Peter Atkins

Peter William Atkins FRSC is a British chemist and former Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Lincoln College. Born: August 10, 1940. He is a prolific writer of popular chemistry textbooks, including Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Molecular Quantum Mechanics. Atkins is also the author of a number of popular science books, including Atkins' Molecules, Galileo's Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science and On Being.
Oxford Chemistry Professor

Will Science Ever Fail?

New Scientist, 8/8/1992, p32-35.

"Humanity should accept that science has eliminated the justification for believing in cosmic purpose, and that any survival of purpose is inspired only by sentiment."

The Limitless Power of Science

In "Nature's Imagination - The Frontiers of Scientific Vision, Ed. John Cornwell, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995.

"Science, the system of belief founded securely on publicly shared reproducible knowledge, emerged from religion. As science discarded its chrysalis to become its present butterfly, it took over the heath. There is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence. Only the religious - among whom I include not only the prejudiced but the uninformed - hope there is a dark corner of the physical universe, or of the universe of experience, that science can never hope to illuminate. But science has never encountered a barrier, and the only grounds for supposing that reductionism will fail are pessimism on the part of scientists and fear in the minds of the religious." p125.

"Science and religion cannot be reconciled, and humanity should begin to appreciate the power of its child, and to beat off all attempts at compromise. Religion has failed, and its failures should stand exposed. Science, with its currently successful pursuit of universal competence through the identification of the minimal, the supreme delight of the intellect, should be acknowledged king." p132.

Creation Revisited

Harmondsworth, Penquin, 1994.

"There is nothing that cannot be understood." p 1.

"Science has no need of purpose ... all the extraordinary, wonderful richness of this world can be expressed as growth from the dunghill of purposeless interconnected corruption." p127-128.

[This was too big an opening for John Lennox to pass up, so he commented in the context of his "Aunt Matilda's Cake" story, p42 of "God's Undertaker":
"One wonders what Aunt Matilda would make of that as an ultimate explanation for the fact that she made the cake for her nephew Jimmy's birthday, indeed as an ultimate explanation of why she, Jimmy and the birthday cake existed in the first place. She might even prefer a 'primeval soup' to a 'dunghill of corruption', if she were given the choice."]

Galileo's Finger

"There is not a single instance of the molecular traces of change being inconsistent with our observations of whole organisms." p16
Windows of Creation
Evidence from nature Is the universe designed?
Reasonable faith
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