There’s a first time for everything.
I recently wrote an article for the February, 2008 edition of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society academic journal.
I can’t believe it either.
What does this have to do with atheism?
I teach math. I wrote a book. I blog about atheism.
So my article is a review of two books that attempt to apply math to questions about the nature of God.
The books are The Probability of God: A Simple Calculation That Proves the Ultimate Truth by Stephen Unwin and Superior Beings: If They Exist, How Would We Know? by Steven Brams.
Here is the mother of all spoilers: The probability that the monotheistic, prayer-answering God exists is… 67%.
Incidentally, Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine, calls the book “innovative” and “an entertaining exercise in thinking.” When Shermer plugged in his own numbers… into Unwin’s equation, he found that the probability of God was only 2%. All of Shermer’s values were the same or lower than Unwin’s, but it goes to show how the method described in this book can produce wildly varied results.
You can read my article here (PDF).
And if you’re especially courageous, you can read the entire February, 2008 issue of the Notices here (PDF… takes a while to load).