|About Us - October 2006|
The Evolution/Christianity ratings were a mistake.
As we start our eleventh year of newsletters, it is a good time to reflect upon what we have done for the past ten years. One of the things we have done from the beginning has been to rate our source documents as to how much Christianity or evolutionary doctrine they contain. It seemed like a good idea at the time; but, in retrospect, perhaps it wasn’t. The Evolution/Christianity ratings have just caused confusion, resulting in emails like this one we received from Dale.
From the "website of the month"
I was disappointed to read in Spanner's book the following comment:
Do you really think he warrants a Cr+ rating? He seems a little to "mixed", with a Christian bouquet over tangy evolutionary undertones.
On the other hand, several years ago we received an email from author Adrienne Mayor complaining that we only gave her book an “Ev” rating, not “Ev+”.
The ratings were never intended to judge the quality of the belief in question—simply the pervasiveness of it. We told Adrienne that she just got an “Ev” rating because she wasn’t obnoxious. We gave “Ev+” ratings to people who make personal attacks against creationists. Similarly, we gave Cr+ ratings to articles that mix Christian evangelism with science.
If we had not dropped the ratings system, we would have had to add an “Is” series of ratings to identify those sources (such as this month’s Web Site of the Month) that mix Islamic evangelism with science. Islamic creation sites and books have become more common in the past 10 years.
The original idea was that just as film ratings are intended to warn people who might not want to watch a movie filled with sex or violence, our ratings were intended to warn people who might not want to be subjected to a diatribe from either side.
Since it is difficult to make subjective judgments about how much is too much religious/anti-religious rhetoric, and since some people apparently misunderstand the ratings, we have decided to discontinue them.
In the future we will try to make it clear from the context if the quote comes from an evolutionary source (which is nearly always the case). We rarely quote Christian sources because they have less credibility with our target audience, and there is no value added if we merely repeat what Christian ministries are saying. Besides, there is so much scientific evidence against evolution, there is no need to bring faith into the discussion.
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