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American Scientific Affiliation

Christians in science org dismisses ID but who cares now?

A friend writes to note that in an age when skepticism of Darwinism is going mainstream, an establishment organization for Christians in science, American Scientific Affiliation, persists in acting as though design in nature is problematic. Referring to the org’s page on intelligent design, friend comments: It is ostensibly neutral, but it has some sort of quasi-Thomist quote from John Henry Newman that is supposed to demonstrate a theological failure of ID (which is totally bogus), and then some weak comparisons to William Paley, Bill Dembski, and then wraps up with two “thought” questions: the first asking for a gut reaction, the second reiterating the Newman quote; no logic required. Somehow science isn’t part of the ASA presentation, perhaps they Read More ›

That’s the Way, ASA!

Reposted with permission from AITSE Report on the 2012 American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) Annual Meeting  About a year ago AITSE and Uncommon Descent featured an article that, between it and the follow-on posts, attracted 3773 hits and 182 comments. Why this high level of interest? Simply because the article pointed out that some of what happened at the ASA 2011 annual meeting near Chicago was not consistent with the values that the ASA posts on their website. There the ASA state that “We are committed to providing an open forum where [scientific] controversies can be discussed without fear of unjust condemnation…” But, at times the atmosphere communicated from the podium was one of thinly-veiled hostility against those who question aspects of consensus science. Details can Read More ›

Has the American Scientific Affiliation Forgotten Their Stated Identity?

Our vision is to promote good science, based on impartial evaluation of evidence, not mere consensus. Read More ›

ASA members tackle Adam and Eve

One interesting result of the ASA survey noted below was the great division of the membership on Adam and Eve. There are small minorities offering every view from “Adam and Eve had no contemporaries, and were the biological ancestors of all humans, living in Mesopotamia around 10,000 years ago.” (5.8%) through to “There were no historical individuals corresponding to Adam and Eve.” (11%) The really interesting thing is that 31.9% of respondents (the only large minority) said, “The Bible is consistent with several of the above options and the issue is not of great importance.” Actually, the issue is of great importance, even though it may never be settled or settlable as a matter of factual certainty. For one thing, Read More ›

American Scientific Affiliation: Some extinctions may be just as well

 I remember seeing the cover of a book by Stephen Jay Gould, lamenting the decline of species of snails* somewhere, with the species illustrated. I couldn’t tell the difference between them for beans, and that’s quite different from not being able to tell the difference between a dog and a cat – though it is said that they have a common ancestor. One thing is certain: They cannot interbreed. They parted—unamicably, I suspect—a long time ago. Now to the point: I want to write about what I take to be the extinction of the American Scientific Affiliation, which exists to promote “theistic evolution,” so far as I can see., but is probably now best employed promoting grey hair formulas for Read More ›

The American Theistic-evolution Association

Thirty years ago, I matriculated from Wheaton College, a “fundamentalist” school 25 miles west of Chicago. Well, actually the faculty and student body never called it fundamentalist, that’s what the big TV station called us whenever they did their “local news specials”, and waited for the opening prayer at mandatory chapel to pan the audience for the obligatory “every head bowed” shot. In actuality, Wheaton was proud of its “progressive status” among the consortium of 13  small liberal-arts Christian colleges, promoting an “old-earth creationism” in contrast to the 24/6 “young earth creationism” usually associated with Bible colleges. They had even built their then-new science building with a rotating display of a student-excavated mastodon skeleton (“Perry”) to reinforce their commitment to Read More ›