Monday, November 9, 2009

Atheism and the Simonyi Chair at Oxford

In 1995 Oxford University accepted money from Charles Simonyi (previously of Microsoft) to establish the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science. It's first holder (to 2008) was Richard Dawkins. The current holder is Marcus du Sautoy. Both are declared atheists. This latter fact is not coincidental, because this professorship is actually a chair in atheism. It's just that Simonyi and his friends at Oxford didn't have the guts or the honesty to admit that this is what it was. They sell this position as one which has the commendable aim of helping people understand science. But actually, its purpose is to mislead people into drawing unscientific conclusions concerning matters outside the sphere of the natural sciences, on the misunderstanding that the natural sciences can address questions such as the existence of God. It is, to be more precise, a Professorship for Promoting Atheist Category Errors.

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