Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bob Cargill on Pseudo-Science and Sensationalist Archaeology

Bob Cargill has a superb piece in Bible and Interpretation today. I don't have anything to add to it, but just want to underline how helpful I think it is:

Pseudo-Science and Sensationalist Archaeology: An Exposé of Jimmy Barfield and the Copper Scroll Project

I particularly appreciate the rallying cry, for example here:
The academy has fallen too far behind in area of modern media. Television documentaries, blogs, and other self-produced vehicles of information dissemination have nearly been monopolized by entertainment brokers and scammers, who are all looking to make money by peddling popular misinformation. Scholars must venture into these less comfortable waters and begin to engage the public on their terms, for indeed, the winds have shifted and the environment of learning has shifted from the classroom to the living room. With wireless internet and satellite television pumping more information than a person can handle into homes around the world each day, an increasing number of people are getting their news and information from the internet and television rather than university campuses. At some point, the academy must relinquish its notion that the public will come to them for verification of facts and must take their message to the people. Scholars must work with university media relations personnel and technologists to maximize the reach of their research and instructional materials. And as always, scholars must publish their findings in a timely and credible manner, or they will indeed perish. Or, far worse, the truth will.

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