Thursday, October 04, 2007

How did the debate go? Birmingham News says Dawkins and Lennox "match wits over God's existence"

Update: October 5: Watch or listen to the debate here.

The debate was on at 1am my time, here in England. I stayed up to watch it but, sadly, my Internet stopped working (for the first time!) and I was unable to watch it. I look forward to watching it later.

Meanwhile, the following excerpts of the debate from "The Birmingham News" in Alabama (where the debate took place) reflect my bias (because, after all, my view of course is that there is a God; and that He's Jesus Christ). I chose this source as it was the only news on the debate when I checked Google News.
With the BBC, NPR and Fox News Channel taping and a crowd of 1,000-plus watching, Lennox seemed to match Dawkins' wit in challenging many points of the biologist's best-selling book "The God Delusion," which argues that religion is irrational and dangerous.


"God, far from being a delusion, is real," Lennox said. "What divides us is not science. We're both for it. It's world views. Which is a delusion? Atheism or Christianity?"

Lennox noted that atheism has motivated atrocities like those Dawkins accuses religion of motivating.


"I believe God created the universe; you believe the universe is all there is - those are both statements of belief," Lennox said.


Lennox, who believes science and faith are compatible, focused on the difficulty of explaining the origin of life, a question not addressed by Darwin's theory. "I think atheism undermines science," Lennox said. "You've got to believe in the rational intelligibility of the universe before you can do any science at all."

Lennox argued that the Bible's story of a finite beginning of the universe was backed by science, after centuries of support for Aristotle's view of an eternal universe.


Lennox concluded by appealing to his belief in the resurrection of Jesus. "Atheism is a delusion," he said. "If there's no resurrection, the terrorists and fanatics have got away with it," he said.
Nigel again. Well, it will be interesting to hear what other commentators say; and even more interesting to watch the debate myself when I can get my hands on it. (Hopefully it become available on the Internet. In any case, a DVD of it will be coming out.)

But at this point I think I can draw the same conclusion that I drew before the debate. That is, believing in God is not for dummies. Most of the greatest scientists who ever lived (eg, Einstein) believed in God, and an astounding number of them were devout Christians (eg, Newton). These were the men who have been credited by believers and atheists alike with making the greatest-ever scientific discoveries.

Isaac Newton: (1642-1727): "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion on an intelligent and powerful Being."

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627): "It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity."

Read more about Christian scientists and their beliefs at

A quote from this website: The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him [Einstein]: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." Einstein's famous epithet on the "uncertainty principle" was "God does not play dice" - and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

I think if one can believe in God--and I certainly do--it is not too far of a stretch to believe that He has revealed Himself to us - to the creation made in His image here on this only known life-sustaining planet in the universe. What is a stretch is this: why would God die for us? It's a stretch because it is love beyond the kind we are capable of. But without this kind of love life would be meaningless, and any hint of hope would end at death.

It takes faith. And science strengthens mine.
ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2023+



27 Sat (1) 11am Commencement speaker at R. University, (2) ~3pm+ time w/ V/AR+
29 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer, (2) 3pm mtg DerCh - Mississauga
30 Tue (1) 10am ph call (AA), (2) 5:30pm video mtg (IsTan), (3) 8pm neighbourhood prayer mtg

1 Thu (1) 11:30am Zoom mtg (LM), (2) 4pm mtg (VS,KBr)
2 Fri (1) 10:30am ph call (PVDW; SL w/ boys; ~J working)
3 Sat SL w/ boys and MG
5 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer mtg, (2) 2pm Europe call, (3) 5pm mtg/walk (YM)
6 Tue (1) 11:30am lunch (GD) - St. Jacobs, (2) 4pm mtg (AF) - Cambridge, (3) 7:30pm worship night
9 Fri ~J's b'day
10 Sat North Bay trip
13 Tue 11am mtg (DAy) (~J school trip w/ ~Co | text BD)
14 Wed 9:30am time w/ BD
15 Thu 4:30pm video mtg (Paul T.)
16 Fri (1) 9am video med appt, (2) 15-km run (Prayer Journey "warm-up")
17 Sat Prayer Journey (my own: 50km GTA bike-ride; Jessie's: 5KM) and speaking at GTA after-party
23-25 Fri-Sat poss. SL
26 Mon 2pm Europe monthly call
29 ... July 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas

... 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas
~8-17 SA+ in Toronto; P/H Bell likely visiting too
15 Sat aft+ baptism (Saj; NaB may be coming)
17-21 Mon-Fri Kids Kapers camp
24 Mon 2:45pm med. appt
26 Wed (1) 11am video mtg (SM), (2) 3pm Zoom mtg (SMa,SB), (3) 7pm ~J speaking at Greenhouse/Zoe - UofT downtown
27 Thu 10am video MVT board mtg
31 Mon 3:05pm med. appt
July/Aug CCWM board mtg / AGM

2 Wed 11am video mtg (SM+)
6-12 Sun-Fri Cottage w/ O/DN+ and UB/AC - Windermere; plus Muskoka
19 Sat poss. ~J fam beach day - Brighton area
25-29 Fri-Tue MoveIn staff retreat - southern Ontario

Sep 21 Thu - MVT board mtg
Sep 23 Sat poss. date of GV memorial
Sep 24 Sun ~Ch's b'day
Sep ~26-28 Poss. time in Lushnjë, Albania
Sep 29 - Oct 6 MoveIn Europe Conference+ - Durrës, Albania
Oct 21 Sat poss./unlikely date of GV memorial
Oct 21-27 Dollar-a-Day week
Early Nov Poss. fundraising event - Niagara
Nov-Jan Poss. time in India - Goa; Philippines - Manila+; Indonesia - Jakarta/Bali; LA/San Diego