three overviews of "origins questions"

Craig Rusbult (
Tue, 9 Jun 1998 10:47:45 -0500

The past few months I've been writing a series of three overviews
(short, medium, long) on "Origins Questions for Science and Theology";
these papers are currently located at

My general approach has been guided by a goal (described in the first
section of each overview) of maintaining a "respectful attitude" based on a
recognition that "even though each of us has valid reasons for preferring
one position, we can admit that people on other sides of an issue may also
have good reasons, both intellectual and ethical, for believing as they
do." Each of you can be a judge of how well this goal has been achieved.
(better for some issues and some perspectives than for others, I'm sure)
And if the goal is to find an effective balance between three extremes --
obnoxious arrogance and insipid relativism and aggressive relativism --
each of us will fail by the "standards of behavior" of some people, because
these standards vary so widely.

The length-ratio of the three overviews (short, medium, long) is 1:5:12.
If you want to look at them, I suggest skimming the home-page, then reading
the short Introductory Overview to see which parts look interesting. The
medium-sized Main Overview is probably the best combination of completeness
and compactness; in its introduction there is a brief "about the author"
description, and a link to the website that condenses my PhD dissertation
on "integrated scientific method." In the introduction to the long
Detailed Overview is an "Added Value" section to describe what it has that
is not in the medium-sized paper. (For example, there is an interesting
endnote-for-2A about using Materialism and Naturalism as terms.)
These overviews are intended to serve as an integrated introduction for
the major "origins questions" ideas and for more in-depth papers, written
by others and (eventually) also by myself.

If you have any comments about the ideas in these papers, or their
expression, please share them with me. Sometime in the near future, maybe
we can start a thread on some issues (in the overviews) that you find
interesting. One topic that I'll suggest, for early next week, is the
terminology in Section 1A and in the Materialism/Naturalism endnote
mentioned above.

Craig Rusbult
Madison, WI