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Saturday, June 05, 2010

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 shampoo.

One columnist notes, here:
... it is with some astonishment that recently I received an email asking why attendance at ASA meetings has "grayed" so much, with one reporting that only 5 in a crowd of 80-100 were below the age of 40. A mail-in survey of 53% of the members found that less than 15% were below 40, (and apparently not desirous of attending meetings.) An anecdotal survey of other Christian affiliations of scientists found them with larger percentages of young scientists. So what ailment has afflicted the ASA?

Okay, why did ASA get started, post-World War II? To tell the world that there is no conflict between Christ (“take up your cross and follow me”) and Darwin (“survival of the fittest”).

Because that would be bad for up-to-date religion.

Darwin sure thought there was a conflict, which is why he was a materialist atheist from long
before he wrote Origin of Species, let alone Descent of Man, which - so far as I can see - is one long racist tract, never properly denounced or renounced by Darwinists.

But that does not matter any more. People can promote racism today, as long as they can cite the sainted name of Darwin. Otherwise, why has Jim Watson’s Nobel Prize not been revoked, the way David Ahenakew’s Order of Canada was revoked, and for the same reasons? We do not need these hassles.

In my view, those are the sorts of issues that a “theistic evolution” group - right or wrong - should have been strenuously addressing. Not trying to convince Christians that Christ and Darwin would have been pals, when everyone knows it is not true.

Well, the ASA got around to conducting a survey of its members’ beliefs, reported June 1, 2010, and here are some of these ... ?" results.

*Okay, it is true. I failed snail-ology** a while back, but can’t help wondering whether such similar life forms are really separate species. It sounds too much like a legacy bureaucracy to feel real to me. I’m all for ecology and environmentalism, but have long felt that some of this stuff is due for an overhaul.

** I gave up snail-ology altogether when I accidentally hit someone (who was smoking on my retaining wall) with a large snail I was booting from one of my rose bushes. Of course, I had to go down and apologize. The snail was almost certainly eaten by local birds who waited on the telephone wire for precisely such events - but we keep no record of such matters here.


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