Re: Comment

Allan Harvey (
Tue, 25 Feb 1997 17:08:10 -0700

At 05:21 PM 2/25/97 -0500, Burgy wrote:
>George Murphy wrote, in part: "The reason Johnson is popular among many
>Christians is not because people are excited about epistemology but
>because they want to have an excuse to relegate evolution to a minor
>role (or deny it entirely) & not have to think about it or wrestle with
>the religious issues it raises."
>My comment -- perhaps true, but not relevant to the issue.

The original issue was something to the effect of "What do so many
Christians in science have against Johnson's approach?" In light of that
question, Murphy's point is very relevant.

Johnson gives the unscientific public something to latch onto so that they
can keep their simplistic false dichotomies. Evolution is false, so the
faith is preserved. Neat, simple, but theologically and apologetically
unsound. Johnson may have some valid points about the conduct of science,
suitable for discussion in circles like the ASA. But, for the general
Christian public, Johnson is the guy who is dealing the death blow to that
evil enemy of the faith: evolution. As long as biological evolution and
theism are viewed as mutually exclusive (whether this false dichotomy is
defined by Johnson or Henry Morris or Richard Dawkins), Christians will be
less effective in their witness to the world. While Johnson himself may
not buy completely into that false dichotomy, the effect of his approach
has been to perpetuate it.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | Phone: (303)497-3555 |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | Fax: (303)497-5224 |
| 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303 | |
| "Don't blame the government for what I say, or vice versa." |