“New Atheists” Are Cheap Bastards

At least, that’s a conclusion a cynical person might be tempted to draw from the fact that the ScienceBlogs Leaderboard for the DonorsChoose challenge is dominated by us “Neville Chamberlain” types…

At present, the ScienceBlogs participating in the Challenge have raised more than $14,000 to help schools and school children. The Seed Media Group (publishers of Seed and backers of ScienceBlogs) have pledged to match up to $15,000 in donations, so that’s really $28,000, and not too shabby.

Looked at another way, though, it’s pretty pathetic. That $14,000 has come from at most 138 donors (some people donated to more than one Challenge, so the real number is lower). ScienceBlogs in general gets around 100,000 unique page views a day. Unless there’s a monkey chained to a keyboard hitting “Reload” 90,000 times a day, there are a whole bunch of cheap slackers out there reading this.

If one visitor in ten gave $10, that’d put us over $100,000; as it is, we’re doing well because one visitor in 1000 is giving $100. Right now, one blog is absolutely pasting us, both in total donations ($75,000) and number of donors (949). And her Technorati rank is lower than mine, let alone any of the big blogs here. That’s just pathetic.

As I said, a cynic might think that huge numbers of our readers are just here for the warm feeling of smug superiority to religious folk, and don’t actually care about science, education, or making the world a better place. It’d be hard to argue with that, at the moment.

Don’t like that characterization? Want to prove the cynics wrong? Donate. Or, if I piss you off, go to the Leaderboard, and pick one of the 18 other fine blogs there to donate through. I really don’t care who you give the money to, but give something, even if it’s just $10. If you can afford home Internet access, you can donate $10 to help our public schools, and I’d be happy just to get the donor fraction over a tenth of a percent.

The participating sites might not be Dawkins-approved, but I will promise that if you find a single dollar of your donation going to support prayer in schools or the teaching of creationism, I will personally refund your entire contribution.