Friday, July 24, 2009

Stark on Ancient Science

Last year I recorded a new lengthy interview for the Polyschizmatic Reprobates Hour on Rodney Stark's disastrously awful treatment of ancient science. Dan the Demented cut the show into three parts, the third on other topics, but the first two on Stark. Those two episodes are now up and available, on the PRH website and as podcasts. You can listen to them here: [Season 3 Episode 3] [Season 3 Episode 4]. Together this is essentially a two-part lambaste of Rodney Stark's embarrassing forray into ancient history, where I pillory his claim that Christianity made science possible, by educating the listener on the actual historical facts of Greco-Roman science (and technology). We quote his books For the Glory of God and The Victory of Reason and dissect their absurd falsehoods point-by-point. Each show runs 45 minutes.

The nature of an off-the-cuff interview lends itself to occasional slips of wording, so I must correct two of those: (1) obviously I meant to say a catheter goes into the bladder, not the kidney (they had a separate instrument that could enter the kidney to extract kidney stones); and (2) it was Ptolemy's lunar orbit that was (in combined motions) nearly elliptical, not his planetary orbits (the latter were still non-circular, describing curlycues, and were still eccentric, with velocities varying in reference to a focal point anticipating Kepler's Second Law--they would only have been nearly elliptical if anyone translated his system to a heliocenter).

A more concise and thoroughly vetted and referenced version of this show's argument will appear in a forthcoming book being edited by John Loftus.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Appearing in LA

I will be giving yet another reprise of my talk on Not the Impossible Faith in Los Angeles (California) this August 2 (2009) for CFI West (4773 Hollywood Blvd.), at 11am on Sunday. This is part of their Feed Your Brain program. Free to Friends of the Center, $8 admission for everyone else. I will be selling and signing books afterward (where you'll get a better deal on NIF than online). For a description of the talk see my announcement for my earlier Berkeley appearance.