Christopher Hitchens and William Dembski are about to hold a live debate in Texas.
Debate just started. Introductions…
Hitchens begins… Looks good in spite of the obvious health problems. Defines theism v deism. Notes Haley’s ‘watchmaker’ observations. Gives room to theists, but is zeroing in on deists. Notes grandness of modern cosmology. Using history to undermine the idea of Divine intervention. Now on to evolution. Closes his time with an appeal to anti-authoritarianism.
Dembski begins. Junk DNA…argh. He’s taking an anti-evolutionary position right out of the gate. Now he’s going off on the fossil record. Sudden emergence pre-Cambrian problems. Some issue with eye development…?? Most likely information that comes from evolutionary science… He’s totally obsessed with this eye argument. Dismisses Hitchen’s arguments for evolution. Uses some time to bolster the myth of Jesus’, which is obvious necessary in his mind. Science is not a cumulative exercise…..WTF. Is this guy on drugs or is that the same as being on Jesus? Totally misuses the science of cellular biology. Now it’s full-on intelligent design….It’s like Dover never happened…..lol. Sad. Unless the Intelligent Designer is God, there’s precious little debate on the topic at hand. Dembski: “My ID argument shows God exists.” (Perhaps, but your EVIDENCE is totally lacking. ) LOL. Back to whether Jesus actually existed….and miracles….amen….amen…amen…. Intelligent Design has theological consequences according to Dembski. Perhaps. If you had any EVIDENCE. Message to Dembski: We’ve all been waiting for the vaulted Intelligent Design ‘science’ for over a decade now. Stop debating poorly and get back to doing the work you say will prove all your bunk.
Hitchens Rebuttal: Invokes Dawkins on the eye. Atheism predates evolution. The Bible isn’t literal. Socrates is more important than Jesus even if neither existed.
Dembski Rebuttal: Losing an eye is easier than gaining an eye. Still doesn’t acknowledge that eye could evolve. Darwin got something right, but what he asks? Now he’s switching from evolution to formation of life. Different subject altogether. Darwin was ok, but not THAT ok. NOW he’s going to tell us how good God is…..really? Turns to philosophy of the six century because his twentieth century science is so freaking weak I suppose. Demski switches into Bible school mode. Playing to audience. My Bible quotes are bigger than your science. If God exists he MUST be good. Case closed. WTF?? God is eventually going to get around to doing away with evil right (after most of us starve to death or kill off one another over his existence?) Beg patience on our behalf. Says he’s not getting into a specific religious philosophy right after he invokes all the Christian God talk. Gag me now. Please. I’m fading as he goes into female genital mutilation. Even with their junk totally cut up, the Africans are breeding like rats which proves their junk cutting is evolutionarily ‘approved’. Says the word deluded. Then says Hitchens name. Atheists don’t like genital mutilation, but he doesn’t say what God has to say about it. Isn’t his time up yet? Blah, Blah, Blah. Atheists aren’t as moral as they claim to be. Takes on the “Christopher Hitchen’s Challenge”….OOOPS…..he’s changing the question. Why not just answer the challenge if you’re going to bring it up. People who support a woman’s right to chose or support euthanasia are godless. Sits down.
Chris Hitchens: Five minutes on the goodness of God? Smirk.. Explains the need for faith given the total lack of EVIDENCE. Problem of evil. Explains war and pestilence in human terms as a result of human interaction with nature where God is not responsible. Morality comes from Socratic discourse. Notes lack of many moral issues in the Ten Commandments. Salvation is an illusion.
William Dembski; I’ll focus on the science. Really. Argh. No more EYEBALLS. Please. Copernicus becomes the focus. Might as well use ancient science to misconstrue his ancient religion. Who does he think he’s fooling here? The seventh grade audience maybe. The point is…….what determines our significance. Now quoting Pascal…. Philosophy isn’t a hard science Mr. Dembski even if I admire Daniel Dennett. Shorter….If my Aunt had balls she’d be my Uncle. Pimps his domain grabbing skills. ID isn’t Christian….it only gets you so far. ID is not the Gospel. Glad he clarified that. Oh, and don’t miss your ticket to “the Kingdom”. Time up. Hitchens…interrupts….Says it’s generous that Dembski admits ID isn’t supportive of Christianity. Dembski counters weakly…
QUESTIONS NOW: With evolution where does the concept of thought and reason come in? Self sacrifice e.g.??
Hitchens: (Dawkins would handle this better than Hitchens). Hitchens uses his voluntary blood donations as an example of selfless Godless helping of other people. His blood type is rare. Hopes there will be some if he needs it. No God necessary. Anti social behavior is perfectly compatible with evolution.
Dembski: Darwin…battle for life. Evolutionary history of rape. Pinker’s writing on infanticide of hunter/gatherer societies. Evolution is a mixed bag. Some good and bad (excuse me….wicked is the word he uses) from evolution. What’s good for parasites is apparently bad for evolutionists. Mixed bag. Mixed bag. Mixed bag.
Hitchens interrupts: God calls for many slaughters. Women, children, etc. Invokes Thomas Paine. Instuctions for rape, genocide and slavery are in the Bible. Never mentions Mixed Bag. lol.
Dembski: Ok we’re talking about Christianity. Gotta get into Xtian theology. Broken world. No optimal solutions. A-bomb invoked. God gets frustrated with our bad options. God is a just God. Not bound by any rules though, so you’re fucked and we’re all gonna die. Hitchens can’t win an argument against me because it’s a broken world.
Hitchens: No need to invoke God to describe our mammalian existence. Could be true, but makes people feel bad. Describes God playing people like lab rats. With religion you’re born sick and commanded to get well.
Dembski: The cure to man’s sickness is Christ……big applause. Jesus establishes connection to man through his birth and death (of course he didn’t really die, so what’s the ‘sacrifice’ thing all about?) Goes into his personal conversion…yawn…used to be skeptical…now…NOT SO MUCH….lol. Missionaries who suffer are impressive. He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…can I get another AMEN? God is not North Korea. You’re not forced to burn in hell, err believe and worship him.
Hitchens: Perhaps Jesus existed, but he was just a guy like you or me and the rest is bullshit. Vicarious redemption is a load of crap and dehumanizing. Primitive practice of the Middle East. Didn’t want the Bible story. Didn’t believe it. Thanks anyway. It’s an offer you can’t refuse. Underscores the coercive nature of the ‘promise of redemption’. Stands firm on North Korea analogy.
Dembski: Happy to respond. According to scripture we’re dead already. OMG. Identify sins with morality. Jesus paid the debt even though it’s all your fault. Free will argument. The Bible is not a roadmap of systemic theology. It’s messy, but it offers hope and truth. So does Santa Claus William.
Second question: What happens before the Big Bang. Where was all that stuff before it was here? ID have an answer? Where are the gaps?
Dembski: God did it. Big Bang seems to prove it. Singularity. Evolution? Big topic. Continuity? Fair amount of common ancestry. Not total. Pre Cambrian argument again.
Hitchens: Invokes Stephen Hawking. Doesn’t think science has totally eclipsed philosophy, but he sounds a little fearful Hawking might be right. Whatever the beginning, we’re sure to be gone in the future. Many possible ways the universe or our existence in it may come to end. How is this an example of design? Extinction invoked again. God(s) are obviously modeled on our own human fantasies. Made up by creatures half a chromosome from being chimps and I’m afraid it shows.
Closing remarks or more questions? Hitchens wants question in place of prepared ending statements. Dembski has prepared his and doesn’t want more questions.
Dembski closing: Philosophical sophistry in support of religion. Accuses secular evil is as bad, (or worse) than religion. Nazi’s weren’t Christian. Criticizes Hitchen’s portrayal of Mother Teresa. Bet he wasn’t the best in his class on rhetoric.
Hitchens: Mother Teresa sucked. No humility or modesty in her. Suffering is the trade of the Catholics. Doubles down on her suckage. Hitler wrote he was doing God’s Work in his Mein Kampf. Nazi’s were CATHOLIC whether the religious people like it or not. Explains why he doesn’t need eternal life to speak with a dead Shakespeare because his books exist. The offer of complete certainty is an offer of something not worth having. Life is a risk and he enjoys it. Tells the kids how terrible religious authority is in their young lives. Take the risk of thinking for YOURSELF. Truth beauty and wisdom will come to you that way.
Thanks for doing this, Tim! And Dembski is flailing even more than most people expected him to.
You guys are bigger idiots than Hitchens.
Dembski went ploddingly through the “science” in Hitchens book and demolished each of his premises. Easy to do, since they are all wrong.
Hitchens’ shtik is what it always is – “the universe is old, man has only been here a while, darwin of the gaps, and catholics are evil.”
such bad taste that they ended with a prayer (a pathetic, weakly worded, quite insulting to Hitchens prayer).
Hitchens’ closing, with (didn’t get exact words, but something like) “for christians to tell you as children that you are DEAD, dead UNTIL you accept their indoctrination, is criminal”–that was brilliant.
Hitchens OWNED it.
My favorite memorable Hitchen’s quote:
Religion is made up by creatures half a chromosome from being chimps and I’m afraid it shows.
Trouble is, no human is half a chromosome from being chimp.
Is that funny? No accounting for it, I guess.
You don’t honestly believe in chromosomes anyway do you? Jeebus didn’t say much about chromosomes did he? Therefore you can have no knowledge or opinion on same.
Pingback: Tweets that mention Liveblog Hitchens V Dembski « The Tim Channel -- Topsy.com
Thanks for letting me know about your live blog. This is great.
I especially enjoyed Hitchen’s closing remarks as well. The responses above are great reminders.
Both of the quotes from jdub and tim were amazing.
There were some nuances to Hitch’s old stuff and some things I felt I never heard before. It made the debate great … for atheists.
A great debate for atheists??
It is great for atheists when they talk among themselves approvingly.
Hitchens lost the debate badly. Tried to make up for it with bombastic pronouncements.
I loved his allusion to Lawrence Krauss explaining how the universe came from “nothing”. I have studied Krauss’s explanation. He arrived at the explanation by changing the word “nothing” from meaning “nothing”, to “nothing is something”.
It could make a great Abbot and Costello routine.
I especially loved Hitchens rationailzation for how an eye evolved from the description of how it was lost.
That’s just ducky science. Try that in any field of science besides evolutionary biology.
Try that logic with anybody other than atheists.
You want us to believe that God popped into existence out of nothing, but not the universe.
Pingback: A fun-filled Friday lickity split and an inadvertent middle finger to you! « Le Café Witteveen
Brilliant! Thank you.
Hitler and the Nazis despised Christianity and already had plans in place to decimate it right after they finished with the Jews. Nuremberg documents released through Rutgers and Cornell prove this. Borghman had sent out decrees to start closing Christian schools and camps, and allow no Nazi party member to study theology.
Some wanted to do both at once. Hitler delayed, as using Christian rheotric for propaganda appealed to him. Hence, the words in Mein Kampf that Hitchens gullibly quotes, and you gullibly consent to.
Nazis based their racism and right to genocide on Darwinian theory. They were only protecting and advancing their gene pool, giving natural selection a bit of a “push”.
There was a Nazi propaganda film shown to students showing a retarded child, as the moderator intoned about the process of “natural selection.” Sound familiar at all?
Hitchens is a liar and a fraud, grasping at any straw to defend materialism, humanism, and poke at religion.
You are probably not a fraud. Just a fool.
I don’t block idiots or assholes here. Just your luck.
If hell exists, drRick, I might see you there. Jesus said in the sermon on the mount that calling a person a fool will sentence you to fiery torment. And we all know the preacher says that’s out of context and there are righteous times to say “you fool”. Funny how the god of the universe couldn’t clarify for himself.
What a powerful and awesome god you worship!
And you’re right, evolution is difficult to accept standing next to a story about two naked people, a talking snake, and the explanation that all of the world’s evil is justified because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Follow that with the stories of a 500-year-old man building a boat that saves all the animals on the entire planet, not to mention a god who is so pathetically evil that he killed everyone else. And myths that languages burst from an angry god about a skyscraper, and you have some mighty impressive ways to combat us fools who accept a dumb idea like evolution.