Reply to example of natural revelation (Doug Eernisse)
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 13:06:57 -0800 (PST)

From: IN%"deernisse@CCVAX.FULLERTON.EDU" 12-DEC-1996 10:57:44.39
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Subj: RE: Internet Static (forward)

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Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 10:33:56 -0800
From: deernisse@CCVAX.FULLERTON.EDU (Doug Eernisse)
Subject: Re: Internet Static (forward)
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>From: IN%"" "Joel Cannon" 12-DEC-1996 06:33:57.31
>To: IN%""
>Subj: Natural Revelation (fwd).....Another example for discussion (fwd)
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>Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 08:30:10 -0600 (CST)
>From: Joel Cannon <>
>Subject: Natural Revelation (fwd).....Another example for discussion (fwd)
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>Thanks to Jason Alley for sharing his example. I used it to continue
>my dialogue with a biology professor here (who wears a Darwin pin). I
>have enclosed it below as one example of how we might engage our
>colleagues. This rather tart reply comes as part of a more extended
>friendly dialogue, the pin discussion here started the dialogue when I
>forwarded it to her.
>> Beth:
>> This tidbit came over the listserv from a biology student at another school.
>> >
>> > I agree. I am a Biology Major at Biola University, but I'm taking a
>> > Zoology course at Cal. State University, Fullerton. My professor there,
>> > Dr. Ernisee, told the class on the first day (not an exact quote, it was
>> > a while ago, but this was the general idea):
>> > "This is an evolutionary class. There are those in this class who, not
>> > being enlightened, believe in the ancient myth of a divinely-created
>> > universe. I'm not going to set out to change their minds, per se, but I
>> > will not give credance to their view. The entire focus of evolutionary
>> > science is to remove the necessity for God in the origin of life. That
>> > is the purpose of this class."
>> > You'd think that the purpose of the class would be to teach the
>> > functionings of animal life: how it reproduces, nurishes itself, grows,
>> > moves, lives, etc, not disprove the existance of God.
>> What is quite remarkable here is the innocence of the professor in
>> mistakenly thinking that the only God of which he can conceive is
>> equivalent to the Gods of Judaism, Islam, or Christianity and his
>> condescending hostility to a large fraction of his students. He
>> presumably knows a fair bit about the history of life and their
>> evolutionary connections but he is dangerously innocent about
>> philosophy and the connection between this history and theism.
>> Unfortunately, his avowed purpose is to discuss this philosophy.
>> What do you think?
>Joel W. Cannon
>Dept. of Physics
>Centenary College of Louisiana
>P. O. Box 41188
>Shreveport, LA 71134-1188
>(318)869-5026 FAX


I never said anything even remotely resembling the above "quotation"
and the fact that someone is saying I did is quite an annoyance to me.
What is this student's agenda? Why is he claiming I said things that I did
not say? In fact, I never remember bringing up the subject of God in
my class ever, although I certainly might have contrasted evolutionary
vs. static views of species through time. I only present what biologists
and other historical scientists have learned through scientific study
about patterns and processes of animal diversity. It is a comparative
zoology course. I let the students make up their own minds about
how this knowledge fits their religious views, and plenty of them
can deal with the evidence for "descent with modification" within
the context of their own religious beliefs. Incidently, if you happen
to come to CSUF some day you would notice that the students in a
typical class come from many different ethnic and cultural
backgrounds where there is a great diversity of religious beliefs.
If there are any students in the class who have a problem with an
evolutionary view of comparative zoology by the end of the course
then they have not told me as much. As a famous biologist once
said (loosely paraphrasing), "Natural selection is as simple concept.
It takes special training to misunderstand it." I would add that
it also appears to take special training to misquote a person's
views with such gross distortion.

Best wishes,