Elsewhere: God, cosmology, complexity

Spot the godOver on top cosmologist Sean Carroll’s blog, there’s a guest post by his fellow top cosmologist Don Page, who is a Christian. Page was responding to Carroll’s debate with William Lane Craig. Page does not find Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument persuasive, but has his own reasons for being a Christian, which you can read about over there (spoilers: maybe God is the simplest explanation for the fact that the universe is orderly; also the Resurrection happened).

The comment thread beneath the post is huge and goes off in all sorts of interesting directions. Page makes use of Bayes’ Theorem in his arguments. There are some people who use in their day jobs (rather than just reading Less Wrong and bullshitting, as I do) who respond to him, notably Bill Jefferys, staring here.

I’ve been commenting on and off. I reconstructed the threads I got involved in as the lack of threaded commenting over there makes it difficult to follow. I’ve been reading Peter Boghossian’s “A Manual For Creating Atheists” (which I hope to post about at some point) so I was trying for some Socratic dialogue and questioning of “faith” as a means of knowing. See how I got on:

Mathematicians wanted

I was interested in Daniel Kerr’s comments (for example, here, here, and finally here, in response to one of mine). He says that simplicity depends on a choice of mathematical language, but I thought this was just a constant factor. However, the comments rapidly go off into model theory and stuff about the Axiom of Choice, so I got lost. Can anyone comment on what he’s saying and whether he’s right?

Link blog: blue, burial, death, light

How Corpses Helped Shape the London Underground
Gruesome but interesting.
(tags: underground history death burial corpses tube)
Why we need to sleep in total darkness
Blue light at night is bad. Any light is probably a bit bad. Time to get some blackout curtains (although I think they make it harder to wake up).
(tags: health light sleep blue melatonin)
Reading Genesis 1 “Literally” | Scribalishess
Susan Pigott, a professor specialising in the Old Testament, gives her literal reading of Genesis 1, and shows how it both borrows from and reacts against other cosmologies which were around at the time. Via Unreasonable Faith.
(tags: genesis creation old-testament hebrew cosmology)