Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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.

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43 Responses

  1. J.W. Wartick says:

    Thanks for the excellent review. I’m watching the debate now. Excitement!

  2. Tory Ninja says:

    This made me seriously laugh out loud several times. I still got a big smile of my face! I can’t wait to listen to his debate and see if it is as hilarious as you make it sound here!

    • Glad you liked it. He made me so angry with his personal attacks and arrogance.

    • Neil Shenvi says:

      My wife and I both laughed out loud. And the funniest (and saddest) part is that your summary is not all that snarky. It’s essentially an accurate summary of Krauss’ arguments.
      Does this make anyone else simply despair of apologetics? But maybe that’s a good thing. Perhaps despairing of our efforts in themselves will instead made us rely completely on God even while we continue to make our best efforts. We need more than good, lucid arguments. We ultimately need God.

  3. Oscar Rivera says:

    OMGOMGOMG I can’t believe I haven’t seen this yet! Thank you!

  4. bossmanham says:

    I wish more debates happened so I could read more WK reviews of them. I loled often while reading this.

  5. Cornelius says:

    Krauss: “Quantum gravity, a theory we don’t yet fully understand, gave rise to space/time.”

    But Professor I don’t understand! How can something you don’t yet fully understand, be said to fully account for how space/time arose?

    • Quiet, you. Or I will deny you funding and expel you from your job in the university. We need to make sure that 90% of the NAS are atheists, and that means you’ll have to tow the line or you’re out! No place for disagreement here!

      • Cornelius says:

        Ohh I’m sorry Professor, what I really wanted to ask was why you say only falsifiable scientific evidence is admissible as evidence for or against God whilst at the same time you hold that it’s impossible to prove or disprove God? Is it because of the same reasons quantum mechanics don’t make sense? I guess it’s ok then that things don’t make sense hey….please don’t cut my funding!!

  6. Daniel says:

    Reading this snarkiness is a guilty pleasure.

  7. Tom says:

    I was at the debate and Lawrence Krauss argument’s were completely pathetic. For instance he claimed morality can just be inferred from common sense but never addressed why a person ought to be moral. Morality without ought is not morality and without God there can be no ought. Thus on atheism there is no morality. Even stranger, his mathematically and scientific claims didn’t make sense. His comments about infinities, nothing, and even addition were all ad hoc.

  8. Jared says:

    What’s sad is that his arguments aren’t that far from your “transcript.” lol

    Once a debater pulls out the ad hominems and snarky comments, I go get something to drink or open another tab in my browser, surf the web and wait until he is done speaking.

    • You should see the vulgar comments that I cam getting from the atheists! I’m not approving them because they are F-word-laced incoherent rants.

      • Daniel says:

        Incoherent rants…now where have I heard some of those recently…hm…

      • Jared says:

        Oh I’m sure you’re getting those. No doubt.

        Krauss confused me when he said that infinite numbers don’t work physically, but they do work in non-physical circumstances. He then went on to say if he’s wrong, he’ll just have to live with it.

        If by non-physical, he meant in theory, then I don’t understand the strength behind saying something like that because a lot of things work in theory, but fail in application.

  9. Nance says:

    I look forward to watching such an entertaining debate! Wonder if Craig is growing weary of the scarcity of worthy opponents? Ah, well, with the truth on our side we DO have an unfair advantage…

  10. Joe says:

    WK,
    LOL!Now that is hilarious! I appreciate you sharing this and look forward to reading your future post on the Harris/Craig debate. I really wish WLC would stick to debating philosophers because many contemporary scientist are so illiterate when it comes to even the basics of logic and philosophy. Honestly, it is embarrassing to watch them debate WLC. I think Austin Dacey may have been WLC best opponent so far.

  11. Thanks for the recap!

  12. Bantay says:

    Some think that WL Craig didn’t “pull out the stops” and make a more detailed presentation. Now I know why he didn’t. Krauss never presented anything of substance that threatened any of Craigs’ 5 primary arguments.

    The debate was about “Is There Evidences For God?”. Krauss has an equal epistemic responsiblity to present positive evidence of no evidence for God. He didn’t do that. Craig on the other provided at least 5 reasonable evidences for God’s existence….And he didn’t have to wear a shirt that said 2+2=5 either!

  13. Hammiesink says:

    I had marked this on my calendar, but I figured it would end up like this. What a shock.

    WLC’s debates are honestly getting kind of boring. Same 5 arguments from Craig, followed by a string of spluttering red herrings from the atheists.

    Quite frankly, I’m baffled. Since the Resurrection argument rests on the the first three, all the effing atheists have to do is attack one premise from each of the first three. Then offer the evidential argument from evil (and maybe non-belief and divine hiddeness).

    That should be their ONLY task. Even if they still fail, that is still the ONLY thing they should be focusing on.

  14. Matt says:

    Ug! It’s very annoying when debaters can’t even keep the topic straight. Was Dr. Krauss supposed to be arguing that there was no evidence for God or that the evidence for God was not sufficient to prove God. On top of that he seems to think that if you haven’t proven something to 99.9% certainty that means there is no evidence for it.

  15. Ranger says:

    Wow…what a beatdown. I get what Krauss was saying, but he did a very poor job of saying it and clearly struggled in his responses and answers to the questions at the end.

  16. Ranger says:

    By the way, the “cosmic slushiness” question (comment) by the kid from the atheist group surely made intellectual atheists cringe. Unfortunately, Krauss surely embarrassed them even more with “…who made God?”

  17. [...] debate, highlighting some of the key issues that came up. Wintery Knight has also posted his own sardonic take on the respective cases put forward by Craig and [...]

  18. Mary says:

    Oh my, that was funny! Now I really *must* listen to the actual debate. :D

  19. [...] If I had to pinpoint what tipped me over the edge, though, I suppose it would have to be the dismal performance of one of the faithful’s most ardent defenders in a recent debate. [...]

  20. [...] Third, Wintery Knight posted an excellent summary of Krauss’ “arguments”. I highly recommend reading it: here. [...]

  21. [...] 1, 2011 by lukebarnes I’ve just finished listening to a debate between philosopher William Lane Craig and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss on the debate topic [...]

  22. above says:

    A very entertaining summary of the debate. I lol’ed. Thanks!

  23. hainline says:

    Great blog! If anyone is interested, I just posted a blog (http://hainline.wordpress.com/) documenting some of the scientific blunders or inconsistencies Krauss made.

  24. [...] post-debate summaries here, here, [...]

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

  26. Justin says:

    Nice post. It would be funny if it were not so true. Krauss was disorganized, and seems to not have understood the question posed in this debate. He also seems not to have understood Craig’s arguments. At least he gave no indication of really grasping either of these two.

  27. DaveW says:

    Krauss is an egotistical know-it-all. But, he is no authority on this topic. He should stick to explaining f=ma to freshman at ASU.

  28. Shawn White says:

    Nice review WK. Brilliant.

  29. Paradox says:

    Forty-Third comment isn’t something to be proud of, but I had to say something (like Plato’s Fool).
    The first time I read this, I was thinking that Lawrence was just one of the “More Stupid” New Atheists. A few months later, I found the transcript (YouTube videos don’t work on this computer), and learned that he is a physicist. When I finally came back, and read this a second time, I couldn’t control my laughter! It’s so much funnier now that I know who he is!

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