Why do the big names in atheism freeze up when debating William Lane Craig?

I recently watched William Lane Craig's debates with Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris and in both debates, it was easy to walk away with the feeling that Craig won. Hitchens just kept saying "I haven't heard any convincing evidence..." Without refuting Craig's arguments. Sam Harris did something similar - instead of addressing Craig's arguments, he ignored them for the entire debate. Also, Lawrence Krauss, when debating Craig about A Universe from Nothing, missed an opportunity to counter Craig's (correct) assertion that the primordial soup of the universe is not nothing.

Now, I've heard refutations for Craig's arguments but neither Hitchens, Harris, nor Krauss used them and so it could seem as though they lost their debates with him. Craig even invited Hitchens to become a Christian while onstage, and was justified in asking - given their performances in the debate. Any ideas why they froze up in their debates against him?

I also noticed that Craig got first word in those debates, in which he was able to define the terms used in the debate, giving him an edge.

Finally, why doesn't Dawkins debate Craig?

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That is possibly the weakest provocation I have seen in some time. The fairy tale schtick? Even atheists can hardly get away with it despite the similarities between folk lore and mythology. To imply that considerable research -- conclusive or not -- is akin to mere fabrications for the sake of entertainment is a piss poor analogy.

Give it another go. You can do it! I believe in you!

Well, not really. 

I notice you avoided my question: "I saw 60 proofs offered, how many did you read? Be honest now --"

The good Brothers Grimm were not the only ones who concocted fairy tales - others made up ones they called, "Genesis," "Exodus," "Leviticus," "Numbers" and "Deuteronomy," while still others invented ones they called, "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke" and "John." All, the products of fertile human imagination.

Of course there is evidence that supports abiogenesis, whereas there is none for the other nine.

@Angelo, you're asking whether I would prefer to believe, "we are the result of pure chance, or physical necessity," as allowed by the laws of physics and the principles of Natural Selection, or would I rather believe in magic.

I can't imagine, given those options, that an answer is even necessary, but, the former, definitely!

BTW - say "Hi" to Michael for me and tell him I said, stay on the meds!

I don't think it was 'pure chance' for me. My parents 'knew' each other 7 months before I was born. I was a wanted child, or atleast a pleasant accident...;p) 

i am not proposing magic, but a intelligent mind. even more awesome than magic would be just pure chance or physical necessity, your only alternative options. i can tell you , these are completely irrational and impossible alternatives. Similar being irrational  to believe, Shakespeares Hamlet could have been written by chance, so cannot the stored information in DNA, which is much more complex, essential for all life. 

Angelito - RE: "Shakespeares Hamlet could have been written by chance"

But it wasn't, it was written by the great creative talent of the Human mind, using the same kind of fertile imagination that created your god with the "intelligent mind."

BTW, if no magic was involved, how did this, "intelligent mind. even more awesome than magic" create the enormous universe? Where did he live before it was created?

so you admit hamlet could have not been written by chance, but by a great creative mind. But you believe, dna, which contains much more complex information, could ?

We do not know HOW God created the universe. Where he lived, is a non sense question. A spirit does not need physical space to exist. Where does your thoughts live ? could you point out the physical space, they occupy ?

RE: "Where does your thoughts live ? could you point out the physical space, they occupy ?"

Yes, inside my head - they are created by chemical interactions and delivered by electrical impulses within my brain.

RE: "Where he lived, is a non sense question. A spirit does not need physical space to exist."

Only because your god is a nonsense god - there are no such things as spirits, but if they were, and didn't need a physical space to exist, then it follows that they couldn't manipulate physical material. Unless, of course, they used magic, and as you've already stated, "i am not proposing magic."

And, re: "A spirit does not need physical space to exist." - do you have evidence to support this, or are you just making it up as you go along? Please provide scientific evidence for the existence of spirits and substantiation of their existence requirements.

So here's what I get - by far the majority of scientists, in their appropriate fields, support, and have evidence to support, both the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe, and of abiogenesis, while you may be able to cite a handful of theists, who may or may not be scientists qualified in the appropriate fields, who maintain it's not possible.

Yet you have ABSOLUTELY no evidence of "spirits," the existence of your "creative intelligence" or that the universe was created in any other way.

Is that a fair summation?

how about we keep in track, and you provide just one example of complex information as contained in shakespeares hamlet, and so same in  dna, that has not a intelligent mind as origin ? as long as you cannot do that, you have nothing reasonable on hand as alternative of a intelligent mind as origin of life. 

Angie - that's just one of the many, MANY ways in which your logic is flawed.

Let's say, for a moment, that I cannot specifically say how DNA is formed (not necessarily because there isn't such information  out there, just that I'm notg sufficiently expert in the field to testify in it's behalf), therefor, I can say, I don't know.

On the other hand, you are proposing an "alternative of a intelligent mind as origin of life," - it becomes then your responsibility to provide evidence of this.

Please do so with your next post.

complex information as contained in shakespeares hamlet, and so same in dna..

They aren't the same. Shakespeare's Hamlet is an abstract which can be encoded in numerous forms. When we encapsulate it in printed letters on the pages of a book, those letters are merely a symbolic representation of the encoded concept.

The same is not true for DNA. It is a macromolecule which serves a very important function in the generation of biological structures. It is information, but it is not an encoded abstract. mRNA does not read DNA and interpret the result. It doesn't go, "Oh hey, I think you made a typo here but I see what you meant". No, it is simply a direct chemical process bound by the laws of chemistry with no conscious or 'mind' necessary component. Even the existence of DNA patterns does not resemble design. It resembles organic development because that's what it is.

But even if we set that aside, there are problems with your question and your outlook.

We do not know that all information is designed by minds. This is a completely unsupported assertion which no rational person has cause to accept. Not only is it unsupported, but it is an outlandish assumption. The number of instances of DNA alone outnumber the instances information designed by human minds by orders of magnitude. Information known to be generated by minds represents the exception, not the norm.

And DNA is not the only naturally occurring information structure. There are information structures with varying degrees of sophistication and complexity in neurological structures, in hormones, in immune systems, in the way bees dance to indicate the location of food sources, in the way cephalopods can communicate through altering their colouration and so on and so forth. Despite there being no evidence that a 'mind' had any part in generating any of these mechanisms, you want us to accept that it must be the case because what? Humans can write plays? Sorry, but no dice.

We do know the origin of Hamlet and that it was a consciously created work. We do not know, in definitive terms the origin of the first genetic information. That said, we have ample evidence that the macromolecules themselves can be generated through natural means, and also that new sequences can arise through natural means. There is abundant observation of these natural occurrences, yet not one singe observed supernatural occurrence of genetic material being generated. It is unreasonable to assume a position is true based on no evidence whatsoever.

I got distracted mid post and can't remember where my train of thought was. I suppose this will do for now.

The problem Angelo is that "chance" is a poor oversimplified description of how information in the gene pool changes over time. This argument relies on analogies and poor ones at that. I wonder if this designer is so intelligent then why does it write in mutations that result in deformities, disorders, and in the case of some species extinction?

I also wonder if you consider these computers intelligent designers:
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/01/26/automaticbooks_tec.html
http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2010/05/ill_be_bach.html

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