Theistic Critiques of Atheism

Impartiality is when you judge all things by a single standard of truth. If you have a double standard, that’s called hypocrisy. And if you have three or more standards, it’s called theology. Or at least, that’s the impression I got while reading “Theistic Critiques of Atheism,” by William Lane Craig (available online, registration required).

Craig starts by attributing a recent renaissance of theistic philosophy to a decline in the the belief that “truth” ought to have some sort of verifiable connection to what we actually find in the real world.

The collapse of the Verificationism was undoubtedly the most important philosophical event of the twentieth century. Its demise meant a resurgence of metaphysics, along with other traditional problems of philosophy which Verificationism had suppressed. Accompanying this resurgence has come something new and altogether unanticipated: a renaissance in Christian philosophy.

Personally, I don’t think it’s all that surprising that Christianity, languishing under the burden of having to supply empirical verification for its claims, would enjoy a rebound if and when that particular burden were lifted. But when an apologist begins by rejoicing that his philosophy prospers best when its obligation to the facts is the least, then we’re off to something of an inauspicious start.

Craig bases his critique of atheism on two claims: “(1) There are no cogent arguments on behalf of atheism, and (2) There are cogent arguments on behalf of theism.” Let’s start with claim number 1 and see how far we get. Predictably, he begins by trying to address the problem of the lack of empirical, verifiable evidence for God’s existence. (I say “predictably” because when Christianity and Verificationism are inversely proportional to one another, it stands to reason that Christianity is going to have problems with evidence.)

One of the most commonly proffered justifications of atheism has been the so-called presumption of atheism. At face value, this is the claim that in the absence of evidence for the existence of God, we should presume that God does not exist…

The problem with such a position is captured neatly by the aphorism, beloved of forensic scientists, that “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” The absence of evidence is evidence of absence only in cases in which, were the postulated entity to exist, we should expect to have more evidence of its existence than we do. With respect to God’s existence, it is incumbent on the atheist to prove that if God existed, He would provide more evidence of His existence than what we have.

A classic attempt to shift the burden of proof. One could, of course, argue that theology is indeed a case in which the God ought to produce evidence of His existence, on the grounds that those who claim to know something about God claim to have encountered something in the real world which imparted to them the knowledge of His existence. If there is no evidence of God’s existence, sufficient to alert believers to his existence, then the evidence is indeed absent, at the expense of the believers having any real-world basis for their claims about God.

However, I think Dr. Craig deserves a more sophisticated approach, and one that is more tailored to his own. Craig’s argument is that, before we can say that lack of evidence for X is a reason to conclude that X does not exist, we must first meet the burden of proving that X, if it existed, would leave evidence that we ought to be able to find. In Craig’s logic, X stands for God, but if that’s a sound logical argument, it ought to work for any X, so let’s let X stand for “an incontrovertible disproof of God’s existence.” By Craig’s reasoning, he cannot assume that there is no cogent argument for atheism just because he personally has not seen any evidence of such. He must first prove that the existence of such an argument would necessarily produce verifiable evidence of a sort that we should already be privy to (and barring human omniscience, there’s no guarantee that every possible argument against God has already been thought of). The first of Craig’s two claims, therefore, is shot down by his own logic.

Craig continues his burden-shifting approach with another two-pronged list intended to refute the presumption of atheism.

(1) On at least Christian theism the primary way in which we come to know God is not through evidence but through the inner work of His Holy Spirit, which is effectual in bringing persons into relation with God wholly apart from evidence. (2) On Christian theism God has provided the stupendous miracles of the creation of the universe from nothing and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, for which events there is good scientific and historical evidence—not to mention all the other arguments of natural theology. In this light, the presumption of atheism seems presumptuous, indeed!

In other words, atheists are wrong because (a) God doesn’t leave evidence, and (b) God does leave evidence.

I assume that Dr. Craig has read his Bible, and knows that it consists primarily of stories about people coming to know God, not by purely subjective “inner works” of the Spirit, but by God showing up in the real world and interacting with people in ways that would constitute verifiable, empirical evidence (if they were true). The reason he says that God does not do this sort of thing is because the stories aren’t consistent with what you and I can actually observe and confirm in real life. Nor is this argument consistent with itself: millions of believers, all with the same, divine point of contact, would be verifiable evidence of God’s existence.

Picture a computer lab full of teenagers, all wearing headphones with microphones. There is no apparent teacher in the room, and the computer screens are showing different things, but as you watch, you notice a pattern in the teens’ behavior. Most of the time they’re quiet (and even a little bored), but from time to time there’s a reaction, and when there is a reaction, it’s usually groups of students and sometimes the entire class. You notice that occasionally, several students will press a key on their keyboard at about the same time, and shortly after that, one (and only one) student will begin to speak, followed by a brief pause, then another burst of keypresses, and again one (and only one) student speaking. Once in a while, you see a student press a key, and then look at a different student just before that student starts to speak.

Now, I didn’t tell you that these were students who were all logged in to the same remote networked biology class, or that they were all connected to the same classroom discussion channel, or that the professor was asking questions and calling on individual students to answer. But the evidence was there. I wasn’t even setting up some kind of skeptical challenge supposed to “test” the existence of the remote professor, as though I believed he was not real. You’re simply observing the natural consequences—the evidence—of a group of people sharing communication with a common point of contact. This is the sort of evidence that would result if it were true that Christians had a common communication hub, in the form of a common, divine Spirit communicating directly with their hearts or souls or minds.

Significantly, when Craig decides to argue that evidence does exist for God, he does not cite the sort of evidence that would result from God actually interacting with believers in this kind of objectively real sense. Instead, he turns to superstition and legend, citing the alleged creation of the universe and resurrection of Jesus as evidence that ostensibly refutes the presumption of atheism. Bit of a logical fallacy there, actually: if you’re going to offer evidence to support God’s existence, you’re not really refuting the claim that it takes real evidence in order to support your claims. Either deny that you need evidence (and admit you don’t have any), or admit that evidence is indeed required, and then provide some.

Craig, however, knows what sort of “evidence” he has to offer, and that’s why he sets the stage for it by trying to discredit the idea that it needs to be any good. His argument from creation, for instance, is sheer superstition—given some particular phenomenon for which you don’t understand the cause, you simply attribute the phenomenon to some magical and unverifiable cause for which you can show no connection to the phenomenon in question, nor can you even offer a specific and reasonable description of what such a connection would consist of if it did exist. I can give elves the credit for making running shoes, but if I do, the existence of the shoes is not evidence for the existence of the elves.

The argument from the resurrection fares no better, since it’s a claim that suffers from an evidence deficit itself, besides contradicting Craig’s first argument that the primary way we come to know God is through some kind of subjective and unverifiable “inner working” of some divine Spirit. You can claim that “that was then and this is now” if you like, but you should at least admit that these are two very different styles of (alleged) interaction, and that at best you are arguing that we should simply take man’s word for it even though their stories aren’t consistent with the way we actually see God behaving in real life.

Dr. Craig is a pretty intelligent fellow, but, as his apologetic shows, intelligence alone is no guarantee that you will apply your powers of reason correctly. Simple minds fall into simple traps; brilliant minds just build more elaborate traps for themselves. The cure is to remember two simple things: that the truth is consistent with itself, and that reality is the sole and infallible standard for what is true.

 
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Posted in Unapologetics. 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “Theistic Critiques of Atheism”

  1. jim Says:

    “On Christian theism God has provided the stupendous miracles of THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE FROM NOTHING and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, for which events there is good scientific and historical evidence.”

    Baloney! From where cometh this little factoid? Created? From nothing? Scientific evidence? How do they get away with making statements like this?

  2. jorgaba Says:

    We shouldn’t be surprised that the standards of Theological argument are so very poor. The whole point of Theology is to create an illusion of rigor in defense of a premise arrived at by means other than rigorous study.

    Theological arguments against atheism/naturalism/materialism/whatever are invariably circular games in which success is measured by whether you can bewilder your audience with just-fuzzily-defined-enough inferential steps to keep them from noticing you started with your conclusion. That’s basically what Craig is doing here. He does the same thing in the Kalam argument. Plantinga does the same thing with his Evolutionary argument against Naturalism. C.S. Lewis did the same thing with the argument from reason in Miracles. Same thing with cosmological fine-tuning arguments. There is, literally, nothing new here.

  3. John Morales Says:

    At face value, this is the claim that in the absence of evidence for the existence of God, we should presume that God does not exist

    That’s sophistic and sets up a straw man based on a false dichotomy. The only true presupposition in this issue arises when theology is used to try to prove the existence of a god, which is begging the question.

    Clearly, no presumption of either case (yes-God|no-God) need arise until a hypothesis is needed, to explain something otherwise not yet accounted for. In other words, no hypothesis is required either way, in today’s world.
    Certainly, centuries ago, there were valid reasons to consider the existence or lack thereof of something called a “god”, but alas, it turned out to be the “god of the gaps”, and its domain is ever-shrinking, as science and knowledge advance; the only gods left are the subtle, metaphysical ones that live in the philosophical gaps (those shrink over time, too) and the utterly ridiculous, irrational ones.

  4. » Theistic Critiques of Atheism, Part 2 Evangelical Realism Says:

    […] Comments Modusoperandi on Postmodern ChristiansJohn Morales on Theistic Critiques of AtheismModusoperandi on Guilty and unrepentantjorgaba on Theistic Critiques of Atheismjim on Theistic […]

  5. Sam Says:

    Jim wrote: Baloney! From where cometh this little factoid? Created? From nothing? Scientific evidence? How do they get away with making statements like this?

    If you read the book you will find answers to these questions.

    Stephen Hawking himself in The Nature of Space and Time has admitted that “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.” Philosophy of science, specifically the cosmological argument, tells us that 1. whatever begins to exist has a cause, 2. the universe began to exist, 3. therefore the universe had a cause. If you delve further into the cosmological argument you will see that it is extremely improbable, using this reasoning, to explain the cause as wholly naturalistic. And this is but ONE philosophical argument.

    You ask for scientific evidence for the claims made in this article yet you ignore the LACK of scientific evidence for naturalistic theories.

    Anyway, why does EVERYTHING have to be proved scientifically before you atheists acknowledge it’s possibility? Scientific evidence is NOT the end all be all of knowledge.

  6. Deacon Duncan Says:

    Hi, Sam, thanks for stopping by. If you read your Hawking a little more closely, you’ll see that the term “beginning” is a slight misnomer. If both time and the universe had the same origin, that means there has never been a time when the material universe did not exist. This is not strictly the beginning of time, but rather the minimum value of time. Consequently neither time nor the material universe “began to exist,” since there never was a time when they did not exist.

    Bit counterintuitive, I know, but you’ll have that when you start trying to wrap your mind around what it means to go back to the “beginning” of everything. ;)

  7. jim Says:

    Sam:

    “Anyway, why does EVERYTHING have to be proved scientifically before you atheists acknowledge it’s possibility? Scientific evidence is NOT the end all be all of knowledge.”

    My comment was actually prompted by Craig’s citing of supposed scientific evidence.

    “You ask for scientific evidence for the claims made in this article yet you ignore the LACK of scientific evidence for naturalistic theories.”

    No, I was just noting that the supposed evidence for the claims made in this article is bogus. And the difference between scientifically oriented speculation, and the sort of metaphysical explanations that theists fall back on, is that the former is an extension of the known into the unknown, while the latter has no basis in reality beyond superstitious storytelling.

    “Stephen Hawking himself in The Nature of Space and Time has admitted that “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.”

    Deacon Duncan is correct. Furthermore, if you embrace Hawking’s theory, and if time indeed came into existence with the big bang, then there is no place BEFORE the big bang to hang you causal hat on. It’s a genuine ‘by its own bootstraps’ kind of theory.

    Others, however, are having a hard time swallowing this notion of ‘no time before time’, and have posited alternative theories, like different sorts of multi-verse scenarios. There are other theories, as well. But all this is rarified speculation, IMO…it’s fun, but nobody should feel too comfortable about them. There’s just not enough information.

    “1. whatever begins to exist has a cause, 2. the universe began to exist, 3. therefore the universe had a cause. If you delve further into the cosmological argument you will see that it is extremely improbable, using this reasoning, to explain the cause as wholly naturalistic. And this is but ONE philosophical argument.”

    This is a common category error, pure and simple. Cause and effect are merely a description of the way the universe seems to operate. Another and more accurate way to describe this process is ‘changing states through time’. But there’s absolutely no logical or empirical reason to believe that the system itself required a cause to exist. On the one hand, you’re talking about the transition of form, where nothing is ever created or destroyed (conservation of energy, 1st law of thermodynamics). On the other, you’re talking creation, something out of absolute nothing. That’s religion, my friend. If you believe that, that’s your business, but don’t put it forth as a scientific theory. It’s not.

  8. Sam Says:

    LOL, I’ve been studying this topic for over 15 years and I admit, I still have a difficult time “wrapping my mind around it” and I don’t think I will ever NOT have a difficult time with it.

    I understand that a beginning does not necessarily entail having a beginning point, but Hawking actually used “imaginary numbers” to come up with his “beginning”. Hawking’s model has no singular point of beginning, however, it still has a beginning in the sense that it has a finite past duration. For any finite interval of time, there are only a finite number of equal intervals prior to that time. In that sense, Hawking’s model has a beginning. The universe has an origin where there is absolutely nothing that comes before it.

    The irony of Hawking’s model is that when you convert his “imaginary numbers” into real numbers guess what? You get the singularity – a beginning point.

  9. jim Says:

    Sam:

    Putting much credence in these theories, religious OR naturalistic, is pretty much a waste of time, in my book. There’s just so much we don’t know. Same goes with building a case. In the case of science, these speculations exist at the far outflung, imaginative horizons; it’s empirical thought moving outwards into areas of less and less information. But science would never point to such flights of fancy for justification of the scientific method. Science is grounded in the everyday, first and foremost.

    However, I guess in religion’s case there’s just nowhere else left to go. I mean, religious explanations for the prosaic have been supplanted again and again by scientific investigation, and it seems nowadays that theists have been forced to retreat into the universe’s no-fly zones to make their philosophical stands. As Duncan so often points out, there’s a great dearth of real world evidence for the existence of God.

  10. Sam Says:

    Jim wrote: On the other, you’re talking creation, something out of absolute nothing. That’s religion, my friend.

    I beg to differ. That’s philosophy of science not religion. I agree that religions take up that position and insert whatever god or being that happens to be representative of the particular religion in question, but that doesn’t mean that the position itself is a religious position. To dismiss of creation out of nothing because of it’s religious undertones is mere hand waving. Logic dictates that whatever begins to exist MUST have a cause.

    It is theoretically impossible to have an infinite universe. If there was a beginning then someone or something MUST have brought the universe into existence. There is really no way around it.

    By the way, the reason “creation out of nothing” isn’t a scientific position is because science refuses to acknowledge the possibility of an uncaused cause. Science is wholly naturalistic, but at every turn science has run into road blocks when trying to explain origins as naturalistic.

  11. jim Says:

    One more thing, a S. Hawking quote that I think sums up the discussion nicely-

    “Hubble’s observations suggested that there was a time, called the big bang, when the universe was infinitesimally small and infinitely dense. Under such conditions all the laws of science, and therefore all ability to predict the future, would break down. If there were events earlier than this time, then they could not affect what happens at the present time. Their existence can be ignored because it would have no observational consequences. One may say that time had a beginning at the big bang, in the sense that earlier times simply would not be defined.”

    This is basically saying that, tracking backwards along the timeline, at some point what we recognize as footprints smear out, becoming unrecognizable. In other words, science suddenly finds itself lacking data, as well as the tools to collect it. That’s all. A far cry from ‘something from absolute nothingness’.

  12. jim Says:

    Sam:

    “Logic dictates that whatever begins to exist MUST have a cause.”

    Again, you’re assuming the sort of absolute beginning from nothing that science does not assume, and without any evidence that such a thing has ever happened.

    “It is theoretically impossible to have an infinite universe.”

    Kalam argument, or some such? There’s enough refutation floating around on that one that I’ll leave it alone for now.

    “By the way, the reason “creation out of nothing” isn’t a scientific position is because science refuses to acknowledge the possibility of an uncaused cause. Science is wholly naturalistic, but at every turn science has run into road blocks when trying to explain origins as naturalistic.”

    Or perhaps there’s simply no evidence that such a thing’s ever happened? Beyond unsupported assertions by primitive mythmakers, of course. And I doubt science will ever be able to explain origins in the sense of ‘ultimate’ origins, because in all probability the concept itself is probably nonsensical; sort of like asking ‘where’s the logical beginning of the circumference of this circle?’.

  13. John Morales Says:

    Sam,

    If there was a beginning then someone or something MUST have brought the universe into existence.

    You do realise you’re arguing infinite regress here?

  14. Deacon Duncan Says:

    Sam,

    I understand that a beginning does not necessarily entail having a beginning point…

    No, that’s actually the wrong way around. Time has a “beginning” point (i.e. a minimum value, t0), but not a beginning, i.e. a change in state such that at one point in time (tx) time does not exist and at another point time (tx+1) time does exist. I think you can see how nonsensical it is to say that there is a point in time where time does not exist.

    Consequently it is quite literally true that there has never been a time when the universe did not exist. This does not mean that the universe has infinite duration, because time itself does not have infinite duration. However, though time is finite (looking backwards at least), it is nevertheless true that the universe has existed for all of time. As far as causality is concerned, therefore, the universe has no real beginning—no point in time where some external agency could cause it to make a transition from not existing to existing. Since time has a minimum value, there is no time prior to that point in which any cause could have operated. Therefore the universe is uncaused, at least as far as we understand causality.

  15. Sam Says:

    Well, it appears that I’m out numbered, nothing I’m not used to really and something I should have expected when coming to a blog such as this, but I’ve learned to duck out of such a situation before I get too emotionally caught up in the discussion.

    I will say this, however, before I depart your company. The problem I have with such reliance on science (I like the way that phrase rolls off the tongue) is that science is not the end all be all of knowledge. Science is a human achievement and as such is subject to fallibility and bias. Most modern science, unfortunately, stems from the premise that there is no supernatural uncaused cause. As such, much of science is severely biased in it’s theories and conclusions. Hawking’s model is a perfect example of this. In doing so it ignores any possibility of the supernatural and attempts to develop theories apart from such a claim. Any attempts to circumvent that bias is met with disdain and outright bullying. If you don’t believe me I will refer you to watch Expelled by Ben Stein. This is actually evident in this very discussion when Jim made the commend that creationism is solely a religious claim.

    This is precisely why we need philosophy and logic. Logic has absolutes. When followed those absolutes help lead science to very different conclusions about our universe. When ignored, science becomes somewhat of a joke with every so called scientist just making up whatever he/she wants that will help advance their world view. With the ever growing chorus of anti-god sentiment, I’m afraid that other voices are being drowned out.

    I would recommend for further reading/study Dr. Michio Kaku who, in a recent seminar on “The Theory of Everything”, stated: “we are on the verge of seeing the mind of god”. Dr. Kaku’s study of string theory has lead him to conclusions that are foreign to what most scientists once believed about origins.

    By the way, John, the argument of infinite regress only applies to a caused cause, not an uncaused cause. An uncaused cause is by definition “uncaused” therefore does not need a cause itself.

    One more thing. One does not have to be Christian to assert that there could be an uncaused cause. I am living proof of that. Your blog would appear to be a lot more credible should you refrain from theist bashing. Just because Craig is a Christian does not mean that he is any less credible of a philosopher. In fact if you read anything by Craig he is explicit when he talks about how his studies of philosophy and science has lead him to his beliefs NOT the reverse. Dr. Hugh Ross is another example of this. Your focus on his Christian beliefs only serves to show your own bias.

    I take my leave of you now. I hope that one day you will realize the truth.

  16. John Morales Says:

    By the way, John, the argument of infinite regress only applies to a caused cause, not an uncaused cause. An uncaused cause is by definition “uncaused” therefore does not need a cause itself.

    Special pleading.

  17. Deacon Duncan Says:

    Well, Sam, I’m sorry to see you go so soon. Please, stop by again any time, and bring some friends if you feel you need the reinforcements.

    Science, by the way, is merely the rigorous application of the principle that the truth is consistent with itself—as are logic and (properly practiced) philosophy. All three are human endeavors and are equally subject to the frailties of human fallibility, but there is a perfectly self-consistent truth that is the object of these branches of inquiry, and no lover of the truth need fear or flee from any of them.

    You are correct that one need not be a Christian to acknowledge the possibility of an uncaused cause. The material universe has existed for all of time, and is therefore uncaused, yet it is the cause of all that transpires within itself. Thus, we not only have an uncaused cause, we have an uncaused cause whose existence is trivial to verify (unlike certain more superstitious speculations).

    You are mistaken when you suppose that science is biased against the supernatural. This is a widespread myth, but if you think about how science works, you’ll see that it’s not even possible, because there is no scientific test that can distinguish a natural phenomenon from a supernatural one. Even if science wanted to isolate supernatural phenomena and refuse to explore them, it couldn’t, because it has no way of knowing that some new, verifiable phenomenon is not just some previously unknown aspect of the natural realm.

    Nor has it been the case historically that any anti-supernatural bias has prevented inquiry into allegedly supernatural phenomena: lightning, earthquakes, volcanoes, eclipses and other phenomena once regarded as supernatural manifestations are now known to be part of the natural world precisely because their “supernatural” status only excited scientific curiosity, as any genuine supernatural phenomenon would do today (and as your own reference to string theory shows).

    The reason people claim that there is a scientific bias against the supernatural is because people do not apply the designation “supernatural” to things unless and until they manifestly fail to be scientific in some significant way: by appealing to magic, or superstition, or unverifiable subjective mental states, or so forth. It’s true that science is biased against bad science, but it’s not science’s fault that people reserve the label “supernatural” for alleged powers and beings that are never observable or verifiable.

    And finally, I am not bashing Dr. Craig, I am criticizing the ideas he presents, and stating precisely what the flaws are that I find in his philosophical propositions. If I have analyzed his arguments incorrectly, feel free to point out where I am in error and what the correct response would be. But I have consistently declared that Dr. Craig himself is a highly intelligent and well-educated individual, and indeed I am only too happy to point out what a highly qualified representative he is of Christian thought. That way, when his arguments turn out to be flawed, it’s not because of any personal failing or inadequacy in Dr. Craig himself, but because Christianity is inconsistent and untrue. An ad hominem attack would be self-defeating, since it would deflect attention from my real goal.

    Thank you for wishing me an ever deeper knowledge of the truth. There is no greater blessing a person can give or can enjoy, and I hope you also experience what you have wished for me. Reality is the ultimate, infallible standard of Truth, and She is a far superior God to any that men have made in their own image, including Jesus.

    Cheers.

  18. Bacopa Says:

    Has there indeed been a renaissance in theistic philosophy? Sure, there are interesting debates that pop up now and then, such as the Mackie/Plantinga exchange of several years ago, but I was under the impression that theology is a poor relation to most of what’s going on in major philosophy departments.

  19. Gingerbaker Says:

    “The problem with such a position is captured neatly by the aphorism, beloved of forensic scientists, that “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

    Unfortunately for William Lane Craig, absence of evidence is, in fact, evidence of absence. What it is not, however, is proof of absence.

    When you have something that does not exist, one would expect there to be a lack of evidence of its existence, wouldn’t one?

    On the other hand, evidence does tend to imply existence. A footprint of a giraffe in my backyard is evidence that there was, indeed, a giraffe in my backyard as unlikely as such an occurrence might seem. And a lack of giraffe footprints is, indeed, evidence that there were no giraffes in my backyard.

    Since the Christian god is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient and vengeful, the complete lack of physical evidence of his presence is, shall we say, a big frackin’ PROBLEM for apologists.

  20. Brad Says:

    Craig isn’t reasoning on a teeter-totter. Both gnostic theism and gnostic atheism have their own burdens to be met. Hence, no shift of burden, but rather a doubling of it.

    I also find it interesting that you don’t agree with Craig’s logic when applied to his conclusion, but then when you turn it against him you do agree with Craig’s logic.

  21. Deacon Duncan Says:

    Christian apologists claim to possess knowledge about God. The burden of proof is therefore upon them to provide a real-world basis for that knowledge, sufficient to verify that such knowledge is correct. The presumption of atheism is simply one way to state this burden in propositional form.

    If apologists were simply proposing the possibility that a “god” might exist, then I would agree with you about the dual burden of proof. In a purely hypothetical debate, as about the possible existence of unicorns for example, one could properly insist that both the pro and the con must bear their own burden. But as soon as one side or the other claims to know that their view is true in the real world, the burden becomes theirs, regardless of any corresponding burden, or lack of burden, on the part of their opponents.

    I do think that evidence does exist, in the form of the inevitable and predictable inconsistencies that arise whenever apologists attempt to make their stories fit into the real world facts.

    I’d address your second point, but I’m not sure what it’s referring to.