Antiultracrepidarians vs. Deliberatefraudists: Smackdown in the Blogosphere

Antiultracrepidarians vs. Deliberatefraudists: Smackdown in the Blogosphere April 29, 2012

Jim West posted the following definition in a post in which he defined himself as an anti-ultracrepidarian:

ul·tra·crep·i·dar·i·an [uhl-truh-krep-i-dair-ee-uhn]

adjective 1. noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise: The play provides a classic, simplistic portrayal of an ultracrepidarian mother-in-law.


1800–20; ultra- + Latin crepidam ‘sole of a shoe, sandal’ (< Greek krepis ‘shoe’); in allusion to the words of Pliny the Elder ne supra crepidam sutor judicare ‘let the cobbler not judge above the sandal’; cf. the English proverb “let the cobbler stick to his last”.

He was perhaps inspired by the news that facts are now dead.

Meanwhile, in a comment here at Exploring Our Matrix, commenter Paul Regnier noticed that there is no unity to the so-called “mythicists” and so they should perhaps not be lumped together under a single heading. He suggested several alternatives, but I like “Deliberatefraudists” best because it seems to fit the (con) artists formerly known as mythicists at least as well as their theory about the origins of Christianity! 🙂

Richard Carrier continues to nit-pick Ehrman while himself badly botching what ancient Jews believed about resurrection in the process. Unsurprisingly he still has his defenders.

Joel Watts shared a card that seems relevant:

Rod discusses the problems with calling what is done at an institution with a statement of faith “research.” Ben Witherington nevertheless encourages critical thinking. Pete Enns also responded to the post that sparked this discussion in the biblioblogosphere, by Larry Hurtado.

Jim Davila and Dorothy King discuss the accusation of slander leveled at Mark Goodacre because of his criticism of the “Jesus Discovery” “documentary.” Mark Goodacre blogged about the “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.”

Anyone want to look at a “general manual for denialism” and work out how many of the same points can be applied to mythicism? Here is a sample from the article and video at Wired:

What astounded Carroll when he looked into chiropractors arguments against vaccines, he said, was that they were essentially identical to the ones used by creationists and other anti-evolutionists. Indeed, they are the same arguments used over and over in all kind of denialism. As such, Carroll suggested, they represented a kind of “General Manual for Denialism.”
The six listed arguments were to:
1) Cast doubt on the science. (“Vaccines aren’t proven.” / “Evolution isn’t proven.”)
2) Question the scientists’ motives and integrity. (“Vaccine researchers just want to profit.” / “Evolution researchers just want more grant money.”)
3) Magnify any disagreements among the scientists; cite gadflies as authorities.(“Vaccine researchers disagree, but this chiropractor knows best.” / “Scientists can’t agree how evolution would explain this, but this creationist has all the answers.”)
4) Exaggerate the potential for harm from the science. (“Vaccines could harm your kids.” / “Evolutionary thinking leads to genocide.”)
5) Appeal to the importance of personal freedom. (“Patients should have the freedom not to get vaccines.” / “Students should be free to learn all the theories for how life arose.”)
6) Object that acceptance of the science would repudiate some key philosophy.(“Vaccines threaten acceptance of chiropractic.” / “Evolution undermines the Bible.”)

On a more hopeful note, Jim Kidder shared some warning signs if your kid is experimenting with paleontology.

And last but far from least, Jonathan Robinson asks for submissions to the next Biblical Studies Carnival.

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