Re: Email Volume/Relevance

From: Terry M. Gray (
Date: Thu Feb 28 2002 - 13:25:46 EST

  • Next message: Adrian Teo: "RE: Email Volume/Relevance"

    For what it's worth, Jack Haas and I have often tried to steer the
    asa list toward other topics of discussion (even though I personally
    am very interested in origins issues). I know Jack had the same
    interest as editor of the journal. At one point we even thought of
    having the old evolution list to be the place where origins issues
    were discussed and to keep the asa list free from origins
    discussions. We ended up not even suggesting that idea and now, since
    the evolution list is defunct, it's not even possible.

    Personally, I'd like to see some discussion of the December 2001 issue of PSCF.

    Hardly anyone follows this list guideline, but it might be worth
    reminding folks so that you can ignore posts in areas that you aren't
    interested in. It also may remind us of some of the areas that ASA
    people are interested in.

    These are the subject areas originally listed--obviously, they are
    deliberately broad. If you place one of these headings in your
    subject line, it will help people ignore things they're not
    interested in. If you think a broad area is missing, you could invent
    your own subject area and list it in the subject line similarly.

    ASA -- announcements and discussion of ASA policies
    JOBS -- announcements of positions available and jobs wanted
    ORIGINS -- creation/evolution discussion
    ETHICS -- discussion of medical and other ethical questions raised by
    modern science
    BIBLE -- discussion of exegetical/theological issues related to
    scientific questions
    ENVIRON -- discussion of environmental issues and ethics
    SOC/PSYC -- discussion of Christianity and psychology and the social sciences

    A subject line would look like this:

    ETHICS: Y chromosomes and behavior

    and then a reply

      Re: ETHICS: Y chromosomes and behavior.

    Finally, I remind everyone that your computer has a delete key and
    that no one is obligated to read everything and also that there is an
    "unsubscribe" command for this list. This isn't necessarily to
    contradict Peter's generally good advice, but just to remind us all
    of the voluntary nature of the list and the "big tent" nature of the


    >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."
    >Lucy responds:
    >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

    Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
    phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

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