Customer Review

15 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who Did The Peer Review?, April 20, 2012
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This review is from: Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (Hardcover)
This is a preliminary review, subject to revision as I go through certain portions of this book a second time.

At the outset, I have to say Dr. Carrier has a good way of presenting material that might be tedious to some. He's a good writer.

But he says that there are something like "eighteen" historical criteria that he has taken into consideration, but I don't see that his application of Bayes's Theorem takes them all into account. By arbitrarliy deciding how many there are and what criteria to represent in his application of the Theorem, he leaves himself open...inadvertently perhaps...to predeteriming his conclusion.

The later is important, because Dr. Carrier is an outspoken advocate of atheism, and his claim that it would make no difference to him if Jesus existed does not convince me. If that were the case of course it would make a difference...the case would be over.

Moreover, he seems to be implying that because historians who have used these criteria have disagreed in their conclusions that all of the criteria are now irrelevant. This is a non sequitur, as their differing conclusions could involve other factors than their use of the criteria, such as their Philosophical Presuppositons.

I guess the major problem at this point is that there seem to be more variables to any historical situation than can be accounted for in an application of Bayes's Theorem as Dr. Carrier presents it. And the use of the Theorem in the first place involves deciding what variables to account for.

And then there is the issue of evaluation...Dr. Carrier has repeatedly said on his blog that Peer Review is important, and criticized Theists as not undergoing what he considers adequate peer review.

In this case, he claims this book was Peer Reviewed, but he won't say by who. Oh, I know the arguments about "secret peer review" but in this does not see consistent with his claim to be a proponent of "Freethought". Freethought requires open research, not secrets.

If Dr. Carrier wants to say who did the peer review, I will gladly concede that point.
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Showing 31-37 of 37 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2012 8:07:49 PM PDT
KC James says:
Matt, I did not claim the work is not subject to peer review.

But Publishing a book and "making it available" is not the same things as publishing a book that you claim HAS ALREADY been peer reviewed.

All I am asking is, "who did the peer review?"

That shouldn't be a problem...if there really was such a peer review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2012 1:45:27 PM PDT
I'm sorry, KC James, but your criticisms do not seem logical or substantial. You brought up some issues; as soon as they were challenged, you abandoned your criticisms of the contents of the book and resorted to ad hominem attacks. I see conspiracy fans and fringe scientists do this all the time: you can't argue on the merits on the work, so you assume those who disagree with you are part of a conspiracy of dogmatists (fan boys, sock puppets).
The central point of your commentary is about anonymous peer review. Your point is invalid because you aren't having an honest discussion about the issue. You are merely using it to insinuate, repeatedly, that the work is a fraud. This allows you to dismiss the work without criticising it's actual content.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2012 12:20:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2012 12:23:34 PM PDT
KC James says:
Your Ad Hominems are noted, as are your as your misrepresentations.

I simply want to know who did the Peer Review that Dr. Carrier claims is important.

If he does not want to say, that's fine, but I am under NO obligation to take his word for it.

Am I? After all, Dr. Carrier asks for evidence for everything, so I want evidence of who did the Peer Review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2012 12:32:13 PM PDT
Unlisted "misrepresentations," eh? Looks like another ad hominem. You want Carrier to provide everything to back his staements, even things to which you are not entitled, but you provide nothing to back yours?

You are not an honourable or honest debater, sir.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2012 3:05:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2012 3:07:16 PM PDT
KC James says:
More ad hominems and personal attacks, and still not a word about who did the peer review.

Open Peer Review should be the standard of honourable and honest debate.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 4:50:13 AM PST
KC James says:
Just checking back...still no word on who did the peer review.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2013 7:13:13 PM PDT
KC James says:
Well, here we are over 6 Months later...and still no word on who did the peer review.

Carrier...I called your bluff! LOL!
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