Theology, philosophy, math, science, and random other things

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 52)

This is a kind of epilogue for my series on Jesus's resurrection. The series is now concluded - or, at least, the first phase is done.

What happens next? Longtime readers of my blog know that I generally consolidate long, multi-part posts into a single post in the end. This gives me a way to present the whole series as an unified, definitive work, and allows for easy editing and upkeep. I will now proceed to do that for the series on the resurrection.

But this resurrection series is by far the longest series on my blog. It represents a year's worth of work, totalling tens of thousands of words (long enough for it to be a decent length book) in 52 parts. It will take some time to consolidate and edit. In particular, this process will take significantly longer than one week, which is how long it's taken for my other series. I ask for your continued patience, support, and feedback during this time. I will still update the blog weekly - it's just that the new posts will just be a summary of the edits, with a link back to the changing, updated post.

The first part of this series was posted March 21, 2016 - The week of Easter. When I started writing it, I only had the idea that you can actually calculate a value - a Bayes' factor - for a human testimony. In a demonstration of my poor long-term planning skills, I initially just wanted to write one post for Easter, about the likelihood of the resurrection based on the Bayes' factor of the disciple's testimonies. But the ideas kept coming, they all required thorough explanations, and the posts just kept on writing themselves.

I furthermore want to point out that throughout the writing process for this whole series, I've never thrown out bad results or concealed disadvantageous conclusions. Every time a new idea came to me - every time there was a new way to test the veracity of the resurrection - I explored it, quantified the essential thoughts, thoroughly performed all the necessary calculations, and presented the results. There were some branches of thought that did not make it into the series, but these were all because the initial idea was not mathematically workable, or because they ended up being redundant to the thoughts that did make it into the series. Again, there was never a single instance where I reached a conclusion against the resurrection, and decided to hide or ignore it. There is no selection or confirmation bias here. The resurrection was validated each and every time.

So after a little over a year, we come to another Easter, and this milestone in the series. It's been a good, productive year, and I'm glad to wrap up this first phase of this work. Happy Easter to you all - Christ is risen indeed!

You may next want to read:
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
The Gospel: the central message of Christianity
Another post, from the table of contents

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