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June 30, 2000

Added "Dostoevsky Didn't Say It" (2000) by David E. Cortesi

David Cortesi offers up the results of his research into whether or not Fydor Dostoevsky, in his brilliant novel The Brothers Karamazov, actually wrote the words: "If God does not exist, everything is permitted." Cortesi challenges the widely-propagated myth further by questioning the relevancy of attributing such a statement to the author regardless if it is, indeed, an accurate description of the belief espoused by one of the characters in his novel.

June 27, 2000

Added "Book Review: Whatever Happened to the Soul?" (2000) [ 45K ] by Keith Augustine

Augustine reviews the book Whatever Happened to the Soul? edited by Warren Brown, Nancey Murphy, and H. Newton Malony, which attempts to reconcile Christian doctrine with the scientific evidence against the existence of a soul.

Added "The Search for Jesus" (2000) by James Still

Last night (June 26) on ABC, Peter Jennings hosted a two-hour special entitled "The Search for Jesus". Jennings' reporting is important because most Americans, ironically, are barely literate when it comes to the historical Jesus in particular and the New Testament texts in general.

June 26, 2000

Expanded a footnote in The Date of the Nativity in Luke (1999) by Richard Carrier (and made minor changes to the text).

Finally, the inscription in fact does not say when the census occurred, and Fergus Millar has good reason to think that this was actually the very same census of 6 A.D. (The Roman Near East, 1993, pp. 48, 250), as is suggested even by Josephus, who says that Quirinius was conducting a census in Syria at the time Judaea was annexed, and both the relevant Apameas were part of the Roman province of Syria (Antiquities of the Jews, 17.13.5).

Added a new footnote to The Nazareth Inscription (2000) by Richard Carrier (and renumerated all the footnotes).

Many scholars have argued that the heart of Galilee, especially around Nazareth in its proximity to Sepphoris, was very Hellenized and that Greek would have been known, at least a little. Recent work suggests the opposite.

Added a new sentence to Section 2f: What Are the Odds That Jesus Was Speared? of Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story (2000) by Richard Carrier.

Moreover, John is alone in having Jesus perform a transmutation of water to wine (at Cana, 2:1ff.), and this is unlikely to be coincidence. The same symbolism is no doubt intended there.

June 25, 2000

Added a new footnote to Chapter 9 of Bad Science, Worse Philosophy: the Quackery and Logic-Chopping of David Foster's The Philosophical Scientists by Richard Carrier.

Calls into question the belief that Huxley proposed the "typing monkeys" argument in his famous 1860 debate with Wilberforce, on the grounds that typewriters were not invented until 1873.

June 24, 2000

Completely revised "Response to Massimo Pigliucci's Review of The Design Inference" (2000) [ Index ] by Mark Vuletic

June 20, 2000

Added Activist Efforts - Help Needed

A new section has been added to the activism area to help local groups and individuals advertise their efforts. Secular Web Readers can visit this section if they would like to help or learn about grassroots activism within the Secular Community. A program currently underway by the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia's Anti-Discrimination Support Network is described in this new section.

Added "Secular Does Not Mean Atheistic" (2000) by Jeff Lowder

Debate is raging through the country over the recent Supreme Court decision not to allowstudent-led prayer on the football field. Jeff Lowder challenges the opposition by clarifying the difference between a secular government and an atheistic one, thereby showing the fallacies of the arguments being raised.

Completely revised "Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story" (2000) [ Index ] by Richard Carrier

Sections have been broken up and placed in their own directory. Some sections have been completely rewritten, others only slightly modified, but many remain unchanged. This revision was accomplished in anticipation of its use as a response to Chapter 10 of Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Chapter 9 of The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict).

Added "The Formation of the New Testament Canon" (2000) [ 112K ] by Richard Carrier

Surveys the history of the formation of the New Testament canon, summarizing the work of Bruce Metzger.

Added "The Nazareth Inscription" (2000) [ 31K ] by Richard Carrier

Several authors have advanced a particular inscription as early evidence of the empty tomb story in the Gospels. Upon close examination, however, it provides no evidence for Christianity or its claim of an empty tomb: it contains no new or unusual laws regarding graverobbing, the decree itself is not unique, it has no references or direct links to Christianity of any kind, it's date is most likely pre-Christian, its origin is not likely to be Nazareth, and its contents are not explainable even as a muddled imperial reaction to the theft of Jesus' body.

Added "Luke and Josephus" (2000) [ 31K ] by Richard Carrier

Summarizes Steve Mason's argument that Luke drew material from the works of Josephus.

Added "Was There a Big Bang?   I Honestly Don't Know" (2000) [ 52K ] by Richard Carrier

Some believe there is not enough evidence to warrant much faith in the Big Bang theory.  In their view, it is a plausible guess, tantalizing, but when it comes down to it we really do not know for sure how the universe began or even if it did.  Richard Carrier is one of those people, and explains himself here.