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Reason for the Hope Within 3: A Scientific Argument for the Existence of God: The Fine-Tuning Design Argument

11/21/2011

The general principle of reasoning that Collins uses is the prime principle of confirmation. This says that between two hypotheses, “an observation counts as evidence in favor of the hypothesis under which the observation has the highest probability” (p. 51).

What’s wrong with this? It is a focus only on explanatory power, just like the previous chapter, while totally ignoring background evidence, simplicity, predictive power, etc. If a piano falls on a person and kills him, this is only somewhat likely to happen as an accident, but very, very likely if magic murderous elves exist, and have a vendetta against that person. According to Collins, that means that a piano falling on a person is evidence for magic murderous elves. Thank you Dawes.

Collins entire argument hinges only on showing that there is more explanatory power to theism, but any hypothesis that is tailor made to fit the data can have as much explanatory power as desired.

Now how could we apply Bayes theorem to this? That’s the next step. Obviously, Collins is familiar with this theorem (he cites it), so how does it apply to the argument?

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