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Pseudo Experts vs Science

Article about: Since it has been stated many times that unless one can prove, via science, that a claim is factual, genuine etc.; we seem to discount science and rely on sudo experts and general concensus

  1. #1

    Default Pseudo Experts vs Science

    Since it has been stated many times that unless one can prove, via science, that a claim is factual, genuine etc.; we seem to discount science and rely on sudo experts and general concensus to conclude real or fake Can we have it both ways? ... Who do we rely on?

    Any thoughts on this?

  2. #2

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    I dont think most authenticating of militaria is done by science exactly, but by consensus of opinion amongst those who have studied the subject. You could argue this process is scientific however, because it should always ultimately rely on some kind of evidence. This evidence may include comparison with other items believed to have good provenance. Whether anything can be proved conclusively in this manner is a matter of opinion, but most collectors feel that if there is a consensus of opinion that an item is authentic, then that is sufficient.

    Ones own experience and gut feeling is important (the two things are of course connected) but it is vital to ask for other opinions, as I myself have been wrong many times, and I am an experienced collector. That is of course a large part of why this excellent forum is so useful. It also depends on your own level of expertise, if you specialise in a particular field you may become highly expert and not need to rely on others so much.

    Doug

  3. #3

    Default Real, Fake "OR"?

    “He who asserts must also prove.” -- Aristotle ... This is a two way street; if one asserts that something is real the the burden of proof is on them ... consequently, if one asserts the opposite, then they bear the burden of proof. Either way, the burden of proof is on he asserts.
    Last edited by Richard Kimmel; 03-28-2014 at 09:15 PM.

  4. #4

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    Doug ... I can concur with most of what you say, and with my reference to the sudo experts; my dad once told me that there are those who cannot do, those who think they can do, and those who do. I don't know if this makes sense to you, but it does to me but in my many years in this hobby I have run into those who think they can do more often than not. This is my reason for relying on my gut feelings. I do however consult with only a few learned individuals in specialized areas of militaria. Don Boyle is one, a long time, friend when a question arises concerning SS Honor Rings; I'm certain that most who read this topic know of him.

  5. #5

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    I think that this would be a good time to post the definition of an EXPERT.

    An expert, also called cognoscente is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study. An expert can be, by virtue of credential, training, education, profession, publication or experience, believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual's opinion.
    (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    I do not see anything in the above definition that would indicate a general concensus by members of a forum; some independent opinions - yes, but a general concensus - no, not the best way to go, as there are simply too many novices that want to be recognized and accepted by the majority so they simply state their opinion simply to be heard. More often than not, these opinions are based on only what they have heard or have briefly seen and no lengthy experience. The old saying; believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see!

    However, there are several points in the above that are open for discussion. For instance; what period of time determines experience? By virtue of experience 65-70 years, being a published contract auathor of 4 books by Schiffer Publishing, and a recognized Paranormal Archaeologist in both the paranormal and militaria areas, I could be considered as having sufficient knowledge and experience to be recognized as an expert. Some may not agree and can be chalked up to simply opinion.

    Please don't get too excited gentlemen, this is simply my "expert" opinion

  6. #6

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    What part of Militaria is your expertise in, Richard?

  7. #7

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    Richard, you raise many interesting points, but I think clarification in a few areas is necessary. Its very important to highlight my original point, not that these things should be decided just by a consensus of opinion, but that they should be decided by a consensus of opinion amongst those who have studied the subject. The last bit is crucial, and whilst it can be difficult to determine and evaluate someones previous study, it often comes across. On this forum when Adrian writes about Iron Crosses, or Friedrich Berthold writes about SS uniforms, the years of study are apparent. Obviously these gentlemen could be wrong about anything, but their advice should be taken very seriously. Of course many wrong answers and miss-information appear on forums, and we have to try our best to determine the good from the bad.

    I am wondering if you have had bad experiences on this forum, has your expertise been called into question? If so I'm sorry to hear this, but since you specialise in the paranormal which is a very controversial topic I wonder if this is the route cause. Could it be that your expertise is being questioned by those who do not believe in the paranormal? This is quiet a different matter to wether or not an Iron Cross is genuine for example, because the Iron Cross definately exists.

  8. #8

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    Quote by bboywizard View Post
    What part of Militaria is your expertise in, Richard?
    In the area of Paranormal Archaeology of Wartime Artifacts.

    May I reverse the question and ask where does your expertise lay?

  9. #9

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    Quote by douglas2496 View Post
    Richard, you raise many interesting points, but I think clarification in a few areas is necessary. Its very important to highlight my original point, not that these things should be decided just by a consensus of opinion, but that they should be decided by a consensus of opinion amongst those who have studied the subject. The last bit is crucial, and whilst it can be difficult to determine and evaluate someones previous study, it often comes across. On this forum when Adrian writes about Iron Crosses, or Friedrich Berthold writes about SS uniforms, the years of study are apparent. Obviously these gentlemen could be wrong about anything, but their advice should be taken very seriously. Of course many wrong answers and miss-information appear on forums, and we have to try our best to determine the good from the bad.

    I am wondering if you have had bad experiences on this forum, has your expertise been called into question? If so I'm sorry to hear this, but since you specialise in the paranormal which is a very controversial topic I wonder if this is the route cause. Could it be that your expertise is being questioned by those who do not believe in the paranormal? This is quiet a different matter to wether or not an Iron Cross is genuine for example, because the Iron Cross definately exists.
    Yes when I first joined back in 2009, but not since I resumed posting after a long period of time. I would not term them as bad but rather inappropriate or the lack of understanding. I had bad experiences on the WAF in past years when it first came into existance; there it was from pure and simple ignorance and lack of respect; I term it the know-it-all forum.

    Respect is the key word, which I do feel that for the most part I am receiving here on this forum; with some exceptions.

  10. #10

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    This is a self justifying thread, smacking of vanity..i personally find it offensive you are calling in to question the majority of the members here "I term it the know-it-all forum." How this is deemed a legitimate thread is beyond me...Richard you clearly have a problem with anyone questioning what you do...I like many on here do not share your belief in the paranormal,and that is a completely different thing from "respect".. to try and link them is defensive at best..This thread is a personal attack on members of this forum by another member

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