Re: [asa] red in tooth and claw

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Sat Nov 28 2009 - 20:49:12 EST

Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> However, and I had glimpses of this as a Christian even, I think the
> ‘red in tooth and claw’ is a tremendous acknowledgement of how
> evolution works. The ruthlessness of nature, even Hitler eugenic-style
> thinking, is how evolution created the wonderful life forms that we
> witness today. Nature/evolution isn’t just ‘red in tooth and claw’ as
> some unfortunate thing, but it is the way life is SCULPTURED. Life is
> SCULPTED by evolution by “tooth and claw.”
> I’m not saying Hitler and eugenics are right. I’m saying that the
> ruthless nature of evolution being ‘red in tooth and claw’ is a major
> component for getting life as beautiful as we know it today.
> For example, why are so few creatures born blind? Because they quickly
> get eaten, with not much chance of their genes being passed on. Same
> thing with many other defects.
> …Bernie
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sculptured indeed! Well-stated, Bernie. You are exactly right that this
is something for Christians to struggle with, and I wish I had a
complete answer. But I do have part of an answer that is of course,
unavailable to you at the moment. And that involves God's use of
suffering to craft us. Christians have long lived with the paradox of
accepting suffering, yet while praying to be delivered from it. None of
us wants it, by definition, and yet we realize (usually only in
retrospect) that we were made stronger for having gone through it. This
is only the human element and makes no pretension of addressing all of
nature. But if I was to begin to craft an answer, I would start with the
incarnate Christ entering into humanity, indeed, into nature. George
Murphy's book "Cosmos in the Light of the Cross" is helpful in this regard.

By the way, you seem to want to remain morally above things like
eugenics or the whole "tooth & claw" scenario. If these things are but
the brutal tools that sculpted beauty (according to you), then why do
you find them so objectionable? On what basis do you object? You'll note
that I object to them too even while I acknowledge their existence.
Christ calls me to live above any such natural law and to reject
"survival of the fittest" as a means of living with my neighbor. But you
have rejected Christ, and that basis is not available to you (unless you
want to engage in the irrational practice of cherry picking things you
like about Christ's teachings while yet thinking Him and his disciples
as deluded fools or power-hungry frauds.) Since you no longer have the
Christian basis available and yet regard Evolutionary wisdom as a kind
of guiding light, on what rational basis do you wish to continue
objecting to nature's enlightened evolutionary teeth & claws whether
they come in the form of eugenics or otherwise? Do you not quite trust
the capable hands of evolution to do what needs to be done?


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Received on Sat Nov 28 20:49:41 2009

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