To me it makes sense when coupled with the assumption that Weyland hired the crew to be susceptible to bribery and to be easily disposable. The mission wasn't supposed to be scientific, just to appear to be just scientific enough that Shaw and Holloway wouldn't be suspicious about the real nature mission.
If Weyland had hired top xeno-biologists, they would have canned the exploration long before they got anywhere near what Weyland needed. Having someone who is there for the cash, basically a mercenary with just enough biological skills to pass muster, but not to react as a research scientist would, gets Weyland to that goal. Same for the rest of the team, and that scene with electrocuting the head highlights that they hired third or fourth-rate scientifically skilled mercenaries.
Ridley Scott and the rest of the Alien series set the groundwork for this process. Weyland-Yutani routinely had ill-equipped, non-specialist groups fiddling with alien technology, relying on their mercenary nature to do stupid yet profitable things.
- The crew of the Nostromo was a long-distance trucking crew.
- The family sent to investigate the crashed ship in Aliens, and the entire colony team, was in it for a cash reward.
- Carter Burke and the real Bishop are the same.
- The entire research station crew, including the military, in Resurrection also.
It might have been a bit too much in-your-face in Prometheus compared to the early Alien movies, but the way Weyland carried out the mission was in perfect conformity with their "later" missions in the Aliens series. Hell, it explains why the Nostromo of all ships was diverted to investigate the signal.