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Science vs Faith: Richard Dawkins vs. C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life

lab 150x150 Friday 5 February 2016

On Wednesday evening, Professor Alister E. McGrath, Gresham Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, visited the University to deliver his free public lecture, Science vs Faith: Richard Dawkins vs. C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life.

Broadly, Professor McGrath’s lecture analysed the different arguments about the meaning of life, proposed by both C.S Lewis and Richard Dawkins. Drawing on the works and ideas of both Lewis and Dawkins, Professor McGrath’s lecture aimed to open up three big questions to the audience:

  • Is faith reasonable? In other words, do you have to leave your brain behind to become a person of faith?
  • Does science disprove God?
  • What’s the point of life?

Addressing the audience, Professor McGrath said that “these big, interesting questions arise naturally in thinking about the relationship between Christianity and science”. He also explained how these three questions fit in with his own life; he started out as a scientist and an atheist, believing (in the 1960s) that “if you [were] going to become a scientist you had to be an atheist. Science gobbled up the space once occupied by God”.

Professor McGrath explained how the three questions could be opened up using Dawkins and Lewis. During his lecture he used examples to explore a variety of themes, and afterwards he answered questions from the audience.

Summing up, he said “Science is wonderful…but you’ve got to respect its limits and not force it to answer questions it can’t answer.

You can watch the full lecture below.

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