Tag Archive | Creator

Why should I be scared of being proved wrong?

FlashI was following a discussion earlier where the claim was made that science is increasingly getting stuck at certain points, various scientific theories are evidence-free, and that the discoveries of the next century will consign atheism to an insignificant rump, if not oblivion. That was meant to be a taunt, but it missed the mark in a big way.

The arguments entirely failed to convince me, but while I must confess that I’m not particularly keen on the idea that my search for answers might be taking me on a trajectory away from truth and towards some sort of epistemological dead end, I was surprised and slightly amused that atheists were expected to react badly to the idea that evidence might eventually prove them wrong. Read More…

Maths versus Philosophy: Picking teleological arguments apart

Christians often point to teleological arguments as evidence of God’s existence, based on what they perceive as signs of design and purpose in the universe. In essence, they see the chances of the universe being able to sustain intelligent life as so small that there must be design, and therefore a designer, underlying it. And there’s some truth in that – as far as we can tell, the precise conditions and physical laws of the universe do need to be in an extremely precise range. So the odds are massively in favour of a designer, right?

Well, not necessarily – this is an example of the Prosecutor’s Fallacy, as it attempts to draw a conclusion based on the calculated odds of a particular event occurring, not the conditional odds given the known facts. So what’s the difference? With apologies for gratuitous maths, I’ll try to explain with a simple example. Read More…

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