[asa] No politics--this must be read by all

From: Ted Davis <TDavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Mon Oct 27 2008 - 10:07:51 EDT

This is a reminder to all here that the ASA list is not to be used to
advance particular political views, esp not when we are a few days away from
a presidential election. We dismissed Janice Matchett for doing that
repeatedly, and we will do it again now if necessary. I've been out of
touch with the list since Friday, or I'd have jumped in earlier. The only
appropriate discussions of politics are of the more academic sort--in other
words, when it's a relevant dimension of a particular topic that already
has relevance for other reasons, and even in those cases a partisan-style
announcement is not acceptable. So, cut the politics--now.

Also, I was disturbed by the discussion related to whether or not a certain
member of the list is or was an advocate of the YEC view. Anyone bold
enough to hold such a view on this list is welcome to do so (there are only
a handful of YECs in the ASA, to the best of my knowledge, but there are a
few). The issue is how this topic was handled. There seemed to be some
taunting and anger involved, and there may be some action taken as a result
of this. In and of itself, that is a concern.

A separate concern is that many Christians with YEC views need to be taken
seriously as honest seekers of truth (I realize that not all YECs fit this
description), and if someone in that category is not treated honestly and
courteously, then what's the point of being a Christian anyway? It is
sometimes necessary IMO for Christians in the sciences to confront boldly
the false or distorted claims of many professional advocates of YECism, and
the ASA did this last year with a pointed op-ed piece by Randy Isaac in our
journal. Even then, it was a measured response aimed at a specific group of
people whose conduct was questionable. Ordinary lay people however ought to
be given the same respect as we would give our family members, if they were
asking us about origins issues.


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Received on Mon Oct 27 10:08:40 2008

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