Monday, February 14, 2011

William Lane Craig: Plagiarism?

I recently stumbled upon the following video:

Check out this:

Assuming that the creator of this video and document has reported this accurately, William Lane Craig looks sure to be a plagiarist. If this is true, shame, shame, shame on you Mr. Craig.

Of course, this isn't the first time I've doubted Craig's honesty. If you watch enough of his debates, it is quite clear that he doesn't hold to his own standards during debates. Example: he says that the point of a debate is to make an attempt to get at the truth (he says that here, roughly 50 seconds in). But watch his debates and notice the tactics. He likes to flood his opponents with more arguments than they can possibly refute. In his debate with Paul Draper (which I believe is available on youtube), for example, he threw out tons of bogus calculations that purported to show that naturalistic evolution is impossible. That's not an honest debate technique, for no one could sit there and refute all of those BS calculations in the time given for response. Moreover, it isn't honest because Craig, trained as a philosopher, knew they were fallacious. It's easy enough to see that they are fallacious if you look at the assumptions that go into them. For that, I recommend Richard Carrier, "The Argument from Biogenesis: Probabilities against a Natural Origin of Life," Biology & Philosophy 19.5 (November, 2004), pp. 739-64. Also see Carrier's online piece on the subject.

Even better is the time I caught Craig making a very ignorant criticism of Smolin's theory of Cosmological Natural Selection. Here's what Craig said. I emailed Dr. Lee Smolin about this and got the following reply:

Dear Ryan,
Thanks for writing to me. There are answers to both of these issues. The issue of primordial black holes was directly addressed in the first paper I published on the subject in 1992, which can be found here: It is discussed briefly also on p 310 of The Life of the Cosmos, which is the book I wrote on cosmological natural selection, published in 1997. Dr. Craig is apparently not doing his homework, had he read the original sources, as a scholar should, he would know about this. The point can be put this way: in a one parameter, single field inflation model, which so far accords well with observation, there is a parameter that would haveto be tuned up a lot to make a lot of primordial black holes. But this parameter also controls how long inflation goes on and so how large the universe is. It turnsout that to get a large production rate of primordial black holes you need a very small universe so the overall number of primordial black holes is never higher than the number of stellar black holes. Thus CNS requires that if inflation is true, it is single field, single parameter inflation. This is one of the predictions I published in the 1992 paper above.The second issue is dealt with in detail in a recent paper:, published in physical review. Unfortunately, Hawking is wrong, indeed,his paper related to this was not very convincing. There is no inconsistency between what we know about quantum gravity and the possibility that there are babyuniverses made in black holes. Baby universes are in fact a viable solution to the information loss problem. The reasons why are discussed in detail in that paper. I am happy if you pass this message on or post it on the web site raising the issue, but only if you post in full what I wrote. Thanks, Lee

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