POLITICS
09/25/2013 10:29 am ET

Is Human Civilization More Likely To Be Destroyed By Science Or Religion?

Richard Dawkins, one of the world's most outspoken atheists and author of a new book, appeared on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" on Tuesday to discuss some rather deep thoughts about religion, science and the potentially catastrophic intersection of the most extreme forms of the two.

Jon Stewart asked Dawkins whether the end of human civilization was more likely to come through "religious strife or scientific advancement."

Dawkins, a frequent and controversial critic of religion, replied that a popular theory gave the human race about a "50 percent chance of surviving through the 21st century." This effective coin flip would be determined by a number of factors, Dawkins said, in which both science and religion were likely to play a part.

Dawkins ultimately said he believed that religious fanatics with access to the most destructive products of science posed the biggest danger to human civilization. Stewart countered, arguing that science contained certain risks in and of itself, in the form of extreme or incautious advancement.

Watch the clip above for the conversation, and click over to The Daily Show for parts two and three of their discussion.

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