Home » Biology, Culture, Darwinism, Education, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Religion, Science » William Dembski Debates Cristopher Hitchens Nov. 18th

William Dembski Debates Cristopher Hitchens Nov. 18th

Dr. William Dembski will be debating Christopher Hitchens at the Prestonwood Baptist Church Nov. 18th, 2010. “Does a Good God Exist?” will be the topic debated. The debate will be held from 8:40 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. There will be a live webcast of the debate.

Dr. William Dembski, Research Professor in Philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is a leader in the Intelligent Design community and is a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. His most comprehensive treatment of intelligent design to date, coauthored with Jonathan Wells, is titled The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems. In November of 2009, he published a book on theodicy titled The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World.

Christopher Hitchens is one of the best known controversial writers and critics in the media. He is the author of many books, most notably God is Not Great; How Religion Poisons Everything. Identified as a champion of the “new atheism” movement, Hitchens describes himself as an antitheist and believer in the philosophical values of the Enlightenment. He argues that the concept of God or a supreme being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, and that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization.

This should be a very interesting event. I encourage all UD readers to attend in person or watch via the webcast.

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15 Responses to William Dembski Debates Cristopher Hitchens Nov. 18th

  1. I’ll be at work and will have no way to watch the webcast. Surely there will be a recording available for viewing soon afterward, right?

  2. Awesome, we will also stream this from our website…

    http://GodsiPod.com

    Will be on the front page for the duration of the debate.

  3. The video is up on the Prestonwood channel

  4. I’m with uoflcard, will there be a recording available after?

  5. Just left the event, which I thought was great.

    There were A LOT of people there. Beyond the student population, there were more people attending than I expected. Nicely done.

  6. Berceuse,

    The moderator for Prestonwood said that they would be posting the video at their homepage later on:

  7. I was at the event, and found it awkward at times. The worship time at the beginning was strange considering the audience, but makes sense since this was an event for Christian students. Still, the atheists who loudly hissed during the prayers and the many who refused to stand during the songs made it uncomfortable (and I’m sure it was uncomfortable for them as well). The atheists sitting next to me was cordial, standing and bowing his head even though (I assume) he wasn’t praying.

    There’s no doubt that Hitchens is extremely charismatic even in his poor health. He’s an excellent speaker, and gives off a rockstar persona (did anyone else catch the girl who shouted, “We love you Christopher Hitchens” toward the end?).

    Among the open sections (non-students), there were a large number of atheists (maybe 20-25% of the total non-students). Many totally disregarded the rules of the debate and would cheer loudly when Hitchens said certain cliches or said points they agreed with. It was somewhat awkward when they would cheer though. Did anyone else find it strange that they cheered loudly when Dembski suggested that atheism opens the possibility for eugenics, euthanasia and abortion?

    It seems that there were only a few arguments presented, with the moral argument taking the bulk of the time. Hitch seemed to suggest that immorality by Christians, the possibility of moral atheists and the problem of evil somehow nullify the argument (and Dembski’s explicitly Christian response to the problem of evil was spot on). Of course they do not, but Hitchens has such rhetorical flair that he sounds like he is directly responding to the argument, even when he’s not.

  8. Dr. Dembski, I noticed at one point that Mr. Hitchens, in his debate with you, had claimed that the atom was a successful prediction of materialistic thought. The atom revealed by modern science is anything but a successful prediction of materialistic thought:

    notes:

    5. Materialism predicted at the base of physical reality would be a solid indestructible material particle which rigidly obeyed the rules of time and space, Theism predicted the basis of this reality was created by a infinitely powerful and transcendent Being who is not limited by time and space – Quantum mechanics reveals a wave/particle duality for the basis of our reality which blatantly defies our concepts of time and space.

    “Atoms are not things”
    Werner Heisenberg

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.
    http://www.4truth.net/site/c.h.....ialism.htm

    Dr. Quantum – Double Slit Experiment & Entanglement – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4096579

    It would also like to point out that the hardest, most solid, indestructible ‘thing’ in a material object, such as a rock, are not any of the wave/particles in any of the atoms of a rock, but are the unchanging, transcendent, universal, constants which exercise overriding ‘non-chaotic’ dominion of all the wave/particle quantum events in the atoms of the rock. i.e. It is the unchanging stability of the universal ‘transcendent information’ constants, which have not varied one iota from the universe’s creation as far as scientists can tell, that allows a rock to be ‘rock solid’ in the first place.

    Stability of Coulomb Systems in a Magnetic Field – Charles Fefferman
    Excerpt of Abstract: I study N electrons and M protons in a magnetic field. It is shown that the total energy per particle is bounded below by a constant independent of M and N, provided the fine structure constant is small. Here, the total energy includes the energy of the magnetic field.
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/2367659?cookieSet=1

    Testing Creation Using the Proton to Electron Mass Ratio
    Excerpt: The bottom line is that the electron to proton mass ratio unquestionably joins the growing list of fundamental constants in physics demonstrated to be constant over the history of the universe.,,,
    http://www.reasons.org/Testing.....nMassRatio

    further note:

    Uncertainty Principle – The ‘Uncertain Non-Particle’ Basis Of Material Reality – video and article
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109172

    The Electron – The Supernatural Basis of Reality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5312315/

    Delayed time zero in photoemission: New record in time measurement accuracy – June 2010
    Excerpt: Although they could confirm the effect qualitatively using complicated computations, they came up with a time offset of only five attoseconds. The cause of this discrepancy may lie in the complexity of the neon atom, which consists, in addition to the nucleus, of ten electrons. “The computational effort required to model such a many-electron system exceeds the computational capacity of today’s supercomputers,” explains Yakovlev.
    http://www.physorg.com/news196606514.html

    the universe is indeed ‘Mental’, as is illustrated by these quotes from Max Planck.

    “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
    Max Planck – The Father Of Quantum Mechanics – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944)(Of Note: Max Planck was a devout Christian, which is not surprising when you realize practically every, if not every, founder of each major branch of modern science also ‘just so happened’ to have a deep Christian connection.)
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

  9. addition note:

    Double-slit experiment
    Excerpt: In 1999 objects large enough to see under a microscope, buckyball (carbon) molecules (diameter about 0.7 nm, nearly half a million times that of a proton), were found to exhibit wave-like interference.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....experiment

  10. This is a bit of a quasi off-topic question that I have been concerned with recently and wanted to hear people’s opinions.

    How does ID interpret the Fall? My understanding is that current ID accepts common descent so if we assume that man was a latter aspect of creation, what implications does that have for the Biblical Fall?

    Any answer, whether metaphysical, personal, or one directly related to ID would be great.

  11. above, Dr. Dembski has written a book that addresses the fall from a ID perspective:

    William Dembski’s New Book “The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World” Is available at Amazon here:
    http://www.amazon.com/End-Chri.....038;sr=1-1

    Excerpt here: Finding a Good God in an Evil World – William Dembski
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    further note:

    Does God Exist? – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4007708/

    Thermodynamic Argument Against Evolution – Thomas Kindell – Part 1 of 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI1RiTOQ4do

  12. corrected link:

    Thermodynamic Argument Against Evolution – Thomas Kindell – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4168488/

  13. Thanks BA! :)

  14. The good part of the debate was Dr. Dembski definitely got the better of Hitchens on the issues of evolution and ID.

    I hate to say it but the bad part is that Dr. Dembski got his clock cleaned on the topics of theology and atheism. Hitchens was flamboyant and witty. Dembski was dry apologetic and did not really have any good comebacks against Hitchens’ attacks.

    I was going to write a review of Dr. Dembski’s debate with Hitchens but I found James White’s review and he covered much of what I wanted to say.

    You can listen to White’s review on his program The Dividing Line, play the Nov. 30, 2010 program.

  15. Here is a direct link to White’s program.
    http://www.aomin.org/podcasts/20101130.mp3

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