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God Exists
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Yup. The existence of Him has now been verified statistically. (via Kevin Drum)

A scientist has calculated that there is a 67% chance that God exists.

Dr Stephen Unwin has used a 200-year-old formula to calculate the probability of the existence of an omnipotent being. Bayes' Theory is usually used to work out the likelihood of events, such as nuclear power failure, by balancing the various factors that could affect a situation.

The Manchester University graduate, who now works as a risk assessor in Ohio, said the theory starts from the assumption that God has a 50/50 chance of existing, and then factors in the evidence both for and against the notion of a higher being.

Factors that were considered included recognition of goodness, which Dr Unwin said makes the existence of God more likely, countered by things like the existence of natural evil - including earthquakes and cancer.

The unusual workings - which even take into account the existence of miracles - are set out in his new book, which includes a spreadsheet of the data used so that anyone can make the calculation themselves should they doubt its validity.

Now that's good science. He even includes a spreadsheet so you can double-check his math. (I hope someone out there doesn't forget to carry a 1 and inadvertently obliterate the universe.)

This whole damn article is a laugh riot. I'd buy this guy's book when it comes out (it'd probably be funnier than a Far Side collection), but I wouldn't want to actually give him any money.

So the guy starts out with 50/50 odds that god exists, huh? Where the hell does that come from? Is it reasonable for me to start out with 50/50 odds that unicorns, faeries, or Santa Claus exists?

If the existence of something is unverified, shouldn't you make a complete presumption of non-existence, and work your way up from there?

And then the existence or non-existence of nice or not-so-nice things is "evidence" of god's existence? Is this guy honestly sitting around in his kitchen going, "Well, flowers are 1% in the FOR column. But weeds are kind of bad...minus 1%..."

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