Louder was answering a poster, Christian apologist, named "Wintery Knight," what caught my eye was his title something about Six observations that disconfirmj Theism. Then says they are better explained by naturalism than by theism. I do not know Wintery Knight but apparently he's a creationist. I am not, so I wont defend his views.
Now some of these things might be better explained by naturalism. That is appeal to abductive reasoning, or inferences based upon best explanation. That's not proof. Abduction is neither proof nor probability. I'm not saying it's invalid, I make abductive arguments too. But we must weigh the value of those concepts that are best explained by naturalism against the value of those best explained by theism.
Moreover, there is a difference in "disconfirm theism" and "best explained by naturalism." The latter is not proof, it's a form of inference used when proof is not forthcoming. The former implies actual disproof of theism. My argument will be that neither is the case, except maybe in some instances where we understand the naturalistic reasons better, but they don't out weigh the instances where theism is the better explanation.
One other preliminary point. This is not an attack on Jeff. The assumptions he seems to makes behind each of these points is that theism us represented by fundamentalism of the YEC kind. I', basic liberal or perhaps neo-Orthodox, so these things don't pertain to what I think of as theism. I understand he was answering a creationist so of course he makes that assumption. Not a criticism.
The six points:
1.The universe began to exist with time, not in time.. True, if we are working in the frame work of standard big bang model. I always do. I fail to see why this point disconfirms or requires a theistic explanation. All major theologians in the world today accept this, why can't God create the universe with time as opposed to in time? I anticipate the "no possible action or thought outside time" but I'll let him make that call. I have a good answer.
2.So much of the universe is hostile to life.He links to a page in this vein:
...that argument commits the fallacy of understated evidence. In other words, even if the general fact of fine-tuning is more probable on the assumption that theism is true than on the assumption that naturalism is true, it ignores other, more specific facts about fine-tuning, facts that, given fine-tuning, are more likely on naturalism than on theism. - See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2013/01/22/hostility-of-the-universe-to-life-understated-evidence-about-cosmic-fine-tuning/#sthash.JMfCWEFH.dpufWe can get to fine tuning latter, I'm sure we will and when that time comes I will defend it. I have two observations now:
(1) Fine tuning asserts that the universe is hostile to life. That's why life is so improbable. The argument only works if that is the case, so it hardly counts against the argument.
(2) We have to examinje each fact. Ill do two right now.
FT#1 for links to the supporting arguments.)FT1: Our universe is not teeming with life, including life much more impressive than human life. (Given that intelligent life of some sort exists in some universe, the fact that our universe is not known to have relatively more impressive life is much more probable on single-universe naturalism than it is on theism.)Same answer. If itv was teaming there would be no FT argument. So that hardly counts against. and
FT2: The only intelligent life we know of is human and it exists in this universe. (Given that intelligent life of some sort exists in some universe, the fact that the only intelligent life we know of is human and that it inhabits this universe is very many times more probable on single-universe naturalism than it is on theism.) - See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2013/01/22/hostility-of-the-universe-to-life-understated-evidence-about-cosmic-fine-tuning/#sthash.JMfCWEFH.xDYbMeD5.dpufSorry, I thought you wanted an example of intelligent life? You heard the Republican candidates yet? Well there is Berney Sanders. :-) Seriously that point serves the fundies better than it does you. They could say that proves we are made in God's image so we are the only intelligent life. I don't even think we are that.
3.Complex living things are the gradually modified descendants of simpler living things.This is meant to counter the creationist he was arguing with so it's understandable why he says it. Yet I will just remark that as I have no problem with evolution I have no problem with this ideas. I don't think it is any better explained in a naturalistic world view. No reason why God could not use evolution as a mechanism. Then to ask why would "he" do so is to assume that God is like a big man. I know Jeff is aware that there are many Christian views that are more sophisticated than that.
4.All non-question-begging examples of minds are minds dependent upon a physical brain.Of course that's a matter of who is advancing the argument as to what is question begging. For example ameba's exhibit behaviors that imply mind (such as hunt) in fact this is true of the whole class of single cell organisms, they do not have brains.
(Similarly, excluding examples of so-called “complex specified information” allegedly related to intelligent design, all other examples of complex specified information involve a mind dependent on a physical brain.)I have no problem granting that minds are dependent on brains but don't think that as any relevance in relation to Christian truth claims.
(1) Most Christians would accept that God would create us with brains s that produce minds, most Christians do not identify then mind with the soul.
(2) There's an epistemological problem with your view. It is not possible to rule out the assumption that mind is accessed through brain, like word processing program is accessed by a monitor. Or maybe I should say by an OS. Anyway the point is you can't prove the assertion that brain produces mind. two sub points:
a. Even if it does that doesn't mean mind reduces to brain. It's top down causation.
b. Chalmers proves mind is a basic property of nature. Thus here's an example where theism explains better. Mind behind the universe implants mind as basic property. You really can't account for it naturalistically.
5.Pain and pleasure appear to play a biological, not a moral, role in the lives of sentient organisms.Shades of Jerry Bentham. I think that's a bit subjective. But it's contradicted by human behavior. Most murders are done due to depraved passions not hedonistic calculus.
6.Only a fraction of living things, including the majority of sentient beings, thrive.
In other words, very few living things have an adequate supply of food and water, are able to reproduce, avoid predators, and remain healthy. An even smaller fraction of organisms thrive for most of their lives. Almost no organisms thrive for all of their lives - See moreI will grant you that this something to wonder about. The real question is why did God make a real world that seems not make his presence obvious? Of course a lot of that depends upon where you look, how you look, what assumptions one makes. I think I have a good answer. It's answered by my Soteriological drama argument.
Furthermore, in addition to these six lines of evidence, we have a seventh piece of evidence (really, meta-evidence): the history of science and the success of naturalistic explanations. Like the first six lines of evidence, this fact is also antecedently more probable on naturalism than on theism. - See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2015/10/05/six-findings-from-experimental-science-which-disconfirm-theism/#disqus_threadSorry Jeff, that Sean Carroll sort of argument and it's really just saying "here accept my ideology." The facts you would site as "scientific" to defend that view are accepted by myself, as well as people who really know science (as I don't) such as Polkinghorn or Fritz Schaffer. They aren't led into atheism and they accept ass the same facts you are speaking of, that is a philosophical matter that extends beyond science. God gave us brains and led us into science through devout Christians such as Newton and Boyle. As Popper tells us science is not a big pile of facts, it's about hypothesis eliminating, the last one standing is assumed true. Without actual disproofs there's no eliminating the hypothesis. That's why an abductive approach is not enough. I'm Not saying that it's not valuable but it's not enough to overturn a belief system that for 2000 years has had the lion's share of great thinkers. Even going beyond Christianity there are a lot more great thinkers who are open to some notion of God and don't close that off with labels.
If there is a single theme unifying the history of science, it is that naturalistic (i.e., non-supernatural) explanations work.Sorry, have to disagree. The French philosophes closed off thinking in terms of scholasticism and made up their own straw nan version of SN and atheists have been attacking it since that time (see my essay What is SN?). No scientific paradigm was ever predicated upon disproof of SN. In fact the philosoes practically worshiped Newton and he thought science proved SN.
The history of science contains numerous examples of naturalistic explanations replacing supernatural ones and no examples of supernatural explanations replacing naturalistic ones.It also contains examples of disproof of naturalistic hypotheses. Science is not a fortress of facts it'sverisimilitude. It's hypothesis testing. But belief in God is not a hypothesis. You can't test it scientifically.
Indeed, naturalistic explanations have been so successful that even most scientific theists concede that supernatural explanations are, in general, implausible, even on the assumption that theism is true. Such explanatory success is antecedently more likely on naturalism–which entails that all supernaturalistic explanations are false–than it is on theism. Thus the history of science is some evidence for metaphysical naturalism and against theism. Since metaphysical naturalism entails that no supernatural beings exist, including God, the history of science is some evidence for atheism.Series Index - See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2012/07/21/index-the-evidential-argument-from-the-history-of-science-ahs/#sthash.9OCHSUg3.dpufThat's merely because most people don't go to seminary or study history of ideas. They only know the philosophe's straw man SN,not the real thing.
In The Trace of GodI show a body of work consisting of over 200 empirical studies over a 50 year period, peer reviewed academic journals that demonstrates empirical scientific evidence for the truth of the SN.