William Lane Craig/ Lawrence Krauss Debate

I recently listened to the March 30th at NC State about whether there is evidence for God, and as is becoming a trend, Craig cleared laid out and defended his case based on a few easy to explain points while his counterpart fumbled with his response, muddled understanding of issues, and generally dissembled his way through.

I am not actually that big a fan of listening to or watching debates. I prefer to read about issues and then consider various viewpoints – having a couple of guys give well worn arguments in a stringent format can get repetitive and predictable. Nonetheless I think they are useful in demonstrating how nonsensical materialistic arguments can be. From discussing how different sorts of ‘nothing’ could produce the universe, to how Craig’s arguments don’t apply because the universe is ‘illogical’, to claiming the universe isn’t fine-tuned and then trying to explain away the obvious fine-tuning, Krauss covered the whole gamut of atheist arguments, from obfuscation to irrelevancy.

For his part Krauss, who just seems to have realized how badly he lost the debate, is trying to explain away that defeat in a Facebook rant. His basic take seems to be, “I was being nice to someone who is too stupid to understand the arguments, in front of a crowd that was too stupid to realize I actually won the debate.” When in doubt, Ad Hom!

If you don’t want to take Dr. Krauss’ obviously unbiased word for it, then decide for yourself:

Part 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 here.

Once you are done watching it, please enjoy a snarky yet hilarious review of the debate at Wintery Knight’s site.

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10 Responses to William Lane Craig/ Lawrence Krauss Debate

  1. Justin says:

    Hey Jack,

    I watched this debate the other night. It was hard to follow Krauss because he doesn’t organize his arguments very well.

    He claims Craig is using the God-of-the-Gaps argument, but I think this really misunderstands Craig’s arguments and the question debated. Craig wasn’t arguing from a lack of knowledge, he was arguing from current scientific thought. But anyways, at PZ Meyer’s site they’re having quite a time claiming victory for Krauss. I won’t even link to it because it’s more of an open thread to spew vulgarities at what one poster called “another Ken Ham”.

  2. jackhudson says:

    @Justin

    Yeah, I saw that. I always find it interesting that Christians are described by those folks as ‘insulated’, when as far as I can see they spend most of their time in exclusive little collectives devoted primarily to reassuring each other that what they believe is true.

    William Lane Craig engages with his critics all the time, respectfully and capably. That demonstrates much more self-confidence in his position in my mind.

  3. Olivia says:

    Hello,
    Certainly there are closed-minded folks in every sub-group of humanity. But atheists as a whole seem (in general) less insulated than most groups. Or are you referring specifically to the subgroup of “pharyngulites”?
    Personally, I like to read other perspectives (such as yours), even when I usually disagree with them. They do often bring up points that are interesting.
    I also don’t really like debates- too much posturing, rhetoric, and focus on “winning”…
    Better to read a reasoned book or article, I think.
    Cheers.

  4. jackhudson says:

    I completely agree on the preference for reading over watching debates. And as time goes on, I am more interested in hearing well reasoned thoughts as well; that’s why I always welcome thoughtful comments from different perspectives here.

    Thank you for yours.

  5. I don’t know, it seems to me that Krauss offered a lot of good solid information. Meanwhile, WLC just stuck to his guns and did what he always does, spout off orthodox Evangelical conviction. I mean, I already know what Christians think. I was one for three decades.

    At the end of the day I feel I learned more from Krauss than Craig. It seems to me most WLC fans are just taking the devotional tract and agreeing Craig because he is simply reaffirming what they already believe. Besides this, I think much of what Krauss was saying may have gone over many audience members heads.

    For example, Krauss’ comment that infinity adds up to a finite number seems to have been lost on most people. Certainly Craig seemed to be unaware of the implications, and how it renders his A theory of time argument moot, as he let it slide. Or maybe Craig showed some restraint knowing better than to argue advanced theoretical physics with a real physicist of Krauss’ caliber. Obviously Krauss was struggling to dumb it down enough for the lay audience to grasp, given the short time frame and restrictive format, but even so he still offered interesting morsels of knowledge, like the infinity thing. Meanwhile, one has to wonder how many more times Craig is going to tell us that Jesus rose from the dead. Um, yeah. We get that’s what Christians believe. Anything new to offer in the way of convincing evidence for the existence of said God? No? Well that says a lot right there.

  6. Justin says:

    For example, Krauss’ comment that infinity adds up to a finite number seems to have been lost on most people.

    Krauss’ reference to the series of finite numbers adding up to 1/12th was a dishonest move on his part. He was referring to a Ramanujan sum, which is not merely adding up the listing of real numbers, which, of course, adds to infinity. Krauss’ intent seems to be to mislead people with that statement. Krauss repeated this dishonest type of move with his reference to “extremely large values of 2”. If there was a point to be found in Krauss’ ramblings, I must have missed it.

    I’m curious as to how you take this to be a refutation of the A theory of time.

  7. @Justin

    It actually has to do with axioms of infinites which can be added to the Zermelo-Frankel set theory so that you can use infinity in equations without the equations going bonkers. That’s what Krauss meant.

    I suggest you read: ‘Roads to Infinity’ by John Stillwell. If you’re not a mathematician like myself, it’s a really great introduction to the subject matter.

    http://www.amazon.com/Roads-Infinity-Mathematics-Truth-Proof/dp/1568814666/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1302527181&sr=1-4

  8. Justin says:

    Yes, but the point was that the normal sums do add to infinity, which is not what Krauss was dishonestly implying – i.e. “the universe is weird, if I add up all the numbers, I get 1/12″…

    The problem with Krauss’ math is that we have no way of knowing (currently) if it actually represents reality, which was the point in the debate.

  9. Chris M says:

    “From discussing how different sorts of ‘nothing’ could produce the universe, to how Craig’s arguments don’t apply because the universe is ‘illogical’, to claiming the universe isn’t fine-tuned and then trying to explain away t
    he obvious fine-tuning, Krauss covered the whole gamut of atheist arguments from obfuscation to irrelevancy.”

    Wow, christian are so very fucking stupid!

  10. jackhudson says:

    Well certainly compared to your obviously towering reason and intellect.

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