‘Humanity should accept that science has eliminated the justification for believing in cosmic purpose, and that any survival of purpose is inspired only by sentiment.’ (Peter Atkins, Oxford Chemistry Professor)
‘It is fashionable to wax apocalyptic about the threat posed by the AIDS virus, “mad cow” disease and many others, but I think that a case can be made that faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate. Faith, being belief that isn’t based on evidence, is the principal vice of any religion.’ (Richard Dawkins)
‘When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion.’ (Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
‘Dawkins’ idiosyncratic definition of faith…provides a striking example of the very kind of thinking he claims to abhor – thinking that is not evidence based. For, in an exhibition of breathtaking inconsistency, evidence is the very thing he fails to supply for his claim that independence of evidence is faith’s joy.’
‘What then should we think of [Dawkins’] excellent maxim: “Next time that somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: ‘What kind of evidence is there for that?’ And if they can’t give you a good answer, I hope you’ll think very carefully before you believe a word they say?” One might well be forgiven for giving in to the powerful temptation to apply Dawkins’ maxim to himself – and not believe a word that he says.’
‘Science and religion cannot be reconciled, and humanity should begin to appreciate the power of its child, and to beat off all attempts at compromise. Religion has failed, and its failures should stand exposed. Science, with its currently successful pursuit of universal comptence through the identification of the minimal, the supreme delight of the intellect, should be acknowledged as king.’ (Peter Atkins) John Lennox comments: ‘This is triumphalist language. But has the triumph really been secured? Which religion has failed, and at what level? Although science is certainly a delight, is it really the supreme delight of the intellect? Do music, art, literature, love and truth have nothing to do with the intellect? I can hear the rising chorus of protest form the humanities.’
‘The fact that there are scientists who appear to be at war with God is not quite the same thing as science itself being at was with God. For example, some musicians are militant atheists. But does that mean music itself is at war with God? Hardly. The point here may be expressed as follows: Statements by scientists are not necessarily statements of science.’
Abstracted from Lennox, God’s Undertaker: has science buried God? 14-19.