Thursday, April 9, 2009


Glossographia is an interesting blog that I discovered a while ago, I forget how. This article discusses the sort of thing I often go on about- people who pretend to be academics while in fact using a series of tricks to fool their readers, and often themselves, into thinking they have proved what their prejudices had already decided must be true. I don't have much to add, since Stephen Chrisomalis does an excellent job of explaining why the arguments are invalid and the conclusions meaningless. David Kelley did important work, decades ago, on the interpretation of the Maya script, but since then has joined the ranks of the intellectual megalomaniacs, who think that their belief in something makes it true, and the evidence they adduce must not be analyzed. For a once accomplished linguist he makes some elementary blunders, by false analogy and wishful thinking, in his desire to prove his thoery. Get over there and read it, it's worth it, but in case you need encouragement, he (Kelley) is a hyperdiffusionist who claims that Meso-America was culturally influenced by the Egyptians. This is highly unlikely to be true, but the point is not the truth or otherwise of the assertion, but the methods he uses to defend them. The defining characteristic of such people is that they are not interested in truth, but in persuading themselves that they are right. He has clearly crossed that line long ago.

I found this post particularly interesting, too. It's something I can imagine doing myself.

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