Bayes’ Theorem

Crank Bayesians: Swinburne & Unwin

Deepak Chopra uses “science” to spew bullshit. That does not discredit science. The Kalam Cosmological Argument uses “logic” to spew bullshit. That does not discredit logic. Politicians use “statistics” to spew bullshit. That does not discredit statistics. By exactly the same reasoning, cranks using Bayes’ Theorem to spew bullshit, does not discredit Bayes’ Theorem. It…

What Is Bayes’ Theorem & How Do You Use It?

Bayes’ Theorem is just a logical formula. Like any logic, it can be used to argue silly things (like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory trying to predict the future of physics on a whiteboard). Because bad premises, always lead to bad conclusions, even with straightforward syllogistic logic. As atheists well know when they face-palm…

Fishers of Evidence Gets Confused about Math

Someone asked me about a confusing critique of the math in On the Historicity of Jesus by a YouTuber who goes by the moniker Fishers of Evidence. I don’t know his alignment in the debate. But he has posted a short eight minute video entitled The Error of Richard Carrier. And this is a good…

Bayesian Counter-Apologetics: Ten Arguments for God Destroyed

Bayesian counter-apologetics is the method of using Bayesian logic to turn every argument for God into an argument against God, simply by understanding how the logic of evidence works, and then reintroducing all the evidence theists always leave out when they attempt to make an argument for God. Which reveals the fact that all arguments for God,…

A Critical Thinking Course That’s Affordable and Useful

I’ll be teaching critical thinking next month (December). Learn some easy tools of Bayesian reasoning, how to spot and correct for cognitive biases, how to reason logically and avoid and detect fallacies, and how to better question your decisions and beliefs in constructive ways. Skills everyone should have and hone! And that you might be…

Two Lessons Bart Ehrman Needs to Learn about Probability Theory

A reader pointed something out to me that was a fantastic facepalm moment. It’s another demonstration of how Bart Ehrman doesn’t know how epistemic probability works, and not only hasn’t read On the Historicity of Jesus, he doesn’t even know what it argues. This leads me to two general lessons I hope my audience has…

History as a Science

In 1970, David Hackett Fischer published a meaty and entertaining book, Historian’s Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought (well and briefly reviewed by Philip Jenkins at Patheos). I highly recommend it. He’s funny, but correct. It’s not a parody but a serious (albeit witty) survey of the alarming frequency with which all fields of…

Bayesian Epistemology vs. Susan Haack

Susan Haack is generally a good philosopher (I interviewed her a few years ago). She’s made important strides in unifying disparate positions in epistemology (and I am very fond of unification efforts in philosophy: I think they are generally on the right track, in every domain; as for example my unification of moral theory). But…

On the Historicity of Jesus: The Tim Hendrix Critique

Tim Hendrix, a mathematician, recently published an inaccurate critique of my book On the Historicity of Jesus. This is my analysis of where he went wrong. Hendrix wrote a critique of my book Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus a few years ago, which I addressed last year. This year’s…

Dykstra on Ehrman & Brodie

Rene Salm has clued me in to another important new peer reviewed journal article, by Tom Dykstra (M.Div.; Ph.D. in Russian History), who is best known for his critically acclaimed book on how the Gospel of Mark is built out of the Epistles of Paul (Mark, Canonizer of Paul: A New Look at Intertextuality in Mark’s Gospel,…