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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Fri Dec 22 2006 - 11:41:06 EST

Here's another point. The people most hated by Dawkins, Weinberg & their
ilk are not folks like AiG but those who want to engage in serious
religion-science dialogue - or to use Ted's word, converstaion. (Note in
the recent atheist-fest how much criticism was directed at the Templeton
Foundation for sponsoring such dialogue.) The reason is pretty obvious,
though the atheists would never admit it: The existence of scientifically
literate religious believers who think that religion & science can be in
respectful dialogue refutes their claim that there is some necessary
incompatibility between them. That's why they claim they have more respect
for religious believers whose views clearly clash with scientific knowledge:
It's easier to make fools of them.

The very fact that there can be conversation between Christianity and
science implies that Christianity has something to say in the conversation.
In particular, it will say that totalizing claims made on behalf of
Darwinian evolution, or any other scientific theory extrapolated into a
metaphysic, are wrong. Dialogue does not mean agreement with everything the
other party says. Denyse's notion that an organization like ASA concerned
with such conversation is just going to be a lapdog for atheistic Darwinism
is pure fantasy.

But of course it's also not going to be a lapdog for those at the other end
of the spectrum, the dogmatic anti-evolutionists. The latter - ICR, AiG &
the more disreputable of the ID folks - are really a mirror image of the
Dawkins crowd. Their contempt is directed more strongly at TEs than at just
plain "evolutionists" & again the reason is not far to seek: The existence
of people who hold the Christian faith in accord with the creeds _and_ who
accept biological evolution puts the lie to the notion often implicit in
anti-evolution propaganda) that a Christian can't accept evolution.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Hamilton" <>
To: "David Opderbeck" <>; "Denyse O'Leary"
Cc: "Ted Davis" <>; <>
Sent: Friday, December 22, 2006 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] RE: Public questions for Denyse O'Leary

I was trying to think of a response to Denyse's post, and I can't do better
than David's. Let me also say that ASA serves a function that appears to be
next to impossible for most of the Christian community: a forum where
controversial issues can be discussed in Christian love. I'm sure most of
have noticed that controversial issues seldom get discussed in church, and
sometimes when they do the discussion turns into a shouting match. But in
Christian who is trying to sort out how a controversial issue impacts his
can float his views and listen to the views of others, as well as find
reference material that may help him formulate his views. If I met a young
Christian who was having doubts about creationism I'd never send him to the
I might have him read Bill Dembski's blog (including the comments), but I'd
definitely send him to the ASA.
--- David Opderbeck <> wrote:

> *Atheists can get at the teens who learn their Darwinism from the school
> system and you others can ... well, ... converse!*
> And raise our children in the fear of the Lord. And minister in our local
> churches. And serve in our communities. And do sound and sober
> scholarship. And witness to our neighbors, friends and coworkers through
> deeds and words. And when we need some refreshment, some stimulation,
> some
> thoughtful people to bounce issues and ideas and doubts off of in a safe
> forum, converse a bit more. Thank God for the conversation!
> "Civilization is constituted by conversation" as Thomas Aquinas, one of my
> great heroes of the faith, once said.
> On 12/21/06, Denyse O'Leary <> wrote:
> > ASA is a "Forum for conversation."
> >
> > Ah yes. I see.
> >
> > My beef? Who can have a beef with a Forum for conversation?
> >
> > Now that that is all perfectly clear, I suppose there is little further
> > need for me to wonder why ASA does nothing when atheists, promoting
> > atheism as a logical outcome of Darwinism, make a direct play for teens.
> >
> >
> > You don't need a battery of PR people, actually. Do you think that
> > Dembski has a battery of PR people?
> >
> > But Ted, let's just let this be. To the extent that ASA is merely a
> > Forum for conversation, of course it would not do anything.
> >
> > I can't imagine what led me to believe that ASA would do anything.
> >
> > By the way, just to clarify: I was not suggesting ASA should be the
> > Discovery Institute (DI). The DI promotes ID.
> >
> > They're probably happy enough with this turn of events, as it shows how
> > useless the current system is, from the perspective of most non-atheists
> > and non-materialists. If I were advising them (I'm not), I would advise
> > them to use this example and make the most of it.
> >
> > Atheists can get at the teens who learn their Darwinism from the school
> > system and you others can ... well, ... converse!
> >
> > This is my last post on the subject. I am sure that you have better
> > things to do, and the list is probably weary of it.
> >
> > Cheers, Denyse
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> >
> --
> David W. Opderbeck
> Web:
> Blog:
> MySpace (Music):

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
"...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31

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Received on Fri Dec 22 11:41:59 2006

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