RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 108 Jim Al-Khalili, physicist, University of Surrey: Certainly in the United Kingdom half if not more than half of the population are not religious. If you pointed out to them what humanism stood for they would say, “Yes I would subscribe to that.”

LOn November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

Jim Al-Khalili

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jim Al-Khalili OBE PhD
Prof Jim Al-Khalili - EdSciFest 2014 (10).JPG
Born Jameel Sadik Al-Khalili[1]
20 September 1962 (age 51)[2]
Bagdhad, Iraq
Residence United Kingdom
Citizenship United Kingdom
Fields
Institutions
Website

Jim Al-KhaliliOBE (born 20 September 1962) is an Iraqi-born British theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster. He is currently Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey. He has hosted several BBC productions about science and is a frequent commentator about science in other British media. In 2014 Al-Khalili was named as a RISE (Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers) leader by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).[6][7][8]

He has been President of the British Humanist Association since January 2013.[9]

Early life and education

Born in Baghdad in 1962 to an Iraqi father and an English mother, Al-Khalili settled permanently in the UK in 1979.[2] After completing his A-levels in 1982, he studied physics at the University of Surrey and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1986. Despite having a job lined up at the National Physical Laboratories, he stayed on at Surrey to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree in nuclear reaction theory, which he obtained in 1989.[10]

Career in physics

Jim Al-Khalili talking about determinism at QED 2011

In 1989, Al-Khalili was awarded a Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) postdoctoral fellowship at University College London, after which he returned to Surrey in 1991, first as a research assistant, then as a lecturer.[11] In 1994, Al-Khalili was awarded an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Advanced Research Fellowship for five years,[12] during which time he established himself as a leading expert on mathematical models of exotic atomic nuclei. He has published widely in his field.[13][14][15][16][17][3]

Al-Khalili is now a professor of physics at the University of Surrey, where he also holds a chair in the Public Engagement in Science.[18] He has been a Trustee (2006-2012) and Vice President (2008-2011) of the British Science Association.[19] He also held an EPSRC Senior Media Fellowship.[12]

Al-Khalili was awarded the Royal SocietyMichael Faraday Prize for science communication for 2007[20] and elected an Honorary Fellow of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a Fellow of the Institute of Physics since 2000, when he also received the Institute’s Public Awareness of Physics Award.[21] He has lectured widely both in the UK and around the world, particularly for the British Council. He is currently a member of the British Council Science and Engineering Advisory Group,[22] a member of the Royal Society Equality and Diversity Panel,[23] an external examiner for the Open University Department of Physics and Astronomy, a member of the Editorial Board for the open access Journal PMC Physics A, and Associate Editor of Advanced Science Letters. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Cheltenham Science Festival. In 2007, he was a judge on the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize[24] for non-fiction and has been a celebrity judge at the National Science & Engineering Competition Finals at The Big Bang Fair. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.[25] In 2013 he was awarded an Honorary Degree (DSc) from the University of London.[5]

In  the third video below in the 132nd clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

Below is the letter responding to Dr. Al-Khalili’s quote:

April 12, 2016

Dr.Jim Al-Khalili c/o  Department of Physics, School of Electronics & Physical Sciences, University of Surrey,

Dear Dr. Al-Khalili,

In the You Tube video “A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3),” you asserted: 

Those of us who are secular who don’t have a religion and an organization that deals with all these other aspects of our life simply haven’t got around to putting in place all those constructs and I think over time that will happen. I think over time that will happen. I think certainly in the United Kingdom half if not more than half of the population are not religious. If you pointed out to them what humanism stood for they would say, “Yes I would subscribe to that.” The idea that I want to do good things not because God tells me to or because I am going to be punished or not, but because I want to. You value humanity yourself.

If that is true about the guy on the street wanting to be a humanist then what do you have to say about the negative view that many humanists have about the ultimate meaningless of life?

I know that you are active in the  BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION so I thought this short letter may interest you.

H. J. Blackham was the founder of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION and he asserted:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

On John Ankerberg’s show in 1986 there was a debate between  Dr. Paul Kurtz, and Dr. Norman Geisler and when part of the above quote was read, Dr. Kurtz responded:

I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning;

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Harold J. Blackham (1903-2009)

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)

Jacques Monod (1910-1976), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1965)

With that in mind I wanted to ask you what  does the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION have to offer in the area of meaning and values? Francis Schaeffer two months before he died said if he was talking to a gentleman he was sitting next to on an airplane about Christ he wouldn’t start off quoting Bible verses. Schaeffer asserted:

I would go back rather to their dilemma if they hold the modern worldview of the final reality only being energy, etc., I would start with that. I would begin as I stress in the book THE GOD WHO IS THERE about their own [humanist] prophets who really show where their view goes. For instance, Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize winner from France, in his book NECESSITY AND CHANCE said there is no way to tell the OUGHT from the IS. In other words, you live in a totally silent universe. 

The men like Monod and Sartre or whoever the man might know that is his [humanist] prophet and they point out quite properly and conclusively what life is like, not just that there is no meaningfulness in life but everyone according to modern man is just living out some kind of game plan. It may be knocking 1/10th of a second off a downhill ski run or making one more million dollars. But all you are doing is making a game plan within the mix of a meaningless situation. WOODY ALLEN exploits this very strongly in his films. He really lives it. I feel for that man, and he has expressed it so thoroughly in ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN and so on.

According to the Humanist worldview Jacques Monod the universe is silent about values and therefore his good friend Woody Allendemonstrated this very fact so well in his 1989 movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. In other words, if we can’t get our values from the Bible then  the answer is MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!!!!

I CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE 90 MINUTES AND WATCH THE MOVIE “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS” AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTION: “What reason is there that Judah should not have his mistress eliminated if there is no God and afterlife of judgment and rewards?”

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS was written and directed by Woody Allen

Judah has his mistress eliminated through his brother’s underworld connections

Anjelica Huston

__

King Solomon closed the Book of Ecclesiastes (Richard Dawkins’ favorite Book of the Bible) with these words, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with[d] every secret thing, whether good or evil.” With that in mind I have enclosed a short booklet called THIS WAS YOUR LIFE!

Thank you again for your time. I know how busy you are. 

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

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