Link: Matthew Ferguson on “Understanding the Spirit vs. the Letter of Probability”

A while back, I wrote a brief commentary on William Lane Craig's critique of Bart Ehrman on the probability of miracles. Matthew Ferguson recently weighed in. He agrees with my conclusions, but greatly amplified them by writing an entire essay expounding on supporting points. I highly recommend his essay to anyone interested in the topic of the probability of miracles in general and the probability of Jesus' alleged resurrection in particular. … [Read more...]

Repost: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence (ECREE), Part 2: Is ECREE False? A Reply to William Lane Craig

(This article was originally published on this blog on June 21, 2012. I am reposting because William Lane Craig recently tweeted a link to a video in which he objects to ECREE.)In my last post, I offered a Bayesian interpretation of the principle, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (ECREE). William Lane Craig, however, disagrees with ECREE. In a response to philosopher Stephen Law, Craig wrote this. This sounds so commonsensical, doesn’t it? But in fact it is demonstrably … [Read more...]

Geisler & Turek Rebuttal: Chapter 9 (Part 2)

Chapter 9. Do We Have Early Eyewitness Testimony about Jesus? By Matthew Wade Ferguson and Jeffery Jay Lowder(This post continues where part 1 left off.)(ii) New Testament Textual Accuracy: “Textual accuracy” measures the degree to which copies of a document match that of the original document. Although none of the original New Testament documents have survived, Geisler and Turek argue that the textual accuracy of the New Testament documents is superior to that of other ancient docu … [Read more...]

YouTube Video of Today’s Miller-Cavin Debate on Jesus’ Resurrection

Here is the link to the YouTube video of today's debate between Callum Miller and Robert Greg Cavin on the historicity of Jesus' resurrection.Also, the Secular Outpost YouTube Channel has a playlist for all of Cavin's debates on Jesus' resurrection.Related Links:MUST READ: Greg Cavin’s Case Against the Resurrection of Jesus Cavin and Colombetti on the Resurrection of Jesus Part 1: The Anti-Resurrection Prior Probability Argument Cavin and Colombetti on the Resurrection o … [Read more...]

Matthew Ferguson: History, Probability, and Miracles (2013)

Historian Matthew Ferguson uses Bayes' Theorem to analyze the historicity of miracle claims. Among other things, Ferguson compares the historical evidence for a purported miracle by Vespasian to the historical evidence for the purported resurrection of Jesus.LINKNote: as always, links do not constitute endorsement. … [Read more...]

Evidential Asymmetry, Scientific Confirmation of Prayer, and Horrific Evils

1. The General CaseOne of the most important (and equally most often forgotten) lessons that Bayes's Theorem can teach us about evidence is that the strength of evidence is a ratio. To be precise, let H1 and H2 be rival explanatory hypotheses, B be the relevant background information, and E be the evidence to be explained. Now consider the following ratio: Pr(E | B & H1) ----------------- Pr(E | B & H2) If Pr(E | B & H1) > Pr(E | B & H2), then this ratio is greater … [Read more...]