Tu quoque

Research misconduct is in the eye of the beholder; so is evidence; so is replication; so is falsification; so is peer review; it’s all, all in the eye of the beholder. Knowledge is power, therefore I don’t need to make sense.

[T]he firing of Churchill reveals a very pernicious kind of exclusionary dogmatism in scholarly research and writing and media reporting. The firing of Professor Churchill for alleged research misconduct…ignored all Indigenous evidence and perspectives that are critical of Eurocentric versions of the history of the European invasion of the Americas. Research misconduct is in the eye of the beholder. Euroamerican teachers and scholars have taught and written for several centuries that Columbus discovered America. That is a more profound and easily provable case of research misconduct than anything of which Churchill has been accused.

Gary Witherspoon confuses teaching the content of a textbook with research, which is odd, since he is apparently an anthropologist, so one would assume he must have learned at some point along the path to becoming an anthropologist what research is and what it isn’t. Maybe he has a bad memory, maybe he’s just forgotten what research is. Couldn’t someone tell him though?

The whole article goes on in the same vein, citing what a 1987 textbook said, what an 1864 Rocky Mountain News article said (that’s not a typo – 1864, a century and a half ago), what Ben Nighthorse Campbell said about the massacre that the Rocky Mountain News misunderstood a century and a half ago – all apparently in aid of the point that research misconduct is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, these other people over here killed ten people and ate them for lunch, so why are you making such a fuss about my killing one person and eating her for lunch? In other words, it’s infantile and jaw-droppingly stupid. It’s also a pretty brazen example of epistemic relativism in all its tinsel glory.

12 Responses to “Tu quoque”