Category Archive: Math

Dec 30

Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Absence

Recently, I’ve written about some introductory topics in Bayes’ Theorem. If you did not read these earlier pieces, you may want to go here and here before reading this post. The initial impetus was to use the theorem to defend a famous maxim often attributed to Carl Sagan—extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. This time, I’m …

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Dec 02

How to use Bayes’ Theorem


Recently, I wrote a Bayesian formulation of Carl Sagan’s famous maxim, ‘Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.’ However, since the aim of that post was not to teach Bayes’ Theorem, but to reply to a criticism of the maxim, I may have left readers unprepared to actually use this theorem. I thought it might be helpful …

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Nov 23

Extraordinary Claims Really Do Require Extraordinary Evidence

Yes, it’s still true. The basic principles of mathematics and probability have not changed. Thus, it is surprising to read an article saying that requiring extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims doesn’t make sense. At least, it’s surprising until you realize the person making the claim is probably an evangelical Christian with an extraordinary claim to …

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Jul 13

The Paradox of the Ravens and Hypothesis Testing

Figure 1

Generally speaking, when an atheist views the world, they tend to do so with a respect for hypothesis testing. We find something admirable in the notion that you can come up with predictions, test them in the real world, and the end results affect your view. Since very few things are certain, these outcomes generally …

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Jul 06

Biblical Inerrancy is Not Probable

Whenever you attack someone on the inconsistencies in the Bible, they will often retreat to the realm of possibility. But the point I always make is “Why should we care about possibility?” It’s possible that you are reading a blog post typed by a large, green rodent. It’s possible that you will wake up tomorrow …

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