Monday, January 7, 2013

The American Scientific Affiliation: A Personal Note

Alice C. Linsley

I encourage my fellow Christian Anthropologists to join the American Scientific Affiliation, a network of Christians in the sciences. Members united on these principles:

— adherence to orthodox Christianity, as defined by the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds, which can be read in full here.

— a commitment to mainstream science, that is, any subject on which there is a clear scientific consensus.

The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) was founded in 1941 as an international network of Christians in the sciences. As scientists, ASA members take part in humanity’s exploration of nature, its laws, and how it works. As Christians, we want to know all that it is possible to know about how the universe operates, how it came into being, and why it exists.

ASA's sister organizations are the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation and Christians in Science in the UK. These frequently partner with the ASA to sponsor events and scholarly work.

A Personal Note

Over the years ASA members have influenced me in significant ways. I would like to mention two in particular: Ralph D. Winter (December 8, 1924 – May 20, 2009) and Dr. Eugene A. Nida (November 11, 1914 – August 25, 2011).

In 2005, Ralph Winter was named by Time magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America. He was an outstanding advocate for pioneer outreach among unreached people groups.His 1974 presentation at the Congress for World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland - an event organized by American evangelist Billy Graham - was a watershed moment for global mission.

Dr. Winter held degrees from the California Institute of Technology, Cornell, Princeton and Columbia.

Ralph D. Winter
Founder of the U.S. Center for World Mission 

I was blessed to have been able to work with him on two occasions as an advance person for his speaking engagements in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
Dr. Eugene A. Nida

Eugene A. Nida directed American Bible Society translations from 1946-1984 and is recognized as one of the foremost linguists and translation theorists of the 20th century.

Nida earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1936 from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1941 he began a PhD in Linguistics at the University of Michigan and completed it in two years. His dissertation, A Synopsis of English Syntax, was the first full-scale analysis of a major language according to the "immediate-constituent" theory. His most notable contribution to translation theory is Dynamic Equivalence, also known as Functional Equivalence. For more information, see "Dynamic and formal equivalence." Nida also developed the "componential-analysis" technique, which split words into their components to help determine equivalence in translation.

I have applied Nida's technique very successfully in my own research as a Biblical anthropologist.

Another member of ASA who influenced my life is Dr. Vernon Gross. He led my parents to faith in Christ while I was a child. That dramatically changed the course of their lives and mine.

Consider Joining ASA

The cooperation of scientists of Christian faith is more important than ever. Our understanding of the creation and of human existence is attacked daily by atheists who claim the full authority of science. We must speak convincingly of the truth of God, the Creator, and the complexity of the Divine plan for the world; a plan about which the sciences usually whisper and sometimes shout.

Please consider joining the American Scientific Affiliation or one of our sister affiliates. Membership information is here.

Related reading:  The Problem with Gould's NOMA; Kansas Bill Calling for Objectivity in Science Education Fails; Today's Savage Mind; Scientists Against Scientism; When is the Evidence Sufficient?; Who Laid the Foundations of Science?

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