Paul Arveson (
Wed, 27 May 1998 15:41:52 -0400

Steve wrote:

>I always wonder why practicing scientists who are Christians and who
>aren't young-earth
>creationists are never represented in these public debates. Is there
>something the ASA
>can do to promote such people and viewpoints? These shows almost always
>present a very
>polarized debate without eloquent, scientifically-educated Christians
>taking a moderate view (accepting the validity of science yet also being
>strong Christians).
>- - Steve.
>- --
> Steven H. Schimmrich
> Physical Sciences Department (office)
> Kutztown University (home)
> 217 Grim Science Building 610-683-4437, 610-683-1352 (fax)
> Kutztown, Pennsylvania 19530

Don't fret about it, Steve.

Suppose we made a 'moderation scale' and matched it against a 'publicity
probablilty scale'. It might look something like this:

Content Moderation Level Publicity Probability

Detailed, balanced
scholarly reviews 5 .001

Reporters' digests
of scholarly reviews 4 .01

Debates on issues 3 .1
by advocates

Angry sound bites
from partisans 2 .2

Violent attacks 1 .4

Violent attacks with
blood and/or bombs 0 1
and/or sex

Recall the dictum of the mass media: 'If it bleeds, it leads'.

Back in the late 1950's, I could get up very early in the morning and watch
a TV show in which Prof. Harvey White taught physics. Do any of you
remember that? It was a failed experiment. Can you imagine something like
that on broadcast TV today? How could it hold a candle to Jerry Springer?

I think Neil Postman suggested that all media are not created equal;
movies convey immoderation, sex, violence and evil far better than books do.

But the kind of content ASA tries to wrestle with -- philosophy, theology,
science, spirituality -- demands slow contemplation over an extended period
of time.

So we should all do more writing of books -- well crafted, with due
diligence and meekness. Publish them for free on the web, if you like --
that's what Steve is doing -- but read them slowly.

Paul Arveson, Code 724, Research Physicist, Signatures Directorate
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
9500 MacArthur Blvd., West Bethesda, MD 20817-5700
(301) 227-3831 (301) 227-4511 (FAX)