News Bits

by Luke Muehlhauser on June 29, 2010 in News

Pre-Socratics: A Painless Introduction is now available on Kindle for 99 cents, which means you can read it on Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Blackberry! (Amazon does not allow authors to give away Kindle books for free.)

The recent Irreligiosophy episode with P.Z. Myers is hilarious.

Remember the Mike Licona vs. Richard Carrier debate that made my head “asplode” because of something Richard Carrier said? Well, Carrier replied to me, and I replied to him. I’ve added the updates to the bottom of the original post.

Theologian Gunnar Samuelsson recently published a 400-page study of nearly every record of death by suspension in Western ancient literature from Homer through the 1st century A.D., and has concluded there is no reason to think Jesus was crucified on a cross. Unsurprisingly, Christians are up in arms, claiming that Samuelsson wants to undermine Christianity. And unsurprisingly, they’re wrong. Samuelsson is a devoted Christian who, like thousands before him, bothered to read what the Bible (and other ancient literature) actually say rather than blindly adopting centuries of religious dogma. Samuelsson believes “the man who walked this earth was the Son of God, and that he will return to judge the living and the dead… I’m really just a boring, conservative pastor and I start everyday reading the New Testament. But my suggestion is that we should read the text as it is, not as we think it is.” I have no idea if he’s right about the evidence for crucifixion, but G.A. Wells, he ain’t.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

pastasauceror June 29, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Thought you might be interested in this video about fine tuning (if you haven’t already seen it).



Hermes June 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Luke, I am curious. What Amazon’s fee(?) out of the $0.99? Does their fee change based on the sales price (say, if you charged $1.99 … $199.00)?

Was it difficult to set up?


Micah June 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Regarding the Gunnar Samuelsson:

I think the misunderstandings of Samuelsson’s work are reasonable, because many blogs and news report have made it sound as if Samuelsson is denying that Jesus was crucified. He’s not. He’s disputing that there was an established form of crucifixion.

For example, you said, “[He] has concluded there is no reason to think Jesus was crucified on a cross.”

Are you saying that there is no reason to think Jesus was *crucified on a cross*? Or are you saying that there is no reason to think that Jesus was crucified *on a cross*?

In other words, many people read it as if Samuelsson was challenging the crucifixion, when he’s only challenging the form of crucifixion usually assumed in lexicons, dictionaries, etc.


lukeprog June 29, 2010 at 9:32 pm


It took a while to figure out their system and especially to format the book properly for Kindle (it’s HTML, but with tons of limitations and annoyances).

My cut is only 35%. I mostly just want them available on all the major platforms very easily. The short form of these books make them perfect for mobile reading.

Full terms and conditions for Kindle publishing are specified here:


Sabio Lantz June 30, 2010 at 3:26 am

With all the credit now given to “Jesus Mythicists” and thus the tip-toeing we do when talking about Jesus, maybe we need a Salawat that captures this. I have made a post to collect suggestions.


Hermes June 30, 2010 at 3:59 am

Thanks Luke.

FWIW, the link for the List Price requirements on the Pricing Page is dead; “The document specified was not found, or has expired.”

Do you know the justification Amazon uses for slamming the 70% royalty option down to 35% for sales to non-US customers? I’m glad they make it clear as item b.i. in their list, but it seems unjustified; it seems like a segmented version of DVD/Blu-Ray video region restrictions or regional pricing for pharmaceutical sales.

In either case, while I know your intent is not to get rich +/-$0.34 at a time on a sale of of a $0.99 book ($0.99 – Delivery Cost), the royalties are still substantially better than going through a regular publisher. No up-front money, but more of it should go to the authors.


Hermes June 30, 2010 at 4:09 am

Sabio Lantz, how about Storybook Jesus (SBJ)?

Ambiguous Bible Christ (ABC)?

Super Wrath/Love Jesus (SWLJ)/(WLJ)?

Portrayed Christ (PC)? / As Portrayed (AP)?

Christ Revealed as a Profitable Prophet (CRAAPP)?

Kung-foo gripless Christ (KFC)?

Is the last one too soon? Maybe next millennium? :)


Sabio Lantz June 30, 2010 at 4:46 am

@ Hermes

I will add your suggestions over to those being put on my post. Thanx.

I got the idea from the last sentence of Luke(PBUH): “I have no idea if he’s right about the evidence for crucifixion, but G.A. Wells, he ain’t.”


Dale July 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

As a random aside, I was browsing through WLC’s website and there I found that you have a testimonial there! It’s rather amusing. Link:

It’s maybe the fourth from the bottom.

BTW, great site Luke.


lukeprog July 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Who has a testimonial there, Dave?


Dale July 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

no, there is one from your website, in a weird sort of way.

It is 15th from the bottom if you follow that link. It is regarding WLC’s debating prowess.


Hermes July 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Luke, the quote on WLC’s site is from;

Paragraph starting;

Craig has done 20+ years of


lukeprog July 2, 2010 at 8:15 am


LOL!!!!!!!! OMG when I read my ‘endorsement’ of Craig on his site I almost fell out of my chair.


Jeff H July 2, 2010 at 10:05 am

Lol wow….they didn’t ask you for your permission to post that or anything? That seems like it’d be the decent thing to do…


lukeprog July 2, 2010 at 10:09 am

I don’t mind. I also have stated on my site that everything here can be posted elsewhere as long as someone doesn’t charge money for it, and as long as they cite the source.


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