Christian philosopher and author Peter S Williams was at Sheffield University in January giving a lecture on ‘Science, Scientism and the Knowledge of God’. A video of the lecture, given to the university’s Christians in Science group, is now online, complete with the Q&A session at the end.
Says Peter: ‘After illustrating the recent growth in the idea that science is the only way to know anything about anything – an idea promoted by the likes of Stephen Hawking and the new atheists – I show why this idea is wrong.’
The lecture explores questions such as ‘What is science?’ and looks at the relationship between science, philosophy and arguments for God. The practice of science relies on philosophical disciplines (such as logic, ethics and the philosophy of science), while scientific observations and theories inevitably raises meta-physical (i.e. beyond-physics) questions that have philosophical answers.
‘I defend two philosophical arguments for God,’ says Peter. ‘They have premises which are supported by contemporary scientific discoveries: a causal argument from the finite past and a version of the fine tuning design argument.’
The Q&A at the end of the lecture takes in questions such as ‘Who created God?’, ‘If scientism is so obviously self-refuting, why do new atheists still hold it?’ and ‘Isn’t theism just a way of coping with uncertainty?’
Peter S Williams is the author of several books, including:
A Faithful Guide to Philosophy
C.S. Lewis vs the New Atheists
A Sceptic’s Guide to Atheism