Evolution and God

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Dave Matson's picture


I get the feeling that you are using Bayesian logic. However, it still remains the case that, without data, the initial 50% starting point is a mere formality without any inherent credibility. Credible probabilities (without a credible model) can arise only with sufficient data that relate to a "success" or a "failure" of the event in question. Applying this to unicorns or one-shot events is folly either because we have no data or because we have no clear way to tally "success" or "failure" outcomes.

Sheldon's picture
"Credible probabilities

"Credible probabilities (without a credible model) can arise only with sufficient data that relate to a "success" or a "failure" of the event in question. Applying this to unicorns or one-shot events is folly either because we have no data or because we have no clear way to tally "success" or "failure" outcomes."


Fri, 06/22/2018 - 08:05
Sheldon " Worst of all you're confusing cumulative probability with that of single events."

Nyarlathotep's picture
I've heard of this fallacy

I've heard of this fallacy many times; but I've not actually seen it presented by someone who appears to be serious until this thread.

Sheldon's picture
"You are just being rude

"You are just being rude because you either don’t get or refuse to get the math."

Eu contraire, I have been trying my best not to be rude. There is no fucking maths you clown. Look at this, you just claimed your maths indicate there is a 50% chance invisible unicorns exist. Compounded in it's stupidity with the priceless assertion that " Invisibility in nature not seen 10%". Well that would be the definition of invisible ffs, why do you think I said invisible, it was to make the claim unfalsifiable? Yet you state the fact invisible things are "not seen" in nature is evidence against their existence, even putting a made up 10% stat against it, that's almost too dumb for me to believe you're being serious.

But it gets even better...

"Evidence against: no mythical creatures yet discovered 10%"

Deities haven't been discovered have they? When the fuck did this happen? I have checked every news outlet I can find and nada. So that's a use of special pleading fallacy we can add to your long lost of fallacious arguments.

"You can obviously use the same method to put together a case for why there is not a creator."

It isn't a method at all, you're simply making fallacious claims and making up nonsense stats in the most ridiculous ad hoc fashion. If you understood epistemology at all you'd know no one has to evidence the non-existence of something.

"Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur"

Hitchens's razor applies, you are making a claim not me, and I don't believe your claim because you can demonstrate no objective evidence for it.
"The burden of proof lies with someone who is making a claim, and is not upon anyone else to disprove. The inability, or disinclination, to disprove a claim does not render that claim valid, nor give it any credence whatsoever."


"Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat" "When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo. This is also stated in Hitchens's razor. "


Shifting of the Burden of Proof "Making a claim that needs justification, then demanding that the opponent justifies the opposite of the claim. The burden of proof is a legal and philosophical concept with differences in each domain. In everyday debate, the burden of proof typically lies with the person making the claim"


They actually use invisible unicorns in their example of an unfalisifiable claim, now that's a coincidence - great minds and all that.

David Killens's picture


"To clarify, the Big Bang was either due to chance or on purpose and science cannot tell us which. So rather than adopt an extreme view of 100% sure it was chance or 100% sure it was on purpose, a more reasonable approach is to estimate an in between value like 50%."

Fine tuning happened, or it did not, there is no middle ground. That is exactly like being 50% pregnant. You are, or you are not.

Science does tell us a lot about the beginning of the rapid expansion, do not deny so much research. And within that research there is not a shred of proof that "fine tuning" occurred.

So even if I accepted your argument, then it must be capable of being tested. Even Einstein's famous relativity hypothesis is capable of being tested, and was tested. So how do we go about testing your hypothesis? Because if not, then this entire exercise is nothing but verbal masturbation.

Sheldon's picture
"In actuality, there are only

"In actuality, there are only two probablities: God did not do it, God did do it. There is no between. This is a binary choice. Since there is absolutely no evidence that any kind of deity has anything to do with the formation of the universe, that leaves only one option: It occurred naturally. No deity required."

Precisely correct, and of course we can note certain facts here. That the material physical universe exists, that organic life exists in that universe in at least one solar system, that natural phenomena exist, and that not once has anyone demonstrated any objective evidence for a supernatural event or a deity.

So Occam's razor applies to the assertion the universe was created by a deity using supernatural magic. As Dan is adding things that are unevidenced, unexplained, have no explanatory powers, and there is no evidence they are necessary. No one can know the universe is fine tuned, with only one universe to observe, that's axiomatic.

arakish's picture
Now I am going to make one

Now I am going to make one more statement.

All you Absolutist Apologists have it backward. The universe was NOT fine-tuned for life. Life fine-tuned itself to this Earth through Evolution.


TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Dan, "Well I take issue with

Dan, "Well I take issue with everything you’ve said but let’s concentrate on the prime mover argument:
We live in a universe of cause and effect. Everything in the universe has a cause. But this implies an infinite regression at the start of the universe which is impossible. So we conclude there must have been a causeless effect that started the universe. This the comman man understands to be god."

1. This is grossly inaccurate, do you know everything within the universe? I would wager that most don't know much about our very own system let alone what is most likely to be an infinitely expending universe.

2. You do not know the initial state of the universe, it may very well have been a steady state of a form of electromagnetic field.
This may lead to field interactions such as the magnetic field, the strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, Casimir effect, vacuum polarization, lamb shift and so on.

3. I would further put it to you, what is more reasonable. In the event that the universe had a cause, it was brought forth by,
a) a deity that cannot be observed, communicated with, tested, that does not conform to reality and requires the suspension of the laws of nature.

b) That an initial cause was a natural phenomena, because everything within the observable universe is in itself natural, conforms to reality and doesn't require the suspension of the any known law.

LogicFTW's picture
I scanned through the thread

I scanned through the thread and will throw in my 2 cents.

-- "At the rate human progress is going we should evolve into some sort of near perfect utopian society is short order (on evolutionary timescales)."

You are right about time scales, but you forget we could also very easily not make it to perfect utopian society. So far we endlessly reproduce and find ever more clever ways to strip our only island of life of valuable necessary resources for life. So far we have not by and large really evolved beyond our basic instinct of consume and reproduce, even though we actually are equipped with the intelligence to understand that it will be our doom.

You changed the commonly held definition of god. But you do not go into detail to describe this new definition of god, other than he is not omnipotent.

So what are we talking about here? Why talk about a god at all if it is not omnipotent? Is your god a spec of dust floating around in my trash can? What is your god definition if you do not use major religion gods?

What are you trying to say here at all? That your nonstandard definition of god explains how evolution and your new god definition works? Since you changed the definition of god but did not clarify, you are basically talking gobbledygook. I think you are trying to say that atheist are wrong, by changing the definition of god. Well done. You achieved exactly nothing. Just like making an argument then changing commonly held definitions at will any argument can be won that way, all the same time the argument is useless.

Devans99's picture
I’m really just trying to get

I’m really just trying to get closer to the truth rather than saying anyone is wrong or right. I think the term god is very overloaded, the definition I’m using is strictly and only ‘a benevolent creator’. So I acknowledge this is different from your definition.

arakish's picture
A rose by any other name...

A rose by any other name...


LogicFTW's picture
Ah closer to the truth.

Ah closer to the truth.

Chances are you already know the truth you just do not want to "hear it."

The truth is all evidence and learning points to: There is no afterlife, you do not have a soul, there is no benevolent "god' and you are not as special as you would like to think you are. All these ideas are fanciful ideas humans made up to feel better, like a warm blanket.

Existential nihilism? Yes. But it does not have to be bleak, instead it can be very freeing, you are not held down and controlled by a way you must live your life, your pleasure and reward centers of your brain still work, you can still find plenty of satisfaction in life, especially not burdened by blatant untruths, nipping away at the sides of your concious where your brain goes "this does not add up."

Life does not have to have a meaning, the question is not answered out "there" but within yourself. You give your own life meaning and it can be what ever you want. Sure I can recommend a few ideas that works for me, I feel I have one of the best, happiest satisfied life out of just about anyone I know.

Sapporo's picture
If there is a 87.5% chance

If there is a 87.5% chance that god exists because of "fine tuning", the "Big Bang" and the need for a "Prime Mover", and if I am absolutely certain that I exist, that must mean there is a greater than 87.5% chance that I created the universe.

Devans99's picture
It’s a different calculation.

It’s a different calculation. You are different from an unknown abstract creator god; we have an additional peice of evidence for you: you are human so your universe creation credentials are lousy (as opposed to an abstract creator who has unquantified universe creation credentials).

Sapporo's picture
My universe creation

My universe creation credentials are more credible than those of an unknown abstract being.

arakish's picture


Sapporo: My universe creation credentials are more credible than those of an unknown abstract being.

I completely agree with Sapporo. Even I have created two worlds of mine own. First one was Udava. Second one is Onaviu.

This makes me as much a god as your make believe sky-faerie.


Sapporo's picture
Dan, in all seriousness, I

Dan, in all seriousness, I don't have a problem with Bayesian probability - it is very useful for example for making searches for lost things (e.g. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370) more efficient. However, the issue people here have is that it must be based on empirical observations, not pure speculation. Otherwise you can "rationalise" any conclusion you like. Or more likely than not (98%), start from a conclusion and then work out your premises.

Devans99's picture
Oh dear I made an error with

Oh dear I made an error with the maths: Its incorrect to start with 50% like I did. Very sorry everyone. Revised calculation below.

Proposition 1 - There was a creator god

Big Bang is evidence for creator at 60%

Fine tuning is evidence for the creator 75% probability so:

60% + 40% x 75% = 90%

Prime mover is evidence for the creator 25% probability so:

90% + 10% x 25% = 92.5% chance of a creator god is

To double check, I’ve done the inverse proposition below:

Proposition 2 - there was not a creator

Big Bang is evidence against no creator 40%

Fine tuning is evidence against no creator 25% probability so:

40% x 25% = 10%

Prime mover is evidence against no creator 75% probability so:

10% x 75% = 7.5% chance of no creator god

Sapporo's picture
If God exists, it has a lame

If God exists, it has a lame sense of humor and a twisted sense of morality.

Sheldon's picture
Indeed, or of course no sense

Indeed, or of course no sense of humour, and no sense of morality. ;-)

Dave Matson's picture


Where did you get that 60% figure? Do you have a secret stash of data on the odds of a Big Bang being the work of a creator? Does that stash of data show that in 40% of the universes surveyed they don't have a creator, and in 60% of the universes surveyed they do have a creator? These figures must be supported by actual tallies at some level if a credible Bayesian probability is to be assigned! Bayesian logic is a little like a computer. Garbage in, garbage out!

Sheldon's picture
Big Bang is evidence for

Big Bang is evidence for creator, Fine tuning is evidence for the creator, Prime mover is evidence for the creator.

The bib bang theory is a scientific theory and doesn't "evidence a creator" you've simply made this up. The universe isn't fine tuned, as has been pointed out, with a test group of 1 example what are using to pluck these stats out of thin air with? There is no prime mover unless you can demonstrate objective evidence for one, and if you could have you would have.

I've removed the stats as they're simple made up and therefore meaningless, as others have tried to make you understand.

Look I'll show you...

God either exists or he doesn't 50%/50%.

It's a fact humans create fictional deities -30%

It's a fact no one can demonstrate any objective evidence for any deities - 40%

All scientific explanations are 100% natural phenomena - 20%

All theistic claims for miracles are disproved when properly investigated -10%

Probability a deity exists nil.



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