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Scott Oser

Scott Oser

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Historicity of Jesus FAQ (1994)

"The purpose of this document is to partially answer the question, 'To what extent are the events described in the New Testament corroborated by contemporary non-Christian texts?' I argue that the answer to this question is 'not much'--at the very best, some of the texts I consider support the proposition that Jesus existed and perhaps was executed by the Romans." Notice: The Historicity of Jesus FAQ has been superseded by Jeff Lowder's Josh McDowell's 'Evidence' for Jesus--Is It Reliable? which is far more comprehensive and more up-to-date. The Historicity of Jesus FAQ is preserved for archival purposes only. The author has no plans at this time to update the text.

Review of The Hidden Face of God (2007) (with Niall Shanks)

After examining Gerald Schroeder's academic credentials, Scott Oser critiques his arguments from Big Bang cosmology, quantum mechanics, and alleged "fine-tuning" for the existence of the biblical God in The Hidden Face of God. Oser tours such perennial issues as what, if anything, came before the Big Bang, various interpretations of quantum mechanics and whether it requires us to believe that atoms are literally "aware" and "make choices," whether entangled states indicate a universe underpinned by Mind, and whether purported fine-tuning is grounded on solid probability calculations or would even require a grand "tuner" if real given the possibility of a cosmic lottery playing out across a hypothetical multiverse. Niall Shanks turns to Schroeder's discussion of origin-of-life studies and purported "intelligent design" on the cellular level, noting that current biochemistry actually reveals substantial evidence of unintelligent design by mindless, trial-and-error processes such as self-organization. Moreover, good scientific hypotheses for such "mysteries" as the origin of sexual reproduction exist but simply lack confirmation at this stage, undermining the need to postulate any guiding supernatural agents. Oser and Shanks conclude that if the history of science is any guide, Schroeder's God of the gaps will be supplanted by natural explanations as our current scientific understanding advances.