William Lane Craig tries to play science with Lawrence Krauss.

…and Krauss metaphorically backhands him into the Stone Age.  Pro tip: if you’re going to misrepresent physics and quote-mine physicists, maybe don’t do it in a public debate with the guy that many consider to be the world’s greatest living physicist.

I’ve listened through this twice today while reading the news and writing.  Pure gold.  I especially like the point Krauss makes where he says he has explained to Craig how he mangles the science and Craig continues to use the same arguments.  Krauss says he no longer thinks WLC is a dishonest charlatan, I think Krauss helped to confirm that he is.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Loqi

    I’m not sure why Krauss would waste his time with the guy who many consider the world’s greatest living bloviator.

    • Spuddie

      Ego massaging? Need for a little pocket money?

    • SansDeus

      I’m glad it was Lawrence. Some debaters don’t bother with WLC because of his Gish Gallop style of debate. Then WLC tends attack his opponent after their opening arguments instead of during the rebuttal stage. Which is annoying to listen to, since it’s like claiming victory after completing the first lap of a multiple lap race (after getting a lap head-start).

      A personal observation: When I hear WLC, he sounds like a Speak & Spell.

      • islandbrewer

        Krauss is good at not letting him get away with it. I’d imagine that in casual conversation, Krauss would be annoying, interrupting people mid-sentence as soon as he heard something he disagreed with (I know lots of people like this, actually). But, it works well with Craig’s “Let me just start with this one false thing really fast and move on to its ridiculous conclusion before you can object” style.

  • Compuholic

    I despise WLC so deeply that I never watch Videos with him. It’s not good for my blood pressure.

    • Art_Vandelay

      Ditto. His pompous voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

  • SansDeus

    I think it’s hilarious that he says an atheist has no moral objection from a natural standpoint for people shooting up a school. Yet he goes on to argue god is a superior moral standpoint.. because.. Jesus. (conveniently forgetting all the mass killings, baby smashing and rape in the bible).

    • baal

      ” atheist has no moral objection from a natural standpoint f”
      I’m tired of this theistic talking point. The troll of the week has been making in this comments recently. Atheists are still human and plain old normal people don’t have any trouble knowing that killing is wrongful without having to be told. In fact, absent some reason to the contrary, most folks have a hard time being even remotely violent.

      • Spuddie

        plain old normal people don’t have any trouble knowing that killing is wrongful without having to be told.

        What they are telling you with this argument is that theists are really psychopaths who are only really being restrained by their faith.

        BE AFRAID OF THEM!

  • jawh

    Why do so many non-physicists describe Krauss as “the greatest living physicist”? Christopher Hitchens said this frequently (he also gave Krauss credit for discovering the accelerating expansion of the universe, even though that was actually done by Perlmutter, Reiss, and Schmidt (2011 Nobel Prize)). I’m sending this from a cosmology conference, and no one has mentioned Krauss. I like the guy, but he’s definitely not “the greatest living physicist”.

    • Umlud

      I don’t know that Krauss is necessarily the “greatest living physicist,” but (unless his Wikipedia page is wrong) he’s pretty well accomplished:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_M._Krauss#Honors

      • jawh

        I didn’t say he wasn’t, but “greatest living physicist” is a pretty tall order. There are many physicists who have made more significant contributions to physics.

        • Umlud

          Exactly my point.

    • islandbrewer

      Krauss also really irritates me when he tries to talk about biology … or economics.

    • Laury Plant

      I don’t exactly get it either. I hella respect Krauss’ physics and have a few of his books. But ‘greatest living’? I dunno, Michu is still around and would give that title a run for its money. Hell, good old Steve isn’t gone yet, and I would have to give it to the ‘Hawk-man’ for the gold standard in physics smarts if the category is ‘still alive’. Not taking anything away from Krauss as accomplished, outspoken, and brilliant; but he ain’t the only cat in the game no matter what Hitch might have said.

    • Artor

      Right, and I wonder just which standard is used to determine and rank greatness among physicists. I’m not knocking Krauss, and I love to watch Craig eat shit on camera, but “greatest living” is laying it on a bit thick.

  • SansDeus

    Sorry, I’m commenting as I listen, but damn Lawrence is not pulling any punches. He is absolutely obliterating WLC’s classic and overused arguments.
    Lawrence really did his homework.

  • baal

    heh This is backwards. – @29 minutes in Lawrence “evidence wouldn’t hold up in a science lab let alone a court of law.” Having done both, scientists require better evidence than courts do.

    • islandbrewer

      Mentally willing more up votes for this.

  • Scott

    Why ridicule WLC for misrepresenting physics and not ridicule Krauss for grossly misrepresenting both theological discovery and the consensus of New Testament historians (both Christian and non-Christian)?

    • Havok

      Partially because WLC presents himself as something of an expert on physics, has written books on it, etc. Krauss doesn’t represent himself in that fashion.

      Regardless, it would be nice if Krauss didn’t talk about the things he doesn’t know much about. It would also be nice if WLC did the same (and stopped misrepresenting New Testament scholarship, etc).

  • http://quinesqueue.blogspot.com/ Q. Quine

    Lawrence holds WLC’s feet to the fire on the physics, but unfortunately he (Lawrence) is not so familiar with the rhetorical tricks that are the stock in trade of WLC’s career debating. I have unpacked those for all three of the “discussions” in Australia starting with the first one here.

  • Rationalist1

    It’s often been said that scientists are the worse people for trying to expose a huckster, rather get a magician (i.e. Randi exposing Uri Gellar). Scientists are too open about their inquiries and assume everyone else’s basic interest is in the truth. Now I don’t think Dr. Craig is a huckster, but he is a debater, IMO more interested in using rhetorical tricks to win a point then understanding the truth.

    Eventually truth wins out, but along the way we have to deal with legions of Dr. Craigs, all interested in defending what they want to be true rather than accepting what evidence leads us to accept as truth. It’s a long struggle, but with people like Dr. Krauss on the side of science and reason, it gives one heart.


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