Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Craig vs. Cooke

Dr. Bill Cooke, whose knowledge of Christian theology seems to grind to a halt in about 1960, 'gives the store away' in this recent debate with Christian philosopher, theologian and apologist Dr William Lane Craig in New Zeland.

Cooke fails to present any arguments for atheism (which he defines atypically), or against Craig's arguments for God, bar some appeals to authority, vague gestures at the problem of evil, and noting the facts that people are small and religious folk sometimes do nasty things! Cooke also clearly agrees with the first premise of Craig's formulation of the moral argument, that in the absence of God objective moral values do not exist.

The audience does a far better job of putting relevant questions and proposed rebuttals to Craig's case than does Cooke!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Hungarian video on Evolution and Intelligent Design

István Tasi, a member of the Hungarian ID movement, is featured in a new video by director Viktor Gardos. Opposing István is Dr. Zoltan Galantai, a Hungarian historian of science. English subtitles are provided.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I Recommend Books

New Blog Feature Added: under 'culture links' you will find an 'widget' that let's me recommend books - if you buy stuff via this widget, I get a cut of the profits, so start thinking about who you know who has a birthday coming up! I've listed the recommendations in alphabetical order.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Clips from 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed'

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed - Extended Trailer

Teaser Trailer 1

Teaser Trailer 2

The Darwinist's Perspective (with Dr P.Z. Myers, Dr Richard Dawkins & Dr Peter Atkins)

Mutations & Information (with Dr David Berlinski)

Information (with Dr John Lennox & Dr William A. Dembski)

The Cell (with Dr David Berlinski, Dr Michael J. Behe, Dr Richard Sternberg, Dr Paul Nelson, Dr Gerald Shroder & Dr William A. Dembski)

Implications of Metaphysical Naturalism & Evolution - i.e. Darwinism (with Dr Paul Nelson, Dr Stephen C. Meyer, Dr Steve Fuller, Dr Michael Engor, Dr Jeffery M. Schwarts)

Friday, June 13, 2008


Paul Davies: The Goldilocks Enigma

Interesting quotes from physicist Paul Davies' book: 'The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the universe just right for life?'(Penguin, 2007) - with brief comments:

'On the face of it, the universe does look as if it has been designed by an intelligent creator expressly for the purpose of spawning sentient beings.' (p. 3)

Yep. And 'if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck...', etc., then it is probably 'a duck'! (That's the principle of credulity by the way.)

'What is it that enables something as small and delicate and adapted to terrestrial life as the human brain to engage with the totality of the cosmos and the salient mathematical tune to which it dances?' (p. 5.)

Being made in the image of God.

'scientists don't know how life began, and they are almost totally baffled by consciousness.' (p. 16)

Yes, but that's because they try to understand both through the lense of metaphysical or at least methodological naturalism.

'Can a truly absurd universe so convincingly mimic a meaningful one?' (p. 18.)

'we can attribute no physical cause to the big bang.' (p. 80)

But we can attribute a non-physical cause...

'Either the cosmic origin is a natural event, or it is a supernatural event... but with what justification can we declare it to be a natural event if it has happened only once? A natural event it one that can happen in conformity with the laws of nature with a probability greater than zero.' (p. 92.)

On this definition of science, Intelligent design theory certainly counts as science, and as a science proposing explanations for natural events to boot, since even specified complexity and irreducible complexity happen in conformity with the laws of nature with a probability greater than zero!

'Many scientists hate the multiverse idea... the multiverse has some outspoken critics from both inside and outside the scientific comunity. There are philosophers who that that multiverse proponents have succumbed to fallacious reasoning in their use of probability theory. tehre are many scientists who dismiss the multiverse as a speculation too far. But the most vociferous critics come from the ranks of string theorists, many of whom deny the validity of a landscape of vastly many worlds.' (p. 194.)

On the latter, that's because string theorists are still holding out for a T.O.E., theory of everything, a lone coherent mathematical description of a physical reality - something many philosophers and scientists are sceptical about. So people have conflicting reasons for rejecting the multiverse - but many do reject it.

'Everyone agrees that the universe looks as if it was designed for life.' (p. 217)

And that (both the fact that design is the obvious conclusion and the conclusion reached by common consent) means that the burden of proof is on anyone denying this conclusion.

'The appearance of design is one of the defining hallmarks of life.' (p. 218)

Echoes of Dawkins' 'Biology is the study of complicated things that look like they were designed' (I paraphrase).

'the origin of life remains a deep mystery.' (p. 224)

It's good to have some openness and honesty from a scientist on this score - this is not the impression one would gain from many texts, TV shows, etc.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Classic Books to Read On-Line

Note the addition today, to the resources column of this blog, of a list of classic philosophy/theology/apologetics books that are available to read free on-line.

I hope to add to the list, which already contains several contemporary philosophers including Alvin Plantinga and Gary R. Habermas!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


The kalam Cosmological Argument for A-Level Students

This is a section from the rough cut of a pilot for a video resource for teaching A-Level Philosophy Students.

This video introduces the Kalam Cosmological Argument, especially as defended by contemporary Christian philosopher William Lane Craig. The video is hosted by my friend Luke Pollard, and includes an interview with me in which I discuss some of the things that might be said in defence on the argument's two premises - including a discussion of the absurdity of the actually infinite 'Hilbert's Hotel'.

The final, longer, completed video split up my interview into shorter sections, but this gives a good 'taster' of the project.

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