Re: Proposal for a Moratorium

From: Vernon Jenkins (
Date: Tue Oct 16 2001 - 18:02:06 EDT

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: NCSE Contacts Every Living Scientist"


    I shall of course respect the wishes of the majority and observe the
    suggested moratorium. However, before I sign off I would like to make
    two brief points, viz

    (1) The TE position assumes that he who said "Thou shalt love thy
    neighbour as thyself" is also the one who has expressed his creativity
    in a process that is its antithesis. I find that extremely odd.

    (2) I conclude that the unpopularity of the numerics to which I have
    referred many times is largely due to the threat they are perceived to
    pose to deeply-ingrained beliefs. However, while we may cease to discuss
    them, they ever remain in the background a constant challenge to
    conventional wisdom.

    With my regards,

    Vernon wrote:
    > To the ASA discussion list:
    > A while back, Jack Haas noted how this list had degenerated over the
    > past several months. Since then, things have not improved. The
    > signal-to-noise ratio continues to be bad. Discussions degenerate
    > into unedifying back-and-forth arguments. The hostility level
    > increases, and we get celebration of another's misfortune and
    > un-brotherly insults like "you neither respect nor understand the Word
    > of God." Somebody else tosses in a few cryptic sentences with no
    > thought behind them, starting another round of unfruitful dialogue.
    > And so it spirals downward.
    > Active moderation would require a suitable person doing a huge amount
    > of work, and seems not to be an option. Therefore, let me offer a
    > suggestion that might provide some improvement. It has been my
    > observation that certain topics, when brought up on this list,
    > *always* lead us into trouble and produce no edification. This is not
    > entirely the fault of the people who bring up the topics; many replies
    > have produced more heat than light. But, since these topics *never*
    > seem to lead to worthwhile discussions, I think it would be best if
    > they were given a rest, at least for a while.
    > In particular, I propose a moratorium on the following two areas:
    > 1) Scientific "proofs" of God
    > 2) Numerical patterns in the Bible
    > This should not be construed as a judgment that those topics are never
    > worth discussing; it is just a recognition that *here* they have
    > inevitably been sources of the strife and noise that threaten to
    > destroy this list.
    > A moratorium means that those who post on such topics should refrain,
    > and if they do not refrain, others should refrain from replying (that
    > part is important!). I suggest that this moratorium apply *for the
    > remainder of calendar 2001*. That might be enough time for the level
    > of hostility around here to cool down and for the signal-to-noise
    > ratio to improve enough that this becomes a worthwhile discussion
    > forum once again.
    > Of course I'm just one contributor to this list -- I can only suggest
    > this, not impose it. Maybe somebody else has a better suggestion.
    > But I think we must do something. I value this list and many of its
    > contributors. But things have been bad for quite a while now, to the
    > point where I'm beginning to feel like it is not worth subscribing (a
    > feeling that seems to be shared by many).
    > So, I would implore people to give a rest, at least for the next 2.5
    > months, to those two topics that have been so unfruitful. We need to
    > try something to return this list to "iron sharpens iron" rather than
    > throwing rocks at each other.
    > In Christ,
    > Allan
    > P.S. To Terry or whoever maintains the "filter" to trap Spam. Can you
    > filter out anything that has the string "SEMINARIO" in the Subject
    > field? I think that would rid us of these Spanish-language Spams that
    > have been plaguing us.
    > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado |
    > "Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
    > attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cats"

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Oct 16 2001 - 17:57:47 EDT