Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Common Nontheist Misconceptions

That's an Argument From Ignorance

Sometimes when atheists are presented with an argument for God's existence, they will say "Just because you don't know what could have caused X besides God doesn't mean that God did it!" This response, on its own, is weak. We all live our lives accepting beliefs on the basis that they are the best known explanations (i.e. because we don't know of a better alternative). Think about it: if you're called to jury duty and you have to examine a murder case, and all of the evidence seems to be utterly inexplicable unless the defendant is guilty, would you sit in the jury box and say, "Just because I can't think of a way to explain this mountain of evidence without invoking the defendant's guilt does not mean that he really is guilty!"

If a theist presents evidence of God, I think it could possibly be accepted as a basis for conversion, as long as it passes the following steps:

1. The evidence has to be something that is genuinely predicted by the god hypothesis or better explained if a God exists. Roy Abraham Varghese once pointed out that scientists don't know how bumblebees fly. Which is true, but how in the hell could God explain this phenomenon?

2. There should not be any competing explanations which are more plausible than the theistic explanation.

3. Given that theistic explanations have failed hundreds of times in the past, is this evidence currently being presented really so overpowering that I can ignore the lessons of history?

Jesus Mythicism as a Debate Tactic

There are accredited scholars, namely Richard Carrier and Robert Price, who defend the viewpoint that Jesus mythicism is somewhat more likely than the view that Jesus was an historical figure. There is a chance that they are right, and even that in the future more scholars will recognize their position. I think it's fine to look at their arguments and come to your own conclusion. The misconception that I have in mind here is not that they are necessarily wrong, but simply that their position ought not be used as a sort of tool for deconverting nonbelievers. After all, the vast majority of historians, including atheist historians like Gerd Ludemann and agnostics like Bart Ehrman, believe the best explanation of the facts is that there was an actual historical Jesus (Ehrman has written a book on the subject that is now available). The reason they believe this is because it is the most credible explanation they know for the evidence. Example: in Galatians 1:19 Paul says he met James, the brother of the Lord (Galatians is not forged, it's widely accepted as authentic). Since a mythical person cannot have a brother, and since this is from an authentic and very early source (written in the 50's AD) it's good evidence for a real historical Jesus.

I find myself constantly having to make a similar point to creationists who think they know geology, physics, and biology better than men and women (many of whom are Christians) who have spent their entire lives studying the issues. Needless to say, that is just silly. It may be OK to harbor private doubts and to raise questions about the issue, but no one ought to debate someone else under the pretense that they think they know the issue better than professionals. What's sauce for the creationists is sauce for the Jesus mythicists; Have your doubts and questions, but be humble and don't assume you know it all, and especially don't present a fringe viewpoint as a reason for someone else to accept your conclusion.

Since you can't prove a negative, the burden of proof is on the theist to show that God exists.

The statement "You can't prove a negative" is simply false. We can the President is not chinese, we can prove that one plus one does not equal three, I can prove that Julius Caesar is not my father, and so on. That being said, do atheists have the burden of proof? Yes and No. It is our responsibility to show that they have the burden of proof, but it is a fact that they have it. The principle of Ockam's razor says that all else equal the simplest explanation is most probably correct. If the world around us can be explained just fine without theorizing that a God exists, then we must judge it likely that God does not exist, because a simpler explanation (that nature is all that exists) is more likely than the more complicated explanation. A point often missed is that the argument from Ockham's razor does not merely argue for a lack of belief; it actively argues for the belief that God probably does not exist. That's why theists have the burden of proof: Because we've got an argument that shows God probably does not exist, and in order to get the probability above 50% again, they have to show that there is evidence that a God exists.

You can do even better than that. As I once put it: Atheism makes the distinct predictions that the only way complicated living things will exist is if evolution occured (because on atheism there's no person to create them, they can only be products of nature) and that the world will contain injustice and evil, simply because atheism means that there's no perfect being running the universe, and without such a person, it is overwhelmingly likely that bad things will happen from time to time. And that's exactly the universe we live in.

Atheistic philosophers have come up with a number of good arguments demonstrating the nonexistence of god, here are some handy resources on those:

Webpage: Evil Bible: The Impossibility of God (This is a brief and simple set of arguments)
Journal Article: Ted Drange, A Survey of Incompatible Properties Arguments
Webpage: Ten Atheistic Arguments
WebPage: Logical Arguments for Atheism
Webpage: Evidential Arguments for Atheism
Book: The Impossibility of God
Book: The Improbability of God
Richard Carrier Blogs: The God Impossible

A Common Argument Against Miracles

Thomas Paine made the following argument against miracles:
"Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course; but we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time; it is, therefore, at least millions to one that the reporter tells a lie."

Though this argument may sound airtight, it isn't. Let's look at a counter-example to see why: Suppose that some particular sequence of lottery numbers are only drawn one time in a million. Suppose you read that this number is the week's winning ticket in your local newspaper, which is known to give mistaken reports one time in ten thousand. Let us parody Paine: "Which is more likely, the mistake or the lottery drawing?" The manifest absurdity invites us to re-examine Hume's argument and correct the logic inherent within it. As it turns out, there is an error in this argument: it confuses how often an event happens with how often a report of that event is correct. In theory, it might be the case that miracles are exceedingly rare and that when miracles are reported the reports are usually true, in which case we would be justified in accepting a miracle based on mere testimony, since most of those testimonies would be correct.

Though this argument against miracles is flawed, I must point out that there is a correct argument against belief in miracles that has a similar result. I think a very heavy (though not impossible) burden of proof lies on any claimed miracle before it can be considered true. After all, investigations of alleged miracles have been undertaken in modern times, and they have turned empty, time after time. Little known fact is that the US Patent Office has officially refused to grant a patent to any claimed perpetual motion machine. No wonder. Every single claimed perpetual motion machine has turned out in the past to be invalid. Just a little bit of common sense tells us that, even if we can't absolutely rule out the possibility that such a machine might one day be built, it would take a fool to believe the next claim that turns up unless it was accomponied by extensive, exhaustive, extraordinary evidence. The same thing applies to miracle claims, for exactly the same reasons. And this doesn't forever and always end the debate over miracles. It could be the case that strong and overwhelming evidence turns up one day. But that has not, to my knowledge, ever happened or even come close to happening.

What's Sauce for the Goose is Sauce for the God

Theists will often present some fact that they think needs explaining: That a universe exists instead of nothing, that the universe is fine-tuned, etc. etc. A common atheist rebuttal to this is that if they get to arbitrarily suppose that God exists otu of necessity or for no reason at all, then why can't an atheist say the same about the universe? Likewise for the argument that the laws of nature come from God: if we can arbitrarily suppose that a lawfully thinking god exists for no reason, then why can't we arbitrarily suppose that a lawful universe exists for no reason? I used to go for this argument myself. It has gradually dawned on me that if this response is the only fallback response offered, the atheist position would end up being burdened with an awfully large number of arbitrary suppositions (that the universe exists as a brute fact, that it is suitable to life just by chance, and so on) whereas theism would only contain one supposition. Theism would be therefore simpler and, given that the simplest hypothesis is most probably correct, it would likely be true. Atheists shouldn't reach for such an intelluctually lazy response all of the time. Though this response might be valid if it was used in one and only one example, using it beyond that is problematic. And you don't have to. Little known fact is that there are valid and compelling nontheistic answers to every question like this that a theist might raise. Just look at Bertrand Russell's essay Why I am Not a Christian for an explanation about why there are laws of physics. Turn to Bede Rundall's book Why There is Something Rather than Nothing or Robert Nozick's Philosophical Explanations for discussions of why there is something rather than nothing. A quick and fun answer to this question is: there are infinite number of ways for there to be something (a universe composed of one atom, two atoms, three atoms... All the way up to infinity) and only one way for there to be nothing. The reason something exists rather than nothing is because something is more likely: It is infinity to one that something should exist.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Letter to Dr. Kern

Abbie Smith recently debated Dr. Steve Kern, a pastor in Oklahoma City, on the issue of whether intelligent design should be taught in schools. Abbie's presentation is fun, but Dr. Kern just didn't get it, and everything he said is standard creationist fare. Stephen Jay Gould proposed punctuated equilibrium because there were no transitional fossils (false). The earth may not be billions of years old. It's tiresome to see so many people who just believe creationist clap trap without bothering to read anything from another point of view or even to, you know, do some basic fact-checking. So I sent a letter to Kern's church:


I recently watched the discussion that Dr. Kern had with Abbie Smith.

Age of the Earth: There's a very good article on radiometric dating written by Dr. Roger C. Wiens on the age of the Earth and radiometric dating called Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective. I do not generally advocate information posted on the internet, but this article was written by a practicing physicist who minored in geology, it contains extensive references to peer-reviewed scientific literature, and a portion of it appeared in a book published through University of California Press (The book is Evolution Vs. Creationism).

Evolution and Transitional Fossils: There are many transitional fossils that have been discovered within the past 50 years: (Note that the information presented on this blog is based on peer-reviewed research you can read for yourself, and I'd be happy to send you a paper that contains a similar graph based on human fossils that have been discovered).

The Journal Nature has published some papers that document the evolutionary transition from fish to primitive amphibians: and there's more information on this here:

Paleontologist Donald R. Prothero published a beautiful book documenting the nature of the fossil record called Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters.

Also, I'm not sure if it was made completely clear during the debate, but the endogenous retroviruses that Abbie was talking about, which are shared between humans and other primates, are striking evidence for an ancient common ancestor:


Friday, March 16, 2012

On the Origins of the Creationist Movement By Means of Natural Selection

Jason Rosenhouse recently blogged Why Creationists Believe as They Do. Here's an excerpt:

"As fundamentalists see it, their confidence in the Bible is the most rational thing in the world. They talk more about facts, logic and evidence than just about anyone else you'll ever meet. It certainly is not the result of blind faith or anything like that."

I think there are two distinct species of creationists (and Christian in general) that need to be examined and explained.

The first type of creationist is the common garden variety which Rosenhouse describes. These are your average churchgoers, your creation science buffs (From personal experience and the experience of others I know it seems that every church is blessed, so to speak, with some guy who has read a ton of creationist material and is known as the local "expert" to be consulted on the matter). These poor dupes are not without all common sense. They know full well that it is inappropriate to believe something that you don't have a good reason to. In sermons, conversations with friends, books they've read, etc. the people that they trust have told them that tons of evidence exists. Miraculous prophecies in the bible were confirmed. Noah's Ark was found. Seashells were found a mountaintop proving the flood of Noah. They assume these people would not lie to them or be grossly mistaken about the matter at hand, after all, it is only natural for us to believe what other people tell us is true. The solution for these people is simply more education, and this is a problem that I think is increasingly shrinking with the advent of the internet and with a great increase in college education. The evidence that I have to support my view here is that most people, I think, start out with a heavy bias toward creationism. But amongst scientists (again, many of whom must have started out as creationists) you won't find very many creationists at all. In fact, far less than 1% of scientists believe in creationism. The same goes for philosophers and theistic belief; over 70% of philosophers "accept or lean towards" atheism. In other words, people who familiarize themselves with the evidence stop believing creationism. Most people are just not perverse enough to act otherwise. That's my story. That's the story of a guy I wrote about the other day. And there is a book review on amazon that confirms more of the same.

The second type of creationist is the evidence-resistant strain. These are the leaders of the movement, like Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig, and Ken Ham. These men are looked to as leaders in the evangelical/creationist movement in part (I think) because they all have some credentials. Ham has a Bachelor's in applied science, Geisler holds a PhD in philosophy, and Craig has more degrees than a thermometer. I expect that anyone who has had a chance to actually look at the evidence concerning the age of the earth and evolution would have to be rigidly dogmatic and not remotely reasonable in order to hold on to the alternative conclusion. It's natural selection; just as the only bacteria who survive an antibiotic are those who have some type of resistance, the only creationists who remain creationists after looking at the evidence are ones who could never be dissuaded by any evidence whatsoever. And just look at what we see: Ham is an extreme relativist and presuppositionalist who claims that the evidence can't be looked at on its own but that one has to choose sides before looking at the evidence and then shoehorn that evidence into the pre-chosen framework (I wouldn't want that guy to serve jury duty-- ever!). William Lane Craig emphasizes that the real reason you should be a Christian is because of the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. Geisler, though he claims to be an evidentialist, is really very superficial in his reasoning (read something he's written and see what I mean) and more or less creates arbitrary and impossible criteria for identifying error in the Bible, as Chris Hallquist beautifully demonstrated in UFOs Ghosts and a Rising God.

The trouble is that your average creationist gets all of his thinking from the dogmatic heroes of creationism, and never hears much of anything else. The leaders of these movements understand very well that a goodly number (if not a majority) of their garden-variety followers likely won't be impressed with simple dogmatism, and this is why they go to the lengths they do to come up with arguments and evidence that will sound really appealing. It doesn't have to stand up to scrutiny; After all, most members of the poor garden variety will never rigorously check the facts being presented (a fact creationist leaders no doubt are aware of). Just as long as whatever you're saying sounds really compelling, you've got 'em. For William Lane Craig, Ken Ham, and Norman Geisler, every argument is just bait to catch more souls for Jesus. They could care less if no evidence supported their view or even whether massive evidence contradicted their view; Ham and Craig have even said as much.

With the advent of greater education and the internet, it is becoming easier and easier to catch these folks in outright lies. They may realize that, which is why we are now witnessing the transitional forms that we are: creationists who want to rely on some sort of non-evidential justification for their beliefs as well as a form of evidence. Craig attempts to make good arguments for God but at the same time emphasizes the inner witness of the holy spirit. Ham goes for presuppositionalism but also does his part to explain away the evidence as representing something else and his site, from time to time, does indeed introduce evidential argumentation. My guess is that eventually this will all result in the evolution of purely philosophical or fideistic defenses of faith with very little, if any, mention of evidence or anything else. And that's the trap the creationists are caught in: I have doubts as to whether anyone, even the less sophisticated and less learned, will find that compelling. This may well lead to the extinction (or near extinction) of the entire creationist movement, and maybe even the extinction (or near extinction) of faith.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Excavating the Empty Tomb

Youtuber TruthSurge has done a wonderful series on the gospels called Excavating the Empty Tomb: Beyond Reasonable Doubt. Because of the name I was skeptical at first (Excavating the empty tomb? Is this another guy promoting the idea that we have actually found the tomb of Jesus?!) but I was pleasantly surprised at the high quality content and presentation of the videos.

TruthSurge mentions in passing the Jesus myth theory, a theory which is rejected by the consensus of New Testament scholarship, but that isn't the centerpiece of his presentation and so it doesn't detract from what he says. The content of the videos is mostly a very well-done popularization of the material found in The Homeric Epics and Mark and Misquoting Jesus. TruthSurge is careful not to overdo-it with the issue of pagan parallels, and I think everything he says concerning this can be supported in the references I have given here.

That being said, here's what I think the most demolishing points against the resurrection myth are:
(a) The god of the Old Testament is a cultural creation of the ancient Hebrews, as demonstrated extensively in The End of Christianity. Therefore, there's no god who would raise Jesus.
(b) The dubious nature of historical evidence, especially hearsay historical evidence written by highly biased and provably errant writers.
(c) There are credible natural explanations for everything that took place at the beginning of Christianity, see the book cited above along with The Christian Delusion and this article you can read for free from Skeptic Magazine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Causation Argument for an Eternal Universe

Here's my argument:

1. In our experience, every moment of spacetime is caused by a previous moment of spacetime.

2. There are two concievable options: either (a) it is possible that moments of spacetime can be uncaused/caused by something nonspatiotemporal or (b) it is impossible for moments of spacetime to be caused by anything except previous spacetime.

3. On the hypothesis that (b) is true, it is 100% likely that we would observe (1). On the hypothesis that (a) is true, there must be less than a 100% chance that we would observe (1) because on the (a) hypothesis, spacetime can be caused by nonspatiotemporal things or uncaused altogether.

4. We should prefer the hypothesis that does the best job of predicting the data, all else held equal.

Conclusion: From 3 and 4, spatiotemporal moments are probably always caused by previous spatiotemporal moments. The only way this can happen is if the universe is eternal, or if something like Quentin Smith's scenario for a self-caused universe is correct.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Selective Power of Creation "Science"

Here's an interesting post someone made in the FRDB forum:

It is a near-certainty that any intelligent Christian who seriously studies both secular science and so-called "creation science" will be incapable of remaining a fundamentalist. In fact, they may well end up agnostic or even atheist.

I know. It happened to me.

It is the absurd ignorance coupled with the arrogant self-assurance of Creationists and ID proponents which caused me to begin doubting everything that my fellow Christians said. Since they were so obviously both ignorant and closed-minded about the Theory of Evolution, I began to wonder about the claims they made about the historicity and provenance of the Bible as well. And the more I studied, the more I discovered that I was being lied to.

Granted, most of the time those doing the lying were not aware that the bullshit they were parroting was bullshit. They were simply repeating, with utmost sincerity, the bullshit that had been told them by people they knew and trusted. And many of those people were, in turn, doing the same.

I'm pretty sure that at least some of the people in the "creation science" movement are fully aware that they are peddling a big, stinking Crock 'O' Shit with some sciencey words sprinkled on top for effect, but most seem to be merely gullible dupes who actually believe this crap. And it's no coincidence that this nonsense is most eagerly swallowed in the USA, where science education is the poorest in the developed world. An ignorant populace is the best place to sell snake oil.

So what's this selective power that Creation Science" has? It has the unique ability to cull the intellectually curious from the ranks of Fundamentalist Christians, leaving behind a population which, in the absence of anyone to ask embarrassing questions, tends to reinforce ignorance and reward gullibility.

I've had the same experience that this man has had. Growing I had a textbook that was filled with creationist propaganda (I attended a private Christian school).

I think that, fortunately, the ignorance is gradually coming to an end. As more people go to college and get a good science education, we'll see a small slice removed from the creationist population. More slices will be removed when people come across free educational material on the web. For example, the Talk Origins archive, or the things such as Kenneth Miller's debate with creationist Henry Morris in which Miller systematically exposes the devastating flaws in creationist reasoning and offers a strong case for evolution and an old earth. Even worse damage to creationism will occur when people come across books like Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters in which Paleontologist Don Prothero shows exactly why creationist "explanations" of the Grand Canyon ("It was Noah's Flood!") are baloney and torpedoes the old canard that there are no transitional fossils with a Noachian flood of examples. The books The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution and The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution and Why Evolution Is True in addition to the online documents 29 Evidences for Macroevolution and Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective completely annhilate the doubts that any reasonable person might have. And that's what did it for me. And it will be continued as education and information grow, and at some point we will reach a "critical mass" at which creationism will be an extinct or fringe idea.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Some Arguments for Atheism

Remember Richard Dawkins' bestseller The God Delusion? In it, he had a knockout argument against the existence of God, one which I defended at length against some very weak criticisms that had been launched by some Christian apologists in Atheism and Naturalism (Also available as a download here). In my book Selected Essays, in the chapter "Why The Universe is Not Just a Dream" I retooled Dawkin's argument and used it to argue against solipsism (the weird philosophical viewpoint that your own mind is the only thing that exists).

I recently found a post on Uncommon Descent which discusses the following argument(s) for atheism that are very similar to Dawkins' argument:

Argument A. An argument against the existence of the God of Classical Theism (an absolutely simple and omniscient Being)
1. Any entity that knows someone’s name has a representation of that name within his/her mind.
2. Proper names (e.g. Sam or Meg) have a minimal representation in excess of one bit.
3. If God exists, God knows everyone’s name. (By definition, God is omniscient, according to classical theism.)
4. Therefore if God exists, God’s mind contains representations whose length exceeds one bit.
5. A representation in excess of one bit is composed of multiple (two or more) parts.
6. Therefore if God exists, God’s mind has multiple parts.
7. But if God exists, God’s mind does not have multiple parts. (By definition, God is simple, according to classical theism.)8. Therefore God does not exist. (If P->Q and P->not Q, then it follows that not P.)

Comment at Uncommon Descent: "This argument will not trouble all religious believers. Some of them might be tempted to say: 'We can jettison classical theism but still retain our belief in God. Maybe God is omniscient, but complex.' But Dave Mullenix’s second argument discredits even this fallback position."

Argument B. An argument against the existence of an omniscient God who created life
1. If God exists, God knows each and every human language. (True by definition of omniscience.)2. Any entity that knows a language has a representation of all the rules of that language within his/her mind.
3. Rules have a minimal representation in excess of one bit. (A rule contains several words; hence you can’t represent a rule using only a single bit.)
4. Since the rules of a human language include not only phonologic rules, morphologic rules and syntactic rules, but also semantic rules and pragmatic rules, the total number of rules in any given language is vast.
5. Therefore any entity that knows a language is capable of holding a vast number of bits of information (let’s call it N) in his/her mind.
6. Therefore if God exists, God’s mind contains an extremely large number of bits of information. In fact, this number is much larger than N, as N is the number of bits required to specify the rules of just one language, and there are roughly 10,000 languages in existence, to the nearest order of magnitude.
7. However, the number of bits in the minimal representation of the first living cell is smaller than N. (A living cell is complex, but it cannot be as complex as the total set of rules in a human language – otherwise we would be unable to describe the workings of the cell in human language.)
8. Indeed, it is probably the case that the total number of bits required to explain the existence of all life-forms found on Earth today is smaller than N. (Many ID advocates, including Professor Behe, are prepared to assume that front-loading is true. If it is, then the number of bits in the minimal representation of the first living cell is sufficient to explain the diversity of all life-forms found on Earth today.)
9. The more bits an entity requires to specify it, the more complex it is, and hence the more antecedently unlikely its existence is.
10. Therefore God’s existence is antecedently even more unlikely than the existence of life on Earth – the difficulties of abiogenesis notwithstanding.
11. An explanation which is antecedently even more unliklely than what it tries to explain is a bad explanation.
12. Hence invoking God (an omniscient Being) to explain life is a bad explanation.

So, how do the ID folk get around this doozy? Here's their explanation:

The problem, I believe, lies in premise 1: 'Any entity that knows someone’s name has a representation of that name within his/her mind.' At first blush premise 1 seems obvious: surely all knowledge has to be in the mind of the knower. However, I’d like to challenge this assumption. Why should this be so? A clue to why this seems so obvious is contained in Dave Mullenix’s words, “that information needs to be ‘on line.’” If we picture God as having a conversation with us in real time, then of course He will need to be able to access relevant information about us – including our names – from one moment to the next. In other words, He will need to keep it in His mind. And since a name, being inherently composite, cannot be compressed to a single bit, there can be no room for it in the simple mind of God.
But God is not in real time. God is beyond space and time. This is true regardless of whether one conceives of God as atemporal (totally outside time) as classical theists do, or as being omnitemporal (present at all points in time) subsequent to the creation of the universe, as Professor William Lane Craig does. On either analysis, God is not confined to a single location in time. In that case, God does not have to store information about our names in His mind for future retrieval; it’s always immediately there for Him.

“All right,” you may answer, “but if God is talking to me, and He calls me by my name, then the information about my name must still be in His mind, mustn’t it?” Not so. I would maintain that all God needs is to have access to your name; it doesn’t need to be “in” His mind. I would suggest that God knows facts about the world (including individuals’ names) simply by having access to the states of affairs which make them true (their truthmakers, in philosophical jargon). These facts don’t need to be “in God’s mind”; He just needs to be able to access them. The fact that grounds my having the name I do is that my parents gave it to me, shortly after I was born. God, who holds all things in being, was certainly present at this event: if He had not been present, my parents and I would not have been there, for “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). If God has immediate epistemic access to the occasion when I acquired my name, then He automatically knows my name. It doesn’t need to be in His mind.
God, who holds all things, past, present and future, in existence, has immediate epistemic access to all events in the past, present and future. That’s how He is able to know my name."

My response: I don't think that works. The deity doesn't simply need to be able to observe all points of space and time to know everything. He'd have to have a complex mind capable of correctly interpreting information, too. For example, God could not be as stupid as a chicken, because a chicken will never get that my name is Ryan no matter how many times that sound is made by other people in my presence. He would also have to be capable of not only interpreting information but piecing it together so that God can do what he wants. For example, if God wanted to appear to me and tell me everything I need to know about him, he would have to understand how to piece together all the words he knew in order to make sentences that I would understand and that would make sense to me. And we also have the problem of God's creation of the universe. You see, the entire response that Uncommon Descent gave was predicated on the notion of God existing at every point in spacetime. But what about before God created the universe? God would have to know an awful lot about exactly how to create a universe in order to get it the way he wanted it (fine-tuning all the constants so they could support life, imagining the fabric of spacetime, imagining all the different particles he could make and choosing the right ones, etc. etc.). So the atheistic argument from complexity still stands.

Incidentally, Richard Carrier has recently blogged on argument like this and other arguments that show God is impossible (See The God Impossible). It's worth reading!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

How To Fix Science

Please read Luke Muelhauser's new post, How To Fix Science. Then email it to any and all scientists you know. Post it on forums. Get the word out.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Frank Zindler's K.O.s of creationism

Frank Zindler's articles on creationism and evolution are dramatically helpful resources for those interested:

Creation Science and the FACT of Evolution

The Kiwi Question

Rock of Ages and the Age of Rocks