On Whose Say-So?

The Appeal to Unqualified Authority

Sometimes, highly intelligent and influential scientists say really dumb things. Stephen Hawking declared that philosophy is dead1 (while in the same context doing philosophy of science2); Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted that people in the Middle Ages believed the earth was flat;3 and Richard Dawkins .   .   . well, Richard Dawkins wrote The God Delusion.4 In each of these cases, an expert in one field made a proclamation in or about another field. This is not necessarily bad, but it’s risky since expertise in one area does not equate to expertise in another. As physicist Richard Feynman famously said, “a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as...

 

is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Oklahoma Baptist University. He’s passionate about mentoring Christians in the life of the mind.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #67, Winter 2023 Copyright © 2024 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo67/on-whose-say-so

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