Update: Photos taken during the brunch are available on CFI Toronto Facebook page.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with a group of unbelievers.
In the morning, CFI Canada hosted a brunch with Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss, the two men Gus Holwerda calls the “rock stars of science.” Unlike John Lennon’s description of the Beatles, “We’re more popular than Jesus . . .,” Dawkins and Krauss don’t make that kind of comparison. They are scientists, and Jesus or God is not part of any formula, equation or scientific theory.
Of course, Dawkins and Krauss did not sing or play a musical instrument, but what they said and how they said it was music for the audience. The members of the audience rose to their feet when Dawkins and Krauss arrived as a signal of appreciation for two men who have done so much for science and unbelief and who share their frustrations with the limits of religious belief. For Dawkins and Krauss, God is irrelevant, but religious belief is not because it restricts the appreciation of science and the ability to think critically and rationally about science and the world.
Both Krauss and Dawkins spoke to, not at, the audience and spent most of their time at the podium answering questions. Krauss freely admitted he couldn’t answer a question about the theories of a particular astrophysicist because Krauss wasn’t familiar with the astrophysicist or his theories. Dawkins was comfortable about refusing to answer a question from the audience about epigenetics; Dawkins is “bored with epigenetics,” or at least bored with talking about it.
Dawkins and Krauss were witty, charming, friendly and forthright, and when they were not at the podium, they were part of the crowd signing books, meeting new people and greeting old friends. A young girl, who attended the brunch with her mother and listened to the speeches, questions and answers with rapt attention, shyly approached Dawkins to ask him to sign her copy of The Magic of Reality, Dawkins’ science book for children and young adults.
The CFI brunch with Dawkins and Krauss was just the beginning of a day filled with the magic of reality.
To be continued, . . .