Science Refutes God – IQ2 Debates


On the fundamental question–evolution or creation?–Americans are on the fence. According to one survey, while 61% of Americans believe we have evolved over time, 22% believe this evolution was guided by a higher power, with another 31% on the side of creationism. For some, modern science debunks many of religion’s core beliefs, but for others, questions like “Why are we here?” and “How did it all come about?” can only be answered through a belief in the existence of God. Can science and religion co-exist? Featuring Lawrence Krauss, Michael Shermer, Dinesh D’Souza and Ian Hutchinson.

Written By: PBS
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  1. I watched this a few weeks ago. Krauss and Shermer are good as always. Dinesh D’Souza, however, is an odious piece of excrement

  2. YES! I watched this one live. Krauss and Shermer were spot-on. It’s a great, focused debate. I also think Prof. Dawkins was especially sharp on this show:

    He had a couple of great “Hitchslap” style moments. Maybe we should call it a Richslap? Lol.

    Freethinkers RULE!

  3. I liked how the moderator kept Dinesh (spit) on track, and kept forcing him to acknowledge the other sides points, for some reason you don’t see that too often.

  4. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to earphones right now and the audio is impossible on my laptop with both volumes cranked, so I can’t hear Krauss and Shermer.

    Fortunately, I don’t have to listen to DeSouza again whose voice has begun to trigger an allergic reaction in my psyche (along with WLC) which I would be happy to deal with, if either one of them had demonstrated ONCE that they were interested in addressing their opponents arguments instead of making a career out of using cheap rhetorical tricks to avoid them.

    DD and WLC are lying liars. I can’t prove that they are knowingly lying to us vs. just lying to themselves but there is no way by now that if they cared about what is true that they would still be using the strategies they do.

    Tomorrow, I will try to get my hands on some head phones just in case DD has made progress and has a legitimate argument for his particular god.

    It’s completely unjust that the theist argument is that atheists are “biased” against god.

    I have listened long and hard to theists arguments for god and there’s nothing there.

    I don’t think DeSouza cares as long as he can maintain status and draw the next paycheck. I can’t prove that’s the case but it walks and talks just like a duck.

    Lawrence Krauss and Dinesh DeSouza. It’s obscene. What is wrong with humans that Lawrence Krauss ends up on the same stage with DD?

  5. Just watched this all the way through – very good from both sides. I don’t find DD too annoying, but maybe I’ve avoided him a bit in the past. Also nice to see Ian Hutchinson on the other side – don’t see him often. They both gave good performances and actually kept, for the most part, to decent arguments. I didn’t agree with them, of course, but didn’t find myself face-palming at any time.

  6. This is, in essence, incredibly frustrating… as if we learn nothing from previous debates. I cannot put my finger on it yet, as if science is trying too hard too prove logic and reason against some other language. This is reductive, old and a waste of what we have learned as humans. There is far too much science at hand to explain the reason for this debate. Perhaps it is necessary for the time and place we live in but I will bet my gonads that 50 years from now this debate looks really evolutionary.

  7. The vote was won,so a virtual high five to Lawrence and Shermer.
    Science as a whole really need to get this god(s) bullshit out of the way, if we want true progress as Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
    Enough already with all these fencesitting cowards!

  8. Proponents of religion have an infuriating tendency to double back on themselves, continually repeating a given question in a slightly modified form in the hope of finally receiving the answer they’re angling for, or in which they have faith.

    Or, they put forward a proposition which receives a due rebuttal, and shortly afterwards propose it again as if absolutely nothing happened the first time.

    That’s not debating it’s filibustering.

    I yearn for someone in one of these exchanges to say ” I’ve just answered that question – and not for the first time – , please don’t ask it again!

  9. This is a re-post, isn’t it? Isn’t this the one with a thick Hollywood celeb asking a stupid question at the end?


  10. The editing facility isn’t functioning properly.

    Filibustering has only one “r”.

    S G

  11. “Women don’t bare children, unless, ummm, you know what…” – Ian Hutchinson, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT

    You got to be kidding me! Is he that much of a puritan?

  12. It doesn’t seem like you can have much of a debate with four people that lasts less than an hour.

  13. In reply to #1 by MarcusA1971:

    I watched this a few weeks ago. Krauss and Shermer are good as always. Dinesh D’Souza, however, is an odious piece of excrement

    Don’t gild the lily- tell us what you REALLY think of D’Souza!!

    I can’t watch it- seen too many of these (largely futile) debates.

  14. About the topic…well, the way I see it, science(and even just common reason) definately refutes any god/deity of any known religion. The narratives of all of them are simply too incorrect, absurd and contradictory. Yahweh certainly does not exist. Allah certainly does not exist. Needless to say, the 33 millions of hinduism certainly do not exist 🙂

    That said, I don’t think science can, right now, refute the notion that the universe was created by an intellect higher than that of man, that probably does not care or even acknowledge man more than we acknowledge the bacteria in our intestines, or even less than that. That might or might not be true, but I feel both options are open. There is nothing inherently illogical about the universe having a creator or creators of some kind. If you say “then who created the creator”, remember we’re not talking about a” capital-G all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving” God of any religion, simply a creator of something very large and very complex. So, that being might have been created by another process unknown to us. To explain the existance of a PC, we invoke the presence of another even more complex object, the human, and there’s nothing irrational about that. And in turn we explain the existence humans with evolution, which is a another process that has nothing to do with how the first object(the PC) came to be.

    Personally, I think that, as long as the hypothetical creator does not reveal itself or interacts with us, the question is close to meaningless. But if you really want to debate it, as I said I think both options are open.

  15. Dear RDFrs. My RE teacher friend, up in snowy, “Bonnie Scotland” tells me its not only scientists refuting the g myth! A new Kindle booklet – based on Prof.Dawkins essays – has just been published by Iain S.Gray, an elder of the church of Scotland. . . . . . . .
    “There are two key premises at the centre of ‘Bringing God Down to Earth’. The first is that the traditional concept of God as the creator of the universe and controller of natural events and human affairs is no longer tenable in the 21st century. The second is that though Bible stories appear to be about the ancient past, their primary concern is about the present. Like all good stories they encourage us to engage with them so that we deepen our understanding of ourselves and others”. Oddly, another ‘Kirk’ man has published a beautiful, boxed edition of Darwin’s “On the origin of species”. Wait a second. Do you think perhaps church funds are investing in, ‘Evolution thru G’ ? 😉 m

  16. In reply to #14 by JoxerTheMighty:

    I don’t understand the origins of the universe at all, and I never will. Because of that I tend to be suspicious of conjecture about the possibilities present at the beginning that appear to draw from our every day experiences today, nearly 14 billion years out. To me these guesses usually resemble the common problem of overextending an analogy. But the beginning was not like today, and even phenomena many times less mysterious than our origins defy our intuitions often enough that we ought to be automatically skeptical of our thinking about complicated subjects. Unfortunately it seems like most of the time we’re not skeptical enough.

    For example, many people take for granted that it is at least possible that our universe was created. But on what do they base this assumption? What do the facts we know reveal about the possibilities? That’s where I have to stop, because I don’t understand the majority of these facts, or I don’t know them. So I recognize that my guesses about these things would be unfounded, and how lucky would I have to be to draw from nothing, or worse the wrong set of assumptions, facts, and knowledge, (which is what these religious apologists have done) and still find the right answer?

  17. Typical in these discussions; confronted with briljant atheists, the believers in the theistic god
    quickly abandon their foolish beliefs and end up only talking about the plausibility of a deistic god.
    This is soooo disingenuous!

  18. In reply to #17 by Lonard:

    Typical in these discussions; confronted with briljant atheists, the believers in the theistic god
    quickly abandon their foolish beliefs and end up only talking about the plausibility of a deistic god.
    This is soooo disingenuous!

    I had seen this before, but I was pleased to view it again. In my opinion, the debate topic was poorly chosen, for much the reason Lonard notes. To “refute god” does, in fact, require refuting a non-interventionist god, or even one which intervenes but is too clever to be caught with its hand in the cookie jar by mere humans. This is, of course, self-contradictory. Of course that cannot be done.

    I wish the topic had allowed for a discussion of the more crucial question – is such a deity even relevant to what we choose to do? Is “Because God says so” ever a valid reason for shaping our laws? I think the answer is a resounding “no.” It would have been nice to see D’Souza try to dance around that one. Krauss did touch on this, twice, in his assertion that there need to be secular bases for making such decisions, but what he refuted was the relevance of a deity to science and morality, not the existence of such a thing.

  19. Hey ! My editing caused my note to disappear.

    In response to kbala, I suspect Hutchinson chose his words carefully as there were young children in the audience.

  20. Mr DArcy is perhaps being a bit unfair to say that Dinesh D’Souza is is his 2nd least favourite Christian debater. William Lane Craig is currently in poll position. Hutchinson at least hedged his remarks with phrases like “reasonable Christians” etc. Miracles can’t be ruled out by science. Nor can the Martian encampment at the bottom of my invisible garden shed.

    As Krauss put it so well, as to what what would change his mind: ” a shred of evidence”.

    Enough said.

  21. As has been said before, not another pointless debate, but how must it feel for the mystics – they loose every time! I vote for turning up at these things and putting up with the illogical rubbish because it’s working!!

    However all it would take is a dozen more mystics to pretend to be on the fence at the beginning to circumvent this rather poorly thought out scoring system! Lets try to make it a little less dumb next time, I know I could work out how to game it before I was asked to push the button and we might find a theist a little brighter than me one day, maybe?

  22. In reply to #9 by Anvil:

    This is a re-post, isn’t it? Isn’t this the one with a thick Hollywood celeb asking a stupid question at the end?


    Holy orchids! You are correct.

  23. I don’t want to be unkind – but does Dinesh D’Souza remind anybody of Mr Bean? Or is it just me?

  24. In reply to #23 by Graham1:

    I don’t want to be unkind – but does Dinesh D’Souza remind anybody of Mr Bean? Or is it just me?

    It’s not just you. I kept thinking of Mr. Bean as well.

  25. I finally got to hear it.

    It was well moderated. The moderator stayed out of it but moved things along and kept things focused.

    Krauss was very well prepared. Debates are about language and persuasion and in most ways they are silly. I watched a couple he was in where he began with the strategy that people were interested in facts and reason (an excellent and reasonable assumption if one assumes that getting closer to what’s true is prioritized by debates) and that sort of backfired. In this one, he knew better and conducted himself accordingly. Compared to physics, performance debates are silly but he’s quickly become good at them. He found a way to insist that the debate be about facts and reason and to make sure the audience understood that.

    DeSouza made a breathtaking remark about science finally agreeing that the universe came from nothing when theologians had already known that for centuries. They didn’t “know” that. They believed it because it said so in a book. Much different thing. Anyway, the bible said that the universe came from protoYahweh, not from nothing.

    In the followup, when he repeated that the bible had already explained that the universe came from nothing and when Krauss responded with the bible being absurdly wrong about day and night coming before the creation of the sun, DeSouza accused Krauss of only addressing fundamentalism.

    Well, which is it? The claims that there was nothing (except protoYahweh) and that day and night came before the sun are in the exact same chapter, all snuggled up together. In one breath, the bible said it all along and in the next, only fundamentalists believe it.

    This is the sort of slimy strategy required to believe this crap in the first place and to sell it others in the second.

    All those tens of thousands of gods that we still have knowledge of meant a LOT of creation stories that claimed there was nothing and something was made out of nothing. That’s not counting the gods we have no knowledge of because they are extinct and undocumented. That’s what creation stories are for!

    Theology survives by claiming scientific knowledge as its own (“We said that all along!”) and dismissing MOST of their claims as resolved by theology, insisting that any examination of those claims is an attack on strawmen. It doesn’t spend its days straightening out its fundamentalist followers. It spends its days expaining why anyone who questions most of its claims are only attacking fundamentalism. This is the most weaselly strategy I can imagine and Dinesh DeSouza makes a big, fat healthy living from it, a living he could never make if he debated fundamentalists.

    On a happy note, in a good arena with a moderator who demonstrated no bias, the side of reason gained 13 points vs. the other side’s four. This is how battles are won.

    Theology is there to pretend that it knew stuff all along (with no episimological structure to support that claim) and to insist that any follow-up questions about that claim are unworthy because they are strawmen.

    It’s the worst kind of thinking.

    All Hutchison had was the idea that historically it was a belief that a specific god would reveal god’s self through the scientific method that inspired many scientists. . I’m not disputing that claim. It turns out his god does NOT reveal god’s self through the scientific method. The more we ask reality what it is and the more we refine the method, the less any god shows itself. That process is exacty why so many of us here, ex-christians, hindus, muslims, deists and whatnot have become atheists. We called our gods’ bluff. And it is supported by the vast majority of scientists not believing in gods. I’m not interested in WHY science started. I’m interested in what science has discovered. Science turns over a lot of rocks looking for things. The fact that centuries ago, they expected to find a god and that they didn’t says more about science than it does about the gods early scientists assumed would reveal themselves in the process.

    On a happy note, Krauss and Shermer won. It was a fair stage, it had a moderator who stayed out of it and kept things on track and this is how truth battles are won.

  26. Ian Hutchinson truly amazed me. For somebody who must be a good scientist and is a professor at MIT (a leading US college), it was genuinely astonishing to see how incapable he was of applying that rational, scientific way of thinking that he must have to his personal religious beliefs. Not once did his defence of religion get beyond unsubstantiated assertions like ‘God is not amenable to science’, ‘science can’t disprove God’,’religion answers different questions’. He was the classic example of a brain split in two, with religion polluting one half making it useless.

  27. In reply to #18 by Outwitted by fish:

    To “refute god” does, in fact, require refuting a non-interventionist god, or even one which intervenes but is too clever to be caught with its hand in the cookie jar by mere humans. This is, of course, self-contradictory. Of course that cannot be done.

    In the debate, the pro-God side did indeed argue that God was good enough not to be caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Ian Hutchinson of all people believed that God does suspend the laws of physics now and again.

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