Monday, 29 September 2014

Pseudoscholarship and how to detect it

NT scholar James McGrath has promoted a comment by Paul Regnier on the definition of pseudo-scholarship to full post status:
What defines a theory as pseudoscholarship is not that it goes against the consensus. Pseudoscholarship tends to:
  • Denigrate entire scholarly fields
  • Largely ignore established academic channels
  • Largely ignore or parody academic conventions
  • Reflect a narrow range of ideological perspectives
  • Reject entire meta-narratives, not points within them
  • Make sensationalist claims
  • Appeal to dubious methodological privilege BUT
  • In reality employ flawed methods
  • Rely on supernatural over natural explanations
  • Be developed and supported disproportionately by non-specialists.
The upshot of this? Next time you hear an amateur with zero professional background in evolutionary biology, geology, textual criticism, ancient languages, archaeology or any area directly relevant to the subject about which they are pontificating, and hear them peddle nonsense such as YEC, the alleged evils of the historical-critical method, or the alleged primacy of the AV, you can safely ignore them and place their views in the dustbin with other nonsense on stilts.