Monday, June 8, 2009

Dawkins-Lennox Debate

I was just given by a friend a debate between Professor Richard Dawkins and Dr. John Lennox.

This is a must watch, two very qualified men debating the most important question to there a God? Atheism vs Theism.
The debate is based around Richard Dawkins' book called The God Delusion. It was held on October 3rd of 2007 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Here is the link:
(I'm not 100% sure of the time length but I think it was about 1 1/2 hours)

The participants:

Richard DawkinsRichard Dawkins FRS is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. He is the author of nine books: The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain, The Ancestor's Tale and The God Delusion. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature.

John LennoxJohn Lennox is Reader in Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green College, University of Oxford. He holds doctorates from Oxford (D.Phil.), Cambridge (Ph.D.), and the University of Wales (D.Sc.) and an MA in Bioethics from the University of Surrey. Dr. Lennox has weighed in on the science-religion debate with a new book, God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?

My thoughts on the debate:

After watching it right through, I am more convinced in the reality of God. I thought John Lennox did superbly and had the more convincing arguements. I may think that just because I agreed with him beforehand, an atheist may have a different perspective.
Some atheists I have spoken to get annoyed at creationists arguing against evolution because they (atheists) already think evolution is soundly proven.
However, to their delight John Lennox does not even really mention evolution at all, he sticks to the topic of God, morality, science, philosophy etc. I do not know his views on evolution but for the atheist wanting a different route of creationist arguments, try this!

Both men are in their sixties and have experienced a lot in life...the debate is worth listening to. John Lennox...I envy him :) had the privelidge of sitting in C.S. Lewis' last lectures. Throughout the debate John shows some philosophical qualities and quotes Lewis a number of times.


  1. Outstanding! I will be sure to find some time to listen to this debate in the next week. Thanks for the link!

  2. Matt make sure you watch this video :)

  3. Hi Dan,
    Watched nearly all of the debate. Didn't watch the last point though.

    I don't really have much of an opinion on it. I felt that although he said that religion and science are compatible he was actually trying to put science in a little box to give religion more room to play. Just because science hasn't been used to solve something doesn't mean it can't.

  4. Thanks Cantareus for taking the time to watch it!

    "Just because science hasn't been used to solve something doesn't mean it can't."

    Just because there is no natural answer for everything does not mean there is a natural answer for everything.

    We must take the most logical answer according to the evidence we have. To say everything must have a natural explanation is closed minded, in my opinion.

    Dawkins to me shot himself in the foot half the time. Regarding morality, physics and the universe, reason, he even misrepresented God. He seems to think that God is testable and made up of something. No person that believes in God believes that. He happily accepts the eternal existance of energy but cannot accept God as being eternal?

    What he said about our universe caused me to believe in God more so. For example he stated that physics (If I remember correctly) had to be perfect in the Big Bang or else our universe would have become nothing, he thought it was incorrect to give credit to God.
    When I think it is enormous evidence for God. Just as a painting by probability is inconceivable to think it happened by itself.

    We can calculate natural probabilities, so we need to take the most rational answer about them.

    Hmmmmm, those are some more of my thoughts.



  5. Which is the more close minded statement?

    Science can't explain why poems are good.
    Science hasn't explained why poems are good, but it might.

  6. Hey cantareus,

    Obviously the first is...provided an alternative explanation has not already been found :)

    There is a deeper issue than those two statements.
    It also depends on your definition of science and good? Also it depends on the definition of science by the users of those statements.

    In a sense examining the evidence for Christianity gives evidence for understanding why poems are good. Lennox claims to already know why poems are good.
    This is why he says science (5 senses, I assume) can't explain why a poem is good. Man is a supernatural yet a natural being, according to the evidence he has found, being able to determine a good poem is characteristics given by God.

    After observing the evidence science (in all areas of science) has provided he concludes that it cannot be explained by merely the 5 senses.

    Dawkins chooses to say it can't mean anything supernatural therefore it must have a natural explanation, even though he doesn't "know" what it is. Dawkins' makes a prejudice assumption (belief) that it must be a natural cause.



  7. note I am speaking on my understanding of what Lennox could have meant :)