Re: Fwd: Alvin Plantinga's paper

Adam Crowl (
Sat, 16 Jan 1999 04:51:05 PST

Hi Group,

I agree with Ed's implication. Plantinga has left a great gaping hole in
his argument. Fact is most religions conflict with the facts and science
on more than just origins. Geography, surprisingly, conflicts with some
versions of Buddhism which have sacred cosmographies involving huge
axial mountains on the disc [flat disc] of the Earth. Do we accomodate
geography to such views? No. Truth is truth, regardless of who it
offends. If education accomodate every nut out there then kids would be
more muddled than they already are...

Puberty and conflicts over origins - no thanks.


>Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 15:35:17 -0500
>From: Ed Brayton <>
>To: Ted Davis <>, ASA Mailing List
>Subject: Re: Fwd: Alvin Plantinga's paper
> I do think Dr. Plantinga's paper raises several
>problems. I wonder how consistently he would apply his own criteria. He
>the following justification for eliminating the teaching of evolution
in public
>"(BR) Each of the citizens party to the contract has the right not to
>comprehensive beliefs taught to her children that contradict her own
>comprehensive beliefs."
>The major problem I see with this is that it can be applied to any
number of
>situations with more or less equal merit. The teaching of evolution is
not the
>only instance in which a school curriculum can contradict the deeply
>beliefs of a portion of the parents whose children attend public
schools. When
>public schools teach that the earth is a sphere, is it a violation of
the basic
>rights of those parents who believe that the earth is flat? By the same
>that Dr. Plantinga advances, flat earthism is, for those parents, an
>part of their comprehensive religious beliefs and their beliefs are
based upon
>an interpretation of the bible that they feel is absolutely a part of
>bible's teachings about the world. When we teach the heliocentric model
of the
>universe in public schools, do we violate the basic rights of those
parents who,
>along with John Calvin [sic - Calvin had no issues with Copernicus'
ideas] and Martin Luther, believer fervently that the earth is
>the center of the universe and that acceptance of the bible demands
that this be
>true? When we teach about the Holocaust, do we violate the basic rights
of that
>group of white supremacists who deny that it occured? When we teach the
>theory of disease, do we violate the basic rights of Christian
Scientists? When
>we teach standard meteorology, do we violate the basic rights of those
>believe that bad weather is sent by God to punish the wicked?
>Any thoughts?
>Ed Brayton
I speak with more vehemence than usual, but Plantinga's analysis was
naive and stupid for a man otherwise so thoughtful. He's swallowed too
much post-modern pluralistic garbage.

Get Your Private, Free Email at