Jeremy Smith: I Disagree with Dr. Swamidass

@JSmith what a great night today. It was video taped, and I hope to share the video here when it is available. Can you summarize for Peaceful Science community what happened?

One of the most hilarious things of the night was a slide that Jeremy put up on the screen, with the caption:

Bill Nye dressing up as a scientist for halloween.

I laughed very loudly. I’m not sure if everyone go the joke. I fear many of them might have actually thought he is a scientist.



One week ago, On Oct 26th, 2018, confessing Christian and confessing scientist, S. Joshua Swamidass MD, PhD, shared a dangerous idea with over 200 people at our annual fundraising dinner. Based on post-dinner feedback, it seems almost everyone was swayed toward Josh’s point of view by his persuasive keynote speech, including me.

On Friday, at around 7:45 PM, Josh shocked and amazed our audience of pastors, parents, students, and donors by saying, “[At Base Camp] you’re letting your kids go to a place that is dangerous… in all the right ways. The students encounter a community of believers that are unthreatened by questions and disagreements. This is a good thing.”

Other Faith Ascent speakers and I may disagree with Josh on a few non-essential particulars. However, we all agree on the essentials of the historic Christian faith and we all agree that students are better prepared for a university setting after being exposed to a wide range of answers to a wide range of questions while emphasizing sound Biblical hermeneutics, sound Biblical exegesis, and the centrality of Jesus to the Christian faith. If these are dangerous views, we certainly are not a “safe” ministry.

Sean McDowell, PhD shared a similarly dangerous view at our 2015 fundraising dinner. He said, A recent study showed that creating space for students to doubt and ask questions is critical. Ministries like Faith Ascent take students seriously and help them to think through the big questions.”
Dangerous Ideas & Dinner Donations

Reminds me of what Sean McDowell has said elsewhere:

This is how FaithAscent explains it to their audience:

Why does Faith Ascent have so many different professors, pastors, and teachers on the speaking team?
Our programs are designed to prepare students for the real challenges they’re likely to encounter at the university level. Best practices and common sense suggest that students are better prepared for a university setting after being exposed to a range of different positions while emphasizing sound Biblical hermeneutics, sound Biblical exegesis, and, most importantly, the centrality of Jesus to the Christian faith. This exposure fosters confident curiosity and thoughtfulness as students work out their own positions on debatable matters. Remember, the word “university” is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium , which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars.” Exposure to debatable matters within the Church’s “university” draws us back to confidence in the person of Jesus and the centrality of The Gospel.

Great job @JSmith.


Nice work, Joshua. Keep it up and some day you will get a secular humanist award for helping all those indoctrined, science misinformed YECs.


Who knew that the missing ingredient was an encounter with Jesus? :slight_smile:

Also, to help explain to observers confused by this, I’m hopeful about A Secular-Confessional Society.

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Here is the video, just posted by @JSmith:

I note that my verbal ticks were higher than normal. I think I was nervous about Hong Kong. Pulled an all nighter right after this, and jumped on a plane at 6:00 am the next morning. Check out FaithAscent. This is an important ministry, doing good work, and is making space for good science in audience that often distrust it.


I think you did well despite the jetlag. You keep doing talks like this you will certainly get a secular humanist award. :sunglasses:


You did a great job Josh!

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I’m not sure how well the students really buy it though. When I talk to their base, they have a hard time sustatin the party line: Jeremy Smith: I Disagree with Dr. Swamidass.

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: David MacMillan: Ham’s Ark Embraces Evolution