Guys, im back tracking the thread a little, i cant comment on all, but this was a good reply directed at my comments.
The problem with that is this: the naturalistic mechanism that caused the big bang, if there is one, couldn't be the same as the naturalistic mechanism by which the first life developed, if there was one. Which means that you are proposing FIVE SEPARATE UNCONFIRMED causes for the universe, while creationists propose ONLY ONE UNCONFIRMED cause for the universe.
Hence, you (atheists) are multiplying causes beyond necessity, while we are not.
As for the sixth, it is really part of the assumption going into the five observations.
As to the seventh, if we assume that the universe is the result of a deity, it's rather necessary that He "wanted" to create us. Again, part and parcel of the first five.
As to the eighth, that he actually did so goes with attributing the five observations to supernatural causes. As with the other "additional" assumptions, it's not an additional one at all.
And the final tally is...
Creationist Assumptions: 5
Atheist Assumptions: 5
Creationist Unverifiable Causes: 1
Atheist Unverifiable Causes: 5
I rest my case.
First, please do NOT directly equate athiests = evolutionary biologists. I've made that point before, other christians/creationists understood. If you are not doing that, i apologise for misreading.
I got your point about one God and five naturalistic causes, but reply - can you really be so secure about your preferred 'Just one God' ?
The polytheistic religions like the greeks and romans had many Gods. Maybe each for one of those 'acts of creation', why not? those polytheists-> 5 assumptions/causes.
We could also go into the biblical account of creation if you want to stick to purely monotheistic Judeo-Christian doctrine.
You have Six days of Creation already there.. Creationist Assumptions: 6 , athiest 5
(though quibbling from the athiest view i'd say universe and elements at same time, so 4 assumptions, and to me evolution and life are the same, so maybe even 3)
whilst for point 4 of "creation of life" alone, Judeo-Christian doctrine has.
"vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it"
"the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. "
?not sure if the winged are seen as another act or the same"
"Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth "
"Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,"
"Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib"
But causes? Creationists: 1, athiest 1
So if we are talking about the assumptions for life alone (assumed number of life creation events)
Creationist Assumptions 5 ?maybe 6 /athiest 1
So if we are talking about the assumptions for humans alone
Creationist Assumptions 2 / athiest 1
But causes? Creationists: 1, athiest 1
And to me and others the evolutionary views from a single common ancestor has a verifiable cause, yours not. (we can agree to disagree on this!)
You are always going to 1 ultimate cause for everything with a monotheistic omnipotent God.
Is that really less than my 1 naturalistic cause for all ?
and your words of rebuttal
The problem with that is this: the naturalistic mechanism that caused the big bang, if there is one, couldn't be the same as the naturalistic mechanism by which the first life developed, if there was one.
Yes, i accept that most of them are separate events (not the first two though -universe and elements at the same point, some may argue planets and the sun also here). But you say MECHANISM not cause. Yes, theres serval different mechanisms there, but you aim to provide elaboration on how many mechanisms God used for creation how? Im curious.
The core point i made further back that you appear to have missed was ... is using Occams razor really decisive in any way? It's a philosophical method to choose between competing hypothesis, it doesnt tell you if the result of this is correct or not. The most complex and elaborate series of events might theoretically be correct.
Glad to see you familiarize yourself at least somewhat with the Bible. I'm personally working through "Origin of the Species" and "Climbing Mount Improbable" right now. I'm really trying to get a feel for both sides of the argument. The problem is that I'm also reading Dembski's "Design of Life" at the moment, so I'm worried I'll get things confused. So if I say that Darwin was the person who coined the name "designoid," that Dembski sailed on the Beagle and observed finches, or that Dawkins came up with the argument from specified complexity, you'll know why.
Yes, to me the bible is just one book, and its on my bookshelf along with many others. Many of the teachings of Christ i deeply respect and try to live my life by his guide.
You should also look at "Life Ascending" by Nick Lane. I find it not too difficult reading, and even better, its cheap.
Ok, i will bear in mind if you mix aspects of content! I found "On the Origin" a difficult read as old language, but direct words also good. "Mount Improbable" is ok, i just dont like Dawkins though! But i hope you also read "Blind Watchmaker", i think its most useful before "Mount Improbable". Oh, "Red Queen" also by Matt Ridley.. but again perhaps later.