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

William W. Cobern (
Wed, 26 Feb 1997 06:39:28 -0700

As you say, it is still anecdotal; moreover the Gallup findings while
suggestive do not warrant the details of your assertion. I think one should
be more careful with broad characterizations especially in the context of a
discussion about good use of evidence and theory. I also find *some* of the
comments on this reflector about the Christian public to be reckless and
inflamatory which makes their lack of evidential base even more serious.
And then *some* of the same persons wonder why they can't get a fair hearing
in the Christian public!

At 09:04 PM 2/25/97 -0600, you wrote:
>At 03:10 PM 2/25/97 -0700, William W. Cobern wrote:
>>In light of the hammering Johnson is taking on this list for his use of
>>evidence and argument, I am disturbed by such assertions as this:
>>At 12:48 PM 2/25/97 -0500, you wrote:
>> 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.
>>This reads as a statement of fact when, IMO, no such facts are avalable.
>This too may be anecdotal but as a geoscientist, when I tell people in the
>churches that I have attended (all of the conservative variety) that geology
>does not support a young earth, or that geology does not support a global
>flood, or that paleontology reveals that no living species of mammal was
>alive on this earth in rocks earlier than the oligocene, about 25% tell me
>that I have been brainwashed by my education/duped by professors/forced to
>believe this because of my employment or something like that. I think 25%
>believe it but don't say so. I gather this from the look of horror on their
>faces. These anecdotal numbers are in agreement with what I hear Gallup has
>found ( January 1993 issue of First Things, Phillip Johnsons article, p. 9:)
>Discussions with many of these people in this type of arena, leads me to
>believe that fear of evolution is quite widespread.
>Foundation, Fall and Flood
William W. Cobern, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Science Education

Education and Professional Development
Western Michigan University
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