American Scientific Affiliation
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (November 2012)|
|Purpose||Christian fellowship among scientists|
The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) is a Christian religious organization of scientists and people in science-related disciplines. The stated purpose is "to investigate any area relating Christian faith and science." The organization publishes a journal, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith which covers topics related to Christian faith and science from a Christian viewpoint.
Members of the American Scientific Affiliation are from various movements, such as evangelicalism, and represent several Christian denominations including the Lutherans, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, and the Orthodox.
Scientist-Christians who had concerns about the quality of Christian evangelism on the subject of religion and science formed the ASA in 1941. Irwin A. Moon originated the idea of a group; he talked Moody Bible Institute president William H. Houghton into inviting a number of scientists of known orthodox Christian views to Chicago to discuss its formation. F. Alton Everest, Peter W. Stoner, Russell D. Sturgis, John P. VanHaitsma, and Irving A. Cowperthwaite attended, and the ASA formed from this meeting.
Everest, a conservative Baptist electrical engineer at Oregon State College in Corvallis, served as president of the Affiliation for its first decade. Under his leadership the ASA grew from 5 to 220 members. By 1961 its membership had grown to 860.
During the 1940s and 1950s the group provided the main evangelical forum for discussing the alleged merits and drawbacks of evolution, and for evaluating the works of prominent creationists such as George McCready Price (1870-1963) and Harry Rimmer (1890–1952). The influence of an inner circle affiliated with Wheaton College led it to reject "strict" creationism in favor first of progressive creationism and then of theistic evolution, encouraging acceptance of evolution among evangelicals. This group was led by Russell L. Mixter (later editor of the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation from 1965 to 1968) and J. Frank Cassel. In the words of Ronald L. Numbers, the sub-group "did for biology what Kulp was doing for Geology". (Also see the section on coverage of evolution in the ASA's journal, below.)
- H. Harold Hartzler
- Robert Herrmann (1981–1994)
- Donald W. Munro (1994–2005)
- Randall D. Isaac (2005–)
Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
The journal of the ASA is called Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, subtitled Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation.
The following organizations are related to the ASA:
- Sister organizations
- Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation
- Christians in Science
- Affiliation of Christian Geologists
- Affiliation of Christian Biologists
- Christian Engineers and Scientists in Technology
- US Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation, American Scientific Affiliation, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith,57:4, December 2005. p. 300.
- Numbers, Ronald L. (1993). The Creationists. University of California Press. p. 160. ISBN 9780520083936. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
Thanks largely to Everest's diplomacy and persistence, the ASA during its first decade grew from 5 to 220, over half of whom came from Mennonite, Baptist or Presbyterian churches and resided in the middle Atlantic or midwestern states. By 1961 membership had soared to 860.
- Numbers(2006) pp180-181
- Numbers(2006) p195
- BAAS, 1994, 26, 1604
- American Scientific Affiliation appointed Randall D. Isaac, Christianity Today, August 01, 2005
- PCSF, 2008
- PCSF. Volume 61, Num. 3. Sept. 2009. pp.137-138.
- ASA Related Groups
- Numbers, Ronald (November 30, 2006). The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Expanded Edition. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-02339-0.
- Webb, George E. (July 22, 2002). The Evolution Controversy in America. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-9049-5.