Evidential Asymmetry, Scientific Confirmation of Prayer, and Horrific Evils

1. The General CaseOne of the most important (and equally most often forgotten) lessons that Bayes's Theorem can teach us about evidence is that the strength of evidence is a ratio. To be precise, let H1 and H2 be rival explanatory hypotheses, B be the relevant background information, and E be the evidence to be explained. Now consider the following ratio: Pr(E | B & H1) ----------------- Pr(E | B & H2) If Pr(E | B & H1) > Pr(E | B & H2), then this ratio is greater … [Read more...]

Swinburne on the Resurrection: Negative versus Christian Ramified Natural Theology

ABSTRACT: We consider the impact of negative natural theology on the prospects of Christian ramified natural theology with reference to Richard Swinburne’s argument for the Incarnation and Resurrection. We argue that Swinburne’s pivotal claim—that God would not allow deceptive evidence to exist for the Incarnation and Resurrection—is refuted by key evidence from negative natural theology. We argue, further, that Swinburne’s argument omits dominating items of evidence of negative natural theology … [Read more...]

Torley’s Response to Cavin & Colombetti on the Resurrection of Jesus

This was apparently published last December, but I wasn't aware of it until today. Vincent Torley provides an interesting Intelligent Design perspective on C&C's slide presentation on the resurrection of Jesus.LINK … [Read more...]

Cavin and Colombetti on the Resurrection of Jesus Part 3: The Projection and Unknown Removal Theories

What I want to do in this post is to summarize (and offer my own interpretation of) Cavin’s third main contention in his debate with Michael Licona on the Resurrection of Jesus: CC3. There is an alternative theory to the Resurrection that is a far superior explanation. 1. Explanatory Power RevisitedAlthough repetitive, for the convenience of the reader, I'm going to repeat what I wrote at the beginning of Part 2 since it bears directly upon Part 3. In order to properly assess CC3, ... i … [Read more...]

Just In Time for Easter: Notable Secular Outpost Content on the Resurrection

Cavin and Colombetti on the Resurrection1. MUST READ: Greg Cavin’s Case Against the Resurrection of Jesus2. Video of Licona-Cavin Debate on the Resurrection of Jesus3. Cavin and Colombetti on the Resurrection of Jesus Part 1: The Anti-Resurrection Prior Probability Argument4. Cavin and Colombetti on the Resurrection of Jesus Part 2: The Failure of the Resurrection ‘Explanation’5. Cavin and Colombetti on the Resurrection of Jesus Part 3: The Projection and Unknown Removal Theor … [Read more...]

The Nature of Naturalism

Over the last year (or two?), I've had on-again and off-again exchanges on various blogs with reader "Crude" about the definition of metaphysical naturalism. I'd like to comment on his (?) recent objections in the combox on Victor Reppert's blog start with the linked comment here and work your way down. Each time we've had an exchange, I've (virtually speaking) walked away scratching my head, not feeling the force of Crude's objections. Since that could be due to a misunderstanding on my part, … [Read more...]

Two Thumbs Up for John Loftus’s Book, Why I Became an Atheist

I just read John Loftus's book, Why I Became an Atheist. I hope to write something a bit more substantial later on, but for now wanted to mention my initial thoughts.I give this book two thumbs way up. In addition to courageously sharing his personal story, Loftus applies his considerable training and expertise into developing a cumulative case against Christianity and for atheism. I cannot think of another book like it on the market. Loftus is clearly familiar with the work of evangelical … [Read more...]

Returning to the Speaking and Debate Circuit

After a long hiatus, I'm finally ready to return to the speaking and debate circuit. If you'd like me to visit your school or group to speak or debate, please let me know. … [Read more...]