Measured Against Reality

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hitchens and other thoughts

I found out two things today, one good, one bad.

The good thing is that Christopher Hitchens is coming to Stanford. He's debating some IDiot, I frankly don't care who it is, and the thing is being moderated by Ben Stein (truly an impartial moderator). I have no idea why he agreed to be moderated by someone on the record as being pro-ID, I guess he's just cocky.

The bad thing is who's hosting the debate. It's the Stanford Review, a conservative paper, a group called, "Vox Clara: A Journal of Christian Thought at Stanford", that I've never heard of before, and the IDEA Club at Stanford. The bad thing is that last bit, "IDEA Club" means Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness, and is pretty clearly a pro-ID group (given that webpage, I can't find anything specific about Stanford's chapter). I'm incredibly disheartened by this news, I would have hoped my beloved university would be a bastion of intelligence and clear-thinking, yet we have people who actually believe this utter garbage here. It's intellectual diarrhea, and I would have hoped that our student body would be better than this.

Perhaps I should start an anti-ID group, bring down Dawkins or Miller to give a talk or two...

[Which reminds me, Francis Collins is giving a talk at some point too, but it costs money and I'm not paying to hear his inconsistencies and utter lack of clear thinking.]

On another semi-related note, on the way to pick up the Hitchens tickets, I noticed that some group had turned a grassy area in the middle of campus into a mock graveyard, decrying those "Who have been killed by Roe v Wade." In case you didn't know, this is the 35th anniversary of that historic decision. This also saddened me a bit, but since abortion is something that legitimate people can disagree about, it's not as bad as having an ID club. But I still have to wonder what these people want our country to be like, Saudi Arabia? I'm still fond of the question, "Well, if we outlaw abortion, what would we do to people who break the law?" I think it's important to ask, "What would we do to doctors who perform them, and women who seek them?" And these spawn more questions, "What about if a woman gets one in a country where it isn't illegal? What about forcing a miscarriage, something like riding a horse (prescribed by Roman doctors for unwanted children)?" I think that, even if you don't like the idea of abortion, you have to admit that these are sticky questions.

But then again, there are lots of things that seem clear to me that aren't so apparent to others


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