In my last post, I addressed a common excuse atheists use to avoid dealing with testimony of God’s interactions with history: misuse of prior probability. Just because a particular event does not have precedent doesn’t mean it can be handwaved; a prior probability that is undefined cannot be treated as a prior probability of zero. Before July 16, 1945, there had never been such thing as a nuclear bomb, but that didn’t stop Trinity from going off.
As an example, I suggested a botched alien landing, evidenced for archeologists in the testimonies of a prehistoric people and a handful of complex mathematical engravings. Now, whether that is sufficient evidence doesn’t matter; the point is that we’d theoretically be willing to evaluate this evidence despite having no prior experience with alien landings and no reasonable way to estimate the prior probability of an alien landing.
However, several commenters responded by arguing that the analogy of an alien landing was improper, that these hypothetical aliens would necessarily be part of nature. An alien landing, while unprecedented, wouldn’t break any of the laws of physics, and so it’s not on the same level with a miracle. Read more of this post
I consider it a Great American Pastime to leisurely scroll through the delightful nuggets of wisdom that are Chick Tracts. With titles like A Demon’s Nightmare, Holy Joe, Back From The Dead?, and Camel’s In The Tent, it’s hard to find a more startlingly brilliant collection of superstition, misinformation, racial prejudice, illogicality, misanthropy, and outright fiction….unless, of course, you go digging through Kent Hovind’s stuff.
So yes, I’ll confess it: I love reading Chick Tracts. It’s incredibly entertaining to see just how ridiculous fundamentalism can get. Granted, Chick largely represents Independent Fundamental Baptists, which are a fringe group at best (though admittedly more common than snake handlers). “And such were some of you….”
One of the more famous titles is Big Daddy, a thrilling exposé on the problems with biology, geology, chemistry, cosmology, and the scientific method in general. “A professor thought we came from monkeys, until a student proved evolution was a lie. Humorous, yet powerful! Students love it.” Read more of this post
Planetary Nebula NGC 6302, image courtesy NASA. Billions of tonnes of gas from the outer layers of a massive red giant were flung into space by this dying star. They glow due to the continued radiation emitted from the stellar remnant at the center.
I used to blog quite a lot. Of course, those were different days. I was in high school, I was a scrawny, home-schooled know-it-all, and I was sure I was God’s gift to humankind. If only all those foolish atheists and evolutionists and egalitarians and feminists and Arminians and potheads and revisionists and liberals and their ilk would just read and understand my flawless reasoning, the world would be such
a nice place.
Things change. A lot.
I’m married now. I have a kid. I have a degree in physics and no plans of going to law school or running for public office. I’m a good deal more interested in how people think and not quite so worried about what they think. I’m thankful for the blessings I have, and I hope people around me know it.
I don’t really know exactly what paths this blog will take. So….we’ll see.