President D'Souza Debates Sean Carroll and Michael Shermer
NEW YORK, March 25, 2012—President Dinesh D’Souza teamed up with MIT physicist Ian Hutchinson to debate Michael Shermer and Sean Carroll on the topic “Has Science Refuted Religion?” The four discussed a range of topics including cosmology, anthropology, and philosophy, over the course of the two hour debate (embedded below).
During the debate, Sean Carroll argued that “religion and science have gone their separate ways.” Ian Hutchinson followed, arguing that Shermer and Carroll’s conclusions are based on asserting a flawed philosophy of science. Hutchinson said, “They subscribe to the philosophical doctrine of scientism: the erroneous belief that all the real knowledge is scientific.”
Following Hutchinson, Michael Shermer argued that religious belief is essentially cultural, proving that man made God. Shermer said that, “we think that religion probably evolved as a mechanism for social cohesion, keeping the group together… religious rituals are a way of signaling to fellow group members that ‘you can count on me.’”
Dinesh D’Souza responded to Shermer saying, “the idea that science has refuted some great religious myth is itself a myth.” D’Souza argued that science cannot answer questions like ‘why do we exist,’ ‘what happens after we die,’ and more. He concluded saying, “if you claim to be guided by facts, by knowledge, by careful empiricism, don’t be led into pretending to have the answers that you manifestly don’t have.”
Dr. Michael Shermer is the founder of Skeptic Magazine, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, and Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University (1991). Since his creation of the Skeptics Society, Skeptic magazine, and the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, he has appeared on such shows as The Colbert Report, 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, Larry King Live, Tom Snyder, Donahue, Oprah, and Leeza, to name a few.
D’Souza’s second opponent, Sean Carroll, is a theoretical physicist at Caltech. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University, and has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT and at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Carroll is the author of From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time, a popular-level book on cosmology and the arrow of time. He has also written a graduate textbook, Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, and recorded a set of lectures on cosmology for the Teaching Company.
Ian Hutchinson is a physicist at the MIT, and is author of Monopolizing Knowledge, an exploration and refutation of Scientism. He speaks frequently at the Veritas Forum and was the keynote speaker at the 2007 MIT Forum on Science, Faith, and Technology.
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in the Empire State Building in New York City.