The Norwegian Dwarf Elf prefers the roots of the white oak and celebrates the festival of Gur’ox. I know that because I have a degree in a Elfology from the Elvian University of Oslo.
Now, you probably think I made the whole thing up. Why?
Would it help the credibility of my degree or the reliability of my alleged knowledge if I told you I got the degree from someone really competent in a equally unverifiable field?
What do you accept as credentials? Would that authority be based solely on unverifiable claims and paid testimonials or would it have to be anchored on real, commonly accepted and measurable data?
Would that knowledge have to be based on something that actually exist?
What if that knowledge is not based on any empirical data or evidence, but based on unseen, invisible, supernatural or even on magical claims?
Can we assert authority on a field that is made up of unverifiable claims?
Does knowledge have to be useful or practical? Can that usefulness be quantifiable in a non-partisan, non-biased and repeatable way?
What if I claim to have a associate degree from the Alternative Medicine Institute of PingLam in Phrenology and Chromatic Aura Healing using Telluric Currents?
Would you put your health in my hands? Will you trust me with your cancer?
Would reading a list of fictitious testimonials on my glossy brochure help you make up your mind and pay me to heal you?