The Meyers On Archaeology

At internet speeds this is rather late but yesterday archaeologists Eric and Carol Meyers of Duke gave an abnormally interesting interview about things Biblical and things archaeological. If you haven’t watched it, your 49 minutes, 20 seconds will be well rewarded.

Update: I forget to mention the Meyers brief comments concerning creationism and evolution in politics and education at the very end of the discussion.

One thought on “The Meyers On Archaeology”

  1. At 46:56, I’m impressed that Eric Meyer advises sensibly to undergrads in the field:
    “But I would urge them while studying archaeology to be sure to study it in such a way that they’re going to have teaching skills beyond simple archaeology like biblical history, Ancient Near-Eastern history, languages, so that archaeology is set within the larger cultural framework that is the Ancient Near East.”
    However while his views on good scholarship are incontrovertible, it’s equally undeniable that the university cultivates a culture with systemic bias towards specialization. Traditional institutions continue to discourage open query that dares extend beyond one’s narrow specialty and it can be seen as “stepping over another specialist’s toes”. University students are taught early and subtly to “know their place”, so to speak, enforced by a false teacher-student dichotomy.
    A conflict therefore exists between these noble socratic ideals of scholarship and the modern realities of business-stained academia. The former is democratic and open, the latter is hierarchical and closed. With the presence of the open internet however, I do believe that universities are just too unadaptive, unjustified and naive to survive in their present state. They’ve been instead reduced to puppets serving the needs of corporation and state; they simply don’t encourage learning beyond immediate material needs.
    So at that, I’m always fascinated with the cognitive dissonance required by such scholars in order to hold these two opposing philosophies on learning and scholarship.

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