Debate Discussion: Hitchens and D’Souza

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V85OykSDT8

 

This is a great debate between Hitchens and D’Souza at Notre Dame that I highly recommend watching, though it is quite long. D’Souza brought up some interesting points but ultimately they didn’t hold water. For example, one of his main arguments was that because Stephen Hawking the speed of light had to be exactly right in order to create life, the universe must have been designed. He fails to mention however, that Stephen Hawking also developed multiverse theory, which states that there are infinite universes, so chances are one of them will hold life. Based on this theory he states, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing, spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.” I feel like this entirely negates D’Souza’s argument on a find tuned universe.

Another large problem I have with the design theory is that we have proven that wrong before. When we saw all the beautiful species of life and noticed that they were perfectly adapted to their habitats, we thought it must be design. How else could all these animals be suited perfectly to their environment and be so diverse. We then were confronted with Darwin who showed exactly how we could arrive at this perfectly designed biosphere and yet that it had a cause that was substantial without a designer. This is what will happen over and over again in religion, because the fact is that the theory of a grand designer based on our brains is very egocentric. Who’s to say there isn’t a species out there with a significantly more evolved brain than ours? In my opinion there is almost certainly such a species out there, considering the size of our universe. This egocentric thinking may suit many people but many others understand that we are such an infinitesimally small part of this universe it is unrealistic to think we have any huge part in it.

Another piece of his argument I dislike is the god of the gaps argument. He makes the point many times that Darwin did not explain the beginning of life. That is a problem that science has not yet solved, but religion is no more likely the answer than no answer is. Religion has no evidence to support it, and thus is a simple guess. The probability of this guess being right is one over the number of guesses possible. This number is of course infinity, so really religion is no more likely the answer to the beginning of life than admitting you don’t know the answer.

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