Re: [asa] AAAS President Keynote Address

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Wed Feb 21 2007 - 10:34:42 EST

On Feb 20, 2007, at 8:08 PM, Janice Matchett wrote:

> At 10:43 PM 2/19/2007, Rich Blinne wrote:
>> President Holdren's address ... drew a standing ovation when he
>> called on them to "tithe" 10% of their time to "to working to
>> increase the benefits of science and technology for the human
>> condition and to decrease the liabilities."
> @
> ~ Janice :)

On the web site Janice said:

> Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday---
> these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly
> conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for
> all I know. I certainly don't want to talk anybody out of them, as
> I don't want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is
> the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don't want
> to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't
> talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued.
> These are issues of faith.
> And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems
> facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are
> all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner,
> or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side
> of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be
> one of us, or one of them.

This puts her at variance with the ASA statement of faith. The first
two points Janice would have no problem with:

We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of
the Bible in matters of faith and conduct.
We confess the Triune God affirmed in the Nicene and Apostles' creeds
which we accept as brief, faithful statements of Christian doctrine
based upon Scripture.
It's the next two, however:
We believe that in creating and preserving the universe God has
endowed it with contingent order and intelligibility, the basis of
scientific investigation.
We recognize our responsibility, as stewards of God's creation, to
use science and technology for the good of humanity and the whole world.

The second one sounds surprisingly like AAAS challenge, no? It's the
first one I want to examine, however. This strikes against the
fideism Janice expressed above. I use the term fideism advisedly
because it is sometimes falsely used against presuppositional
apologetics. But, presuppositionalism has evidence that comes in a
confirming rather than a preceding fashion so it is not truly
fideistic. We all argue about many things like ID vs. TE, concordism
vs. accomodationism, etc. But, we all share the Augustinian concept
as expressed above that all truth meets at the top because God is the
author of all truth both natural and revealed. But, Janice apparently
does not share this common ground with us because she denies there
are doctrinal facts to be argued and thus betrays an absolute
fideism. More importantly, she also imputes her fideism to others
when they are not being fideistic.

Why should I care if she does not share common ground with a
voluntary organization? It's because not only does she not agree
with us, she truly does not understand us. She does not understand
how evidence-based we are. Because of this misperception of us -- and
even other scientists who do not share our Christian faith -- that is
at the root of her constant false accusations. This causes us great
difficulties in reaching our colleagues for Christ. They might
wrongly believe that Christians do not believe in the truth either in
the sense of being evidenced-based or in the sense of preserving the
good names of others. Many have asked me privately why I go on with
Janice. It is because of one other phrase in our statement of faith:

> As an organization, the ASA does not take a position when there is
> honest disagreement between Christians on an issue. We are
> committed to providing an open forum where controversies can be
> discussed without fear of unjust condemnation. Legitimate
> differences of opinion among Christians who have studied both the
> Bible and science are freely expressed within the Affiliation in a
> context of Christian love and concern for truth.

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Received on Wed Feb 21 10:37:21 2007

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