Mythicism All Around?

If you move in the circles of organized atheism, it is much as if you move in the circles of conservative Christianity: you can get the impression that certain ideas are getting lots of attention, when they are only being given attention by your group which organizes for precisely that to happen. Just like creationists, [Read More…]

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Dustin Smith on the Evans-Carrier Debate

Dustin Smith has shared his account of the debate that took place yesterday between Craig Evans and Richard Carrier. Click through to read it. [Read more…]

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The Historical Jesus Facepalmed

Part two of my discussion of mythicism on the show Talk Gnosis is now available – in podcast form for anyone, and as a video for subscribers. Click this link and go have a listen or watch!   [Read more…]

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Independent Variables

Pliny the In Between has illustrated what most mythicists seem unable to grasp. Accepting the existence of a historical Jesus is not about accepting a miracle working human, much less a deity. But in another sense, mythicism is much worse than mainstream historical criticism for those whose aim is to disprove the existence of deities. [Read More…]

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The Case of the Historical Jesus

I’ve appeared on the online show Talk Gnosis before, speaking about the Mandaeans. In this week’s episode, they talked with me about the historical figure of Jesus and mythicism. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed recording it! [Read more…]

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It’s Time to Think about whether Evolution Really Happened

I’m always surprised at how much rancor is directed toward “creationists”—those who deny that evolution, whether on the macro or micro level, is the best explanation for the diversity of life on our planet. I’m also surprised at how certain many biologists are that evolution occurred (Jerry Coyne, to give a prominent example). Yet although I am the first to [Read More…]

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Can Mythicism Kill Your Scholarly Career?

Can mythicism kill an academic career? Making a reasoned case as a scholar for that viewpoint won’t. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m asking about the way the behavior – the insults and illogic that characterizes online mythicism – might train one to mistake the modes of self-expression that are passable on [Read More…]

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Venturing Outside One’s Area of Expertise

Everyone is talking about Neil de Grasse Tyson’s problematic tweets – see the recent blog posts by Jerry Coyne, Hemant Mehta, and P. Z. Myers. But I think the most important post on the topic is that by Jonathan Bernier. He points out that, once someone moves outside of their field of expertise, no matter how [Read More…]

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Without Using the Bible

Hemant Mehta shared this cartoon from The Atheist Pig: On the one hand, if the point of the cartoon is that one cannot prove a historical point simply by appealing to the Bible as authoritative scripture, then of course that is true. But appealing to Paul’s letters, or other early Christian writings, which happen to have ended up [Read More…]

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Craig Evans and Richard Carrier to Debate

It seems that Craig Evans and Richard Carrier will be having a debate about whether Jesus existed. I’m glad to see that it is co-sponsored by two organizations, one Christian and one non-religious or anti-religions, although there is a sense in which that co-sponsorship may simply foster the sense that Carrier’s is the natural or [Read More…]

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Stylometric Analysis of Pliny’s Letter about Christians

Larry Hurtado blogged about a new article by independent scholar Enrico Tuccinardi, which argues that stylometric analysis can be used to identify interpolations into the letter in which Pliny mentions Christians. This is, as Hurtado points out, a problematic use of a method the reliability of which has not gained universal acceptance even when applied in the [Read More…]

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