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

From: PvM <>
Date: Fri Dec 22 2006 - 13:02:49 EST

On 12/22/06, James Mahaffy <> wrote:

> >>> PvM <> 12/21/06 10:18 PM >>>
> >What is this secular neoDarwinian paradigm? Isn't all science 'secular'
> really?

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

Then we have a different definition of what is secular. While science,
like everything else may be 'influenced' by one's world views, it does
not depend on any particular world view. In that sense science is
definitely secular, although the scientists may not be.

> > And why should faith be interested in overthrowing science?

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

You wrote:

"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
providesfellowship and support for evangelical scientists and that is

Seems that ID is indeed interested in overthrowing science, or in this
case the 'secular neodarwinian paradigm', just because some believe
that it either disagrees with their faith or that it lends support to

> 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.

Your point being?

> 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.

You are now conflating secularism with anti-Christianity. Sure,
neo-Darwinism can be tied to almost anything, and if the worldview
want to have any relevance then it seems necessary that religion/world
views either remains neutral on these topics of science, or
incorporate them.

> >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.

It's irrelevant. Certainly for this discussion. Should we, as
Christians, reject science when it is done by 'secularists'? Are
secularist scientists doing damage to science and/or faith?

> 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 are wrong.

> 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.

So what are you then saying?

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Received on Fri Dec 22 13:03:29 2006

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