Another example of rushing to judgment and stonewalling against later evidence is Herschel Shanks, who has ardently promoted the James Ossuary and defended Oded Golan. He has engaged in personal attacks on IAA staff and attempted to cast doubt on IAA reports. Shanks has only grudgingly acknowledge[d] the possibility that the James Ossuary inscription is a forgery and that Oded Golan forged it and many other artifacts. While his magazine touted the James Ossuary as a great archeological find in 2002, its position now is that it does not know whether the artifact is forged or Golan is a forger.Read the whole thing.
A responsible approach to the James Ossuary would have been to start with skepticism and wait for a consensus of several independent experts. Instead, Shanks, BAR, and the ROM [Royal Ontario Museum]jumped at their opportunity for publicity before giving science its opportunity to arrive at the truth.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
The Ossuary and the Need for Skepticism
An interesting and cogent article appears today on LiveScience.com, taken from the Skeptical Enquirer. The whole article is of interest to those following the forgery scandal, but this paragraph is especially apt: