In preparing for a talk on Science and Religion, I came upon this somewhat amusing example. I did a google search for “Best evidence for…” and filled in one of the following 3 things:
- the Big Bang
I then took the very first link to compare. The results were:
- the Big Bang – http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/astronomy/bigbang.html
- Evolution – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent
- God – http://www.gradresources.org/worldview_articles/evidence_for_god.shtml
What is interesting is that in the first two cases there is a very long list of evidence, direct observations, measurements, etc… In the last case there are philosophical arguments. The differences in the amount, quality, and type of evidence shown in these sources I think is particularly telling. When you ask for evidence for the existence of something, and you get philosophical arguments, then I think you can immediately dismiss the claim. I would also claim (and someone tell me if there is a counter example please!) that there is not a single example of the existence of an actual thing being first or best established from a philosophical argument.