Re: [asa] Adios, ASA List

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Wed Mar 18 2009 - 14:25:04 EDT

David O. wrote:
"the ASA, particularly as characterized by this list, is hobbled by some kind of myopia."
What kind of myopia, if any, could ASA *possibly* be hobbled by?
It might be an excellent exercise in self-reflection for someone out there (e.g. an ASA regular or insighful on-looker) to grapple with what David might mean in saying this, instead of simply dismissing it and carrying on discussion in a form of 'collective' myopia, if such a thing might indeed exist.
Now don't get all defensive (and offended) out there folks and roll your eyes at his suggestion! Why not take it seriously, since David has been contributing to this list for a couple of years faithfully, has demonstrated exceptional spiritual perception to all of us, and knows some of the features of ASA-list discourse rather well? I share his frustration with being belittled and occasionally ridiculed (most recently by Allen Harvey in this very thread!), etc.
Thanks for all of your inspiring, critical, discerning, sometimes conservative, constantly even-handed (even when I made a crack about your use of the term 'evangelical' to describe ASA's orientation not long ago), attempts, David, to engage natural science discourse with your legal studies knowledge and the tradition in which it participates...and for many other things related to Christianity! You have been a role model of forum communication for me and I am sad that your words won't be gracing my screen so regularly.
Fare thee well, David!
p.s. the bolding below is not David's, but mine; the thought is his and it is a shared one...

--- On Mon, 3/16/09, David Opderbeck <> wrote:

From: David Opderbeck <>
Subject: [asa] Adios, ASA List
To: "ASA" <>
Cc: "Ted Davis" <>, "Randy Isaac" <>,
Received: Monday, March 16, 2009, 3:56 PM

The recent discussion on this list about embryonic stem cell research has finally pushed me over the edge.  I'm tired of being belittled, ridiculed, subjected to ad hominems, etc. every time I express an opinion that bears even a whiff of a "conservative" or "traditional" approach to a Christian worldview.  I'm exhausted of having to defend the position that the Bible really does communicate truth about human history and the human condition in some meaningful sense.  I'm sick of the culture of suspicion and scoffing that runs through our discourse.  I need to break from the anger, arrogance, and self-indulgence of the flame wars that characterize this space.

In the past, I've defended the ASA and this email list against attacks by various ID folks and others.  I still don't think that all of the criticisms that have been levied against the ASA by those folks are fair.  However, I think they are right that the ASA, particularly as characterized by this list, is hobbled by some kind of myopia.  Yes, I know this list isn't representative of the ASA in an absolute sense, but it's an ASA-sponsored public discussion space, which is often a travesty.  I've wasted too much time on it, and it's become spiritually not only unproductive, but a liability.  Via con Dios.

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Director, Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

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Received on Wed Mar 18 14:25:36 2009

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