Arveson Meets ASA99 Keynoter William Phillips

by Paul Arveson

[Editor's note: the following report from Paul Arveson is provided as background. Paul's initial contact with William Phillips in January 1998 was the event leading to his acceptance of ASA's invitation to be keynote speaker at this year's Annual Meeting.]

I had an opportunity to attend a meeting at the National Institute for Science and Technology last night [24 JAN 98], to hear Dr. William Phillips describe the research that led to his award of the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1997. The Red Auditorium at NIST was full to overflowing. Many of the top science leaders in this town were there, such as the Director of the National Science Foundation, NIST, the Swedish ambassador and others who wished to bask in the golden glow of the Nobel.

Dr. Phillips is relatively young for a Nobelist. He is animated, passionate and warm. He has two college-age daughters and is clearly more proud of them than the Nobel. But he is deeply knowledgeable of his subject matter, techniques to cool atoms to a few microdegrees above absolute zero using laser light.

He showed several demonstrations in the classic tradition of great physics teaching: he dipped a rose in liquid nitrogen to show how it shatters like glass at 77 K, he showed a ball bouncing in a bowl to illustrate the nature of a laser trap, and he showed a magnetic top spinning in midair to demonstrate how magnetic fields can control spinning particles. During breaks to reload the video camera, he described humorous incidents at the Nobel ceremonies in Stockholm, where he had the opportunity to dine next to the Queen and Princess Victoria.

Dr. Phillips attended Juniata College in Pennsylvania, before doing his doctoral work at MIT. He said that it was at Juniata that he learned to respect both science and faith.

Many of his Juniata faculty were there. Phillips used the word "family" frequently: in relation to his teachers, his colleagues working at NIST, his colleagues around the world, his church family, and the crowded auditorium.

I hope that at some point I can get a copy of the video tape. I wouldn't be surprised if they broadcast it on PBS Nova some time, because it conveys to a broad audience the enthusiasm and fun of real science as we know it. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Phillips doesn't become the new replacement for Carl Sagan as a spokesman for science education in this country - except that Phillips has a rather different belief system!

At the end of the lecture I handed Dr. Phillips a brief letter and brochure for ASA. I hope that he will join us, but even if he doesn't, I am encouraged to see that a person of his brilliance, wit and enthusiasm will be around to teach us all.

ASA 54th Annual Meeting

"Testifying to God's Goodness Through Science and Technology

Plenary Speaker: William Phillips

Nobel Laureate in Physics,

NIST, Gaithersburg, MD

July 30 - Aug 2, 1999

John Brown University

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Some (More) Reasons Why You Should Come To The Meeting

by Jennifer J. Wiseman

As a native of the Ozark Mountain Region of northern Arkansas, I am thrilled that the ASA meeting is going to be in Siloam Springs, at John Brown University. But now that I live in the Urban East, I realize that to some people this location might seem a little obscure. Should you plan to come? Yes, definitely!!

First, the conference content should be very interesting; check the ASA conference announcements. And JBU is a fine university. There will be a variety of talks and presentations on Science and Industry but also on other topics. (Mine is on current astronomy.)

Secondly, the planned excursions are going to be great. I especially recommend going to see the Passion Play in Eureka Springs. Eureka Springs is very much like a little European village that somehow got transplanted into the Ozarks. And the Passion Play there, having gone on for decades, is really spectacular.

But thirdly, come to enjoy the beauty of the Ozarks. I believe this is one of the most beautiful areas in our nation. It is still relatively untouched by urban sprawl and crime. There is a long heritage of faith that continues in strength throughout the region.

Durbin's Science & Religion Workshop

Can science enrich our knowledge of and relationship to God? Bill Durbin is directing a workshop for scientists in examining the relevance of science to our knowledge and experience of God. It's happening from Monday, June 28 through Friday July 2, 1999, 9 am to noon.

Topics to be covered, in order of days are: Cosmology and the Idea of God, Chaos Theory and the Goodness of God, The Human Genome and the Image of God, The "God-module" and the Experience of God, and on June 2, a panel will address the topic: The Sciences-Theology Dialogue: a new Wisdom?

Among the participants will be John Haught, theologian and author; Joel Primack, cosmologist and co-developer of the cold-dark matter theory; Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project in the United States. A full description of topics and speakers can be found on the WTU website:

The workshop cost is $300/week or $75/day, with room and board at $60/day. For registration or more information contact: Office of Enrollment Services, 6896 Laurel Street NW, Washington, DC 20012; tel.: (800) 334-9922 or (202) 726-8800 ext. 5213; fax: 202-726-1716; email:

Rob Koons: Philosopher of Science at U of TX

U. of Texas at Austin philosopher of science Rob Koons has been contributing to the discussion of how science relates to philosophy and theology. In a recent paper (at website: titled "The Incompatibility of Naturalism and Scientific Realism," he argues that

Science construed as a mere instrument for manipulating experience, or merely as an autonomous construction of our society, without reference to our reality, tells us nothing about what kinds of things really exist and act.

Koons emphasizes that reductionistic philosophies applied to science reduce it to less than what it actually is. He draws heavily on local colleague Stephen Weinberg's aesthetic appreciation when he (Koons) says:

Philosophers and historians of science have long recognized that quasi-aesthetic considerations, such as simplicity, symmetry, and elegance, have played a pervasive and indispensable role in theory choice. For instance, Copernicus's heliocentric model replaced the Ptolemaic system long before it had achieved a better fit with the data because of its far greater simplicity. Similarly, Newton's and Einstein's theories of gravitation won early acceptance due to their extraordinary degree of symmetry and elegance.

Koons is hoping to put together a book based on this and other lectures in the next year or so, and feedback, both negative and positive, is welcomed. Koons can be contacted at: Rob Koons, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1180; tel.: (512) 471-5530; fax 471-4806; personal web page:

Koons was also instrumental in organizing the conference "Naturalism, Theism and the Scientific Enterprise" (NTSE) in Austin in Feb. 1997. (See MAY/JUN97 ASAN, p. 1) The NTSE conference web site is at:

New CSCA Address

Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation
 Post Office Box 4008675 King St.
 S.Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2J 4V1

Schweitzer Questions CO2 Data Analysis

Dennis E. Schweitzer of Schweitzer Research Labs in Coatesville, Pennsylvania had some comments to make about the need for carefulness in assessing scientific data, especially if it involves an issue as controversial as global warming. Schweitzer is a professional statistician who daily works with scientific data, and has been following environmental issues for 30 years.

In a letter to his local newspaper, the Daily Local News of West Chester, PA, Schweitzer questioned the claims of another commentary that North America has a net positive absorption of CO2. The implication is that the continent is not contributing to whatever global warming might be caused by excess humanly-produced carbon dioxide emissions.

The issue hinged on the amount of CO2 intake by North America and the results given in a paper by Fan, Pacala, Sarmiento, et al. in the 16 Oct. 1998 issue of Science. Schweitzer comments:

This research attempts to estimate the amount of CO2 absorption in three regions of the world (North American, Eurasia/North Africa, and the Rest) from CO2 measurements made at 63 locations between 1988 and 1992. The actual conclusion of the researchers is that the amount of North American uptake is "large enough to be detected", but "its magnitude remains uncertain and its cause unknown."

Newman Fills Auditorium with Talk on Sagan, Contact

Robert C. Newman had a great time late January at the University of California at Davis. A local church (Grace Valley Christian Center) which has a student group on campus invited me to do a series, which they entitled "Holy Cosmos!" (Batman-style exclamation?).

The first talk, given on campus Thursday night (28 JAN 99) was entitled "Cosmos and Contact: the Religion of Carl Sagan." About 200-300 filled the auditorium and the presentation included a 15-minute clip from the film Contact. The basic point was that we have already received messages from an extra-terrestrial intelligence that more than match the one featured in the film. These messages are found in the fine-tuning of the universe, and in the DNA of living things.

Newman had an informal discussion time with faculty and grad students from the physics department before speaking on "The Cosmos and the Bible" Friday night at the church. Saturday morning was "Computer Viruses, Artificial Life and the Origin of Life," with some demonstrations of computer simulations of cellular automata and of programs like those in Richard Dawkins' Blind Watchmaker.

Saturday evening was a Q&A session at the church, and the Sunday School hour the next morning was "Jesus, the Testimony of the Prophets." I certainly enjoyed the time, and there were a number of seekers who came out to several of the presentations.
* Bob Newman

Who ASAers Are

Margaret Gray Towne is another ASAer who has been educated in both science (biology) and theology (attended Princeton), and whose doctoral dissertation in adult education at Montana State U. was on the influence of critical thinking on Christian belief or belief change vis a vis creationism and organic evolution.

Towne won the Templeton Foundation award in 1997 and has taught biology courses at Princeton U., Penn State, Marywood U., and Montana State U. She has also been a good Christian-in-science example for decades, in relating science and Christianity in class discussions, church adult education programs, writings, and community lectures.

In 1997-98, Towne gave a presentation, "The Biblical Basis for Environmental Responsibility," as part of a five-week Christian adult education class, "Caring for Creation." The class is in demand and has been a model for Christians who care to relate environmental stewardship to Christian principles.

For Spring 1999-2000, Towne has been appointed a visiting professor of evangelical Christianity at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

Margaret is currently working on a book on science, Christian faith, and evolutionary theory, and is teaching two courses: "Genesis/Evolution: Integration," and "Christianity Interfaces With Science: A Historical Overview." * Margaret Towne

John H. Woodburn recently joined ASA and has been involved in science teaching at Michigan State U., Illinois State U., the NSTA, the US Office of Education, and Johns Hopkins U. His teaching abilities have been recognized by seven teaching awards he has received over the years. He has published at least seven books, with emphasis upon chemistry.

John retired in 1979 and has maintained an "audience" among young people by way of "Opportunites in Chemistry Careers" and in energy careers. He has also been involved in the Boy Scout Merit Badge booklets for general science and energy. Over the last three years, he has spent much time writing the biography of a university horticulturist and entrepreneur, titled 20th Century Bioscience - Professor O.J. Eigsti and the Seedless Watermelon. The book is suitable for use in science classes; John says "this book offers a leg up for teachers who are struggling to survive in today's classrooms." John is at: 15401 Wentbridge Court, Silver Spring, MD 20906; tel.: (301) 598-8707; email:

What ASAers Do

Interdisciplinary Journal

Oskar Gruenwald's Institute for Interdisciplinary Research is now on the Web, at: The 1998 issue of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies (Vol. X, Nos. 1, 2) titled "Beyond Culture Wars?: Toward 21st-Century Literacy" is available, and contains a review essay, "The Circled Wagons of Science," by Karl Giberson. JIS is available in digital form from website: or tel.: (800) 787-7979, and printed copies from IIR, 1065 Pine Bluff Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107-1751.

Congressman and Cloning

There is always much that can be reported about Congressman Vernon Ehlers who, as a former physics professor at Calvin C. in Grand Rapids, MI, (MI 3rd district) is a natural for reformulating US science policy in Congress. The report title from the Dec. 1998 Physics Today (p. 44) "Congressman Ehlers Porposes a Tune-Up, But, Say Critics, No Major Repairs." Apparently, Vannevar Bush didn't do too badly on the last go-around in the 1950s. The report is on the Web at:

The politics of science has gotten rougher with the advent of genetic advances such as cloning. Perhaps that accounts for the plaster cast seen on Vern's right arm in an article in Calvin College's Spark magazine titled, "Cloning, Computers, China Highlighted in January Series," covering lectures at the college. Ehlers is seen talking to Ian Wilmut with arm in sling.

Ian Wilmut - the Scottish sheep cloner chided the US in his lecture for being irresponsible for not having legislation to regulate cloning technology. Wilmut talked about the difficulties of cloning and its low yield. "I can't believe that people would think of using this technology to produce people," Wilmut said. He considered Chicago's Dr. Richard Seed, who has suggested the use of human cloning to cure infertility as "almost an irrelevance." Wilmut does see the future possibility, however, of using cloning to produce disease-free humans.

Ehlers has contributed an appreciative critique in Calvin B. DeWitt's new book, Caring for Creation, from Baker Books, and available from the Center for Public Justice, P.O. Box 48368, Washington, DC 20002-0368 for $12. (MD residents add 5 % tax.) Other responses came from Cornell U. professor Richard A Baer, Jr. and Thomas S. Derr. The occasion for the book was the second annual Kuyper Lecture of the Center. DeWitt calls Christians to fight environmental degradation, including soil erosion, deforestation, global toxification, and species extinction.

Ehler's quip from the book: "Perhaps the most important environmental issue that we must confront is the increasing population growth." Derr's more explicitly political comment was: "Awareness of environmental problems does not lead automatically to one political approach." And Baer noted that "Many of the values of radical environmentalists are subversive of Christian faith and antithetical to the gospel." * Don DeGraaf

Report on Cartoon Book, Darwinism for Skeptics

Associated with the IBRI are Robert Newman, John Studenroth, and other ASAers. The IBRI newsletter of Fall 1998 reports that a cartoon book, discussed as long ago as the St. Paul ASA Annual Meeting, is progressing. John Wiester is beginning to look around for a publisher. It is intended to be "an effective pre-evangelism tool for helping high-school biology students think through the scientific problems for unguided evolution" and its implications for modern society.

Keep your eyes open for a book that should be appearing soon from Zondervan. It offers young-earth, old-earth, and theistic evolution views from three ASAers, repsectively: Paul Nelson, Bob Newman, and Howard Van Till. The three are critiqued by a scientist, a theologian, a philosopher, and an exegete.

While we're on IBRI, they have some new tracts titled: "Nostradamus and the Bible" and "Are Biblical Narratives of Easter Week Reliable?" at 25 cents each in small quantity. They also have books (including Bill Demski's two, The Design Inference and Mere Creation) and home-school literature: IBRI, P.O. Box 423, Hatfield, PA 19440-0423

ASAer Comments on Science Article

by David F. Siemens

The article, "Science and Religion: Lessons from History?," by John Brooke, Science, 282:1985f (11 December 1998) is cogent and remarkably balanced. As a historian, he presents the broad picture rather than the doctrinaire assertions which are altogether too common. As a philosopher, the most important matter I missed is the recognition that the importance of truth and integrity, the parallel between human intelligence and the universe, and similar matters basic to science cannot be established scientifically.

Getting the Galileo Affair Right

Harvard U. historian of science Owen Gingerich has been giving his excellent lecture on the Galileo affair, setting out the fuller story. Another ASA historian of science, Mark Kalthoff incidentally made a few comments to another ASAer, Jonathan Wells on the subject. The Editor caught some of Mark's informal comments that might be of interest to ASAN readers. He recommends sources and sums up the Galileo affair this way:

Although hardly new, Jerome Langford's Galileo, Science And The Church (Ann Arbor Paperbacks, original edition 1966) has recently been reissued (1992) in a 3rd edition. It remains a good sympathetic and fairly detailed account that is very useful. So does William Shea's "Galileo and the Church" which is Chapter 4 in Lindberg and Numbers God & Nature (California 1986). Another valuable (and introductory) treatment is found in Charles Hummel, The Galileo Connection: Resolving Conflicts Between Science & The Bible (InterVarsity 1986).

I would strongly recommend, however, that one interested in Galileo's position take time to study Galileo's "Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina" which can be found in Stillman Drake's anthology, Discoveries And Opinions Of Galileo. The old yarn of "Galileo vs. the church" as paradigm of "free thought vs. close-minded religious bigotry" is no longer an item of serious discussion among historians of science, who know better.

Viewing it as an intramural dispute within the church over the issue of hermeneutics would be closer to the mark. Although the trial, attending narrative, and theological issues are matters of serious discussion (see Richard J. Blackwell, Galileo, Bellarmine, And The Bible (Notre Dame, 1991); and Richard S. Westfall, Essays On The Trial Of Galileo (1989), for examples), nobody but the uninformed ideologue sees Galileo as the spokesman for "the truth-seeking unbiased scientific community."

Mark can be reached via the Internet at:

A Quick Dig by a Geologist's Wife

Marlene Olson, wife of geochemist Ed Olson of Spokane, WA, has a few revealing comments to make:

When I married a geologist ...

I got a rocky marriage,

And a chronic fault-finder.

But the more wrinkles I develop,

the more interesting I become to him.

* Marlene Olson

Darwin on Wall St.

Investment advisor Mark Skousen puts out Forecasts & Strategies, a publication where you wouldn't expect the debate over Darwin's ideas and intelligent design (ID) to show up. But Skousen, a Ph.D. economist, is more than a stock-market technician. He recognizes the social application of Darwinian views to his own field.

In the "Personal Snapshots" supplement (August 1998, Vol. 19, No. 8), Skousen begins the "Darwin on Wall Street" article with a quote from Michael Denton's Nature's Destiny. He then writes, in part:

I can't think of a more depressing philosophy than that of Darwinian evolution as expressed by apologists Stephen J. Gould and Richard Dawkins. ... The evolutionist view is pervasive; we even see it in economics and the financial world. "Today's economy is a dog-eat-dog world; it's a jungle out there, and only the fittest survive; the big corporations gobble up the weak competition."

Skousen notes the pitfalls of social Darwinism:

Economic Darwinism ignores the cooperative side of the economy, and the ability of weaker participants to survive and even prosper. In the financial field, the efficient market theorists proudly declare, "The markets are random and unpredictable. You can't beat the market, so why try?" Their investment technique is pretty boring stuff: Buy index funds, never trade, just buy and hold until retirement. It's like watching paint dry.

Skousen then follows with a section titled "A Better Alternative: Intelligent Design." where he views it in terms of an alternative worldview to Darwinism:

Fortunately there's an alternative to Darwinian philosophy called "intelligent design," and there's growing support for this more upbeat theory of life, even among evolutionists.

As an economist of the Austrian (free-market) school, Skousen refers to renowned Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises, who, Skousen says,

asserted correctly that man always acts purposefully and with design. Human beings think, adopt values, make choices, are conscious, make mistakes and learn from experience. In the financial markets, humans invest with a specific purpose in mind ...

Although biologists do not look to economists to settle debates about Darwinian theory, Skousen perceives Darwinism and ID as alternatives at a worldview level, as does most of the general public outside of biology. Skousen concludes in this way:

In sum, Darwinian evolution as a philosophy is an empty black box. It's time scientists and social thinkers look to "intelligent design" as a more consistent and more fulfilling concept of life.

Skousen is at: and his newsletter is on-line at:

Science and Investing

If science and investing is an odd combination, it is not unique with Skousen. The Templeton Foundation Press features investing and science/religion books and videotapes. John Templeton has been collaborating with ASA for years to put on the Templeton/ASA lecture series, and if you don't know by now, he's the successful investor of Templeton Fund renown. These two aspects of his life are evident in the growing offering. Get their new Spring 1999 catalog by calling: (800) 561-3367 or by email: and check out the website:

Peruvian Ecology

Science and Christianity are being related in the developing nations of South America - Peru in particular. Oscar Gonzalez is a biologist and evangelical Christian at the U. Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in the Departmento de Ornitologia. He sent the Editor a copy of his paper, "La Conservaci█n de la Naturaleza segÖn el Principio B╠blico de la Mayordom╠a Responsable," which was published in the first issue of Ecologia, the journal of the Asociaci█n Peruana de Ecologia. He has also written a chapter of a peruvian book └l Serm█n Ecol█gico, a copy of which was sent to the ASA office two years ago. Oscar has given a couple of papers on the biblical stewardship of nature to a Peruvian congress held in Lima, and also the international Congress of Ecology in Peru.

Oscar writes that as far as he knows, nobody has talked about these matters in academic meetings in Peru. Because I am a Christian biologist, he wants to stress the fact that God loves his creation and commands mankind to conserve it. His papers have been the topics of discussion both in his local evangelical church and among the university biology faculty. Both Christians and non-Christians have expressed to him positive opinions about these papers.

Oscar can be reached by mail at: Oscar Gonzalez, G█mez del Carpio 135, Barrio M╚dico, Lima34, PERU; email:

Bethsaida Miracle Revisited

On the Web, the Alberta Report is running an interesting web-page reprint of an article originally published in National Review by Keith Mano. He offers an account of the miracle Jesus performed in bringing sight to a blind man in Bethsaida. In the book, An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks, the physician and author of best-selling books about strange neurological cases, tells of Virgil. Blind from childhood, at age 50 he regained his sight. But the visual cortex was not trained to handle it yet and what he saw was confusing.

So were the images seen by the blind man of the Gospel account (Mark 8:22-25). In "step one" of the event, he could visually sense but his perception was like Virgil's; People looked "like trees walking around." After "step two" of Jesus' healing, he could also perceive correctly. Mano suggests that the event consisted of two miracles, one of restoring sight, and the second of vision. It is also doubtful that the lack of perception once becoming sighted would have been known in the world of Jesus' day, lending credence to the account as genuine.

For the full article see:

Grade-School Science Materials

Christian Schools International has a science curriculum for grades K-6. CSI is an organization of over 475 Christian day schools and affiliated institutions that publishes textbooks and curriculum materials. To inquire, contact CSI at: 3350 East Paris Ave. SE, P.O. Box 8709, Grand Rapids, MI 49518-8709; tel.: (800) 635-8288 ext 256.

Scientist Defends Against Poets

Some books have been around a long time, yet remain to be discovered. Dover publishes a large line of low-cost books on science and mathematics. One little book, The Divine Proportion: A Study in Mathematical Beauty by H.E. Huntley (Dover # 0-486-22254-3), 1970, is a delightful read for a few dollars.

Around page 152, the author turns the tables on the culture of the poets and artists by describing what the mathematically inclined observer of nature would be able to appreciate that the poet Wordsworth, who viewed scientific scrutiny as cold and lifeless, and another English poet, Blake, who prayed to be delivered from "Newton's sleep" would miss:

For the scientifically literate, an inspired writer might produce a large book on the rainbow to which the reader would react as one does to poetry. For the scientifically illiterate, however, the simple rules of the reflection of light and diffraction, Snell's laws applied to the falling raindrops, the beautiful geometry of their spherical form and other such delightful, cognate topics relating to the rainbow make no appeal at all. For the mathematician of even modest attainments there is here a rich harvest of mathematical beauty, the contemplation of which can induce the feeling - indeed, the conviction - in those who are educated to appreciate it, that they are "thinking God's thoughts after Him."

The Balkan War

Oskar Gruenwald runs the Institute for interdisciplinary Research. In his March 24, 1999 letter to Senator John McCain, he supports McCain's minority position that war is no solution for the Kosovo problem. A native of and political specialist on the former Yugoslavia, Gruenwald argues that Kosovo belongs to Serbia, that tens of thousands of Serbs fled Kosovo in the 1980s and 1990s due to Kosovo Albanian harassment, and that "to urge Serbia to accept the ultimate succession of Kosovo from Serbia is like U.S. acquiesing in the secession of Texas, Arizona or New Mexico from the U.S. (& even threatening to bomb the opposition)." According to his requested opinion on the matter from a Russian academic colleague, everyone is wrong on the issue - NATO, the Albanian terrorists, and Serb leader Milosevic. "The tragedy," Oskar writes, "is that the civilian population in Kosovo is caught in the middle and suffers unnecessarily." Gruenwald discusses this in more detail, including the part of Macedonia, in his essay in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Vol. X, No. 1/2 (1998), pp. 115-141. Gruenwald sets the historic perspective by reminding readers that the Serbs fought for Kosovo long before America was discovered by Europeans - when Tsar Lazar lost both life and kingdom to the invading Ottoman Empire. "The Ottoman Turks remained in the Balkans for five centuries, which accounts for much of the backwardness of the southern part of the former Yugoslavia. The Kosovo problem is compounded by the 90 % Albanian population there, but "it is not a religious war, since all participants are atheists, and have been such for decades. The Kosovo conflict is simply about power and territory," Gruenwald writes.

For further interaction on the political science and sociology of this current event, Oskar can be reached via e-mail at: But you might first get a copy of his book, The Yugoslav Search for Man: Marxist Humanism in Contemporary Yugoslavia. It can be found at You can also find there another related book by Gruenwald, Human Rights in Yugoslavia, co-authored with Karen Rosenblum-Cale. Also, the JIS website is at:

PCA Evaluates Creation Doctrine

Allan McCarrick informed the Editor that late summer of last year, the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), the church associated with Francis A. Schaeffer, formed a commission to study the issue of the creation age of the universe. Last year's national PCA meeting included a statement by one of the presbytery of their intention to not ordain or accept any teaching elder who did not hold a young-earth creationist position. McCarrick comments that the PCA seems to have remained officially neutral on the age question, though the Westminster Confession certainly asserts a six-day position. Al suggests that "it might be important for the ASA to offer assistance as a source of information to the PCA on this matter."

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