“The Dark Ages” – Popery, Periodisation and Pejoratives

“The Dark Ages” – Popery, Periodisation and Pejoratives

  “When the Pope ruled England, them was called the Dark Ages!” (East London street orator, reported by Herbert Butterfield, 1931) The concept of “the Dark Ages” is central to several key elements in New Atheist Bad History.  One of the primary myths most beloved by many New Atheists is the one whereby Christianity violently suppressed ancient Greco-Roman learning, destroyed an ancient intellectual culture based on pure reason and retarded a nascent scientific and technological revolution, thus plunging Europe into…

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Atheistically Speaking Podcast on Jesus Mythicism

Atheistically Speaking Podcast on Jesus Mythicism

Thomas Smith was kind enough to have me back on his “Atheistically Speaking” podcast for a two part discussion on Jesus Mythicism and why it’s rejected by the vast majority of scholars: Did Jesus Exist? Part One Did Jesus Exist? Part Two Needless to say, some of his audience are not pleased, though others seem more open-minded.    

“Inciting Incident” Podcast on History for Atheists

“Inciting Incident” Podcast on History for Atheists

Al Laiman from the “Inciting Incident” podcast enjoyed my chat with Thomas Smith a few weeks ago and decided to have me as a guest on his show.  Unfortunately our first conversation failed to record, so we tried again last weekend and the podcast is now up.  We cover some of the same ground as I did with Thomas, though I go into a little more detail on the myths around Galileo and the Great Library of Alexandria.  We also…

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Edward T. Babinski Objects

Edward T. Babinski Objects

My interview with Thomas Smith on the “Atheistically Speaking” podcast last week has stirred up an interest in the topics we covered among some of Thomas’ audience.  Inevitably, given that I had to skate over some topics pretty quickly, not everything I was saying seems to have been grasped fully by some listeners.  The part of the conversation on Galileo was very rushed and that is a complex subject, since many New Atheists find it hard to get their head…

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“Atheistically Speaking” Podcast on History for Atheists

“Atheistically Speaking” Podcast on History for Atheists

Last weekend I had a great time recording an interview on New Atheist Bad History with Thomas Smith for his “Atheistically Speaking” podcast.  You can hear the full interview HERE, with some bonus material if you become a patron of Thomas’ show.  The conversation covered some of the more common New Atheist pseudo historical myths, including Giordano Bruno, the Great Library of Alexandria, Hypatia and the old “Christianity caused the ‘Dark Ages’” nonsense.  Thomas seemed to be enjoying himself as…

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Richard Carrier is Displeased

Richard Carrier is Displeased

It seems I’ve done something to upset Richard Carrier. Or rather, I’ve done something to get him to turn his nasal snark on me on behalf of his latest fawning minion.  For those who aren’t aware of him, Richard Carrier is a New Atheist blogger who has a post-graduate degree in history from Columbia and who, once upon a time, had a decent chance at an academic career.  Unfortunately he blew it by wasting his time being a dilettante who self-published…

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The Great Myths 1: The Medieval Flat Earth

The Great Myths 1: The Medieval Flat Earth

New Atheists love astronomer and science educator Neil deGrasse Tyson.  It’s not hard to see why, given that Tyson is a pretty lovable guy: he’s charismatic, articulate, poised, funny and does a good job of bringing science to the masses.  And this is something he did back in January where a rapper called “B.o.B.” began tweeting that the world is actually flat. Yes, this genius actually believes that the whole spherical world idea, known since the sixth century BC and…

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Scientists and “Rationalists” Getting the Historical Jesus Completely Wrong

Scientists and “Rationalists” Getting the Historical Jesus Completely Wrong

  Jerry Coyne Gets Rather Upset.  Again. Jerry Coyne is a professor of biology.  Given that he is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, the author of many papers on evolutionary biology in esteemed journals like Nature and Science and is the co-author of the key text Speciation, it’s fairly clear that he is a very good biologist.  And, as such, just the kind of guy to write the popular science book Why Evolution Is True and to debunk the…

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Why “History for Atheists”?

Why “History for Atheists”?

An Apologia for (Yet) Another Blog Does the world need yet another blog?  Perhaps not, but it seems I do.  Back in 2009 I began Armarium Magnum, focused on history book reviews; mostly of books on ancient and medieval history.  Occasionally I’ve strayed from that theme into broader articles on history generally and, in particular, on my pet hate – ideologically-driven pseudo history.  I tend to be an equal opportunity curmudgeon when it comes to people distorting history to suit a…

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