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orion-list Orion-List: 63BCE
No, Mr. Doudna, the term "high precision dating" is not yours - any
more than the concept that many 'scripts' are synchronic. Among the
most elementary tenets of research methodology is that one must _never_
assume that he or she is the first person to notice a methodological
procedural problem. One must be able to state who, what, when, where,
and why the method is fallacious. It behooves anyone who wants to
expose a fallacious method/procedure to do his or her own research
Here, I have done some of your homework for you. The first step is to
find out where the concept of precision dating comes from and whence
the person being attacked for his methodological procedures procured
his ideas. Cross did not invent either the concept or the technique.
His tables and dating techniques are based on the idea that scripts
can be layered and dated with the extreme precision of levels at an
archaeological site... a fallacy that was in vogue among Greek, Latin,
and Insular paleographers during the last half of the 19th century and
the early part of the 20th century. The entire "archaeological" concept
was attacked as fallacious on the grounds that many scripts were
contemporaries... and that high precision dating from scripts impossible.
By the 1940's and 50's, this 19th century high precision dating concept
was dropped in favor of a more rational dating by range/century.
In a field where there are still adherents of the now discredited
quellenscheidung theories and where there are still people, such as
Hans-Joachim Kraus (_Psalms 1-59: A Commentary_. Trans. Hilton C. Oswald.
Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1988) who try to emend the Psalms on the basis of
a 4/4 meter, it should surprise nobody that outdated and discredited 19th
century dating methods should have been picked up and applied to this new
field of study called 'Qumran'.
If you need a model on how to proceed from this point, read John
DeFrancis's _Visible Speech_, where he exposes the fallacy of writing
originating in pictographs (more silliness) which dates back to ONE
German scholar in the last half of the 19th century - and whom everyone
else merely cited rather than checking. If you need someplace to start on
attacks against this high precision dating fallacy, begin with Henry Sweet
and his introduction to the facsimile edition of the _Epinal Glossary_ (1913).
And, next time, cite your predecessors.
Dr. Rochelle I. Altman, co-coordinator IOUDAIOS-L firstname.lastname@example.org
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