Re: [asa] Fw: Message to Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of Michigan

From: George L. <>
Date: Mon Apr 07 2008 - 08:09:07 EDT

Take a look at the subject line.  That was the context in which I said that evolution could be assumed to mean biological evolution.  It's that simple.

> > > Verses of context, indeed. I admit this is a key issue. Of course, by offering a reverse perspective to yours, George, I both hope and expect that you will be able and willing to recognize it (as it is, not how you would spin it), rather than dismissing it as irrelevant. The point is this: when you speak of human community, you are involving a sociological topic, full stop. Deep breath...I am quite familar with your American context ('teach the controversy,' YECism, creation museums, etc.), to a degree much, much greater than you are about my context. I doubt you know much about Canada or Eastern Europe, i.e. how evolution, creation and i+d, origins and processes, meaning, purpose, teleology, etc. are discussed there, but you could score a point in showing otherwse. My resources come from beyond the rather simple discussion, very black and white in many cases, going on in that country, the U.S.A. about evolution. If you wish > to speak insularly, that is up to you. But I prefer to try to stretch your views rather than to shrink them. You (that society, middle nation of North America) don't own the topic, and in some ways, the topic is obviously owning you!   It is a credit to the ASA that people there are trying to more deeply approach the topic. Letters like Dick's to the Gov. of Michigan, are, however, at least to me, counter-productive, since they don't admit that there are atheists and agnostics who have embraced i+d, albeit in a minority - thus Dick concludes ID-is-religious, when it is surely not 'a religion.' Again, what I am offering is a sociological perspective about 'who' is accepting certain features of i+d logic or illogic. (Is it a Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox brand of Christian ID or a Muslim ID, do you suppose Dick, that is, for those who entertain that for something to be > 'designed' there must, by definition, be a 'designer/Designer'?)   You, George, in another context (physics and theology) perpetuate the myth that just saying 'evolution' when one really means only one single type of evolution, in this case 'biological evolution,' is acceptable, but I find that absurd. Why not be more careful with how you communicate your message (just add the intended adjective!!)? This should be an easy point for the two of use to agree on: how we communicate is important. You make this point, calling me (sometimes) pedantic and now obscurantist, when really, for the average person on the street, biology-only evolution is rather a small part in their rejection (apparently this is quite a large number in America) of evolutionary ideology, which is actually more about theology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and psychology than it is about geology or biology or botany. This is the point I am > making, which you seem immune to or fundamentally against for one reason or another. I never said I wanted to adopt the grammar and style of your 'community of discourse in question,' but to engage it by employing counter-examples and by providing new or alternative points of view, aye, what's wrong with that?   G.A.    "George L." wrote: You continue to ignore the critical matter of context - e.g., what I referred to as "the community of discourse in question.".  What can be assumed in a political discussion in the United States often cannot be assumed in an academic debate.  I did not say that "evolution" can always be assumed to mean "biological evolution" but in other cases it can and > should be, and if you fail to understand this your responses will make you seem pedantic, pretentious and obscurantist and people will quickly decide to ignore you. I am not saying that to be "unfair."  I've stated before that I think you could make some worthwhile contributions to science-theology discussions but that won't happen if you continue on your present course. Shalom, George > All new Yahoo! Mail - Get a sneak peak at messages with a handy reading pane.

George L. Murphy
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