Over at TitusOneNine I've been having a conversation about the existence of a Creator, with an intelligent and very cordial atheist who goes by the nom de blogue of "Just Passing By." Along the way, I noted that apart from our participation, the thread seemed to have played itself out. JPB suggested we move the discussion elsewhere. He (?) had previously said he was checking out this blog, so I'm responding here to a couple of his points in the hope that he finds my response.
I also hope you’d agree that the notion of a Creator is at least consistent with (1) the fact of our existence; (2) the apparent fine-tuning of the universe’s physical constants,[*] and (3) the increasing orderliness of at least our corner of the universe.[**] The existence of a Creator may not be compelled by these things, but it’s certainly coherent with them. [Italics in original, bold-faced emphasis added.]
[*] In a previous posting, I explained:
If any of a number of things such as the force of gravity or the nuclear force had been just an infinitesimal bit different, the universe would not have come to be, certainly not in the way we know it. (The Wikipedia article on the Anthropic Principle is pretty good.)
[**] In a "footnote" paragraph, I explained a point JPB had challenged:
By “the increasing orderliness of the universe,” I mean the cosmic progression starting with the Big-Bang release of energy, which cooled into subatomic particles; some of which particles bonded as hydrogen and helium atoms; some of which atoms gravitationally coalesced into gas clouds; some of which clouds coalesced further and ignited as stars; which stars manufactured other elements; some of which stars collapsed and exploded as supernovae, thereby manufacturing and scattering all kinds of debris including heavier elements; some of which debris gravitationally coalesced as planets; on at least one of which planets the materials and conditions for life were present and on which life did in fact emerge; eventually resulting in our own human species emerging; and we humans have been organizing ourselves and our surroundings ever since — sometimes making terrible mistakes along the way, to be sure.
Anyway, JPB responded to my bold-faced comment above with a follow-up question:
IOW, a Creator is possible? Very well, [so] stipulated.
I think I missed the “And therefore …& part of the argument. Could you repeat it for me please? How is a Creator likely based on those points? [Italics in original, bold-faced emphasis added.]
I'm not sure I understand what JPB is missing here. I'm saying that in my own judgment, which is informed by my education, experience, values, biases, etc., the evidence I mentioned makes it at least more probable than not that a Creator exists. Depending on what I'm being asked to do on the basis of that belief, I may or may not conclude that the evidence is sufficient to justify the proposed action. (I explain this position in more detail in the previous post.)
Others evaluate the same evidence differently. It will always be thus, at least until someone comes up with irrefutable evidence one way or another. (And even then there will still be people who aren't persuaded, just as there are still people who believe the earth is flat.)