Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

William Lane Craig is avoided by Richard Dawkins


Dr. Dawkins would be happy to debate a bishop, cardinal, Pope, but he won’t debate creationists. What does he think that bishops, cardinals, and Popes are? They are overwhelmingly creationists. And he does debate creation in his books, he just won’t do it in person with the object of his debate in the form of an actual person in William Lane Craig. His word processor doesn’t talk back when he debates creation in writing his books. But He did debate John Lennox, who is, at least, an advocate of Intelligent Design (which he considers to be another form of creation).

Lennox may be an outright creationist, I don’t know, but Dr. Dawkins doesn’t differentiate between creation and ID, so it makes no difference, he is a creationist in Dr. Dawkins’ eyes. And secondly, Dr. Craig’s “claim to fame” is not in mere debate, it is in academic philosophy and Christian apologetics; the fact that he is masterful at debate is secondary and only occurs as a result of him being a professional philosopher and Christian apologist. Why the evasion? Really? Why?

Clive, thanks for the quote. It is beautifully written. And I agree with the sentiment. It can be very frightening to realise one is truly alone in an uncaring universe. zeroseven
HouseStreetRoom, What would boost ID's credibility would be a debate between Dr. Dawkins and Dr. Dembski, but I'm sure Dawkins is too scared to do that debate as well. I watched the debate between Atkins and Craig, and Craig was obviously victorious, just as Craig was in the debate with Christopher Hitchens. Dawkins knows this, I would be willing to bet, which is why he avoids Craig. Dawkins doesn't only avoid Craig and Dembski, he also avoids Stephen Meyer and David Berlinski and I'm sure a host of others. But he did debate John Lennox, who, in my opinion, very effectively won the argument against Dawkins at every turn. Maybe he learned his lesson at that point. Even Ben Stein had him scrambling and back peddling. Clive Hayden
Judging from Craig's debate with Atkins, I can see why one would be hesitant (this is not to say Dawkins has seen the debate, or - in his apathy - even cares). Craig is certainly no slouch though. He has a very coherent flow to his arguments. Seversky, "If ID is relying on William Lane Craig scoring debating points to boost its credibility then it’s in a bad way." Why do you believe this is the case? I'm not sure I see how you arrived at that conclusion. HouseStreetRoom
I don’t see why a space alien is less plausible than a god that created a man out of dust and woman out of a rib and then cursed the whole of his creation because the woman had a conversation with a talking snake and then ate an apple
And it seemed to me that existence was itself so very eccentric a legacy that I could not complain of not understanding the limitations of the vision [do not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge] when I did not understand the vision they limited [nature]. The frame was no stranger than the picture. The veto might well be as wild as the vision; it might be as startling as the sun, as elusive as the waters, as fantastic and terrible as the towering trees. This proves that even nursery tales only echo an almost pre-natal leap of interest and amazement. These tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water. I have said that this is wholly reasonable and even agnostic. And, indeed, on this point I am all for the higher agnosticism; its better name is Ignorance. We have all read in scientific books, and, indeed, in all romances, the story of the man who has forgotten his name. This man walks about the streets and can see and appreciate everything; only he cannot remember who he is. Well, every man is that man in the story. Every man has forgotten who he is. One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God; but thou shalt not know thyself. We are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are. All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality and positivism only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget. G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy Clive Hayden
I don't see why a space alien is less plausible than a god that created a man out of dust and woman out of a rib and then cursed the whole of his creation because the woman had a conversation with a talking snake and then ate an apple zeroseven
O'Leary @ 2
Am I mistaken here, or did Dawkins tell Ben Stein in Expelled that it is more plausible that space aliens created life than God did. :)
He's not the only one to speculate along those lines.
Golly, in the ruins of the local St. Patrick’s Day celebration, maybe I can find a tinfoil hat to send him.
See if you can find two tinfoil hats.
It could be space aliens," said William Dembski, a mathematician and philosopher at Baylor University in Texas and author of "No Free Lunch," a new book on intelligent design. "There are many possibilities.
What's sauce for the goose...
My advice would be: Debate and risk losing. It’s not so bad to lose a debate as to be afraid of one.
If ID is relying on William Lane Craig scoring debating points to boost its credibility then it's in a bad way. Seversky
I've said this before many times and I'll repeat it here. The only reason Dawkins refuses to debate Craig (or Plantinga, for that matter) is because he's smart enough to know he'd get his clocked cleaned. If Dawkins doesn't know the illogic of his own arguments, then he's truly ignorant and ought to be ignored. But I think he does know and doesn't want to expose his weak arguments to those, like Craig, who would lay bare those weaknesses and violations of the basic rules of logic. For then Dawkins would be left hanging in the wind to twist...and he has to know that. DonaldM
Lennox believes in theistic evolution and therefore is clearly not a creationist. Shubee
Leslie, Re: #5 Craig has debated a number of Dawkins' friends and associates; so I don't think it's that he's ignorant of who Craig is. It's more like a conceit, in my estimation; which could be a sign of fear of defeat. He hides the fear through a display of over-confidence and consternation of the object of that fear. CannuckianYankee
Like most bullies, Dawkins may be afraid of being treated in the same manner as he treats others. If he were to debate W.L. Craig, it would do him well to then see that most Christians would treat him with respect and courtesy after a most likely, obvious defeat to Craig. And like most bullies, Dawkins may be afraid of rumbling with someone his own size. Evidently, if atheism's most outspoken advocate has nothing better to offer on behalf of atheism than a few underhanded comments behind Craig's back in order to avoid a public debate, then I think it's obvious that atheism has little to stand on. Everyone knows Craig would win in a debate with Dawkins....and I think Dawkins also knows this. In that sense, Craig has already won. Instead of an opportunity for gloating, wouldn't demonstrating love and compassion toward Dawkins be a more effective witness of the truth? Bantay
The most obvious reason for Dawkins avoidance of WLC is that he knows that he will lose and feel humiliated in front of his groupies and buddies. Dawkins is notoriously bad at logic and philosophy. Curiously (or not) creationists almost always "win" (if audience comments are weighed in) the public debates! Borne
I think what bothers me most about his unwillingness to debate isn't just that he's unwilling, but the fact that he's totally ignorant about Craig's qualifications. His only claim to fame is that he debates? I hope that this really is just another example of Dawkins being ignorant and not purposefully dishonest. But I can't see how he could possibly be that ignorant about someone like Craig. Perhaps it's not just external dishonesty though - it's more like internal dishonesty. Although that, I think, would be a good way to describe the new atheism that so abounds today. Leslie
Theodore Darlymple opines on Dawkins' recent experience with his website followers and many other things in this column. One new bit of information that I gleaned from it was that George Bernard Shaw, an atheist and evolutionist, did not accept the germ theory and called Pasteur and Lister frauds and impostors. tribune7
bornagain77, When are you going to publish a book about your quantum-mechanical view of intelligent design, the universe and everything. I would buy it! EndoplasmicMessenger
I said this the other day, about Dawkins, but it bears worth repeating: Leading atheist Richard Dawkins has called people who believe in God delusional. Yet, people who are delusional resolutely deny reality. Then the truth is that materialists, such as Richard Dawkins, are the ones who are delusional, in the purest sense of the word, since quantum mechanics has revealed, in no uncertain terms, that reality is a “consciousness centered” reality that precedes the 3 dimensional “material” reality in the first place. i.e. It is impossible for a 3 dimensional material reality to independently give rise to that which it is absolutely dependent on for its own reality in the first place. Dr. Quantum - Double Slit Experiment & Entanglement - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4096579/dr_quantum_double_slit_experiment_entanglement/ The Known Universe - Dec. 2009 - very cool video (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe) http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4240304/the_centrality_of_earth_in_the_universe_cosmic_microwave_background_radiation/ of note: The only way to "geometrically" maintain continuous 3D spherical symmetry of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, within the "3D universe", from radically different points of observation in the universe, is for all the "higher dimensional" quantum waves of the universe to collapse to their "uncertain" 3D particle state, universally and instantaneously, for/to each individual conscious observer in the universe.
"It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness." Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963
Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience - Pim Lommel - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/blind_woman_can_see_during_near_death_experience_pim_lommel_nde/ Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their NDEs. 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2320/is_1_64/ai_65076875/ Intelligent Design - The Anthropic Hypothesis http://lettherebelight-77.blogspot.com/ bornagain77
Am I mistaken here, or did Dawkins tell Ben Stein in Expelled that it is more plausible that space aliens created life than God did. :) If so, I can certainly see him wanting to avoid debate. Golly, in the ruins of the local St. Patrick's Day celebration, maybe I can find a tinfoil hat to send him. But would he look good in a green bowler? My advice would be: Debate and risk losing. It's not so bad to lose a debate as to be afraid of one. O'Leary
Richard Dawkins is too much of a coward to debate WLC. Also he will only debate if he is offered a lot of money. idnet.com.au

Leave a Reply