Real Academic Work?

30 Mar

James McGrath left this nasty comment on P.Z. Myers’ blog about Richard Carrier and his use of Bayes’ theorem:

PZ, I have to say that I am very disappointed to find someone who stands for mainstream science against its bogus pseudoscientific critics, cheering on someone who represents the equivalent in the domain of history.

I’ve tried to offer some explanations regarding why Carrier’s attempt to engage in denialism ought to be found no more persuasive than the similar attempts to sow doubt regarding evolution, climate change, or anything else about which the vast majority of experts agree.

Evolution? Bayes’ Theorem. Climate Change? Bayes’ Theorem. Historical Jesus studies? Oh… well… when you attempt to use Bayes Theorem in that domain, you are the equivalent of a bogus pseudoscientific critic.

So make no mistake! Real academic work is not about method. It’s about appeals to authority and consensus.


Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Bayes


2 responses to “Real Academic Work?

  1. Robert

    March 31, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Christians have argued for the resurrection using Bayes Theorem. I'm not aware of any Bayes arguments for his existence though.

  2. J. Quinton

    April 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Oh, I should have made it more explicit that this was James McGrath's view of one of Richard Carrier's latest blog posts. And Richard Carrier is indeed applying Bayes Theorem to the historicity of Jesus

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