Summer 2000
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TCU Magazine "Letters"
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In black and white

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.

Penny Redwood Fruth, B.A., 1966
Tulsa, Oklahoma

When love is not enough

Special commendations 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.

Rev. Bill Matthews '55
Dallas, Texas

Which 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 America.

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.

S¿ren Henriksen
The Netherlands

Creation 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.

Allan 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 on evidence.

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 theory.

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 from Himself.

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.

James S. Marshall '97
Syracuse, N.Y.

The "C" in TCU

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.

Russell K. Elleven '89
Ft. Worth

Another "C" letter

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.

Elvis E. Fleming, B.S.'62, M. Ed.'65
Roswell, New Mexico

And 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).

Lana (Aarnos) Oviatt '86