On the heels of our recent chat with New Testament scholar and Jesus historicist Dr. Bart Ehrman we now feature the counterpoint in our interview with Dr. Richard Carrier!
Dr. Carrier is a historian and philosopher specializing in the intellectual history of ancient Greece and Rome as well as in metaphysical naturalism. He has written or contributed to several important works including, as author, Not The Impossible Faith, Sense and Goodness Without God, and Why I am Not a Christian; plus, as contributor, The Empty Tomb, The Christian Delusion and The End of Christianity. The first volume of his two-volume work on the historical Jesus is recently out. Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus is a multi-faceted work. Use it to think rigorously and make decisions under uncertainty. Use it to gain a better understanding of the methodology in use by historical Jesus scholars (and the problems with that methodology, contra Ehrman). And/or use it to gain a better understanding of how historians may best and are advised to justify historical descriptions of the past. There's no question this is a powerful new book. And if you've read Dr. Carrier's scathing treatment of some of Dr. Bart Ehrman's recent claims about a historical Jesus and about mythicism, and the back and forth that followed between Dr. Carrier and professor of NT language and literature Dr. James McGrath, you know we're in for a great chat with Dr. Carrier! So make sure to tune in! You'll find out why Dr. Carrier suspects Jesus didn't exist.
There's often discussion of whether or not we're already feeling the effects of climate change. Well. Things like the Arab Spring uprisings aren't among the effects that are usually discussed. But it certainly seems like they should be.
Jerry Coyne points out some interesting features of a new poll on religion, politics, and the well-being of Americans.
CNN covered the Jesus historicist vs mythicist debate this week but not in a very informative way unfortunately.
Neil deGrasse Tyson says some frankly silly things about atheism and agnosticism (auto playing video) that are best understood in the context of his desire to communicate science unencumbered by people's perspectives on those labels.
Earl Doherty is blogging his way critically through Bart Ehrman's claims in Ehrman's recent book Did Jesus Exist: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth
Recently Teresa MacBain came out as an atheist, a particularly difficult decision for her seeing as how she was active clergy at the time. We now have her congregation's reaction to her coming out. Not surprising. Just disgusting.
Jerry Coyne penned some thoughts on whether philosophy is science? Is philosophy a way of knowing things of the caliber of science?
Might the gay-haters be gay, or at least struggle with same sex attraction to some degree? A new study connects anti-gay attitudes to homosexuality and authoritarian parenting.
I seriously wonder if there is a single person in the Tennessee state legislature who is not completely brain dead. Certainly it's not the state's governor who signed into law the recently passed "monkey bill" allowing the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classes.
Lulz... All of the Republican candidates that were "endorsed by God" have now lost.
A long-standing mystery of how dying stars spew out planet-forming material is now solved.
Cherry-picked data and climate change denier dishonesty.
Recently the WISE satellite imaged the entire night sky. The result is spectacular. Almost 19,000 x 10,000, this thing is 170 megapixels and includes over half a billion objects!
A bit of breath taking denialist nonsense this week. A group of climate change denialists, former staff at NASA and not climate scientists in any sense, wrote this week to ask that NASA not report the simple fact that the planet is warming and the evidence that humans are the cause. Ken Perrott pointed to a comment on the Skeptical Science piece on the denialists' letter making the point that none of those former NASA staff would have trusted a rocket built by climate scientists to get them to the Moon. LOL. We can safely ignore attacks on climate change from people who don't even have the requisite expertise to be able to offer knowledgeable opinions.
Conservative ideology and "low-effort" thinking linked in a new study.
Nevermind that she was a good teacher and coach, a teacher at a Christian school couldn't get married fast enough after becoming pregnant... So, obviously, she was fired.
Baboons can tell real English words from fake ones.
Darwin's eldest surviving daughter Henrietta has traditionally been assumed to have been a devoutly religious editor of her father's writings, editing out his agnosticism from them. A close look at her diary says otherwise. Indeed, she had her own issues with faith and may have been headed toward "a humanistic division."
"Less time separates us from Tyrannosaurus rex than separated T. rex from Stegosaurus." On dinosaur time. Eye opening! Incredible to think about.