|Volume 38 Number 5A||
Annual Meeting Ends Urban Plight
This year's Annual Meeting, situated just south of the bleak northern Canadian wasteland, led to unprecedented progress in development of a Final Solution to the plight of large metropolitan areas. The meeting site in Toronto is located only a hundred or so kilometers from the Canadian Shield, which has protected most of Canada for centuries.
The unprecedented breakthrough in solving urban problems came from an unlikely source, ASA's Affiliation of Christian Geologists, who were as surprised about the new discovery as the sociologists. If you go a few kilometers north of Timmins, Ontario, and dig about a foot down, just anywhere, you encounter solid rock. ASA geologists doing field work in the area noted an absence of inner-city decay, excessive crime, or infrastructure degradation wherever this pervasive rock shield occurs. This significant find by ASA geologists has led to further confirmation of a near total absence of urban problems anywhere over the shield. Sociologists are perplexed but are also digging into the matter, and are beginning to develop theories to account for this remarkable discovery. It is now a hot topic within ASA's Social Sciences Commission.
The Commission is still early in its development of an implementing proposal to take advantage of this discovery, but a copy of the preliminary draft was leaked to the ASA Bioethics Commission when it was discovered that massive population relocation to the Canadian northlands from less desirable areas within North American cities was being worked out. The Bioethics Commission has been slow to respond to the concern, however, citing that the ethical consequences of human gene modification for greater adaptability to harsh climates was a higher priority.
When asked to comment on concerns raised by a few ASA members and the media about this multi-commission project to implement a Final Solution, Executive Director Don Munro responded: "ASA is often confused with radical right-wing groups. We have enough of a problem as it is getting our message out accurately to the media. I wouldn't pay much attention to it."
Limbaugh New ASA President
The last issue of the Loseletter (SEP/OCT 1994, Vol. 36, No. 5A) reported the unexpected election of Rush Limbaugh to the ASA Executive Council. Until then, most ASA members were unaware of Limbaugh's association with the ASA. So was Limbaugh. Some questions were raised at the time, but the matter was quickly hushed up. This year, however, Limbaugh has gained further notoriety, moving to the position of President after only two years on the Council.
This incident has caused some ASA members to call for a special investigation of irregularities in ASA procedure. Chosen to lead the investigation were Leon Jaworski and Kenneth Starr. The investigators also questioned Loseletter Editor Dennis Feucht, since he seemed to know more about the events than anyone else. Unfortunately, he had few comments to make because of the more pressing need to dissociate this publication from a less entertaining one which takes up more of his time.
New Commission Forming
Rumor has it that Berkeley lawyer Phil Johnson might be surfacing soon as head of the new ASA Commission on Law. Early complaints cite his lack of a degree of any kind in science, a prerequisite for full ASA membership. Those in favor of the new commission argue: "Well, just what is science anyway? Isn't jurisprudence a form of science?"
ASAers in Action
The ASA members conducting these classes finally relented to the appearance of some real scientists after it was pointed out by class attendees that no ASA member has ever hosted an entire series about science on PBS television. Defeated by this and other well-reasoned arguments, these ASA teachers were not prepared for the down-turn in popularity of their classes when they demonstrated that the prior visitors' arguments were less than compelling.
"I guess it's harder to reach churches on science/faith issues than I thought," commented one of the ASAers teaching in his local church. To help bridge the gap between science and religion for the average church-goer, other ASAers have tried Michael Jackson for the social-science segment of their course, and even clips from MTV. Some pastors, unimpressed by these attempts, have brought in young-earth and Ancient Secrets of the Bible films to counteract the wayward influence of these courses.
The film is expected to debut "any time now." Original film promoter Robert Herrmann was unimpressed by the effort, referring to it as a "low-budget" work. Gingerich was also disappointed in how the project cut out his travel aspirations to Eastern Europe and other exotic places.
* Tom Swift Jr.
NABT Practices for Recantation
After a recent foray into religious proclamation by the National Association of Biology Teachers, the effort is expected to swing eventually from development of confessional statements to statements of recantation. The exercise produced NABT's first religious proclamation, "Statement on Teaching Evolution." NABT then proceeded to nail their 20 theses to the doors of government-operated schools. The encyclical was lauded by their fellow evangelical brethren's NSTA Reports! newsletter. The exercise in affirming correct dogma was particularly appropriate for coverage by the newsletter, whose name ends with an exclamation point to affirm the dogmatic nature of newsletter content.
The Statement was hailed by reviewers of religious proclamation as a good first entry by a newcomer to the art of drafting confessionals. Noteworthy indications of religious confession were duly cited, such as positive assertions in the form of a (bulleted) list, no wavering equivocation about the certitude of their stand, and an authoritarian manifestation of superiority over the darkened and confused opinions their words compellingly reprehended.
While important as a statement of deeply-held beliefs, it was also a statement of praxis. The doctrine of discipline outlined clear steps for what should be done with the Infidels of biological heresy. Statement signers were not lax to recognize the need for a clarion call to protect the faithful from heretical ideas which have crept in, sometimes unwarily, to the high-school sanctuaries wherein the purity of Darwinian orthodoxy had previously been preserved.
Religious document experts who were consulted about the declaration extrapolate that this Statement will give the NABT the needed experience in formulating confessions from which to expand its developing expertise into the area of recantations.
ASA Booklet Almost Finally Out
ASA's new booklet, Unbeing a Christian Scientist, is finally out! Expected for years, if not decades by now, ASA's guide to help college graduate students in the sciences was finally released from the printers.
The book helps put young ASAers on the fast track to the Nobel Prize. The fatherly advice given to students included such pleas as: "Avoid the influence of famous atheistic Darwinists like Stephen J. Gould," and "Have nothing to do with any young-earth creationists. Your association with them may damage your career, later besmirch your scientific prestige and even delay your doctorate." ASAer Kurt Wise was astounded by the advice, having been a student of Gould's and not sure that the Earth is all that old. The writer of the booklet, Walter Hearn, was equally surprised by the unfamiliar content and suspected that last-minute changes were made by heretofore unknown Executive Council factions reported on earlier. The manuscript was turned over to Science Education Commission Chairman John Wiester for a complete re-write by himself and Commission member J. David Price next weekend, after ranch chores.