Galileo Gambit

Open Parachute has a great post about the Galileo gambit or Galileo fallacy, the notion that having one's ideas opposed somehow demonstrates that they are correct. Here is a takeaway quote: The real lesson from Galileo is not to oppose the “establishment” or current scientific consensus – but to rely on evidence. It was this [Read More...]

Do Young-Earth Creationists Worship the Devil?

Young-earth creationists claim that the being who made the Earth and humankind is neither trustworthy nor honest. Their concept is of a God who makes the universe look like it is a particular age, and the Earth look like it is a particular age, even though they were created much more recently, and then condemns [Read More...]

Nazareth in the First Century

It seems that Richard Dawkins may be right about infectious memes. But they aren’t just an issue for religious people. I have on multiple occasions encountered claims by atheists who insist that there was no village of Nazareth in the first century, often citing outdated or misunderstood archaeological data, or worse still, things written by [Read More...]

So You Want To Have a Discussion…

A Facebook friend shared both the image above and the one below. It is one of the things I love about this blog that most commenters approach discussion here according to these guidelines. I am not so strict as to make rules of this sort, but there is an ideal standard that most here share [Read More...]

Does Making Charts Help Mythicism?

I laughed out loud when reading a recent post by Neil Godfrey. Most of it was neither laughable nor surprising. He discusses how we know people in the ancient world existed, with his usual shtick depicting historical Jesus scholars as confused bumblers. Nothing surprising, or interesting, except perhaps for his acknowledgment that historians in most fields do not [Read More...]

Disproving Evolution

On Facebook I shared this quote from Richard Dawkins, which came to me in poster form via George Takei: Biologist Larry Moran chimed in both on Facebook and on his blog to point out that the statement is, at the very least, not entirely correct, and the extent to which it is true depends on [Read More...]

Was the Historical Jesus on Facebook?

A piece of news has been getting attention today, about a study of classic myths, some of which we know from archaeological evidence were based on real people or events. The study suggests that the degree to which the relationships in the story mirror real ones – including those one can observe today in social [Read More...]

Khirbet Qeiyafa’s Model Shrines and the Accuracy of the Bible

Being in the throes of grading, I am a bit late blogging about the announcement of the discovery of clay model shrines at Khirbet Qeiyafa dating from roughly 3,000 years ago. The Times of Israel has an article on the subject, and the Hebrew University issued a press release.  Demotix treats the find as evidence [Read More...]

Responding to Richard Carrier’s Response to Bart Ehrman

I linked previously to Bart Ehrman’s piece on whether Jesus existed in The Huffington Post. A response has been written by Richard Carrier (also discussed by Tom Verenna and Neil Godfrey), and I want here to point out some problems with that response. Let me begin by emphasizing that when scholars write op-ed pieces for [Read More...]

Is Mythicism Falsifiable?

As Neil Godfrey helpfully drew attention to in a comment, there seems to be no agreement among Jesus-mythicists about when the earliest Christian sources were written, which sources are the earliest, or which ones are authentic. This ought to raise suspicion that mythicism is a preordained conviction in search of any arguments that can be [Read More...]

Church Professional Blurb Appeal for The Burial of Jesus

Yesterday I issued an appeal for scholars who are willing and able to provide a blurb about my book, written for a general audience, The Burial of Jesus: History and Faith, which will be coming out in a second edition from Patheos Press. Today, I’m asking whether there are any church professionals – pastors, youth [Read More...]


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