Home » Intelligent Design » Got mail: Historian is idiot. But guy who pretends to know prehistory is genius

Got mail: Historian is idiot. But guy who pretends to know prehistory is genius

Recently, I got mail. Some U dullard thought I had bumped the shark, when I quoted Bruce Thornton on false knowledge – presumably because a classics prof like Thornton couldn’t really know anything.

Wowza! A guy who actually knows what happened thousands of years ago (when at least some people were literate) is an ignoramus, but dullards who make up stupid stories about stuff that allegedly happened tens of thousands of years ago – when there is no way of checking – are scholars?

People who honestly believe that kind of thing are self-refuting. Apart from government funding, they are a problem that would solve itself. Look, when I was in school in the early 1970s, my classics profs were by far the smartest of the bunch.

They had not yet been wrecked by the tsunami of false knowledge blowing through scandalously overpriced and overpoliced classrooms today.

More from Thornton:

Perhaps the most pervasive example of how easily wanton speculation and oversimplifications dressed in the stolen garments of science dupe us into false knowledge, is the instant authority we grant to the “study,” the ipse dixit of the modern world . Anytime a sentence is prefaced with the phrase “studies have shown,” you can be sure to hear either some truism ponderously restated, or some half-baked oversimplification the authors of the study already believed to be true before they ever began. And when the “study” purports to prove some truth about that intricate, complex, quirky, unpredictable, unique creature that is a human being, then you can be equally sure that its conclusions add one more disease to the syndrome of false knowledge. (p. 11)

My personal favourites – I mean for sheer ridiculousness – are the conclusions of therapists who claim occult knowledge of the minds of their patients.

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6 Responses to Got mail: Historian is idiot. But guy who pretends to know prehistory is genius

  1. Particularly poignant is Thornton’s notion of “therapeutic vision”, where the truth of a theory is evaluated according to how closely it conforms to a comforting worldview. Thornton cites the myth of the noble, eco-friendly American Indian as an example. Another example (mine) would be when so-called intellectuals create theories (e.g. evolution) that offer excuses for aberrant behaviors.

  2. 2

    Denise,

    Some day I going to do a study which will show that 96.7% of all studies confirm what the researcher intended to show.

  3. Granville Sewell: 63.4% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
    :-o

  4. Btw, didn’t Denyse already present some such study revealing just how bad the situation is even in the sacred peer-reviewed world?

  5. The “scientific” community had better get its act together or people are going to stop taking them seriously, even when they are right. A quick visit to the Scientific American website (sciam.com) reveals the following front-page articles, all speculative but presented as hard science:

    Intelligence in the Animal Kingdom
    Top 10 Places Already Affected by Climate Change
    The Future of Man–How Will Evolution Change Humans?
    Evolution of the Mind
    Incest may not be best, but marriage bans should be rolled back, scientists say

  6. Borne

    Btw, didn’t Denyse already present some such study revealing just how bad the situation is even in the sacred peer-reviewed world?

    DO’L citing Thornton:

    Anytime a sentence is prefaced with the phrase “studies have shown,” you can be sure to hear either some truism ponderously restated, or some half-baked oversimplification the authors of the study already believed to be true before they ever began.

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