Thursday, March 22, 2007

"The gold standard of academic integrity"

Concerning the whole Jesus family tomb issue that has been much discussed recently, I am left with one overarching thought. It seems that the great mistake that Cameron and Jacobovici made was not the controversial claim, nor was it the slip shod methods , nor was it the lack of conclusive evidence, for claims as ridiculous and controversial as this are made every day. No. The great mistake they made was going public into a multinational media forum without having offered it up to peer review, which Jonathan Reed from the Society of Biblical Literature calls "the gold standard of academic integrity." That step that was skipped is happening now, as you can see many archaeologists and scientists discrediting this "discovery" (which, by the way, was discovered in 1980, and is nothing new). Had they done a peer review, it never would have gotten far enough to be made into a prime time documentary, but they they would not have made their money, either.

If you have not yet, I encourage you to read up on this topic. It seems that the evidence is flimsy at absolute best. Here are a few articles:

This is the article quoted above.

This is a great article exposing a few of the major flaws by Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina.

This is a blog by Dr. Ben Witherington pointing out many of the flaws as well.

Lastly, you can check out The Society of Biblical Literature Site that has scholarly articles on many current subjects. I have added it to my links on the right. And, may we always continually quest for good information.

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