Disintegrate, Dominate Person, Feeblemind, and Flesh to Stone all have special language allowing a ranged attack against EAC that allows you to substitute your casting stat for Dex, but this isn't a general rule. It doesn't apply to Energy Ray, so it seems like a partial giveback for the nerf of adding a "ranged touch" (to most of these) or making the existing one (Disintegrate) harder than it used to be.
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p. 240 (Tactical rules chapter) explains what a ranged attack is and what bonus you get, and what a melee attack is and what bonus that gets.
Fatigue, Overload Systems, Synapse Overload are melee attack spells that allow you to substitute your key ability modifier instead of strength. All other melee attack spells use your strength modifier.
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Unless otherwise noted, I'm assuming melee touch spells use STR and ranged spells use DEX; however, this does make it much harder on casters since there is no touch AC any more. Personally, I wish they just did it like D&D 5e and base it off the key ability score.
All casters in Starfinder have a 3/4 BAB.