Making excuses instead of evidence
We’re going to be seeing a lot of this, probably for the rest of our lives, so I’m trying to wrap my mind around it. When Carrier gives examples, I can usually track it, but he has a way of running on about how correct he is, and I get lost. His posts build on earlier posts and he links them, so, if you follow that, you can get down to the basics. That’s how I got to this subsection, he was talking about how Christian apologists “gerrymander” their arguments by moving something from the evidence category into the prior probability category. That’s where the Bayesian theory stuff gets difficult for me.

The example here is, when faced with evidence for how the universe works (without God), they present something claiming to explain why God would make the universe look like it had that evidence. They have no evidence for that, it’s the kind of thing philosophers came up with a thousand years ago, before we knew anything about forces or atoms. So, that’s where they should be making a “prior probability” calculation, taking all the times in history when someone said their god did it and counting all the times that those gods just faded away, that no one believes them anymore. That’s pretty much all of them, so the prior is 0%. Or, if you want to start as if you just don’t know, it’s 50/50.

He goes on to show how each ‘excuse’ that is made multiplies, cutting the odds in half each time. Meanwhile, there is evidence for a universe from quantum physics to elements being cooked and becoming life and evolving. That adds up. In Bayesian terms, it’s a probability for atheism and against theism. You must apply both of those. Apologetics takes something with no evidence and adds it to their argument as if it is evidence for.

Saying, but it’s a living being, about a fertilized egg, is pretty much the same tactic.

Anybody who claims to “know” how God works in His mysterious ways is by definition stating a contradiction. And that makes him a “false prophet”.

Most preachers are of that ilk.

About a human fertilized egg, I think that within a short amount of time, the two genomes of the parents create the new genome of the embryo and proceed to create brain cells with a copy of the embryo’s genome in each brain cell. And then body cells with a copy of the embryo’s genome in each, beginning with the cell structure of the human skin, (the container for the other bodily organs) and ending with the gender of the embryo, (that’s why both genders are born with nipples on their chest), when the skin organ has developed the gender of the species had not been decided).

The human species is about twenty years past the Common Era or Christian era as it is sometimes called.

The geologic time scale subdivides all time into named units of abstract time called—in descending order of duration eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages.
We are currently in the Holocene epoch, scientists are considering whether the Earth has entered an entirely new geological epoch: the Anthropocene or the age of humans, meaning we are the first people to live in an age in which the dominant risk to our survival is ourselves. We have spent a lot of money and time on the ancient stories of gods, time to move on.