Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Damage Limitation

The wonder of the internet and the blogosphere and our freedom to express ourselves thereon, gave me the immense privilege of a brief email and comment correspondence with the wise and shrewd Deborah Lispstadt early last year. She is famously humiliated David Irving in court when he sued her for libel, and strangely - in view of last night's debate - I think it may have been me who first brought Nick Griffin to her attention when I sent her this link.

Here for what it is worth is my tuppence worth on the disgraceful scenes.

  • The Oxford Union does have the right to invite people with odious views to address it.
  • The rest of us have the right to object, organise and protest, but we don't have the right to sabotage the event, and physically intimidate or even attack those who choose to attend.
In general I am in favour of free speech and unfettered speculation, but who would have thought that quantum physics would be the discipline that proved it was dangerous?

Have we hastened the demise of the universe by looking at it? That's the startling question posed by a pair of physicists, who suggest that we may have accidentally nudged the universe closer to its death by observing dark energy, which is thought to be speeding up cosmic expansion.
Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and colleague James Dent suggest that by making this observation in 1998 we may have caused the universe to revert to a state similar to early in its history, when it was more likely to end. "Incredible as it seems, our detection of the dark energy may have reduced the life-expectancy of the universe," says Krauss.

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