Re: ID and Scientific Utility

Craig Rusbult (
Sat, 27 Sep 1997 19:43:42 -0400 (EDT)

Dennis Feucht discusses the interactions between scholarship and advocacy:

>Phil & Co. are
>largely motivated to counter an adverse worldview (i.e., scientism) as it
>appears within the scientific community. I believe that some of their
>efforts could benefit from the refining interaction with fellow Christians
>in science and ASA. But I also hope that ASAers will be encourgaed by their
>zeal to constructively engage the Establishment in the area of worldviews.
...< snip >...
>advice to her was to concentrate on the science-as-religion issue instead
>of arguing for a young universe.
...< snip >...
>What is frustrating for me in this situation is that there is not a
>plethora of material available for such people that I can draw from,
>especially for well-intended Christians under the influence of young-earth
>creationism. We need some convincing rhetorically-oriented material.
> ...< snip >... to equip those "in the
>trenches" to oppose scientism and other ungodly views in education.

>The scholarly discussion that interests us and is necessary to support
>rhetoric is outside the conceptual framework of most others and does not
>influence them significantly. .... To understand this need
>is to go a long way toward understanding what drives the intelligent-design
>movement. ...< snip >...
>Scholars are often not good at popularizing and non-scholars don't have an
>adequate understanding of the issues. No wonder we're not making much of a
>dent in our culture.

Yes, indeed. Sigh.

It would also be helpful -- as Jack Haas requested in his recent
"serious writing" post -- to have a FAQ-type summary of the "scholarly"
arguments and counter-arguments. (I assume that an a well-written FAQ would
include the pros and cons as viewed from all the main perspectives)

I also think it is wise (and productive, and in the spirit of Christ) to
keep focused on the "good attitude" advice in the signature of Denis:

>"In all debates, let truth be thy aim, and endeavor to gain
>rather than expose thy opponent."

So far, in my brief experience, my perceptions of those participating in
the ASA-list are that your actions have been consistent with this attitude.


Craig R