Bad Apologetics Ep 18 - Bayes Machine goes BRRRRRRRRR

In #bayesian #probability #religion #media

In this YouTube episode, Bad Apologetics Ep 18 - Bayes Machine goes BRRRRRRRRR I join Nathan Ormond, Kamil Gregor, and James Fodor to discuss Timothy and Lydia McGrew's article in The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology entitled "Chapter 11 - The Argument from Miracles: A Cumulative Case for the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth".

It's 9 hours long, but I am only on for the first 7 hours.

I wrote a summary in 3 parts here:

  1. Original Post
  2. Part 1: 1-3 hr
  3. Part 2: 3-6 hr
  4. Part 3: 6-9 hr
Table of Contents

And the link for the full video on YouTube:


The main issues are:

  1. ignoring priors because there's no prior probability in their calculation, so they really aren't doing Bayes
  2. inconsistent use of priors -- when they address naturalistic alternatives they say, this is implausible -- so they do consider priors, but only when it suits them
  3. they don't support the claim that their preferred model (e.g. Yahweh raised Jesus from the dead) actually produces the evidence with the high likelihood
  4. they don't seriously consider alternatives, either natural or supernatural
  5. they don't motivate their numbers with comparable rare events, or they would have seen that their calculation of an odds ratio of \(10^{44}\) is ridiculous
  6. they uncritically take the claims in the New Testament as the actual data we have, as opposed to the fact that what we have are ancient texts that contain those claims
  7. an uncritical view of New Testament documents, and an unprofessional response to traditional scholarship
  8. they don't even seem to think about why something would be explained by their preferred resurrection hypothesis. It's just assumed that everything is explained. And then they ask, how do you, skeptic, explain this?
  9. they make up claims with no supporting citations (especially with respect to how new communities form and how hallucinations work)
  10. they don't make the very easy step of looking at what's actually happening in the world with religious people and actually getting some data, getting some background knowledge about how people actually function