Monday, May 18, 2009

Comments on Dinesh D'Souza

I just wanted to make some comments about some rather dumb comments Dinesh D'Souza made in his latest debate with Christopher Hitchens (you can watch the video by clicking here).

"The Israelis and the Palestinians aren't fighting about God, they're fighting about land. "

No, they're fighting over land that they believe was given to them BY god.

"Aren't we fortunate to live on a planet with a sun eight light minutes away?" (if the sun was much furth or much closer it would not permit life on earth)

We have to live on a planet that can support us. A planet capable of supporting life is, even assuming estimates set by creationists, highly probable given the age and size of the universe (exact numbers and references are given in chapter 3 of my book).

Dinesh also mentions that Jupiter is strategically placed so as to protect earth from asteroids. But why did god create the asteroids in the first place? The fact that we live on a planet that is fortunately protected from asteroids makes more sense on the view that there are trillions and trillions of planets, and we happen to live on one which is conducive to our survival.

Dinesh goes on to admit that his arguments aren't valid since there are billions of planets. But then why bring it up in the first place? He goes on to make the same argument about the universe: The physical constants have to be precisely what they are in order to permit life, blah blah blah. Once again, this is addressed in chapter 3 of my book, as well as in Victor Stenger's God: The Failed Hypothesis and Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion.

He also said something very curious: The universe has to be exactly as old as it is, and exactly the size that it is, to produce life. What the hell? How does the universe have to be 13.7 billion years old to host life? I do recall reading somewhere that the number of particles had to be exactly what they were at the big bang, or it would screw things up and make what followed from the Big Bang inhospitable to life. But why did God have to create the world with the Big Bang?


Baconeater said...

I have to disagree with you about Israel. It isn't as simple as you portray it. Neither you are Dinesh are correct.
Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism was in fact an agnostic.
He saw all the anti-semitism is Europe and longed for a place where Jews could be at least equal citizens. And he felt a Jewish majority was needed for that to happen.
Back then, most Jews believed in God, and believed that Israel was the promised land, so to locate to Israel made sense (Herzl actually considered Uganda at one point).
However religion does come into the picture because the conflict is about Muslims versus Jews. However it is also an ethnic conflict of Jews versus Arabs. It is really a mixture. And when the partition was supposed to be realized it boiled down to 400,000 Arabs who were supposed to live within a Jewish government on a land that was to favor Jewish immigration.
It wasn't so much the locals who didn't like it, it was the surrounding Arab nations who were intolerant of the situation, because they wanted the entire middle east to remain Arab/Muslim land.

Steven Carr said...

'Dinesh also mentions that Jupiter is strategically placed so as to protect earth from asteroids. '


Despite Jupiter being on the opposite side of the sun to us for half its orbit?