[asa] Re: Invitation to Pim

From: PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Jan 17 2008 - 13:14:28 EST

It is important to differentiate between the contributions of the
various PT authors and the comments which are not under control of PT
and unless they violate the minimalistic rules of the board, will not
be deleted or moved.
PT is a place for many purposes and one involves educating people
about science, especially evolutionary science, and furthermore
exposing the follies of creationism when it comes to Intelligent
Design or Young Earth Creationism. While the latter one is by any
measure or standard far more 'scientific' than the former, the latter
one is completely without scientific merrit. And yet, in this country
countless people have been misled to believe otherwise. We see efforts
resulting in the undermining of faith and science all around this
country and PT serves a role here.
So let's look at this list which involves contributions from Janice.
Is that the kind of message ASA wants to be associated with?

As to my so called defense of Dawkins, it was not as much a defense
of Dawkins as much as asking people to present opinions that match
more closely with what Dawkins has really said and done and/or provide
supporting evidence for their positions. I have found that many
objections to Dawkins are mostly not based on things he has said or
done. As such I am very interested in the interactions of faith and
science, what I am not in favor of is representations of the positions
of others which lack much in reality. Which is also why I consider
your response mostly ad hominem as it links my participation on this
forum to topics of your interests

Is that the so called constructive agenda of ASA? A bravo hardly seems
supportive of these goals now does it?

But no I am not interested in defending myself against these
imaginations and I will continue to contribute to ASA in a manner
which explores in a constructive manner the interactions between
science and faith. St Augustine included...

On Jan 14, 2008 7:07 AM, Ted Davis <TDavis@messiah.edu> wrote:
> 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 the
> ASA list for several years, and it really does seem to me that you have one
> 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 wholeheartedly.
> 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 interaction
> of science and Christian faith. I don't think you're an ASA member, and it
> may well be that you don't understand this key point about who we are as an
> 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. Your
> ideas on this are being solicited.
> Now, Pim, there is some additional context for my comments. First, you are
> associated with the PT blog, a place where comments typically go well beyond
> informed discussion of ID and other efforts to challenge evolution. More
> 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 is
> to advance the constructive interaction of science and Christianity. PT has
> every right to be who they are, Pim, and you have every right to take part
> in it. My point here is -- and this is not an ad hominem -- that part of
> your public identity is linked with a site, related to science/religion,
> that lacks the constructive agenda/purpose of the ASA. We are different,
> Pim. We don't exist for the sole purpose of debunking ID or any other form
> of antievolutionism. (Quite a few of our members would agree with you that
> ID has not on balance been very helpful to the science/religion dialogue,
> just as quite a few would not.) We exist for other purposes, and my post
> 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, there
> was a lengthy exchange of views not long ago concerning your interpretation
> of Richard Dawkins' view of religion generally and Christianity
> specifically, and in that exchanged it seemed to most (perhaps all) of us
> 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 or
> 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 seem
> only to want to caution Christians *not* to try to engage science, whereas
> 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 either.
> It's simply about my impression of your views and attitudes. If I'm wrong
> about this, I invite correction. If not -- if I've correctly inferred that
> 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 ASA
> is about and to enter into that conversation. That is the invitation I am
> making, Pim: please join this larger conversation, and please try to move
> 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,
> Ted

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Received on Thu Jan 17 13:15:28 2008

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