Johnson on James Dobson
Wed, 17 Nov 1999 14:49:57 EST

Dear Wendee,
In response to your e-mail of Nov. 17, you questioned my comment that
your draft letter to Dobson was "an inaccurate caricature of Johnson's
statements". You state that the only thing you wrote at all about Johnson
was, "listening to Johnson gave me a deep concern about his dissemination of
false information, and leading Christians astray".
Wendee, charging a fellow Christian with the dissemination of false
information and leading Christians astray is a very serious charge. And for
that reason I felt it wise to warn the ASA members on the list serve who take
their scholarship very seriously to analyze the tape for themselves before
considering signing on to your letter to Dobson.
Rather than get into a "he said-you said" conversation, I think it best
at this point that you obtain a transcript of the broadcast, identify what
you consider to be false information that will lead Christians astray, as
well as those portions of the broadcast that will enlighten Christians as to
the difference between philosophical materialism and authentic science. At
that point we can have a meaningful and constructive dialogue.
The ASA has several commissions that specialize in areas of concern to
the membership. The Science Education Commission, as it's name implies,
concerns itself with science education. For example, we have published,
"Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy", written to help science
teachers cope with the creation-evolution pseudo-controversy in the
classroom. We have also recently published the October, 99 issue of
ScienceEd News, containing news of our activities in the areas of: state
resolutions on teaching evolution, (ie: the Kansas situation); improving the
content of evolution in textbooks; suggested terms for clarifying evolution;
definitions from college textbooks; and science ed on the web.
If you'll forward me your address I'll be happy to send you copies of the
above (ASA members can contact the ASA office for copies). Perhaps you are
unaware that the concern expressed by Phil Johnson on James Dobson's program
that philosophical materialism is masquerading as science in our children's
biology textbooks is based on evidence, not "false information." For
example, the popular 10th grade textbook, "Biology", by Miller and Levine,
states that "evolution is random and undirected" and also that "evolution
works without either plan or purpose" (Prentice-Hall, 1993, 1995 and 1998
editions, pg. 658). At the Science Ed Commission's request, co-author Kenneth
Miller has agreed that since such statements are unsupported by scientific
evidence, he will remove them from subsequent editions.

John Wiester