Compare two ways of knowing the world. On the one hand theologians claim that the universe and all that’s in it was divinely made and can be understood through faith and revelation. On the other hand there is science, and the scientific method which extols evidence, and demonstrated, repeatable outcomes. Science knows a lot, but has the humility to acknowledge what it still doesn’t know, and is working on. Theology, by contrast, has contributed literally nothing to our knowledge, and hubristically makes stuff up. Science is continually surprising, even shocking.
Darwin dealt the biggest shock of all when he showed that the prodigious complexity of life has a stunningly simple explanation. Darwin’s courage should arm us to face the remaining deep puzzles of existence: how did the universe and the laws of physics originate? Why is there something rather than nothing? Inspired by Darwin, this lecture celebrates the godless world-view as not just scientifically valid but courageous. We need intellectual courage to resist facile non-explanations.
And we need moral courage to eschew comforting but empty illusions and face into the cold but bracing wind of reality.
Richard Dawkins is one of the most respected scientists in the world and an internationally best-selling author. Among his books are The Selfish Gene, The God Delusion, and his autobiography A Brief Candle in the Dark. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature.
Join CFI and find out how we are protecting critical thought and science by visiting: https://centerforinquiry.org This talk took place at the CSICon 2019 in Las Vegas on October 19, 2019