Monthly Archives: November 2010

Live Blogging the Hitchens/Dembski Debate

Famed anti-theist debater, columnist, and literary critic Christopher Hitchens is debating Intelligent Design proponent and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor William Dembski this morning at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas on the subject, “Does a good God exist?” The debate is streaming live at PCA’s webcast site and I’ll be updating this blog post as the debate goes with my impressions and observations.

It should be an interesting debate. Hitchens is known for his scathing wit and sharp rhetorical skills, and Dembski (while not exactly up to snuff on his science… if you ask me) is a well-trained theologian (whatever that might mean).

(Any times I mention will be Eastern Standard Time, and I’ll largely be paraphrasing since I can’t type fast enough to quote exactly.)
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New on the bookshelf: “The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas” and “The Moral Landscape”

Just recently, I spoke over twitter with Jen McCreight (she of ‘Boobquake‘ fame). With minimal effort, she talked me into buying a copy of The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas, a compilation of factual and fictional writings on the Christmas holiday and its trappings by a wide variety of atheists (well-known and little-known) from around the world. I got in the mail yesterday, just in time to share it with my fellow heathens from my local atheist meetup at our happy hour. It sparked a lovely discussion about our own experiences with Christmas, how we first realized that there was no Santa Claus, what Christmas can be like as an atheist in a house full of Christians, and so on.

Now I just have to read the book…

I also picked up a copy of Sam Harris’ new book, The Moral Landscape. Our group is setting up a book club-style event with this book (probably… we’ve yet to decide) as the subject, and I’ve heard it’s really quite a dense read, so it’ll be … interesting … trying to balance the sweet lightheartedness of the first book with the meaty, intellectually challenging richness of this one. I think I’m up for the challenge, though.