Archive for April 24th, 2012

April 24th, 2012

Mormonism 101

by Max Andrews

I was listening to James White’s ‘Dividing Line’ podcast today and he was on a roll discussing politics and Mormonism.  I’d consider White to be one of the leading apologists in the Mormon area.  He brought attention to this Mormonism 101 post.  What I find the most interesting aspect about Mormonism is that it’s the most polytheistic religion in the world.  Islam is closer to Christianity.  If you’re interested, check out the material.

Mormonism 101: Badly Needed in our Culture Today

Mormonism 101: The First Vision Continued

Mormonism 101: More on the LDS Scripture’s View of God

This is just a small section, please read the rest over at AOMIN.org.

April 24th, 2012

Liberty University and Mitt Romney

by Max Andrews

I’m sure most of you are aware of the controversy several students in the student body have raised concerning Liberty’s selection of Mitt Romney as the Commencement speaker this year. This controversy has even been picked up by the Religion blog at CNN.  (Previous notables like Ben Stein, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and Ted Kennedy have spoken on campus before and were not Evangelicals).  I’m not commenting on anything about the situation other than I simply don’t care if Romney speaks or not.  Jerry sent out an email to the student body today and here’s what it says:

April 24th, 2012

VT Debate Video Soon!

by Max Andrews

I’ve got an update about the debate video.  I just heard from our friends at Tech and they said they have the video ready to go.  The only problem is that the audio has poor quality.  I’m going to try to edit that but if any of you are in the local Lynchburg area and you’re able to edit these kind of things please let me know. I would appreciate your help.  This should be good to go within the next few days.

April 24th, 2012

Formulating a Modest Fine-Tuning Argument

by Max Andrews

The fine-tuning argument argues that when the physics and the laws of nature are expressed mathematically their values are ever so balanced in a way that permits the existence of life.  This claim is made on the basis that existence of vital substances such as carbon, and the properties of objects such as stable long-lived stars, depend rather sensitively on the values of certain physical parameters, and on the cosmological initial conditions.[1]  I’m merely arguing that the universe/multiverse is fine-tuned for the essential building blocks and environments that life requires for cosmic and biological evolution to even occur.  The argument has several different forms in contemporary literature.  The deductive and inductive forms will tend be quite problematic. Abductive reasoning, or inference to the best explanation, along with the role of probability,is the best methodology and form for the fine-tuning argument.

April 24th, 2012

The de Broglie-Bohm Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

by Max Andrews

I’ll be the first to admit that settling on an interpretation of quantum mechanics can be very difficult.  I’ve always preferred my science to be deterministic.  This appears in many interpretations such as Many-Minds and Many-Worlds.  A less controversial interpretation is the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation.  Below is an introduction to the theory taken from a paper by Ward Struyve.

In de Broglie’s pilot-wave theory the description of a quantum system by means of the wavefunction is extended by considering point particles which follow definite trajectories. The velocity field of these particles is fully determined by the wavefunction. Given the initial positions of the particles, their trajectories are fully determined by this velocity field. In this sense the particles are ‘piloted’ by the wavefunction, hence the name pilotwave theory.

April 24th, 2012

Induction and the Requirement of Maximal Specificity

by Max Andrews

Inductive problems will contain a previous indicator or explanans for the explanandum.  For instance, Carl Hempel’s example of Jones’ infection:

Where j is Jones, p is the probability, Sj is Jones’ infection, Pj is he being treated with penicillin, and Rj is his recovery.  If the probability of observing R at any time given the past observations of S&P1S&P2S&Pn (the probability of the set meeting R is m) where R was close to 1 then a predictive explanans (the S&Pn ) can be made for future instances of m using an inductive-statistical explanation.  For if the probability m(S&Pn | S&P1S&P2 …) is a computable function, the range of data is finite then a posterior predication M can be made from mM can be legitimately referred to as a universal predictor in cases of m.