Yet another parallel between creationism and mythicism…
Sean Carroll (or insert other scientist here) writes a book explaining his research into the way genes get put to new uses as part of the evolutionary process.
Creationists continue to say “Evolution is merely an assumption made by scientists, none of their work actually demonstrates that evolution has occurred.”
Logical conclusion: The creationists in question have not read Carroll’s book(s).
E. P. Sanders (or insert other New Testament scholar or historian here) writes a book explaining why he believes the temple incident reflects an actual historical event.
Mythicists continue to say “The historicity of Jesus is merely an assumption historians and scholars make, none of their work actually addresses whether Jesus existed.
Can we draw the same logical conclusion in the case of mythicists? I know Doherty cites a few scholars that agree with him. But one thing I have not yet seen (and since mythicism is found on blogs rather than in scholarly journals, I’m sure I can be excused if it is out there but I missed it) is a mythicist who engages a scholar like Sanders point by point and argues the case for drawing a different conclusion.
In my experience, scholarly research, whether in the natural sciences or the humanities, is typified by a detailed engagement with the published views of those one disagrees with. And the impression I get from the accusation that scholars have not addressed the existence of Jesus is that those making the accusation simply don’t know the field.
It is true that sometimes an amateur will bring a freshness, an innocence, that will enable him or her to spot things that those working in the field missed. But far more frequently the reverse is true: the amateur draws conclusions that no one working in the field would draw because those working in the field are deeply familiar with relevant evidence that makes the amateur’s conclusions implausible.