Talk:Richard Carrier

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As of October 2022, someone has edited this article with language on the accusations against Carrier ("there has never been any legal ruling against the proposition that Dr. Carrier was defamed by any of these these seven individuals, despite any of their claims to the contrary.") and the breakup of his first marriage ("Dr. Carrier ... was married to the grifter (!) Jennifer Robin Paynter (1995-2015) until she made the choice (!!) to end their marriage merely (!!!) because Dr. Carrier "came out" as polyamorous") which belongs in a drunken gathering with friends not on a wiki with a RationalWiki:SPOV. The section on peer review of On the Historicity of Jesus Christ is rather long too given that academic arguments are about evidence not authority (ie. there are good books which were never peer reviewed, and bad books which were peer reviewed and published by prestigious presses). Polydamas (talk)

I have identified the relevant edits on 12 March and 31 May 2022 and reverted them to the older language which was factual and did not take sides in a divorce or a series of failed lawsuits. There may be other time bombs like these which I have not spotted! Polydamas (talk)

Peer review[edit]

From what I understand, Carrier didn´t choose the two reviewers, rather he asked for a historian and a statistician to review his book to make sure it was following historical method and using Bayes theorem correctly. — Unsigned, by: John stetson / talk / contribs

This is what I could find on this:
" but that, in the wake of that review, made recommended changes to its text so that it could qualify and therefore be accepted by a recognized academic publishing house. Keep in mind that James McGarth, a respected New Testament professor at Butler University, regards Carrier's work as having been acceptably and procedurally peer-reviewed (regardless of the fact the McGarth himself has expressed disagreement with some of Carrier's research findings). - (James McGrath, "Finally, There Will Be a Peer-Reviewed Case for Mythicism," 18 July 2013, at:". If James F. McGarth had any doubt on the peer reviewing process he certainly wound't have led with that title.
"My new book, On the Historicity of Jesus, has passed peer review and is now under contract to be published by a major academic press specializing in biblical studies: Sheffield-Phoenix, a publishing house at the University of Sheffield (UK). I sought four peer review reports from major professors of New Testament or Early Christianity, and two have returned their reports, approving with revisions, and those revisions have been made. Since two peers is the standard number for academic publications, we can proceed." - Update on Historicity of Jesus
"Independent, established professors whom I don't know personally, peer reviewed my book for Sheffield, just as such persons do all books at all academic presses. The standard is two. So any book you read from a bona fide academic press will have been peer reviewed by at least two professors of the subject not known to the author. Indeed, the process is double blind, just as for journals." - Carrier
"I sought four peer review reports from major professors of New Testament or Early Christianity, and two have returned their reports, approving with revisions, and those revisions have been made. Since two peers is the standard number for academic publications, we can proceed. And Sheffield’s own peer reviewers have approved the text. Two others missed the assigned deadline, but I’m still hoping to get their reports and I’ll do my best to meet any revisions they require as well."
"It’s important to note that clarification: Sheffield-Phoenix selected its own peer reviewers to vet my book, as they do all academic treatises they publish. That’s the entire point of an academic press. This was after I also submitted peer review reports from multiple prominent professors of Biblical studies I had used to pre-vet my manuscript, to ensure it would pass any peer review a publisher engaged. It’s also not uncommon for academic presses to ask the submitter of a manuscript to supply a list of suitable peer reviewers. But whether Sheffield-Phoenix relied on any of the peer reviewers I selected, I won’t have been told." - Killing Crankery with Bayesian Reasoning: The Kooky & Illogical Postflaviana Review, Carrier
"Many thanks for your email, we are happy to clarify on this for you, whatever may be the case in the USA, in the UK we are familiar with two kinds of publishers (at least): academic and trade. All academic publishers operate on the same basis, of making publishing decisions on the merits of a proposal as assessed by experts in the field (‘peer review’). This is true for university publishers like Cambridge University Press and non-university publishers like Bloomsbury Academic, Routledge, Macmillan, Blackwell. There is no difference between the groups in the reviewing process. Nor is there any difference in prestige between university presses and independent academic publishers (e.g. some authors may like to be published by Oxford, but no one can say it is a ‘better’ publisher than Macmillan, for example)." - Sheffield Phoenix Press
There is nothing in anything I can find, outside of detractors, that Carrier had any idea who he was sending the manuscripts to other than what their specialties were or anything "non-standard" about the Peer review process at Sheffield-Phoenix. The claim Carrier sent it to friends appears to be nothing more than ad hominem FUD--BruceGrubb (talk) 22:12, 21 April 2022 (UTC)
I have included this in the main text as per BLP the subject's own statements regarding their activities are considered reliable unless a high quality source (such as actual evidence of an earlier scholarly work) shows otherwise; any contradictory claims are on shaky ground per BLP guidelines.--BruceGrubb (talk) 10:46, 11 May 2022 (UTC)

The Outside World section[edit]

This user vandalized this page 8 days ago by adding this section. I'm going to undo it. This is the first thing I've ever undone on RationalWiki so I hope it goes well...FairDinkum (talk) 13:10, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

Is it really vandalism, though? I'm tempted to immediately undo your edit, but I suppose I should ask for more opinions first. @Plutocow? @Bongolian? @Spud? @LeftyGreenMario? What do you guys think? --Luigifan18 (talk) 14:42, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it vandalism, but it is a poor quality addition: there are no citations at all. It would be better rewritten to include citations to what academics in the field think of his work. — Unsigned, by: Bongolian / talk / contribs
Reddit and Quora, totes reliable way to gauge opinion of this guy. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 18:17, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
Well that didn't go as well as I had hoped it would. While the first run-on sentence of this section COULD be considered to be barely reasonable, it isn't, because it and the rest of the section questions Mr. Carrier's relevancy or authority, without providing any actual evidence of disagreement among any more authoritative sources. It does nothing but claim that unidentified people might disagree with Carrier. That may be so, but without any evidence that any higher authority DOES disagree with carrier, this is pointless and it already says in the article that Carrier's view of 'historical jesus' is a, "...minority position among scholars" and that, "Carrier's application of Bayes's Theorem to the question has not been widely accepted."
There are various problems with the rest of it. Here are my arguments dealing with those statements:
"If we are honest, we must at least question both assumptions and be willing to listen to those who disagree "
This would be fine on a talk page, but not on the page itself. Why wouldn't we be 'honest'? Why wouldn't we be willing to listen to those who disagree? That's what a talk page is for, but it is not appropriate for the topic page.
"Do others who have spent six to ten years of their lives studying history consider Carrier's arguments respectable?"
Again, this is 'talk page' text. Do others who have spent, etc. consider Carrier's arguments respectable? I don't know, but the onus is on the person who wants to put this in the article to find out!
"Do those who can pay the rent each month find Carrier's excuses for why he must constantly crash on the couches of supporters respectable?"
This is clearly a variation on Argumentum ad cellarium, I guess we could call it Argumentum ad CouchSurfium. Totally inappropriate and irrelevant.
"If not, why support him, given that the academic historians, who will soon occupy high-value housing, universally have better things to do than indulge his idiocy? "
Again, 'ifs' and 'maybes' belong on a talk page. There are reasons we have citations, and that's because they establish fact. This section has no citations whatsoever because it is 100% conjecture. It's also nasty and incoherent conjecture. Who are these 'academic historians who will soon occupy high-value housing'? What 'high-value housing' and how is this housing relevant to anything?? And who, besides Burndall, who wrote this crap, has decided that these unnamed 'academic historians' have 'better things to do'? I'm not even going to address Burndall's conclusion that Carrier's work is 'idiocy'. If anyone has the gall to defend that then maybe I should just give up on this site altogether. Seriously, do the people who are questioning my edit even READ RationalWiki? I have my doubts. Why is so much trolling tolerated here? I have been reading this site almost from the day it went up, I have only recently had enough free time to make an account and start contributing. Luigifan18, if you want to start an edit war, I'm game, after all I have to get my hands dirty at some point. Your threats are duly ignored. If you do start an edit war over this, I will prevail because the stuff I removed is indefensible.
And who says "we" "support" him, anyway? I feel that I should state that I had never heard of Richard Carrier before I read this article. I have no ulterior motives for wanting to remove this vandalism. I spend most of my time on RationalWiki clicking the random page button and fixing spelling and grammar mistakes on these random returns, which is how I came across this page (and which is something a lot of other RationalWiki users should consider doing, because the random button is the only way many of us are ever going to find these dubious or blatant mistakes or vandalism). Carrier does not appear to have anything to do with woo, right-wingnuttery or any other concepts that would justify referring to his work as 'idiocy'. The page already refers to potential personal failings that have resulted in a falling out between Carrier and the atheist community. I'm not trying to remove that, because it is DOCUMENTED. His work on debunking 'historical jesus', on the other hand, is completely congruent with RationalWiki's mandate. And finally, what the hell is an 'Outside World' section, anyway?? Outside of RationalWiki? I'm wondering if Burndall intended to add this section to the talk page but mistakenly put it in the article. FairDinkum (talk) 03:34, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
I was specifically addressing your claim of vandalism. With regard to poor-quality edits, which it was in my view: I support remove or revise. Bongolian (talk) 04:23, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Obviously doesn't meet the definition of vandalism. But undoing an edit you think is particularly bad is fine. And discussing it like this is even better. Spud (talk)