Worst Atheist Debate Performances (revised 22-May-15)

In the past, I posted a list of the "Worst Atheist Debaters." I now think that title was a mistake, since it's possible that a single debate performance may not be representative of a person's overall skill in debate. So I am republishing that list now as a list of the "Worst Atheist Debate Performances."Like my list of "Best Atheist Debaters," I don't know of any way to be fully objective about this sort of thing. Also, like the other list, I fully recognize that others may disagree. … [Read more...]

What are Atheists For?

What are atheists for? Hypotheses on the functions of non-belief in the evolution of religionDominic Johnson* Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UKAn explosion of recent research suggests that religious beliefs and behaviors are universal, arise from deep-seated cognitive mechanisms, and were favored by natural selection over human evolutionary history. However, if a propensity towards religious beliefs is a fundamental characteristic of human bra … [Read more...]

Very Interesting Theistic Argument

I just discovered Robin Collins' very, very interesting reply to Carroll. Collins defends an entirely new class of fine-tuning argument for theism. This new class of fine-tuning argument does not argue that the universe is fine-tuned for life. Rather, this new class of fine-tuning argument argues that the universe is fine-tuned for discoverability. This novel argument sets up the following reply to Carroll on the extremely low entropy of the early universe: the extremely low entropy of the early … [Read more...]

NASA: The Universe is Flat (which Suggests It is Spatially Infinite)

The WMAP spacecraft can measure the basic parameters of the Big Bang theory including the geometry of the universe. If the universe were flat, the brightest microwave background fluctuations (or "spots") would be about one degree across. If the universe were open, the spots would be less than one degree across. If the universe were closed, the brightest spots would be greater than one degree across.Recent measurements (c. 2001) by a number of ground-based and balloon-based experiments, includ … [Read more...]

Is HADD Evidence Against Theism? Part 1

I've been thinking lately about whether HADD, on the assumption that it exists, is evidence for or against the existence of God. I'm starting to think it is neutral, but I'm posting this here for feedback.ContextBefore diving into the details, let's review a few items for context.First, let's address terminology. HADD is an acronym which stands for "Hypersensitive Agency Detection Device." HADD is a theory in the cognitive science of religion which says that most humans seem to be … [Read more...]

Craig-Carroll Debate Video Now Online

HT: Mikkel Rumraket Rasmussen … [Read more...]

Extremely Low Entropy of the Early Universe as Evidence against Theism?

One of the topics from last Friday's debate between William Lane Craig and Sean Carroll was the extremely low entropy of the early universe. As I type this blog post, the video of the debate isn't available, so I'm going from memory. But I thought I heard Carroll argue that the extremely low entropy of the early universe is evidence favoring naturalism over theism.In The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity, Carroll seems to make a similar point: An example of fine-tuning well … [Read more...]

Let’s Attack a Straw Man, C.S. Lewis Style!

I was re-reading C.S. Lewis' book, Mere Christianity, and was struck by his completely biased way of defining the theory he wants to discredit. Here's a quick refresher: Lewis wants to defend a moral argument for what he calls the "Religious view" (read: theism) and against what he calls the "Materialist view." If you were expecting Lewis to offer a "neutral" definition of materialism, such as "the belief that matter and energy are all that exist," you'd be massively mistaken. Instead, here's … [Read more...]