Science works, religion is ridiculous 1

The video (from this source) is long but we think it is worth the time it takes to watch it. What the two atheist professors, Richard Dawkins the biologist and Laurence Krauss the physicist, say about science is fascinating to us.

For instance, Dawkins says that the hippo is more closely related to the whale than to the pig.

They talk about how counter-intuitive science is. They discuss the question of whether something can come out of nothing – by accident. (Krauss insists that the laws of physics are an accident.)

They both maintain that religion should be subject to criticism like all other ideas. And urge that religious ideas be ridiculed – out of respect for those who hold them.

There  are points that we disagree with. As usual with Richard Dawkins, we are irritated by his ill-reasoned and ill-informed political remarks. There aren’t many of them, but among them we count the  astounding statement that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is intelligent – no doubt because he is a lefty. (For our take on this question, see our post Intellectuals and the law, March 18, 2010.)

And Krauss is a warmist. “Vast” numbers of people, he says, “will lose their land” because of global warming. He despises the majority of his fellow Americans for thinking that manmade global warming is a hoax, declaring that they only believe it because much money has been spent (by unnamed sinister powers) to convince them of this. No proof adduced. Not the way a scientist should think.

Dawkins doesn’t say what he thinks about that, but does say mankind may be doomed in this century by weapons of mass destruction.

Considering whether religion can be rational, he says that religions can have an “internal consistency”. Perhaps they could have, but they don’t. Christianity is notably lacking internal consistency, as Christians themselves demonstrate by arguing with each other over the “logic” of their beliefs through all the centuries of their existence.

In answer to one of the several not-very-good-to-positively-imbecile questions put to them, Dawkins reveals that he values and often reads two books of  the Bible for their  beauty  – but only in the King James Version: The Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes (traditionally said to be the Atheist’s favorite). On this we wholly agree with him.

Perhaps there is too little science in the hour and a half. But we were informed and entertained.

See what you think.

  • Liz

    Great post, worth watching!  I like the format of them having a conversation rather than using a moderator.  They made alot of interesting points.  I really liked Krausses point that we actually have more dignity as humans without religion than with it. 
    I wish they had been given a question that wasn’t either from a religious idiot or someone already in the AGW camp.  Like for instance, “Do you seriously think that destroying the world’s economy with UN and EPA regulations and socialism is going to help the earth in the long run?” 
    But we already know that, being scientists, economics and politics are their weak points.  As long as they stick to promoting science and reason, and debunking religion, they are worth listening to.