Back to Joel Baden of Yale and his proposals for “Neo-DH”, a label he attributes to another writer. He agrees with the old, isolated, unfactual, illogical structure. What’s new and improved about it?
This reminds me of a scene in the old Beverly Hills 90210 TV series where the daughter is imagining herself back in the 1960s. She and her family are eating TV dinners off tray tables in the living room, watching the Vietnam War play on the evening news. The father says, “This tastes different.” The mother, being an obedient consumer, cheerfully repeats the ads, “It’s new and improved.” They probably were tasting a new combination of fat, salt, sugar, and chemicals.
Baden claims that Documentary Hypothesis is undergoing a resurgence in America because it has dropped one of the two parts of Wellhausen’s program – the historical analysis. Baden says “Neo-Doc” is strictly literary, and that JEDP can only address the literary issues.
But he still maintains that the sources can be identified without an example to compare to, which you know is an invalid method; you can’t identify the author of a work if you don’t have an authenticated sample of the author’s work for comparison. Same as you can't identify a person's fingerprints unless they're on file with police, or that they didn't believe they had found the remains of Richard III until they found a live distant relative and got a DNA match.
By giving up on historical issues, “Neo-Doc” avoids the inconvenient truth that history – ok, archaeology – which has hard evidence for its claims, outperforms DH, which does not.
Giving up on history makes DH an abstraction.
OK, let’s look at it abstractly. I didn’t actually give the value for the probability that DH is true, did I? So what is it?
Well, there are five possible sources to assign every verse in Torah to, JEDP and at least one that is unknown. The probability that any assignment is correct is at most 1/5, the way the probability of any side of a die coming up is 1/6. If there is more than one unknown source, the probability is 1/6, 1/7, whatever that final number of sources adds up to. And you know from grade school math that the larger the number in the denominator, the smaller the value of the probability. But since I'm in a generous mood, I’ll stick with 1/5 for now.
Starting with Astruc, I showed that the criteria for assignment are based on false “facts” or subjective methods. One of them, the mischsprache concept crucial to P, is based on history, which is now being ripped out of DH. So the criteria cannot boost the probability of any assignment above 1/5.
Since DH is eliminating history (archaeology), there never will be hard evidence for any assignment. So the probability is less than 1/5, less than 20%, less than 0.2.
Since DH still supports splitting one verse from another, every verse has to be used as a separate term in the calculation.
So the total probability is the product of the probability that every assignment is correct, which is some value less than 0.2 multiplied by itself 5845 times at a minimum. You do the math.
And then we look at the abstract logic, and find all the fallacies, which make the probability zero.
So students at American universities are being graded, and some are having their futures depend, on their performance in a subject with a zero probability of being true.