Because some subjects such as Darwinism have been historically fraught with
confusion and controversy, I think that any official statements about such
matters should be developed carefully by a group of ASA members who
represent the best thought and spectrum of views in ASA. This is generally
done by means of our peer-reviewed publications such as Perspectives and
Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy.
I believe that this list has helped to meet ASA's mission by providing a
forum for a wide range of viewpoints. It is evident from the opinions I
read here that there is a lot of good thought, but little unanimity.
Nevertheless, we assume that the process is worthwhile: that people will
have flexibility and agree with someone else's argument once in a while, or
at least refine and prune their own ideas.
I think it may be the process, as much as the ideas themselves, that
provides educational value. That is why we must be careful to be civil
here. Content is wide open. Criticism should be restrained. In this way
we can set an example.
Paul Arveson, Code 724, Signatures Directorate, NSWC
(301) 227-3831 (301) 227-4511 (FAX)