Consensus Radio

Consensus Radio June 11, 2014

Greg Brahe, host of Inspiring Doubt, is going to have Richard Carrier on his show today, with the aim of telling him that he is wrong!

The show will be broadcast live on YouTube at 6pm today (Eastern Time, I believe). Here is the blurb for it:

I invited Dr Carrier to appear on Inspiring Doubt to discuss a recent article he published, “On Evaluating Arguments From Consensus” ( By “invite”, what I actually said to him was :

“Would you be available for an interview about this? By “interview”, I mean “friendly challenge”. I run a skeptic page and podcast and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss the importance of recognizing when one is unqualified to challenge the consensus and when one is not. I disagree with your position on this, though not with your legitimacy in challenging the consensus as an expert.

I’d love to have you convince me I am wrong so I can accept your position and not just call it my bias.”

Join us for what should be a very stimulating conversation where, hopefully, I get made to look silly!

If that interview isn’t enough for you, Jonny Scaramanga will be on the radio tomorrow, and Chris Glaser will be on the radio July 3rd.


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  • Jeremiah J. Preisser

    This should be interesting.

  • Jim

    I thought RC’s post “On Evaluating Arguments from Consensus” was interesting and
    what I got from it was:

    Consensus is an ambiguous term for laypersons, especially when applied to Historical Jesus Studies (HJS), thus it is helpful to clearly define what constitutes a useful consensus in HJS. A consensus has zero argumentative value unless the individual scholars comprising the consensus committee have (a) agreed that the consensus requires final approval by Richard Carrier and (b) any works by Ehrman, Casey, Crossan, Goodacre, Bermejo-Rubio and especially that McGrath dude, must be excluded from any trustworthy determination of consensus. Ideally both (a) and (b) should be met, however to ensure that a consensus is unbiased; it must certainly pass criteria (a). Cranks who do not understand these two unbiased criteria are delusional and insane.

    More details can be found in OHJ chapter 76 (exhaustive list of scholars excluded from any consensus on HJS) and chapter 94 (Jesus was a popsicle).

    • That’s hysterical! 🙂

    • MattB

      So basically, Carrier’s argument is “Everyone who disagrees with me is a Crank(Everybody).”

      • Jim

        I think it would be better for Carrier to establish his mythicist argument by publishing manuscripts in key pier reviewed journals, preferably those focused on NT/Jesus studies. He may claim that his work will be turned down by these journals due to bias against mythicism. However his degree is in ancient history so he could alternatively submit manuscripts to relevant (as high a tier as possible) pier reviewed ancient history journals. I think he has some journal publications but would benefit by narrowing down his focus to a specific topic (rather than being an all around internet guru from Jesus studies to TF to an expert on consensus).

        Admittedly this process is long and tedious, but generally works for establishing credibility. It seems to me that he is trying to barge his way into a field that is not in his original field of study. That’s totally ok, but he should realize that he has to first establish credibility in this new field. I get the impression that he thinks that if he can resort to name calling those who are established NT/Jesus scholars, he can then assert himself as an expert in this field (the old “squeaky wheel gets the grease” paradigm).

        Discrediting and name calling established scholars in a highly specialized field probably has a low probability of success, imo.

        • MattB

          Good point, Jim. It seems that Carrier puts a lot of stock in the mythicist theory(Which has been refuted over and over again by reputable scholars/historians),and misleads his internet infidels that his new Peer-reviewed book is accurate and correct, when it’s not accurate or correct. A Theory is only as a good as the amount of support it has. I trust 99% vs just 1 who thinks his argument is correct when it poorly explains the evidence and in of itself lacks evidence.