Bayes’ Theorem and the Modern Historian: Proving History Requires Improving Methods
Several examinations of the methodologies employed in the study of Jesus have consistently found those methods invalid or defective. Which fact has resulted in the proliferation of endless different conclusions as to the nature of the historical Jesus and the origins of Christianity. Attention to the logical validity of the methods we employ is essential to repairing this problem. One particular theory of human reasoning can lead the way: widely known as Bayes’ Theorem, historians would benefit tremendously from understanding it and learning how to apply it in their arguments and research.
See Also: Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus (Amherst, NY: Prometheus 2012)
By Richard Carrier, Ph.D.
Visiting Lecturer for the Center for Inquiry Institute
Richmond, CA, USA
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