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Can Science Solve Every Mystery? - this Saturday June 8th - see some of you there I hope...

Running Order:

11.00-11.40 Peter S Williams
11.40-12.20 Peter Atkins
12.20-1.00 David Papineau
1.00-1.30 lunch
1.30-2.30 panel discussion with Williams, Atkins and Papineau

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall present

Can science solve every mystery? A scientist, a philosopher and a Christian discuss.

Peter Atkins, David Papineau, Peter S. Williams

Can science answer every question? Should scientists show a little humility and acknowledge there are questions that only religion can answer? Are science and religion “non-overlapping magisteria”, as the scientist Stephen Jay Gould claimed, or is science capable of showing that religion is false, as Richard Dawkins believes? And what, exactly, do philosophers do?

Presented and chaired by Stephen Law (Philosophy, Heythrop and Provost of CFI UK).

Saturday June 8th, 2013

Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square

£7 (£4 students) Free to friends of CFI UK. Book here or pay on door.

10.30am registration. 11am-2.30pm


Professor Peter Atkins (Univ. of Oxford). Chemist, atheist and author of many books including Galileo’s Finger and Four Laws That Drive the Universe:

“Religion closes off the central questions of existence by attempting to dissuade us from further enquiry by asserting that we cannot ever hope to comprehend. We are, religion asserts, simply too puny.”

“Sitting around thinking about the world … [that] is philosophy. And we know where that leads to in understanding. My argument is - nowhere.”

Peter S. Williams (Damaris Trust). Philosopher and leading British Christian apologist. Author of C.S. Lewis vs the New Atheists and A Faithful Guide to Philosophy:

“The existence of scientific laws is inexplicable unless we move beyond science into the realm of metaphysics, postulating a God who intends those laws for a reason.”

Professor David Papineau (KCL). One of Britain’s leading philosophers and humanists and author of Philosophical Devices:

“Philosophical problems are characterized by a special kind of difficulty, a difficulty which means that they cannot be solved, as scientific problems normally are, simply by the uncovering of further empirical evidence. Rather they require some conceptual unravelling, a careful unpicking of implicit ideas, often culminating in the rejection of assumptions we didn't realize we had.”


Peter S. Williams :-

'“The existence of scientific laws is inexplicable unless we move beyond science into the realm of metaphysics, postulating a God who intends those laws for a reason.”'

In other words, for science to work , you have to drop on the floor the Christian worldview where their hypothetical god created demons who (according to Plantinga) create natural evils, and would certainly interfere with the regular working of Mother Nature.
Iain Walker said…
“The existence of scientific laws is inexplicable unless we move beyond science into the realm of metaphysics, postulating a God who intends those laws for a reason.”

Peter Williams certainly doesn't seem afraid of a vicious regress, does he? Or does he genuinely think that explanations in terms of an agent's intentions somehow stand in no need of further explanation, or that they do not presuppose law-like conditions themselves? Very odd.
Anonymous said…
Will this be available online?
L.Long said…
Fortunately or not science can only work in the realm of this space-time. But anything outside of this space-time is irrelevant anyway, i.e. is there a hell or for that matter a gawd.
But given time and technology there is nothing science cannot answer, i.e. conscientious or their favorite LOVE! As both of those do manifest themselves in this world.
Dan P said…
An alternative question would be, "Are there mysteries that humans cannot solve?"

The answer would be YES, because of the low probability of human omniscience, which is what a NO answer implies.

The question to be addressed on June 8 is really a question as to the scope of science not its potential to answer every question.
Paul P. Mealing said…
I hope this is recorded for those of us who can't attend.

Regards, Paul.
Musa Kocaman said…
Türkiye'nin ve dünyanın her yerine tatil planınızı yapabilirsiniz.

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