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

From: David Heddle <heddle@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Apr 17 2008 - 12:58:19 EDT

This is excellent. Is is possible to get permission to post this on a blog
(with favorable commentary?) If not, is there a link to this available?

David Heddle
Associate Professor of Physics
Christopher Newport University, &
The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

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 Thu Apr 17 12:59:51 2008

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