Re: [asa] A Message from the RTB Scholar Team

From: Dennis Venema <Dennis.Venema@twu.ca>
Date: Wed Apr 16 2008 - 14:54:26 EDT

indeed. this is an excellent response!

is this on the web anywhere? I would like to direct others to read this.

dennis

On 4/16/08 11:17 AM, "David Opderbeck" <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:

> Kudos to them. This is outstanding.
>
> On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 2:06 PM, gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@colorado.edu>
> wrote:
>> Here is a reaction to the EXPELLED film.
>>
>> Gordon Brown (ASA member)
>>
>>
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>
>> Dear RTB Chapter members,
>>
>>
>>
>> With the impending release of "EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed" (April
>> 18), the Reasons to Believe scholar team thought it best to prepare a
>> statement of our position, a guide for answering questions from chapters,
>> networks, and apologists. Keep in mind that the mission of RTB centers on
>> reaching out to science-minded people with two purposes:
>>
>> 1. to bring the Gospel message to those who would not otherwise hear it, and
>>
>>
>> 2. to strengthen the faith of those who fear that science conflicts with the
>> Christian faith-equipping them for ministry in the process.
>>
>>
>>
>> In order to accomplish these purposes, we must first earn the right to be
>> heard.
>>
>>
>>
>> After previewing the promotional materials provided by the movie's
>> marketers, we were concerned that the movie took an adversarial approach to
>> the scientific community. A number of RTB scholars and staff attended a
>> prerelease screening in Los Angeles recently and confirmed that EXPELLED
>> definitely does take such an approach. The movie draws an analogy between
>> the Berlin wall and the scientific community's response to intelligent
>> design. By doing so, EXPELLED implicitly argues that the scientific
>> community deems certain questions off-limits, particularly any question
>> about the legitimacy of neo-Darwinian evolution. The movie further argues
>> that academia, the media, and the courts all conspire as "thought police" to
>> oppress any and all dissent from the party line.
>>
>>
>>
>> Clearly some oppression and discrimination have occurred, but the experience
>> of RTB scholars and many of their contacts refutes the movie's premise that
>> the scientific community systemically and unilaterally fosters these
>> injustices. While individual scientists and institutions have behaved
>> unfairly at times, this charge cannot in all fairness be leveled against the
>> scientific community as a whole.
>>
>>
>>
>> Regardless, from RTB's perspective, the central question is this: when
>> injustices do occur, how should we respond? Consider the response of Nate
>> Saint to his son's question, as depicted in the movie, End of the Spear.
>> Nate, Jim Eliot, and three other missionaries were preparing to make contact
>> with the notoriously violent Waodani tribe in Ecuador. Stevie asks if they
>> will shoot the Waodani if attacked. Nate replies: "We can't shoot the
>> Waodani, son. They're not ready for heaven. We are."
>>
>>
>>
>> If science-minded skeptics indeed represent a mission field, then we should
>> not come out shooting. EXPELLED seems to do just that. While an entertaining
>> movie, its main thrust runs counter to RTB's mission of seeking to engage
>> scientists in the scientific arena. Consequently, any endorsement of
>> EXPELLED by RTB hinders our ability to spread the Gospel message to those we
>> hope to reach.
>>
>>
>>
>> Therefore, we ask all chapter members and volunteers to refrain from
>> endorsing EXPELLED in any official way. This request does not extend to your
>> personal interactions-only to any actions taken in association with or on
>> behalf of Reasons to Believe.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thank you for your support and understanding.
>>
>>
>>
>> The RTB Scholar Team
>>
>>
>> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
>> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
>
>

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Received on Wed Apr 16 14:56:31 2008

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