I studied anthro with Margaret Mead. The History Channel is a joke. It always highlights the most-off beat, nonmainstream, salacious theory. Other theories in the same field are rarely credited. Compared to other cable, though, I enjoy it. It is the wikipedia of antrhopogy and history. Their history is not pure either. The Witnesses evoke a world of certainty. Once we were discussing what a bummer it was that a superb teacher did not get tenure. Our religion prof. overheard the talk. She had to give us bibliographies and Gnostics scriptures themselves to avoid partisan views of the New Testament. She said publish or perish was imperative. It is very easy to spout out a bunch of "facts" to clueless undergraduates but terrifying to expose your views to peers around the world.
I'm assuming that with modern technoloy physical anthropolgy has improved its accuracy by leaps and bounds. I'm a lawyer where facts are crucial but the highest praise is to say a lawyer is creative. The Supreme Court sets precedents which are rarely overturned. My specialty now is Establishment Clause law. The cases are 5-4. We rely on a body of eminent jurists yet they cannot agree in many fields. Lower courts and lawyers live with the constant uncertainty. All this reminds me of Bobby Dylan's "The times they are a changin'. A field that doesn't self-examine, that has no inherent tension is a dead field. Math has different approaches.
I seek out Episcopal priests b/c they are convenient sources. Typically, I will want to nail down what some document means. What is the connotation of a word? If it says this, is that excluded? I always receive an answer that weasal words were purposeful. The JWs shaped my mind. The most important part of a legal brief is not the legal argument but the way the facts, stipulated to by both sides, are presented. The reason we have much controversy aout interpreting the constitution is that it was left vague on purpose b/c it was a political deal. Frequently, ascertaining the meaning of the drafters means the drafters knew they had to raise an issue but could not agree.
Even when I know a topic the History Channel addresses, I still enjoy the show. I watch C-Span voraciously. Last night I finished reading Wolf Hall, historical fiction surrounding Henry VIII and his wives. She presented Sir Thomas More as not nice (he absolutely denied others freedom of religion while wanting it himself) and Thomas Cromwell (lost his head, too, in time) as nice. Katzenzakis in The Last Temptation of Christ, my favorite book, portrayed Judas as a hero and Jesus as confused.
One more Templar documentary on History is going to send me to a mental hospital.