long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Monday, March 27, 2023

First podcast with Backyard Professor

Yesterday I did a live interview with Kerry Shirts (aka the Backyard Professor) and Steven Pynakker of Mormon Book Reviews. Both of them are great guys who focus more on understanding others' points of view than on arguing about who is correct.

I'm happy to see this type of openness and recognition of multiple working hypotheses. 

We can lay out the available facts, let everyone articulate the assumptions they make when interpreting those facts and the inferences they use to fill the gaps in the narratives, then set out the theories they use to explain their views of reality, and finally propose the hypotheses they adopt for additional inquiry.

In other words, everyone can show their work and then everyone else can assess it according to their individual worldviews, biases, incentives, interests, etc. A comparison chart would be especially useful.

Maybe someday even LDS apologists will adopt this approach?

Here's the link:


We only had time to answer a few questions at the end. In future podcasts we'll spend more time on audience questions.


Some people have questioned my appearance on a Mormon Discussion podcast, since most of their podcasts are cynical and critical. But not all hosts are the same, and the two hosts on this podcast are thoughtful, insightful, and fun.

I'm happy to talk with anyone, but especially those who share my interest in understanding one another; i.e., having discussions about multiple working hypotheses. I'd be happy to speak at a FAIRLDS conference, for example, but so far they haven't wanted to hear alternative faithful interpretations. 

I'm happy to speak with evangelicals, Hindus, atheists, Muslims, or anyone else who seeks mutual understanding.  

In my view, instead of constantly trying to argue about who is correct, it's more interesting and more productive to seek to understand one another and find ways to work together to improve society.

I look forward to future podcasts with these guys!

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