Friday Random Ten (29 July 2005)
Religion and Statistics Edition
Oxford emeritus professor Richard Swinburne is running around Australia telling attendees at his lectures that it "is 97 per cent certain that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead," according to the Aussie paper, The Age. How does he come to this conclusion? He claims by mathematics, and not faith, but -- from the article -- the math seems tenuous at very best and absolutely absurd at worst.
In order to calculate the probability of the resurrection, according to Swinburne, one must first determine whether or not there is a God (50%), if he would "become incarnate" (50%), and whether he would live as Jesus did. We also need to know whether the gospels would report Jesus' story in the manner they do (10%) and if we would have the evidence if it was not true (0.1%).
Somehow (the statistics are not clearly described in the article) he calculates the probability God raised Jesus from the dead as 0.97. Mixing religion and science, Swinburne deserves to be lumped in with the intelligent design crowd.Of course, the probability that this week's Friday Random Ten will be better than last week's is 1*. Enjoy:
- Bob Marley - No Woman No Cry
- Satanic Surfers - Forfeiture
- Living End - The Room
- The Distillers - L.A. Girl
- Less Than Jake - Descant
- The Searchers - Sugar and Spice
- Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
- The Slackers - Wasted Days
- 311 - I'll Be Here Awhile
- My Chemical Romance - Helena
*There was no Friday Random Ten last week as I was busy attending a small meeting hosted by my university.