This post follows from the previous review of Richard Carrier’s “Proving History”
, which attempts to use Bayes’s Theorem to prove Jesus didn’t exist. In my review I point out a selection of the mathematical problems with that book, even though I quite enjoyed it. This post is designed to explain what Bayes’s Theorem actually does, and show why it isn’t particularly useful outside of specific domains. It is a journey through basic probability theory, for folks who aren’t into math (though I’ll assume high-school math). It is designed to be simple, and therefore is rather long. I will update it and clarify it from time to time. [Edit: There is also a new post on errors
, which follows on from this].
Let’s think about the birth of Christianity. How did it happen? We don’t know, which is to say there are a lot of different things that could…