James makes a good point about the fringes of scholarship:
Every field has people near its fringe who think they know better than the experts. What distinguishes a scholar is not simply a solid familiarity with relevant evidence, but participation in scholarly conferences and publication, which brings with it the risk of being shown to be wrong, or at least disagreed with by someone as capable of making a scholarly argument as you are.
People who don’t actually engage the scholarly processes tend to just fire off shots at established ideas from a protective barrier of non-participation, which leads to the false impression that their ideas are impregnable. The cartoon James shares is also priceless: