Re: A Christian's Responsibility (was: Miller's Request for N&V
Mon, 20 Sep 1999 17:44:25 EDT

In a message dated 09/20/1999 4:18:16 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

<< I read with interest your post directed to Dr. Miller (since it was posted
to the list, I assume that it was fair game).

I teach at a Christian secondary school - Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy and
Paleontology (the latter two are only half year electives). My own
background is chemical engineering plus alot of reading.

Both in school and at church or other outside activities, my ears perk up
whenever pronouncements on scientific issues are raised. My own conclusion
is that I will bring to the attention of the speaker first any factual error
that were made. I believe that this follows Christ's instruction to go
directly to the brother who has offended rather than to others (that could
verge on gossip). (I am never (almost) asked my thoughts ahead of time
except by students who bring interesting items in for me to read.) It is
important to be gentle and humble in your correction, but also to present
the sources for your information - after all science is not just a matter of
opinion. Be sensitive to the good motives of the speaker, and offer your
own encouragement along with the correction. My experience is that a good
fraction will accept your thoughtful criticism (especially when done in
private) and a smaller fraction will actually change or make amends.

It is difficult for me to imagine a better answer to the question than this

Paul S.