Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Sceptics and Believers Discussion Group

MEMBERS of the Sceptics and Believers Discussion Group will be having our minds stretched at the next meeting, entitled “Design in the universe”.

We will consider some amazing facts revealed by science about which astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle said: “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics.”

It is inspiring to wonder at nature and the universe itself. One aspect is to see what appears to be design in things like eyes or even the laws that “hold” the solar system and galaxies together. If there is indeed design, then surely there is a designer?

The idea that observations of design in the world point to God have a long and noble history, being traced to Socrates if not earlier.

It is also very modern because in recent decades it has emerged that there is an apparent “fine tuning” of physics which enables life to arise. This led to Sir Fred Hoyle’s famous statement. Objections to design arguments for God date back to the ancient Greeks as well.

Notably, David Hume made strong points against seeing a designer behind nature.

This was more than 100 years before Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, which gave an alternative explanation for the apparent design in an eye.

Our speakers, Mark Wojcicki and Paul Hargrove, have been looking into these issues and will introduce the science and the philosophy for us.

There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion within the whole group before we split into smaller groups around tables.

Mark and Paul are regular members of the group.

Mark is a co-organiser and a Christian and Paul, the son of a Church of England vicar, is an atheist.

The meeting will be at the Salisbury Club, 52 Queen Street, Henley, on Tuesday, January 17 from 7.45pm to 10pm.

For more information, visit https://www.meetup.com/

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