The introductory chapters of How
strike me as strangely apologetic, with an attempt at an unreasonable balance. I'm reminded of the scene in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land
, where Michael, the Man from Mars, is invited to the U.N. The protocol folks think they are giving him proper honor by putting him at the head of the conference table, with heads of state around it. Michael's guardian, Jubal Harshaw (surely Heinlein's alter ego) comes in, draws a line down the center of the table, and chases everyone off Michael's side: this side Mars, that side Earth.
All the shades, degrees, levels of doubt, fidelists and fanatics, are gathered around the table, and Shermer offers atheism and nontheism places at the table. But reality isn't like that. On one side of the table stand all the various shades, excuses, "proofs", and paraphernalia of godism. On the other is reality: a physical universe, governed by natural law.
If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything.
Daniel Dennett, 1984