Here is Professor Alice Roberts (Professor of Public Engagement with Science at Birmingham University) expressing her views on Christianity.
She goes on in her thread to raise the typical humanist complaint about Christiasn engaging in education and public life.
Now, leaving aside any major disagreements about theology or philosophy, here are the bigger concerns. First of all, this is someone given a University chair in order to encourage public engagement with science but is primarily using that position to promote her own religious view-point.
Secondly, her particular discipline requires an awareness not just of science but also of the three other disciplines that contribute to science’s place in the public sphere. This includes an awareness of how public life functions, what happens in education and of course the basics of the English language.
So in terms of public life, Alice claims that our government like Iran’s has religious clerics in it. Unless Boris or Priti have signed themselves up online as licenced ministers of the Jedi faith, I’m not exactly sure who the clerics in government are. Back in the 1980s of course Lord Mackay was Lord Chancellor and sat in the Cabinet whilst also being an elder in his church. That’s probably about as close as we have got to having “clerics in government.”
In terms of schools. No, there are clear rules and guidelines about how and what schools can communicate on faith. I know. I’ve been under strict instructions about what I can and cannot say in school assemblies.
Thirdly, in terms of the basics of the English. What exactly is an “unlikely miracle” except a tautology. It is integral to the definition of the word miracle that these things are unlikely. Therefore you either explain them as myths, sleights of hand or supernatural intervention depending upon your pre-suppositions about the existence or otherwise of supernatural agents.
The other peculiar concept is that of a “weird metaphor.” Now, if the Cana event is meant to function metaphorically, then I think we can perfectly grasp the metaphorical concept of turning water into wine. The idea that something new, richer and more enjoyable can be found in the ordinary things of life is surely not that weird.
Given we do not have clerics in government, we might do better to focus on why people are being given public positions in order to troll people they disagree with whilst forsaking the very basics of academic discipline!