Archive for the ‘Fine Tuning’ Category

Dallas Willard on David Hume’s acknowledgement of the design argument in Knowing Christ Today:

The almost irresistible impression of a “maker” of the physical universe is no doubt what Paul was referring to when he claimed that the existence and nature of God was “plain” or “shown” to humans. This impression remains very strong up to today. David Hume, often thought to be the prince of modern skeptics, conceded: “The whole frame of nature bespeaks an intelligent author; and no rational enquirer can, after serious reflection, suspend his belief a moment with regard to the primary principles of genuine Theism and Religion.”5  This same outlook survives in the later, carefully guarded concession of Hume’s “Philo,” in the posthumously published Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, “That the cause or causes of order in the universe probably bear some remote analogy to human intelligence.”6

Misunderstandings of Darwin’s theory of “natural selection” have in more recent times blunted the impact of the reasoning behind this conclusion in the minds of people generally. But in recent years an increased understanding of the astonishing complexity of life has led some who were longtime atheists to reconsider their position.7

The notes are interesting too, and I may add a bit more with comment later.


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According to the evidence in this document from the Coppedge v. JPL trial, page 11, multiple key witnesses for JPL admitted that the DVDs he loaned them were not offensive.

Also worth reading is the very polite email from David Coppedge to Greg Chin to memorialize their conversation, which begins on page 18.  Excerpt:

You ordered me me not to discuss politics or religion with anyone in this office. . . . When I asked what constituted the religious views, you said I was giving out DVDs about intelligent design.  When I asked why that constituted pushing religious views, you said emphatically, “intelligent design is religion” at least twice.

You can watch The Privileged Planet on YouTube here.


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This case is getting a fair amount of media attention now, and I plan to follow it.  Below are some interesting documents and links.


Washington Post/AP story.


The court’s denial of summary judgment.  This contains the judge’s initial opinion on what is at issue.  This contains ample language showing his inclination to accept Coppedge’s version of events:  “A trier of fact would be entitled to disbelieve Defendant’s stated reasons for the adverse employment actions.”


Coppedge’s Trial Brief.


JPL’s Trial Brief.


Local LA TV news story.


Fox News/AP story:

While the case has attracted interest because of the controversial nature of intelligent design, it is at its heart a straightforward discrimination case, said Eugene Volokh, a professor of First Amendment law at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

“The question is whether the plaintiff was fired simply because he was wasting people’s time and bothering them in ways that would have led him to being fired regardless of whether it was about religion or whether he was treated worse based on the religiosity of his beliefs,” said Volokh. “If he can show that, then he’s got a good case.”


EvoNews blog post with facts about the case.



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Fine-tuning is the design argument that everyone seems to agree on. The following segment from the film The Privileged Planet explains it pretty well.  Both Francis Collins and Tim Keller used this design argument in their recent books.

You can watch the whole film on YouTube.

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