Sunday, 21 July 2013

Can Science Solve Every Mystery?' Peter Atkins, David Papineau, Peter S Williams debate

Science can solve most mysteries says Peter Atkins and David Papineau - Peter S Williams disagrees.

Unfortunately this debate at Conway Hall in London on 8th June 2013 took place on the opening day of the BHA Annual Conference in Leeds. I went to the Leeds conference. However fortunately through the wonders of technology, both the London and Leeds events have been videoed, so I am delighted I can effectively be in two places at once!

Peter S Williams on 'Can Science Solve Every Mystery?' (video below)

David Papineau on 'Can Science Solve Every Mystery?' (video below)

David Papineau (to 15 minutes) - Materialism: Our world is a fully material world - their is no need to go outside physics to explain everything about the Universe.  If we posit non-material things, then we cannot make sense of their ability to interact with the material world. They would be epiphenomenal - they will have no effect on the world we can know about eg for a non-material mind eg god. There are no mental or vital forces outside the material world.

Can Science Solve Every Mystery?' (video below)

Peter Atkins uses the term 'Scientismist' as the melding of the words 'scientism' and 'scientist'.

5. Origins: i) The origin of the cosmos ii) The origin of life iii) The origin of physical laws

Peter Atkins: 13m: 'In my view the afterlife is the most evil of the core aspects of the religious understanding of the world. Only badness, only evil stems from the concept of the afterlife'
Peter Atkins: 15m: 'Whereas most religious concepts are harmless, the concept of the afterlife is deeply harmful think of the ways it enable people to acquire power... quenches human aspiration ... encourages martyrs to end lives'

Panel questions on 'Can Science Solve Every Mystery?' (video below)

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