Academic credibility
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11-10-2013, 12:51 PM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2013 12:54 PM by Chopdoc.)
Academic credibility
I'm posting this as a new discussion thread because while it pertains to some current threads, it's a broader topic and I didn't want to derail any specific discussion. My thanks to Mark Fulton for being my sounding board before posting.

As a relative newcomer to online discussion/debate formats, including blogs, forums, “reply to” videos, and the ever-present accompanying comment sections, I’ve noticed the “my Ph.D. is bigger than your Ph.D.” argument used often. At times academics use this to dismiss or even ignore criticism of his or her work made by someone the scholar sees as not having the prerequisite gravitas. Without naming names, I’ve seen so-called religious apologists do this regularly and unfairly. Other times people cite an academic’s work to support their position, and then are (sometimes unfairly, sometimes with reason) accused of the argumentum ad verecundiam fallacy. Don't we all rely on expert opinion within a specific field to some extent? After all, we can’t all be PhD’s in every subject area we discuss. And aren’t we entitled to a considered opinion on a given topic? I try to evaluate evidence, compare what recognized experts have to say on said (relevant) data, and synthesize that into forming my own opinion.
While it would be unreasonable to expect a professional scholar to respond to every wing nut who posts on their blog or website, it is unfair to assume that a person’s assertions are invalid simply because they don’t have terminal degree letters after their name. I recognize that our society does not value undocumented knowledge—rightfully so in some cases, but I’ve also been to school (hold a Master’s and am an ABD in cultural musicology) and I think it’s a mistake to disregard a person’s independent study and conclusions if their statements are reasoned, credible, and have the support of evidence.

Hopefully this will generate some discussion. Tell me what you think.
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11-10-2013, 12:58 PM
RE: Academic credibility
Well, there's this.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/gues...an-expert/
The 10,000 hour thingy.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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11-10-2013, 01:08 PM
RE: Academic credibility
I'm not seeing the point, here...

(11-10-2013 12:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Well, there's this.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/gues...an-expert/
The 10,000 hour thingy.

I got way more than ten thousand hours obsessing over my Gwynnies. Does that make me an expert? Consider

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11-10-2013, 01:11 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(11-10-2013 01:08 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  I'm not seeing the point, here...

(11-10-2013 12:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Well, there's this.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/gues...an-expert/
The 10,000 hour thingy.

I got way more than ten thousand hours obsessing over my Gwynnies. Does that make me an expert? Consider

You're totally a Gwynnies expert...


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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11-10-2013, 01:11 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(11-10-2013 01:08 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  I'm not seeing the point, here...

(11-10-2013 12:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Well, there's this.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/gues...an-expert/
The 10,000 hour thingy.

I got way more than ten thousand hours obsessing over my Gwynnies. Does that make me an expert? Consider

I would say so, and would consult you on all things Gwynneth..
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11-10-2013, 01:14 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(11-10-2013 01:11 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(11-10-2013 01:08 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  I'm not seeing the point, here...


I got way more than ten thousand hours obsessing over my Gwynnies. Does that make me an expert? Consider

You're totally a Gwynnies expert...

Yay! Clap

Chopdoc, here's a linky-link to Carrier's review of an earlier myther review - http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/r...uzzle.html

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11-10-2013, 01:14 PM
RE: Academic credibility
Yea, I think the presentation of well reasoned thoughts often gets a back seat to the bullshit debate of minutia.

The thing I hate most is when I find myself being dragged into a pissing contest. That's when I realize that the entire discussion is dominated by a few dicks arguing about who's "penmanship" is better as they write their names in the snow.

Not worth sticking around for that outcome. Dodgy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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11-10-2013, 05:31 PM
RE: Academic credibility
The important point is the quality of the arguments presented, not the credentials of the author.

However I still think it's important to consider someone's credentials, which don't necessarily have to be a university degree. Take me for example. I have no formal qualifications in history or theology but have spent over ten thousand hours (at a guess) researching the history of the origins of Christianity. That should give me some credibility despite my lack of formal qualifications.
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11-10-2013, 05:46 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(11-10-2013 05:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  The important point is the quality of the arguments presented, not the credentials of the author.

However I still think it's important to consider someone's credentials, which don't necessarily have to be a university degree. Take me for example. I have no formal qualifications in history or theology but have spent over ten thousand hours (at a guess) researching the history of the origins of Christianity. That should give me some credibility despite my lack of formal qualifications.

Degrees were more relevant when the only way to get an education was via a university or living in a library. That's not the case today. I would bet that I have assimilated much more knowledge than any PHD that lived 100 years ago. I have a degree, but I know for a fact I learned way more from the internet and youtube then I ever did in from any school I was enrolled.
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11-10-2013, 06:50 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(11-10-2013 01:08 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  I'm not seeing the point, here...

(11-10-2013 12:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Well, there's this.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/gues...an-expert/
The 10,000 hour thingy.

I got way more than ten thousand hours obsessing over my Gwynnies. Does that make me an expert? Consider

No. Obsessing don't make no never mind.
But 10,000 hours trying to figure out what about her, and her beauty, causes your being to vibrate, (like listening to Mozart) ... now that's some prophet training .. right up in there. Tongue

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