Hello sallysingsairs, and welcome. I have to admit that I’ve had a similar sort of concern. Being an “entertainer”, even a “renowned entertainer” doesn’t make one a good spokesperson for reason. Indeed, one might say that often entertainers tend to be (in one way or another) cheats or frauds themselves. Or, as Plato might have said, they are often rhetorical wizards and sophists.
But that need not be the case.
[quote author=“sallysingsairs”]I work in the world of entertainers and more often than not, entertainers were at the right place at the right time.
We can all think of famous people who simply were in the right place at the right time (or with a pretty face and a good voice) ... but it is a real skill to be able to entertain people. I think of a “renowned” entertainer as such a person—the sort who can take complex ideas and make them fun and interesting.
[quote author=“sallysingsairs”]I do not believe it follows that entertainers know more than the general populace and it bothers me that adding them to your categories of guests lends them some kind of validity that is unjustified.
The danger of the rhetorical wizard, of course, is that they don’t necessarily know more than the general population. They have one particular skill, the gift of gab, the ability to speak persuasively and interestingly, and that doesn’t necessarily go along with actual knowledge or wisdom of any sort.
In the case of PoI, however, I have some confidence in DJ, Thomas and the folks of CFI. I believe that they won’t gratuitously go picking entertainers for sheer entertainment value, but rather will be careful in choosing “renowned” entertainers who actually accompany their powerful rhetorical gifts with some knowledge of the subjects of which they speak. Carl Sagan was such a person in his day, so we know it is possible to do.
Do feel free to criticize the shows and speakers if they don’t rise to your high standards!
Meanwhile, keep being skeptical of entertainment.