UPDATE: It appears now that the first and third parts of the debate are posted at this link, but I don’t know where part 2 is. They’ve also separated the interviews with Krauss and Craig from the onstage exchange. The Bible Society also has written interviews with Krauss and Craig about the debate. An excerpt from each:
[Interviewer]: What is your best evidence there is no God, and what’s the best evidence there is a God?
Craig: Well, I would say that the best evidence that there is a God is that the hypothesis that God exists explains a wide range of the data of human experience that’s very diverse. So it’s an extremely powerful hypothesis. It gives you things like an explanation of the origin of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, of intelligent life. But also the presence of mind in the cosmos, an objective foundation for moral values and duties, and things of that sort—it’s a wide range of data that makes sense on a theistic worldview.
In terms of the atheistic argument, I think probably the argument on the hiddenness of God would be the best. That God seems so absent sometimes when we need him most. And I think that one response to that hiddenness is to say, well he’s not there. And so that would be, I think, perhaps the best argument that the atheist might offer.
[Interviewer]: What is the most persuasive argument that Professor Craig has; the hardest to refute?
Krauss: I’ve never heard one. I mean, they’re all subtle. I once said to someone, an old line from a Dick Van Dyke show: ‘what on the surface seems vague is in reality meaningless’. The point is that what [Craig] likes to do is take what may sound well defined, and it’s really sneaky. Back in Brisbane I showed a video of a guy nowhere near as subtle or smart as William Lane Craig, arguing that Jesus holds protons and neurons together, and it’s just laughable. But Craig does it much more subtly. It starts like it’s well defined and then he does some tricks.
I find… I will admit… I do believe, that in spite of the fact that I think he knowingly abuses science and other people’s arguments—distorts them— I think he does it because he believes in the end. He amazingly believes, wholeheartedly, in the scriptures. And I think his attitude is that because they’re right, anything goes to prove their right. But that’s not how we learn about the world.
We learn about the world by trying to prove ourselves wrong, not trying to find validation for our ideas. And that’s the dangerous idea that I want people to learn. It’s not just for religion, it’s for global warming and other important problems of our time. If you come into these problems knowing what’s right before even asking the questions, you’ll never get anywhere. So while Craig’s a good example of it, there are many others. Science teaches us to not trust our intuition and to be skeptical of ourselves as much as other people. And that I think is the most important thing.
A few weeks ago, physicist Lawrence Krauss had a “conversation” (a more relaxed debate) with apologist and theologian William Lane Craig in Australia. It was actually in three parts, and called “Life the Universe and Nothing”. The explanatory website is here, and gives the schedule, topics, and links:
The first debate has now been posted, and reader Derek, who sent me the link, added this:
It almost seems like Krauss agreed to the discussion as an excuse to call out WLC on his dishonesty and distortions of science. The moderator is a little biased in favor of theology/philosophy, but I think LK actually did a good job and this was one of the few debates that wasn’t a clear win for WLC – the format helped as well, since it was more of a discussion and less timed podium switching.
The other videos should be up within a week or so – the word on the street is that Krauss dominated the final one in Melbourne.
I haven’t yet watched this, but I will. In the meantime, I won’t withhold it from the readers. Do weigh in if you’ve watched the full two hours. The video begins with separate interviews with Krauss and Craig.
NOTE: if you can’t see the video here, just watch it on the Vimeo page. See “update” above for another link that includes part 3 of the debate.
Note: I don’t think I’m violating any rules by posting this, but the site notes that “The copyright for the Life, the Universe and Nothing videos is held by City Bible Forum. Prof Krauss has requested that these videos are not copied on to any device nor uploaded by anyone other than the City Bible Forum.”