Bayesian Analysis of God’s Existence

This caught me off‐guard (kudos to Christianity Today Blog for finding it): a scientist has done a Bayesian calculation to determine the probability of God’s existence (which he pegs at 67%).

The scientist’s name is Stephen Unwin (read an interview), and the book detailing his thoughts is The Probability of God: A Simple Calculation That Proves the Ultimate Truth

The opening line of his book is “Do you realize that there is some probability that before you complete this sentence, you will be hoofed insensible by a wayward, miniature Mediterranean ass?”

How cool is that?

I’ve not read it yet–so I have no further comments except to say that it looks extremely interesting.

2 thoughts on “Bayesian Analysis of God’s Existence”

  1. Hello Glen. I was surfing the web and noticed that your blog referred to my book The Probability of God. I hope you enjoy it and that you will email me any comments you may have after reading it.
    Best
    Steve Unwin

  2. I’m sorry I didn’t reply to this earlier. I finished your book quite a while ago and have been considering what to say.

    I liked it a great deal. I thought it was interesting and well‐written (and persuasive). You might be interested to know that I shared a summary of your book with a group of professors and doctoral students in the Decision Analysis Working Group here at Stanford. They liked it (although being academics they quibbled about whether the categories were collectively exhaustive and mutually exclusive). I tried to help them see that the main point was reframing the discussion from an absolute to a probablistic discussion.

    Anyway, I got at least one of them to read the book.

    After reflecting on your book for quite a while (I used it as a resource when putting together the first sermon in a series on the Apostles’ Creed, believe it or not), I think I’ve only got one suggestion for your future presentations. Instead of dismissing the anthropic arguments at the beginning, you should really take that same information and place into one of the evidence chapters and wind up concluding that it has a D factor of 1. It’s functionally the same, and I think it more accurately reflects the type of thinking one has to do.

    But maybe I’m just quibbling like those academics.

    It was a good book, and you should be proud of it!

    By the way, I’ve expanded the Excel Spreadsheet provided in your book. I thought you might like a copy: revised Excel spreadsheet.

    God bless,

    Glen

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