Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lucia Dawkins is an embarrassment says particle physicist Peter Higgs, postulator of the "God Particle"

In an artist's conception, a Higgs boson erupts from a collision of protons. (Source: National Geographic)

This will be a blow to those who think Dawkins is right about everything, and that science always trumps religion.
Peter Higgs, the particle physicist who postulated the existence of the Higgs Boson, the so called ‘God particle’ has criticized Richard Dawkins as an embarrassment for his fundamentalist attacks on religion:

“What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists. Fundamentalism is another problem. I mean, Dawkins in a way is almost a fundamentalist himself, of another kind.

He agreed with some of Dawkins’ thoughts on the unfortunate consequences that have resulted from religious belief, but he was unhappy with the evolutionary biologist’s approach to dealing with believers and said he agreed with those who found Dawkins’ approach “embarrassing”.

In the El Mundo interview, Higgs argued that although he was not a believer, he thought science and religion were not incompatible. “The growth of our understanding of the world through science weakens some of the motivation which makes people believers. But that’s not the same thing as saying they’re incompatible. It’s just that I think some of the traditional reasons for belief, going back thousands of years, are rather undermined.

“But that doesn’t end the whole thing. Anybody who is a convinced but not a dogmatic believer can continue to hold his belief. It means I think you have to be rather more careful about the whole debate between science and religion than some people have been in the past.”

He said a lot of scientists in his field were religious believers. “I don’t happen to be one myself, but maybe that’s just more a matter of my family background than that there’s any fundamental difficulty about reconciling the two.”

Dawkins did not respond to a request to comment directly on Higgs’s “fundamentalist” charge.

Here's an example of Richard Dawkins in action, where he says it's worse to raise a child Catholic where they believe in Hell, than it is for that child to be sexually abused by a priest.



Hattip: Protect the Pope

Related links: Peter Higgs criticises Richard Dawkins over anti-religious 'fundamentalism' ~ The Guardian
"God Particle" Found? "Historic Milestone" From Higgs Boson Hunters ~ National Geographic

8 comment(s):

leftrightout said...

This will be a blow to those who think Dawkins is right about everything, and that science always trumps religion.

Not at all. But perhaps you could find an example of where religion trumps science.

Why should it be a surprise that not everyone agrees with everything Dawkins says? After all, the scientific and skeptical movements are both based on free enquiry, not slavish adherence to dogma.

And do please stop slavishly following the MSM with the "god particle" nonsense, it is no such thing; and that is something on which Dawkins, Higgs and I agree.



ZenTiger said...

You miss the point LRO.

It is no surprise at all that not everyone agrees with Dawkins.

What is being said is more than that: he is more fundamentalist than many of the Christians he targets his vitriol at.

Furthermore, a growing number of people are noticing that he is an embarrassment to rational and civil discourse.

And whilst it will come as a shock to you and your ilk that science doesn't trump religion, you also need to stop assuming that the counter claim is being made. I'm not suggesting for one moment that religion trumps science, but like Higgs, suggest that they can be complimentary and seek to answer different questions and deal in different domains, much like philosophy. So no example is needed, because it's not a pissing match.

leftrightout said...

Furthermore, a growing number of people are noticing that he is an embarrassment to rational and civil discourse.

Are they? Or are some people simply uncomfortable when truth is spoken plainly and bluntly. The gnu atheists are often accused of being "strident" because they refuse to back down in the face of religiously inspired intolerance.

but like Higgs, suggest that they can be complimentary and seek to answer different questions...

But religion provides no answers, it has no truths and it is afraid of free inquiry. What questions has religion answered in the last, say, 10 years?

scrubone said...

Or are some people simply uncomfortable when truth is spoken plainly and bluntly.

But that's the problem - what Dawkins says about religion isn't true. That't the entire point. Like fundamentalist who deny easily demonstrable truths from the physicial universe (which is in some ways as much a violation of the christian religion as denial of scripture)he has let his strident dogmatism ignore the truth.

Isumbras said...

"But religion provides no answers, it has no truths and it is afraid of free inquiry."
That would probably be news to Monsignor Georges LeMaitre, Professor of Astro Physics who proposed what became known as the 'Big Bang Theory'
or quite a revelation to Fr Roger Boscovich, Jesuit, Philosopher, Poet, Astronomer, Theologian, Mathematician and Father of Modern Atomic Theory....
to pluck just 2 examples from an extensive list...
I don't for one moment suggest they could hold a candle to your intelligence LRO but it does seem that their
religion was no hinderance to advanced scientific enquiry, I suspect it in fact rather complemented it.

leftrightout said...

scrubone said...
Or are some people simply uncomfortable when truth is spoken plainly and bluntly.

But that's the problem - what Dawkins says about religion isn't true. That't the entire point. Like fundamentalist who deny easily demonstrable truths from the physicial universe (which is in some ways as much a violation of the christian religion as denial of scripture)he has let his strident dogmatism ignore the truth.


Which truth has Dawkins ignored? He certainly doesn't share your fantasy about a sky pixie, but it can't be that, as you can provide no evidence of said sky pixie.

leftrightout said...

Isumbras, was their scientific work informed by their religion or by science?

I am well aware that there are a number of scientists that adhere to a range of loopy beliefs outside their filed of scientific expertise, but that doesn't mean that their work is because of their religion.

Furthermore, the closer a scientist gets to the life sciences, the less likely s'/he is to be a believer in any religion.

Now, back to my question - What questions has religion answered in the last, say, 10 years?

Isumbras said...

LRO, I would suggest that a belief in a God Centred Universe of complexity, reason and natural order was a prerequisite of
a Priest/Scientist and that they found no contradiction in being both. I can't see how a polymath like Boscovich could have functioned otherwise.

I fully agree that there are scientists with some loopy beliefs.... Francis Crick is a good example.... Great work on the DNA molecule Frank
but we'll call you about that whole 'life seeded on earth by intergalactic sperm on the tail of a comet' thing.....

It wouldn't surprise me if your third point is correct. Trofim Lysenko could be their poster boy.

What questions are you talking about? For me It answers the metaphysical questions that science hasn't nor I fully expect, ever will be able to...
eg How Something came from nothing.....

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