Shock and Awe: Apocalyptic in Sci-Fi, Jihad, and Other Eschatologies

Via 3QuarksDaily, I learned of this piece by Lewis Lapham about the end times. Since it relates to several of my academic and personal interests, and the intersection between them, I thought I should share it. Here is an excerpt: The spectacle of disaster as Old Testament trauma sells newspapers, but the drug of fear—administered in [Read More…]

Jesus’ Sermon at Ground Zero

I confess that when a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to an article about a Bible that was found fused to a piece of steel in the wreckage from the collapsed Twin Towers after 9/11, I hesitated to click, and expected it to be the kind of thing that disturbs me rather [Read More…]

Mythicism, Creationism, and other Conspiracy Theories

I was made aware of a post by John Anthony Dunne, asking whether there is any parallel in Judaism for what Richard Carrier and other mythicists claim that Paul believed, namely that a celestial being died in the celestial realm. Presumably the closest Carrier can offer is his claim that Adam was buried in the third [Read More…]

Skeptics of a Feather

I happened across a document reflecting mythicist claims and views recently, and was struck when I noticed where it was hosted. The blog is “Citizen for 9/11 Truth.” It is not a coincidence that fundamentalist Christians often accept conspiracy theories about the government and uncritically accept as “news” things that could be easily debunked with a [Read More…]

Death Star Trutherism

This is a great Star Wars parody of 9/11 trutherism – and all other conspiracy theories! As with other conspiracy theorists, there is usually some glaring error that makes it hard to take what they say seriously. In this case, it is calling the planet “Aldebraan.” HT IO9 and then later Tom Verenna on Facebook [Read More…]

A God No One Really Believes Exists?

A while back I posted on why I don’t think anyone today really believes that God, exactly as depicted in the Bible, exists. In the Bible, God doesn’t hesitate to show off, demonstrating power by sending fire from heaven, parting seas, bringing darkness at midday, and so on. Today, religious believers who claim to believe [Read More…]

Intelligent Design is Counter-Evidence to Intelligent Design

This XKCD cartoon is not new, but seeing it again after a commenter shared a link to it, it struck me in a new way. Read the comic, then see my thoughts below it… The Intelligent Design movement, like young-earth creationism, mythicism, moon landing hoaxers, 9/11 conspiracy theorists and so many others, illustrate the way [Read More…]

Have We Been Going About This All Wrong? Fun With Conspiracy Theories

A cartoon from XKCD (HT P. Z. Myers) illustrates a different approach to conspiracy theories: combating like with like. How might that be applied to some of the conspiracy theories that regularly get discussed here? I wonder what would happen if someone played mythicists’ conspiracy theories off against others: Might one, for example, be able [Read More…]

Recollections from September 11th, 2001

I moved back to the United States in the summer of 2001, having spent most of my time during the decade prior to that in Europe – in the UK as a student, and then as a professor in Romania. I managed to piece together enough work to make ends meet that year, teaching adjunct [Read More…]