Carroll v. Craig – a telling comment

Sean Carroll just debated William Lane Craig. In his summing up, Sean wrote

In terms of style, from my perspective things got a bit frustrating, because the following pattern repeated multiple times: Craig would make an argument, I would reply, and Craig would just repeat the original argument. For example, he said that Boltzmann Brains were a problem for the multiverse; I said that they were a problem for certain multiverse models but not others, which is actually good because they help us to distinguish viable from non-viable models; and his response was the multiverse was not a viable theory because of the Boltzmann Brain problem. Or, he said that if the universe began to exist there must be a transcendent cause; I said that everyday notions of causation don’t apply to the beginning of the universe and explained why the might apply inside the universe but not to it; and his response was that if the universe could just pop into existence, why not bicycles?

This is a common technique used by Craig: he simply repeats his arguments as if you haven’t spoken. It’s the intellectual’s version of the Gish Gallop. I think Sean did okay, but it is not a forum that lends itself to reasoned argument.

Leave a Reply