Science, God and Ockham’s Razor

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Two recent articles have been published on this topic. One is a popular article by David Glass and Mark McCartney published in the current issue (August / September 2016) of the popular magazine Philosophy Now and freely available online here. The other is a more in-depth article by David Glass in the journal Philosophical Studies. It is also freely available online here.

Both articles address a very popular objection to belief in God. The idea is that in the past people appealed to God in order to explain various aspects of the universe, but that this role is now played by modern science. Given Ockham’s razor, there is no need for two explanations when one will do and so the success of science has removed any need for God.

This type of argument is very appealing to many atheists, particularly scientifically minded atheists. No doubt, this is because it offers a simple objection to belief in God based on science that seems to avoid the need for detailed engagement with philosophical arguments. These articles show why this is not the case and why the argument is actually very weak.

Further resources on this topic include:

a seminar,  delivered at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, which is available in audio or as a downloadable mp4 video

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a short online article and discussion on the Unbelievable Show

Details of other published articles can be found in Saints, Sceptics and Scholars under ‘The Study’ on the menu bar.

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