Tuesday, June 05, 2007
More on the Synoptic Problem Poll
I enjoyed April DeConick's rather forthright post Let's Get "Real" About the Synoptic Poll in which she responds to my Synoptic Problem Poll: Some Reflections. I actually agree with most of what April says here. Of course Brandon's poll was not "scientific", and that's why I spoke of it as providing a "snapshot of what some people think about the Synoptic Problem at the moment". It's nothing more than that and of course it cannot be translated into what the academy in general thinks. Where I suppose I differ from April is in my reading of the situation in the academy at present, where I feel that there is greater receptivity to Q scepticism than there has been in the past. Perhaps that is just my generally optimistic nature, but I don't think so. In most recent literature on Q, there has been a willingness to engage with alternatives in a way that was less in evidence a decade ago. Ultimately, though, and I am sure April will agree with me here, it is the arguments and the evidence that matter . If Q theorists have the better arguments, they will win the day. I don't think that they have -- and I am pleased by those who have already been persuaded about Marcan Priority without Q -- but I am not cynical about academia, and if I and other Q sceptics are unable to persuade more colleagues of our theory, then I hope that we will have the grace and integrity to say that we are wrong, or that we have argued badly.