Video review of the 2011 William Lane Craig vs Peter Atkins debate

From someone who attended the debate, a review:

So, just who is this Peter Atkins, and why is he a good spokesman for atheism?

From his Wikipedia bio.

Peter William Atkins (born August 10, 1940) is an English chemist and a fellow and professor of chemistry at Lincoln College of the University of Oxford. He is a prolific writer of popular chemistry textbooks, including Physical Chemistry, 8th ed. (with Julio de Paula of Haverford College), Inorganic Chemistry, and Molecular Quantum Mechanics, 4th ed. Atkins is also the author of a number of science books for the general public, including Atkins’ Molecules and Galileo’s Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science.

[…]He was the first Senior Member for the Oxford Secular Society and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of The Reason Project, a US-based charitable foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. The organisation is led by fellow atheist and author Sam Harris.

While we wait for Brian Auten or Justin Brierley to post the audio of the second debate, why not watch the first Craig/Atkins debate?

The first Craig vs. Atkins debate

Here’s a clip from the first debate:

You can watch the whole debate here, posted by ChristianJR4. Moderated by William F. Buckley! If you watched the audience closely, you’ll see Michael Behe, Ravi Zacharias and Henry F. Schaefer III. All-star crowd!

11 thoughts on “Video review of the 2011 William Lane Craig vs Peter Atkins debate”

  1. Having attended last night’s debate I concur that it was a trouncing indeed. WLC has come up against some pretty tough opposition recently but this was in the end a straightforward finale to Craig’s tour.

    Now I am a Christian (and not ignorant to the psychological biases of my worldview) but I say with all honesty that it would take some seriously disturbing bias to suggest that the result of this debate was not strongly weighted in favour of the ‘affirmative’. I was pleased to have attended and will certainly give it another listen but next time I’ll make sure I see him debating a philosopher rather than the likes of Prof Atkins – didn’t he learn anything from his previous debate with WLC?

    Perhaps that’s an unfair final bit of rhetoric. He does seem to have tried to outline some ‘arguments’ but in the end they were undeveloped and the usual ad hominems slipped in (although I think these provide quite light relief and strangely end up caricaturing the ‘New Atheist’ position!). I really like WLC’s current approach evidenced on this tour: using three arguments only allowed him to develop them more, and his rebuttals were to the point (rather than the man) and in contrast to Prof. Atkins’ were devastating.

    The exchange between the two, mediated by Peter S Williams was both amusing and revealing too. As I said, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to view it online at some stage but concede that the Birmingham/Peter Millican debate might have been more rigorous.


    1. Yep, Apologetics 315 posted the audio. I’m going to try to get it up at 10 PM tonight or schedule it for 10 AM tomorrow. But the Millican debate is being trumpeted as the best Craig debate ever.


      1. I liked the Millican debate, it was definitely the best of his trip to England (Arif Ahmed was just awful). But Millcan’s arguments against Craig’s standard five weren’t particularly good at all – did you find them as convincing undercutting arguments against Craig’s standard five? Did you think that Craig’s responses didn’t sufficiently counter them? Because I certainly didn’t.

        Craig’s best debate was against Quentin Smith – probably the best / most sophisticated atheist philosopher of religion alive today.


  2. Where can I find a video of this debate? I’ve seen the first one, but this one I hear is even better haha.


  3. Didn’t anybody notice that this was a debate from 1998?!
    How could that reviewer have attended it?!
    Utterly bizarre ! There’s Time Travel involved!


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