(BELFAST TELEGRAPH) — Prominent atheist professor Richard Dawkins described religion as “redundant and irrelevant” as he took on the former Archbishop of Canterbury in a debate.

Speaking at the Cambridge Union debating society, Prof Dawkins argued that religion hindered scientific endeavour by “peddling false explanations.”

Dr Rowan Williams offered a counter argument, saying religion undoubtedly had a place in the 21st century and the issue was not whether it should exist, but what our attitude towards it should be. He added that modern attitudes towards human rights had their foundations in religious traditions.

The pair were part of a debate on the proposition “religion has no place in the 21st Century” in front of an audience of about 800, who packed the famous 200-year-old university debating club’s chambers.

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