Wonderful Atheist”, plain and simple but just oh so true.

  85. Colin Campbell says

    How about a double anagram of atheist, “A theist? Eat this!” the second part in the sense of “read learn and inwardly digest”

  86. says

    Well,on second thought,
    would be even more “personnal and about me, of all people”, but I doubt made-up adjectives qualify in this context

  87. stan says

    Like many others, I am in the ‘leave it blank’ camp (with the voluminous blank-filling suggestions in the background). However, some have expressed concern over such a title being improperly shortened to The Atheist. I don’t think it’s an especially great worry, but there is a solution:

    The [redacted] Atheist.

    It’s still a fill-in-the-blank exercise for the reader, but the blank is less likely to be removed even by the most casual or most hostile reader.


  88. JimmyHaulinHogs says

    The Outlaw Atheist

    As long as there’s a picture of you somewhere riding a dinosaur or something and waving a hat in the air.

  89. says

    Why not appealing to your medium?
    The Internet Atheist
    Altough i don’t think it’s good enough to make someone want to buy it.
    Maybe no adjective would.
    Why not a different title?

  90. PaulG says


    No god has cursed him with disease or disability, his mind is sound and active, his skepticism is…well, healthy.

  91. Steve Gerrard says

    Is this a book about PZ Myers, the famous atheist, and his rise to fame? Then call it

    The Famous Atheist

  92. dccarbene says

    Didn’t want to be repetative, so…. Glanced through all the previous suggestions.

    True story.

    After a couple hundred, some highly repetitive DNA becomes evident.

    A few hundred more, and things get a little blurry….

    I may have blacked out, briefly. But what a good cause! To get to know a persona so well!

    So – suggestions:

    The Bedside Athiest

    The Portable Athiest (assuming it is… how many pages we talking?)

    The Unabashed Athiest

    The Canabalistic Athiest (remember, the Cracker was consecrated, therefore transubstantiated, therefore human flesh – does it really taste like pork?)

    The Newest Testament

    Promethius Unbound (I think that’s probably public domain by now)

    The Edible Athiest (with apologies to Margaret Atwood – it is an arresting title)

    The Unstoppable Athiest

    The High-Fivin’ White Guy Athiest (oops, sorry, got nostalgic for the few years I was living in B. C., watching the Seattle station….)

    The Athiest’s Bible (surely to non-god someone already suggested that? I told you I was blacking out or hallucinating somewhre between 574 and 993)

    And my favorite (sadly, probably still under copyright):
    Childhood’s End

    Respectfully submitted, with the full knowledge no one will ever read this…..

  93. Jorge says

    The American atheist

    (as most of your topics relates to American morons believing in a paranormal god…)

  94. Jorge says

    (and remember that uppercase shouldn’t be used for atheist, as it is not the starting of a sentence or the name of a unique entity…)

  95. Aliasalpha says

    I say go with the classic, “Evil”. After all there’d be plenty who call you that already what with you knowing more about biology than they do and it’s a word that almost guarantees a second look at the cover.

    Who knows, you might even get a few sales from godbotherers who buy it blindly (insert your own joke about faith here) without reading the description and assume its a shocking tell-all book that will let them put the final nail in their compelling youtube video about how atheism is evil but then it will have polysyllabic words and confuse them so they’ll just quote a random bible verse instead.

  96. Ralph says

    I think there’s a nice sound to “The Sapient Atheist”. In addition It has an obvious link to “homo sapiens”.

  97. Barney says

    The Gnu Atheist and the Emperor’s Old Clothes (because The Courtier’s Reply surely features in the book)

    or, if you must stick to The *** Atheist,

    The Incorrigible Atheist

  98. thirdeblue says

    The ______ Atheist.

    Then have adjectives splattered in the background of the jacket, not all of them nice ones either. Makes the audience think, “Well which is it?”

    They’ll have to read the book to come to their own conclusion.

  99. Nemo says

    “Happy” is my new favorite, especially for the Nabokov reference, but it will work even for those who don’t know it. “Irreducible” is my second choice now.

  100. McCthulhu says

    The “I have a Koran buried in my garden” Atheist.

    I don’t know why you wouldn’t just advertise the blog and call it The Pharyngulated Atheist.

  101. Kate says

    I think it was suggested by one other commenter, but my instant reaction to your request for suggestions was:

    The Hopeful Atheist

    So often hope is misconstrued as something akin to faith, or something that is solely provided by being religious. I also think it would be provocative in the sense that it sends the message that as an atheist what you genuinely hope for is the disappearance and disbanding or all religion, which of course is not only true, but will get a great many people hot under the collar (not in the bad way that usually happens in religious groups *cough*)

  102. says

    I think “The _______ Atheist” would be an own-goal: it would quickly be turned into “The Empty Atheist” by the god squad. “Aren’t they all”, they would quip as they smile knowingly at each other in pseudo wisdom.

  103. jwar says

    “The Faithless Atheist”

    I assume you discuss that faithlessness is a positive attribute so it would seem appropriate

  104. Philip Legge says

    So PZ… now that you’ve announced that it’s in the hands of Knopf, are you at liberty to let us in on the secret as to what adjective you chose that is going to fill in the blank?