Insight on the News
Evolution ‘Curbs Thinking’
● A New York educator recently wrote to “Science News” magazine of his frustration because graduate zoology students would not think about the “why” of evolution. “Though I spent nearly an hour trying, in various ways, to get them to consider the content of the question,” he writes, “they refused unanimously to answer it, saying that the word ‘why’ brought in teleology [the study of evidences of design (implying God) in nature].”
Though this instructor himself believes in evolution, he complains: “The word ‘why’ had simply evoked the concept of teleology in a manner which prevented further thinking about the matter. I question the value of scientific schooling that produces such rigid associations between terms and concepts. Is it really necessary? May it not do more harm than good by curbing creative thought on scientific problems?”
Hence, students of science are often taught to close their minds tightly on this fundamental issue. Their thinking becomes as futile as that of ancient pagans described in the Bible: “Ever since the creation of the world [God’s] invisible nature . . . has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; . . . they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.”—Rom. 1:20, 21, “Revised Standard Version.”
What Is True Loyalty?
● A columnist for the Caribbean’s Barbados “Advocate-News” questioned the nationalistic actions of certain African rulers against Jehovah’s Witnesses: “My loyalty to the country is demonstrated not in singing and shouting and saluting,” he declared, “but by being diligent and upright in the performance of my civic duties and work, thus contributing to the strength of the nation. In fact, it may well be that wider diffusion of the values by which the Jehovah’s Witnesses live throughout Africa could well be an inspiration to the countries therein.”
Similarly, not long after Argentina’s 35,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses were banned from practicing their religion, a Buenos Aires “Herald” columnist observed that such ban is “certain to darken the government’s image both at home and abroad.” He noted that by its action the government had overturned a “wise [favorable] ruling by a local judge and earn[ed] itself a name for religious bigotry.” Witness “beliefs are only offensive to those who think patriotism is chiefly a matter of flag-waving and anthem-singing, not a matter of the heart,” he wrote.
The “Herald” also said of the Witnesses: “Hitler and Stalin found them indigestible, and treated them abominably. Lots of other dictators yearning for conformity have tried to suppress them. And failed. They will be with us when the members of this government are stone monuments.”
Splitting “What God Has Yoked”
● “Dearly beloved,” begins a new Methodist ritual for divorced couples, “we are gathered here to solemnize the end of one time in [the couple’s] lives and the beginning of another.” With the recent publication of a book of church rituals, “the United Methodist Church [became] the first Christian denomination to advocate such ceremonies to ease the pain of a marriage breakup,” reports the Los Angeles “Times.”
The ritual book suggests that after noting the general reason for this couple’s divorce, the clergyman could go on to say: “They have resolved, therefore, to sever the ties of their marriage, though not of their mutual love and honor.” Wedding rings are transferred to the right hand to symbolize “freedom.”
Whether the divorce was obtained merely to gain such “freedom” or to dissolve the marriage on Biblically authorized grounds (adultery), does not such a ritual actually constitute a religious blessing on adultery, past or future? The new ritual book claims that Methodists are merely recognizing the reality of divorce. But have they faced the true “reality”—their failure to help church members to apply Bible principles that can keep marriages together? Instead, they openly flout Jesus’ command: “What God has yoked together let no man put apart.”—Matt. 19:6.