Jonathan McLatchie: Fact-Checking Wikipedia on Common Descent: The Evidence from Paleontology (2011)

Jonathan McLatchie is an up-and-coming Christian apologist who also has a strong background in biology. I met him in person once while I was speaking in Seattle and he was an intern at the Discovery Institute. He seemed to me to be a very nice and intelligent fellow.McLatchie wrote a series of blog posts critiquing the Wikipedia article on the evidence of common descent; McLatchie's article provides his critique of what Wikipedia has to say about the evidence for common descent from … [Read more...]

Horia George Plugaru: The Argument from Physiological Horrors (2003)

This was recommended to me, but I haven't read it yet. Please feel free to debate in the combox. P1: If human beings: (1) would produce extremely disgusting, abhorrent, horrible, pestilential, totally ugly results, (2) those results would be due to no fault of their own, (3) assuming that (some of) those results would help to attain sufficiently important goals, there could be imagined other, much more aesthetic ways to achieve them without anything of importance being lost then they … [Read more...]

The Evidential Argument from Biological Evolution: Part 1

Many conservative Christians and lay atheists alike claim that if biological evolution is true, then God does not exist. Ironically, while many conservative Christians have attacked evolution because it supposedly entails atheism, only one contemporary atheist philosopher has argued that evolution is evidence for atheism: Paul Draper.Draper defends an evidential argument from evolution for naturalism. In other words, Draper's argument does not claim that evolution is logically inconsistent … [Read more...]

Theists, like Math Students, Need to Show Their Work

In my recent debate with Kevin Vandergriff, Vandergriff argued that biological evolution is evidence for theism. In support, he referred to the probability estimate of evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala. According to Ayala, it is fantastically improbable that intelligent life on Earth is the result of unguided evolution.Since I have a background in probability theory, I was most interested in learning how Ayala arrived at this conclusion and, more important, how he arrived at his precis … [Read more...]

Schellenberg’s Defense of Nonresistant Nonbelief / Divine Hiddenness

In this post, I want to summarize J.L. Schellenberg's defense of the claim that nonresistant nonbelief exists (or, synonymously, divine hiddenness obtains).As I've explained before, Schellenberg's most recent formulation of that argument is as follows. (1) Necessarily, if God exists, anyone who is (i) not resisting God and (ii) capable of meaningful conscious relationship with God is also (iii) in a position to participate in such relationship (able to do so just by trying). (2) … [Read more...]

Swing and a Miss: Another Failed Refutation of Schellenberg’s Hiddenness Argument

Philosopher of religion J.L. Schellenberg is the foremost defender of an argument for atheism known as the argument from nonculpable nonbelief (aka the argument from divine hiddenness). As I've explained before, Schellenberg's most recent formulation of that argument is as follows.(1) Necessarily, if God exists, anyone who is (i) not resisting God and (ii) capable of meaningful conscious relationship with God is also (iii) in a position to participate in such relationship (able to do so just … [Read more...]

Another Christian Apologist Uses Fallacious Objections to Evolution

Real shocker, right?My Twitter feed included a link to an article which I want to comment on:Bill Nye's Naturalistic Evolution is Absurd: Contesting 'Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation': Bill Nye's Atheistic Evolution Is PreposterousEvolution is one of the most powerful and important ideas ever developed in the history of science. Every question it raises leads to new answers, new discoveries, and new smarter questions. The science of evolution is as expansive as n … [Read more...]

Adolf Grünbaum: The Poverty of Theistic Cosmology (2004)

This paper sits behind a paywall and I do not have access, so I have not read it and have no opinion on its contents. (Aside: if a copy were to somehow magically arrive in my inbox, I would be very happy.)Here is the (quite lengthy!) abstract: Philosophers have postulated the existence of God to explain (I) why any contingent objects exist at all rather than nothing contingent, and (II) why the fundamental laws of nature and basic facts of the world are exactly what they are. Therefore, we … [Read more...]


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