Academic consensus is important, but it’s not always right

Most rationally minded people tend to be supporting of the academic consensus on most subjects. For example when it comes to climate change, vaccinations, the evolution of life on earth, etc., rational people tend to side with the the views of the academic and scientific establishment, and for good reason. But does that mean that the academic consensus is always right?

Certainly not, and we can’t blindly bow to academic consensus on every subject.  There are near infinite examples of the academic consensus being wrong about things. Academic consensus is important and meaningful and it does certainly lend credibility to a position, but it isn’t the end-all and be-all hallmark of truth.

Furthermore, there is a huge difference between “scientific consensus” and “academic consensus”.  Many people, however, seem to conflate the two. Scientific consensus is a product of the scientific process, arrived at through the collection of data and conducing of experiments. “Academic consensus”, however, is much broader and is not necessarily based on scientific rigor.

For example, it can be the academic consensus that F. Scott Fitzgerald was a brilliant writer, but it’s really just an opinion. Likewise, that in many cases “academic consensus” is held by academics who haven’t actually deeply studied a subject. This is the case with the historical existence of Jesus.

Yes, the consensus among historians is that Jesus was a real person, but very few historians have actually deeply studied that topic, they are just themselves conforming to the consensus that they have been taught.

I address this subject in detail in my new article, On the Origin of Jesus by Means of Mythical Propagation.   In this article I show that the consensus today among academics that Jesus was a real person is like the consensus among academics prior to the publication of On the Origin of Species that life on earth was the product of divine creation. It is a consensus that rests heavily on cultural bias and longstanding assumed truths, not real scrutiny. It is a consensus that attempts to support longstanding religious beliefs, but that, in the light of real evidence, falls apart just like the Christian claims of divine creation.

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