Re: [asa] Sins of pseudoscience

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Jan 21 2008 - 18:22:21 EST

> But everyone gets placebo effects - it's a well-known phenomenon,
> not the delusion of an insane mind.

Oddly, James Randi (a well-known magician into debunking quack
healing, etc.) seemed to be so intent on materialism as to reject
placebo effects in a talk he gave about seven years ago.

If you go to something like the Westminster Larger Catechism's
exposition of "You shall not bear false witness", the need to verify
our claims is among the responsibilities enjoined by the commandment.
Yes, there is sin involved in accepting and repeating erroneous
claims, as well as falibility, etc. Dealing with the situation
requires care and knowledge of each individual. For example, asking
why someone thinks that accepting an old earth might as well
constitute acceptance of atheism could lead into a theological
discussion of why that doesn't follow (regardless of how one
interprets Genesis 1, it's clear that some sort of god could exist
along with an old earth.) Given all the confusion relating to issues
of science and faith, it's necessary to work out exactly what
someone's issues are in order to appropriately address what they need.
  Accepting an old earth is not necessarily what everyone needs; at
the very least, it's not the most important issue.

What question are we asking? Is it about absolute right and wrong, or
about how to deal with particular individuals, or what? The fact that
spreading falsehoods is wrong does not tell us what the best way of
dealing with a particular person who is misled and/or confused will

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Jan 21 18:23:33 2008

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