The Case for a Creator

Intro: Rebutting The Case for a Creator

Chapter 1

  • Angry Hillbillies (April 3, 2009)
    Lee Strobel discusses, but cannot bring himself to condemn, creationists who become irrational and violent over the teaching of evolution.
  • Facts About VD (April 10, 2009)
    Creationists freely admit that their rejection of evolution is based first and foremost on their beliefs about what they would prefer to be true.
  • Paging Dr. Provine (April 17, 2009)
    Strobel implausibly asserts that the truth of evolution requires accepting a specific and complex set of philosophical propositions about morality and the meaning of life.

Chapter 2

  • Atheistic Meteorology (April 24, 2009)
    If evolution is atheistic because it does not require belief in supernatural intervention, so too is every other field of science.
  • Authorities (May 9, 2009)
    Examining Christians who claim to have deconverted from atheism; also, are Strobel’s handpicked interviewees really “authorities” on evolution?
  • Pursuing All Possibilities (May 15, 2009)
    Does being open-minded require the contemplation of supernatural hypotheses in science?

Chapter 3

  • Steve Statistics (May 23, 2009)
    The NCSE’s “Project Steve” shows that qualified scientists support evolution over creationism 500 to 1.
  • Meet Jonathan Wells (June 7, 2009)
    Strobel’s first interviewee, like many creationists, decided for religious reasons to oppose evolution long before he had any advanced education about it.
  • Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble (June 14, 2009)
    Jonathan Wells deploys the “we don’t know, therefore God did it” argument with regards to abiogenesis.
  • Small Twigs (June 20, 2009)
    The origins of modern phyla lie in the Cambrian Explosion, but that is not the same thing as saying that the animals of the Cambrian were radically different from each other.
  • Beating a Dead Haeckel (June 27, 2009)
    Wells and Strobel use the ancient fraud of Ernst Haeckel to argue that any theory which explains the striking similarities in vertebrate embryos must be untrue.
  • The More Things Change (July 10, 2009)
    The evidence of homology, which Jonathan Wells affects not to understand, points to the shared ancestry of mammals and many other groups of life.
  • Ancient Wings (July 17, 2009)
    The feathered dinosaur Archaeopteryx is a transitional species and a relative of modern birds, not a direct ancestor.
  • Meet Your Ancestors (July 31, 2009)
    Strobel and Wells manage the remarkable feat of discussing human evolution with almost no mention of the actual fossils.

Chapter 4

  • Why Cosmologists Are Atheists (August 7, 2009)
    Although some scientists are religious believers, they are nowhere near the majority, which undercuts Strobel’s claims that the evidence of cosmology is increasingly pointing toward theism.
  • Astroturfing Science (August 17, 2009)
    The Discovery Institute’s Wedge Document shows that ID advocates are, at bottom, religious proselytizers acting under a false pretense of wanting to advance science.
  • Dysteleology (August 24, 2009)
    The panda’s thumb, the inverted retina and the appendix are examples of the kind of jury-rigged, imperfect tinkering we see in living species that points to evolution rather than ID.

Chapter 5

  • Intellectual Incuriosity (August 31, 2009)
    For all Strobel’s claims to be an advocate for science, he unintentionally shows that he’s only interested in science when he feels he can use it to support his religious beliefs.
  • You’re Interviewing Who?! (September 8, 2009)
    Inexplicably, in a book which claims to present the conclusions of scientific authorities, Strobel’s interviewee on the subject of cosmology is not a practicing scientist but a professional Christian apologist.
  • It’s All Because of Quantum (September 14, 2009)
    William Lane Craig presents some dubious assertions about whether quantum events can truly be said to be uncaused.
  • In the Beginning (September 25, 2009)
    It is not necessary to “traverse” an infinite past to arrive at the present; also, is science’s preference for solving problems rather than invoking miracles a “philosophical bias” against intelligent design?
  • This Time It’s Personal (October 9, 2009)
    William Lane Craig’s laughably overspecific assertions about the nature of the first cause amount to little more than a set of Christian apologetic presuppositions disguised as an argument.

Chapter 6

  • Another Non-Authority (October 16, 2009)
    Robin Collins, a philosophy professor at a Christian college, is the latest example of Strobel’s failing to meet his own self-proclaimed standard of interviewing scientific authorities who support intelligent design.
  • Strange New Worlds (October 23, 2009)
    Even if the physical constants of the universe might have been other than they are, we have no way of knowing how many different sets of constants would allow for life and consciousness to arise.
  • The God Generator (October 31, 2009)
    If we need an intelligently-designed mechanism to generate multiple universes, why do we not also need a mechanism to generate universe-designers?
  • The Ultimate 747 (November 9, 2009)
    If we are to avoid an infinite regress of ever-greater complexity, we need to turn to an algorithm that can create complexity from simplicity, and only evolution fits that job description.

Chapter 7

  • All the Starry Heavens (November 20, 2009)
    The opening remarks to chapter 7, which dismiss the possibility of extraterrestrial life without even a cursory discussion, are another indication that this book is not true science but evangelical religious beliefs thinly disguised in scientific language.
  • Galileo the Troublemaker (November 27, 2009)
    ID advocate Jay Wesley Richards defends the Catholic church’s persecution of Galileo and other scientists and philosophers who believed that the Earth was not the center of the universe.
  • A Parade of Horribles, Part I (December 11, 2009)
    Guillermo Gonzalez lists every way the Earth could have been different and concludes that any one of them would be fatal to life, even though living species already cope with similar challenges. In this post: Jupiter, the Moon and the seasons, the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit.
  • A Parade of Horribles, Part II (December 18, 2009)
    Guillermo Gonzalez lists every way the Earth could have been different and concludes that any one of them would be fatal to life, even though living species already cope with similar challenges. In this post: Earth’s size, plate tectonics, the galactic habitable zone.
  • Hot Jupiters (December 24, 2009)
    Guillermo Gonzalez claims that the abundance of large, close-orbiting gas giant planets – “hot Jupiters” – is a point in favor of the uniqueness of our solar system, when it’s actually an artifact of the way our planet-finding methods work.
  • A Universe Not Made for Us (January 8, 2010)
    Is our universe designed for scientific discovery, or have we simply been clever at exploiting all available opportunities? And in what ways is the cosmos not fine-tuned for science?

Chapter 8

  • The Smell of Science (January 21, 2010)
    Creationists seem to think they can acquire the mantle of “science” merely by placing themselves in the proximity of genuine scientists.
  • Complexity Is Scary! (January 29, 2010)
    Michael Behe pretends that the complexity of cells was an unexpected surprise to biologists, then pushes the fallacy that evolution can’t create complex things.
  • The Poker Player’s Fallacy (February 5, 2010)
    Michael Behe, who as a biologist should know better, makes the fallacious claim that protein evolution can only work by aiming at a single, prespecified amino acid sequence.
  • ID on Trial (February 15, 2010)
    When ID advocates must defend their positions before a neutral audience and aren’t shielded from challenge by a Christian interviewer asking easy questions, they tend not to fare well.

Chapter 9

  • The Illusion of Parity (March 1, 2010)
    Strobel’s returning to speak with the same interview subject twice in ten chapters illustrates just how intellectually shallow the ID movement really is.
  • Soup’s On! (March 8, 2010)
    Stephen Meyer makes some highly dubious and poorly sourced arguments about the primordial soup.
  • Information Wars (March 26, 2010)
    Stephen Meyer’s calculations about the likelihood of abiogenesis make some highly unrealistic assumptions and conflict with the known results of experiment.
  • Anticuriosity (April 9, 2010)
    The bizarre attitude which not only disdains the idea of seeking to understand the world, but attempts to discourage others from doing so as well.

Chapter 10

  • Credential Inflation (April 19, 2010)
    An undergraduate degree in chemistry does not a scientist make.
  • Belief and Decision (April 30, 2010)
    J.P. Moreland ignores a wide variety of evidence that beliefs and decisions originate in the functioning of the brain, not from a disembodied supernatural consciousness.
  • Why We Lost the Vietnam War (May 7, 2010)
    There are materialist models of free will other than B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism. Also, in a book that’s supposedly about science, why is there a digression on whether animals have souls?
  • Science by Armchair (May 28, 2010)
    J.P. Moreland claims to scientifically prove the existence of the soul without getting out of his armchair.
  • TV Sets and Tennis Shoes (June 9, 2010)
    The hypothesis that the brain is just a TV antenna picking up the transmissions of the soul fails to explain how brain damage can cause positive changes in the content of consciousness.

Closing Thoughts

  • Spiritual Wisdom (June 26, 2010)
    Despite Strobel’s claim to be interested only in science and not religion, he extensively interviews all his Christian subjects about their faith, while giving short shrift to the one interview subject who isn’t a Christian.
  • The Radical Fringe (July 2, 2010)
    Strobel denigrates biblical scholars who are skeptical of Jesus’ historicity as “the radical fringe” and therefore unworthy of serious consideration, without noticing that the same criticism applies even more potently to his own book.
  • Redefining Science (July 12, 2010)
    ID advocates concede that whatever they’re doing, it isn’t science. But why should we redefine science to suit them, when they’ve yet to prove that they even have an alternative method, much less one that’s of any practical use whatsoever?


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