Peter Atkins vs Mary Midgley on whether science has all the answers
Peter Atkins vs Mary Midgley on whether science has all the answers. Available here for a short while.
Funnily enough I had exactly this debate with Atkins a couple of weeks ago in Oxford over about 2hrs (part of THINK week). Dawkins sat right in front of me and chipped in too. I believe there will be some sort of recording available shortly…
Anyway, Atkins is not the sharpest philosophical pencil in the box, I think (though he’s obviously good at chemistry). Strong on assertion but remarkably weak on argument. But Mary Midgley is unfortunately not great either.
Midgeley’s is a depressingly weedy and waffly defence of philosophy. Her slide from why there’s something rather than nothing to the obscure “meaning of life” question plays right into Atkins’s hands.