Avowed Catholic Stephen Colbert challenged Ricky Gervais in a spirited debate over the existence of god and Gervais’ embrace of atheism.
“I know that you’re an atheist,” Colbert began during Wednesday’s episode of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “Do you want to debate the existence of god?”
After Gervais signaled he was up for the challenge, Colbert asked his fellow comedian, “Why is there something instead of nothing, why does the universe exist at all?”
Gervais protested the premise of Colbert’s question, insisting the argument for religion isn’t over why the universe exists, but how. He explained that he’s “agnostic atheist,” meaning while he doesn’t know for sure whether there is a god, he doesn’t think anything outside “science and nature” created the universe.
“Atheism isn’t a belief system,” Gervais said, arguing it is “only rejecting the claim there’s a god.”
“You don’t believe in 2,999 gods,” Gervais added. “And I don’t believe in just one more.”
Colbert then asked his guest if he ever has “a feeling of great gratitude for existence.”
“Of course!” Gervais replied. “I know the chances are billions to one that I am on this planet as me and never will be again.”
Colbert explained that while he knows he cannot—nor does he want to—convince Gervais of a god, he personally feels a “strong desire to direct that gratitude during something or someone.” The Late Show comedian argued that Gervais’ belief in science means he is putting faith in people like Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein.
Here, Gervais sharply explained the difference between science and religion:
“Science is constantly proved all the time. If we take something like any fiction, any holy book, and destroyed it, in a thousand years’ time that wouldn’t come back just as it was. Whereas if we took every science book and every fact and destroyed them all, in a thousand years they’d all be back, because all the same tests would be the same result.”ADVERTISEMENT
“That’s good,” Colbert admitted.
“I don’t need faith in science,” Gervais continued. “I don’t need faith to know that probably, if I jump out of a window, every other time somebody jumps out of the window, they smash to the ground because of this thing called gravity.”
Watch the full video below, via the Late Show with Stephen Colbert Twitter:
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) February 2, 2017
GOP in a panic about what to do with Steve King as Democrats can’t wait to face him in the election
On Saturday, MSNBC's Garrett Haake broke down the nightmare situation Republicans are facing with Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who has faced outrage for years of white supremacist comments, and more recently suggested that rape and incest might be a good thing for society.
"What more recourse do Republicans have?" said host David Gura. "We had this cycle of condemnation in the past after comments were made. He was stripped of committee assignments. Is there more Republicans can do vis-a-vis Steve King?"
Trump’s economic advisers baffled over how to hold off recession that his trade war set it in motion: report
According to a report from ABC, Donald Trump's economic advisers are baffled about how to stop what appears to be a recession coming before the 2020 election after his trade war upset an already teetering worldwide economy.
With the report noting that Trump had hoped to run on a strong economy as part of his 2020 re-election strategy, warnings from economists that a recession may arrive before then has White House officials in a panic.
"The financial markets signaled the possibility of a U.S. recession this week, sending a jolt of anxiety to investors, companies and consumers. That's on top of concerns over Trump's plans to impose punishing tariffs on goods from China and word from the United Kingdom and Germany that their economies are shrinking," the report states, adding, "Trump advisers fear a weakened economy would hurt him with moderate Republican and independent voters who have been willing to give him a pass on some his incendiary policies and rhetoric."
Race to remember Berlin Wall victims, 30 years on
Where guard towers and barbed wire once stood, runners pounded the 100-mile (160 kilometer) path along the former Berlin Wall this weekend in a race with victims of the Cold War relic at its heart.
On Saturday at 6:00 am (0400 GMT), around 500 runners, started the 8th edition of the Berlin Wall Race, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Wall's demise this November.
With weary legs, most runners will jog through Saturday night, aiming to reach the city centre stadium which doubles as both start and finish, in the early hours of Sunday.
The race is part ultra-marathon, part tribute to those who died trying to cross the Wall, which the East German communist regime hastily erected in 1961 and stood for 28 years.