The Carrier-Barnes Exchange on Fine-Tuning

Reader GGDFan77 asked me for my thoughts on the exchange between Dr. Richard Carrier, who I respect and consider a friend, and Dr. Luke Barnes regarding fine-tuning arguments. I initially responded in a series of comments in the combox for my post about Hugh Ross's estimates for the probability of life-permitting prebiotic conditions. But those turned out to be so lengthy that I think the topic deserves its own dedicated post.Here's some brief context for readers not familiar with the … [Read more...]

How Hugh Ross Calculates the Improbability of Life on Earth due to Chance Alone

As someone who knows a thing or two about probability, I've always wanted to dive into the technical details for how proponents of cosmic fine-tuning arguments justify the probability estimates associated with such arguments. Along those lines, I just found this page on Hugh Ross's Reasons to Believe website:Probability for Life on Earth (APR 2004)Ross arrives at the conclusion that the probability of life on earth, conditional upon the hypothesis that it arose by chance alone, is 1 in 1 … [Read more...]

New Scientific Evidence for the Multiverse

I have always been a multiverse skeptic. If this article in New Scientist is accurate, however, it appears the recent confirmation of chaotic inflation also provided some evidence for a multiverse.LINK (HT: Ex-Apologist) … [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...]

Very Interesting Theistic Argument

I just discovered Robin Collins' very, very interesting reply to Carroll. Collins defends an entirely new class of fine-tuning argument for theism. This new class of fine-tuning argument does not argue that the universe is fine-tuned for life. Rather, this new class of fine-tuning argument argues that the universe is fine-tuned for discoverability. This novel argument sets up the following reply to Carroll on the extremely low entropy of the early universe: the extremely low entropy of the early … [Read more...]

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...]


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