Archbishop in high-profile debate with Dawkins

Arch-atheist suffers setback in Oxford University debate with Dr Williams

By Paul Richardson Church of England Newspaper

OXFORD’S Sheldonian Theatre was packed for the dialogue between Richard Dawkins and Archbishop Rowan Williams. Hundreds of students filled the theatre, rubbing shoulders with bishops, heads of colleges and professors. The event was organized by the Faculty of Theology and drew considerable interest from the media.

Opening the proceedings, Oxford’s Chancellor, Chris Patten, announced that this was exactly the kind of debate a great university should provide. The initial verdict was that the debate was a draw. As far as theactual dialogue is concerned that is probably correct and is no small tribute to Rowan Williams since the topics were subjects favourable to Dawkins – the nature of human beings, the origins of the species, the origins of life, and the origins of the universe. But overall the debate was a setback for Dawkins, who committed a number of philosophical blunders for which he was picked up on not by the charitable Archbishop but by the chair, Sir Anthony Kenny. Read the rest of this entry »

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