Tag: The Colbert Report

Colbert, O’Reilly, and God

Skip for­ward to about 2:20.

Update: Here is the orig­i­nal video from which Col­bert’s clip was tak­en. More from O’Reil­ly about us being “lucky.”

It is so plain­ly obvi­ous how deeply flawed O’Reil­ly’s rea­son­ing is here, and these are more words than the sub­ject could pos­si­bly deserve, but I can’t help but want to address it.

What’s real­ly pecu­liar about it is that he does­n’t seem to be say­ing that the cre­ation of the moon can’t be explained by ordi­nary, mechan­i­cal events. I’m sure he’d agree that it’s viable to the­o­rize that a huge aster­oid smashed into the earth a cou­ple bil­lion years ago and formed the moon. It has explana­to­ry pow­er, although there is no way to know for cer­tain that that hap­pened, because we can’t observe it direct­ly. And that seems to be his point; it’s one thing for apol­o­gists to point to some­thing that can’t be explained in order to sug­gest that there is a god — “Why is there some­thing rather than noth­ing? Why is the grav­i­ta­tion­al con­stant what it is?” — but here he’s invok­ing some­thing so triv­ial, some­thing that can be explained, but whose expla­na­tion we can’t ver­i­fy with absolute cer­tain­ty, and sug­gest­ing that it has the same log­i­cal heft.

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