Don’t believe every Jesus conspiracy you read

Okay, I need to nip this in the bud. We’ve gotten a flood of email in the last 24 hours telling us we should check out this thing.

I’m inclined to conclude that it’s rubbish. Joseph Atwill has been peddling his Jesus conspiracy theories for years. He is not a historian, he doesn’t have any credibility on the subject. I’m not inclined to believe his “discovery” of a “confession” by Romans who invented Jesus, and even if it were verified to be real, I wouldn’t be inclined to assume they were telling truth either.

I’m not a historian myself so I don’t have the ability to thoroughly evaluate this information. But here’s a guy claiming to have a made a new discovery of significant academic importance, yet he won’t just release it to other scholars and the public. Instead, you must buy tickets to attend a lecture at which he will reveal his secret information in a week and a half. Scholarship does not work like that. You don’t reveal new information in a lecture and then let other scholars pore over it. You get it reviewed, verified, and debated first, and after it’s accepted by a significant number of credible reviewers, THEN you reveal it in a lecture. Jumping the gun like this is just pulling the equivalent of the cold fusion fiasco, and in this case it’s clearly a stunt to bring in some money.

Bother us about this stuff again after Atwill has finished his lecture and other mainstream historians have reviewed his work. Until then, don’t be gullible.

Added: Martin would also like you to read this review of Atwill’s work by Robert Price.

Update 2: Richard Carrier weighs in with much more detail; calls Atwill a crank.

Hey you guys, alt med has like totally cured cancer!

I just have to say this: I hate responding to mail that alludes to massive conspiracies, possibly more than any other kind of mail.  When Lynnea and I talked to Guy P. Harrison recently, he explained a very interesting perspective on the difference between conspiracy theories and other popular but wrong beliefs.  Someone who believes in miscellaneous magical stuff like ghosts and young earth creationism is likely to be coming from a place of thinking too little.  Someone who believes conspiracy theories more likely thinks far too much: they invent patterns and create connections where none exist.  They also spend an enormous time chasing these ideas down a huge rabbit hole of confirmation bias, and generate way, way more spurious content than I can reasonably deal with as a newcomer to their ideas.

Therefore, you can probably imagine my trepidation when we received this email from “Clark Kent” (I’m assuming it’s a pseudonym).

This a response to the Feb 19 podcast. Rough quote “If someone had a cure for cancer why not come fourth and claim your million dollars..”. Instead of being negative perhaps you can review that podcast with this injection of evidence.

The evidence was presented in the form of a YouTube link, titled “Cancer Cured In Canada, But Big Pharma Says NO WAY!”

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