Fairy tales for adults (long)

Jeremy Larner jeremy.larner at dunelm.org.uk
Fri Feb 14 01:12:11 PST 2003

Björn Lindberg wrote:
> steveb at creek-and-cowley.com (Steve Bougerolle) writes:
>>If you analyze science from a strict logical perspective it fails
>>dismally.  That assumption about radioactive decay rates is one of many
>>that is particularly easy to criticize.  Thus, it is very possible for a
>>certain sort of (intelligent and educated) person to discount what
>>science tells him.  Try real hard to imagine yourself to be one of those
>>people, Ian.  The insight will be worth it, I think.
> Even if such a person according to your reasoning could discount
> science, it does not mean that it is rational for that person too
> choose an /even less/ credible source of information.
> Science has its faults, but it has a lot more support and evience for
> it than any old book. Thus, a person that is well-educated (knows
> something about science), and intelligent (able to make logical
> decisions), can not choose the Genesis above science and still be
> acting rationally.
> The point as I see it is not that there are a lot of things to doubt
> about science, as you are trying to point out -- the point is that
> compared to science, the Genesis simply (i) don't have any evidence
> for it, and (ii) is much more unlikely. Someone believeing in the
> Genesis as a literal account cannot be well-educated, intelligent and
> /acting rationally/ (I'm adding this extra qualifier, since a
> person can still be well-educated and intelligent and make an
> irrational choice of beliefs, eg based on faith), IMO.
> Björn

That really does depend.  Are you allowing well-educated, intelligent 
and 'acting rationally' people to believe in God?  Because if you are 
that seriously skews Genesis vs. theory of origins.  According to the 
theory of origins model, the probability of the universe ending up the 
way it is has been estimated at 1 in 10^229.  Now I'm not a scientist, 
but I do have some understanding of economics.  If you came to me and 
told me you had invented a model which perfectly predicted the movements 
in the stock market over the last twenty years, I'd be very impressed. 
But if you told me it only worked one in every 10^229 times, I'd tell 
you to go back to the drawing board.  If you're allowing God into the 
picture, all of a sudden you have a much better model.  And if you 
believe that the Bible is inspired by God (which I would argue is not 
such a wild leap of faith if God is a given), all of a sudden Genesis is 
looking quite attractive...


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