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← Richard Dawkins interviews Father George Coyne

amuck's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by amuck

I saw Father George Coyne on Bill Mahers film 'Religulous' and I thought he came across as one of the more rational of the religious interviewed by Bill Maher.

This prompted me to see him in person at a lecture he gave in Toronto at the Newman Centre Chapel, Univerity of Toronto:

Naming the Holy Lecture Series - The Dance of the Fertile Universe: Searching for God in a Scientific Culture, Prof. George V. Coyne, SJ, Astronomer, the Vatican Observatory, President, the Vatican Observatory Foundation, Adjunct Professor, University of Arizona, Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008, 7:30pm

This was presented in the Catholic church to a (strangely enough) predominantly Catholic audience, and we got to see the real Fr. Coyne hidden under a (thin) veneer of rationality.

After an hour or so of a very good review of why science is the best tool we have for understanding the universe, and a number of pot shots at creationists and intelligent designoids, we got to hear what he really thinks.

Basically, living beings are organized as a tree, the tree appears to have a direction, and only god could have given it this direction.

That was it. What a waste of time. I could not see the difference between Fr. Coyne and the rest of the 'I don't understand it therefore nobody can understand it therefore nobody will ever understand it therefore god done it' crowd.

By the way, from a brief chat I had with Fr. Coyne, he seems to be somewhat ambivalent about his role in Religulous. I assured him that he came across very well (from an evidence based perspective), but I suspect he may have had different criteria.

One comment from another member the audience touched on the 'Bill Maher made all these people look bad' theme. This generated a lot of sympathetic murmering and buzzing from the rest of the audience. No one seemed to consider the fact that the people that came across as foolish in Religulous were foolish people.

Tue, 09 Dec 2008 15:20:00 UTC | #285343