Saturday, July 07, 2007

J. P. Holding files (index and summary)

Here's my index post for my criticisms of J. P. Holding. Here, it's worth recapping the main reason for getting in to this: I had read both J. P. Holding's "Impossible Faith" essay and Richard Carrier's debunking of "The Impossible Faith, and noticed a big part of the disagreements were matters of what the quoted scholars actually said. Carrier at one point said, "I ask all readers to stop trusting Holding, and actually buy or borrow those books that Holding quotes out of context and read them. Then you will see how those scholars actually discuss the total situation very differently than Holding lets on." Holding responded with the same: "Thus I in turn imitate Carrier, and ask all readers to stop trusting Carrier, and actually call up those articles that Carrier quotes out of context and read them."

Well, I've answered Carrier's request, the request which Holding must admit to having made his own. I threw in some comments on Holding's reasoning and some misrepresentations of Carrier's position that I noticed in passing, but the source-checking was always my main interest. The results, for Holding, were not so favorable as Holding insisted to his readers they would be. I have concluded that Holding's tactics are essentially the same as those of creationists who cite legitimate scientists for apparent puzzles in evolution and simply ignore, not attack but ignore, the scientists' solutions. (Examples: Richard Dawkins has talked about the quote mining of his writings here, and this section of Origin of the Species has been a major source of quote mines.)

The task was a time-consuming one, and I hope this collection of blog posts turns out to be a useful resource for those without the time or willingness to hunt down all the books that were brought in to this dispute. So here's the post index:

Why I wouldn't trust J. P. Holding's scholarship
The nature of Holding's argument
A note on the history of apologetics
Holding's use of Malina and Neyrey, part 1
Holding's use of Malina and Neyrey, part 2
Reply to Holding
J. P. Holding and Rodney Stark
J. P. Holding's use of DeSilva
J. P. Holding and Malina's Commentary on the Synoptics
J. P. Holding, elites, and disgruntled masses
Update 15/7/2007: Second Reply to Holding

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