My recent use of the term “parallelomania” (popularized by Samuel Sandmel) has sparked some discussion in the blogosphere. It’s All Random…Mostly expressed dislike for the term. Ian then responded, writing:
I have some sympathy for just using the term ‘parallelomania’ as a term of skepticism. To say, yes it is fine to find parallels, but as long as you’ve only shown the parallels, you’re only relying on a kind of probabilistic innuendo to make your point: you have neither analysed the false positives nor the false negatives.
On the way our brains process data and patterns, see also some astronomy images shared by Phil Plait.
John Loftus highlighted a couple of mythicist publications, including Robert Price’s ebook, The Historical Bejeezus. And Pete Enns mentioned a book about prophecy, fulfillment, and the stories about Jesus’ birth.
What do others think? Surely some claims about parallels deserve the label “parallelomania,” don’t you think? If you haven’t read Sandmel’s article, have a read of it and see what you think.