G&T Rebuttal, Part 4: Chapter 5

Chapter 5. The First Life: Natural Law or Divine Awe?  In this chapter, G&T defend a design argument focused on the first life. They also present a variety of objections to scientism and materialism.I will provide a very brief summary of their points, before providing my critique.(i) Argument to Design of the First Life: G&T argue that the origin of the first life is evidence favoring theism over naturalism. They emphasize the following points:  (1) all life, including … [Read more...]

Stan Stephens’s Categorical Misunderstandings of Atheism

Stan Stephens has finally decided to respond to my list of sixteen (16) lines of empirical evidence which favor naturalism over theism. Here is the first sentence of his reply. Jeffery Jay Lowder provided a list of empirical proofs. (emphasis added) I've emphasized Stan's use of the word "proofs" because it exposes a fundamental misunderstanding of the arguments. The word "proof" has the connotation of certainty. But I've never claimed that my list of arguments are "proofs." Rather, my list of … [Read more...]

Theistic Prejudice: A Case Study with Stan

Over at Randal Rauser's blog, Stan wrote the following: Free thinking does not mean disciplined logical thought; it means being free to think that whatever you might think at the moment is Truth, including that there is no truth. Free Thought is much like removing the timing from your engine's combustion system to allow it "freedom".Logic demands discipline and guidance under the rules of deductive reasoning. Atheists have no concept of this, for the most part, and those who do, cannot … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 7: Victor Stenger on the Absence of Scientific Evidence for God

In this post, I want to revisit an argument from silence used by Victor Stenger against the existence of God based on the absence of scientific evidence for God.In his 2010 debate with William Lane Craig, Stenger argued that "the absence of evidence for God is evidence of absence" of God. In his words, "If God plays such an active role in the universe, then his actions should surely have been observed by now." As I understood him, he offered four examples of scientific evidence which could … [Read more...]

Plantinga on the Alleged “Irrationality” of Atheism

 I want to comment on Gary Gutting's recent interview of Alvin Plantinga in the New York Times. Unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are quotations of Plantinga. Still, that’s not nearly sufficient for atheism. In the British newspaper The Independent, the scientist Richard Dawkins was recently asked the following question: “If you died and arrived at the gates of heaven, what would you say to God to justify your lifelong atheism?” His response: “I’d quote Bertrand Russell: ‘Not e … [Read more...]

The Evidential Argument from the History of Science, Part 5: Reply to RD Miksa

In the combox on Victor Reppert's Dangerous Idea blog, RD Miksa posted a thoughtful, four part assessment of the evidential argument from history of science (AHS). In this post, I want to reply to Miksa. Miksa's Reply to the Informal Statement of the Argument The Definition of "Science" Miksa correctly points out that my post did not provide an explicit definition of the crucial term "science." Following Paul Draper, let's define two kinds of sciences.nomological or inductive science: the … [Read more...]

The Evidential Argument from the History of Science, Part 4: Reply to ‘cl’

IntroductionTheists hold that there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect person (God) who created the universe. Metaphysical naturalists, on the other hand, hold that the universe is a closed system, which means that nothing that is not part of the natural world affects it. Metaphysical naturalism (N) denies the existence of all supernatural beings, including God. Therefore, N entails that any true scientific explanations must be naturalistic (i.e., non-supernatural) … [Read more...]

Index: The Evidential Argument from the History of Science (AHS)

Informal Statement of the ArgumentIf there is a single theme unifying the history of science, it is that naturalistic (i.e., non-supernatural) explanations work. The history of science contains numerous examples of naturalistic explanations replacing supernatural ones and no examples of supernatural explanations replacing naturalistic ones. Indeed, naturalistic explanations have been so successful that even most scientific theists concede that supernatural explanations are, in general, … [Read more...]