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Topic: GSA Evolution and Creationism Position Statement

A proposal

January 22, 2002

I have been interested in this subject for years. Consider just paper! The two letters [Hostetter and Bennett] in the January 2002 GSA Today consumed the equivalent of 8,500 pages of paper. Then there is the paper used by the committee which produced the GSA policy statement, with numerous publications in the past.

I have six-shelf-feet of books, pamphlets, etc., and five file drawers of correspondence. I quit saving paper when I went online about five years ago. In the UWO library, there are at least 200 books on the subject — does any one of these have a solution? NO!! In fact a multitude of books are published every year — and there are 800 university libraries probably with similar holding. Books, books, and more books being written and published as we correspond!!!

Then consider the paper associated with legislative action with the objective of putting "creationism" in public education — the latest being Kansas and Hawaii. In EVERY case the initiative failed. Are the literalists deterred? Never!!! There was the famous Arkansas case for which the final judgment was published in SCIENCE. Subsequent to the initiative in Louisiana, the petition was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court — which REFUSED to even consider. But the literalists are not deterred — God is with us!!!! I think God should do something about this nonsense!! And it is nonsense!!!!

In London, Ontario, where I live, the local school board in 1984 voted against by 19/1 — and just one month ago the same individual made — that is seventeen years later — another presentation to the school board to include "creationism" in secondary school teaching. He argues "evolution" is based on faith so "creationism" deserves equal time. The school board did nothing.

But all of this requires paper, paper, paper, paper, paper, paper, paper, paper, paper, paper----------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>and more PAPER!!

What action might the GSA take to initiate an end? Publish letters electronically and thus eliminate the paper? This won't deter the use of paper in other realms.

I have a suggestion — very rash!! — maybe ir'rash'ional — but it can be most interesting, if the GSA is prepared to take the initiative!! I say — NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED — or stated positively, SOMETHING VENTURED, SOMETHING GAINED!! The S.O.P. of basic geological research!

Log into the webpage of the Presbyterian Church of USA. In the right margin click on "Search pcusaorg." Then in the "Search box" type "Evolution" and there will appear a list of studies. Select #2, "Creation, Evolution and God" and the statement is made "Most Presbyterians are open to the possibility of Evolution — clergy 91% and members 61%, etc.," illustrated by bar graphs. Then Select #7, "Presbyterian Panel — Science, Technology and Faith," and you will find the statement "Evolutionary Theory is compatible with God as Creator" and a series of bar graphs to indicate the degree of acceptability-in every category the MAJORITY!!!!!

Consider this proposal — it is very simple — but fasten your seat belt.

The GSA forms a committee of members who are convinced of the validity of "evolution" and are well versed in this issue. They may or may not be members of a church. (Maybe you are aware that one or more GSA members reject evolution and even argue a "young earth.") The theory of biological evolution is considered as one of THE MOST IMPORTANT theories of all science. (By the way, I have published papers in paleontology, specifically conodonts.) I suspect there are GSA members who are members of the PCUSA — in fact I know one personally at Calvin College!!

I suggest that an official letter is sent from GSA to officials of PCUSA inviting the formation of mandated committees that can participate in formal discussions with the ultimate objective of issuing a joint statement on this subject. More paper will be used — but let your imagine run on the reaction if such a joint report is issued — both within the GSA and the PCUSA. Not a doubt in my mind that other scientific organizations and other denominations will take notice. Indeed fasten your seat belt!!!

— C. Gordon Winder
London, Canada


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