The Debate with Lawrence Krauss Mysteriously Goes Away

It looks to me like Dawkins’ sidekick, Lawrence Krauss, is afraid to debate his views about origins.  Check this out:

The annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate is the American Museum of Natural History’s biggest public event, drawing a sold-out crowd for an evening billed as bringing together “the finest minds in the world” to debate “pressing questions on the frontiers of scientific discovery.”

But this year’s installment, to be held on March 20 under the heading “The Existence of Nothing,” may also be notable for the panelist who disappeared.

Among the speakers will be several leading physicists, including Lawrence M. Krauss, whose book “A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing” became a cause célèbre in the scientific blogosphere last spring after a scathing review in the New York Times Book Review by the philosopher David Z. Albert.

But Mr. Albert will not be onstage, having been abruptly disinvited by the museum several months after he agreed to take part.

Disinvited?  How can that be?

In his review Mr. Albert, who also has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, mocked Mr. Krauss’s cocksure claim to have found in the laws of quantum mechanics a definitive answer to the vexing question of the ultimate origins of the universe. (So where did those laws come from? he asked.) Mr. Krauss countered with a pugnacious interview in The Atlantic, in which he called Mr. Albert “moronic” and dismissed the philosophy of science as worthless.

LOL!  Does it surprise anyone that a Gnu atheist would lash out at a critic as being “moronic” and then attack a whole discipline of philosophy?

But in early January, Mr. de Grasse Tyson sent Mr. Albert another e-mail rescinding the invitation, citing changes in the panel that shifted the focus “somewhat away from the original reasons that led me to invite you.” An invitation was issued shortly afterward to Jim Holt, the author of the recent best seller “Why Does the World Exist?,” which surveys the ways philosophers, cosmologists and theologians have answered the question.

Mr. Albert, who teaches at Columbia, noted in an interview that neither the title of the panel nor its basic composition — it also includes the physicists J. Richard Gott and Eva Silverstein and the journalist Charles Seife — had changed.

“It sparked a suspicion that Krauss must have demanded that I not be invited,” he said. “But of course I’ve got no proof.”

Y’think?  Two things come to mind at this point.

It is entirely believable that a Gnu atheist like Krauss would stamp his feet and demand that Albert be disinvited.  Gnu atheists tend to be thin-skinned and hold grudges.  What’s more, if Krauss did indeed do this, there is no reason to think we would have proof of it.  So the lack of proof is not all that meaningful.

Secondly, since this is an unknown, why don’t we use science to uncover the truth about what happened?  Answer – because there are various truths out there that science cannot discover.

Finally, we get this:

Mr. Krauss, who teaches at Arizona State University, said via e-mail that decisions about the lineup were Mr. Tyson’s but reiterated that he “wasn’t impressed” by Mr. Albert’s review. “If it were up to me, I wouldn’t choose to spend time onstage with him,” he added.

My, my.  I notice that he didn’t say he had nothing to do with the decision.  Yes, the decision was Tyson’s, but I’d like to know if Krauss was lobbying to get Albert disinvited.  Nothing in his reply suggests this did not happen.  In fact, that hypothesis is all the more believable when he goes on record as saying, “If it were up to me, I wouldn’t choose to spend time onstage with him.”

Given that Dawkins is afraid to debate serious critics of his views, it should not surprise us if his sidekick shares this trait.

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6 Responses to The Debate with Lawrence Krauss Mysteriously Goes Away

  1. Justin says:

    Gnu Rule #137:
    Thou shall not point out fatal flaws in gnu atheist books. Especially when the equivocating author mercilessly denegrates philosophy and then proceeds to philosophize in said book. Violating this rule could erode book sales and will result in being barred from club activities.

  2. Toby says:

    Neil Degrasse Tyson – lying jackass.

  3. Bilbo says:

    So now Tyson has something else he’ll need to issue an apology for:

  4. bb says:

    Why are you using “GNU” (“Gnu’s not unix”) to refer to these guys like Krauss, Dawkins, et al. How is the GNU movement/project to blame?

  5. Crude says:


    Because for a time, when they were trying to reinvent themselves yet again, some Cult of Gnu people started referring to themselves as ‘Gnus’. Coyne endorsed it at first.

  6. Michael says:

    Why are you using “GNU” (“Gnu’s not unix”) to refer to these guys like Krauss, Dawkins, et al.

    Google is your friend.

    How is the GNU movement/project to blame?

    Did I say they were?

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