Friday, November 19, 2010

Does the Universe Have a Purpose? Debate Video

Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer, and Matt Ridley debated William Lane Craig, Douglas Geivett, and Rabbi David Wolpe on the topic: Does the Universe Have a Purpose? This debate is part of the third annual Festival Internacional de Mentes Brillantes (English: International Festival of Great Minds). It took place on Saturday, November 13, 2010 in Puebla, Mexico.

The ENGLISH version is HERE. (audio only here)

The Spanish dubbed version of the debate here.



  1. Dante November 17, 2010

    Wow, Dr. Craig and Dawkins in the same debate! I guess Dawkins decided to debate Dr. Craig after all! I wonder how it went…

    Looking forward to the English version of the debate.

  2. Daniel Swinton November 17, 2010

    Oh man, Dawkins and Craig literally in a boxing ring. I was really excited until I heard the audio. Hopefully someone can find the un-dubbed version.

  3. bossmanham November 17, 2010

    I really haven't seen any "chatter" about this among the internet infidel crowd. I wonder how the discussion went and if Craig was able to go all out. I hope this maybe leads to a one on one between Craig and Dawkins, though the latter would have to man up a bit.

  4. Eric November 17, 2010

    Craig said that he saw Dawkins before the debate, shook his hand, and said, "I'm surprised to see you here!" Dawkins asked why, and Craig replied that it was because Dawkins had refused to debate him. Craig said that at this, Dawkins became irritated and said, "I don't consider this to be a debate with you. I was invited to take part on the panel, and I accepted," after which he turned and walked away from Craig. Craig then said that he hoped they would have a good discussion, to which Dawkins replied, "I doubt it." Dawkins is quite the social misfit, eh? And I thought it was the dogmatic Christians who were supposed to be the intolerant ones, while the smart atheists were supposed to be open minded and willing to consider the evidence?

  5. Leslie November 18, 2010

    Where did you hear that from Eric? Interesting if true.

  6. Eric November 18, 2010

    Leslie, it's in Craig's November newsletter. Sign up on his website, Reasonable Faith, and you get it for free.

  7. Doug November 19, 2010

    I've been notified that our debate will be posted either in English or with English subtitles very soon.

    -Doug Geivett

  8. Brian Auten November 19, 2010

    Thanks, Doug.

    Also, audio of the debate is up here.

  9. Gem November 19, 2010

    The debate itself is not so interesting being no deeper emphasis on real rebuttal and real argument toward each other position. What makes this debate the worst debate I have watched is those claimed scientists making arbitrary comments at their own disposal while his comments are not being fairly contended/examined… Why throw those Japanese, noble prize and the rests' discourse while basically they did not even join the debate? Are they there acting as being more superior than the debaters? Are they pretending to know the subject matter better than the rests? I just smell fishy here that they wanted to influence the audience with their counter comments while their comments were not to be challenged at all.

    Very lame and very intentional… Be fair and invite some Christian scientists as well and see how things go.

    I agree with William Lane Craig that it is a conference of IT sub-culture information technology that sort of infected by self-defeated science and anti religious bigotry..

    It is a show to undermine theistic view…

  10. Brian Auten November 23, 2010

    Doug Geivett's debate recap can be found here.

  11. JohnWilkinson November 30, 2010

    Shermer claims that we mistake a pattern for a purpose. That is interesting . . . all rational thinking is established on the recognition and memorization of patterns. Robert Audi says as much in his textbook on Epistemology – it is the basis of the Kantian critique – logic stems from our pre-disposition toward observing (and in some cases projecting) what we see (or would like to see) in the world. This is why scientific atheism never works – if we are basing our disagreement with faith on what we see, we are ignoring the fact that our observational equipment continues to need a judicatory instrument (Montaigne). Faith works because it is OUTSIDE the realm of the senses and the reason that attends it.