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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Has Science Buried God?

Mathematician Dr. John Lennox addressed the question at Rice University Monday night, and his answer is well worth the time:

Don’t be put off by the length of the video (1 hr 53 min). Lennox is not introduced until 00:13:20 and does not address his subject until around the 26 minute mark. He winds up by approximately 01:12:00, so the actual speech is only about 45 minutes. Everything after that is simply Dr. Lennox answering questions posed by the audience.

Some Highlights

On the tension between faith and science:
“Here’s what’s happening in our culture: the tension is not between science and God at all. What’s happening is that people on both sides are saying ‘Science is on our side’. Richard Dawkins will tell you that science leads to atheism. I will tell you the exact opposite. So I will simply explain why, and you can make up your minds.”
On the origins of science:
“Far from being a hindrance to science, belief in God was the motor that drove it.”
On the common atheist dismissal of faith as wish fulfillment:
“Stephen Hawking was asked not long ago what he thought of religion. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘it’s a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark’. And so I was asked to comment, and I did. I said, ‘Well, by the same token, atheism is a fairy story for people afraid of the light’.

You don’t prove anything by statements like that. They’re pretty trivial.”
On the complementary nature of mechanism and agency:
“God no more competes with science as an explanation than Henry Ford competes with the Law of Internal Combustion as an explanation for a motor car engine. Henry Ford is a different kind of explanation: he’s the reason there’s a motor car at all. As someone has put it, ‘God is the explanation for why there are scientific explanations.’ ”
On attempts to apply reductionism to the human mind:
“Science hasn’t buried God, but atheism is on its way to burying science because it undermines the very rationality that we need to do science.”

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