Re: [asa] Where does TE differ from NOMA? (was: Re: Schools and NOMA)

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Thu Oct 29 2009 - 10:19:24 EDT

One likely area of conflict between a thorough advocate of NOMA and a
thoroughly theistic evolutionist would be on the ethics of doing
particular experiments, especially those involving humans. In
principle, NOMA says that science is about finding things out and
religious or philosophical considerations should not limit it. Some
recent arguments for embryonic stem cell research have expressed this
consideration. In reality, Gould did not approve of, e.g., Nazi
experiments on Jews, no matter how much medically interesting data
they may have produced. Likewise, I doubt that the advocates of
unfettered research would approve of experiments performed on them,
yet their stated philosophical position gives them no grounds to do
so. But this is not a disagreement about science. I agree that such
experiments are likely to produce informative and medically useful
data, but I assert that those potential benefits are outweighed by the
harm done to the experimental subjects. Hitting closer to home for
me, are the data I generate worth taking a sample from the population
of a rare species? (Similar flaws apply to "all religions are valid"
type claims. As far as I know, no one making that claim has then
volunteered for human sacrifice.)

Overall, I think NOMA is more of a not very well thought out proposal
for a truce than a serious and viable model.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Thu Oct 29 10:19:52 2009

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