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May 13, 1988 - Image 7

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1988-05-13

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PERSPECTIVES
Friday, May 13, 1988

The Michigan Daily

Page 7

Eve: The logic, lore, and legend

By Veronica Woolridge
She was a perfect woman -
fresh, new, healthy, unscarred by
the marks of time and age. She had
a companion whose name was
Adam. He was the first man and she
was the first one of her kind - a
woman.
She was tempted by a serpent to
eat a forbidden fruit from the tree
of knowledge and of good and evil.
She ate the fruit to be wise. She
grew wise to the things that were
evil. She lost her innocence and a
little bit of her pride. So pride was
gone and bliss was lost - suffering
and ignorance were "in." Yes, heavy
trials and tribulations like sin and
death were "in."
She had a heavy burden to bear.
Because she sinned, death entered
Woolridge is a Daily News staff re-
porter.

the world. So we are told. Now
Science is telling us something
different and opening a debate.
The debate is not the United
States against the Soviet Union. It
is not Japanese imports against the
U.S. trade deficit. It is not anti-
abortion against pro-choice. And it
is not Pepsi against Coke. The de-
bate is scientific Fact against Leg-
end and the wild card is Eve.
Is Eve fact or fantasy - scien-
tific reason or mythological tale?
"The mythmakers spun their tales
on the same basic assumption as
the scientists: that at some point
we all share a common ancestor,"
said a January issue of Newsweek.
The Mythmakers work out of
homes, schools and churches. The
Scientists, trained in molecular bi-
ology, work in air-conditioned
American laboratories. The Myth-
makers' tales are of God, creation,
a lush green garden, and Adam and

Eve. The research of Science has
discovered the hot Savannah in sub-
Sahara Africa or Asia, a fruitful
woman scouring the plains for
food, and her tribe spanning out
over the globe.
Science has introduced the world
to a new, provocative anthro-
pological theory. With reluctance
they give it the same name as the
weak-willed temptress in Genesis,
Eve. "Scientists are calling her Eve,
but reluctantly," said Newsweek,
asserting, "the name evokes too
many wrong images."
One of these wrong images is
one about our lineage. Mythmakers
estimate our lineage began with a
woman who lived about 5,000
years ago. Science says human lin-
eage began about 200,000 years
ago.

observations. "Our cells carry the
history of mankind's development,
a path scientists followed toward
Eve," said a report in Newsweek.
Science has taken some bones,
broken down the genes and traced
the DNA to find a dark-haired,
black-skinned woman who wandered
the plains of Africa or Asia, and
who was the mother of the human
race.
"It makes us realize that all hu-
man beings, despite differences in
external appearance, are really
members of a single entity that's
had a very recent origin in one
place," said Stephen Jay Gould,
Harvard paleontologist and essayist.
"There is a kind of biological
brotherhood that's much more pro-
found than we ever realized."

To the Daily:
I'm Jewish. I grew up knowing
that we were an oppressed people.
For evidence, I didn't have to look
any further than the bigotry of my
neighbors. I remember being spat
on for being Jewish. We looked
around us and saw an immoral, op-
pressive Goyische world. And we
said, "We don't have power, so
we're not responsible for the op-
pression. But our culture has deep
humanist values, so if we had
power, we certainly wouldn't abuse
it the way the Goyim do."
Well, to and behold, some of
"us," and I use the word with reser-
vation, got power. Got a whole
damn State. And it's not a pretty
sight. I've known this for a couple
of decades. Of course, I had I.F.
Stone to help me figure this out.
But most Jews seem to have no
idea of this. At least not the ones
who get quoted in the media. And
certainly not Israeli public opinion.
Let's talk about this for a
minute. Jews seem to think that
whatever kind of evil shit Israel is
up to, it's self-defense. It's kinda
hard to think this when you're sell-
ing arms to Argentina, or in bed
with South Africa building the
Bomb. It's pretty slimy, for exam-
ple, to throw Vanunu in jail for
how long after a secret trial for

blowing the whistle on a atom
bomb program that "doesn't exist."
But somehow, people manage to
ignore this.
This business about self defense
is axiomatic. To put it bluntly,
Jewish public opinion is paranoid.
And not without reason. Any peo-
ple that has gone through the
Holocaust would carry those scars.
So Israelis look at Palestinians and
see Nazis. But Palestinians aren't
Nazis. They're peopletwho have
been driven out of their land.
They're a people who have been
forced into refugee camps and kept
there for generations. No wonder
they're not nice to Israel.
But this current round of vio-
lence is making it harder and harder
for Jews to imagine that this is self
defense. It's hard to imagine you're
engaged in self defense when you
routinely break into peoples homes
in the middle of the night, beat
them up and break their hands. The
recent killing of an Israeli girl
seems to point this up. It's taken
for granted that her death is much
more important than the Palestini-
ans killed daily by the Israeli Army
and settlers, including the young
Palestinians shot "because he was
running away." The public rage and
bloodlust brought on by her death
was overwhelming. The Army im-
mediately went out and blew up
fourteen houses of Palestinian
families "suspected of being in-
volved." But now it seems quite
clear that she was killed by her Is-
raeli guard.
This seems to me to be a very
sharply drawn microcosm. Israel is
not involvad ,in self. defense.It's

What we realize is that many of
New facts have been dug up the myths have been shattered and
along with the old bones and Sci- gone is the milk-skinned beauty in
ence is making some acute Renaissance Art. And gone is the
tional ruling-class parameters im-
involved in mass psychosis. posed on the progressive movement
Israelis and Jews world-wide need by developing institutions and
to wake up to this. If Israel can be- policies independent of the status
gin to see and accept the fact of its quo. One person fundamental in the
own political psychosis, it can be- creation of this strategy is Brian
gin to disengage from it and per- Willson.
haps find a livable future. Other- A Vietnam Veteran committed to
wise, I'd like to say it's headed for preventing history from repeating
disaster, but in fact, it's already itself at the expense of humanity,
there. Brian has literally put his life on
-Michael Shapiro the line to prevent the U.S. from
April 14 the continued destruction of Central
To the Daily: America, "Vietnam-style." Brian
The Institute for the Practice of came into the public focus when he
Non-Violence has challenged U.S. and three fellow veterans fasted for
policy in Central America by set- 46 days on the steps of the Capital
ting up a citizens' embassy in in1 .I ,B
Nicaragua that ignores terrorist his legs when he was run over by a
policy-makers like Elliot Abrams munitions train atithe Concord
Naval base in Calif. while pas-
sively protesting the shipment of
weapons to repressive forces in
Central America. Over the last year
Brian has led many delegations of
veterans to Nicaragua to drive am-
bulances and rebuild communities
destroyed by the contras in the war-
zone.
On Sunday, May 15, Brian Will-
son and folksinger Rick Duvall
(also a Vietnam Veteran) will be
coming to Ann Arbor to reflect on
their experiences and to discuss
strategies to build a comprehensive
movement for the development of
alternative policies to combat
Brian Willson will be on campus this institutional racism at home and
Sunday to speak about U.S. terrorism abroad. They will be
militarism in Central America. speaking at the Social Hall in the
and Jeane Kirkpatrick by sending First Presbyterian Church on
true U.S. representatives to express Washtenaw Ave. at 7:30 p.m. Ad-
solidarity with the people of mission is free.
Nicaragua. The citizens' embassy -Bill Gladstone
uses astrategy ghatdefies-the radi- . MaMay12.

voluptuous gardener in "Paradise
Lost" who was all "softness" and
"meek-surrender" and waist-length
"gold tresses," as Science lays the
facts - and the bones, on the line.
Eve is thought to be everyone's
10,000th great grandmother as
mother of the human race. Breaking
the lines of distinction between
ethnic group differences and racial
differences is not such a difficult
task. There are no racial differences
as all people are all a part of the
human race.
A person's physical appearance
may name that person a member of
an ethnic minority. However, that
person is still a part of the human
race and is entitled to every right
the position affords. Instead of
marketing how very diverse the
members of the University of
Michigan community are, perhaps
we can acknowledge, amidst our di-
versity, the biological brother- and
sisterhood that can be traced
throughout our human lineage.
To the Daily:
I am a University junior studying
this year at the Hebrew University
in Jemusalem. I am writing to the
Daily to express my concern over
the portrayal of Israel in the
American press over the last several
months. From clippings I have
read, it would appear that Israel is
under siege. I wish to state cat-
egorically that this is not true. I
feel safer walking in Jerusalem than
I do in Ann Arbor, even after up-
risings.
I am not writing home to tell
people that everyting they read is a
lie. Unfortunately, much of what
they read is true. I do ask that
people before criticizing Israel be-
come educated on the Arab-Israel
conflict. Learn the history, listen to
all sides, and then judge ob-
jectively. Quick condemnations are
not fair by those reading biased
news stories and watching carefully
edited television reports. I urge
people to visit Israel and find out
like I have how complex the sit-
uation is to solve.
Above all, I ask people who have
supported Israel in the past to work
with her and not against her during
these difficult times. Only through
an understanding by everyone in-
volved.will peace be achieved.
-Stephen Pincus
April 10
The Daily opinion page staff is
actively seeking minorities and
women interested in writing
and discussing editorials. Staff
requirements consist of one
meeting, one editorial, and
production work once per
week.- Call 764-0552.

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