Re: preposterous

From: Tim Ikeda (
Date: Tue Apr 03 2001 - 22:29:37 EDT

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    Hello John,

    >Tim wrote: "Well, as we know I'm not a Christian, and if
    > I were one to overgeneralize, that comment would might
    > lead me to suspect that being Christian can be a serious
    > impediment to one's ability to appreciate science. But
    > as Ernst Mayr notes, this is a chauvinism not uncommonly
    > found in physicists (religious and otherwise), so one's
    > religion can't necessarily be blamed."
    >At the NTSE conference in Austin, Stephen Schafersman made that very
    >claim, both in his paper (which was still available at Rob Koon's web
    >site last time I looked) and in private conversation. He even said he
    >would not engage a Christian plumber if another option were available
    >because, he said, the Christian plumber would necessarily have to
    >consider the supernatural as a possible cause of the toilet backing up
    >and that, alone, would make him less efficient a worker and an inferior
    >Stephen and I had two or three very gentlemanly conversations on this
    >during the conference and I subsequently mentioned the topic in my NTSE
    >review for the ARN journal a year later. Copy on my web site somewhere.
    >Burgy (John Burgeson)

    Hello John.
    I looked and found the NTSE conference review. Did you post that
    a few years ago on the ASA or Evolution list? Or maybe I'm confusing
    that with some other reviews I've read.

    Anyhow, rest assured that I wouldn't hesitate to hire a Christian
    plumber to work on my sink. On second thought, maybe I would hesitate.
    I think I can pretty much manage any repairs on my sinks. But I'd
    certainly hire one for working on a connection to the city sewer.
    Likewise, I don't care what religion a person embraces when I read
    their papers. But my tolerance has limits. For example, if I had to
    fill a position for an evolutionary biologist, I doubt that I would
    seriously consider an application from a Christian physicist*.

    BTW - I liked seeing that you included a link to the religioustolerance
    site on your web page. I think that's an excellent site.

    Tim Ikeda

    *unless they were also trained as a biologist...

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