Probably not, but wouldn’t it be pretty to think so?
In honor of our ongoing War on Expertise, I bring you a link to a post of mine from two years ago, which featured a This American Life story about Bob the Electrician, and his deluded belief that if he couldn’t understand the Theory of Relativity, that meant that it was bunk. Because everyone everywhere all the time should be able to understand everything, so one person’s as good as the next when it comes even to the trickiest of intellectual or policy questions. It doesn’t matter if some of us have devoted our lives to the study and mastery of some forms of knowledge, nor if we actually do this for a living. From my post on July 15, 2014:
To summarize: Bob takes a year-long self-funded sabbatical to study physics and prove that Einstein had it all wrong. [Reporter Robert Andrew] Powell tries to get real physicists to read the paper that Bob produces over the course of the year, which turns out to be quite a chore because it turns out that Bob is kind of like the old joke about asylums being full of Napoleons: there are thousands of cranks around the world who believe Einstein’s theory–and by extension all of modern physics–is wrong, and they are a plague upon real, working, university- and U.S. government-affiliated physicists in much the same way that Holocaust Deniers, Constitutional Originalists, and Lost Causers are to historians; climate change denialists are to real climate scientists; and anti-vaxxers are to real physicians. In sum, these cranks have no confidence whatsoever in expertise or in the value of the credentials that real historians, scientists, or doctors have. But yet, they crave their respect and demand to be acknowledged by the experts.