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Category Archive: replies

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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Apr 10 2013

Is Thunderf00t a Sociopath?

In response to my video promoting positive goals and values for the atheist community (Atheism…Plus What?), Thunderf00t (whose real name is Phil Mason) has expanded his anti-feminist rants to the point that I am seriously worried he might have no empathy for other human beings at all. He is now even ranting against concern for …

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Jan 16 2013

Prototypical Sexist Atheist on Exhibit

In response to my post Monday on Adam Lee’s petition against the harassment of prominent women in the atheist movement (see The Name for What’s Happening), someone posted a comment that demonstrates the very existence and nature of the problem. Indeed, almost so perfectly I’d think a feminist invented it as an ideal hypothetical example; …

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Dec 20 2012

The Goodacre Debate

Photo of Justin Brierley Speaking at a Podium

One of the many things I did when I was in England was go on a radio show that then aired in London just this last weekend (Saturday, December 15th, 2012), called Unbelievable with Justin Brierley, for Premiere Christian Radio. There, I had a cordial and informal debate with professor Mark Goodacre on the merits of …

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Oct 10 2012

Historicity News: Thallus et Alius

I have a slew of things to report. I was thinking of doing some book reviews, for example, but I am not going to have the time. With my England trip coming up and my push to hunker down and finish On the Historicity of Jesus Christ, I will have much less time for blogging …

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Oct 09 2012

Understanding Bayesian History

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So far I know of only two critiques of my argument in Proving History that actually exhibit signs of having read the book (all other critiques can be rebutted with three words: read the book; although in all honesty, even the two critiques that engage the book can be refuted with five words: read the …

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Sep 10 2012

McGrath on Proving History

James McGrath has reviewed my book Proving History. We’ve argued before (e.g. over claims Bart Ehrman made), so there is backstory. But his review is unexpectedly kind and praising at points, and he likes the overall project of explaining the underlying logic of history as fundamentally Bayesian and making productive use of that fact. He …

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Aug 03 2012

A Correction and Rebuttal

Two scholars I have criticized lately have responded to my critiques and this fact is important enough for a brief note here. The first is Dr. Ralph Kenna, whom I took to task in various ways in Bad Science Proves Demigods Exist! Though his rebuttal largely skews reality and does not adequately defend the bad …

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Jul 24 2012

Ehrman on Historicity Recap

This is a summary of the current state of the debate after the mini blog war between myself and Bart Ehrman over his latest book, Did Jesus Exist?, which attempted to argue against various scholars (both legitimate and crank) who have concluded, or at least suspect, that Jesus never really existed, but was an invention …

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Jun 14 2012

The Dying Messiah Redux

The following article has been revised and corrected, with appreciation to the critiques and analyses of Thom Stark. Revisions may continue so as to perfect the content and make this article of greatest utility. Latest revision: June 29 (2012). Last year I made the case that the idea of a “dying messiah” was not wholly …

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