Academic credibility
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11-10-2013, 08:09 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(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.

Time spent on something, yeah, is an important factor establishing credibility. The article seemed to explore other types of influences like talent, intuition, etc. I was thinking more specifically about recognition of academic expertise in the popular mindset.

I gotta admit, I'm a little double-minded about this. It would be hypocritical of me to denigrate higher ed., because I value my education, and the requisite skills developed in school--an example of documented knowledge. In some musical situations that matters. But it is, admittedly, a narrow range of expertise (and on the doctoral level, even more so). Also met a lot of DMA's and performance profs who wouldn't have lasted long in professional circles. The experience made me distrustful of officially acknowledged academic music expertise.

One the other hand, before returning to college I spent the first 20+ years of my adult life playing for money with a high school education--where the only thing that matters is the immediate application of a skill set and ability. Most of this work, and the practice/study time is undocumented. I also find that lots of work I do now could have done with the before-school skills, but the perceived credibility is what got me the gig.

To make this relevant to the on-going sinners-and-saints debate (and to wrap up a long-winded post, sorry), when I see someone like "2 cites" W. L. Craig quote some who-gives-a-shit PhD, the 17 year old wearing an AC DC T-shirt in me wants to shout, "Fuck your PhD! Whatcha got?"
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11-10-2013, 08:14 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(11-10-2013 01:14 PM)kim Wrote:  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

Yeah, 'cause you can't win. "What school...?" Well, what post-doc...? And on and on. It's unhelpful and tedious.
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11-10-2013, 08:15 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(11-10-2013 01:14 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(11-10-2013 01:11 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  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

Thanks, I'll check it out...
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11-10-2013, 08:26 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.

You're right. Checking credentials in an informal setting can save some of your time, but ultimately the content should be what matters.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone was sniffing up your pedigree instead of listening to your words? Some would consider all your origins research undocumented, and dismiss it even when you make valid point. That sucks. The other thing I was talking about is the debate technique of using a PhD reference like a weapon.
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11-10-2013, 08:33 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(11-10-2013 05:46 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(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.

Sure, absolutely. We have so much better access to information now. I've learned a lot from internet sources. But in school I learned how to make judgements about source validity and how to research, and so did you--and I'll bet you met some profs who couldn't hit their ass with both hands.
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11-10-2013, 08:42 PM
RE: Academic credibility
Yeah, it's usually just an attempt at appeal to authority. Like the people who think Dr. Oz is right about everything because he's on TV and is a "doctor." What matters is whether or not what the person has to say is of any value. Especially now that people have easier access to information. There are many people who don't realize that you can have a PhD and not know everything about a topic, and that you can have no formal education and know a lot about a topic if you've researched on your own.
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11-10-2013, 08:50 PM
RE: Academic credibility
(11-10-2013 08:42 PM)amyb Wrote:  Yeah, it's usually just an attempt at appeal to authority. Like the people who think Dr. Oz is right about everything because he's on TV and is a "doctor." What matters is whether or not what the person has to say is of any value. Especially now that people have easier access to information. There are many people who don't realize that you can have a PhD and not know everything about a topic, and that you can have no formal education and know a lot about a topic if you've researched on your own.

True that. Again, I'm not bagging on credible, recognized experts. Many academics have achieved much-deserved success, but it was their work that was recognized, not their prestigious teaching position. Or maybe it's the other way around--I get mixed up. Big Grin
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12-10-2013, 03:58 AM
RE: Academic credibility
Still, there can be times when someone's academic background is worth knowing. A lot of the creationist 'doctors' fighting against evolution being adopted in Texas sate education standards were... dentists. When you see an electrical engineer arguing against Stephan Hawking, he could be right, but probability alone says otherwise. Likewise the existence of diploma mills, like Liberty University (were Kent Hovind got his cereal box PHD), means that not all degrees are created equally. Always be wary of someone that leads their arguments with credentials instead of facts or evidence. For a while I didn't know that Dawkins, Carrier, or Harris even had doctorates because they almost never use 'Dr' to present themselves. Credential acronyms are not hand grenades, and should not be used as such.

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12-10-2013, 06:31 AM
RE: Academic credibility
Depends on the field. I want medical practitioners board certified and insured. I want lawyers to be recognized by the bar. I want long haul truckers to have a CDL. The list goes on. But other fields, like e.g., music and mathematics and the hard sciences, the talent is all that matters.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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12-10-2013, 08:21 AM
RE: Academic credibility
Talent, time invested, and the ability to see and describe both the strengths and weaknesses of their own position and alternative views.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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