Re: [asa] AAAS President Keynote Address

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Wed Feb 21 2007 - 11:28:16 EST

Do you mean to say that the statement that the universe is "intelligible" rules out "some kind of eastern-new age belief that life is nothing but an illusion"? The claim that it "implies" that makes no sense.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Opderbeck
  To: Rich Blinne
  Cc: Janice Matchett ;
  Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 10:59 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] AAAS President Keynote Address

  We believe that in creating and preserving the universe God has endowed it
> with contingent order and intelligibility, the basis of scientific
> investigation.....

   This strikes against the fideism Janice
> expressed above.

  I'd really hate to subject the ASA statement re: "contingent order and intelligibility" to the kind of surgical parsing and exclusionary purpose that, say, the Evangelical Theological Society seems to want to do with "inerrancy." "Intelligibility," in particular, has to be a highly relative and nuanced term, and shouldn't IMHO imply any particular epistemology, except perhaps some kind of eastern-new age belief that life is nothing but an illusion.

  On 2/21/07, Rich Blinne <> wrote:
> 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 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 11:28:53 2007

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