I’d almost agree with him, except that (1) I highly doubt, from reading the accounts, that any real “debate” occurred and (2) I don’t think the Oxford Union exercise did anything to show students that there are “dangerous people” out there. If anything, Irving may have succeeded in making himself look like less of a threat to many. Actually, Hastings was correct to liken the Irving/Griffin appearance to that of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad at Columbia recently, just not in the way he seems to think. In actuality, both events were very obvious stunts designed to garner publicity, and neither did any good that I can now detect in furthering the cause of free speech.
Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.
That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)
DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.
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