Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Lives!

In this latest and most blasphemous War on Christmas my faith compels me to respond to those unbelievers who would deny even the existence of the One who is the true reason for the season: Santa Claus. These people must be cognitively defective, unable to see the visions of Santa we all experience daily, or to feel His spirit moving within them (or they deny it's there when they really, secretly, know it is, which would make them delusional). More likely in my opinion they want to deny Santa's system of rewards and punishments so they can do whatever they want and not be bound by any moral law. And that's a slippery slope. It is well known Hitler did not believe in Santa.

Santa Claus is defined by Scripture (that precious corpus of psalms and tales of His glory) and by natural reason as the Holly Trinity: He is One Being in three persons. He is the Santa Claus incarnate, the red-coated, bearded, fat-bellied jolly Man who becomes flesh every year to dispense His rewards and punishments on all (even the unbelieving--for even if you don't believe in Him, rest assured, He still believes in you). He is also the Christmas Spirit, which enters all our souls this time of year to communicate to us and move us to join in unison in celebrating the love of giving and cheer. And He is the Three Ghosts of Christmas, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Yes, at this point it gets complicated. Nonbelievers insist that that makes two more persons, so really Santa is five persons in one, and they mock us for our irrationality and inability to do basic math. But they are the ignorant ones. For clearly according to Scripture (Christmas Carol 9:21, 18:11, and 24:8) the three Ghosts are really temporally santificated incarnations of one and the same Ghost, and thus they, too, are three persons in One Being, and thus are One, and thus Santa is three persons in One, not five. Obviously.

This Santa Claus is the true reason for the season, and any shops or agencies that refuse to display His image or acknowledge He is the real Lord and God of this day should be shunned and condemned. Even refusing to use the proper name of the day, Christmas, mocks and insults all believers in Him, and such politically correct attempts to pretend this is just the "Happy Holidays" and not His day are wholly un-american. It is shocking that public schools are not allowed to teach that the name Christmas comes from the old Gaelic "Craughesd" which is the root of our modern English word "Claus," and that "mas" is a late corruption of the word "mush," which is the sacred word of command that Santa Claus calls out to His celestial deer creatures as He travels from chimney to chimney across the world on that Holy Night of that very blessed name: Christmas.

Shockingly, people deny even the existence of His minions, but the eyewitness testimony and circumstantial evidence is overwhelming: elves do exist, and so do the so-called "rain deer," so-named because they come from the "waters above heaven" (Genesis 1:6-8), from which also comes all rain. They are therefore in fact heavenly beings, and not the ugly tangle-horned nasty little things crassly called reindeer and herded for their disgusting milk in the hills of some pinko commie country.

But I am here to defend the existence of the One, Santa Claus. Perhaps there can be debate over the particulars of which minions serve Him. And we should strive to convince the unbeliever to at least enter our broad tent and begin that debate. But there is no possible way for any rational person to deny the existence of Santa Claus Himself. Santologians have long developed several iron-clad proofs of it, and I can only shake my head in perplexity at how unbelievers cannot have known of this. So I have gathered them all here, so the nonbeliever will be left with no excuse...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Breaking News: The Nature of Existence is now available on DVD. In fact, there is an affordable two-disc set available that has 80 minutes of additional material (which possibly includes more footage of Roger's interview with me), and a seven-disc companion set that does what I had hoped for (and asked for in my review of the film in The Skeptical Inquirer): explore all the questions that the film by itself didn't get to (like "Why do you believe that!?"). I haven't seen those companion discs yet, but I'll blog about them if and when I do. I'm sure there is more footage of me in there (as I'll be the one stumping for naturalism).

If you want to buy any of these editions and finally see this interesting movie (or stock it in your library, or give it to religious friends, or what have you), just visit NOE's official website. Oh, and if you forgot what this film is about, take a look back at my past blogs on it (June 2010 and October 2009 and February 2009).

Friday, December 03, 2010

Essentials in Politics

The Conscience of a ConservativeI have added a new section to my Richard Carrier Recommends Amazon storefront. For those who might not remember (see earlier blog about this) my Amazon Storefront is a place where you can buy books from Amazon and I get a cut of Amazon's profits. It's a nice way to help support me, and get some great books that have been influential on me, and that I think are essential reading these days. I already had essentials in philosophy, ancient science, and origins of Christianity, plus my favorite fiction and films and TV, and those lists are still there, and updated.

The Truth (with jokes)Well, I've just added an Essentials in Politics. It's superb and important stuff, IMO. Check it out. Read them all if you can. They are all entertaining or engaging in one way or another, so they won't make dull reading. And you'll know so much more after having read each one than you ever thought possible. I've also added a new page with just my own books (since there are getting to be quite a lot of them).

Just FYI, I'll be blogging on politics in a few days, but forgot this post has been sitting in the queue for a month now. I wrote it before I even knew I was going to start the next one. So it will soon be accidentally relevant!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Skepticon Selling Out

Just a quick heads up: Skepticon 3 is on the verge of selling out. Only a few hundred seats left (out of some 1500 or so). So if you want in, now's the time...

Monday, September 13, 2010

At CSH Conference

I will be on a panel at the Council for Secular Humanism's 30th Anniversary Conference in Los Angeles (California), which is taking place October 7th-10th (2010). Unfortunately this event was way more amazing than I knew, so it's already sold out. So this notice won't be of any use to anyone--except those already lucky enough to be going. But I will be joining several other speakers on a joint panel discussion about the future of secular humanism in America, concluding the conference between 9am and noon on Sunday October 10. I will be attending the whole conference, though. So I'll be around. They will be selling my books, through their own vendor (I'm not involved in that), but if you find me I'll sign anything you buy. For those who want to salivate at what you can't go see, everything you'd ever want to know about the conference is provided on a rather spectacular website. The speaker roster is very impressive, and the events promise to be pretty extraordinary.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Appearing in Sacramento

I'll be speaking in Sacramento, California, later this month, on Sunday, September 19 (2010). The talk will take place at 3pm in the Fahs Room of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento (UUSS) at 2425 Sierra Boulevard (Sacramento 95825), sponsored by HAGSA (The Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento Area).

I'll be discussing the contents and controversy of The Christian Delusion (and bringing up some other stuff related to it from other books of note, including Atheists, The Authoritarian Specter, and The Moral Landscape) and also selling and signing copies of that book as well as my other books (Sense and Goodness Without God and Not the Impossible Faith) after the event. For info and driving directions see the HAGSA Meeting Page. I believe it's free, but donations in support of snacks and coffee are appreciated (or even bring actual snacks to add to the table).

Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Infidel Delusion!

Ever since The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails (TCD) came out we've been expecting deluded and irrational attacks. One such going the rounds now is the laboriously long treatment by the Christian crackpots at Triablogue, which they have amusingly titled The Infidel Delusion (I say amusingly because the "I know you are but what am I" tactic only reinforces the stereotype that many Christians are emotionally stunted children--who also have no grasp of irony).

I shall publish responses to their ill-conceived rebuttals to my own chapters in TCD eventually (since I love dispelling misinformation in my fields of expertise), but I wanted to start with a more general illustration of how irrational and deluded they are (and thus of what it means to be irrational and deluded). More replies are being developed by other contributors to TCD (see link provided on the Official TCD Website). 

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Vid and Podcast

Quick report on a new video and podcast of me some of you might be interested in.

Video: a decent video of the second Carrier-Licona debate on the Resurrection of Jesus (more a conversation really, a completely different and in many ways more illuminating format than our formal debate on this same topic at UCLA years back) is available for free viewing online. This took place at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, this year (2010), with almost double the audience of the UCLA debate. Luke Muehlhauser gives a good recap of this new debate, and he and I ended up in an interesting exchange there about the Bayesian epistemology of witness testimony (on his blog Common Sense Atheism).

Podcast: Luke also runs a podcast Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot, and his first interview of me is available here. The topic is my chapter in The Christian Delusion on Christianity and ancient science. Nice companion piece to that.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

How to Be a Philosopher

In Sense and Goodness without God I open with an impassioned plea that everyone be a philosopher, that they replace all the devotion and time they spend (or are told to spend) on religion, all to doing philosophy instead. To which I'm often asked "How?" Indeed, someone on FaceBook just asked me that the other day.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Agora Review

This is an update to a series of blogs I've run on the film Agora, about the murder of the scientist Hypatia in the 5th century A.D. (see Killings Hypatia and Weisz Is Hypatia). Until now I was responding to what other people said who saw it. But then I discovered Agora was playing at a theater in Berkeley, so Jen and I went to see it. I can now give it my own first-person review...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Killings Hypatia

A while ago I blogged about a coming film on Hypatia of Alexandria (Weisz Is Hypatia). I've heard reviews from people who've seen it (still hasn't come to where I am, and might never), and they've reassured me it isn't as loose with historical facts as it at first sounded. It does engage in fictional "what ifs" apparently, but that's fine.

One review of note is by a medievalist who posted at the website of Skeptic magazine (Was Hypatia of Alexandria a Scientist? by S. James Killings). His area of expertise is not Late Antiquity, or ancient science, so he gets a lot wrong. Nevertheless, he's right about a lot, so in case you'd like to benefit from reading his brief commentary but not get misled by the errors in it, I've composed the following corrective, which is also informative and educational in its own right. You won't likely have known a lot of this stuff.

The Christian Delusion: Why Faith FailsThis blog entry adds to the running series I've had going for a while now addressing misrepresentations of ancient science in the media (the latest being Flynn's Pile of Boners). An extensive bibliography of references are already provided in my chapter on ancient science in The Christian Delusion (TCD). I'll start with the minor errors (in Killings' blog, not the movie) and progress to the more serious.

Friday, July 30, 2010

News Pleas

Today I'd like to send out three quick pleas for your support of other folk trying to fight the good fight for reason and science.


Help Skepticon III: They are getting so many reservations to attend that they are just about past their current venue size of 500, and reservations are accelerating, so projecting forward they are likely to have 1000 or so attending this year, which means they need to hire a much larger venue, which is much more expensive. They promised to make attendance free and will stand by that. But to keep that promise and rent a venue (it'll run them nearly ten thousand dollars altogether), they need more financial support. Every little bit adds up, so anything you can do will be a boon to the Bible Belt. Go to their official skepticon donations page to give.


Help the Tai Solarin Organisation: There are a lot of weird things about me people don't expect. Like the fact that I'm actually known in Africa for an essay I wrote in 1995 summarizing the achievements of the most famous outspoken atheist activist and reformer in the history of that continent (see "Tai Solarin: His Life, Ideas, and Accomplishments"). Because of this, I'm often sent news from atheist organizations in Africa. Needless to say, they don't have it easy there. And one such organization, the Tai Solarin society, needs funding to continue its annual lecture series. Based on past years, they were supposed to have had the 2010 lecture by now, and maybe they have (or will in a matter of weeks). But even if they have, they'll no doubt need money to recoup losses, and contribute toward the cost of next year's event. A lot goes a long way there. So if you want to help out, here's the appeal from Bayo Adenubi, Chairman of the Tai Solarin Organisation.
Tai Solarin Organisation (TSO) needs your help to convene this year's memorial lecture. Founded in 2003 to promote the ideals of Nigeria's late humanist and educator, Tai Solarin, TSO organizes a lecture every year to commemorate the life and legacy of the late sage. To organize these lectures, TSO Board members receive financial contributions and solicit donations from individuals and corporate bodies. But this year, our regular donors have not been forthcoming and our lecture is just a few months away. Hence we are making this urgent appeal for financial support. We are asking you to consider making some donations to TSO to enable us organize this event and continue to keep Tai Solarin's legacy alive. Please donate today, TSO needs your help. All donors will be acknowledged in our reports. They will receive copies of the lecture, annual report of activities and the financial report. If you wish to make a donation please contact us by email, or
Contact them right away if you are interested, as contact by email can take several days (power and communications are sometimes unreliable there), and the event is supposed to happen now. I have not corresponded with this organization very much, so I cannot vouch for them personally, so if you have any concerns feel free to vet their credentials or sincerity however possible when you contact them.


Help the Skeptical Inquirer: Prices of materials have gone up, funding has dropped, and subscribership is actually shrinking. SI might go under if trends don't reverse. I don't want you to donate to their cause. I want you to subscribe to their magazine. And when you see how awesome it is (and you will), I want you to tell everyone you know about it, and persuade them to subscribe to this excellent periodical. Give them the patronage they deserve.

I hate piling up magazines, and most I can't stand (Newsweek sucks; Time could bore a rock to death). So the ones I do subscribe to make a very select list. Apart from trade periodicals, only four make the cut: The Week (best news weekly...ever), Science News (required reading, IMO), The Skeptic (Shermer's baby, broadly focused and usually well-sourced, I actually shelve the issues like books) and the Skeptical Inquirer. SI is very well produced and edited, interesting on nearly every page, full of leading news in skepticism, and packs many feature articles in every issue (they deal mainly with religion and the paranormal but often venture into other subjects like global warming or polygraphs...check out their website for an idea of their range). I always learn a lot from every issue I read. You will too. And you'll enjoy reading it. Give them a try!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Updates

I've been very busy of late, almost underground working furiously away, but I finally found a hiatus to blog some news. I have a hodgepodge of things to mention. Two items today...


First big news is that Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism is now available as an eBook. You can buy it in various places, but most obviously on (click for Kindle edition). Not the Impossible Faith has always been available as a PDF download and now is available in other formats, too (click for Lulu edition as a PDF download; and click here for Kindle edition). And The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails is also now available in e-format (click for Kindle edition), as is The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond The Grave (click for Kindle edition).


And second is a status update on my book On the Historicity of Jesus Christ. Donors to the project have already received a full report, but for the general public the latest news is that I've solved the problem of cutting material down by seeking publication as two volumes, the first on method and the second on results, though the first volume includes one major section of results. That volume is completed. I am seeking a private peer review from a number of respected scholars, and shopping for a publisher. Meanwhile, I'm hard at work on volume two, some of which donors have already seen, but there's even better stuff to come.

The first volume has the current working title Bayes' Theorem and Historical Method: The Invalidity of Current Historicity Criteria in the Study of Jesus and Their Replacement. The subtitle actually isn't the controversial bit. I discuss all the leading scholarship on those criteria, and all of it comes to the same conclusion I do. The main title will actually be the controversial part, and the bulk of the book is devoted to answering all the arguments against applying Bayes' Theorem to history, while explaining in easy-to-understand terms what that theorem is, how it works, and how we can employ it as historians. Donors and scholars who have been reviewing the work up to this point have given me very valuable criticisms and advice that has made this volume into something I'm quite proud of. It rocks now. I'm confident the second volume will be as good.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Skepticon 3

It's official. And it's awesome! Skepticon 3 will take place at MSU (in Springfield, Missouri) from Friday to Sunday this November 19th to 21st (2010). Brought to you by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. For all possible details see their official website (which will be updated with more details over time as everything gets finalized).

For how amazing the last was, see my blog on Skepticon 2. In fact it was even more amazing than that. Video from last year is available from Hambone Productions (see the Skepticon playlist). Every talk rocked. And that's rare. But the best part was getting to drink and party (and sometimes karaoke) with the speakers each night. Just don't be a douche and you'll be welcome. So far, praise be, no douches. Everyone I hung with last year was way cool. Lots of fans came up to say hi, buy me a drink, chat and query, laugh and joke. Groovy times.

This year it will be literally amazing. For The Amazing Randi is one of the speakers. Altogether there are fourteen this year, adding a whole extra day of jamboree. And Rebecca's challenge was met: three women will be speaking this time, instead of lonely one. Rebecca Watson herself, of course, reprising her role as number one skepticon babe. Plus, feminist political blogger Amanda Marcotte and CFI's campus organizer Debbie Goddard. Returning among the guys are the famous Dan Barker, paranormal expert Joe Nickell, renowned freethought podcaster D.J. Grothe, theoretical physicist Victor Stenger, plus His Lord and Master of Skepticon himself, J.T. Eberhard...and the two of us who began it all: PZ Myers, and, yes, Richard Carrier (I'll be giving a totally new, wildly shocking, fact-filled talk Are Christians Delusional?). New guys this year: The Gay Moralist himself, John Corvino, professor of philosophy and expert on ethics and gay rights; my personal friend and godless media activist David Fitzgerald (I had nothing to do with his getting on the slate...I learned of it after the fact! Yes, he has that big of a rep...he didn't even need me to drop his name); and the godlessly humorous Brother Sam Singleton. For more about all these speakers see the Skepticon Speakers List.
As with all previous Skepticons, this one is completely free. You won't get an incredible event like this for free anywhere. Which is why they have costs and need donations. They are building a war chest already, but any little bit can help. If you want to support free godless conferences with an amazing slate of speakers in the heart of the Bible belt (where they need it the most!), visit the Skepticon donation center, where they also explain how your donations will be spent, and the different ways you can contribute.

Also, because it's free, demand is high. If you want to be sure the venue is big enough that you'll actually get a seat (or even into the room), please tell them you're coming. Register now, so they have a reliable head count well enough in advance.

Video of my talk is now available (see Skepticon III Video). A link is also provided there to view the accompanying slideshow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

NOE Premieres!

Quick notable note. Last year I blogged about the advance premiere of the odd doco The Nature of Existence by Roger Nygard. Revisit my remarks there to see what I knew about it then. I was interviewed extensively for it, and I have a two second appearance in the film.

I've since received a reviewer's copy and seen it. I gave it a qualified review for The Skeptical Inquirer (which I believe will appear in their next issue, July/August 2010). The movie has its flaws and will not please everyone. But it's amusing, informative, and well worth seeing. I recommend you go support Roger's effort (and it was a Herculean effort indeed--he literally trekked the whole world for this) and then discuss it with others who saw it, even if to bitch about it. It makes particularly good material for an atheist community group to go see and praise or critique it. But even by yourself, it will teach, entertain, and provoke thought. It might even be more enjoyed by believers. Could be a good chance to take a believing friend or relative to the movies. It's not an f-you kind of film. Just a "this is what people say" kind of film. And everyone gets their say. Which makes it more subversive.

The Nature of Existence formally premieres in theaters this Friday (June 18) in New York city and a few other cities, and then premieres in others in following weeks. To find out when and where it will be coming to a theater near you, check out the official website, which has premier dates and an email list signup for notification when it will arrive near your town.

For my full review, I'll have to direct you to the next issue of the Skeptical Inquirer. They got an exclusive from me. I'll just say that if you go, be prepared for a loosely disorganized stream of amusing, frustrating, and bizarre (and often amusingly bizarre) clips of people the world over (atheists included) telling you what they believe. Don't expect a tidy answer or resolution. It's a tour of the diverse. But you'll see and hear things you never knew before. Or imagined. And if you're attentive, you'll get the jokes. Think Religulous except more ambitious and less mean. And no final thought (which many will actually be relieved to hear).

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Music of May

Taking a break from renovation and housework for a new addition to my ongoing series on music. I needn't go into too much detail how this time's collection only further proves my original thesis that we live in a glorious post-musical age (though I'll drop some hints). I'll mostly just survey what I've added to my catalog since last I wrote about it. To catch up (if you're new to all this), here's a linklist, in chronological order, of all my posts on my music collection: [1] [2] [3] [4]. The first of those covers the philosophy behind all the rest.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Appearing in Walnut Creek

I apologize to anyone who has been wondering where I am. I've been incommuni- cado for many weeks due to Jen and I having just purchased a home. It's our first owned home in fifteen years of marriage. Being poor, we bought a fixer. And boy has it been. Like a voluntary labor camp I've been working 12 hour days seven days a week (even forgetting when weekends were passing) making the house livable (repairing doors, refinishing floors, figuring out our house's eighty-year-old wiring, taming the yard, cleaning the filth left everywhere by the previous tenants, and endless other tasks, including of course packing, moving and unpacking, which was a herculean task in itself).

I didn't even have a working internet for two weeks. Then I barely found time to access it. I'm close to getting back on my regular track and will then only do a few repair and renovation jobs a week. So if it seems odd that I went totally silent and off the grid for so long, now you know why. I'll catch up comments on my blog here in a week or two.

Due to the daunting tasks required by this new purchase I wasn't going to schedule any more gigs (I already had some locked in for the end of the year, starting in October, but I'll blog about those when time nears). But as a favor to a local atheist leader, I'm taking time out to visit a gated community in Walnut Creek, California, for Atheists and Agnostics of Rossmoor, where I'll reprise my talk Why Everyone Says Medieval Christians Invented Science (for an abstract see my April entry for my previous delivery in Berkeley). There will be Q and A, and I'll be selling and signing copies of The Christian Delusion afterward, as well as my other books as usual.

This will take place Thursday afternoon, next week, at 3pm on May 20 (2010), in the Del Valle Clubhouse on 1751 Tice Creek Drive in
Walnut Creek, CA 94595. It's in the gated community of Rossmoor, so if you want to attend you need to know how to get in: enter in a visitor lane and tell them you are attending the Atheists and Agnostics meeting. I'm assured this is never a problem. The access gate appears to be on Rossmoor Parkway, after which you take the next right on Golden Rain Road, and the next right is Tice Creek Drive and it takes you right to the clubhouse parking lot. You get to
Rossmoor Parkway via Tice Valley Boulevard, turning south onto Rossmoor. All just south of the 680 and 24 freeways.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Christian Delusion

The Christian Delusion: Why Faith FailsTwo years in the making, controversial even before its launch, and perhaps the most definitive refutation of Christianity yet in print, The Christian Delusion (Why Faith Fails) is now available at Amazon and your local bookseller. Edited by John Loftus, TCD contains fifteen chapters by nine authors, including numerous experts with doctorates in their respective fields. Myself included.

It's a fantastic book. I loved it as I was reading it even in earlier drafts, and I have been anticipating its publication for a long time. You'll all want a copy, trust me. Buy it and read it. And if you like it, give it a customer review on Amazon, critical or laudatory. We'll need honest Amazon reviews to counter the inevitable Christian tactic of low-starring it and lying about it to dissuade fellow Christians from reading it. I'd rather have valid criticisms in there if any.

Following is a summary of the book, then at the bottom a link to a companion website for the book that actually has new additional articles by me and others (check it out!).

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Appearing in Berkeley II

I will be speaking for the East Bay Atheists this April 18 (Sunday) at 1:30pm in the Berkeley Main Library (3rd Floor Meeting Room) on 2090 Kittredge St. in Berkeley (California). It's about a block south of the downtown Berkeley BART station.

Subject: "Why Everyone Says Medieval Christians Invented Science." I'll summarize and expand on one of my chapters in the controversial book The Christian Delusion (edited by John Loftus), which addresses the new argument going around that we have Christianity to thank for modern science. We all know it's closer to the other way around. So how on earth do they think the opposite? What are their arguments? What is their evidence? How can they be so mistaken? Well, I'll tell you.

There will follow Q&A and I'll be selling and signing my own books (Sense and Goodness without God and Not the Impossible Faith), but alas I'm not likely to have any copies to sell yet of The Christian Delusion. Prometheus Books has made it frustratingly difficult to buy stock for resale, and their consignment discounts barely compete with Amazon retail rates, and there is a lot else they do that pisses off authors like me. But that's just them. This is a superb book, though, two years in the making, a definite must-read. Buy it to support the authors if nothing else. I'll be blogging about it's release tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Defining Naturalism II

Yesterday I posted on my recent article in Free Inquiry on Defining Naturalism, in which I also replied to The Teapot Atheist's response to that FI article. TPA then answered back (Richard Carrier on Richard Carrier on Naturalism...I think just using my last name would have been more economical, but that's just my aesthetics talking :-). He's well in earnest. But still wrong. 

Some of my responses to other comments on yesterday's blog are pertinent (if you want to catch up with those, start here). But now I'll just quote and reply to TPA's latest blog...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Defining Naturalism

An article I submitted years ago has finally made it into the pages of Free Inquiry magazine (issue 30.3 of April/May 2010, pp. 50-51), "On Defining Naturalism as a Worldview," part of their ongoing 'It's Only Natural' column. It was sitting in their queue for ages. It essentially just summarizes the most important points of my more extensive blog on the subject, Defining the Supernatural.

It has already provoked one reply at The Teapot Atheist. But had TPA read the blog recommended in my FI article, he would have known I already addressed the concerns he raised. I just didn't have the room to fit all that into two pages of print.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Appearing in Tuscon

I will be appearing next month in Tuscon, Arizona, for the Center for Inquiry of Southern Arizona, on Sunday, March 21 (2010) at 10am (until about noon), at the DuVal Auditorium (1501 North Campbell Ave. in the University of Arizona Medical Center, to the right of the lobby, after walking in the main entrance of the UMC). I'll be delivering a reprise of my talk on Not the Impossible Faith (originally delivered in Berkeley, see here for current details). Normally there is a small ticket price at CFI events (and Friends of the Center get in free), but I don't know if that will be the same here. I will be selling and signing my books afterward.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Appearing in Kansas

The day after my debate in Topeka, Kansas (this coming week) I'll be giving a talk in Olathe, Kansas for the Kansas City Freethought community. That's Friday, February 12. The event will be held at 6pm (and go until 9pm) at the Bass Pro Shop on 12051 Bass Pro Drive (Olathe, Kansas 66061). I'm told you just "enter the front doors, take the center staircase to the second floor, then enter the hallway north of the gun section." (Awesome.)

You can get more info at the Skeptics Meetup Page. As far as I know attendance is free. I'll be selling and signing my book afterward, but only insofar as I have any left after the previous day's event. I'll give three short talks (about 20 minutes each), each one followed by its own brief Q&A. The topics will be On Miracles and the Historical Method, Debating the Jesus Myth, and Why Everyone Says Medieval Christians Invented Science.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Historicity in Calgary

We finally have a venue for this Thursday (Jan. 28): at 6pm (running until 8:30pm or so) I will be giving a talk on the historicity of Jesus and taking Q&A at the Calgary public library (Meeting Room 1, lower level; address: 616 Macleod Trail SE). And if I have any books left from the previous day's debate (quite possibly I won't, it appears that venue may be packed), I'll be selling and signing them there as well. For full details see the CFI Calgary website.

Monday, January 25, 2010

AM 770

I might be on AM 770 (a Canadian radio station out of Calgary) this Tuesday night (Jan. 26). Check out their website for a schedule (I'll be on the Rob Breakenridge show) and where there might be an internet simulcast. I haven't been given any precise info on when (sometime between 7 and 10pm Calgary time, whatever that is) or if it will be live (or recorded and aired another day entirely) or what the topic will be (several ideas were bounced around but nothing finalized). I know that's pretty lame as far as a heads up, but this just happened last minute. This is the best I can do. Those who want to catch the show, good luck!

I also still haven't received any specifics on my supposed Thursday talk (my debate in Calgary is Wednesday evening). All I know is that if it happens, CFI Calgary (contact info at bottom here) should have the info as to where and when, or perhaps someone will post it at the local meetup list (that's just wishful thinking).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Debate at Washburn

I will be debating Mike Licona on the Resurrection of Jesus at Washburn University (1700 SW College Ave.) in 
Topeka, Kansas, at 7pm on Thursday, February 11 (see meetup notice). The debate is sponsored by the Atheist Community of Topeka and Christian Challenge, and will be held in the Washburn Room of the Memorial Union. I'm not aware of any entry fee. I will be signing and selling my books afterward (around 9pm or so, give or take).

This debate will have a very different format from our 2004 debate in LA and thus won't be a repeat performance but something new and hopefully interesting and educational.

I will also be appearing the next day not too far from Topeka for the Kansas City Freethought community. That's Friday, February 12, 6p.
Details now here.

Video of my debate with Mike Licona at Washburn U is also now available here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Debate in Calgary

I will be debating Michael Horner on whether God exists, in Calgary, Canada (Alberta) this January 27th (Wednesday) at 4pm in MacEwan Hall on the campus of the University of Calgary (2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB). $2 admission. I will be signing and selling my books afterward (event is scheduled to run an hour and a half and I'll likely be around until 7pm). I will also be speaking the next day for CFI Calgary (one of the sponsors of the debate) on the historicity of Jesus, but when I know more details about that event I'll blog it separately (see here).

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Flynn's Pile of Boners

I've finished reading James Hannam's book God's Philosophers, which I'll probably start blogging about next month. But in the meantime I'm overdue to comment on a much screwier exchange on the same subject online. I'll do that now, to whet your appetite for my discussion of Hannam's much more careful and informative treatment.

Mike Flynn (in "The Age of Unreason") levels many correct and valid criticisms of Jim Walker's wildly erroneous "The Myth of Christianity Founding Modern Science and Medicine (And the Hole Left by the Christian Dark Ages)" (and that despite the fact that I'm sympathetic to Walker's point, and even make the same argument, albeit correctly, in the forthcoming anthology The Christian Delusion, about which I'll blog as soon as I've seen the galleys). Walker responded to Flynn's critique ("Mike Flynn Discovers the Dark Ages"), this time getting a lot more right (particularly in his discussion of technology), but he still gets enough wrong (or still makes too many claims with greater certainty than is warranted), that I can't recommend it. That aside, both Flynn and Walker's main essays are shot through with so many mistakes of fact they can only miseducate, and thus have no value (even worse than no value, since reading them will only spread their error further). So I don't recommend reading either. Here I'm going to try and correct the damage by dispelling the myths Flynn repeats.