Richard Dawkins Interviews Jesuit Astronomer Father George Coyne

An utterly fascinating dialogue, Coyne throughout is a novel, deeply scientifically informed, and riveting thinker and Dawkins puts exactly the right questions and brief challenges to him.  Watch all 7 parts, they’re great.

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Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Evangelos

    What a masterful exchange! As far as I can tell, the arguments Fr.Coyne nakes aren’t novel or particularly shocking, but I do like his skepticism of the anthropic principle. I always felt that it always seemed to trample on what is supposed to be of utmost importance in classical Christian ideals, humility.

  • Dan Fincke

    Hmmm, some of the spins on things I thought were rather novel. When I used the word novel, I was thinking, for a particular example, of his case that the evolutionary universe mirrors God’s dynamism. That was a more holistic way of not only acknowledging evolution but wholeheartedly theologizing it. But, on reflection, I imagine that’s probably a legacy of the well-established process philosophy/theology traditions and nothing ground breaking.

    I also liked the way he balked at the idea of God as a designer and left it open that God could be surprised by the twists of evolution, among other things.

    Thanks for continuing to keep up, Evangelos!

  • Evangelos

    I merely meant that most of his arguments I personally believe or have once believed when I experimented in bringing faith and reason to some sort of convergence (though I only got there very recently, and my old clumsy and embarrassing attempts to reason on the topic still remain on my blog, which should be updated by next Thursday, waiting for me to refute them in newer posts). But some ideas definitely made me go back to check if he really said what he did, like the idea of God being surprised by the twists and turns of his creation. It’s indicative of truly enviable critical thinking.

    The pleasure is all mine in following along; Thanks for such wonderful material!

    • Dan Fincke

      No problem, let me know when your blog is up and running again and I’ll stop by!