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Front Page: autumn 1990 A YEAR IN REVIEW With this issue we complete our first year of publication. The results have been mixed. We have received compliments, and we have received denunciations. Admittedly, the denunciations have exceeded the compliments, but we expected this. We knew when we decided to begin publication that we would be swimming against a headstrong tide of tradition based on uncritical thinking, and we were not mistaken. The entrenchment of the inerrancy belief was indicated to us over and over again in the copies of TSR that came back marked REFUSED and the letters from angry recipients asking that their names be removed from our mailing list. None of these, incidentally, ever attempted to show that our position was wrong. This intolerant attitude was more than compensated for by the reactions we received from open-minded readers. An early subscriber wrote just recent- ly to say, "I have escaped the religious scene and am now attempting to enjoy life to the full in a moral way." We hope that this person's testimony will not escape the notice of those who believe that the rejection of religious faith leads to unhappiness and moral degradation. There is almost universal agreement among those who have abandoned religious superstition that they are happier and better adjusted living as agnostics or atheists. Religious fundamentalists will find this hard to believe; nevertheless, it is true. Our advice to them is simple: Try it; you might like it. Countless ones who have tried it unhesitatingly declare that they do like it. We began publication with an open-door editorial policy through which we intended to offer our readers the opportunity to read competently written responses to our main articles, but in this issue we have no rebuttal materi- als. This does not mean that we have abandoned our policy; it means only that we could find no one willing to respond to our lead article. Altogether, we sent copies of the article ("What About Scientific Foreknowledge in the Bible?"), which begins on page 2, to six different fundamentalist writers and invited each to prepare a response, but none of them accepted the invitation. In fact, we are late going to press because we waited beyond our deadline to give a late contact to whom we had faxed the article an opportunity to write a rebuttal. He later called to tell us he would not write it. Some of these writers we contacted are involved in their own publication projects, so it isn't as if writing the response we wanted would have been a new venture for them. They simply refused the chance to have their re- sponse published alongside our article in a format that would have provided our readers the chance to consider both sides of this issue. We have to wonder why, especially since the very nature of a rebuttal gives a last-word advantage to the rebutter. In a monthly publication that he edits, Wayne Jackson, one of the writers who declined our invitation, quoted a section of the article that he thought he could handle and then proceeded to give his readers a one-sided response to it, yet he was unwilling to let his prepared response to every- thing in it be seen alongside our entire article. No head-in-the-sand tactics like these will be pursued in TSR. We will continue to invite and publish responses, and we challenge our fundamental- ist adversaries to do the same in their publications. ******************************** FREE SUBSCRIPTION: A free one-year subscription to The Skeptical 1


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