Smug Pilots

This New Yorker cartoon really sums up well what the current attitude many have towards experts and expertise sounds like. And it highlights the hypocrisy of it, as though figuring out what is happening with the climate, or the history of biological organisms, or what happened in the past, involves less training and expertise than flying a [Read More…]

Bibliogians and Bibliology

Pete Enns wrote a blog post pointing out that, while there is a one word answer to the question “What do you do for a living?” that philosophers, theologians, historians, physicists, and other academics can give, if your field is Biblical studies, there is no equivalent term – you have to say something like “Biblical [Read More…]

The Death of Expertise

I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all. Tom Nichols, “The Death of Expertise,” The Federalist [Read more…]

More on Mumpsimus

Two comments on my recent “Mumpsimus” post seemed worth sharing. First, James Snapp shared an anecdote about the origin of the term: The story goes that there was a medieval priest who habitually mispronounced part of the liturgy; when he was supposed to say “sumpsimus” (we have taken/consumed), he instead said “mumpsimus,” a non-word. He [Read More…]