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 started a summary:

This isn't a complete log of everything said, but I tried to include the main points. I also started with a transcript, and edited it for clarity (e.g. removing ums, and repetition) but there may still be some weird typos from the computer generated transcript that I didn't catch. I will try to quote Nathan, James, Kamil and myself if it comes from the episode. All other text is mine, commentary either at the time or sometime afterward.

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