To Engage or Not to Engage

I had been meaning to blog for a while about the question of whether it is worthwhile engaging with fringe views, whether those that are just barely represented within the academy, or those beyond its pale. It seems appropriate to return to the topic now, since Richard Carrier has offered two blog posts which react to [Read More...]

At Least Be Humble

I have a high degree of tolerance for people who promote pseudoscience and pseudoscholarship. I’ve been there and done that myself. One of the reasons I keep blogging is to engage with those sorts of claims. But if you are going to insist that the world’s scientists or historians or any other experts are all wrong, and [Read More...]

Defining Pseudoscholarship

Scholarship involves the building of consensus and the challenging of thereof, and so it is easy to find oneself confused about when a view is merely a minority or even a fringe scholarly viewpoint, and when it has crossed the line into pseudoscholarship. And so I thought this comment by Paul Regnier deserved to be [Read More...]

Does Christianity Disprove Mythicism?

Jerry Coyne has been very candid about the anti-religious motivation that leads him and other atheists to want Jesus not to have existed, to find it advantageous if Jesus did not exist. Of course, he doesn’t seem to have grasped the extent to which solid evidence that Jesus existed but was different from what Christians claim [Read More...]

How Do You Define “@%!#*! Loonie”?

Jim Linville will be giving a conference paper in November with what may be the most amusing title on the program at SBL: May Contain Nuts and B.S. (Biblical Studies): The Politics of Academic Legitimacy Online and the Need to Properly Theorize the Category “@%!#*! Loonie” He has now put out an appeal for help [Read More...]

More Memes

In response to my sharing of those “Bro, do you even…?” meme images with Biblical scholars earlier today, some people on Facebook decided to make some more. Here’s what I’ve seen so far: The first three are by Daniel McClellan, and the last one is by David Meadows. [Read more...]

Hebrew’s 22 Words

How the article made it onto CNN, I have no idea. But they shared some silliness as though it were serious, mentioning a group that claims that each Hebrew letter is not really a letter but a word. That would mean, as one commenter pointed out, that Hebrew has a grand total of 22 words. [Read More...]

The Experts Can Be Wrong

The inanity of the frequent refrain of peddlers of pseudoscience and pseudoscholarship that “Even the experts can be wrong” is perhaps best illustrated be comparison with expertise in another domain. Even professional musicians can play wrong notes. But that doesn’t make all players of instruments equal, nor does it make it equally or more likely [Read More...]

Skept-o-meter

I began sharing links to interesting things on other blogs on Facebook and Twitter this morning, and I quickly realized that there were so many that it would soon turn into a torrent! And so here is a round-up of some of the posts that grabbed my interest and seemed worth sharing – with a [Read More...]

How to Tell Pseudoscience and Pseudoscholarship from the Real Thing

Geology professor Callan Bentley received an e-mail from the Discovery Institute asking for permission to use a photo of his. He refused, explaining why. He has shared the back and forth between himself and them on his blog (HT P. Z. Myers and Hemant Mehta). The entire thing is worth reading, but I’ll quote the ending [Read More...]

Announcing TalkHistoricity: An Index of Mythicist Claims

It was recently suggested to me that it might be useful to put together an index of mythicist claims, and the answers and responses to those claims from the perspective of mainstream historical study. Although it can be said that every claim by mythicists has probably been addressed at least implicitly in scholarly monographs and [Read More...]


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