posted on Oct, 5 2010 @ 04:49 AM
Long time no post since I've been in school and buried under tons of literature, but now I will share something very useful that has come to my
learnings; proper source criticism
Please go through this before subscribing to wild claims, it is all very simple.
The 5 Points of Professional Source Criticism
Is the source real or is it fake? This would be the first question any research must begin with. But if the source is fake the question "why is it
faked?" arises, a question that could be very interesting or important to solve as well.
How long has it been since the event happened up until the source speaks of it? This is one of the most important factors of all. Information tends
to change with time- drastically. You know the game when you whisper something to the guy next to you and he passes it on and at the end of the line
the message has been severely distorted? Think what happens after a week, year or millennium...
If the source material was composed during or soon after the event in question, where was the author located? This is very important because if the
source isn't an eye witness it is dependent on other sources which in turn makes the quality of the information seriously lose value.
Okay, so the source is genuine, but does it tend to take sides in the subject that it covers? Objective views are close to impossible to come
across, but there are levels of biased information. If the source shows a strong tendency towards a certain side of the story, the researcher should
not dismiss the source but rather ask why the tendencies are expressed like they are.
When you have gone through all of the above, put the information in context with everything else that surrounds the event. Do you have to accept
divine interventions or supernatural explanations to make it add up? Does local topography, culture, seasons, resources or whatever allow the event
explained by the source to happen in said way?
If you want to make things even more simple to remember, you can call it the "5 T's"
...man, that was super-silly
The above system is also very useful when going through a case in court. Maybe some of the law students here at ATS finds it familiar... Just a
Try to apply the 5 points to any major religious text and see if the story adds up!
Well, I hope that this thread will come to use and that it may contribute to the general quality of the ATS threadworks.
Peace out ya'll!
edit on 5-10-2010 by Raud because: clarification