The Evidential Argument from Biological Evolution, Part 2: Is Evolution Evidence for Theism?

Let's begin reviewing the logical form of the argument, as described in Part 1 of this series. (1) Evolution is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that naturalism is true than on the assumption that theism is true. (2) The statement that pain and pleasure systematically connected to reproductive success is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that evolutionary naturalism is true than on the assumption that evolutionary theism is true. (3) Therefore, evolution … [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...]

One Problem with Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 2

In a previous post I pointed out three different problems related to the third argument in Richard Swinburne's systematic case for the existence of God.  The third argument is the final argument of his arguments from the nature of the universe.  It is his Teleological Argument from Spatial Order (hereafter: TASO):(e3) There is a complex physical universe that is governed by simple natural laws and the values of the constants of the laws and of the variables of the universe’s initial cond … [Read more...]

One Problem with Swinburne’s Case for God

In The Existence of God (2nd edition, hereafter: EOG), Richard Swinburne lays out a systematic cumulative case for the claim that it is more likely than not that God exists.I have a specific objection to the third argument in this case, but I believe this objection throws a monkey wrench into the works, and creates a serious problem for the case as a whole.To understand my objection, it is important to understand the general logical structure of Swinburne’s case for the existence of God. … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Cosmological and Teleological Arguments – Part 4

Richard Swinburne presents his inductive cosmological argument in Chapter 7 of his book The Existence of God (second edition, hereafter: EOG). I plan to start at the beginning of the chapter and go paragraph by paragraph, stopping to comment on each paragraph that includes either support for, or defense of, some part of the cosmological argument (hereafter: TCA).Paragraph 1 (EOG, p.133) This paragraph neither supports nor defends a part of TCA.Paragraph 2 (EOG, p.133-134) This … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Cosmological and Teleological Arguments – Part 3

I am exploring a concern about, or potential objection to, Swinburne's inductive cosmological and teleological arguments for the existence of God. The objection I have in mind is something like this, for the cosmological argument:Although the one factual premise of Swinburne's cosmological argument is supposed to be the ONLY contingent factual claim or assumption upon which the conclusion of the argument rests, the argument actually rests on a considerable number and variety of contingent … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Cosmological and Teleological Arguments – Part 2

Like many other liberals, I'm delighted and mesmerized by Bridgegate and various other Chris Christie scandals from the fine state of New Jersey. I cannot wait for my daily dose of Rachel Maddow dishing the latest dirt on Christie and his idiotic crowd of corrupt New Jersey hooligans.What does this have to do with Swinburne's arguments for God? Well, one neat trick that a couple of Christie's friends have pulled is to plead the 5th amendment as a legal justification for refusing to turn … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Cosmological & Teleological Arguments

I'm not going to try to fully explain and evaluate Swinburne's Cosmological and Teleological arguments for God here. That would be way too much to tackle in one or two blog posts. There are just a couple of doubts or concerns about these arguments that I would like to express and explore.Swinburne's inductive cosmological argument for God has just one premise:e. A complex physical universe exists (over a period of time). Therefore: g. God exists.Swinburne argues that e is more … [Read more...]


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