Putting Things Into Perspective
From: PSCF 44 (June 1992): 79.
In our lead paper Swiss Biologist Peter R¸st offers a fine-grained evolutionary account for the diversity of life. Rust suggests a complementarian approach which takes into account both the "all-embracing providential activity of the Creator and the personal dignity of the human creature." We welcome your response to his thoughts.
Readers interested in the origins of Christian Science, the Church of Religious Science and Divine Science, and their modern analogues (such as the Unification Church and New Age mysticism) will be interested in Craig Hazen's account of the role of Yankee self-taught healer Phineas Quimby's role in these metaphysical movements. Quimby took the early 18th century American harmony between science and religion to the extreme by fusing God and nature. Hazen's account suggests that a peaceful relationship between science and religion carries its own possible hazards.
Jerry Bergman's "Eugenics and the Development of Nazi Race Theory," discusses a more modern example of science taken out of context. The "final solution" for Jews and other so-called inferior peoples and the need for war were justified by appropriating Darwin's notion of "survival of the fittest."
This issue offers an number of Communications. One of the signal events of ASA's 50th Anniversary meeting at Wheaton College was Physicist John A. McIntyre's ringing challenge for evangelicals to "... Rejoin the Scientific Establishment." Readers are encouraged to build on Jack's suggestions. Geneticists Peter Ritchie and Brian Martin offer a critique of "biological design arguments," finding them inadequate as explanations for nature or (as commonly viewed) as a picture of God.
Daniel E. Wonderly is concerned with the widespread use of pseudo-scientific accounts of biological and geological history in popular Christian literature. He offers ten illustrations of these "creationist myths." Who will counter this literature with material which reflects the best in our understanding of scripture and nature?
Stanford undergraduate Erica Don takes a different look at the scientific enterprise in our concluding Communication.
Californians Richard Dickerson and Walter Hearn lock horns on a basic question in this edition of Dialogue.
The book review section in this issue leads off with Owen Gingerich's and Duane Thurman's reviews of Darwin on Trial, and includes reviews of a variety of other books. The issue concludes with two Letters to the Editor--we welcome your comments!
-- J. W. Haas, Jr.