Move over Bill Nye and Ken Ham. There’s a new public debate over cosmology and God’s role in the universe — and it’s set to unfold this weekend between atheist physicist Sean Carroll and theologian William Lane Craig.
The debate, titled “God and Cosmology: The Existence of God in Light of Modern Cosmology,” will be a two-day symposium, featuring numerous speakers.
While the first day of the event will be led by Carroll and Craig, a separate debate and discussion on the second day of the conference will feature four additional presenters who will also address complex philosophical and theological issues, according to a press release.
Philosophers Tim Maudlin and Alex Rosenberg will argue in favor of Carroll’s side of the debate and Craig’s case will be touted by philosopher Robin Collins and physicist James Sinclair.
Craig has made a name for himself in evangelical circles through his Internet ministry ReasonableFaith.org. He is also known as a prominent philosopher and theologian willing to debate well-known atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Lawrence Krauss over God’s existence and role in the universe.
Carroll, a physicist at California Institute of Technology, is an atheist whose views differ greatly from those touted by Craig. Well known in the scientific community, he has contributed to discussions on a variety of complex subject matter.
In a blog entry last month discussing the debate, Carrol highlighted his goals in debating Craig.
“Just so we’re clear: my goal here is not to win the debate. It is to say things that are true and understandable, and establish a reasonable case for naturalism, especially focusing on issues related to cosmology,” he wrote. “I will prepare, of course, but I’m not going to watch hours of previous debates, nor buy a small library of books so that I may anticipate all of [William lane Craig’s] possible responses to my arguments.”
In a recent interview with TheBlaze, Craig made bold predictions about the future of Christianity in America, claiming that religion may actually intensify in decades to come. New Atheists, he said, lack the level of scholarship needed to advance their ideas in the mainstream.
He believes Christian thinkers are making major inroads in academic circles.
“I think this movement within philosophy to a renaissance of Christian thinking is the brightest hope for what’s happening in American culture today in terms of religious impact,” Craig said. “The university is the single most important institution influencing American society in the long run, so I am very optimistic about the future of the American university, and of philosophy in particular, and therefore American culture.”
The debate will take place on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. It will be streamed live online here.
Featured image via Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum