Posted by: gcarkner | March 25, 2022

Spring GFCF Featured Lecture Presentation

April 6, 2022 Upcoming Lecture

Professor Ard Louis, Theoretical Physics, Oxford University

Science & Scientism 

12:00 NoonWednesday, April 6, 2022  on Zoom



Science is perhaps the most successful endeavour that human beings have ever engaged in.   It is tempting to think that it should also answer the big questions of life, such as why we are here and whether there is a purpose to life. 

Such hopes give impetus to modern versions of secularism.   At the same time a fully fleshed out scientism, the idea that only science brings us reliable knowledge about the world, remains  unpopular in the academy, in part because it hollows out these existential questions.   I will argue that it is not hard to see that neither science, nor any conceivable advance of science, can answer such existential questions.   Nevertheless,  implicit versions of scientism remain surprisingly influential in the academic world.  What can and should we do about this? A Clip of Ard Louis.


Ard Louis is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford, where he leads an interdisciplinary research group studying problems on the border between chemistry, physics and biology at the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics. He also writes and speaks widely on science and faith, for which in 2013 he was elected a member of the International Society for Science and Religion.  He recently made the 4-part documentary Why Are We Here with David Malone and  appeared in  The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, giving him an Erdős–Bacon number of 6.

No Model of the universe is a catalogue of ultimate, comprehensive realities.

~C. S. Lewis

An admirably severe discipline of interpretive and theoretical restraint [modern empirical science] has been transformed into its perfect and irrepressibly wanton opposite: what began as a principled refusal of metaphysical speculation, for the sake of specific empirical inquiries, has now been mistaken for a comprehensive knowledge of the metaphysical shape of reality; the art of humble questioning has been mistaken for the sure possession of ultimate conclusions. This makes a mockery of real science.” (David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God, 2013, 71)

Satire: “Physics explains everything, which we know because anything physics cannot explain does not exist, which we know because whatever exists must be explicable by physics, which we know because physics explains everything.” (David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God, 2013, 77)

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