Bird Dog linked to Steven Pinker's discussion of humanism, reason, and atheism. The word is leaking out that Pinker believes too much in genetics and quietly notices general differences among races. He thus can't afford to go off the reservation by making warm statements about theism or prayer. Not that I think such things are his main motivation, but they influence all of us to some extent. We don't like to break with our crowd, or open ourselves up for criticism unless we are quite sure.
There is not any absolutely compelling argument for God, and I believe this is intentional. Were He to be provable, as the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, it would likely not be good for us. Were he to rearrange the stars to spell out His Name in another language every night we would quickly adjust to it, find some ridiculous explanation for it, and not notice it. Still, it is fair to expect some evidence from a self-revealing God.
The scientific and technological advancement and widespread extension of rights we currently enjoy has occurred precisely once in history, in related places deeply informed by Christianity and Judaism. Pinker claims these improvements have occurred since the Middle Ages, but his own work shows that they begin to occur earlier. He wants to credit the Renaissance and especially the Enlightenment, but these come later. Wishing doesn't make it so. This does not prove that Christianity caused the improvements, or had anything to do with them. It might well be, as is currently believed, that the faith has been a hindrance to the march of progress. Still, it has only occurred once.
There is also this curious idea of goodness that he believes is independent of and even sometimes antithetical to theism...it does grow tiresome to keep writing "theism" when everyone knows the attack is on Christianity, and to a lesser extent, Judaism. We know what culture Pinker and the others come from. We allow them the pretense that they are having a more general philosophical discussion in order to not get bogged down in separate discussions. Yet we know, and it is part of what makes some of the attacks humorous... what is this goodness, and what is it founded on other than the preference of the powerful? Oh, you believe that some things actually are good, somehow? That we should not abuse women or steal from those weaker than us? Those are not merely useful for survival in some indirect way but are actual moral qualities? How quaint.
If you don't believe one ridiculous set of ideas about how the universe works and what it all means then you will be driven to believe another ridiculous set. Purported neutrality always smuggles in a theology of some sort.