[asa] Secularism in academia was RE: Public questions for Denyse O'Leary

From: James Mahaffy <mahaffy@dordt.edu>
Date: Fri Dec 22 2006 - 10:31:50 EST

James Mahaffy (mahaffy@dordt.edu) Phone: 712 722-6279
498 4th Ave NE
Biology Department FAX : 712
Dordt College, Sioux Center IA 51250-1697
>>> PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com> 12/21/06 10:18 PM >>>
>What is this secular neoDarwinian paradigm? Isn't all science 'secular'

No all of academia is influenced by one's world and life view.

> And why should faith be interested in overthrowing science?

I did not for a moment say that. See below.


Is your paradigm evangelical Christian? Sometimes I don't think you
understand the evangelical position.

In any case there is good historical literature (George Marsden)
that there was a profound shift in the University from fostering
protestant establishment to secular unbelief.

To give another example on the other extreme, there certainly is a
strong strain of secularism (anti Christianity) of the nature of Dawkins
etc that ties THEIR neo-Darwinism to their strong secularism. I would be
blunt enough to say Dawkins is a FALSE prophet.

>Just because something is founded in a secular approach, does not mean
>that it has no place in religious faith. Many religious people have
>found it possible to reconcile their faith and this 'secular
>neo-Darwinian paradigm'.
>Sure, such messages may resonate amongst some Christians who are
>(mis)led to believe that there is somehow a necessary conflict between
>(secular) science and Christianity but such a stance invariable comes
>at a cost both to science and to religion.
>I'd say that such a stance has already done significant damage to
?religious faith and is fueling much of the recent atheist 'revivals.

And I would say not recognizing the secularism in academia and culture
is even more significant.

I could almost read you to say that science is never influenced by the
world and life view of the scientists. Sometimes I think [correct me if
I am wrong] you posit a dualism in which science is not influenced by
anything but science.

You should know that I am NOT saying that science is in conflict with
Christianity. I have read quite a bit in philosophy and history of
science and I even got my PhD in the study of fossil plants. I hope the
science I do is good science. So please don't tell the world or this
list what you know my position is, when you don't represent it well.
You could at least ask is this your position or doesn't what you say
lead to. Then we can talk.

Although not becoming TE, I have come to appreciate and I think
understand many good Christians who take that position. Terry Gray on
this list, was especially helpful.

On 12/21/06, James Mahaffy <mahaffy@dordt.edu> wrote:
>While I think ID would like to overthrow the secular neo-Darwinian
paradigm, I sadly suspect they
>will be more effective among the Christian laity 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 Fri Dec 22 10:32:26 2006

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