Posted: Jan 25, 2012 5:54 pm
by Stein
proudfootz wrote:
logical bob wrote:
proudfootz wrote:Thus Carrier points out that the guesses about what is 'more likely' must be tempered by consideration of competing hypotheses and this process may expose why the original reading cannot be regarded as 'more likely' after all.

Yes, I agree. That's common sense. I've said and you've said it. Is there anyone who would argue that consideration of competing hypotheses is not a good idea? We've said it succinctly in one sentence, without recourse to equations. It's also worth noting that Carrier has gone to some trouble to make the equations look more complex than they actually are. Google Bayes' Theorem and get yourself a comparison.


This is more than that one point, as you may notice the paper makes many other points as well - this is about a comprehensive method of testing hypotheses.


So why scatter all these deliberately obscurantist equations around in order to state the blindingly obvious? I don't think it takes mind reading to conclude that he's trying to confer on his anti-HJ conclusions the credibility of mathematical rigour. And at the top of the thread, you bought it.


Nope, now you're trying to read my mind as well as Carrier's. Instead of attacking the alleged 'motives' of others why not stick to something a little more substantive than your subjective guesses as to what Carrier is 'trying' to do?

If you bother to read the paper there are many points than the one you cherry picked.

proudfootz wrote:Good to see someone making an effort to help make the assumptions of the 'judgement calls' of historians more explicit and more amenable to logical analysis.


Except in this case it's a historian discussing historical method.

A historian deploying deliberate sophistry.


Again - a historian discussing applying a valid logical process to historical methodology might look like sophistry to you, but so far you've only shown an ability to misunderstand what's in the paper and an ability to misrepresent it.

Look, there are good arguments to be made about looking deeper than the obvious interpretation of Brother of the Lord and the standard application of the criterion of embarrassment. That case isn't helped by bullshit like this.


Thus far it seems the bullshit you're slinging is not helpful, either.

proudfootz wrote:
logical bob wrote:The bigger point is that history doesn't handle probabilities in a mathematical way and has never claimed to do so.

This may be true - but then we're left with the constant refrain of 'more likely' or 'more probable' as used in arguments about history merely being sounds without much meaning if we're to be left in the dark about how much more likely or probable.

History is subjective. There's no getting away from that. It might be nice if we could settle the HJ question with a calculator, but we can't. Deal with it.


Nice use of the strawman! :clap:

I guess if you're happy to live with historians cloaking their bullshit in 'truthy' sounding phrases like 'probable' and 'likely' I will have to live with that.

Just as you'll have to live with the fact that others would like history to be a little less vague than all that.


Excuse me: likelihood even trumps other arguments in certain reaches of science. At the same time, just because we haven't found the missing link is no reason to view creationism as therefore more likely than evolution. Evolution is still far more likely than creationism because of a ton of additional evidence that makes the absence of the missing link incidental to the overwhelming data in favor of evolution.

Stein