After his book about Thomas Jefferson was pulled by Thomas Nelson, one of the most prominent Christian publishing companies in the world, David Barton offered a very predictable response. He says he’s got lots of smart people who think he’s right, so all the people who have pointed out his lies don’t matter.
Barton said he met with a different group of scholars recently and they approved of his work.
“I can’t tell you how many Ph.D.’s were in the room,” he said.
But he would not give any names, saying the scholars hadn’t given their permission for him do so.
One of the things that is endlessly ridiculous about wingnuts is that they absolutely love people with PhDs — as long as they agree with them. If they can find anyone with an advanced degree who agrees with them, that’s the only credentialed person who matters. We see this with creationists all the time; if they find one scientist with a genuine degree (or even without one; see Hovind, Kent), that proves that creationism is true — and the thousands and thousands of scientists who confirm the truth of common descent don’t matter at all.But this is even worse. This is an appeal to anonymous authority. Note that he not only doesn’t say who those alleged endorsers are, he also doesn’t say that they’re historians. This is another thing that fundies love — anyone with a degree in any field will do. If a PhD in engineering says evolution is false, it must be false. It’s all predictably stupid.