Re: [asa] Sins of pseudoscience

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Mon Jan 21 2008 - 16:38:49 EST

Iain said: *But one person told me she now feels uncomfortable that what
she has always believed (that man is a separate creation) is irreconcilable
with modern science.
This is one of those times when I wish the ASA list wasn't publicly
archived, but let me echo that this sort of problem is likely to be very
difficult for many of us when we decide to examine these questions
honestly. I personally at times have found this much more than
"uncomfortable." Unfortunately, when I first came across this kind of
information it was offered by a Christian who IMHO lacks any regard for the
spiritual condition of others (no one involved in the present discussion or
currently on the list) and who is interested only in destroying supposedly
pseudoscientific views, whatever the cost. That was, to put it mildly, an
unhealthy context in which to encounter these challenging ideas.

On Jan 21, 2008 4:27 PM, Iain Strachan <> wrote:

> On Jan 21, 2008 8:57 PM, D. F. Siemens, Jr. <> wrote:
> > Iain,
> > It seems to me that your illustrations are examples of irrational or
> > insane behavior, with the danger that the individuals will harm themselves,
> > at least.
> >
> There are different degrees of it, of course. Switching off the mains
> electricity in order to get to sleep may seem insane to you, but it's
> perfectly logical to someone who's read all the documentation on the web
> that electro-sensitivity is a real phenomenon and that there is a massive
> conspiracy to quash the evidence because it would be too damaging to modern
> society.
> I think the fact she feels better if she switches off the mains is a
> placebo effect. But everyone gets placebo effects - it's a well-known
> phenomenon, not the delusion of an insane mind.
> > As to the abandonment of faith if the universe is old, would divine
> > grace abandon a poor soul who has fallen for such a delusion? I have more
> > confidence in God's love.
> >
> Of course we can only speculate; but I would believe God to be merciful in
> this respect. However, leaving aside the impact or otherwise on that
> person's eternal destiny, what about the damage it might cause in this
> life? There's the poignant review of The Selfish Gene on<>where the guy gave the book five stars for clarity and excellence, and yet
> wishes he had never read it, because it completely crushed his fledgling
> faith, and led him to the conclusion that there was no God. This then led
> to several awful years of depression.
> And on a personal level, having written an article for the local Church
> magazine on Creation/Evolution and Intelligent design, I have had lots of
> positive feedback on the quality of the article and how well written it is.
> But one person told me she now feels uncomfortable that what she has always
> believed (that man is a separate creation) is irreconcilable with modern
> science. I think I've been able to make some reasonable suggestions about
> how a Christian CAN reconcile it to her; but I do hope it doesn't have the
> same effect as the Selfish Gene had on that guy on Amazon.
> My point was to quote from the venerable Matthew Henry commentary on
> Genesis, which draws the distinction (in Gen 2:7) of the poor nature of the
> material man's body was made from (the dust of the earth), and the exalted
> nature of what Adam's spirit was made from (God's own breath). Thus the
> specialness of man as a separate creation is to do with a spiritual aspect;
> not a material one.
> Iain
> However, the redeemed also face judgment, which I suspect will be
> > painful to those who have turned the immature away from faith.
> >
> .. as I say, that's a big concern of mine.

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Received on Mon Jan 21 16:40:12 2008

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