Wednesday night I'm looking forward to moderating one of those truly fundamental debates. Intelligence Squared U.S. has four great and experienced debaters taking opposite sides on this motion: Science Refutes God.
This is not the same old debate about evolution. Rather, the motion claims that scientific discoveries -- about the nature of the universe, the workings of physics, the vicissitudes of human psychology, the insights stemming from anthropology -- have demolished not only the likelihood that we live in a God-created world, but even the possibility. So that means: there are no miracles, no life after death, no saying (as a small group of believers do) that the Earth's age is roughly 6000 years old per the Bible (versus 4-billion plus years according to most cosmologists).
The counter-argument: the scientific method is too small for bigger truths. Just as scientists can't measure love or beauty, neither can they take measurements in the afterlife, or recreate the grand experiment known as the Big Bang. Science can't refute God because it has no tools for doing so.
Now this is one those topics where there's no middle ground to speak of. Part of the exercise is to hear both sides out -- even the one you think you could never agree with -- in full passionate clash with one another. At the least, we think, you'll never think about this question quite the same way again.
We're sold out of tickets, but you can watch the debate live online. As ever, the live audience votes to choose a winner. And eventually, we just may learn who was right after all, at the end of the day. Nay, at the end of time!
John Donvan, Moderator
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates