Affordable One-Month Course on the Science & Philosophy of Free Will…and a whole lot of other things going on!

If you haven’t already, do consider taking my online course next month on the science & philosophy of free will—or recommend it to anyone you think might be interested! It starts in just two days. You can get in within its first six.

Meanwhile, a brief update and foreshadow:

  • I’ve been spending the last week starting a new relationship, so I’ve been AFK a lot. She’s a noted polyamory activist and all-around kickass, known by her handle Joreth Innkeeper. And I confess I’m very smitten. I am now meeting someone else in the next few days who might smite me as well. She practically already has. And all the while staying with a girlfriend who already smote me. So I’ll be AFK a bit more.
  • Further consuming my time is all the work I’ve been engaging in planning several upcoming tours (Southern California in April and Florida in May), two major debates, and one big move. Yes, by this summer I shall no longer be living in California. Stay tuned for that news. Because I’m going to do something fun with it.
  • Of course I consumed a lot of time prepping and engaging in the Carrier-Bass debate a week ago. The video is now up. IMO, that went badly for him. He’s a very competent presenter. He did well on all the skills of debate. Except for what gives you a technical win. So given his confident and charismatic presentation, you might not have noticed that he didn’t really rebut most of my arguments; and those he even properly took on, he ended up relying on argument by assertion. Assertions any fact-checker will be able tell aren’t all that credible. I’ll blog more on that in coming weeks. But that’s even more time to task!
  • Now I have the Kennesaw debate with Craig Evans coming up, on the historicity of Jesus. Don’t forget that! If you can make it, you may want to. It will be an important one. And of course, prepping for that, is also consuming my time.
  • In SoCal I’ll be speaking on why they invented Jesus and what’s up with feminism. There may be even more. Stay tuned.
  • In Florida I have two events of considerable interest going. I’ve announced one. Stay tuned for the other! [To be announced here.]
  • I’ll also be at Frolicon in Atlanta, Georgia. Just FYI. Not as a presenter. Just among the invisible happy masses attending, with my new paramour. But if you happen to see me, do say hi! And don’t worry, I won’t out you. Not without your enthusiastic consent.
  • I’m near to completing my first of two books on ancient science. Yep. If all goes to plan, Science Education in the Early Roman Empire will be released before the end of this year. I’ll announce that, and what it’s about, as soon as it can be pre-ordered. But needless to say, this is also consuming a lot of my time! Since I finished my fan-funded Jesus project (which resulted in three books, Proving History, On the Historicity of Jesus, and Hitler Homer Bible Christ), I’ve been able to blow the dust off of my dissertation and start turning it into some books. It just needs updating (since much has been published in the last six years I’ve been spending on the funded project). So I’m on that now.
  • I also have contracts for at least two other books to come (and am working on a fourth). More on that later. But I’m eager to get to them.
  • And on top of all that I have more things I want to blog than I’ll have time for! Including two new important articles on Jesus mythicism, one in a major Canadian magazine (Macleans), another in a major academic journal (Think).

So I’m a very busy man. Now taking a brief break. With his CostCo Jameson.

Photo of Richard Carrier's Apple computer screen, keyboard, and mouse, mostly out of frame, but more centered is a giant Costco style bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey, and a whiskey glass with a shot of Jameson in it, all by the soft light of evening lamp, on a blond wooden desk.

 

 

Speaking on Ancient Science & Christian Fascism in Florida This May!

Ad for the event, with pictures of David Silverman and Richard Carrier, and the details described in the post.An amazing double bill event with David Silverman and myself is going down in central Florida this coming May (2016). Hosted by the Central Florida Freethought Community. Silverman is headlining with a survey of his case for firebrand-style atheist activism in his excellent new book Fighting God. I’ll be speaking on “Ancient Science & Christian Fascism.” 

The more elaborate title of my talk could be “The Wonders of Ancient Science, and Why Christianity Blocked Scientific Progress for a Thousand Years (and Could Do It Again).” I’ll be drawing on my chapters on this subject in The Christian Delusion (on ancient science) and Christianity Is Not Great (on the Dark Ages and on democracy). The fullest description of my Florida talk:

Conservative Christians are fond of rewriting history to make Christianity the hero, from claiming America was founded as a Christian nation, to claiming the KKK was founded by godless liberals. They also claim Christianity gave us science, that our pagan ancestors were too clueless to accomplish it; the Scientific Revolution becoming like their idea of the American Revolution: something that could never happen without Christianity. This whitewashing of the truth, which was quite the contrary, is nefarious, because it sets the stage for letting conservative Christians control and limit democratic and scientific progress. They don’t want you to remember that it was going against dominant Christian values that made democracy and modern science possible.

In this illustrated talk, Dr. Richard Carrier (with a Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University) lays out what the ancient pagans actually accomplished in the sciences, and why they failed to reach their own scientific revolution, which ultimately had to do with Christian opposition to it. The arguments Christian leaders then used to stifle scientific progress for a thousand years, are being used by many Christian leaders today. If we are not vigilant, the same political and economic circumstances could arise that would empower a Renaissance of Christian fascism that would stifle democracy and scientific progress for another thousand years.

Sunday, May 15th, from 1 to 4pm, at the University Club of Winter Park (841 N Park Ave., Winter Park, Florida 32789). Details here. There is a $10 suggested donation at the door to help fund the event. We’ll be selling and signing our books of course!

There may be a VIP fundraising dinner as well. And I may speak on other topics at other times in the same region. Stay tuned.

Speaking in Riverside on Whether Feminism Is Evil!

Stylized graphic showing the Rosie the Riveter image, woman factory worker bearing her strong arm, next to the stylized question in white letters, Is feminism evil?I will be speaking on the subject of feminism, and why the atheism movement needs more of it, in Riverside, California this April 23rd (2016), Saturday, in room 302 South of the Highlander Union Building on the UC Riverside campus, at 1pm (900 University Avenue). Details here.

This is a joint event of the UCR SSA (Secular Student Alliance) and RAFT (Riverside Atheists and Free Thinkers). There will be Q&A and I will be selling and signing books after. Admission is $10; free for students.

  • “Is Feminism Evil? What Feminism Really Is & Why Movement Atheism Needs More of It”

The internet has spread a mythology of sexism and misogyny that is now predominantly embraced by atheists, impeding understanding, and progress towards women’s equality. Like racism in the South, anti-feminism is now spread not always explicitly, but often through code words, fake concerns, and subtle bigotry. And its effects are being felt within movement atheism.

Feminism is about understanding and fighting this, and finishing what the Enlightenment started. Resistance to this is not rational, as we can see by the illogical and ill informed ways atheists attempt to claim they do not harbor outmoded sexist ideas, and thus end up perpetuating the very sexism they claim doesn’t exist. Personal stories, documented facts, and published science verify all of the ways women are still being treated unequally, and what to do about it.

Needless to say, this announcement raised a hullabaloo from atheist anti-feminists. I think the anti-feminist comments have all been expunged since…too bad, some of them were amusing, like one guy who said he was going to show up wearing a Thunderf00t shirt in protest. Or the one who complained that atheists should only talk about creationism (read that sentence a couple of times until you get how weird it is for an atheist to say that). Or that one should only call themselves a humanist. Or that this talk will surely be attended by all the “bad” feminists (because they only like the “good ones” I guess).

Thanks for proving my talk’s point, guys.

Appearing in Los Angeles & Costa Mesa

I will be speaking on Jesus mythicism in Southern California this April.

  • “If Jesus Didn’t Exist, Why Did They Invent One?”

The theory that there was no actual Jesus at the dawn of Christianity is starting to impact academia. But if there was no Galilean minister from Nazareth riling up the Jerusalem elite and getting himself crucified by Pontius Pilate, why did Christians invent such a character? How did his existence then become a central dogma of the Church?

That will be the focus of my talk this time. Not so much why we might believe that’s what happened (I’ve spoken on that, too, of course, and will again on other occasions), but the meta-theory: what was going on in the minds of the people responsible for creating the historical character, and then those who later started selling that character as the truth?

Photo banner of the CFI Los Angeles venue against a blue sky, with the words in white outlined in black Los Angeles.I will be speaking on this (and taking Q&A and selling and signing books) on Sunday April 17th (2016) at the CFI Los Angeles venue at 4773 Hollywood Blvd. (Los Angeles, CA 90027) at 11am. Small door fee for non-members (discounts for students with ID). Details here. I will then do the same again down in Costa Mesa, in the Costa Mesa Community Center at 1845 Park Ave. (hosted there by the CFI Community of Orange County) at 4:30pm (ditto).

Appearing in Charleston, South Carolina!

Logo for the Secular Humanists of the Low Country, showing the humanist human symbol in blue, straddled by the blue letters S and L, over a peach colored shape of the state, against a yellow background.I will be in South Carolina this February 21st (Sunday) speaking on the subject of applying Bayesian reasoning to the question whether someone existed…you know, someone like, say, Jesus. I’ll be speaking at 4pm in Gage Hall (4 Archdale Street, Charleston, SC). Open to the public. I will be selling and signing copies of my books (including for the first time a new printing of Proving History that is physically smaller and lighter, but still a hardback). We will all be having dinner after at Tasty Tai and Sushi.

My talk this time is “Applying Bayes’ Theorem to the Historicity of Jesus and Its Lessons for Critical Thought.” For the first time I will discuss both Proving History and On the Historicity of Jesus and what I have “learned from interacting with critics over adapting Bayes’ Theorem to the task of analyzing the evidence for Jesus, and how such lessons become a window to understanding Bayesian reasoning and its application to all areas of critical thinking.”

More details here.

Speaking at Darwin on the Palouse (WA)

Banner for the Palouse event. White background. Various nature greens in the lettering and logo. Logo is like a Picaso sleek stylized merger of an abstract finch and the Palouse hills. Text says Darwin on the Palouse, the date, the tagline Celebrating Science and Reason, the location and time and that it's free, the two speakers names and talk titles, and the sponsors.This year the annual Darwin on the Palouse event will be on February 6 (2016). I’ll be a featured speaker. The event begins at 6:30pm and is being held in the junior ballroom at Washington State University. Free to all. Details here. The event is sponsored by the Palouse Coalition of Reason and the American Humanist Association. My talk will be:

Ancient Roman Creationism: Scientific Pagans vs. Armchair Christians

Dr. Carrier will discuss the ancient debate between creationists and natural selectionists, how ancient “intelligent design” advocates were far more scientific than their counterparts today, and what this means for the actual origins of real science. In the process he will survey the achievements and methods of ancient science and how it laid the foundation for modern science, and then examine the rhetoric against it by early Christians and how it hasn’t changed in near 2,000 years.

I’ll be followed by Glenn Branch of the NCSE, speaking on “After Kitzmiller, What Is Next for Creationism?” Which I’m also looking forward to! Description:

Kitzmiller v. Dover, the 2005 case establishing the unconstitutionality of teaching intelligent design creationism in the public schools, was a pivotal event in the history of the creationism/evolution controversy in the United States. Branch will discuss why Kitzmiller was the effective end of the second phase of anti-evolution strategy and what the third phase is going to be like.

Come one come all! I’ll be selling and signing books. And hanging out after. I’ll also be in the area for the day. I don’t know what plans have been made, so I may be busy, but anyone interested in the possibility of hanging out, feel free to let me know, by email or Facebook message.

Appearing in Kenya! (And You Can Watch)

Blue meme ad for the event, with the twitter hashtag #christisahoax, 31 October 2015, Metro Hotel 5:00pm, and twitter handle @atheistsinkenya.Early this Saturday morning I’ll be joining Robert Price, David Fitzgerald, and Harrison Mumia of Atheists in Kenya in a live broadcast event held in the Metro Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. I won’t actually be in Africa (at least not this time!). This will be a Google Hangout and Q&A before a live Kenyan audience. The subject? The existence of Jesus and the truth of the Bible, Old Testament and New. Expect interesting questions from the audience in this highly religious country. And experience a feel for the rise of atheist activism in Kenya, as Mumia is heading what may be the highest profile organization of nonbelievers on the continent.

The event Presentation: Did Christ Ever Exist? will happen this Saturday, October 31 (2015). Though it will be an evening event there, it will start at 7am in the morning here in California. And it will be possible to watch from around the world. For more details follow the link!

(The link for viewing should be posted on that Facebook page shortly before it airs. Many thanks to Mythicist Milwaukee for inspiring and helping put on this event!)

Speaking for Columbus Rationality Next Month!

Cover of Richard Carrier's book Proving History. Illuminated stained glass Jesus in darkened room as peered at through a cross cut-out in an iron cathedral door. Title and author name below.I will be speaking on Bayesian history and epistemology for Columbus Rationality and the Secular Student Alliance at OSU in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, November 16th, at 7:30pm in Lazenby Hall (room 021) on the OSU campus. Details here.

I Will duscuss Bayesian reasoning and its application and status in the field of historical research; and how the analysis of the methods actually used by historians today reveals it is all Bayesian, and can be improved and better understood by recognizing this. I will also discuss the role and contents of my book Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (available in print, kindle, and audible); and likewise of supporting books by Aviezer Tucker, David Hackett Fischer, and C. Behan McCullagh.

I’ll have copies of Proving History and On the Historicity of Jesus on hand.

Dinner for Patronage? Help Me Out at Skepticon This November!

Photo of Richard Carrier in white shirt, red and grey striped tie, and silver vest, speaking at the podium of Wonderfest.Last chance for fans & supporters! Want to secure a dinner conversation with me? Here’s how. Not only will I be at Skepticon this November 13th-15th (not to speak but just for fun!), but I’m helping Bo Bennett & Kile Jones launch their Secular Backstage service by offering up an opportunity to join me for dinner when I’m there!

We are auctioning the opportunity, minimum bid $100. Closes in two weeks or so, so spread the word, and let everyone know whom you think might be interested. Or put in a bid yourself! The money goes to support my ongoing independent scholarship and activism. So this is a worthwhile way to offer me your patronage, as well as bend my ear or pick my brain for at least an hour.

The occasion will be Friday the 13th (Day of Evil!) at or around 7pm. In Springfield, Missouri. And Skepticon itself, BTW, is free, so this is all the more reason to go. Their website has all the info you need to plan.

Things we can talk about include… [Read more…]

Appearing in Wichita!

I’ll be one of the featured speakers for the Skeptics of OZ Conference on Saturday October 17 (2015), in the CAC Theater at Wichita State University (Wichita, Kansas). Details here. Lanyrd here.

I’ll be discussing my book Proving History, but in particular answering the general question of “How science and history can prove or disprove miracles, and how we could (in theory or in practice) establish supernatural things exist or happen,” if there really were such things. So I’ll be talking about my work in defining the supernatural as well as the logic and method of history and the foundations of historical knowledge.

Others speaking will include communications expert Jeffrey Jarman, ex-scientologist Chris Shelton, and Vyckie D. Garrison of No Longer Quivering.