Re: [asa] Manhattan Declaration

From: Allan Harvey <>
Date: Wed Nov 25 2009 - 17:29:07 EST

This is so typical for Dembski's blog, trying to impugn the Christian character and commitment of those who think God made use of evolution in creating.


A few specific comments:

1) Dembski must (or should) know that Francis Collins, with his current job as a high-ranking government official, could not ethically sign such a political document even if he agreed with it. So to call out Collins by name here is really crass.

2) As has often been pointed out, anti-evolutionism in the U.S. is closely tied up with the right wing end of the "culture wars". And the 150 original signers of this document reads like a Whos Who of the "religious right" (with Keller and D'Souza as moderate exceptions, and David Neff and Packer, and I don't know what Ron Sider is doing on there). So an anti-evolution and/or pro-ID slant among the original signers (and therefore among the additional signers who would be drawn to it) is not surprising.

3) Even if I agreed with the document (and I haven't read it enough to see if I would), the many "religious right" among the 150 would tend to keep me from signing it. Good grief, I see Kay Arthur, and Gary Bauer, and James Dobson, and Richard Land, and Peter Lillback, and I'm only halfway through the alphabet. I would have to really want to sign something to be willing to be associated with those names.

3a) It is probably true that, on average, those with a thesistic evolution position are less likely to be on the "religious right" bandwagon politically. (Not sure what is cause and effect there.) So to the extent this is a religious right statement, Dembski's observation about the attitudes of signers toward evolution may be correct. But to get to the conclusion Dembski is trying to imply, one would have to make the further assumption that only the "religious right" are faithful Christians who value life, marriage, and religious freedom.

4) I wonder what would happen if similar analysis were applied to signers of Evangelical statements that were less "religious-right" in orientation. Like the Evangelical Manifesto (which Dobson declined to sign as it did not toe the Right's line):


Allan Harvey (ASA member)

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Received on Wed Nov 25 17:30:26 2009

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