new article by dr. robert cargill: pseudo-science and sensationalist archaeology: an exposé of jimmy barfield and the copper scroll project

Dr. Robert R. Cargill appearing on Discovery.

Dr. Robert R. Cargill appearing on Discovery.

the bible and interpretation website has published my latest article entitled, “pseudo-science and sensationalist archaeology: an exposé of jimmy barfield and the copper scroll project.” it is a call to arms for biblical scholars and archaeolosgists to address publically the sensationalist claims made by amateur archaeologists and pseudo-scientists.

Members of the academy must take individual responsibility and make conscious efforts to rebut examples of obvious disinformation whenever and wherever they arise. Likewise, archaeologists must band together and coordinate their efforts to meet these misleading claims as strongly and consistently as possible. For in a world where Wikipedia allows anyone to say just about anything, scholars must move beyond their comfortable arenas of peer-review and professional conferences, where they talk only to one another, and redouble our efforts to reach out to the public directly. We must counter irresponsible claims with measured responses, debunk and discredit them, and offer alternative theories from a spectrum of reliable scholars who, while they may at times disagree, can support their various claims with scientific facts, tangible data, and sound reason.

and in case you were wondering if this is about money (perhaps a mere finder’s fee and some texas funding) the attention (news articles and tv spots), and religious ideology (the ark of the covenant? really?), just watch:

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6 Responses

  1. Fantastic article, Bob. Powerful and superbly written.

    Minor point on the following:

    “With the rise of the internet, blogging, YouTube, podcasts, iTunes U, and other forms of self-publication making more information readily available to the public, many hacks and pseudo-scientists are using these non-refereed media to make their sensational claims.”

    iTunes U is harder for the dilettantes to access because it is connected with individual universities. If you go to the main iTunes U page, prestige counts — you’ll see Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Duke, Stanford, etc. etc. Therefore one of its values is that it provides a repository for material that the public can trust.

  2. mark, thanx for the note.

    agreed, iTunes U can only be utilized by members of an academic community to produce content. however, we should be using it more, for that is a great way to address the public while maintaining credibility. thanx. – bc

  3. [...] UPDATE I:  Dr Bob Cargill on his own blog here. [...]

  4. Well done! Thanks for standing for what is true…

  5. [...] have reported several times on the copper scroll project, a group led by retired arson investigator jimmy barfield, who claims to have ‘cracked’ [...]

  6. [...] the copper scroll project is listening to the criticisms made on this blog here and here and here and on the bible and interpretation site here and here and on jim west’s blog here [...]

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