Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Episode 7 - A Simple Argument Against Design


Sorry things have been a little quiet over the past week and they will probably remain so for the next week. To make up for it, here is a podcast I recorded. It covers Dan Moller's article "A Simple Argument against Design".

Here are links to some of the other papers I mention during the podcast:

Dougherty and Poston "User's Guide to Design Arguments" -- This paper details the tension between fine-tuning arguments and arguments from biological design. To put it succinctly, a fine-tuning argument only works if the probability of life given the observed cosmological parameters is high; contrariwise, a biological design argument only works if the probability of life given the observed cosmological parameters is low.


McGrew, McGrew and Vestrup "Probabilities and the Fine-Tuning Argument: A Skeptical View" -- This paper covers the normalisability problem and its relevance to the FTA.

Note: The sound quality is bad for the first couple of seconds of this but, fortunately, it improves thereafter.

2 comments:

  1. Hi John,

    Thanks for the thoughtful discussion of my argument. Bringing up the renormalization problem is interesting. I myself don't see it as a problem, though.

    First, the possible values for the age of the earth aren't infinite. The earth couldn't have been infinitely old, consistent with known physics and geology, nor are there infinite alternatives to homologous organs.

    Second, we can divide up the various values and ask about the probabilities of the intervals: e.g., organs that are homologous vs. those that are not. Our evidence gives no reason to suppose they would be homologous on divine creation, and that's enough to run the argument.

    Dan Moller
    dmoller atsymbol umd.edu

    ReplyDelete