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Category Archive: Bayes’ Theorem

Jun 12 2014

Knitting Fans, Behold Some Awesome Ancient Roman Tech!

Photo of an ancient bronze candle holder. It has a cup for collecting melted wax, and an elevated stand to keep the light high even when the candle is low..

There’s this guy, you see, who knitted his way to a solution to an infamous problem in Roman history. This might be a bit premature (since academic journals haven’t weighed in yet), but I am persuaded that the mystery of the ancient Roman dodecahedrons has been solved. And why I’m persuaded affords a handy example …

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Apr 26 2014

If You Learn Nothing Else about Bayes’ Theorem, Let It Be This

There are two things one learns from Bayes’ Theorem that are the windows to everything else Bayesian reasoning can ever teach you. And there is a lot it can teach you besides these two things. But here I’m cutting to the chase of the two that are most essential: theories cannot be argued in isolation, …

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Jan 08 2014

A New Bayesian Calculator

Bill Seymour has developed a new, more advanced Bayesian calculator for public use, and he would like people to beta test it and offer advice, or even develop it further. For this open-source Bayes’ Theorem calculator, Seymour writes: My intent was to find the middle way between, on the one hand, highly technical (and expensive) …

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Nov 11 2013

Lataster on Mythicism and Theism: A Request for My Readers

I have a request for all my readers. There is a new book summarizing a case that Jesus might not have existed, which has received some positive reviews (from the Arizona Atheist and John Loftus; also reader reviews at Amazon), and some predictably negative ones (from the nefarious Christian apologist J.P. Holding, whose promised Part …

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Oct 04 2013

Now You Can Wear Even More Bayes’ Theorem!

Picture of women's cap-T shirt with Odds Form Bayesian graphic across the chest. White shirt with black shoulders and neckline.

Did you say Odds Form? Shirt? Car Flag? Panties? Hell yeah. I just finished loading my old Cafe Press store with tons of different shirts and other odds and ends featuring my Bayesian graphic, which uses imaginative rather than standard mathematical notation (as I reported last week, you can get jewelry with it from SurlyRamics). …

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Sep 27 2013

Want to Literally Wear Bayes’ Theorem?

Surly Amy has kindly met my request to create a SurlyRamic of Bayes’ Theorem. I designed the graphic for her, and she has made the product. You can check it out here, and buy one if you are keen. In the interests of art (to make it look elegant and not a busy mess), I …

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Jul 15 2013

Craig vs. Law on the Argument from Contamination

In a recent attempt to rebut a peer reviewed philosophy paper by Stephen Law on the methodology of Jesus studies, which challenges the historicity of Jesus (hence my interest), William Lane Craig comes up with something so awful it would be worthy of a young earth creationist website. Maybe I’m just losing my patience with …

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Jun 28 2013

A Childish Book Review: Stephanie Louise Fisher and the Travesty of Not Getting It

Another baffle clearing for today, I’m finally getting to an embarrassingly childish review of Proving History by Stephanie Louise Fisher (a doctoral student in biblical studies). Her review (published through that nutter R. Joseph Hoffmann’s website…and I’m not throwing “nutter” around lightly, I genuinely think he might be insane) is ironically titled An Exhibition of Incompetence: …

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Jun 24 2013

A Well-Deserved Nod to Aviezer Tucker

After I published Proving History a reader said I should check out Aviezer Tucker’s book Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography, since it appeared to back up the entire core thesis of my book. I am amazed and ashamed that I did not discover this book sooner. It must not have been …

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May 23 2013

Two Bayesian Fallacies

Depiction of the long-form equation for Bayes' Theorem: the probability of a hypothesis (h) given all evidence (e) and background knowledge (b) equals the product of the probability of the hypothesis (h) given only background knowledge (b) and the probability of the evidence (e) given the hypothesis (h) and background knowledge (b), divided by the sum of that same product and the product of the probability of the hypothesis being false (not-h) given only background knowledge (b) and the probability of the evidence (e) given the hypothesis being false (not-h) and background knowledge (b).

At INR3 in Kamloops I spoke on applying Bayesian logic to the study of Jesus along with the same principles we apply to dead religions (so as to avoid the “don’t offend the Christians” reaction to controversial claims…claims that would not be controversial if Jesus was not the object of worship of billions of loud, …

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