Re: Church Presentation Concerning Evolution

From: Denyse O'Leary (
Date: Thu Jan 30 2003 - 14:33:43 EST

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    Ah, labels!

    Because I am a freelance writer, everyone gets to take potshots at me
    (really, at my byline). Here are some thoughts on labels, from the trenches:

    - In explanatory copy, use labels that the people being described would
    accept. (One exception is if they are trying to misrepresent themselves,
    in which case, default to a neutral label, and stick to your guns.)
    - Never use labels to make a point. If you have a point, make it
    directly. That is, state your case. (You never know; someone out there
    may agree with you. It happens.)
    - Use generalist labels. Avoid labels that hang you up in details. For
    example, people dispute evolutionary accounts for different reasons.
    YEC, Intelligent Design, the late Stephen Jay Gould slanging it out with
    Richard Dawkins -- all of the above might dispute a given evolutionary
    account, coming from different perspectives. Faced with evolutionary
    vs. non-evolutionary accounts of the eye, I would divide the screen and
    write: Evolutionist on one side and Non-Evolutionist on the other, using
    an "or" divider in the latter case. Assume a short form text where the
    x's are.

    Evolutionist Non-Evolutionist

    - x - x (creationist)
    - x - x (intelligent design)
    - x - evolutionist (not neo-Darwin)

    Just a thought, and hope this helps,


    Jim Armstrong wrote:

    > Josh -
    > This touches on another difficult issue in creating a balanced
    > explanatory presentation like you are undertaking, namely labels.

    My next book, By Design or By Chance?: The Growing Controversy Over the 
    Origin of Life in the Universe  (Castle Quay Books, Oakville) will be
    published Fall 2003. Meanwhile, check out free resources at

    To order, call Castle Quay, 1-800-265-6397, fax 519-748-9835, or visit (CDN $19.95 or US$14.95).

    Denyse O'Leary 14 Latimer Avenue Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M5N 2L8 Tel: 416 485-2392/Fax: 416 485-9665

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