Erkenntnis 78 (3):665-679 (2013)

Sebastian Lutz
Uppsala University
Due to the logical relations between theism and intelligent design (id), there are two challenges to theism that also apply to id. In the falsifiability challenge, it is charged that theism is compatible with every observation statement and thus asserts nothing. I argue that the contentious assumptions of this challenge can be avoided without loss of precision by charging theism (and thus id) directly with the lack of observational assertions. In the translatability challenge, it is charged that theism can be translated into a (non-theistic) set of observation statements without loss of cognitive content. I argue that the contentious assumptions of this challenge are avoided by the related charge that the (non-theistic) evolutionary theory makes all the observational assertions of id, while the converse does not hold. Elliott Sober has argued that id meets the falsifiability challenge, but, since it makes almost no observational assertions, is not testable. I point out two problems with Sober’s argument and show that id is both deductively and probabilistically testable. Sober’s argument, I suggest, inconsistently combines the modified falsifiability challenge with the modified translatability challenge. If his claims about id’s observational assertions are true, however, id succumbs to the modified translatability challenge.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1007/s10670-012-9391-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,163
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Language, Truth and Logic.Alfred Jules Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.
.R. G. Swinburne - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Language, Truth, and Logic.A. J. Ayer - 1936 - Philosophy 23 (85):173-176.

View all 40 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sceptical Theism and Divine Lies.Erik J. Wielenberg - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (4):509-523.
Sober on Intelligent Design. [REVIEW]Sahotra Sarkar - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):683-691.
In Defence of Intelligent Design.William Dembski - 2006 - In Philip Clayton (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 715-731.
Intelligent Design and Probability Reasoning.Elliott Sober - 2002 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 52 (2):65-80.
Firing Squads and Fine-Tuning: Sober on the Design Argument.Jonathan Weisberg - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):809-821.
Studies in Scientific Realism.Stathis Psillos - 2001 - Foundations of Chemistry 3 (1):79-86.


Added to PP index

Total views
66 ( #173,648 of 2,506,844 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #170,106 of 2,506,844 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes