Posts tagged ‘probability’

August 30, 2012

Answering V.J. Torley’s questions

by Neil Rickert

Over at the Uncommon Descent blog, poster vjtorley has posed “Ten Questions for Professor Coyne.”  I am not a spokesman for Jerry Coyne, and I disagree with some of what he writes.  But I thought I would try giving my own answers to those questions.  I’m pretty sure that Jerry Coyne would disagree with me on some of the answers.

Question 1 – Is science the only road to knowledge?

I’ll note that there is some ambiguity on what is meant by “knowledge.”  For myself, I would never claim that science is the only way to all knowledge, though it is an excellent way to knowledge about the natural world.  In any case, vjtorley breaks this question into several parts.

July 20, 2012

Quantum mechanics and God

by Neil Rickert

Does QM have anything to do with God?  Physicist Stephen Barr apparently thinks it does, and expresses that view in “Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God?” at the BQO site.  Personally, I think he is talking nonsense.

Barr even admits to some difficulties with arguing what his title says:

Not in any direct way. That is, it doesn’t provide an argument for the existence of God.  But it does so indirectly, by providing an argument against the philosophy called materialism (or “physicalism”), which is the main intellectual opponent of belief in God in today’s world.

March 11, 2012

Random confusion

by Neil Rickert

In a recent post “Coordinated Complexity — the key to refuting postdiction and single target objections” at the Uncommon Descent blog, scordova attempts to address some of the objections to the probabilistic arguments used by ID proponents.  He gives an example of the kind of objection that he will address:

The opponents of ID argue something along the lines: “take a deck of cards, randomly shuffle it, the probability of any given sequence occurring is 1 out of 52 factorial or about 8×10^67 — Improbable things happen all the time, it doesn’t imply intelligent design.”

Unfortunately, that post at UD fails to answer the criticism and only further illustrates the confusion that it so common in ID thinking.