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

From: James Mahaffy <mahaffy@dordt.edu>
Date: Thu Dec 21 2006 - 22:14:49 EST

James Mahaffy (mahaffy@dordt.edu) Phone: 712 722-6279
498 4th Ave NE
Biology Department FAX : 712
722-1198
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>>> "Ted Davis" <tdavis@messiah.edu> 12/21/06 6:49 PM >>>
Denyse,

[snip]

Ted said
>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.

To which I added
Denyse, there would be a danger in judging the ASA by the list.
It is also true that this list has some vocal folks that like to pick on
ID, but I would not find that representative of ASA as a whole. To get
a feel for ASA, you would be
better to read the journal (which you may) or attend the annual meetings
that
recently have had a number of ID speakers and I think last time in GR
some good
communications.

On the other hand this list does not filter membership nor moderate
posts. It also has some
loud and articulate voices that don't like ID. It bothered me enough
that I started a thread on
strawmen (see http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/200612/) defending the
integrity of the academics
of some of the ID folks like Behe and Dembski. If you look at the
archives you will see that Ted, who is
more of a heavy weight than me, also strongly defended both of those
individuals.

For the record, I am not TE, which you are probably right, is quite
widespread in the ASA and among
evangelical scientists. However, I do appreciate the faith I see in
many in the ASA. They require of
members a commitment to what is basically an evangelical expression of
Christianity.

The nature of ASA does differ from ID in that it is a Christian Academic
organization, and while it has a definite agenda
to foster Christian fellowship and thought, does not and probably by the
nature of the group can not try to influence policy and media in a way
that ID trys to and sometimes does well. Unlike some on this group, I
don't see the activism of ID as something that should be avoided. There
is a real secularism out there in academia and sometimes YEC and other
groups have been better in touch with the Christian layity (but that is
another story).

While I think ID would like to overthrow the secular neoDarwinain
paradigm, I sadly suspect they will be more effective among the
Christian layity than the scientists. I am not sure either that ASA
will or can be a united voice there, but it certainly provides
fellowship and support for evangelical scientists and that is important.

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Received on Thu Dec 21 22:15:10 2006

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