‘God particle’ scientist says Richard Dawkins is an embarrassment

Peter Higgs, the particle physicist who postulated the existence of the Higgs Boson, the so called ‘God particle’ has criticized Richard Dawkins as an embarrassment for his fundamentalist attacks on religion:

“What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists. Fundamentalism is another problem. I mean, Dawkins in a way is almost a fundamentalist himself, of another kind.

He agreed with some of Dawkins’ thoughts on the unfortunate consequences that have resulted from religious belief, but he was unhappy with the evolutionary biologist’s approach to dealing with believers and said he agreed with those who found Dawkins’ approach “embarrassing”.

In the El Mundo interview, Higgs argued that although he was not a believer, he thought science and religion were not incompatible. “The growth of our understanding of the world through science weakens some of the motivation which makes people believers. But that’s not the same thing as saying they’re incompatible. It’s just that I think some of the traditional reasons for belief, going back thousands of years, are rather undermined.

“But that doesn’t end the whole thing. Anybody who is a convinced but not a dogmatic believer can continue to hold his belief. It means I think you have to be rather more careful about the whole debate between science and religion than some people have been in the past.”

He said a lot of scientists in his field were religious believers. “I don’t happen to be one myself, but maybe that’s just more a matter of my family background than that there’s any fundamental difficulty about reconciling the two.”

Dawkins did not respond to a request to comment directly on Higgs’s “fundamentalist” charge.

Protect the Pope comment: The BBC and SKY were in ecstasy over the possible discovery of the ‘God’ particle by CERN earlier in 2012. Now the Father of the ‘God’ particle has criticized their darling atheist as an embarrassment. What a dilemma for them! Will Dawkins  start spreading the rumour that Peter Higgs has come under the influence of unscrupulous believers or maybe his mind is going.


8 comments to ‘God particle’ scientist says Richard Dawkins is an embarrassment

  • Karla

    Sadly, many atheists will probably say Peter Higgs has started to lose his mind literally, as they said of Anthony Flew

    Anyway, well done to Peter Higgs for speaking up against Dawkins fundamentalism

  • Joseph Matthew

    Perhaps of some interest is that Higgs was a doctoral students of Charles Coulson, a gifted scientist and devout Christian. When one speaks to real scientists, they appear far less convinced by the likes of Dawkins and Hawking.

  • Jonathan

    Be careful about accepting this as support for Catholicism. Higgs even says that you cannot remain a ‘dogmatic believer’ (Deacon Nick – we should believe the dogmas of the Church shouldn’t we?). Most people in the mainstream are using the term ‘fundamentalist’ to apply to Catholics who actually believe the Catholic Faith. Any of the following would be classed as dangerous fundamentalism by most people in our society: Belief in Transubstantiation, in Judgement after death, in Hell, or the Catholic Faith as the only true religion, or the male-only priesthood, opposition to fornication, abortion, contraception, divorce and homosexual acts.

    I don’t know Higg’s opinions but when most people draw a line between acceptable religion and ‘fundamentalism’, as he has done, they include the CofE, liberal muslims and Jews, and tabletistas in the former and you and Pope Benedict in the latter. It saddens me but that it is my experience of the UK.

    • RuariJM

      “…most people in our society…”

      Jonathan, I have to advise you that you are NOT ‘most people in society’ and nor do you speak fr them. I woud wager that you don’t even speak for most people in your neighbourhood on important matters. Not even the ones whose names you know.

  • Joseph Matthew

    I suspect that Jonathan is right. After all, even Richard Dawkins treats Rowan Williams with respect while dismissing Pope Benedict as a fundamentalist.If I were Rowan, I would start my retirement with a long retreat just based on this.Still, it is good to know that scientists are prepared to stand up to Dawkins.

  • Will

    Higgs is adding to the problem by using “fundamentalist”, a theological term, to mean “nasty intolerant person”.

    I am sick and tired of seeing it used as a swear word by people who don’t know the Fundamentals from the Gohonzon.

    • enness

      Well, hold on, now. Unless he explains himself more fully somewhere and proves you correct, I’m not so sure. He might actually be one of the handful of folks who knows what it means. His statement would be true, then: some believers are and some aren’t. And he isn’t by far the first person to make that wry observation about Dawkins, either.

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