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God and science with the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Richard Dawkins and Lisa Randall

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 17 October 2011

Andrew Marr discusses the wonders of the universe with Lisa Randall, Richard Dawkins and the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. The cosmologist Professor Randall looks at the how the latest developments in physics have the potential to alter radically our view of the world around us, and our place within it. Richard Dawkins explores the beauty and magic of scientific reality, from rainbows and shooting starts, to our genetic ancestors, and believes the facts far exceed the stories of ancient myth. Jonathan Sacks rejects the false dichotomy of science and religion, and argues that faith has a complementary role to play in the understanding of the human condition.

Producer: Katy Hickman.

  • RICHARD DAWKINS

    Throughout history people have attempted to explain the world and their place within it through mythology. In his new book, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True, Richard Dawkins argues that myth pales in comparison to the magic and wonder of science: “an inspiring beauty which is all the more magical because it is real and because we can understand how it works”. In his book, aimed at a family audience, he compares the scientific explanations of the planet, from the first humans and the sun, to shooting stars and the rainbow, with the stories from the Book of Genesis, to old Norse legends and Aboriginal myths. Although the narrative of science is constantly being written, Dawkins argues that it’s an ongoing story that is both exciting and awe-inspiring.

    The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True, illustrated by Dave McKean, is published by Bantam Press.

    Richard Dawkins
  • JONATHAN SACKS

    “Religion and science share much, but in particular they share faith” contends the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks. In his book, The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning, he argues they both share a willingness to “travel to an unknown destination beyond the visible horizon, to attempt dimly to discern an order beneath the seeming chaos, to hear the music beneath the noise”. But while science is searching for explanation, religion is looking for meaning. And for Sacks meaning can only lie outside our empirical world, and therefore is found in God.

    The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning is published by Hodder & Stoughton.

    Chief Rabbi
  • LISA RANDALL

    “We are poised on the edge of discovery…What scientists find within the next decade could provide clues that will ultimately change our view of the fundamental makeup of matter or even of space itself.” So begins Lisa Randall’s book, Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World. In it she explores how we decide which scientific questions to study and how we go about answering them, and she examines the role of risk, creativity, uncertainty, beauty and truth in scientific thinking.

    Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World is published by The Bodley Head.

    Knocking on Heaven's Door

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