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 Post subject: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:15 am 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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A consistent refrain from the Mopologists has been an assertion that the FARMS Review was consistently a source for "cutting edge research." I have to admit, I'm baffled by this. I halfway suspect that the lower-tier Mopologists are really just lamenting that loss of the BYU connection, and the implied formal endorsement of the MI apologists' crappy behavior, but I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Which articles in this (as described by its editor) "review journal," represent "cutting edge research"? Is it the material from Gee on the Book of Abraham? Or Sorenson's LGT stuff? Brant Gardner's work? Welch's chiasmus articles? I halfway wonder if these people ever bothered to even read the publication, or if they misunderstand what is meant by "research." (Maybe they mean "cutting edge polemics"?)

I'm just curious. They asked us to provide examples of ad hominem and/or problematic material in FAIR/FARMS and we gave them dozens of examples. Can they cite examples of "cutting edge" research from FARMS?

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:20 am 
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obviously the introduction of Margaret Barker's works was a cutting edge revelation from FARMs and of course James Smith's piece: Nephi's Descendants? Historical Demography and the Book of Mormon reshaped population geography studies.

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=6&num=1&id=141


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:53 am 
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Good Doctor,

I think it might be helpful to view the claim in relative, rather than absolute terms. Compared to the pap that the average TBM gets spoon fed in gospel doctrine, seminary, and institute, FARMS is cutting edge. And they were pretty much the only organization that took LDS scripture seriously. Places like Sunstone and Dialogue infrequently deal with LDS scripture, so FARMS was really the only game in town.

There was one way in which FARMS was cutting edge in absolute terms, and that was the fact that FROB usually dealt with timely issues, it was the nature of the publication. If a Mormon wanted to figure out how to deal with something like Palmers Insider's View, FROB was the only place to find anything. Was it good stuff? Nope. But it was the only resource for that Mormon.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:57 am 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Interesting replies, lostindc and AS--certainly I don't disagree. A couple of thoughts, though: does the resignation of DCP really mean that Margaret Barker no longer has a venue to publish her stuff? Does the response to Grant Palmer really represent "research"? (Rather than, say, polemics?) Is "timely" the same thing as "cutting edge"? Finally: are these really the things that commentators view as being "cutting edge research"? Do the people signing up for the "I Stand With Dan" FB page think that DCP was responsible for this "cutting edge research," and if so, which of his editorials would they cite?

Just curious....

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:06 am 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Interesting replies, lostindc and AS--certainly I don't disagree. 1) A couple of thoughts, though: does the resignation of DCP really mean that Margaret Barker no longer has a venue to publish her stuff? 2) Does the response to Grant Palmer really represent "research"? (Rather than, say, polemics?) 3) Is "timely" the same thing as "cutting edge"? 4) Finally: are these really the things that commentators view as being "cutting edge research"? 5) Do the people signing up for the "I Stand With Dan" FB page think that DCP was responsible for this "cutting edge research," and if so, 6) which of his editorials would they cite?

Just curious....


I believe the answers are 1) no, 2) a little bit, 3) they are related, but large areas of non-overlap, 4) probably, 5) yes, and 6) I have no idea.

Just to reiterate, I'm not defending FARMS here. I mainly feel sorry for rank and file Mormons who dearly want something other than warmed over fideism, who dearly want something profound and deep to believe in. They've never had that, and FARMS was their only real hope for this.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:26 am 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Interesting replies, lostindc and AS--certainly I don't disagree. A couple of thoughts, though: does the resignation of DCP really mean that Margaret Barker no longer has a venue to publish her stuff? Does the response to Grant Palmer really represent "research"? (Rather than, say, polemics?) Is "timely" the same thing as "cutting edge"? Finally: are these really the things that commentators view as being "cutting edge research"? Do the people signing up for the "I Stand With Dan" FB page think that DCP was responsible for this "cutting edge research," and if so, which of his editorials would they cite?

Just curious....


Unfortunately for the MI, Barker already published her research and MI received a watered-down-Mormon-friendly version.

Sadly, the response to Grant Palmer does not qualify as "cutting edge" research. Although, the response does fit the template of a timely and well thought out message board post.

In answer to the last question, with great sadness, I do believe the OMID followers believe DCP et al. were responsible for "cutting edge" research. From this camp, some may say that the infamous Nibley masterpiece: No Ma'am, That's Not History is rather "cutting edge." Likewise, the splendid masterpiece Emma Smith's Hymnbook can no longer be ignored.

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=21&num=1&id=635


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:55 am 
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"Cutting edge research" = crazy theories that nobody has thought of before.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:56 am 
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Oh, yes, it is definitely "cutting edge."

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Which articles in this (as described by its editor) "review journal," represent "cutting edge research"? Is it the material from Gee on the Book of Abraham?


What are the cutting edge apologetic offerings for Facsimile No. 3? It seems the latest proposal is that Joseph Smith didn't know what he was talking about and perhaps the Facismile No. 3 needs to be removed from canon.

What has John Gee have to say about Egyptologist Joe Smith's Explanations? Someone please tell me, Goddmamnit! How about John Gee? That little bastard hasn't said jack-shit.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Using the larger academic sense of the word, I think "cutting edge research" is incorrect. But with the caveats Aristotle implied, I guess that is what it means.

I suspect that translated it really means "quick retorts to 'criticism' with enough compound/complex sentences and name-dropping to appear learned and thus flatter/satisfy an unscholarly audience."

Good scholarly research is good scholarly research and is useful to both secular and believing audiences. I have every hope that what is now emerging as Mormon Studies will be just that.

Because of the poor state of American education, though, many people are not equipped with a basic historical understanding, nor a very strong set of reading skills, nor much education in conceptual thought (philosophy, critical theory, etc). I can understand why some may fear that the best of Mormon Studies may be inaccessible to the average member. But instead of pandering to that problem, a scholarly Mormon publication could do the church a real service by taking on the very serious task of education, indeed fulfilling the educational mandate that has been present throughout all of Mormon history. It would be a very different kind of publication than what currently exists and a challenging project to bring off. But it would be a very valuable one.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:15 pm 
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Blixa wrote:
I suspect that translated it really means "quick retorts to 'criticism' with enough compound/complex sentences and name-dropping to appear learned and thus flatter/satisfy an unscholarly audience."

Good scholarly research is good scholarly research and is useful to both secular and believing audiences. I have every hope that what is now emerging as Mormon Studies will be just that.

Because of the poor state of American education, though, many people are not equipped with a basic historical understanding, nor a very strong set of reading skills, nor much education in conceptual thought (philosophy, critical theory, etc). I can understand why some may fear that the best of Mormon Studies may be inaccessible to the average member. But instead of pandering to that problem, a scholarly Mormon publication could do the church a real service by taking on the very serious task of education, indeed fulfilling the educational mandate that has been present throughout all of Mormon history. It would be a very different kind of publication than what currently exists and a challenging project to bring off. But it would be a very valuable one.


Well said, Blixa. I have noticed that there are a lot of muddy-headed English majors among the lower-tier apologists. They are the type who probably parroted their grad-student instructor's interpretations of Poe to get an 'A' on the exam. If they read something they didn't think of first (not difficult), and/or that appeals to their preconceived ideas, they call it "cutting-edge research."

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Last edited by Kishkumen on Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Blixa wrote:
Using the larger academic sense of the word, I think "cutting edge research" is incorrect. But with the caveats Aristotle implied, I guess that is what it means.

I suspect that translated it really means "quick retorts to 'criticism' with enough compound/complex sentences and name-dropping to appear learned and thus flatter/satisfy an unscholarly audience."

Good scholarly research is good scholarly research and is useful to both secular and believing audiences. I have every hope that what is now emerging as Mormon Studies will be just that.

Because of the poor state of American education, though, many people are not equipped with a basic historical understanding, nor a very strong set of reading skills, nor much education in conceptual thought (philosophy, critical theory, etc). I can understand why some may fear that the best of Mormon Studies may be inaccessible to the average member. But instead of pandering to that problem, a scholarly Mormon publication could do the church a real service by taking on the very serious task of education, indeed fulfilling the educational mandate that has been present throughout all of Mormon history. It would be a very different kind of publication than what currently exists and a challenging project to bring off. But it would be a very valuable one.


Blixa, well said and eloquent as always.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:16 pm 
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For those with DULL MINDS cutting edge is about as sharp as a butter knife.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:32 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
Blixa wrote:
I suspect that translated it really means "quick retorts to 'criticism' with enough compound/complex sentences and name-dropping to appear learned and thus flatter/satisfy an unscholarly audience."

Good scholarly research is good scholarly research and is useful to both secular and believing audiences. I have every hope that what is now emerging as Mormon Studies will be just that.

Because of the poor state of American education, though, many people are not equipped with a basic historical understanding, nor a very strong set of reading skills, nor much education in conceptual thought (philosophy, critical theory, etc). I can understand why some may fear that the best of Mormon Studies may be inaccessible to the average member. But instead of pandering to that problem, a scholarly Mormon publication could do the church a real service by taking on the very serious task of education, indeed fulfilling the educational mandate that has been present throughout all of Mormon history. It would be a very different kind of publication than what currently exists and a challenging project to bring off. But it would be a very valuable one.


Well said, Blixa. I have noticed that there are a lot of muddy-headed English majors among the lower-tier apologists. They are the type who probably parroted their grad-student instructor's interpretations of Poe to get an 'A' on the exam. If they read something they didn't think of first (not difficult), and/or that appeals to their preconceived ideas, they call it "cutting-edge research."


Ten points for Slytherin! (because of the Snape avatar)

Although I think Blixa is overly optimistic about what the reboot of the Maxwell Institute is going to look like.

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 Post subject: Re: -
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:37 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:16 pm 
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Darth J wrote:

Although I think Blixa is overly optimistic about what the reboot of the Maxwell Institute is going to look like.


Oh, I don't expect what the new MI publishes to look at all like the kind of publication I suggested. That would be a kind of journal that I don't think even exists in the secular academy, sadly.

I don't even expect that it will necessarily be part of what I referred to as the emerging school of Mormon Studies. I would be surprised, though, if the new editors didn't attempt to show an awareness of new Mormon Studies work, or even publish some of the scholars I associate with it.

(edited to add: When I said, "I have every hope that what is now emerging as Mormon Studies will be just that," I meant the broader scholarly "movement," not MI's publication. I forgot it had "mormon studies" in its title, thus the confusion.)

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:29 pm 
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But good scholarship necessarily requires a community, and that community has to be dedicated to ideals like diversity of thought and the principle of charity. If FARMS ever produced anything that resembles scholarship, it was by pure accident, and not by deliberate and careful intent.

What the new the Mormon Studies has to deal with is that they can’t produce a journal for Mormons by Mormons and then try to go about masquerading it as scholarship. Faith promotion and fellowship is great stuff, but it belongs in a church setting and not in a community where just about every assumption and piece of evidence is put under the microscope. Can that happen while being a mere appendage on the church machine? I doubt it, but I wish Bradford the best.

Having your ideological allies review your work makes a mockery of the terms “peer review” and “scholarship” and it essentially makes correlation a model example of peer review. FARMS did that in spades and was proud of that fact, which is why it was so polemical in tone and light on any decent content.

The fact that the entire mess of FARMS is thought of as cutting edge to an apologist is a stark reality check on just how much those little mouth breathers that dominate MD&D are mental midgets.

I, for one, love it. DCP, Hamblin, Midge, the “Scottie-Dawg” pack of Lloyd n Gordon, Crocket, Pahoran, and the rest of the crew seriously suck and presenting anything as a clear and cogent thesis. It’s like every time one of those guys steps up on the mound, they throw a nice slow ball right down the strike zone to get pounded. They do the critic’s jobs for them.

Case in point of making this easy, look how Dan and his crew are going out? Instead of gracefully taking the hit and moving on the greener pastures, it is one giant ego trip and meltdown worthy of a kid not getting the toy they wanted. The accusations that “anti-mormons” and “critics” have somehow gotten control of a church run organization is incredibly stupid.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:42 pm 
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I think it is fine to call such things learned discussion. I would not, however, call them "cutting-edge research."

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:58 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:51 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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I can't express how crushingly depressing it is that so many of the lower-tier Mopologists and fanboys view this stuff as "cutting edge research." Yes: Blixa et al. all make excellent points. It's sad that curious and inquisitive LDS haven't really had anywhere else to go, and it's sad that what they got was Midgley/DCP-led Mopologetics.

What's frightening and disquieting, though, is that you've now got a group of a couple of hundred people who think that attacking others, engaging in smear tactics, and penning hit pieces is actual research. They really, honestly think this is legitimate stuff: not only that it's okay from an ethical standpoint (which it clearly isn't), but that it represents "real" scholarship.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Edge Research?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:59 pm 
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I'm just curious. They asked us to provide examples of ad hominem and/or problematic material in FAIR/FARMS and we gave them dozens of examples.


I'm not so interested in FAIR at the moment as I am in FARMS/NMI. Could you refresh my memory again and provide so ad hominem abuse from Daniel from some of his work at FARMS or NMI?

Could you also post some excerpts from Greg Smith's 100 page critique of John Dehlin?

Thanks.

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