Tag Archive: bayes

Apr 25

Is naturalism a type of faith?

In this essay, I’m going to take on a common claim that a form of narrow naturalism can rightly be called faith. The form of naturalism I have in mind is one that says for any given unexplained event, it is overwhelmingly likely that the real explanation will be a naturalistic one. So, for example, …

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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

Bayes

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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