Rebelling Against Peer Review

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

(Proverbs 18:1) KJV

Here at Matty’s Paradigm we intermeddle with all wisdom. It’s a stated goal.

The purpose of Matty’s Paradigm is to cause irreparable damage to the theoretical foundation of popular science (SciPop).

– The purpose of Matty’s Paradigm

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is it God’s will or is it our will? The featured passage is a place to start to see if there’s a Biblical precedent for the activity that we’re engaging in. Translations of Proverbs 18:1 fall into two broad categories:

  1. Positive, having a good sense,
  2. negative, having a bad sense.

A review of the translations at Bible Hub shows that of 29 available only two are positive, the rest are negative. The sense in the rendering even changes between the King James (positive) and the New King James (negative). Compare the sense of the passage above to the passage below.

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.

(Proverbs 18:1) NKJV

The KJV translation could be taken to mean that a person has separated themselves from community for the purpose of study and reflection. There’s nothing inherently bad about that. It’s what we could refer to as absolute, it’s just a statement of fact. The newer translations have a completely different tone, they’re accusative and have the clear implication that isolation can only have a bad outcome. Some of them are judgemental of people who may isolate themselves for the purpose of conducting an independent study as opposed to submitting to the collective will of, say, peer review.

An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

(Proverbs 18:1) NIV

It’s selfish and stupid to think only of yourself and to sneer at people who have sense.

(Proverbs 18:1) CEV

People who do not get along with others are interested only in themselves; they will disagree with what everyone else knows is right.

(Proverbs 18:1) GNT

The message is clear: if you go against the mainstream there’s obviously something wrong with you. The thing is, the word translated as having separated himself in the verse is absolute, not accusative, so why are the English translations overwhelmingly accusative?

The difference in the apparent intent of the passage between the KJV and the newer translations pivots on the so called enlightenment. This was when humanity, led by Sir Isaac Newton and others, broke free of the intellectual constraint placed upon them by a mindless adherence to the doctrine of scripture. It was when humanity grew up and realized that he wasn’t dependent on God to explain the origin and nature of the cosmos, he could figure it out for himself. This was when the peer reviewed popular science narrative of godless existence began, and we started to regard the Bible as archaic drivel written by ignorant Bronze Age goat herders who didn’t know where the sun went at night.

Wherefore relative quantities are not the quantities themselves, whose names they bear, but those sensible measures of them (either accurate or inaccurate), which are commonly used instead of the measured quantities themselves. And if the meanings of words is to be determined by their use, then by the names time, space, place and motion, their measures are properly to be understood; and the measured quantities will be unusual, and purely mathematical, if the measured quantities themselves are meant. Upon which account, they do strain the sacred writings, who there interpret the words for the measured quantities.

– Sir Isaac Newton, Principia Mathematica p. 81-82

As we’ve seen and are endeavoring to show you the so called enlightenment was when humanity plunged into spiritual darkness. Words were used to refer to unknown phenomena, and then definitions for the words were tailored to fit the narrative. What you think of as science is now a farcical parody of knowledge which we refer to as popular science (SciPop). The problem is that it’s so ingrained that all theology which is derived from textual criticism is corrupted, because textual criticism is an attempt to reconcile the Bible with the false SciPop narrative. It’s a mess.

Which brings us back to the point of this post: is it okay for an independent worker to trash the whole lot, SciPop and theology, and start from scratch? Should we consider this passage to be a warning against the value of this endeavor or is it the encouragement that we need to persevere? This is an example of how our frame of reference determines how we perceive the evidence. We’re going to have to conduct a systematic study of the verse construction. Let’s deconstruct the passage and see what we come up with.

A desire to seek separates, all efficient widsom to expose.

(Proverbs 18:1) Interlinear
BHIA desireto seekto divide,the whole, allefficient wisdomto expose, lay bare
KJVThrough desirehimself requirehad severed,all perfectionsound wisdomwill be meddling
NASDesireseekshad separated,with everythingsound wisdomwill quarrel
BSBSelfish desirespursueshe who isolates himself,against allsound judgementhe rebels
– BHI; Bible Hub Interlinear, KJV; King James Version, NAS; New American Standard, INT; Interlinear, BSB; Berean Study Bible

Clearly there’s enough meaning here to account for why some translations have a positive sense while other translations have a negative sense. It’s possible to use both at the same time by combining the positive and negative senses.

A man longs to be isolated; seeking through prayer, to rebel against abiding success (peer review); to expose sound wisdom.

(Proverbs 18:1) MP

And there you have it, our mission in a nutshell. Today’s image expresses the positive aspect of peer review: research should be conducted in such a way that it’s transparent and open to view. The negative side of peer review is that it’s a way of maintaining control of a narrative and ensuring compliance with the narrative. This is the reason why this work is a blog and you get to see it as soon as it’s written.

Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.

(John 18:20) NKJV

Parchment scroll with calligraphy

December 20th – Keep the Sayings of This Book

Can you think of ways in which keeping sayings of the Bible has helped you this year?

2 Replies to “Rebelling Against Peer Review”

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