There’s a way of thinking called abductive reasoning, commonly referred to as “the inference to the best explanation”. Sherlock Holmes famously uses it, and his use is fallacious. There are many structures of argument that would fall under abductive reasoning, which this post will look at, briefly, focussing on their errors. It will then focus… Continue reading Sherlock Holmes, ‘inference to the best explanation’, false dichotomies and God
There is an argument for God called the ‘Ontological argument’ and it received an ambivalent welcome whenever it is trotted out, which seems increasingly rarely. It isn’t at all compelling, and yet that appears to be irrational because it’s rare to see someone actually attack the premises or the structure. However, that, today, is what… Continue reading The Ontological Argument for God – and why it’s nonsense
Watching a debate between Matt Dillahunty and Mike Licona on whether Jesus was raised from the dead was a weird experience. Licona’s approach relied heavily on the supernatural is real therefore literally anything could have happened. And his defence for the supernatural also helped a lot in defining the supernatural. And it is to that… Continue reading Is there a supernatural realm?
This is part 2 of looking at how a blogger, Michael Egnor, has assessed the mental competence of the Caltech physicist, Sean Carroll. Last time we assessed the claim that Carroll’s ideas on Boltzman brains make him illogical. This time, we are looking at whether finding a multiverse more believable than a God makes Carroll… Continue reading Many Worlds or a Straight Jacket? The pseudointellectual tantrum of Evolution News
In February, I read the case of the ‘Inexplicable Omelette’, in which the author played off a difficult question: how can you tell whether something has come into its current form ― been constructed or altered ― with intent? His argument was that some things are too complex to consider unintended, and even an omelette… Continue reading How do you identify intent?
Many people lie in a casual ‘I’ll recognise it when I see it’ relationship with science. That ambiguity gives room for any interlocutor to add sudden vagaries to their criteria, hurriedly adding and removing things from their definition of science to suit their needs. Science can suddenly need to be given a ‘direct observation’ criteria… Continue reading On the importance of the philosophy of science
Again, watching the BBC’s The Big Questions, I stumbled across a question I would like to discuss. The format of the show ― and, no doubt, the decisions the producers have to make for the sake of the audience and time ― limits the ability of the surely great minds on the panel to have… Continue reading Does evidence undermine religion?