Allan Harvey wrote:
"A good example is the current discussion of doctrines of original sin, which I consider OK because it has a significant impact on science/faith discussions. But extended discussions on topics pretty much entirely unrelated to science/faith issues (important though the topics might be) should stop. My opinion is that the recent discussion about compassion, welfare policies, etc. is in this category."
Allan, I could not disagree with you more. The recent discussion regarding compassion and welfare policies is **EXACTLY** what the science/religion debate is all about. I cannot imagine anything being more "on target." In fact, I spent two summers up at Princeton Theological Seminary studying just these kinds of topics precisely because (at the time) Princeton was the only seminary with an endowed chair created to explore these issues.
"Compassion" is all about Christianity. And the particular welfare we were discussing, food aid, is all about science. Agriculture, transportation, antibiotics, caloric intake, and so on are all issues of science that mesh with our Christian perspectives and thus impact policy.
The science/religion debate cannot be limited to the worn argument between creationism and evolution or to the newer argument between evolution and intelligent design. The purpose of the ASA, it seems to me, is to explore **all** science/religion topics, including stem cell research, euthanasia, emergency room technology that keeps people alive, the moral responsibility concerning reproductive rights with mentally retarded individuals in the face of technology that can prevent their ever becoming pregnant, and so on.
These are the kinds of issues explored on the seminary campuses that discuss science/religion topics. Check out the publications, for example, from CTNS (the Center for the Study of Theology and the Natural Sciences).
I encourage everyone on the ASA list to continue these and other similar topics. This is the "stuff" of day-to-day science/religion struggles.
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