Saturday, August 25, 2012

316. To Whom It May Concern

The following is the transcript of an email I just sent to the dean of the business department at my college, who I believe oversees subjects such as Principles of Macroeconomics. I don't mean to imply in this email that I am somehow aggressively out to attack Christianity, because I'm not. Though I don't fall in perfect alignment with Christian beliefs, I do have a lot of overlap in how I feel about God and the universe as a whole. What I am adverse to is people who attempt to impress their beliefs and opinions upon everyone around them, particularly in situations that should be neutral to any and all indoctrination (such as state-run community college).

I'm not certain that you are the correct person to address this question, but I would like to make a comment about the required textbook used for Principles of Macroeconomics with Bernard Weinrich. The book is Principles of Macroeconomics, by Fred Gottheil.

The issue I have with the text is that this is supposed to be a social science course, yet chapter one makes extensive reference to the Bible and the creation story from Genesis. I sincerely understand the use of metaphor to prove a point, but this particular book crosses a very solid line between using religion as a metaphor and stating a religious belief as fact. The section I take particular issue with is page 5, in which the text is using Adam and Eve as an example for the human condition of insatiable want, and states, "We inherited their genes." I don't believe that there is any specific evidence that I inherited Adam and Eve's genes, or that Adam and Eve themselves were real people rather than parable.

Up until I read that sentence, I found the reference unnecessary, but accepted it as being this author's frame of mind or reference. That sentence, however, takes the text to a place of alienation for any student who is not a Christian. I don't want to deny anyone their right to believe what they believe, but I do have a problem with a college textbook at a state school which attempts to tell me that the book of Genesis is fact. There is little scientific evidence to support the idea that The Bible should be interpreted as any more factual or historically accurate than Homer's Odyssey or Jim Davis' Garfield At Large.

Please let me know if you are not the correct party to address this concern, as I would like to hear STLCC's official opinion on the matter.

E____ G_____


twunch said...

Are you sure Fred Gotheill is Christian? (I think he's Jewish - he writes extensively on Israel and persuasively regarding anti-Zionism.)
I don't know how (or whether) that affects your argument.
But I thought it was an interesting spice to toss into the gumbo.

Super Milk-Chan said...

It is definitely a good point to raise, and I wasn't aware of that. I don't think that it changes the argument, though. He only referenced Genesis. He also brought up an Eskimo creation story later in the same chapter and referred to it as a "tale", as if what the Eskimos believed was somehow less factual.