wall of separation

Paul Arveson (arveson@oasys.dt.navy.mil)
Mon, 24 Mar 97 13:32:33 EST

Paul Arveson wrote:

> Write to your college president and tell him how dumb this is.

OR HER. (I'm sorry.)


Jill Wallin wrote:

>Since this is the first time I have contributed to this group, let me
>introduce myself. My name is Jill Wallin and I work as a chemical engineer
>for a major high-tech company. I subscribed to this mail list because I had
>many scientific questions regarding creation, evolution, scientific
>evidence, etc. I am happy to say that the mail list has served me well in
>those regards and have given me some much needed tools to understand many of
>the different issues in the creation/evolution debate.
>Being a chemical engineer, I have read this particular thread with a great
>deal of interest. My feeling is that the question is not whether engineers
>are scientists. The more fundamental question is "How do we define
>science?". Simplistically, I tend to see science divided into 2
>areas--applied science and pure science. Pure science is that which is
>performed under very controlled conditions in a laboratory. The applied
>scientist takes the concepts learned in the laboratory and applies them,
>always under very uncontrolled conditions with many of the variables not
>easily understood.



Welcome to the ASA listserv. As we 'veterans' have said before, there is
a lot more work to be done in providing reference material and tools here;
we regret the lack of resources but hope to develop more in the coming months.
We certainly could use your input too; after all, the best resource is

I think there is another big division between people who are 'engineers'
and people who are 'Professors of Engineering'. Rick Becker's comments
are typical of those found in the 'working world'. In the academic world,
there are fewer distinctions because really everyone is an academic. In a
sense, all work that is done in a school is 'under very carefully controlled
conditions in a laboratory.'

And in the 'working world' there are many pure sciences that don't necessarily
have laboratories: astronomy, geology, ecology, etc. So this distinction
doesn't seem to fit all sciences.

I recall Francis Bacon's concise definition of the purposes of doing natural
philosophy (1620):
'For the glory of God, and the relief of man's estate.'

Perhaps the former is pure science; the latter is engineering.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist Code 724, Signatures Directorate, NSWC
9500 MacArthur Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817-5700
arveson@oasys.dt.navy.mil bridges@his.com
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-4511 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)