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59 minutes ago
OK I watched it, and some parts were indeed disastrous — kind of like Big Brother Goes On The Road. They started in Las Vegas, for no other reason (that I could discern) than it allowed for some clichéd photo-opportunities.
Jerry Coyne doesn't suffer fools, and his debunking of Noah's Ark did not go down well with the creationists. The creationist who appeared to have appointed himself "star-of-the-show" also seemed to be entertaining the idea that the show itself was a conspiracy, and he was impervious to reason, maintaining that the purpose of science was to deny God.
The presenter, Andrew Maxwell, nailed it with his bemused announcement that he couldn't understand how, in the face of so much evidence for evolution, the creationists simply dismissed anything that was contrary to scripture. He asked one of them why they even bother to look at the science if they're not going to accept anything that doesn't agree with what they already believe.
A frustrating programme that generated — on my part — more than its fair share of sighing and head-shaking.
It was great lecture and my dad and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
As for the question, “why is there something rather than nothing?” — I tend to the view that there was always something, and that the philosophical nothing is a concept only.
The way I see it there are four options:
Clearly (1) is not the case, and (to us) is indistinguishable from (2) as both these positions are refuted by the existence of anything at all. (4) is contentious if one believes that a true philosophical nothing is incapable of spawning a something. Which leaves (3) — the eternal something (at least, eternal in the past — it may be possible for the sum total of all the somethings to self-annihilate and become a philosophical nothing).1. There never was anything, and there never will be.
2. There was something, and then there wasn’t.
3. There always was something.
4. There was nothing (the philosophical nothing) and then there was something.
If theists want to complain that Krauss’s nothing is not a philosophical nothing, that’s fine by me, but then I would ask them if their God is eternal. If God is eternal then the philosophical nothing is an impossibility, and they should stop asking how something can come from nothing.
Religion and science are frequently set up as polar opposites; incompatible ways of thinking. The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks begs to differ. For him, science and religion can, and should, work together. To mark Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, he puts his position to the test. He meets three non-believing scientists, each at the top of their field: neurologist Baroness Susan Greenfield, theoretical physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili, and the person best known for leading the scientific attack on religion, Professor Richard Dawkins. Will the Chief Rabbi succeed in convincing the militant defender of atheism that science and religion need not be at war?