Tag Archives: March

Review of the William Lane Craig vs Lawrence Krauss debate

This is from Possible Worlds.


I have never before seen Krauss debate, but the physicist opened up explaining he did not particularly like them. I was shocked to discover that Krauss’ entire opening statement revolved around criticizing Craig’s well-known arguments as “God-of-the-gaps.” He also mentioned that quantum mechanics demonstrates that physics does not conform to the laws of logic (thus, in my view, demonstrating a fundamental equivocal misunderstanding of the term “logic.” It does not mean, as Krauss here seems to suggest, “common sense” or “what we would expect.” This is the most charitable view as the only other sense he could mean is that it is reasonable to assume reason does not apply to physics, while also giving us a reason, which is self-contradictory.).  He also suggested God cannot be the grounds of objective morality since God can’t will evil things to be good.

[…]In Craig’s second rebuttal he again focused the debate topic. Craig does this to show both what he has argued and to show that the rebuttal was not at all relevant to the topic at hand. I wished he had discussed more cosmology and why inflationary models require an absolute beginning, but he at least mentioned these rebuttals. He completely tore apart the Humean argument against miracles by pointing out that he did not have the probability calculus back in that time. Craig seemed perfectly comfortable by this point and not at all rushed; however he had fewer points to argue against as Krauss was defaulting to “desire” as a motivator over scientific evidence.

By the time of Krauss’ second rebuttal, he was struggling for words. He seemed to have run out of things relevant to say. He did eventually get going, but made such contradictory statements as “there is no purpose in the universe.” As Ryan Hedrich said to me during the debate, “There’s no meaning, no purpose, and yet there he is, arguing away for God only knows what reason (literally).”

And he even reviews the Q&A. This is a really good review.

In this post you can find links to the audio, video, and my snarky summary on Krauss’ speeches.

Audio and video from the debate between William Lane Craig and Lawrence Krauss

Audio of the William Lane Craig vs. Lawrence Krauss debate at North Carolina State University has now been posted at Apologetics 315.

And I also posted some background information on Craig’s arguments.

William Lane Craig’s case

William Lane Craig made 5 arguments for the existence of God:

  • the contingency argument
  • theargument from the origin of the universe (kalam)
  • the argument from cosmic fine-tuning
  • the moral argument
  • the argument from the miracle of the resurrection

These arguments went unrefuted during the debate.

Lawrence Krauss’s case

Lawrence Krauss made the following arguments in his first speech

  • Dr. Craig is a professional debater
  • Dr. Craig is not a scientist
  • Dr. Craig is a philosopher
  • Disproving God’s is a waste of my valuable time
  • Dr. Craig has the burden of proof to show evidence
  • My job is not to present any evidence
  • I think that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” is a nice slogan, but I have no evidence for it
  • I don’t like that God doesn’t appear on Youtube, therefore he doesn’t exist
  • I don’t like that God didn’t appear to humans until recently, therefore he doesn’t exist
  • I don’t like that the stars didn’t come together to spell “I am here”, therefore God doesn’t exist
  • Dr. Craig has to supply extraordinary evidence, because my favorite slogan says he has to
  • Dr. Craig talks about logic, but the universe is not logical
  • Dr. Craig doesn’t have any arguments, just things he doesn’t like
  • Dr. Craig doesn’t like infinity, and that’s why he believes in the Big Bang cosmology
  • Dr. Craig doesn’t like chance, and that’s why he believes in cosmic fine-tuning
  • Dr. Craig doesn’t like rape, and that’s why he believes in the ontological foundations of morality
  • If people believe in logic, then they can’t do science
  • The things that science discovers contradict the laws of logic
  • For example, Dr. Craig doesn’t like infinity, so he believes in the experimental measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation
  • For example, Dr. Craig doesn’t like chance, so he believes in the fine-tuning of the gravitational constant for the formation of stable stars
  • Quantum mechanics shows that the universe is stranger than you think, therefore all of Craig’s arguments are false
  • My t-shirt says 2 + 2 = 5, therefore all of Craig’s arguments are false
  • Atheism may look ridiculous, but it’s true, and if you don’t like it, too bad – because the universe is very strange
  • Accidents happen all the time, so that explains the cosmic fine-tuning
  • We all have to convince ourselves of 10 impossible things before breakfast, and atheism is impossible, so you need to convince yourself of it
  • I don’t know about the Big Bang, so Dr. Craig cannot use the Big Bang to to prove the universe began to exist
  • I don’t know about the cosmic fine-tuning, so Dr. Craig cannot use the fine-tuning of cosmological constants to prove the fine-tuning
  • I don’t know anything about science, so Dr. Craig cannot use science in his arguments
  • Dr. Craig says that the universe is contingent because it began to exist 13.7 billion years ago based on the state-of-the-art scientific evidence for the Big Bang creation out of nothing from 1) red-shift of light from distant galaxies, 2) cosmic microwave background radiation, 3) helium-hydrogen abundances, 4) experimental confirmation of general relativity, 5) the second law of thermodynamics, 6) radioactive element abundances, etc., but how does he know that? I don’t know that
  • It’s fine not to know the answer to scientific questions like whether the universe began to exist, it’s more exciting
  • Thinking that the universe began to exist based on 6 pieces of scientific evidence is the “God-of-the-Gaps” fallacy, it’s intellectual laziness
  • But all kidding aside, the universe actually did begin to exist 13.72 billion years ago, exactly like Craig says in his argument
  • I could argue that God created the universe 4.5 seconds ago with all of us sitting believing that we heard Dr. Craig, and how could you prove me wrong? It’s not falsifiable
  • Universes can spontaneously appear out of nothing, and in fact they have to appear out of nothing
  • Nothing is unstable, and space and time can come into existence out of nothing, so that’s not a problem
  • Our universe could have appeared out of a multiverse, an unobservable, untestable multiverse that I have no way of observing or testing, but which was in fact created by none other than the Flying Spaghetti Monster!
  • The universe is not fine-tuned for life, and no scientist says so, especially Martin Rees, the atheist Astronomer Royal, and every other scientist
  • What if God decided that rape was OK, would it be OK? God can change his moral nature arbitrarily, can’t he?
  • Would you have any preference as to whether I was born an atheist baby or a Muslim baby?

Here are the arguments in Krauss’ second speech:

  • We don’t understand the beginning of the universe
  • We don’t understand whether the universe had a cause
  • Steven Weinberg says that science makes it possible to be an atheist, so therefore the universe didn’t begin and didn’t have a cause
  • It’s just intellectual laziness to say that the universe came into being 13.7 billion years ago, and that things that come into being of nothing have a cause
  • Dr. Craig is an expert on nothing, ha ha ha!
  • There are multiple versions of nothing, there’s nothing, and then there is something, which is also nothing if I want it to be
  • There was no space, there was no time, and then the space create the empty space
  • I’m going to give Dr. Craig a break
  • At least in the nothing there were laws like F=ma, and those laws created the empty space, because descriptions of matter that does not even exist yet can create space out of nothing
  • Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin are good friends of mine and I talk to them all the time, unlike Dr. Craig
  • Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin don’t mention God in their scientific papers, therefore the universe didn’t begin and didn’t have a cause
  • Maybe there is a multiverse that cannot be observed or tested? And my unscientific speculations are a refutation of Craig’s scientific evidence for the fine-tuning
  • Dr. Craig just doesn’t like my speculations about the unobservable, untestable multiverse, and that’s why he believes in the Big Bang cosmology
  • And if you let me speculate about an unobservable, untestable multiverse, then maybe the inanimate invisible universes reproduce and compete for food and mutate like animals and then there is natural selection so that the finely-tuned universes survive and now we’re in one!
  • My cool animation of blue goo mutating proves that the multiverse is real! Empty space is not empty!
  • Darwinism, which is a theory about the origin of species, explains the cosmic fine-tuning that occurred at the moment of creation
  • The unobservable, untestable multiverse universes all have different laws, I believe
  • We don’t know what the right answer is, but we are willing to look at any possibility, as long as the possibilities we look at are not supernatural possibilities, because I am not giving up my right to recreational sex outside of marriage!
  • The discovery of the origin of the universe could be an accident, I don’t know if the universe began to exist or not, maybe all the six scientific evidences are wrong because if I don’t like the evidence we have, so I’ll just wait for new evidence to overturn the evidence we have which I don’t like
  • Maybe there are other forms of life that are unobservable and untestable that are compatible with a universe that has no stable stars, no planets, no elements heavier than hydrogen, no hydrogen, no carbon, etc.

Here are the arguments in Krauss’ third speech:

  • Dr. Craig is stupid
  • Why should we even care about Dr. Craig’s arguments and evidence, we can just count the number of scientists who are atheists and decide whether God exists that way – I decided everything based on what my teachers told me to believe – I needed good grades to make money so I could move out of my bossy parents’ house and have fun!
  • I actually know general relativity, not like Dr. Craig who co-wrote a book on general relativity published by Oxford University Press
  • What quantum mechanics shows is that virtual particles come into being in a quantum vacuum, and then go out of existence almost immediately – and that is exactly like how a 13.7 billion year old universe came into being in a quantum vacuum, and we’re going to disappear very soon
  • Space and the laws of physics can be created, possibly, if you accept my speculations about an unobservable, untestable multiverse
  • I don’t like the God of the Old Testament, especially his prohibition on drunkenness and fornication, therefore he doesn’t exist
  • Groups of people can decide what they think is good and evil, like the Nazis and slave-owners did, and then that becomes good for them in that time and place, and that’s what I mean by morality
  • Here’s something I studied that wasn’t fine-tuned, therefore there is no fine-tuning of the universe
  • Not knowing things is really exciting! Dr. Craig is not really exciting because he knows things – phooey!

Here are the arguments in Krauss’ fourth speech:

  • If you will just grant me an observable, untestable multiverse, then there must be some universe where intelligent life exists
  • Infinite numbers of things exist everywhere in nature, you can see lots of infinite collections of things, like jelly beans and bumblebees and invisible pink unicorns
  • I don’t like the fine-tuning, but if my speculations about the multiverse are proven true, then I won’t have to learn to live with the fine-tuning
  • Inflation, the rapid expansion of the universe which occurs at some time after the the origin of the universe (t = 0), explains the absolute origin of time, space, matter and energy out of nothing that occurred at t = 0
  • Physical processes that develop subsequent to the creation of the universe at t > 0 can explain the fine-tuning of quantities that are set at t = 0
  • Morality is just a bunch of arbitrary conventions decided by groups of people in different times and places by an accidental process of biological and social evolution, but that practice over there by those people is objectively wrong!
  • 1 Cor 15:3-7, which most scholars, even atheists like James Crossley, admit is dated to within 3 years of the death of Jesus, is actually dated to 50 years after the death of Jesus
  • The historical case for the resurrection made by people like N.T. Wright in their multi-volume academic works is on par with the story of Mohammed ascending to Heaven on a horse

If you liked this, please check out my snarky summary of Christopher Hitchens’ speeches in the Craig-Hitchens debate.

Video of a recent pro-choice demonstration

What do pro-choice protesters really think about abortion? (H/T Neil Simpson’s latest round-up)

This is why I am pro-life. I am not willing to act irresponsibly and selfishly, then kill another human being to escape the consequences of my own selfish choices. I prefer not to engage in recreational premarital sex, because I don’t want to be a party to a murder.

Isn’t it funny how people now think that chastity is weird, but murder is not weird? It used to be that society recognized chastity as a virtue, because we knew that abortions were immoral and expensive, and that premarital promiscuity made people less suitable for marriage. But now chastity has become immoral, and being marriage-minded is frowned upon.

I am beginning to see that children are basically not being planned for at all by adults. In socialist countries, feminists spend their 20s and early 30s partying, then at 40 they get taxpayer-funded IVF, conceive a baby, throw her into taxpayer-funded day care, collect taxpayer-funded single mother benefits, and then put the child into taxpayer-funded government-schools. Who pays for all of this? The high-earning, marriage-minded, morally judgmental, spiritually discerning men. Those “no fun” men are passed over by the feminists, because the government performs all the traditional male duties now – with their money. There is no need to choose men who can handle a wife and children. That’s the government’s job, now.

Wes also blogged on this story at Reason to Stand, and he noted this:

It needs to be pointed out that their attitude towards sex as a sterile, recreational activity unconnected with any biological consequences combined with their view of children as parasites are not unique. These are the predominant views of our society, pushed in all facets from politics to education to entertainment.

The future looks very bleak for any children produced and raised in the homes the people above will provide (when they choose to provide it, of course). One protester even had a sign “would you trust me with a child?”

What the above video shows is how it is socially acceptable, indeed fashionable, to spurn our biological design in pursuit of unbridled hedonism.

For me the worst protester was the one who calmly explained that she would not allow a baby to derail her education and career. She is willing to have recreational sex, and she is resolved to murder an innocent child who would cost her money. When I look at young single feminists today, that’s what I see. And 77% of young unmarried women vote for abortion. Sex is fun, but babies aren’t fun. They talk about “corporate greed”, but they are the greediest ones of all. Corporations don’t murder you to get your money, they just sell you stuff you want to buy. It’s the feminists who murder you for money.

It’s a mess. And those kids who are born from these self-centered, promiscuous, unstable adults are starting out with a 14 trillion dollar deficit on their heads, that is growing by 1.65 trillion this year. No one cares about children any more. They don’t care what children need, and they don’t make sacrifices to provide for them.

William Lane Craig to debate Michael Tooley in North Carolina

Story here on Great Cloud. (H/T Apologetics 315)


Philosophers William Lane Craig and Michael Tooley are set to debate the question “Is God real?” on March 24, 2010, at the University of North Carolina Charlotte at 7:00 p.m.  The debate is being hosted by Ratio Christi Student Apologetics Alliance, a ministry of Southern Evangelical Seminary.

Their previous debate transcript is here. Tooley is very good at debating and knows Craig’s arguments well.