Every generation deserves their own version of the Scopes monkey trial. This is probably the best we’re ever going to get in our generation.
Setting the Stage
If you haven’t seen this Vimeo of Lawrence Krauss and William Lane Craig you’re really missing out. It’s another one of those “Does God Exist” style debates (Spoiler alert: He’s still incommunicado). I know. I can hear you all sigh. …..not another one of those…. Hear me out! It lacks the faux intellectual suck-upitude present in most of these types of debates. Krauss brings a deserved wickedness to the mix that has been sorely lacking since Hitch passed.
This event is sponsored by a Bible Forum with an audience I expect is heavily stacked in favor of religious leaning viewpoints. You can skip the first 23 minutes to get directly to Krauss’ opening and bypass the long intro.
William Milquetoast Craig
If you’re an atheist of any intellectual rigor at all, you’re already recoiling in horror at the thought of listening through the tortured rhetorical apologetic sophistry that is William Lane Craig (Skip over his soliloquey to get to coffee table format immediately after). On the other hand, seeing Krauss expand his role into the empty shoes left by Christopher Hitchens is a refreshing respite from his many Universe from Nothing videos of late. Krauss is clearly not confounded by fools nor suffering them gladly, a trait he shares in common with the late Mr. Hitchens.
While Krauss is clearly lacking when compared to the linguistic facility of Hitchens, he is decidedly less restrained than the oft too-clever Hitchens and entirely more surefooted in matters pertaining to science and religion. Krauss does borrow from Hitchens in this debate, tossing in a Mother Teresa bit related to the Catholic vexation on suffering as a means to salvation. I felt that Craig got away on that, brushing it off much more easily than he would have if Hitchens had been there.
Krauss had clearly sharpened his knives against Craig before entering this debate. He did the best take-down of fundamentalist quote mining in recent memory. He was clearly angry at the misrepresentations being peddled by Craig and others of his ilk. Seeing his unrestrained disgust with Craig was worth the price of free admission. Somebody needs to do what Krauss is doing and he obviously likes to travel more than I do, so more power to him.