reaction: Krauss vs. Darth Dawkins

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reaction: Krauss vs. Darth Dawkins

Postby hyksos on February 8th, 2021, 3:56 pm

Through some magic, a discord server owner was able to get Dr. Lawrence Krauss into a formal debate setting with an evangelical. (THe magic was likely the pandemic keeping Krauss inside all day.)

Prelims :

Lawrence Krauss is a quantum cosmologist who first established himself as a public science personality with the publication of his 1996 book The Physics of Star Trek. In 2012 Krauss authored the book A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing This thrust him at full speed directly into the center of the New Atheist Movement.

Darth Dawkins is an anonymous street preacher, who has substituted his street corner with the internet. He is a theist who subscribes to a philosophy called Presuppositionalism . His claim-to-fame is his hostile debating style and combative demeanor.

Most reaction videos are best made for youtube with a camera-to-face normally used by streamers. I will be reacting to their 13 minute debate in text here, instead. I will hit some of the highlights.

3:16 Krauss
"What's necessary to understand the universe is what we learn about the universe and the empirical laws that govern the universe. It turns out the universe can come into existence based on those empirical laws. Whether there is 'absolute' and 'necessary' -- those things are not relevant to me as a scientist. They are just not questions that I come up with."

Here Krauss positions himself in a much larger context of society, coming into public to talk on the topic of physics of which he is an expert. When the subject matter turns away from physics, Krauss declines to commit to an answer, admitting that he is not an authority on metaphysics.

9:00 DD
"Oh! So you don't believe there is anything ultimate or fundamental, sir?"
9:04 Krauss
"There may not be. I don't know."
The above exchange I found surprising, and was an answer I was not expecting. DD could have brought up the topic of mathematics and its relationship to physics, but being an evangelical, his motivation behind his constant return to "ultimate" and "fundamental" are obviously intended to be references to supernatural causes.

10:26 Krauss
"That's because you're not a physicist."

10:29 DD
"Well I am not discussing physics with you. I'm discussing metaphysics."

11:22 DD
"I'm not asking you a physics question. Okay? I'm asking, is anything at all impossible?"

11:45 DD
"All I want to know from you is, is anything impossible metaphysically?"

11:53 Krauss
"It's a question that I really don't care about."

Here DD attempts to steer the conversation violently away from the domain in which Dr. Krauss's expertise lies, in an attempt to weaken his position. Krauss parries and does not take the bait.

After the debate is left off, we are left in a position that often comes up with much larger debates that go on for hours. One example I am reminded of is Stephen Meyer debate held on stage many years ago. What eventually happens is the question comes up as to why some particular idea has no interest to the scientific community.

Consider the question which Darth Dawkins is hammering away about nothing being fundamental and the universe is a "chance universe". Krauss could have continued through in this line of thinking, and turned it around as a question posed to him. Namely, what motivates the interest in that question? The honest answer would be : "There is thing called the Bible and there is this religion called Christianity. The Bible mentions a creator, and so that is why the question of fundamental/ultimate things is interesting to us."

An alternative answer to the question is philosophical. Being versus Becoming, Rationalism versus Empiricism, theories of truth, et cetera. But none of us were born yesterday. We know that DD's interest in not in an academic pursuit of metaphysics.
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Re: reaction: Krauss vs. Darth Dawkins

Postby Serpent on February 8th, 2021, 4:37 pm 

My audio is poor quality, so I didn't listen to the whole thing. What I gather is this. Darth says: I want to talk about God. Krauss says: I don't want to talk about God; I'm just saying the universe could come into being without one. So Garth says: But I want you to talk about God. If you won't accept my premise, I'll just keep repeating myself until I convince the audience that you're talking about God. They might as well be speaking Mandarin and Danish.
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