Neil Jones

Mark Walker MWalker at
Wed Sep 29 19:27:03 EDT 1999

First of all, I apologize for making my last post overly personal.  I had
originally intended on emailing Jacob privately, but then writing something
negative about Neil (or anyone else) privately would be even more obnoxious
than would posting my criticism publicly for everyone to deal with.

I suppose the third option would have been to do and say nothing.  I'm
obviously not very good at this.  I'll work on it.

Neil wrote:

> Mark Walker
> I genuinely believe that you are a nice guy, please do not take my
> direct honest approach for arrogance. As I have said before I am not
> perfect at this. I genuinely wish my skills at it were better.

That's a very reasonable statement.  I appreciate it, really.

>  I certainly do not believe that I am "god's gift" to
> anything. I find it regretable that you still appear to bear a grudge
> over the creationism debate.

Actually, no - you're wrong about this.  I see that you haven't forgotten
it, however.  In this case, I simply used language which I am comfortable
with.  I may be dogmatic, and I may be unmovable by faith, but I have
honestly never seen anything in science or academics which would lead me to
question the existence of God.  Furthermore, I have many personal answers to
prayer that provide me with sufficient evidence as to His existence (and
love for me).  As for holding a grudge - well, if I have a grudge against
you, it isn't because of your position on the origin of species.  It's more
because of my perception of how you present your position.

> I do not believe that it is arrogant to 
> point out that people should wait a while before they jump 
> into the deep end
> It is standard advice on the net. Lurk first.  Nor is it arrogant
> to tell people who attack others to get their facts straight first.

It is presumptuous to assume how much effort, preparation, or intelligence
anyone is applying in an email.  It is arrogant to assume that you are even
capable of assessing another's intelligence in any case.  It is also
arrogant to place one's sense of their own intelligence, awareness, or
degree of preparation above that of another.

Now I am probably guilty of making the same mistake about you, for I am
judging you based on your electronic communications.  I admit that I could
be wrong - and that you are neither arrogant nor presumptuous.  Who knows,
maybe my problem is that I'm too insecure about myself.  All I know is that
the tone of many of your emails tends to stand my hair up straight.

Just being honest.

Mark Walker.


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