Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Andyman409 miracle detective: A real life exorcism!

Here is an interesting little thing I found online a while ago. According to the article, a trained Psychiatrist and a team of Catholic priests and nuns actually witnessed a real life exorcism! That's right- not one of those phony baloney ones done by those protestant nut-cases; but a real, true blue one! Just like the film the exorcist, the team reported several strange phenomena including: Levitation, Super-human strength, clairvoyance, Xenoglossy, and psychokinesis.

Amazing huh. The only problem is... they recorded none of it! That's right- all these crazy things happened, and nobody ever thought, just for a second, to actually use a video camera. Furthermore, the only two news sources I was able to find this incredible story on were "New Oxford review", an exclusively Catholic magazine, and "World Net Daily", a bunch of hyper-conservative right wing Birthers. Beyond these two very questionable news sources, we haven't a shred of evidence that any of this actually happened.

Furthermore, even if we were to use these sources, the pertinent details are severely lacking. They briefly mention some of the supernatural happenings in passing, but that's all. For example, they report that objects "flew off the shelves on their own"- but they never tell us any of the details, like exactly which objects did so, or how they could tell there where no naturalistic alternatives. The worst part, however, is that these articles never even tell us the identity of the woman being possessed. If this case were to have had no paranormal phenomena, than I could imagine her being afraid of accusations to her sanity. But supposedly psycho-kinesis and levitation occurred! Surely any un-justified criticism by pseudo-skeptics would be deflected by eager parapsychologists. Super-naturalist friendly America would have embraced her- not ridiculed her. But, once again, the biggest problem with this case isn't the lack of evidence per se, but the fact that, had this event actually occurred, we should expect the evidence to be a lot better. The fact that the details are so sorely lacking is either the result of very poor scholarship- or very deviant fraud. Or perhaps both.

After all, naturalistic explanations can be applied to several of the purported "supernatural occurrences". Tricksters have been known to move objects in order to deceive others- which is the cause of many poltergeist cases. Furthermore, Pseudo seizures sometimes produce violent movements that can be confused for levitation (a short discussion on this can be found here). Furthermore, the intense emotional stress these types of events generate often lead to mass hysteria, in which strange collective delusions can form. Michael Cuneo, a skeptical sociologist, sat in on over 50 exorcisms while he was writing his book "American exorcism- Driving out demons in the land of plenty". During the events, many strange things would be reported, such as levitation. Cuneo, however, would be unable to see the phenomena, even though others present could (see here and here).

So in conclusion, I think we can safely say that, even if exorcism does work and demons do exist, we simply have no way of finding out until more serious research is done. It's just a shame that it will most likely end up yielding no results.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Resurrection Sundays: Scholarly rejection of naturalistic hypothesis

I am proud to declare that Resurrection Sundays are returning! Hooray! However, they are not going to be weekly events, as they were originally. I will release new segments on Sundays- but not always once a week. I plan to focus the bulk of my energy on other subjects, such as sociology. With that said, let me return to the post.

Apologists like William Lane Craig and Gary Habermas like to rub in that contemporary scholarship still snuffs naturalistic alternatives to the resurrection. Here is a quote from the former illustrating my point:

"Down through history various alternative explanations of the facts have been offered, for example, the conspiracy theory, the apparent death theory, the hallucination theory, and so forth. Such hypotheses have been almost universally rejected by contemporary scholarship. No naturalistic hypothesis has attracted a great number of scholars."
Indeed Craig is right- no naturalistic hypothesis has attracted a great number of scholars. However, what really irritates me is the part about these hypothesis being universally rejected by contemporary scholars. As these apologists point out- even skeptics tend to avoid defending any particular hypothesis. The same point is brought up in Habermas' article "The Late Twentieth century resurgence of naturalistic responses to Jesus resurrection".

So, why do most scholars, including the skeptical ones, avoid using these hypothesis. My guess is that it's because all the traditional ones really are terible! The swoon theory is one I've never found persuasive at all- although not for the same reason most apologists do. Most apologists like Craig don't find it persuasive since they question how a half dead Jesus could be glorified to the status of a God. Personally- I think the biggest problem with it is that Jesus would have eventually died anyways. Another thoery I find no weight in is the wrong tomb theory. I don't know- I just find it hard to believe that, after Jesus' body dissapeared, the disciples never once thought to ask Joseph of Arimethea about it. I admit that the conspiracy theory is at least possible- although I'm not exactly a fan of theories that are un-provable and un-falsifyable.

As you should all know, the only theory I put stock in is the subjective vision theory. According to it, Jesus stayed dead- shortly afterwards, his disciples hallucinated him alive. Sadly, this theory is equally rejected by most scholars. However, there is one version of this theory which hasn't been totally rejected by scholars... this being the bereavement experience. First created by Gerd Ludemann, this theory relies not on ordinary hallucinations, but on bereavement hallucinations. There big difference. Although regular hallucinations require certain emotional and physiological conditions to occur (such as lack of sleep or food), bereavement hallucination dont seem to require anything (other than, of course, bereavement).

Fortunatley, it is very easy to show that, after Jesus' death, Peter and "the twelve" (and possibly Mary) where most likely in a state of grief. Furthermore, it is possible that James was also in this state. Although it is universally conceded that James was at some point a skeptic, it is impossible to know how long he was a skeptic for, or when he actually converted. So, if we make the mild concession that James was a disciple before his vision, we already have half of the appearances covered in terms of emotional precedent. When it comes to the twelve- we can speculate an appearance to some of the disciples (perhaps late at night), in which several of them hallucinated at the same time. The ones that didn't see Jesus perhaps went along with them- or they were in a different room. In the end, it was decided that the appearance was objective since the few disciples capable of seeing Jesus saw him. We do have precident for these sorts of appearances- at least in the apparitional literature Allison so fequently cites.

Furthermore, it doesn't seem like a stratch to assume that the vision to the "500" was a later occurrance, perhaps an elvis sighting/mass delusion, that happened a signifigant amount of time after the first three. Perhaps the vision to the "rest of the disciples" was of the same nature. Neither of these appearances appear anywhere else, so I can't say much about there historicity. Finally, a year or so later, one can argue that the appearance to Paul, was due to either temporal lobe epilespy, a conversion disorder or even some sort of guilt complex a la Ludemann. See- we pretty much have all the appearances covered! It's not as good an explanation as the resurrection hypothesis, but hey- it's something.

However, the problem is that, misfortunatley, most scholars aren't aware of the fundamental differences between the bereavement hallucination theory and the regular hallucination theory. As Habermas points out, the hallucination theory was considered to be refuted in the 19th century- a time when bereavement hallucinations weren't even known to exist! Dewi Rees started his research into bereavement hallucinations in 1971. Furthermore Gerd Ludemann was the first biblical scholar to actually recognize them over 20 years later! So as we can see, it isn't a surprise that this theory hasn't gotten a fair hearing from the majority of scholars- it's only been in existence for about ten years!

So what does this mean for the future of the Hallucination hypothesis in biblical studies? For the time being, not much. However, I like to imagine that, after Dale Allison released "Resurrecting Jesus", the hallucination hypothesis, gained a little more credibility. I mean, even Gary Habermas admitted afterwards that naturalistic explainations were at least possible.

"Perhaps due to this, my perspective is from the angle of the affirmative case, even though, like Allison, I am well aware of the inability to close the door completely against alternative suggestions"

Coming from Habermas, a quote like this does mean a lot. Craig similiarly responds in his response to Allison. I can only hope that, in the future, this theory gets a more fair hearing than it has in recent years.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Was Jesus the only dying and rising Messiah?

Here's a fascinating article which mentions that the idea of a dying and rising messiah may have existed before Jesus. Interestingly enough, in is written by Gary Habermas.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gone fishing

This is just a brief announcement that for the next few days I'll be very busy- so dont expect any substantive posts. I won't give away any of the details of my plans (as they are somewhat personal), but they involve applying to a "continuing education" program, editing a short film, fixing my sleeping schedule and reuniting with some old college buddies. Anyways, I'll try to keep the posts interesting, so don't miss out on them. Upcoming posts include a review of E.O. Wilson's "Sociobiology", an analysis of Philip Weibe's critiques of Altered states of Consciousness, and finally a response to a paranormal claim from none other than Mike Licona himself.

Oh, and I'd like to apologise in advance to Chris Halliquist for not making that banner. Sorry, but I didn't think I'd be so busy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sociology, Psychology and Religion

As many of my readers know, I spent a good portion of my time blogging about Miracle claims and the Paranormal. I wont lie- it has been an exciting topic to post about. However, it got boring relatively fast. It seems like all Paranormal claims fall into three categories: the things that happened but where mispercieved (hallucinations), the things that happened but where exaggerated (false memories), and the things that never happened at all (legends). Once and a while, something really impressive comes up. But, from my readings, these events are few and far between. And BTW, I visited many Paranormal blogs and forums, so it's not like I only looked at the popular cases. In the future, I will post on the Paranormal under the title "Andyman409: Miracle Detective"- but for now, I will put significantly less emphasis on it. It's high time this blog did something different, so from this post onward I'm gonna study the Sociology and Psychology of Religion.

Seem random? Well, I've been interested in these subjects for a while now. Really, I have. Anything that has to do with what and how people think is fascinating to me. It's just a pity that I never thought about actually seriously studying them until now. I guess my research in Miracles and the Resurrection distracted me. But, since that chapter is over, I have the time needed to seriously look into this field.

I think I'm gonna begin my odyssey by reviewing E.O. Wilson's magnum opus "Sociobiology". Yes, it seems like an odd book to review, I know- but bear with me, it is an important book. Plus, I just so happen to own a copy, so reviewing it will be that much easier. My review is primarily going to focus on the last chapter of the book, which is on Human nature. This short chapter was quite controversial at the time the book was released, and still is today. However, that doesn't mean that it doesn't have it's insights. I look forward to  posting my review of this legendary book in the future.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Visions of Jesus" Review

Yes, here is the review of Philip Wiebe's book "Visions of Jesus". For anyone who doesn't already know, "Visions of Jesus" is a book about contemporary visionary experiences with Jesus. One can really say it is a two part book. In the first part, the author, thru the use of magazine ads, fan letters, etc collects 30 stories in which individuals of all Genders, ages and  (nominal, conservative, etc) and theological opinions claim to have seen Jesus. Than, he goes thru church history, and cites a few more "Christic Apparitions" that have supposedly occurred. However, as Ken Pulliam briliantly reminds us in his own review of the book, there are far, far more Marian apparitions than Christic apparitions. The second part of the book is a critical analysis of psychological and neurological theories on hallucinations, and why Wiebe feels that they alone cannot account for certain details in the accounts. Misfortunatley for me, Wiebe's grasp of cognitive science and Psychology is far above my own, so I will not be commenting on this part of the book much. However, I will comment about the first part.

Now to begin, I'd like to challenge Weibe's claim that cases like these may be under reported since many of them came from his home province of BC, and some live near him (Pg 40). This is true, but one also has to keep in mind that he sent magazine ads to Religious magazines in Canada, America, Britain and Australia, as opposed to trying to stay within a geological boundary. So, it seems to me that he merely cherry picked cases that were impressive, and ignored ones that weren't. Also, considering that there were only 30 cases included, I think it's more coincidental that many stories come from BC and places near him than that they are significantly under reported. If there were 1000 cases studied, than this would be good evidence- but not 30.

Anyways, after reading the thirty modern cases he documents, I couldn't help but notice the interesting qualities they exhibit. For instance, in one of the cases, Jesus was seen and felt, and temporarily replaced a piece of furniture the visionary was currently leaning on. In another case, the Visionary could see Jesus, regardless of whether her eyes where open or closed. In most of the appearances, Jesus appeared as a solid figure, much like Apparitions supposedly do. Many cases also included him talking- sometimes without his lips in sync with the dialogue! In a few visions, Jesus could also be touched- feeling "warm". All these features remind me (and Wiebe) of the New Testament visions of Jesus in which he was supposedly solid and capable of communication and touch. And if that isn't enough, one case (Case #4) featured someone who supposedly "hated God" having an experience of Jesus himself after quietly one night admitting that Christianity might be true. Sounds like a possible candidate for Paul?

Wiebe, however, argues that these cases prove that Jesus was resurrected, and still appears to his followers today. I see them as evidence for the contrary. Anyways, despite Wiebe's argumentation in the later chapters, I still found one glaring problem with the accounts- one that makes me fairly sure that these are just hallucinations- and that's that they are all extremely Private occurrences. Of all 30 cases he brings to the table, only one features a collective apparition. And even that sole case is extremely dubious, to say the least. Furthermore, some of these cases occur in public, with many people present- yet, only one person can ever see them. Of all the cases I read, there are only five cases in which the Christic apparition leaves some sort of a trace on the environment:

Case #1. The recipient fell unconscious at church and had a vision of a heavenly city with Jesus, who offered her wine. When she woke up, she appeared to be drunk, and other church members claimed that they could smell wine coming from her mouth.

Case #2. The recipient battled an evil creature while in a state of being half awake/half asleep. Jesus occasionally appeared to him to help him, but was rejected, until the demon got too powerful and he finally accepted Jesus' help. During the "battle", his hysteric wife claims to have seen him levitate. Strangely enough, the wife never sees Jesus or the demon, and the man never noticed that he was levitating. The pets and children slept thru the whole thing.

Case #25. The recipient has a vision of Jesus in 18" deep snow. The spot where Jesus stood, about 3' in diameter, was bare ground, with no tracks leading to it or away from it. The visionary was unsure whether Jesus was transparent or not.

Case #26. The recipient had a skiing accident, in which he injured his neck vertebrae. He saw Jesus in the hospital and made a miraculous recovery. Jesus appeared somewhat transparent.

Case #27. The recipient saw Jesus standing over the bed of a sick friend, but looking at him. The recipient tried to touch Jesus, but he disappeared, touching the sick friend as he left. The sick friend jumps up, healed, and reports that he felt something touch him when it happened.

The cases are rather interesting. But, as I said before, we have no good reason to think that these coincidences are of divine origin. For all I know the rain gutter could've released a bunch of water that made the spot in the snow. And the little girl in church may have drank grape juice before the event, leading some to think it was wine. After all, the church she went to wasn't allowed to drink wine, remember? How would they know what it smelled like. Furthermore, Wiebe himself admitted that he could not verify the details of each account. And we all know how bad memory can be.

Anyways, there was one case that was very impressive. Apparently, according to Case #28, an entire congregation and a Pastor all saw Jesus appear in the middle of a sermon. And if that isn't enough for you, the apparition was filmed! Although this case may seem impressive now- the entire case looks far more like deliberate deception when you look at it more closely. Ken Pulliam had a very good response to this case (here) which I will not spoil for you. Another fierce critique of this case comes from, strangely enough, a Christian  apologist (here).

As I've said before, the second part of the book is far too complex for me to critique. What I do know, however, and what Pulliam points out quite rightly is that Cognitive scientists are learning more and more every day- so we shouldn't feel bad just because we don't have an answer now. Perhaps in the future, when we understand how the brain works better, will we be able to come up with a more complete theory that accounts for the types of experiences honest people like these have. After all, most Psychologists are atheists.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm gonna review "Visions of Jesus"

After reading Chris Halliquists review of Craig Keener's "Miracles", I decided that I should probably get around to doing a book review. So what better book to review than Visions of Jesus from Philip Wiebe. I first heard of this book from a reader, Chris W. Later, I discovered that it had been quoted by Dale Allison, Maurice Casey, Gerald O'Collins, as well as several other scholars in various other books. When I think back, I wonder why it has taken me so long to review this book. So I went on my computer and started reading parts of the book thru Google books. Yes, that's how I read books in which I have no plans to buy. However, after reading a few samples of the book, I was impressed enough to go and get my own copy of it, so I could read it in it's entirety.

So, I'll do a proper review of the book when I get a copy and finish reading it. As a heads up, I doubt I'll be able to interact much with the material, especially his in-debth criticisms of psychological and Neurological explanations for apparitions, since I lack the scientific expertise needed. For the time being, I suppose you can all wet your appetite on the late Ken Pulliams critiques of this book on his blog. They are very good.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Biola University Center for Christian thought- what is Christian thought?

As I'm sure you've heard by now, Biola University was just given 3 million dollars to set up a "Center for Christian thought". Jeff Lowder asks why; I ask what. What exactly is this "Christian thought"? I recall Alvin Plantinga mentioning something about there being no conflict between Religion and Science and, if anything, there being a serious conflict between Naturalism and Science! So, if that's true, than good secular science should give use biblically friendly results, right? Well, I guess according to the Templeton foundation we need even more Theologians to analyse the findings of science.

I always thought that the Templeton foundation upheld a sort of "Non Overlapping Magesteria", like I and many Atheists do. I mean, in all honesty, can one really prove that the Universe wasn't "created" ex nihlo, or that it doesn't have a "purpose"? Of course, one does not need to do so in order to be an Atheist- but I understand that, in order for science and Religion to be in conflict, Religion has to make claims that can be tested and proven false. And Religion, for better or worse, likes to discredit the claims proven false and relish in the claims that are unproveable. So, with that said, I don't see why the Templeton foundation decided to throw three million dollars at this non-problem. And just so you know, that's a three with six zero's!

I'm not completely heartless. I can understand Christian universities hosting Theology programs which, more or less, reconcile science with faith. Fair enough. These organisations also study the nature of the soul, the trinity, etc, so it's not like it's the only thing they do. Plus, being the biggest Religion in the world, I'm sure many wealthy Christians care about whether their faith can be intellectually justified or not. But six million dollars for one aspect of Theology which isn't even considered an issue anymore? In my old Catholic high school, they liked to remind us about how a few cents could feed an entire family in africa. Why does the John Templeton foundation feel the need to set up this program, because I haven't a clue.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Gerald O'collins on Dale Allison, Part 2

I asked Gerald O'collins for a copy of his essay criticising Dale Allison, and much to my surprise he immediately sent me a copy. I have to admit, despite remaining totally unconvinced by his arguments, I was nonetheless very impressed by his level of scholarship. Now, I agree with him that ordinary Bereavement experiences are not enough to account for the resurrection belief- However, where we part ways is in how useful we think they are. I think there are enough parallels so that, combined with pre-easter prophecies and an empty tomb, the disciples would have concluded he was resurrected. O'Collin's, on the other hand, does not think there are enough parallels with these kinds of experiences.

After reading his essay, I only felt two of his arguments were convincing. The first one is that bereavement experiences tend to occur weeks after the persons death, not within days. The second argument is that 40% of bereavement experiences last for several years. To the first argument, I can only point out that, although many don't start this early, some do, such as Allison's own case (as recounted in Resurrecting Jesus). Furthermore, positing that the disciples had bereavement visions a few weeks (perhaps two) after the crucifixion just doesn't seem like a big stretch to me. For all we know, they could've have pushed the appearances back a little to make it seem more convincing.

The latter criticism of the two is a hard one to solve. I think, as Allison does, that a good explanation may be the fact that there was some expectation. Jesus declared that he would be resurrected. So, the disciples would have classified certain visions as resurrection appearances, and other ones as mere visions. O'Collins foresees this objection, but responds to it by appealing to the lack of Jesus visions in later material, such as the book of acts. Sorry, but I just don't feel like this criticism is particularly good. There may have been many postmortem visions of Jesus that simply were never recorded. I know it's an argument from silence, but it's still a strong possibility. Another possibility is that, as many scholars have suggested, the visions ending after "forty days", is allegorical, and really means "a long time".

I just want to conclude by saying that, although studying bereavement experiences in the modern world can be very useful, I am skeptical of how far they can really take us in terms of understanding the Resurrection. In the cases documented by Dewi Rees, only widows and widowers were interviewed. The disciples, as O'Collins rightly points out, are very different than widows and widowers. The disciples had not only a lot of grief, but a lot of messianic expectations and possibly even an empty tomb to account for. Furthermore, they lived in a different time with a different mindset. For example, Rees' study showed that the bereaved rarely ever talk about their experiences. However, in ancient times, these sorts of experiences were well understood; as a matter of fact, the gospel writers went thru great pains to emphasize that Jesus was not one!

So, despite himself, O'Collins is right- just for the wrong reason. We have no precedent for what the disciples went thru, so we shouldn't be surprised if their testimony seems a little bit different than what we see in these kinds of modern surveys. And as a final note, O'Collins reassured me that his criticism of Bereavement experiences was so far the only one done by a professional scholar. So, if you want a copy of O'Collins essay, just send me an email.


O'Collins didn't send me his essay from the Irish Theological quarterly, but his arguments from the appendex of his new book, Believing in the Resurrection: The Meaning and Promise of the Risen Jesus. Nonetheless, the document still contains all the arguments from his earlier essay, as well as some new ones.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Garald O'Collins on Dale Allison

Theologian Gerald O'Collins has very recently written a critique of Dale Allison's hypothesis that the visionary experiences of the disciples could be explained away as typical bereavement visions. In his paper, he claims that the similarities between bereavement visions/apparitions and the resurrection appearances are too few to be significant, and are therefore useless in explaining away the resurrection appearances. Misfortunatley, Gerald's essay is unavailable on the web (unless you pay a fee), so I cannot comment on it or it's arguments. If you know of any of his arguments, comment on this post immediatley!

Fortunately, Mike Licona's (Pg's 623-641) and JP Holding's (Pg's 317-318) books on the resurrection briefly mention a few of O'Collin's criticisms of Allisons theory. Misfortunatley, the issues they bring up are quite easy to rebut. For instance, in Holdings book, Jonathan Kendall asserts (Pg 318) that in order for the Apparition theory to be viable, the visions would have had to have stopped immediately after 40 days. This criticism is exceptionally weak when we look at cases in "Resurrecting Jesus"- especially in Allison's own case in which:

"Of the reports I received of apparitions of my late father, half came during the week immediately following his death, and all came during the following months; and nothing has happened since"
So, at least we know that in some cases, people have apparitional experiences within the first week of the persons death. Isn't that enough? As Allison suggests in his essay- The disciples could have easily interpreted early Apparitions as "appearances" and later ones as "visions from heaven". I see no reason why conservative Christians can't at least acknowldge this scenario as a possibility. Also, Licona states in his book that, according to O'Collins, Apparitional experiences would not be a good explaination since they never cause their recepients to start a new Religion (Pg 636). To this criticism I am shocked. Who's saying that visions alone changed the disciples lives? Let us not forget the empty tomb and pre-easter expectations, which I thick would certainly get them exited. I don't think I need more examples to prove my point.

On a final note, in another essay  "Doubt and the resurrection of Jesus" (which can also be found here), the author claims that Gerald isn't the only person who has critically evaluated Allison's Apparition theory.
"There has been a concerted effort recently to show the similarities between postdeath apparition experiences and Jesus' resurrection appearances"
Misfortunatley, the snipit that I aquired had little information on exactly how much interest has gone into this, or how many scholars have actually listened to it. Considering the poor responses from Habermas and Craig, I doubt that these critiques of Allison have garnered much popularity. Still, a part of me wants to know what kind of critiques these are, and how serious they are to Allisons theory. After all, if I am wrong about the Resurrection, I would certainly like to know about it. So, once again, if any of my readers knows anything about this, I would be very grateful.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

God dreams

Rather recently, John Loftus shared with us a blog post titled: The Power of the Delusion is Maddening. Experience Reigns Even Over Former Skeptics. The post is about an Atheist (herien refered to as A) who converted to Christianity after having an experience I refer to as a "God Dream". To put it bluntly, God Dreams are dreams in which the dreamer suddenly feels as though they are "experiencing God". The dreamer will see a white that is "brighter than white" and will feel a sense of powerfulness and pleasure beyond anything they have ever felt before.

I first started taking interest in the phenomena of God dreams about six months ago, on one dark and stormy night. If you haven't guessed it already, the reason why I'm into them is because I myself had one of these dreams. My God dream was very similiar to A's- except that I had no feeling of physical pain afterwards. I did, however, have a lingering feeling of awe for several minutes after the dream. Hell, I think it took me about week to finally forget about it entirely. Much like the aformentioned case, I considered converting to Christianity during that week. Unlike A, however, I did not convert.

I did, however, grow interested in why it may of happened. So I sent out emails to a few Psychologists and laymen alike, and was surprised by how little I got back. Finally, I decided to start from the ground up and use google. Anyways, after a short and lousy set of results, I found another guy who, like me, was an atheist  who experienced a "God dream" here (although I haven't been able to find the article since).

Anyways, since I couldn't find much of value on the web in terms of "God dreams", I instead decided to look into regular dreams. My brother (which I mention far too many times on this blog), has done some research into dreaming, and I intend to check it out. I wish I could give you a comprehensive debunking of the phenomena- but at this current point in time I simply do not know enough to. I hope to be able to provide a follow up on this post in a few days/weeks.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Greetings new viewers.

I recently received an email stating that I am now a part of the Atheist blogroll! Now, not only can I put the little red "A" on the side of my blog- I also get free advertising; and advertising means new readers. So, to all of you new readers out there: hello. My name is Andrew Scicluna, although my alias is Andyman409. I tend to blog about the paranormal, the Resurrection of Jesus, and other empirically verifiable phenomena that would count as evidence for the supernatural. I rarely speak about Philosophy or Intelligent Design- although my brother, currently studying Neurobiology at UofT, may occasionally post on it. If you would prefer that I post about something else, vote for it on the table, and I will try to get around to posting on it.

Also, here  is a link to my "Resurrection Sundays" series. I am also working on another, less frequent series devoted to debunking individual miracle claims called "Andyman409-miracle detective". I plan to post about the divinity of Jesus and OT history at a later date, but for now, I have been focusing on Parapsychology and the Paranormal. Once again, if you'd prefer I do something different, don't be afraid to ask.