Questions for Dan Peterson

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MrStakhanovite
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by MrStakhanovite »

From the same article

Daniel C. Peterson wrote:Camus observes of the atheistic French revolutionaries of 1793 that, when they effectively guillotined God, "they deprived themselves forever of the right to outlaw crime or to censure malevolent instincts."[49]


[49] Camus, Rebel, 39.


In chat, we always have lively discussions about things like Camus, and well, Blixa asked to dig this quote up, because she felt that Dan was doing much violence to the plain and orginal context. Much to my surprise, Blixa's memory was right, so I thought I'd reproduce this citation here:

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We have many Profs who grade innumerable papers every semester, I’m curious, what would you good folk dock a student who did what Dan did in a paper?

Yoda

Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by Yoda »

We have many Profs who grade innumerable papers every semester, I’m curious, what would you good folk dock a student who did what Dan did in a paper?


If it was only one incident, I would probably knock off half a grade (i.e. The paper as a whole would drop from an B to a B-).

If I saw a pattern, I would probably dock more.

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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

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It really depends on what level the student/writer is at. If DCP were an undergrad and this was just a mistake, or the result of sloppiness, then a simple downgrade akin to what Liz suggested would be in order, along with stern warnings about doing this sort of thing in the future. If it was clear that he was being deceptive in some way (and I think it is rather clear in this case), he would at minimum get and "F" on the paper and there is a good chance that he'd receive an "F" for the course and, his official transcripts would receive an annotation indicating that he was academically dishonest. If he was a graduate student, this would be an extremely serious violation of academic integrity. He could face expulsion. If I was serving as dissertation adviser for one of my Mopologetics Studies students, and he or she pulled something like this, it would be grounds for me to resign as that student's adviser.

.
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TrashcanMan79
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by TrashcanMan79 »

MrStakhanovite wrote:From the same article

Daniel C. Peterson wrote:Camus observes of the atheistic French revolutionaries of 1793 that, when they effectively guillotined God, "they deprived themselves forever of the right to outlaw crime or to censure malevolent instincts."[49]


[49] Camus, Rebel, 39.


In chat, we always have lively discussions about things like Camus, and well, Blixa asked to dig this quote up, because she felt that Dan was doing much violence to the plain and orginal context. Much to my surprise, Blixa's memory was right, so I thought I'd reproduce this citation here:

Image


Image

We have many Profs who grade innumerable papers every semester, I’m curious, what would you good folk dock a student who did what Dan did in a paper?

Image

jon
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by jon »

I'm confident that Dan will have a perfectly reasonable explanation for this one...
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Blixa
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by Blixa »

I agree with Scratch that it really depends on the level of student/class. After all, one of the main issues here is context.

If it were a young undergraduate, I would have a long talk with them about reading carefully. We would go through the passage together a couple of times, "unpacking it," so the student could see that the idea he/she is ascribing to Camus is really Camus distilling the thoughts of Sade, along with the commentaries of others on Sade. I would reassure them that it was a complicated passage, but point out the intellectual rewards of taking such time and care.

If it were a higher level course, and especially one in which the student was expected to have some knowledge of Sade/the French Revolution/modern philosophy, I would be more concerned since it would be a much more glaring intellectual mistake and not a mere matter of reading comprehension.

Another issue would be the use of the misconstrued quotation in the paper as a whole. An honest mistake born out of ignorance in either of the above situations would still have an effect on the overall grade, possibly something along the lines of what liz suggests: a minus grade for the "younger" student, maybe a whole grade for the "older" one. But, I would give either student the chance, and encourage them to do so, of reworking the passage (and any other problems in the paper that might have followed from it).

If, though, it were a clear case of the student trying to make it look like Camus said something he didn't in order to bolster the paper's main thesis ("people who don't believe in God have no basis for any morality and look this well known philosopher said so") then I probably would fail the paper and have a serious talk with the student about misuse of sources and the "morality" thereof. Depending on other factors (the student's previous performance in class, etc), I might still give them the opportunity to rewrite the paper and help them more accurately present their case. If the student had a history of such things in class, and had been given previous chances, then they would fail the course.
Last edited by Blixa on Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Kishkumen
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by Kishkumen »

Pierre Klossowski gets the shaft again. Sigh.
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Blixa
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

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Kishkumen wrote:Pierre Klossowski gets the shaft again. Sigh.


I know, LOL!

(When I was talking to Stak about this passage last night from memory, the one thing I could NOT get my brain to spit out was his name. Clearly his work is under some kind of psychic curse.)
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Kishkumen
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by Kishkumen »

Blixa wrote:(When I was talking to Stak about this passage last night from memory, the one thing I could NOT get my brain to spit out was his name. Clearly his work is under some kind of psychic curse.)


He is definitely one of those characters who had a great impact on others, but never became a "household name" in his own right (at least, in the American academy).
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schreech
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by schreech »

still waiting for the reply from our (not so busy) professor....

she gotta bump:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiPxXU02xOQ
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MrStakhanovite
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Just because Dan's profile is oddly missing is no reason for this thread to sink into obscurity!

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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling. From glen to glen, and down the mountain side.

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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

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After finally reading this topic, I think it's this thread, more than the Book of Abraham thread, that really scared him off.
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

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You given up on bumping this thread, Stak?
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MrStakhanovite
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Never.

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jon
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by jon »

In terms of questions that perhaps need answers from Dr P, here is an extract from a thread by an anonymous poster on a different discussion forum:

In 1892, sixty two years after the Book of Mormon was published, the academic journal "Science" published an article about horses:

The Fiction of the American Horse and the Truth on this Disputed Point
http://books.google.com/books?id=x4MCAA ... 22&f=false

The article said this: "It is time, therefore, to make an end of this fiction of the native American horse. It is certain that this animal was imported by Europeans into America and that the Equidae, which had formerly existed on that continent, were entirely unknown to the red men."

The BofM was wrong about the horse, yet even now, more than 100 years after that Science article, Mormon apologists entertain the ideas of horses in the Book of Mormon. It is easy to ignore uninformed and uneducated people making absurd claims, but it is remarkable when Mormon scholars do it. And that is what makes the apologist dangerous.

This is a video with an apologist talking of horses in America.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkydMSmv1Zo#t=0m50s
"There have also been some horse bones that have been radiocarbon dated to about the time of Christ that were found up in the upper midwest"

Apologists know that this is not true, but there is no disclaimer on the youtube video. They admit the error at another link.

http://fi.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon ... ms/Animals

"Please note that reference is made to a potential pre-Columbian horse, the so-called "Spencer Lake," horse skull. This has now been determined to have been a fraud or hoax, and should not be considered evidence for the Book of Mormon account."

Welcome to the alternate world inside the mirror. Nothing is as it seems. A person watching the youtube video might find reason to believe that horses were in America at the time of Christ because a BYU professor said so. But like Alice in Wonderland, one must navigate to other websites to learn that Dr. Peterson said something known to be false. And even when apologists admit the truth, they do so with deception. Pay attention to the statement "This has now been determined to have been a fraud or hoax". Don't be fooled. It was not determined after Dr. Peterson made the video. It was known to be a hoax in 1964!

See the 1964 Wisconsin Archaeologist publication exposing the hoax at this link:
http://www.archive.org/stream/wisconsin ... 7/mode/2up

Dr. Peterson has no excuse for the claim that he made in the video. He is a university professor, with a Ph.D. degree, a faculty member at BYU. Society has every right to expect that university professors should do their homework before making false claims.

Some might say that his doctorate degree and studies are in eastern languages and cultures, not American archaeology. Is this an excuse for his error? Should we excuse a professor for making an absurd statement because it was outside of his field of study? Perhaps the best answer to that question is to see what Dr. Peterson has said about another known hoax that has a closer association to his field of study.

In 1993 Dr. Peterson used the Bat Creek Stone to argue for BofM evidence.
http://maxwellinstitute.BYU.edu/publica ... m=1&id=112

"...the fascinating essay of J. H. McCulloch on the so-called "Bat Creek Inscription.""

Two of Dr. McCulloch's writings were listed in the above article.

1. "The Bat Creek Inscription: Cherokee or Hebrew?" published in the Tennessee Anthropologist, Fall 1988
2. "The Bat Creek Inscription: Did Judean Refugees Escape to Tennessee?" published in the Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 1993

Hebrew inscriptions fall within the studies of eastern languages, a field that Dr. Peterson holds a doctorate in. But what does J. Huston McCulloch holds his degree in? Economics. Dr. McCulloch has no academic degrees in archaeology or eastern languages. His education, training and career are in economics.

The alternate world of apologists gets curiouser and curiouser! Dr. Peterson made an absurd statement on archaeology and horses, a subject outside of his field of study. Then he makes reference to the Bat Creek Stone with sources from an economics professor whose writings about the inscription on the stone have nothing to do with economics. And to really twist it up, the language inscription of the hoax does fall within Dr. Peterson's academic field!

Let's untangle this illusion by looking at what archaeologists have to say about Dr. McCulloch. In 1988, Dr. McCulloch encouraged readers of the Tenneessee Journal to "seek out the views of qualified Semitic... scholars" concerning the Bat Creek stone. Archaeology professors Robert C. Mainfort and Mary L. Kwas did just that. They requested a Harvard University Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, Dr. Frank Moore Cross, to assess the inscription. He concluded that it was not a legitimate Paleo-Hebrew inscription.

Why in the world would Dr. Peterson, a professor of eastern languages ignore the assessment of his own academic colleague Dr. Cross? Why would Dr. Peterson promote the pseudo-archaeology claims of a professor of economics? Apologists do address the Bat Creek Stone hoax, but at a different website. There is no disclaimer or mention of it being a hoax at the link with Dr. Peterson's writing.

http://fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Ge ... reek_Stone

"A forged item can tell us nothing about ancient America in general, or the Book of Mormon in particular. Any current source that uses the Bat Creek Stone as evidence should be treated with caution; its author(s) are not using the most up-to-date information."

This too is deceptive. Pay attention to "not using the most up-to-date information". Dr. Peterson did not use the most up-to-date information in his 1993 writing. The 1991 publication of professors Mainfort and Kwas included the assessment of Dr. Cross. A person reading Dr. Peterson's 1993 link might conclude that the Bat Creek Stone is real, because a BYU professor seems to endorse it.

Why hasn't the article been updated? Who is the editor to update Dr. Peterson's article? Dr. Peterson is the editor of FARMS Review, the publication that has his article. He has not corrected his error or updated his writing with a disclaimer. Perhaps in the alternate world of apologists, leaving bad information for the world to see has the purpose of keeping the faith alive for Mormons who will not look for the truth.


Sources about the Bat Creek Stone:

J. Huston McCulloch (Economist)
1988 The Bat Creek Inscription: Cherokee or Hebrew? Tennessee Anthropologist 13(2)
1993 The Bat Creek Stone: a Reply to Mainfort and Kwas. Tennessee Anthropologist 18(1)
1993 Did Judean Refugees Escape to Tennessee? Biblical Archaeology Review 19(4)
2005 The Bat Creek Stone Revisited: A Reply to Mainfort and Kwas in American Antiquity (American Antiquity would not publish it)

Robert C. Mainfort, Jr., and Mary L. Kwas (Archaeologists)
1991 The Bat Creek Stone: Judeans in Tennessee? Tennessee Anthropologist 14(1)
1993 The Bat Creek Fraud: A Final Statement Tennessee Anthropologist 18(2)
2004 The Bat Creek Stone Revisted: A Fraud Exposed American Antiquity, 69(4)
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Chap
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by Chap »

On the Bat Creek stone, see this thread for a dialog I had with DCP on this very subject in 2008.

DCP said:

in fact, some non-LDS scholars have argued for the existence of pre-Columbian inscriptions in arguably Semitic script.


I asked:

Chap wrote:Will DCP give a reference to a publication in a scholarly journal where it is argued by a non-LDS scholar that a pre-Columbian inscription is in a semitic script?


In response to which I got:

Daniel Peterson wrote:The late great Cyrus Gordon, of Brandeis University, wrote extensively on this subject.

You can find what he wrote as easily as I can.


Responding to my pointing out that the Bat Creek stone mentioned by Gordon looked very like a fraud, he said:

Daniel Peterson wrote:It's a real stunner to learn that there are controversies in the scholarly world.

You asked for a non-LDS scholar who had argued for a Semitic inscription from Pre-Columbian America. I gave you one.

Whether the question of the Bat Creek inscription or the Paraiba inscription is now closed or not, I couldn't say. I haven't been following it for years. The last thing I heard, there were still advocates.

These things go up and down. Some things pan out. Some don't. Some that seem confirmed later fail. Some that seem disproven are later vindicated.

No Latter-day Saint has claimed that Semitic inscriptions abound in the Americas. If none are ever found, that won't be decisive evidence that none ever existed. And if none ever existed, that isn't decisive proof that there were no Lehites. Nothing in the Book of Mormon text suggests that we ought to be finding lots and lots of ancient Semitic texts across the Americas.

Does this seem to you an attempt to make the Book of Mormon unfalsifiable? Very likely. Some critics claim that. And some critics like the thought because it seems to confirm their devout belief that defenders of the Book of Mormon are dishonest, or, at least, that they're acting in bad intellectual faith. To me, by contrast, this simply seems to be the direction in which careful consideration of the logical possibilities takes one.

Said with a sneer.


When I asked where the advocates were to be found, his reply was:

You can find this as easily as I can.


A model of the responsible use of scholarship in religious apologetics, I'd say.
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by malkie »

Chap wrote:...

When I asked [DCP] where the advocates were to be found, his reply was:

You can find this as easily as I can.


A model of the responsible use of scholarship in religious apologetics, I'd say.


Boyd K. Packer wrote:There is much in the scriptures and in our Church literature to convince us that we are at war with the adversary. We are not obliged as a church, nor are we as members obliged, to accommodate the enemy in this battle.


Perhaps you are "the enemy".

If you would like me to source the quote, all I can say is that I had no problem finding it, so neither should you!






















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Chap
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by Chap »

malkie wrote:
Perhaps you are "the enemy".



Whether or not I am an enemy is perhaps for DCP or anybody else to decide (this takes us back to the "what is an anti-Mormon" question, perhaps).

But returning to jon's point above: are the people who read DCP's Maxwell Institute piece in which he cites the Bat Creek Stone, or who watch his 'horses in pre-Columbian America' sequence in the video legitimately to be treated as enemies too, with whom fair play is not required?

If so, it does seem they ought to be warned by a little disclaimer, along the lines of:

WARNING: this item has been created in order to persuade you to agree with the CoJCoLDS. We believe that this church is so important that we feel no obligation to tell you the whole truth, if there is a risk that will give you ammunition against the church . So if you allow yourself to be persuaded, and later discover that this item contains misleading material, the only appropriate reaction on your part is that you should have researched harder in the first place.


A serious problem here is that DCP's value as an LDS apologist depends to a major extent on his academic credentials, which suggest to people that if he leaves an article online over his name, he is willing to stand by its contents - since otherwise he would have modified it - and if he says something in a video, he is willing to stand by that just the same way he would in a seminar where experts are present who may disagree with him. If he was just good old Kerry Shirts, his writing would have much less impact on believers and on unbelievers alike.

But in fact it does seem that when he writes or speaks on LDS subjects, he sometimes operates according to different standards, without warning his audience. That would seem regrettable.
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MrStakhanovite
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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by MrStakhanovite »

DCP wrote:(My critics over at a certain other board that I have now left have been taunting me for weeks, branding me a coward for not dropping everything to do the research that would be required to rebut their accusations. Their juvenile insults were the straw that broke the camel's back, the direct and proximate reason for my finally deciding I had had enough. I can only assume that they have no lives, or, at least, no jobs.)


SAUCE

und

DCP wrote:Candidly, there's relatively little of substance ON that board. It's mostly noise and attitude. At least, that's the way it's looked from my perspective.


SAUCE

You whine over the lack of "substance", but yet you only respond to the posts you complain about, leaving anything worth while alone.

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Re: Questions for Dan Peterson

Post by MrStakhanovite »

Good Morning!

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