Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Hitchens debates Intelligent Design at Stanford University

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Rationalist heavyweight Christopher Hitchens took on prominent Intelligent Design proponent Jay Richards in a debate at Stanford University on Sunday. It was hardly a fair contest pitching the Hitch against Richards, whose links with the ridiculous Discovery Institute preclude him from being taken seriously by pretty much anyone, and if reports are anything to go by it seems the atheist champion didn't take long to floor the arguments in favour of ID.

Informed by chair Ben Stein, who narrates the upcoming ID "documentary" Expelled, that each speaker would have 14 minutes for opening remarks, Hitchens remarked "I can't imagine it'll take me 14 minutes to demolish intelligent design, as I refuse to call it."

Round one to the Hitch. And after Richards had reeled off the regular "scientific" arguments for design, our man decided to weigh in with a killer question:

Hitchens: “Do you believe Jesus Christ was born of a virgin? Do you believe he was resurrected from the dead?”

Richards: "Yes"

Hitchens: “I rest my case. This is an honest guy, who has just made it very clear [that] science has nothing to do with his world view.”

Nice. Let's hope a video of this appears on YouTube before long – I can assure you we'll post it on here when it does.

4 comments:

Quixotematic said...

ID is unnecessary. However, Hitchens' clever riposte depends upon argumentum ad hominem, committing the error of irrelevance. Even if the man were floridly psychotic, having agreed to debate a point, one must address his argument not his capacity to argue.

Quixotematic said...

ID is unnecessary. However, Hitchens' clever riposte depends upon argumentum ad hominem, committing the error of irrelevance. Even if the man were floridly psychotic, having agreed to debate a point, one must address his argument not his capacity to argue.

The Hogfather said...

I think the riposte is a clever one, since Hitchens is trying to establish the ID proponents inability to form on objective argument.

All us sensible people believe in Evolution by natural selection, not because we have an agenda to show that it is true, but because that is where the objective evidence takes us.

If on the other hand you hold religious beliefs without evidence (via faith) in the same way as these ID guys do, then you do have an agenda- namely to attempt to show that Evolution is wrong regardless of the evidence.

ST said...

Sorry - how exactly does Richards' response show that "science has nothing to do with his world view"?

Regards,

Steve