Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Adventist Review publishes smear terms.

I may have been too hard on the editors of Liberty Magazine and Adventist Today online. It could be that Adventists are simply incapable of being sensible editors of any publication. Consider this from the March 15 2012 Adventist Review:
No question, Genesis 1 and 2 present challenges. Bible students have been trying to work their way through the Creation account for thousands of years. The issue isn’t that the texts aren’t without difficulties; everyone knows that they are. The issue is the “solution” Seventh-day Darwinians want to impose upon them.

So who are the Seventh-day Darwinians? Is there a definition in the article by Clifford Goldstein? No, no definition. Can we find it in the dictionary or Wikipedia. Not listed there either. Maybe there is an organization called “seventh-day Darwinians” Again no.

But we can search the internet and see that the Adventist Review and Clifford Goldstein has published articles using the term before. In 2003 Goldstein wrote an article entitled Seventh-day Darwinians. No definition there either, in fact the title is the only mention in the article of Seventh-day Darwinians. Then Again in the Adventist Review again in an article by Clifford Goldstein we read another article entitled Seventh-Day Darwinians,Redux. Again I suppose that is what the Redux means, the term Seventh-Day Darwinians is only found in the title of the article, again no definition, no reference to the group known as Seventh-day Darwinians, it appears to be some kind of smear or code language. 

Should the editors be publishing articles with terms that have no definition? Or should opponents of an idea be free to title someone of a different view as with prejudicial terms. For instance should I refer to Goldstein’s articles as information geared toward Seventh-day Totalitarians? 

It is rather sad that in Adventism Darwinian has this biased negative view put forth by people like Goldstein. Darwinism actually has a dictionary definition. And it is perfectly acceptable within the bounds of Christian theology as well as science. defines Darwinism as:

the Darwinian theory that species originate by descent, with variation, from parent forms, through the natural selection of those individuals best adapted for the reproductive success of their kind.
Or the American Heritage Science Dictionary as:

A theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Darwin's ideas have been refined and modified by subsequent researchers, but his theories still form the foundation of the scientific understanding of the evolution of life. Darwinism is often contrasted with another theory of biological evolution called Lamarckism,  based on the now-discredited ideas of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.  See Note at evolution.
The acceptance of natural selection is pretty universal among biologists, not just atheist but also Christians, numerous examples of this type of natural selection have been produced. In fact I know of one Adventist who wrote book on Dinosaurs (though not a scientifically viable opinion on dinosaurs) who uses natural selection (Darwinism) to explain the immense diversity of animal life which he asserted to occur after the world wide flood since clearly that many animals would not fit on the ark of such recorded dimensions. He is a supporter of the six literal, consecutive, contiguous, 24-hour days of recent origin creation theory as well. Would a belief in natural selection actually place him in the Seventh-day Darwinian label? I suppose it depends upon who you ask and why do you think you should even respect their answer or ability to define a term that has no definition.

So who is more foolish the writer that uses a prejudicial but meaningless term or the editor that just passes on the prejudicial but meaningless term? They seem to both be doing it multiple times, so it is difficult to say. Perhaps they are equal in their prejudice and poor reasoning capabilities. It seems The Adventist Review editors simply pass on the biases that they agree with. When editors can’t be objective then they fail at their jobs and they fail to maintain a standard of trust of the magazine. This seems to be a theme in Adventism today.

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