NaClhv

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

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 38)

So then, here is the summary of the basic idea: We assume that the "skeptic's distribution" will take the form of a generalized Pareto distribution. We will determine the shape parameter of the distribution by looking at how many "outliers" it has. A person's resurrection report is considered an "outlier" if it has at least 20% […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 37)

Now, what kind of data do we have to determine the shape parameter? We have the historical data, of course. We have some number of people who are said to have been resurrected in some sense, and each of these people has some amount of evidence associated with their resurrection claim. We essentially want to […]
2016-12-19

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 36)

We've decided on a power law as the general form of the "skeptic's distribution". The details of the distribution near zero will not particularly matter. We're more concerned about how rapidly it decays at very large values. This allows us quite a bit of leeway in choosing the specific form of the power law distribution, […]
2016-12-12

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 35)

Recall that we're constructing a "skeptic's distribution" - the probability distribution of generating a resurrection report with a certain level of evidence. We will construct it from historical, empirical data. This allows us to bypass the mess of trying to compute everything from first principles, and ensures that the this is the correct distribution - […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 34)

Can we quantitatively tackle things like conspiracy theories? What do we do about the interdependency of evidence? One can already imagine the objections to any such attempt. Every assumption would be questioned, and every ridiculous possibility brought up demanding a full numerical treatment. Even if a traditional conspiracy were to be fully debunked in a […]
2016-11-28

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 33)

So the diversity of the individuals involved in Christ's resurrection testimonies already make a high degree of interdependence unlikely. One could hardly find a less likely group of people to enter into a world-spanning conspiracy. You would expect disparate parts of such a group to be constantly at odds with each other, destroying the conspiracy almost […]
2016-11-21

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 32)

So, could the resurrection testimonies really have a near-total dependency among them? Could they have been generated by a conspiracy of some sort? There are a multitude of reasons to think they were not. First, there is the story of apostle Paul - one of the named witnesses in 1 Corinthians 15, and someone who […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 31)

Let us examine this general class of theories, that postulate a near-total interdependence in the evidence against them. What kind of theories are they? What are their properties? Is it fair to characterize them as "crackpot" theories? Now, note that such theories requires a conspiracy of some kind, almost by definition. Near-total interdependence means that […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 30)

Let us recall our purpose in collecting these non-Christian stories about a "resurrection": we wanted to verify our Bayes' factor for the evidence of Christ's resurrection. My claim is that it's at least 1e54. The first part of our plan was to find the non-Christian resurrection story with the most evidence behind it. If we […]

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Part 28)

(Continued from the previous post) Miscellaneous thoughts Here's a few more assorted thoughts: I still think that you're too afraid of large odds. For example, my gut feeling is that 99.99% is far too small a limit on how certain we can be in history. I mean, we can make meaningful, almost empirical statements about […]
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