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Letters to a Doubting Thomas: Introduction

12/04/2010

Page 3- Argument to the best explanation:

Explanatory Power:Does a hypothesis make a phenomenon more likely or less surprising than others? The extent to which it does is it’s explanatory power.

Page 4- Prior probability: What is the probability of the phenomenon independent of the phenomenon itself?
Background evidence: Whatever can be reasonably assumed in the context other than the phenomenon.
Principle of Simplicity: Other things being equal, simpler hypothesis is more likely to be true.

Page 7- Scientific explanations are those given in terms of laws of nature, which are generalizations about the behavior of physical objects.

Personal explanations are given in terms of beliefs, purposes, powers, and choices of an agent.  Conceptual explanations are given in therms of necessary connections to properties. A necessary truth cannot be false. A contingent truth could be false under different circumstances.

This is the basic groundwork for the entire book. Layman’s case is to say that Theism is a better explanation for the universe as we see it than naturalism, because theism has better explanatory power, and taking everything into account, is more simple and priorly probable.

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