Skip to content

Radio Free Mormon: 162: John Larsen Interviews RFM

RFM was interviewed by John Larsen ten years ago on his epic podcast, “Mormon Expression.”  In commemoration of that historic event, I am pleased to post that memorable interview (with permission) here at Radio Free Mormon!


15 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 162: John Larsen Interviews RFM”

  1. As Princess Leia says in Star Wars…he let you go. That explains the ease of your escape…..John Larsen (his podcasts are really good) didn’t throw one punch. He just giggled and patted you on the head. Wow. How lame you sounded. I listened and heard how hard you wanted to be convinced and just couldn’t. You didn’t believe your own arguments. You do sound very nice…that hasn’t changed but your old self wouldn’t last 10 seconds with RFM ( his podcasts are really really good)

    1. LOL!

      Thanks . . . I think!

      I expect if RFM had been doing the debate instead of John Larsen, he might have brought up the logical fallacy of The Texas Sharpshooter.

      Kind of like I did with Bill Reel back in our joint venture titled, “The Case for the Book of Mormon.”

      But the great thing about a debate is you don’t have to bring up arguments for the other side!

      Thanks for listening!

      I think you will find today’s podcast (just up!) more to your liking!

  2. This begs for a 10year anniversary rematch. They must be listened to back to back.

    If the two of you had been any less pushy about your points of view, it could have been almost misunderstood for you both being on the same side. LOL.

    And RFM…you don’t have the same kind of flavor of apologetics that the born into the church guys have , even tho you can clearly argue the case. In fact, your style or sensibility is rather more disarming as a result. I know what I mean, if you don’t.

    I really hope you’ll do the followup interview!

    1. I don’t know.

      I felt a little embarrassed as if I was eavesdropping on the conversation of newlyweds over a candle-lit dinner on their honeymoon. I hesitate to speculate on what must have happened afterward. But that is not for me to judge. Rather, I am content to pull back from the open window as the curtains gently sway in the sea breeze and the string section swells with the beautiful music of the night.

      But, then again, maybe I’m just jealous.

      At any rate, RFM, You did as good a job as one could expect with the few bullseyes in your possession.

        1. I’m sure you were, RFM. And I am also sure that you guys both kept at least a two-book-of-mormon-space (end to end!) between yourselves at all times.

          Keep up the good work,


    2. The benefit I had in this discussion was that, even though I was steeped in Book of Mormon apologetics, I was no longer married to the idea that the BOM had to be an actual historical document produced by divine means.

      In other words, I could make the argument without feeling any personal stake in the outcome, or feeling I “had” to win at all costs.

      When a person feels they have to win an argument at all costs, it can often lead them to make arguments that are not intellectually sound . . .or honest. ;^)

      Glad you liked it!

      I have already contacted John Larsen about a follow-up interview.

      We will see what our schedules will permit!

  3. To find bullseyes in the examples discussed, one is likely drawing targets around preexisting holes, i.e., the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.

    John brought up the null hypothesis, which was the key issue with these bulleyes. Humans are bad at probabilities. Applying some null hypotheses might help determine whether some of those bullseyes are signal or just noise in the data.

    Moreover, when you have a 500 page book firing shots all over the place, one should expect the occasional stray bullet that hits close enough that it could impress someone as a hit. However, when one sees all the misses, they realize that random chance can account for these alleged hits.

    1. You are right about this, of course, Ryan.

      The Texas Sharpshooter fallacy it is. Something that those looking for parallels need to be constantly wary of.

      Bill Reel and I did an episode or two on the Case for the Book of Mormon where we discussed this sort of thing in some detail.

      I actually think I was the one leading the charge in that part of the discussion! ;^)

      As I recall, I mangled the statistical analysis, but nevertheless managed to make a valid point.

      1. Yeah, I hope folks reading these comments check out your discussion on the Case for the Book of Mormon and, in particular, your point about statistics. I probably am plagiarizing some of your analysis when mentioning the 500 pages giving ample opportunity for some sort of hits or mentioning how the misses put the random hits in context.

  4. Here’s a treat! Timestamp 35:35:John says cement was in the general zeitgeist. RFM says “Are you flippin’ German on me???”. And then he lets out his familiar hearty laugh. Classic!

  5. Why name a location after a name on an altar rather than the location (the Temple of Sheba)? Seems like the Nephites should have called it Shebaville or Shebaton, or if they did not feel good about naming a location after a female, perhaps they could have called it Templeton, but Nahom? That seems like a bit of a stretch even for an apologetic RFM.

  6. I found it very interesting to listen to your former self presenting those bullseyes in support of the Book of Mormon. I would very much like to know what you make of those arguments now. Keep on the good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.