In this video, Richard Dawkins answers a question many people have wondered for a long time: why he won't debate the person seemingly most able to debate him, William Craig Lane.
In his answer, Dawkins says he will debate "Popes, Cardinals and Bishops", but has no time for people who are simply "professional debaters", even though at this stage of his life he derives most of his income from debates and the books built on them.
I suspect there's more to this than meets the eye though. Dawkins' arguments come from science, and it's from science he refutes the bible. There are very few "Popes, Cardinals and Bishops" capable of taking him on in this arena as it simply isn't their training. Debating people with no scientific training on the scientific viability of the bible is rather like trying to have a foot race with a one-legged man.
Lane, even though his primary educational training wasn't in the sciences, decided to enter the lions den and quite effectively makes his argument there. He certainly has done more to understand the other side of the argument than Richard Dawkins ever tried.
Lane is an evangelical, and while I often have as many issues with evangelicals as Dawkins does, I have to admit Lane has done his homework and has a pretty concise understanding of the matter.
I would encourage Dawkins to take up this particular gauntlet. He's been soft balling all these years debating ministers and debating Lane would be a great entry into the practice of debating the many fellow scientists who have been after him for years.
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