Friday, October 28, 2011

Tekton Tenure: A Look Back

As an observance of Tekton’s tenth year of full time service, I’ve decided on a project some may find of historical interest – a look back at “opponents” we’ve dealt with in those years, and what (if anything) they’re up to now. The caveat on that is that I only have kept records of this sort of thing from the start of 2003, so this will be a survey starting 8, not 10 years ago; and I expect we can stop our survey at the end of 2008, since we wouldn’t expect much change from now to then. So let’s say this is a five year window we’re gazing through. I’ll leave out any dead guys I rebutted (like Remsberg) since there’s obviously nothing news about them.

Kenneth Harding – we took on this poor schlep in late 2002 and ended the treatment in January 2003. He featured a challenge to Christians asking that they fulfill Mark 16:18 by drinking poison. Harding is still around, and his pissant website is still up, though a random check shows he still has very old nonsense up from as long ago as 1998 that he has never updated. He still publishes now and then, and even has a blog, though the latter has not been updated since May 2011.

Farrell Till – we commented on Till in a prior entry here some time ago; no need to say more.

Skeptics’ Annotated Bible – of course these guys are still around; I’d hardly expect otherwise. It’s still updated maybe 3-5 times a month. I would guess Sam Harris’ endorsement has been a big help. But has the scholarship improved? You know better than that.

Edgar Foster – JW apologist. He’s still around, and he has a blog (who doesn’t??), and he also managed to get a credible doctorate in 2008. How he did that while staying a JW is one of those mysteries we’ll have to ponder.

Truthbearer.org – “Christian” site that promotes polygamy. Still around, though apparently not updated often.

Lenny Flank – I took this guy on for my creationist friends. His website is now defunct, though it is mirrored by another Skeptic’s site. He also seems to have gone into more political arenas; I found a recent article by him on the crank political site Daily Kos.

Not an opponent, but TheologyWeb opened in January 2003 as well.

Kevin Graham – formerly a Mormon opponent and friend of mine, he had a rhubarb with some lead Mormon apologists and is now (at last report I got) a deist.

Donald Morgan – one of the more polite infidels out there, he’s still updating his stuff now and then at their main website.

Barry Bickmore – Mormon apologist. He seems to have gotten more into issues related to his real expertise, geochemistry, and has gotten involved in the climate change debate. It doesn’t look like he’s doing much in the way of apologetics any more.

Vincent Sapone –I noted long ago that this guy’s web presence had been substantially deactivated, but you can still find bits and pieces of it preserved. He seems to have started at some point a career as a teacher, which probably keeps him busy.

Uri Yosef – Jewish anti-missionary, and a much older fellow than I thought he was. His personal website, the Virtual Yeshiva, no longer exists, but he is associated with a site called Global Yeshiva which seems to be a team effort. I gather he is still around but has retired overall from his activities.

Wayne Harrington – what a nutcase. He’s still around with his own website, though.

Darren Geist – I’d noted in 2005 that this guy’s writings I addressed had vanished.

Joe Alward – another of the few decent Skeptics I’ve met out there, although a little weird at times. I found a website of his filled with family photos, but little indication that he’s actively doing atheist apologetics.

Frank Zindler – obviously, he’s still active today, but no smarter than he was back then.

Kyle Gerkin – best for last. I’d say the most decent of all the Skeptics I’ve met online. He wrote a piece on Mormonism in 2004, and wrote me infrequently after that; I suspect he’s still around (I found what may be personal pages of his) but doesn’t seem to be active in atheist apologetics any more.

That’s all for January through March 2003 – if you see something on any of these people I missed, let me know!

6 comments:

  1. Wait where's Richard Carrier and Robert Price?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was first dealing with Price in the late 90s, earlier than I have records left. I think the same for Carrier.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah yes. Ken Harding. That's how I first found your site. I had stumbled onto his site, and was the first step into a downward spiral of doubt and depression. (In hindsight now, its very embarrassing to have been tripped up by his material, knowing what I know now). I was looking for something to directly rebut his material, and Tekton was the only one I could find who took him on directly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Indeed, he's exactly the type no one else would take seriously enough to take on. (I don't take him seriously either, but I saw the need to take him on anyway. You can also thank Punkish for a part in bringing him to my notice, IIRC.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Of course, to save face, I should mention that Harding was only a catalyst into the abyss of doubt--not the entire source of the whole problem. I quickly learned how unreliable his material was, but in the process other questions were brought to mind that I had never considered. By the time I'd figured out that Harding was a no-go, I had encountered other, more capable skeptics, so I still had a lot of work to do.

    ReplyDelete