The Reverend Robert P. Murphy

I was clicking around economist Dr. Robert P. Murphy’s site earlier today and clicked on one of the commenters’ screen names, which led to that commenter’s blog. Well, since the blog in question is immediately up-front in telling us that its opinions are “snarky”, I think that it is reasonable to say that its pronouncements are to be taken with a grain of salt.

What caught my attention, however, is the blogroll. It lists only four sites, each of them blogs. One of those sites was that of Bob Murphy, and it referred to him as ‘Rev Bob Murphy’.

I’ll admit that it is humorous to refer to Bob in that context, and it is quite apt on certain occasions (for instance, Murphy always posts a religious post on Sundays), but I don’t think that Dr. Murphy is out there preaching religion in his economic pursuits. In fact, I’d say that most of his Sunday posts are a seeking of truth in a particular area of thought: theology. This doesn’t mean that he cannot separate these two disciplines (economics and theology).

Murphy is a very competent economist who really understands the mainstream (esp. the synthesis), and is highly influential in the heterodox Austrian school of economics. I think that the real implication of such an erroneous title is that Murphy’s opinions are influenced by religion, therefor the Austrian School is influenced by religion and is thus not science.

I cannot say for sure, myself not knowing the writer of that blog too well, but that is what I draw as a conclusion from the available evidence. If that is the implication being set, then I would just like to say: considering the reality, there exists no science that is not influenced by religion.

Update: I have recently had correspondence with the owner of the blog. To be sure that I don’t mistake anything, I will quote him directly: ‘“Rev Bob Murphy” is a snark at Bob’s religiosity, and his atitude toward biblical evidence, not a reflection on his economics”.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Economics, Random Musings, Religion, Science

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