I am having a very intellectually stimulating week of it. On Monday night, I saw Simon Singh talk at The University of Chester and last night (Tuesday), I saw a Q&A at Liverpool University with world-renowned theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss.
And here’s a picture of me with him:
And here’s a scan of his autograph in my copy of A Universe From Nothing:
Krauss is a wonderfully engaging and humorous speaker. Like Sam Harris and The Onion, he disproves the cliché (provides an exception to the rule?) that Americans have no sense of irony. The talk was entitled “God, The Higgs and a Universe from Nothing”; however, he dismissed God in his opening sentence saying that there was “nothing interesting to say about God because she does not exist.”
Since someone had already mentioned William Lane Craig and Krauss described him as a “con artist”, I asked Krauss why he had decided to debate Craig for a second time (Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3) after their first encounter in 2011 was such a disaster and he had written a very uncomplimentary article accusing Craig of lies and distortions. Since Craig only wants to promote himself and his dogmatic conservative Christian faith, isn’t a respectable scientist sharing a platform with him only giving him publicity and credibility, which is the reason why Richard Dawkins refuses to debate creationists?
Krauss replied that he had not altered his low opinion of Craig. He explained that before the first debate he knew nothing about Craig and was “like a deer caught in the headlights” in the face of the lies and distortions that Craig was spouting. He thought very long and hard about sharing a platform with him again, but eventually decided to it in order to expose Craig publicly.
Krauss also mentioned Craig’s blunder over an upcoming documentary film featuring Krauss and Dawkins called The Unbelievers. Craig had recorded three podcasts based on a pirated copy of the film’s audio but had not actually seen the film itself; indeed at the time of this post it has still not been released. In the original podcasts, Craig had accused Krauss and Dawkins of deliberately trying to trip up one Cardinal Pell on evolution, however, viewing the visual and audio of the exchange shows no such thing. Craig was forced to apologise and amend the podcasts.
At the time of this post, I have only seen Craig and Krauss’ first debate from 2011, read his follow-up piece and watched his YouTube response to Craig’s podcasts on The Unbelievers but not any of his three most recent debates against Craig in Australia, all linked above. As I stated at the end of my review of Craig’s debate on morality against Sam Harris, I am now deliberately avoiding Craig. I have better things to do with my time than listen to his lying pseudo-intellectualism and I think this photo meme says it all: