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orion re: Altman and Crowder


A scholar is a person who has studied a subject in a university or college
or other graduate school with other scholars who have invested time, money,
and energy in learning a specific field.

Of course non scholars can make contributions to fields of study.  And of
course inventions can come into existence which are mere "accidents".  This
does not disprove the truth that scholars have the right to speak and be
heard on a subject much more intensively than do the dabblers who treat a
field as a hobby.

The problem with much pseudo scholarship is that it arises in circles where
it is not debated or checked.  A Vendyl Jones, for instance, can make
sweeping comments about the red heifer to the media and his every word is
perceived as truth; which it certainly is not.  An Altman can make sweeping
claims to the media, have his stuff pushed by editors, and the end result is
that the public believes it because genuine scholars like Jim Vanderkam do
their work in silence until they are CERTAIN of the truth (or at least the
evidence of truth) of their claims.

Did anyone at Newsday check the truth claims of Altman with a recognized
expert in the field before they were published?  Evidently not- as there is
bibliography all the way back to Cross, as Steve Goranson has rightly
pointed out.  If not, he probably should join Orion, kick his ideas around
with others who have spent years of their lives working on the material, and
then printed it.  Or perhaps he is not interestedin debating his ideas?
Perhaps he merely wishes to make statements that are unverified and then
hide behind the wall of "self training".   

The idea that "everyone is entitled to their opinion" is ok so long as
innocent lay folk don't receive cruddy information from self professed
experts because the press wants to make a buck on a current event story.


(p.s., I cannot help thinking that Wegner and Crowder are miffed at me
merely because I do not think their non-expert comments are immaterial to
DSS studies).

Jim West