Friday, October 5, 2007

Lennox - Dawkins Debate in Birmingham, AL

The highly publicized debate on the existence of God took place at the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, Alabama, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007. Richard Dawkins, called by the BBC "Darwin's Rottweiler" and author of The New York Times bestseller The God Delusion faced Christian apologist John Lennox. It was one of the few debates in which Dawkins has participated. The event was sold out. The event took place as Dr. Lennox released his new book God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? published by Kregel. Alister McGrath calls Dr. Lennox's book, "A brilliantly argued reevaluation of the relation of science and religion, casting welcome new light on today's major debates. A must-read for all reflecting on the greatest questions of life." The God Delusion Debate was sponsored by Fixed Point Foundation, a Christian think tank. Richard Dawkins is a fellow of the Royal Society and Charles Simonyi chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and is the popular spokesman for what has been dubbed "the new atheism." John Lennox has doctorates from Oxford, Cambridge and the University of Wales. He is reader in mathematics in the University of Oxford, and fellow in mathematics and the philosophy of science at Green College.

Greg Garrison of "The Birmingham News" reports that the debate was "a lively joust... between Oxford University scholars who took turns driving each other onto the defensive. The exchanges were sometimes sharp and funny when the speakers were allowed to directly address each other. Lennox suggested Dawkins believed that his wife loved him, but it's not scientifically provable. 'Is there any evidence for that?' Lennox said." And at the end of his article Garrison relates that, "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. Dawkins seized on Lennox's ending back at his faith instead of science. 'Having proven some case for a deistic God, you fall back on the Resurrection,' he said. 'It's so petty, it's so trivial. ... So unworthy of the universe.' Dawkins ended the debate there. 'Although we can't disprove there is a god, it is very, very unlikely indeed.'"

Garrison's "The Birmingham News" article on the debate can be read in its entirety at the following link:
Scholars Match Wits Over God's Existence

DVD's of the debate will be offered by the last week of November 2007 by the Fixed Point Foundation and can be ordered at their website: