I've had a discussion going with Scott Grosnell over at Pros and Cons about whether the Supreme Court should be limited to lawyers as justices. I've left another comment on his site, but it seems that the discussion is winding down to him saying that since the Court deals with important issues, we really want focused specialists deciding them, and me saying that since the Court deals with important issues, we need a broad spectrum of specialties. Of course, as a professor, I work in a place that puts a premium on having lots of specialists from all sorts of fields (a university), rather than concentrating specialists focused on particular fields (like at a technical college), so perhaps that is biasing my reasoning.
In a nearly unrelated note, though, I realized why professors seem to dumb to people around them, thus giving rise to images like "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "The Nutty Professor." Mr. Grosnell wrote:
"For obvious reasons, the theologans should not be making public policy and law."
Here we see why professors are dumb. I think he is right to characterize the reasons behind that statement as "obvious" ... but they aren't obvious to me. Ask the average Joe on the street, and he'd say, "Of course. That's obvious." Ask a professor, and he'll look puzzled and say, "Why not? Aren't theologians part of the 'public' in 'public policy?' Aren't they bound by the law?"
It's that dang Socrates. He started it all with all those dumb questions.