Peer review, please

From: Dan Eumurian (
Date: Sat Sep 02 2000 - 05:47:01 EDT

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      My wife is a member of the American Federation of Teachers, which
    recently excerpted Eugenie Scott's article as referred to below. I'd
    appreciate some peer review before I decide whether to send this to the
    AFT. I apologize for the length of this post.

      Bryan Cross seemed back in July to dismiss my notion that "survival of
    the fittest" could be at all compatible with biblical teaching, implying
    that I was guilty of eisegesis and Social Darwinism. There's a
    difference between eisegesis and the suggestion of possible correlations
    or models for interpretation. No one who knew of my extensive
    songwriting and other activities on behalf of the family farm movement,
    to give one example, would accuse me of Social Darwinism.

      Yet family farmers have to struggle to make their case (and harvest
    their crops), grace works in the context of justice, non-temple prophets
    challenge the establishment, and the **spiritually** fit survive. (See
    Prov. 3:34; Matt. 5:5.) Bryan's critique would be correct if we were
    talking about outward appearances. Since I am talking about an attitude
    of humility and dependence on God being something that God says he can
    work with, I maintain that we are saying the same thing, although I am
    adding that it's a tough world out there and, if I may quote Wayne, "By
    grace alone do we proceed."

      Do the list members see any parallels among an evolutionary-type
    process in the scientific study of origins, the survival of a remnant of
    God's chosen people in the OT, and the process of striving to enter the
    narrow gate (Matt. 7:13) and similar concepts taught by our Lord? I'm
    not content to put the Bible in one corner of my mind and science in
    another. Neither will I concede the public schools to overgrown

    Bryan Cross wrote [snip]

    > In special revelation, God is constantly helping the weak, lifting up the poor, deposing the lofty. He often chooses those that seem most unfit, and therefore unexpected. He shows grace to those who do not deserve it. This mode of operation is directly contrary to that of
    Darwinian evolution, where the fittest are rewarded and the weakest are
    exterminated. There is no such thing as 'grace' in the Darwinian system,
    where rewards are based solely on merit. The line of the Messiah is
    'contaminated' with Gentiles like Ruth and Rahab. The Beatitudes and
    the Sermon on the Mount extol the anti-Darwinian moral character,
    "blessed are the meek, turn the other cheek, give to him who asks", etc.
    It is quite safe to say that Christianity is completely antithetically
    to social Darwinism. Anyone who claims to find social Darwinism in
    God's actions described in special revelation is practicing eisegesis.

    Now for my proposed letter to the AFT:

    Mailbox, AFT On Campus:

      Eugenie C. Scott is either a clever user of literary allusion or the
    victim of a deep irony. Scott states in “Not (just) in Kansas
    anymore–Higher education must help protect the science curriculum” (AFT
    On Campus, Sept., 2000), “Scientists and philosophers have examined
    [irreducible complexity and the design of inference] and found them
    wanting.” (The article is excerpted from the May 5, 2000, issue of
      The latter term harks back to the account of the “handwriting on the
    wall” in the biblical book of Daniel, when God crashes an idolatrous,
    drunken victory celebration with a prophecy of impending accountability.
    The inscription that appears in the plaster of the royal palace is
    interpreted, in part, “You have been weighed on the scales and found
      If indeed evolutionary methodology is correct, which is the more
    substantial model for its application––morphing it into an incomplete
    science (Where did it all start?), a vicious Social Darwinism, and a
    philosophy of meaninglessness and alienation––or seeing it as simply a
    methodology open to alternate interpretation?
      The principle of variation and selection is found throughout the
    Bible. In the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament, God’s people wander away
    from his precepts, suffer the “natural” consequences, look to God for
    mercy, and survive as a wiser, more devoted remnant. In the Greek
    Scriptures/New Testament, Jesus teaches that good stewards of his gospel
    of freedom will be separated from the wicked as wheat from chaff. The
    Book of Revelation talks about crowns for those who persevere and
    overcome. Material things are considered useful as tools, but as gods
    are indeed “found wanting.”
      Mathematics tells us that a greater dimension can intersect with a
    lesser, making changes that cannot easily be interpreted. (See
    Flatland.) Everyday life tells us that a hand in a glove cannot be seen,
    although its effects are undeniable. An evolutionary system set in place
    by a Creator would account for the phenomena detected by science, while
    giving the “buck” a reasonable place to start and stop.
      We can’t have it both ways. We must either reject the expansion of
    evolutionary science into an “establishment of religion” to be
    promulgated in our public schools, or we must allow other religions to
    offer their interpretations of the data, with young people making their
    choices according to an intellectual “survival of the fittest.” To state
    it poetically,
      “Oh where have you been, Lord Random, my son?
      Where have you been, my lucky young man?”
      “I’m at the casino; their chances are greater
      Than of all this existing without a Creator.”
      (From “Lord Random,” by Dan Eumurian,
      © 1996, Come Thru Music Co., 1634 Barlow St.,
      La Crosse, WI 54601)

    Dan and Marie Eumurian
    La Crosse, WI

    (Dan Eumurian is a music teacher, piano technician and dealer, and
    singer-songwriter, with degrees in music education and theological
    studies. He is a member of the American Scientific Affiliation. Marie is
    a Registration Assistant at Western Wis. Technical College in La

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