Wednesday, 9 November 2016

USA election thread

Let's keep discussion of the US election and its aftermath in just this thread, please.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Price / Ehrman debate thread

On October 21 there was a debate on the historicity of Jesus between Bart Ehrman (for historicity) and Robert Price (against), hosted by Mythicist Milwaukee.

I did not see the debate, but some reactions are starting to appear online, so I thought I'd collect links here:

Vridar has writeups on Ehrman's opening and Price's opening.

James McGrath has his own thoughts and also participated in a post-debate discussion, though Vridar points out a howler of McGrath's.

Aged Reasoner at Freethought Blogs.

Added: René Salm responds at Mythicist Papers.

Added: Richard Carrier's response.

Added: Roger Viklund has a post, unfortunately it is in Swedish; Google Translate link.

Added: Vridar also has a links page.

Anyone have any more links? I'll update the post as needed.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Altemeyer's The Authoritarians

For those people who have somehow managed to avoid it despite the fact that it's been linked all around the Internet for the past 10 years, this is a reminder that Bob Altemeyer's book The Authoritarians is available free in PDF form at the link.

If you want to take the RWA-scale questionnaire from the book, I have put up a convenient online version; this is completely private, all scoring is client-side and no results are stored or sent anywhere (not even to me).

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Ozy Frantz contra John C. Wright on sexual morality

Wright's conversion story (warning, have barf bag ready before reading, it's pretty bad even by SN standards) went up on SN in the relatively early days. One of Wright's claims in it is that as an atheist he had argued himself, by means of nothing but ‘pure’ ‘rational’ philosophy into positions otherwise held by Christians; his conversion story doesn't go into details about what those were, but from his other writings it seems clear that sexual matters were at least a significant part of this.

So I was interested (and amused) to see that Ozy Frantz has done a long takedown:

John C Wright is an absolutely delightful person whose blog posts have given me endless hours of enjoyment and who has recommended many excellent short stories (admittedly, by talking about how they are the Morlockian death of science fiction, but a good recommender is a good recommender, even if it’s wired backwards). I have recently discovered an old blog post of his which purported to lay out natural and worldly reasons why a rational atheist should follow Christian sexual morality. As an atheist libertine, I find this a tremendously interesting proposal and wish to argue with it.

Against John C Wright’s On The Sexual Nature of Man, Part The First

Against John C Wright’s On The Sexual Nature of Man, Part The Second

Against John C Wright’s On The Sexual Nature of Man, Part The Third

Against John C Wright’s On The Sexual Nature of Man, Part The Fourth

Against John C Wright’s On The Sexual Nature of Man, Part the Last

Friday, 7 October 2016

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Human Population Bottleneck Sizes

Various apologetic arguments claim that the scientific estimate of the minimum human population is some value such as 2,000, which is not supported by the actual scientific literature; in this post we'll look at where some of those numbers seem to be coming from.