Lawrence Krauss wrecks William Lane Craig

This video is just fantastic.

Hat tip to Mike.

This is why I don’t respect William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig was presented with this from a fellow Christian:

Dear Dr. Craig

I have a question regarding the cause of the universe. We Christians hold God to be the cause and explanation of the natural world, yet Atheists frequently respond to me saying that you cannot apply causality to the universe itself. Because the universe is all of time and space, and since causality presuposses time and space, therefore the universe cannot have a cause.

So asking what the cause or the explanation of the universe is becomes meaningless.

So how can we say that God caused the universe or is the sufficient reason for the contigent existence of the universe if you cannot apply causality outside of time, or better said, if you cannot apply causality to time and space itself?

Could you help me out? Does the whole notion of causality indeed require the existence of spacetime?

God bless


I’ve addressed the First Cause argument in the past. Layman logic can get one to the point where it is obvious that God cannot be outside time and be the creator of the Universe as a result of causality. In fact, Janey already put a neat little bow on the issue for us: “Because the universe is all of time and space, and since causality presuposses time and space, therefore the universe cannot have a cause.” Naturally, whereas William Lane Craig fancies himself a student of broad, theoretical science – that is, he has read the Conservapedia page on physics – one would hope he would understand the problem being presented to him, thus causing him to surrender the point and never again use the First Cause argument. But instead, we get this:

I must confess that I’m baffled why atheists would think that causation presupposes time and space or at least time. Janey and John, you need to ask them what they mean by “causality” and what reason they have for believing that it presupposes time and space. They’re the ones raising the objection, so make them shoulder their burden of proof. After all, it’s not just obvious that causality presupposes time and space. So ask them for their argument.

No problem, bucko. Causality is a reference to force. Force is mass multiplied by acceleration. Acceleration is the change in velocity over time. Ergo, for there to be a force on something – that is, for something to be caused – time is necessary. Without time, there can be no change in velocity; without velocity there can be no change in acceleration; without acceleration, we have no coherent idea of what force even is, much less a way to measure it.

You’re welcome, Janey.

Craig is unworthy

William Lane Craig has his rhetoric down pretty well. He is a professional debater, after all. Ask him most any metaphysical or theological question and he will probably have a prepared answered well memorized. But that’s about as far as the guy can go. Actually engage his points and it isn’t difficult to defeat him.* But why should anyone bother debating the guy? He has made zero special contributions to his field other than to revive a long-dead, easily dismissed argument (one which, unlike a good deal of philosophy, can be directly addressed and defeated via empirical evidence). His primary claim to fame is that he likes to debate. I admit I occasionally enjoy watching debates myself, but I generally only watch the ones done by people with esoteric knowledge in a field. Craig, for that reason, is not worth watching.

And according to Richard Dawkins, he also is not worth debating.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either. Perhaps he is a “theologian”. For some years now, Craig has been increasingly importunate in his efforts to cajole, harass or defame me into a debate with him. I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: “That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine”.

It’s true. A debate between Dawkins and Craig, while it would rack up the YouTube hits, would only serve to benefit Craig. It would be beneath Dawkins to engage the guy.

But these facts aren’t stopping Craig from continuing “in his efforts to cajole, harass or defame” Dawkins into a debate. At one of his entertainment shows in England, Craig is going to place an empty chair on the stage to represent Dawkins’ absence. I’ll let the good doctor take it from here:

But what are we to make of this attempt to turn my non-appearance into a self-promotion stunt? In the interests of transparency, I should point out that it isn’t only Oxford that won’t see me on the night Craig proposes to debate me in absentia: you can also see me not appear in Cambridge, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and, if time allows, Bristol.

Okay, I’m happy Dawkins isn’t going to debate the guy, but it wouldn’t be so bad to hear a few more knockdowns like that.

*When I went over to Mike’s to find some Craig links, it turned out he already had a post on this topic, as well as another Craig post. Further searches will reveal a good number more posts.

Sam Harris and William Lane Craig

I’m just beginning this debate, but I thought I’d throw it up here now for anyone who wants to watch.