The Great Debate: Is There Evidence for God?

Update: Be sure to check out our analysis of The Great Debate.

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Re-posting this, since today’s the day. I will be tuning in, and will present a critique of both sides on this blog within a day or three of the debate.

Copied-and-pasted from an email I received:

Join Thousands across America tuning in on March 30 to…

The Great Debate: Is There Evidence for God?

Two Really Smart Guys Go Head to Head to debate the existence of God on a live, streaming video. Dr. William Lane Craig (Christian Philosopher and Theologian from Talbot School of Theology) will debate Dr. Lawrence Krauss (Theoretical Physicist from Arizona State University) on the question, “Is There Evidence For God?”

The debate will stream live on the web on the night of March 30, beginning at 7 PM.

It is suggested you log on to view the debate on the web at least 15 minutes prior to the event, to make sure everything on your computer is set up correctly. If you cannot watch it then, the debate will be available to watch at any time after the debate is over. Some suggestions may be to watch it from your home or to set up a live showing of it for a group.

If you have friends with whom you have discussed these kinds of questions be sure to pass along this info. And then tune in and decide which side you think presents the most compelling arguments.


Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Time: 7:00 PM EDT
[Note: The email stated EST, but I’m pretty sure it’s EDT. -Ed.]

Location: NC State

You can stream it live from the official website (link appears to be working now).

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Some background for each of the debaters [h/t PQ Exchange]:

Summary of Gerald Schroeder event

As previously announced here, acclaimed scientist and theologian, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, presented a lecture last evening in Austin on the origins of humankind from a scientific and biblical perspective. By my count, over 150 people attended the lecture, with the audience skewing very young. Dr. Robb Wilson of The Scholar Redeemer audio-recorded the lecture, and we should have a podcast of sorts available here within the next few days. In the meantime, here is a brief summary of the event.

Dr. Schroeder began with his explanation for reconciling the biblical calendar with the scientifically-calculated age of the universe of 14 billion years using the well-studied phenomenon of time dilation that arises from the expansion of the universe. His explanation hinges on an ancient interpretation of Genesis 1, which says that the first six days are distinct and separate from the rest of the biblical calendar. He argued that these six days actually contain billions of years if looked at properly. Genesis time stops partway through the sixth day with a special event — the creation of Adam — at which point the conventional biblical calendar starts. Dr. Schroeder then segued into the main topic by announcing that Adam had parents. I suspect some people were rather shocked by this notion, but Dr. Schroeder laid out the overwhelming scientific evidence for pre-Adam hominids as well as evidence from the Bible itself. The key point was that the creation of Adam was a spiritual creation, not a physical one. Human-like beings existed prior to Adam, but they were not human because they lacked the neshama (which we may be tempted to call the “soul,” but it’s more than that). After Adam received the neshama, he is described as becoming a “communicating spirit.” This tells us that the defining quality of Adam as a human being, what separated him from his predecessors, was the ability to communicate with God.

The lecture ran slightly long, which unfortunately only left time for half a dozen questions from the audience. But they were all good, substantive questions; one in particular (which I can’t remember, but will hopefully be audible on the recording) was of particular interest to Dr. Schroeder. Several young people approached Dr. Schroeder after the lecture with more questions and comments and requests for book signings. I noticed that several of them were also taking photos of the diagrams he made on the whiteboard during his talk. For any of our readers who were present at the lecture and would like to know more about the information in those diagrams, I strongly encourage you to read his best-selling book, The Science of God.

Update: Due to some unforeseen difficulties posting the audio recording, there will be no podcast of the lecture. Sorry.

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Austin lecture event: The Origins of Humankind

For those of you in the Austin, Texas area, the Christian Faculty Network is coordinating a special event in early March:

The Origins of Humankind: From Mud to Man
Comparing Biblical Writings with the Fossil Record

Presented by Dr. Gerald Schroeder

Tuesday, March 8th, 7:00 – 8:00 PM with Q&A to follow
The University of Texas at Austin, Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall, Rm. 1.202

Free and open to the public

Gerald Schroeder is an MIT-trained physicist and author of the bestselling book The Science of God. He was on the staff in the physics department at MIT before moving to Israel to join the Weizmann Institute, the Volcani Research Institute, and the Hebrew University. He has consulted for agencies of several national governments and lectured all over the world. He has several scientific publications, and his work has been reported in Time, Newsweek, and Scientific American. His formal training in chemistry, physics, and the Earth and planetary sciences provides the basis for the broad scientific perspective he brings to his books and lectures. For the past twenty five years, Dr. Schroeder has also pursued a study of ancient biblical interpretation. An ability to handle the biblical material in the original languages allows him to tap the subtle depths contained in the original texts.

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