Re: [asa] AGW discussion

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Mon Nov 30 2009 - 22:57:26 EST


First of all, what negative stereotype am I reinforcing here? For me, AGW
hasn't even been an issue of great concern - I've never wrangled with the
topic on the ASA list, save for one time when I asked why your AGW posts
were allowed, given other restrictions on the list. It was explained to me,
I shrugged my shoulders and went back to other discussions. As I've said,
I'm not even an AGW skeptic (though to be dead honest, I'm a hair away from
becoming one given the fallout from these emails.) I humbly suggest that you
may be reinforcing some negative stereotypes of your own - not against
Christians, but against AGW proponents. And that does not help anyone in
this discussion.

Second, I find it very hard to believe that "mainstream scientists" are
persecuted in churches. A solid-state physicist? A chemist? Even a
meteorologist? I'd have to hear the rationale that gets this applied, as you
are inferring, in a broad 'just about every church' sense - it seems
downright ludicrous. Far more likely is "if you're an evolutionary biologist
who believes in common descent and your particular church rejects common
descent, the bake sales are going to be awkward".

Third, let me make this clear: My Christianity absolutely is political,
insofar as my faith informs my political views and activities. I am, for
example, pro-life. In fact, I'm pro- and anti- many things due to views I
have about morality, metaphysics, and religion. And if someone has a problem
with that, that's precisely it: Their own problem. I have zero interest in
gaining the acceptance of (in this case) scientists who dislike my faith
because of its association with the pro-life movement. I have negative
interest in encouraging other Christians, even scientists, to take political
and social views that their peers would approve of, purely for the sake of
that approval.

Fourth, if scientists are holding back or unfairly working against
Christians because they dislike the Christian faith, or what they think many
Christians are committed to socially or politically, I absolutely refuse to
accept that the solution is for Christians to change their political views
to be more acceptable. If this is what you are advocating, I consider it
ludicrous. I have no interest in making my political views align with what's
popular with the NAS, or the faculty at a university. If it's discovered
that some scientists are engaging in such unprofessional and unethical
behavior as targeting Christian colleagues to sabotage their careers, the
source of the problem isn't that many Christians voted the wrong way on a
ballot measure.

On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 10:30 PM, Rich Blinne <> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 7:02 PM, Schwarzwald <>wrote:
>> All that aside. Rich, you so often make hay of the claim that "Christians
>> in science will not identify they are Christians". It's about time someone
>> asks, why?
> It's not because they are Christians, ironically, but rather the false
> perception of Christianity caused by the politicization of our faith. Things
> like Christians falsely accuse people and are nasty and judgmental. This is
> nothing like my Christian colleagues nor I would suspect the people you meet
> on Sunday morning. That's why I am begging you all to knock it off as you
> are reinforcing a bad stereotype. The instant a secular scientist hears
> something from a Christian about themselves they know is not true then they
> will think that other Christians are just like that even though we both know
> it's not true. But, believe me once this has happened there's no convincing
> that can be done.
> All this being said, If you are low-level scientist it's usually not much
> of a problem. You can organize Bible studies and the like at government labs
> and at universities very easily. It gets approved by other Christians
> higher up but it's all very quiet. It's when you are in leadership that
> this tendency is more pronounced because people will perceive that your
> Chrisitianity is political.
>> Is it because they will have that held against them by their peers and
>> superiors?
> Sometimes but not as often as being a mainstream scientist is held against
> us in churches. The world is the world and it's to be expected that those
> who persecuted our Lord will persecute His followers. It's doubly sad,
> though, to see Christ's little ones persecuted in His church.
>> Are you saying that their fellow, non-Christian scientists and employers
>> will keep them from advancing professionally, ostracize them, and generally
>> put pressure on them in their work and research because of their Christian
>> faith?
> Not very often because people recognize the scientists who are Christians
> do an excellent job. They just don't know why they do an excellent job.
> Which is a shame both for the loss of witness and there are many scientists
> who are Christians who are in desparate need of fellowship. If they really
> knew how many of us were out there they would be greatly encouraged. That's
> why I a member of the ASA to be able to encourage them and be counted.
>> And if so, *are you saying that these scientists are justified in doing
>> so* because of their perceptions of Christianity? I'd really like to
>> know.
> Of course not. Note that when persecution does happen as was the case with
> Dr. Gonzalez at Iowa State a number of the ASA stood up for him, protesting
> to the President of the university on how he was treated. Even though there
> were viscious atheists on campus such as Professors Avalos and Patterson --
> I should know I went there -- the political polarization at the national
> level made it difficult to support him. It became a science vs. anti-science
> question even though there was nothing that Dr. Gonzalez promoted that was
> anything but mainstream. Nevertheless, it didn't make Dr. Gonzalez in any
> sense responsible, just another victim of this crazy political nonsense.
> Rich Blinne
> Member ASA

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Received on Mon Nov 30 22:57:51 2009

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