Well. we’re off again in the sentience vs mysticism scrap!

First blow was landed by Prof Hawkins, who in a stunning reversal of his previous assertion his best seller “A brief History of Time” that given enough knowledge we might “… know the mind of God…” has now stated that “God did not create the universe”. More precisely he’s put forward a theory as to how the universe kicked off. He reasons, since we can have a working theory as to how the big bang occured there is no need to invent an omnipotent deity to whom blame can be attached for creation.

Off course the fable peddling myth mongers fought back, the Bishop of Swindon, Dr Lee Rayfield, said science “can never prove the non-existence of God, just as it can never prove the existence of God.”, going to prove that just because it is universally accepted that you cannot prove a negative, it doesn’t stop the sky pixie fan club using it as an argument!

Next into the fray was Chief Rabbi Jonathon Sacks, “But there is more to wisdom than science. It cannot tell us why we are here or how we should live. Science masquerading as religion is as unseemly as religion masquerading as science.”

Again, only a glancing blow at best since it is launched from a series of dubious assumptions. Apparently Science is proved inadequate since it cannot answer why we are here? A more than able counter is of course, why do you assume there is a reason we are here? It is somewhat egocentric of a barely evolved simian species to assume that there must be a reason for existence other than cause and effect. Bleak and uncompromising at it is, the answer may turn out to be. We are here simply because we are.

Writing in the Times, the chief rabbi said:
“…There is a difference between science and religion. Science is about explanation. Religion is about interpretation. The Bible simply isn’t interested in how the universe came into being….”

Where to start? Definitions are a good place. Interpretation…
in·ter·pret –verb (used with object)
1.to give or provide the meaning of; explain; explicate; elucidate: to interpret the hidden meaning of a parable.
2.to construe or understand in a particular way: to interpret a reply as favorable.
3.to bring out the meaning of (a dramatic work, music, etc.) by performance or execution.
4.to perform or render (a song, role in a play, etc.) according to one’s own understanding or sensitivity: The actor interpreted Lear as a weak, pitiful old man.
5.to translate orally.

So apparently, religion is there to provide meaning, or to construe. It makes no attempt to actually be true, which is where most atheists, agnostics (all shades of the same colour really) have an issue. Science, of any discipline ties to explain, to get to the truth of the subject.

truth –noun,pluraltruths
1.the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
2.conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3.a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
4.the state or character of being true.
5.actuality or actual existence.
6.an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.
7.honesty; integrity; truthfulness.
8.(often initial capital letter) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.
9.agreement with a standard or original.
10.accuracy, as of position or adjustment.

in fact Prof Hawkins, uber-boffin that he is, has ably demonstrated why science is superior in every regard in one killer upper cut on this occassion. He has changed his mind. He has adapted his theories to take account of new and improved data. He has reasoned to a position, not wished a universe as he would like it to be.

In short he has a conclusion, which takes a piss on having a belief from a very very great height.

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