William Lane Craig vs. Francisco Ayala November 5th at Indiana University

William Lane Craig is debating evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala in the November 5th, 2009, at Indiana University.

Here’s the skinny:

Intelligent Design: Is it Viable? A debate between Dr. Francisco J. Ayala and Dr. William Lane Craig. Moderated by Dr. Bradley Monton. The debate will occur on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 7 p.m. EST at Indiana University Auditorium.

Bradley Monton is the atheist philosopher who thinks that intelligent design is a viable enterprise to investigate.

You can read more about William Lane Craig at his web site.

Here’s a bit more about his opponent, Francisco Ayala:

His research focusses on population and evolutionary genetics, including the origin of species, genetic diversity of populations, the origin of malaria, the population structure of parasitic protozoa, and the molecular clock of evolution. He also writes about the interface between religion and science, and on philosophical issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and the philosophy of biology.

He’s written 650 papers and 12 books. I think this is going to be a tough debate for Bill!

UPDATE: The debate is now finished!

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8 thoughts on “William Lane Craig vs. Francisco Ayala November 5th at Indiana University”

  1. I’m very much looking forward to seeing this debate. Craig’s never debated ID before so it will be interesting to hear him articulate his thoughts on the matter. As for Dr. Ayala, he’ll definitely have arguments against ID (as he’s written so much about it) so it should be a very interesting debate. Both are Theists so I’m not too concerned who comes out on top on this one.


  2. Is Dr. Ayala an atheist? I was of the impression that he was a theistic evolutionist, at least that’s what it says on the debate website. When I said I wasn’t so concerned with who wins I meant it in the sense that since both are arguing a position that is compatible with theism, it’s therefore not that important if one side does better than the other, as both positions don’t have consequences for belief in God. Perhaps you think that it does have consequences for theism or Christianity in particular and hence the disagreement from you. I just don’t see why it would be a problem.

    As for Ayala being Dawkins, I don’t see it at all. Dr. Ayala doesn’t subscribe to Dawkins’ view on Darwinian evolution being incompatible with theism.


    1. Well, I have a meaner view. I think that theistic evolutionists are atheists. Basically the question I ask is this: is it possible that God could have acted in nature using intelligent causes, just like the ones that humans do, and that there is evidence of his intelligent actions in the record of nature? Theistic evolutionists and atheists say no it’s not possible. So, to me, they’re both atheists.


      1. Well what do you think of Craig’s view that evolution is not incompatible Christianity and that it is even evidence for God’s existence if true?

        I would agree with you that God has acted in nature (ie. The Resurrection, other miracles etc). I’m not sure of Dr. Ayala’s view on this, but I suspect that he would at least somewhat agree, otherwise he wouldn’t be a Catholic right?


        1. Craig’s position is good on two counts. 1) God acts in nature to overcome these improbabilities, and 2) God’s action in nature (the same actions that you do when you make choices about arranging letters to form words), is detectable using intelligent design. So he is not a TE in my view, since not only does God act, but we can detect that he has acted. That is not theistic evolution.

          Even Mike Behe doesn’t doubt common ancestry – he just doubts that Darwinian mechanisms are sufficient to do jobs that require an intelligent agent to choose things in order to hit a goal. He’s not a TE. But he still has a strong view of “evolution”.

          I am not sure what Ayala thinks of the resurrection, so I can’t comment. For me the issue is “could intelligent causes play a role in the history of life?” and “could we detect these intelligent causes today using scientific methods?”. I say yes and yes. That’s all that I care about. TEs say NO and NO. To me, that’s atheism.


  3. By the way, there’s going to a LIVE BROADCAST of this debate. The information was just made available shortly. Visit the debate website. I also have a link available on my debate list.


    1. I blogged it! Thanks for recording. Send it to me – I have no life other than blogging and playing with bird – so I will summarize it. ECM talked me into buying a Nintendo DSi and Etrian Odyssey II though. It’s like Wizardry, and I LOVE WIZARDRY! But I will summarize the debate for all if someone sends me the audio. I use DROPBOX for transferring files. You can make the file bigger that way.

      But anyone else who wants to record it and send me a recording, please DO IT. Just in case anything goes wrong!

      THANK YOU!!!!


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