Another Reason Why Biblical Studies and Archaeology Should Not Be Done Via the Mainstream Popular Media

Ah, the paleobabbling media now gives us proof that it is also clueless with respect to intellectual discourse. Mark Goodacre reports that Nicole Austin, the Associate Producer on The Resurrection Tomb Mystery documentary (The Jesus Discovery in Canada) has accused him of slander.

So, let me see if I understand the power of Ms. Austin’s contention correctly. Mark and other bloggers have expressed deep doubts and reservations about the claims made in this “documentary,” and have made those reservations public, along with their reasons. And … well … I guess that’s all.

How dare they!

Honestly, I didn’t realize that freedom of speech had been outlawed in Canada, or that expressing one’s opinion about an academic matter was slander. Disagreement means slander?  Really?  Hmmmm. Can we disagree with Ms. Austin about any matter and not be a slanderer?  Like her grasp of what academics do?  Maybe the cure (besides requiring those who disagree to just plug their pie-holes) is that Ms. Austin gets to say things to the public and those who disagree don’t. We can just talk amongst ourselves (with the telescreens off, of course). That will work (in a world where TV channels are all run by a ministry of propaganda anyway).

The fact that some journalists seem unaware that disagreement is a significant part of academic discourse is just another reason why they should not be the starting point for this sort of material. Granted, that would mean less publicity and cash for those initiating the process, or for Ms. Austin’s production company. It may result in fewer DVD sales down the road. What a shame. But things will pick up when this all happens again next Easter season.

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2 thoughts on “Another Reason Why Biblical Studies and Archaeology Should Not Be Done Via the Mainstream Popular Media

  1. Thanks, Mike, for your comments. I must admit that I was somewhat surprised by Nicole Austin’s comments and I think your post draws attention to the real difficulties with this kind of reaction to attempts to subject their claims to critical scrutiny.

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