Threat to ASA (Was Re: NTSE Note #3)

Murphy (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 17:01:35 -0500

John W. Burgeson wrote (reporting on Johnson):
> The demarcationists (those who see science being
> defined by a rule definition) will have a final say at the ASA convention
> in California in August. The objections of the theistic evolutionists will
> fade away."

This reference to the ASA is significant & ominous. Johnson
seems to be saying that it will soon succumb completely to his notions.
I can only hope he is as wrong about it as he is about everything else.
ASA has been significant in the development of the modern
science-theology dialogue, and I have appreciated very much the
opportunities and interactions I myself have had because of it.
However, ASA is far from the only organization involved in this
dialogue. CTNS, CCRS, ITEST, FASE, denominational work groups of the
ELCA, UCC, PCUSA & others are playing an increasingly significant role.
_Members of these organizations are not, to any significant extent,
being taken in by the Johnson line._ They realize that, while important
aspects of evolution & its relationship with theology remain to be
worked out, evolution - including natural selection as at least a major
component - is here to stay.
If ASA wants to follow Johnson into the fever swamps, it will be
regrettable. I will be very sorry personally. But in the larger
view, it will simply mean that the serious science-theology work is
happening elsewhere. Many people engaged in science-theology dialogue
already think that ASA is an obscurantist organization. I have, in the
past, tried to convince them that that is not the case, but the
favorable reactions of some members to Johnson makes me wonder.
George Murphy
P.S. For anyone who wonders why I omitted it in the above list of
organizations, I'm aware of the role of the Templeton foundation, but
that would get too far afield now.