[asa] ASA stance

From: Ted Davis <TDavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Fri May 11 2007 - 09:12:39 EDT

This has been a very interesting conversation to follow. It's also one of
those cases (there aren't all that many, IMO) in which the conversation on
this list actually does reflect, quite accurately, what nearly all members
think. As far as I can tell, all but a tiny handful of our members are
convinced (1) that the earth and universe are vastly older than the 10-12K
years that is typically endorsed by YECs; and (2) that the ways in which
many (not all) YECs promote that number is are not consistent with
scientific integrity--that is, the information is presented to lay people in
such as way as to provide deliberately misleading impressions of what the
scientific conclusions actually are, and how they are arrived at.

It would be easier to ignore this type of thing, if it weren't so
influential, and if we weren't who we are (ie, an organization of Christians
in the science who are committed to helping people understand science/faith
issues while respecting the integrity of science. This doesn't mean that
our members as individuals all agree that a given scientific conclusions is
well supported, but it does mean that our members as individuals share "a
commitment to integrity in the practice of science." That is what we all
say we agree with.

I urge all of our members to pay close attention to the op-ed piece by
Randy Isaac, which will be in the June issue of PSCF. Once it is out, we
will probably want to talk about the specifics here. Randy will underscore
that membership in the ASA does not commit a person to affirming an "old"
earth--there is nothing in our mission/identity that requires or implies
this--but it does commit a person to integrity in how scientific information
is conveyed to lay people. His essay will clarify where the ASA is on this.
 It is possible that we will lose some members over this, but the YE people
I have met through ASA usually admit that scientific evidence does not
presently favor their view, and that is consistent with our
mission/identity.

Stay tuned.

Ted
  

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Received on Fri May 11 09:13:20 2007

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