Someone posted a link to a post on my blog on Jerry Coyne’s blog “Why Evolution Is True” (See his post: I get Christian email: more irreducible complexity) — and wonderful, wonderful! I like reading books like his (I have referenced Coyne’s book twice here but never knew he also had a blog) — and I loved reading his summary explanation for the evolution of sex. He was giving a clearly reasoned, evidence-based response to a Creationist. I have read more detailed accounts of this topic, but what was refreshing was to see how real science, real argument, real logic, real evidence, really works. You don’t find arguments like that — or you certainly very rarely find them — when historical Jesus scholars respond to Jesus mythicist arguments. Actually that is misleading. Historical Jesus scholars very rarely in my experience ever respond to Christ myth arguments. They mostly pretend to, usually with a snicker or sneer, and demonstrate their ignorance or incomprehension of
- basic historical methodological ideals in nonbiblical studies,
- the arguments they think they are addressing,
- and the difference between logical fallacies and logical rigour.
Some time ago I started to garner many of James McGrath’s posts and comments supposedly attempting to explain how historical Jesus scholarship works, and why we should believe in an historical Jesus. My intention is to one day put them together and post them beneath his relatively recent claim that he has tried oh so hard so many times to explain the historical Jesus position or how historical Jesus studies work.
I should then place beneath the post Jerry Coyne’s response to creationists, along with the creationist arguments. It will be most instructive to see the difference in logical and evidence-based argument between how an evolutionary scientist responds to creationists, and how a historical Jesus scholar responds to mythicists. If I get the time to do this, I might like to colour code the respective portions of each response to demonstrate where facts, logic and evidence are cited against where one reads assumptions, logical fallacies and unsupported assertions. Till I get the time to do that, I can confidently claim now that the similar patterns of logic and evidence are to be found among evolutionary scientists and Jesus mythicists.
I think I know why I enjoy reading nonbiblical historians and evolutionary scientists so much: they are welcome fresh air when one spends too much time trying to pick the wheat from the chaff among HJ books.
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