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...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 6

In Part 1 of this series, I critically reviewed Nicholas Everitt’s formulation of the argument from scale (AS). In Part 5, I critically reviewed John Loftus’s defense of AS on his blog. In this post, I want to review Loftus’s defense of Everitt’s formulation of AS in his (Loftus’s) book, Why I Became an Atheist: Personal Reflections and Additional Arguments (Bloomington: Trafford, 2008). It’s important to note that in his book Loftus also defends a version of AS against evangelical Christianity; … [Read more...]

An Argument from Scale — Poster Style

HT: Adam TaylorAs a nitpick, theism by itself does not say anything about God having a personal relationship with anyone. Only sectarian versions of theism, such as Christian theism, make such claims.Putting that aside, another worry I have about this graphic is that it seems to attack a caricature of what theists believe. God could have multiple purposes for creating the universe; I don't see any reason to think that even Christian theism says that the sole reason for the universe's … [Read more...]

Scalar Connection to Meaning of Life?

Because I've written so much about arguments from scale lately, the following statement in Dennis Prager's op-ed on atheism and consolation caught my eye."'And we promise to work for more gun control. But the truth is we don’t have a single consoling thing to say to you because we atheists recognize that the human being is nothing more than matter, no different from all other matter in the universe except for having self-consciousness. Therefore, when we die, that’s it. Moreover, wit … [Read more...]

Did the Cosmological Principle Get Knocked Down?

This looks relevant to arguments from scale.LINK … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 2 (Revised)

(Note: the revised version of this post begins in the third paragraph after the section title, “The Ratio of Explanatory Powers.”) In part 1 of my series on the evidential Argument from Scale (AS), I concluded that Everitt's formulation of AS is unsuccessful. At the same time, however, I said that there is something about the AS I find intuitive and so I wanted to try revising AS as a Bayesian argument to see if I could make a stronger version. The purpose of this post is to attempt to do just t … [Read more...]

The Argument from Scale (AS) Revisited, Part 5: John Loftus on the Size of the Universe

In this post, I want to offer some preliminary observations regarding John Loftus’s claim that “the size of the universe leads to atheism.” Before I do so, I want to emphasize that I am going to comment on the linked blog post only. I will not discuss anything that Loftus has written in chapter 24 of his book, Why I Became an Atheist, where he discusses the issue in further detail. “Noseeum Arguments” Relating to God and the Size of the UniverseHere is Loftus: I remember thinking to myself how G … [Read more...]

The Loftus-Torley Exchange

It seems to me that Torley clearly has the upper hand in this exchange so far. As a debate judge, I would “flow” the entire “debate” to Torley up to this point. But that doesn’t mean game over for Loftus, however. In each case, I think Loftus has strong replies available. Here are my brief comments on Torley’s points. Mistake #1. Loftus’ failure to take account of prior probabilities As a Bayesian, I agree that taking account of prior probabilities is essential. Of course, I also think metaphysi … [Read more...]