A Key Difference between Science and Religion

In science, we ask, "What's the evidence?", before believing. Only religion* asks us to believe first and consider the evidence later, if ever.Two clarifications:1. I am not claiming that all religions do this. Rather, I'm claiming that if/when this happens, it only seems to happen in the context of religion. (If I've missed any non-religious examples of this, please let me know and I will issue a correction!)2. Nor am I making the scientistic claim that the only way to know … [Read more...]

Please Support the Ultimate Counter-Creationism Resource, Troubles in Paradise (TIP)!

The following is a guest post by James Downard, who is spearheading the Troubles in Paradise (TIP) project.I'll put the #TIP project into as small a nutshell as possible. I'm assembling the ultimate counter-creationism resource (think Talk Origins Archive on a gigantic updated scale, if you need proof of the scale, open up the main TIP bibliography & see what 37,000 sources looks like) aiming to squash antievolutionists between two vise prongs: the evidence for evolution on one side, … [Read more...]

G&T Rebuttal, Part 5: Chapter 6

Chapter 6. New Life Forms: From the Goo to You via the Zoo?  Drawing upon the work of sophisticated Intelligent Design (ID) theorists such as William Dembski, Michael Behe, and Jonathan Wells, this chapter uses many of the state-of-the art Intelligent Design (ID) arguments against evolution by natural selection. It also defends ID against various objections.(i) Objections to Natural Selection: G&T argue that macroevolution is defeated by the following objections: (a) genetic … [Read more...]

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...]

G&T Rebuttal, Part 2: Chapter 3

Chapter 3. In the Beginning There Was a Great SURGE  G&T tell us that the “Cosmological Argument is the argument from the beginning of the universe” (74). That is sloppy; G&T have conflated the family of arguments known as ‘the’ cosmological argument with one specific version of that argument (the kalām cosmological argument). But let that pass. G&T formulate the argument as follows.1. Everything that had a beginning has a cause. 2. The universe had a beginning. 3. The … [Read more...]

Evolution vs. The Argument from Providence

In the Existence of God (2nd edition, hereafter: EOG) Richard Swinburne lays out a carefully constructed, systematically presented case for the the claim that it is more likely than not that God exists.  I have previously argued that there is a big problem with this case that arises with the third argument.  In order to know that the premise of the third argument is true, one must know a lot of information about science and about the evolution of life and the evolution of human beings.Here is … [Read more...]

Faith and the End of PoR – Part 2

John Loftus referred me to Chapters 7 and 10 of his book The Outsider Test for Faith (hereafter: OTF), so that I could get a better understanding of what he means by the word "faith" in his blog post arguing for the End of Philosophy of Religion (PoR).Chapter 7 was of no help.  The only clear remarks about "faith" which might have provided a clue to Loftus' use of the word were the quotations of Timothy Keller on the first page of the chapter (OTF, p.133).  But on the very next page Loftus d … [Read more...]

Philosophy as Astrology

A comment by hisXmark on one of my recent posts challenged the value of philosophy:The nature of knowledge is not to be found in philosophy, it is to be found in neuroscience and psychology. All that remains of philosophy is myth and fairy tale. Like its stepchild, theology, philosophy is fantasy that has lost its function.Unfortunately, hisXmark could not reason his/her way out of a wet paper bag, so that conversation went nowhere. I demanded a reason or argument in support of these … [Read more...]