RE: [asa] RE: Public questions for Denyse O'Leary

From: Ted Davis <tdavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Thu Dec 21 2006 - 19:49:00 EST

Denyse,

I assume that you *are* aware of all this attention to ASA people opposing
the anti-religious interpretations of science. That's why I am put out
about this: it flies in the face of your generalization, yet you keep saying
it.

The ASA list is simply a loose collection of people (many not even from the
ASA, some not Christians at all) who simply choose to talk or at least
listen in on a great variety of unorganized topics that just come up. A lot
of people saying a lot of things, none of it specifically orchestrated.

Your complaint appears to be that the ASA does not have a stable of PR
people who respond to every over-reaching secularist. We don't. If one of
the wealthy friends of ID wants to give us a few million to endow a bigger
budget for things like that, it's possible that we would consider employing
one or more people to keep tabs on this type of thing. But the tone of your
strikes against the ASA suggest that the real problems here are two. (1)
The ASA is not the Discovery Institute (even though several Fellows of TDI
are among our members). (2) The ASA includes a lot more TEs than the ID
crowd includes, and this means that we are either "mushy accommodationists"
(to borrow a term directed by someone else at TEs) or "spineless wonders"
(Churchill's term, which I have used myself in other places to sum up what
some IDs seem to think of some TEs; I think you may use that term yourself
sometimes).

You state:

<And yes, I did vaguely hear somewhere that Dembski was a member of ASA.

Does that mean I can assume that when HE deals with these issues, he is
speaking for ASA? (I bet not.)>

You bet correctly. Dembski doesn't speak for the ASA. Neither does
Collins. Neither does any individual member, when offering their opinion on
any topic. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT: the ASA is a Forum for conversation.

My point in bringing in examples of ASA people confronting scientific
atheism was not to claim that they speak directly or officially for the
ASA--they don't. It was only to refute the implication you have given, that
the ASA in general does not confront scientific atheism. Anyone familiar
with our conferences, our journal, or our faith statement knows that, if any
generalization about the ASA is valid, it is this: ASA members all reject
scientific atheism. Period. And some of the most visible members take
great pains to make sure that this noticed! Yes, they speak as individuals,
but whenever they speak on that issue they do happen to reflect something
that we ALL AGREE ON.

When Bill Dembski speaks against scientific atheism, he would no less than
Collins or Gingerich be saying what all ASA members agree with. He speaks
as an individual, but we would all agree that scientific atheism is a false
worldview.

So, once again, Denyse: what is your beef? That we don't have the
organization and resources to issue public statements against every
declaration of scientific atheism that comes along? (As if, again, our
position were somehow unclear or unknown.) Or is it one or both of the
statements enumerated above?

Ted

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Received on Thu Dec 21 19:50:07 2006

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