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Shavahn Dorris' article,
"At face value," in the Spring issue was one of the best I've
read on racism.
It was fresh and insightful
and made me grateful to receive The TCU Magazine, and grateful
there are young people as wise and courageous as Shavahn Dorris.
Redwood Fruth, B.A., 1966
is not enough
to you for the splendid Winter issue. Particularly interesting and helpful
was your article by Nancy Bartosek, "When love is not enough."
As a former employee
with the Methodist Mission Home, now Family Services of San Antonio, Texas,
this struck home, especially as I have also been involved in Russia and
relationships there during the past decade.
I'm grateful to your
courage in showing other sides of the question, which can be obscured
by all the enthusiasms of parenthood. And I'm grateful for the work of
Karyn Purvis and David Cross, who bear out the importance of research
in practical ways.
And most of all, kudos
to Mike and Carol White for their blessed commitment to a young life,
to bring about fruition.
Bill Matthews '55
one is the mother culture?
I have a small comment
to the article in the Winter issue about Chinese professor Mike Xu and
the connection he makes between Chinese culture and the Olmecs of South
The Mayan calender
goes back 30,000 years. Their numeric system is different from any other
system in the world (20 basic numerals compared with our 10). Has Mike
Xu ever thought or researched the possibility that the Chinese came from
Mexico, rather than the other way around?
It seems like Western
chauvinism has been exchanged for Chinese chauvinism, as if, of course,
it must be the Chinese who came and left remnants of his culture with
the Olmecs. The opposite conclusion is much more interesting and would
turn everything upside down.
If the Indian culture
have roots that are much older than all other cultures on the earth, then
maybe they were the cradle of all cultures.
vs. evolution, continued
I write regarding
Mr. DeHart's letter in the Winter issue about Dr. Brun's integration of
Christianity and science, reported in the Fall issue. Mr. DeHart uses
the term "true science" as if Dr. Brun were practicing pseudoscience.
Science is a way of understanding and learning based on testing hypotheses.
Hypotheses are then
refuted or supported based solely on evidence (data) -- not beliefs or
faith. When scientists use the term theory, they speak of a hypothesis
that has been repeatedly tested and supported by evidence, not about their
hunches or beliefs. One such scientific theory is the theory of evolution
or the idea that life changes and that these changes are heritable (passed
on from parent to offspring).
Studying how life
changes is certainly not a "mindless" endeavor. I would invite
Mr. DeHart to check out an issue of the journal Evolution for himself
at the TCU library if he feels that this theory is not supported by evidence.
He also confuses the idea about the origin of life on Earth (biogenesis)
with heritable genetics.
I am very glad that
I was able to have Dr. Brun for graduate seminar; I found him to be a
stimulating professor who taught us to think. That's a lesson I use today
whether I'm in my biology classroom or in church.
J. Landwer '86 (MS '88)
. . and more on the subject
First of all, Darwin
never proposed "evolution." Most people of his time would have
agreed that "evolution," or change, happened.
Indeed, I think it
would be difficult to argue that the world does not change. Darwin's ground-breaking
insight was into how things change, at least in the biological world.
He proposed that species
evolve through a process called natural selection. Organisms produce millions
of offspring, most of which will die. Those organisms that possess the
traits that best allow them to survive and produce further offspring will
continue to exist. Biologists do not take this on faith. Science operates
We know as a fact
that most offspring die. Traits are passed through genes. The basic building
blocks of Darwin's theory are facts and theories shown repeatedly to be
the best explanations.
Why do biologists
therefore accept the overall theory even when they have not seen it in
action? We accept it because it explains most of the phenomena we see
in the world around us. It is not faith; it is evidence.
If evolution by natural
selection were not the best available explanation for most phenomena in
the world, we would cast it on the heap of failed explanations along with
ether and plhogiston. Recent events provide a testing ground for Darwin's
A book has recently
appeared theorizing that natural selection explains violent rape.
Let's take as a biblical
explanation that rape is a product of original sin. It predicts that people
estranged from God will be rapists.
Statistics show that
rape occurs as one would predict from natural selection, for example,
in the wake of a conquering army. The religious beliefs of the invaders
do not affect the probability of rape. Men rape when women are especially
vulnerable, which guarantees their further survival; and when the chances
of reproduction are greater, which ensure further offspring.
Although these predictions
are not true in every case, statistically, these predictions are borne
out by the evidence. This to me is where we should look to God. Dr. Brun's
thesis, somewhat paraphrased, is that God created a universe separate
To be separate is
to be different, and to be separate from God is to have evil. I think
we can all agree that evil exists in this world. To make a world that
would automatically accept God as good is not to create. A world in which
we have a choice is a far greater measure of God's power and wisdom.
He gives us a choice.
Live in the world as I created it -- a world of chance and evil, or turn
to Me and the world I propose.
Biology allows us
to see the world as it is. God offers us the world as it could, even as
it ought, to be.
That, to me, is love.
S. Marshall '97
I am constantly amazed
that this comes up time and again. My assumption is that people who attend,
support, and befriend TCU know the "C" stands for the Christian
Church (Disciples of Christ).
The confusion enters
into the picture when people believe they are attending, supporting, and
befriending Texas Christianity University.
I believe if people
better understood today's Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination,
they would make better informed decisions of attending, supporting, and
befriending the institution. The mission of TCU is not to "promote
the Gospel of Christ as its main priority" as suggested by Thayer
K. Miller's letter in the Spring issue.
The mission of TCU
is "to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and
responsible citizens in the global community."
And while I obtained
my divinity school education from Vanderbilt rather than Brite, my hope
is that both Addison and Randolph would be proud of what TCU has become.
I know I am.
K. Elleven '89
I agree with Thayer
K. Miller's letter in the Spring issue, but am appalled at the other two
letters about the Christian in TCU. I am especially disturbed by the letter
from one Walter Kania, who identified himself as one of the teachers of
Survey of the Bible at TCU, then goes on to demonstrate his utter lack
of qualifications to be teaching the Holy Word.
Why in God's Name
would a "Christian" university hire such an unbeliever to teach
the Bible? This seems to me to be akin to the fox guarding the henhouse.
And you wonder why
some of us don't contribute.
E. Fleming, B.S.'62, M. Ed.'65
Roswell, New Mexico
even more on the "C"
It saddens me to have
to respond to the two letters published in the Spring issue, but I couldn't
stand silent allowing the writers' worldly viewpoints to go without response.
Dr. Walter Kania,
who apparently taught Survey of the Bible at TCU, without believing it
to be God's Word, states matter-of-factly, "...and the Old Testament
is Jewish mythology."
I'm sure many Jewish
rabbis would find that rather interesting after painstakingly writing
the Torah out by hand for centuries with an absolute emphasis on never
leaving out a single syllable from God's Word.
I also found it strange
that a professor at a CHRISTIAN university seemed perplexed at why in
the book of Genesis 1:26 it says, God said, Let Us make man in Our
image..., which any Christian pastor would tell you is in reference
to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, who have always
existed even before Jesus made his appearance on earth.
Why you call this
another "creation myth" is evident you lack more than knowledge
. . . you lack faith.
Similarly, the letter
from Thom Haynes would like us to water down creationism with an absolute
tolerance of evolutionism or anything else we care to add to it. By stating
you agree with the idea that "there is no Hell, no original sin,
no judgment day and we all go to Heaven" just clearly shows you choose
not to believe the Bible is truth.
By stating "And
the path to God does not have to go through Jesus" just confirms
sadly that you are not a Christian.
Both writers would
like for us to somehow update our view of the Bible . . . get out our
red pens and white-out to edit the Scriptures to fit what society says
rather than what God says.
Kania says, "Isn't
it time to get serious, into the 21st century and update one's theology..."
I say, isn't it time
to get serious about what God has to say? And the witness is this, that
God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
He who has the Son
has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life
(1 John 5:11-12).
(Aarnos) Oviatt '86