Re: [asa] ID question? - TE does or doesn't 'limit evolution'?

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Fri Oct 30 2009 - 06:38:28 EDT
David Clounch wrote:
Obviously biological evolution is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in meaning than cosmological evolution.   What irritates me is scientists and technical people using the term evolution without the prefix adjective.

1. Do they do this because they are lazy?
2. Or is it because feel they can tell the prefix from context? 
3. Or is it because they want obfuscation?
4. Or is it because they believe all types of evolution are part of a grand philosophy?  

Scientists are into accuracy and precision. If you do chemistry and you don't pay attention to significant digits in your calculation you will be and should be marked down on your papers. So why do we relax this  discipline for evolution?  Shame!!!  (my two cents worth). 

The E-word is meaningless without an adjective.


My assumption is that you are pulling our collective legs?  With email or online it is often hard to tell when someone is using humor and sarcasm or even when a position is being taken only for the sake of argument, Smileys were invented to help communication in an online environment. 

If you are serious ;(  then obviously I would argue for position 2 as otherwise the number of adjectives to describe what each of us means by evolution would become totally unwieldy.  Certainly at times we need to be very very clear about what we mean but not every time we use the word on this list or in our professional lives.  Is Gregory going to be pedantically exact every time he uses the word Christian to describe exactly what he means?  Does he mean people who accept the asa statement of faith, only the eastern Orthodox, the holy catholic church of the apostles creed or what?   :)  In our church, at least, we have catechisms that explain what we mean in the creeds and that is the generally accepted use although often the meaning of a term is context dependent even in our church environment.  Even many computer languages are context dependent and specialists in details of computer languages can construct the most bizarre examples of legal language constructs that no one in their right mind would intentionally use.  I think most people on this list are considerably smarter than dumb computers.  :)  Also when one is living in a situation where the generally spoken language is not ones own native language a tendency develops to want all terms that could be controversial to be as precisely defined as possible.  Of course it is the words that one thinks are not controversial that end up causing embarrassment.  Having experienced it I know that such a tendency to want precise definitions is likely to annoy the surrounding native speakers who of course know what they mean.  The situation certainly also occurs in the reverse.  The movie 'Dr Strangelove' was in theaters when we lived in Helsinki back in 1973.  I certainly got tired of explaining that the plane pilot riding a dropped H-bomb to a certain death, whooping and waving his cowboy hat, was black humor and did not represent the typical citizen of the USofA.  Similarly with Archie Bunker as seen on Finish TV with subtitles resulted in huge areas of misunderstanding.  Landmines are everywhere in cross cultural situations, that's why I think The Foreigner Series of science fiction novels by C.J. Cherryh  is so well written. 

Dave W

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