RE: [asa] Invitation to Pim

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Mon Jan 14 2008 - 10:31:26 EST



-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Ted Davis
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 10:08 AM
To: PvM;
Subject: [asa] Invitation to Pim


You took my comments as an ad hominem, for which I apologize. My intent
was otherwise.

Dave Wallace understood me as I had intended. You have been posting to
ASA list for several years, and it really does seem to me that you have
theme, and one alone: that Christians must always avoid appearing
foolish by
thinking they know more about science than the experts. As I indicated,
Pim, this is a good message that ASA people typically accept

But ASA people have many other areas of interest, beyond those in which
Augustine's advice is about the only thing worth adding by way of
commentary. While it's good to remind people not to say foolish things
about science, we're interested as an organization in going well past
avoiding the negative, to saying very positive things about the
of science and Christian faith. I don't think you're an ASA member, and
may well be that you don't understand this key point about who we are as
organization. It does seem appropriate to make this point here, on our
list, by way of inviting you to engage in that type of conversation.
ideas on this are being solicited.

Now, Pim, there is some additional context for my comments. First, you
associated with the PT blog, a place where comments typically go well
informed discussion of ID and other efforts to challenge evolution.
than a few posters engage in genuine ad hominems (often vicious ones) on
religious people and, more to the point, PT is not a place whose purpose
to advance the constructive interaction of science and Christianity. PT
every right to be who they are, Pim, and you have every right to take
in it. My point here is -- and this is not an ad hominem -- that part
your public identity is linked with a site, related to science/religion,
that lacks the constructive agenda/purpose of the ASA. We are
Pim. We don't exist for the sole purpose of debunking ID or any other
of antievolutionism. (Quite a few of our members would agree with you
ID has not on balance been very helpful to the science/religion
just as quite a few would not.) We exist for other purposes, and my
calls attention to this, and asks directly whether or not you want to
participate in that.

There is a further reason for my comments, Pim. As you will recall,
was a lengthy exchange of views not long ago concerning your
of Richard Dawkins' view of religion generally and Christianity
specifically, and in that exchanged it seemed to most (perhaps all) of
here that you do not see Dawkins as unfriendly to religion. It is very
difficult to understand such an interpretation of his work, but I'm not
going to rehash that now. The relevant point concerning my recent post,
Pim, is that your defense of Dawkins suggests to me, and probably to all
almost all others in the ASA, that you have no interest at all in the
positive interaction of faith and science -- or, at least, that your
idea of
the positive interaction of faith and science does not extend beyond the
invocation of Augustine's dictum at every opportunity. That is, you
only to want to caution Christians *not* to try to engage science,
that is what we at the ASA are about.

I see nothing ad hominem in any of this, Pim, and I hope you do not
 It's simply about my impression of your views and attitudes. If I'm
about this, I invite correction. If not -- if I've correctly inferred
you have no interest in the positive interaction of faith and science --
then I would ask you please to make more effort to understand what the
is about and to enter into that conversation. That is the invitation I
making, Pim: please join this larger conversation, and please try to
past simply invoking Augustine's dictum -- although there are certainly
times when that is about all that one can say.

My best to you, Pim,



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Received on Mon Jan 14 10:32:15 2008

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