On pages 5-6 of his book, Carrier explicitly requested “intellectual charity.” That is, if you think his book is inconsistent or uses false facts, Carrier requests you to email him for clarification. David Wood never did that.
Let me work through Wood’s complaints and see if they have merit.
(1) Wood complains that Carrier’s book is “one-sided throughout.”
Well, duh. Carrier’s book is not an introduction to worldviews. It is explicitly a defense of one particular worldview.
(2) Wood says that Carrier’s prediction that the human race will eventually virtualize itself onto computers is silly.
Let’s wait 200 years and see about this. Most technologists and futurists I know of are quite certain this will happen.
(3) Wood complains that some of the book goes off the topic of a worldview.
Specifically, Wood seems to think aesthetics and politics are not part of a worldview. Most scholars of worldview studies would disagree. In any case, who cares? Carrier is the author; he can write about what he likes.
(4) Wood says Carrier’s political ideas are not feasible.
Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. I don’t know. Politics and social systems are very complicated, and Carrier’s proposed system has not yet been tried.
In any case, Wood misrepresented many of Carrier’s political positions.
(5) Wood says that “when a person argues that the universe formed on its own for no reason or that randomly colliding molecules produced life, Richard believes whatever he is told.”
Wrong. Carrier’s conclusions in the book are much more cautious and skeptical than this. Here is Carrier:
In contrast to Wood’s false depiction, see pages 71, 83, 84, and 166-67. Hence Wood misrepresents my book as asserting such things as fact, instead of as hypotheses presented as tentative philosophical conclusions about what the evidence currently suggests, which is how I actually present these claims (pp. 4, 59, 68, 213, 324-25, 411).
(6) Wood claims that Carrier dismisses the “claims that God created life or that Jesus rose from the dead” as “socially acceptable insanity.”
Wood links his citation to this article by Carrier. Read it for yourself. Carrier says no such thing. (The relevant section is “Addendum: Debating Online.”)
(7) Wood claims that Carrier offers big female breasts as evidence against God.
False. (The relevant pages are 198-202, 361-63.)
That’s just the beginning, and that’s as much of Wood’s review as I’ll bother covering. Wood’s review of Carrier is one of the most astonishingly deceptive and untrustworthy I have ever seen.
Previous post: Baldwin on Basic Christian Belief (part 3)