Saturday, June 15, 2013

Victor Stenger vs Steven Fuller on Unbelievable - Science and Testing Religious Claims 2010 CHECK

This debate ( audio ) occurred on the great show Unbelievable in 2010 between Vic Stenger and Steve Fuller. The topic was "Is God a Failed Hypothesis?"

3 Stars: Fuller is as weird as ever but Stenger is just the guy to call him on his BS. CHECK

Despite poor Justin Brierley's best attempts to stick with the topic it was only briefly touched upon because Fuller made some pretty ridiculous assertions Stenger just had to answer.

From what I gathered from Fuller, science and the concept of progress can be largely attributed to the Abrahamic religion. He espouses this disturbingly ethnocentric view and repeatedly stands by it throughout the discussion.

Immediately, Stenger takes umbrage to such claims by pointing out that the Greeks, Ancient Chinese, Muslims, and Indians started doing science well before God was making Earth the center of the universe. He further points out that Christianity has actually inhibited scientific inquiry*. Even the Justin Brierley thought Fuller was full of it from the sounds of his questions around the middle of the show.

Fuller pretty much discounts the non-Western history of science by stating it was mostly for technology or advancement of the political entities or warfare. He continues by saying that if science wasn't based on an ultimate goal of understanding, or even demonstrating the existence of god, then it would be a more nefarious enterprise!

Fuller even argues that science has not been beneficial to society and cites things like nuclear energy research and genetic engineering. Stenger counters this with a pretty funny statement, [spoiler]saying roughly, "if you think that then why are you on the radio, why aren't you sending up smoke signals or something to communicate?"[/spoiler] - basically that science as added so much more to our advancement, compared to the draw backs that Fuller cites - but Fuller dismisses this as a "cost-benefit" argument that can go both ways; Stenger has to then include all the horrible things science has created. Even this cost-benefit sophistry is crap, Fuller. Think of all the lives saved by modern medicine you crank.

Not too much substance in this one though I suggest you all give it a listen. Fuller can usually hold his own but not here, he just comes off as hysterical and crazy.

Technical: Great AQ

*Though it has for sure helped it, mind you!

8-23-2015 Cleared up some stuff and lowered the score. 

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