A “Christian Agnostic”?

By Sean Pitman

Ervin Taylor

Ervin Taylor, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. He is also a long-time supporter, executive publisher, and contributor to the “progressive” journal Adventist Today and is a fair representative of the face of “progressive” Adventism in general. As an ardent progressive Adventist, he has been a fairly active antagonist against some of the historic pillars of Adventism to include the efforts of this website to support and promote the stated goals and ideals of the Adventist church as an organization within our own schools – especially regarding the church’s position on origins.

It has never been a secret that Dr. Taylor is adamantly opposed to the Church’s position on a literal six-day creation week a few thousand years ago, promoting instead the mainstream evolutionary view of the origin of life over billions of years on this planet, or that he openly questions many of the other “fundamental” doctrinal positions of the Adventist Church.  At one of his lectures a few years back he was asked what he would tell his own granddaughter if she were to ask him for evidence of God’s existence, to which he replied, “I don’t know.”  Just yesterday he essentially repeated this very same agnostic perspective in one of his comments within this forum:

I have always been attracted to the position of Christian agnosticism. (Many, many years ago, at PUC I gave a talk with that title, as I recall, during a week of spiritual emphasis.) (Link)

What does it mean to be a “Christian agnostic”?  or an “Adventist in good and regular standing” when one believes in very few of the “fundamental” goals and ideals of the organized church?  And, perhaps more importantly, why would our own Adventists leadership invite a “Christian Agnostic” to come and regularly lecture our own young people, at schools like PUC and LSU, on the virtues of agnosticism?  to promote Christian ethics without promoting the promise and sold hope of Christ?  and the future reality of our world made new as it was originally intended to be (without the use of the evils of pain and death employed by natural selection or the ‘survival of the fittest’)?

Of course, when presented with specific questions regarding his various beliefs that directly undermine the fundamental positions of the church, Dr. Taylor, and others like him, argue that they believe in the “family model” of Adventism whereby one need not believe in or support the doctrinal positions of the church in order to be considered a good member or even an official representative of the church.  Evidently, one does not even need to be all to sure as to the evidence supporting God’s very existence to be a good “Adventist”.

Yet, when pressed, Dr. Taylor says, perhaps for political reasons in certain settings, that he does actually believe in God and in Jesus as the Son of God, born into this world from a virgin woman and raised from the dead after three days to ascend to heaven to intercede for us with the Father.  It seems strange to me, therefore, that Dr. Taylor and those like him seem so eager to accept the fantastic metaphysical claims of the Bible when it comes to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but reject much of the rest of what the Bible claims regarding historical realities which seem to disagree with their own understanding of mainstream science.  How is the Bible remotely credible on the one hand while being so far off base on the other?

Dr. Taylor suggests that those who actually believe all of what the Bible claims about historical realities are living in Alice’s Wonderland.

If a belief in the what the Bible says about about the origin of life on this planet is like living in Alice’s Wonderland, then so is a belief in the far more fantastic metaphysical claims of the Bible regarding the origin of Jesus, born of God the Father to a virgin woman, raised from the dead after three days, and taken to Heaven to commence with the rest of the Plan of Salvation for those who claim to believe in such fairytale nonsense! – like Dr. Taylor!

Why do those like Dr. Taylor claim to live within one Wonderland, full of irrational baseless nonsense, but laugh at those who accept all of what the Wonderland Book has to say about the place?

I suggest that such individuals, as brilliant as they think they are, aren’t being consistent with themselves. They’re trying to fit within two “incommensurate worlds”. It simply doesn’t work… Mr. Hatter.


First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come… But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

2 Peter 3:3-6; Isaiah 5:21; Proverbs 26:5; 1 Cor. 1:18

 

 

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

351 thoughts on “A “Christian Agnostic”?

  1. The “Christian agnostic” mind simply trades light in exchange for darkness – “as if” this is supposed to impress us. — “As if” they did something brilliant.

    What part of that little dance on their part is supposed to be compelling?

    I don’t see the attraction or need for it.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  2. The term “Christian Agnostic” is actually an oxymoron. What it used to be called was sitting on the fence. It indicates that a person is not fully committed to Christianity, nor, for that matter, worldliness; he/she wants their cake and eat it too. But truth and error do not successfully mix. Thus they ascribe to a polluted, toxic theology.

    The fact that this man is able to address any Adventist audience with the blessing of the church leaders is appalling. He has been allowed to lead young minds astray for far too long and it needs to be stopped now.

    As far as his magazine goes, I personally can’t be bothered with it. It is misrepresenting Adventism entirely…just as Mr. Taylor does personally.

    What these fence-sitters are going to find out to their dismay is that all you get from fence-sitting is splinters.

    Sooner or later there is only going to be 2 camps…God’s or Satan’s. No one will be on the fence in the end.




    0
    View Comment
  3. “Professing to be wise, they became fools” –Romans 1:22,NKJV
    “They promise (academic) freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption” –2Peter 2:19,NLT




    0
    View Comment
  4. 2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? v.15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? v.16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. v.17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
    v.18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.




    0
    View Comment
  5. Dear all

    All attacks on agnosticism are most welcome. We, or maybe only I, are the smallest remnant at Educate Truth, but an enthusiastic participant all the same.

    Frankly I’d be worried if agnosticism ever got put up upon an unassaible pedastel. Its own ability to doubt Itself will likely prevent it from reaching the status of Faith.

    By all means mock it, ridicule it and treat it with contempt. I likely won’t take my drink of cyber hemlock for a while though.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  6. The good doctor is entitled to his opinion but I just wish he wouldn’t call himself a SDA. Does anyone know whether the word “ADVENTIST” is trade-marked by the GC? If it is, “Adventist Today” should be asked to change its name. I know ” Seventh day Adventist” is.

    Chris. CHAN




    0
    View Comment
  7. @Ken:

    All attacks on agnosticism are most welcome. We, or maybe only I, are the smallest remnant at Educate Truth, but an enthusiastic participant all the same.

    I wasn’t trying to mock honest agnosticism. I personally think that it is possible to be, at least for a while, a sincere agnostic who is earnestly seeking for the truth about God. What I don’t understand, however, is how one can try to meld agnosticism with Christianity and call one’s self a member, much less a representative, of the Adventist Church. That is beyond my comprehension.

    At least you, being the agnostic you are, do not think to call yourself a member of the Adventist Church nor do you expect a paycheck from the Church for promoting your views. That I can deal with…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  8. I read with interest the article about Ervin Taylor, PhD, the “Christian agnostic.” He is reported to believe, “perhaps for political reasons in certain settings, that he does actually believe in God and in Jesus as the Son of God, born into this world from a virgin woman and raised from the dead after three days to ascend to heaven to intercede for us with the Father.” (This statement by Sean Pitman might not exactly reflect Dr. Taylor’s belief, but I quote it as it probably comes close.)

    This statement describes the “crossless Christ.” It is a common belief among Christians who like also to say, “Jesus is enough.”

    Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost.” The “lost?” The concept of being lost comes straight from Genesis. To believe that you are lost requires that you accept the Genesis story in total, or there is no basis for being “lost.”

    Yet, Dr. Taylor, I will grant is an honest man. He is simply expressing the all too common belief of many Christians that Jesus Christ has no requirements. He is simply giving a philosophical basis for the lukewarm lifestyle of far too many even of Adventists. Jesus Himself said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

    If we all from highest to lowest let this guide our lifestyle, many problems in the church would be solved. If we do not do this, let’s face it, we are not even Christians.




    0
    View Comment
  9. Some might label me a conspiracy theorist. (Well, that phrase or label has come to have an automatic negative meaning associated with it. In reality, there are very real conspiracies, rooted in the intent to destroy our very souls.)

    My conspiracy is based on historical evidence, however. I believe that many of those who are claiming to be SDA, “holding on” to their membership in the church, while actively promoting ideas which are directly in contradiction to the Bible and to our fundamental beliefs, do not actually believe themselves to be SDA.

    [edit]




    0
    View Comment
  10. Thank you Sean for providing us more evidence for why Dr. Taylor is an absolute fraud as a true Seventh-day Adventist, especially with regards to his “member in good standing” status at the Loma Linda University SDA Church.

    I also agree with Craigo as to why any legitimate SDA organization would give Dr. Taylor a platform to spew his anti-SDA sentiments.

    Also, when was the last time Dr. Taylor was invited to speak at PUC? I’ll email them to document. Perhaps he’s on their next Week of Prayer schedule?




    0
    View Comment
  11. It is no wonder our “church” is in the condition it is in. It is a crying shame that someone of Mr. Taylor’s “status” should be allowed to teach or even lecture at any place but a secular school. But as I have stated over the years that this website has been in existence, if it weren’t for the compromise of accreditation in our schools, not to mention accepting government funding and tuition aid, and the church in general had not broken away from the “blueprint” we would not be having these discussions. As “Uncle Arthur” said in Volume I of the Bible Story “Sad, Bad Days”! “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt. 24:37. “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Matt 24:4

    Mr. Taylor apparently has the “form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” 2 Tim. 3:5 “From such turn away.” 2 Tim 3:5

    The officials of the Adventist church from the top down, including the educational institutions will be responsible for any lost souls who learned from the people who are teaching them error.

    When I came into the truth that the Adventist church taught back in the ’70’s, I made a committment to the truth in the Bible not the church, and I, today will stand on the truth of the scriptures, not what the “church” teaches, or any educational institution. One is to compare what the truth is by the scriptures not the scriptures by what some “scientist” says. Because it is all “science so-called”. If not “they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Tim. 4:4.

    May God have mercy on those who are teaching such things and may they become converted and accept eternal life. There is NO fence sitting. Either you are on the side of Christ or the side of the devil. There is no middle ground.




    0
    View Comment
  12. Wayne said…..

    “The officials of the Adventist church from the top down, including the educational institutions will be responsible for any lost souls who learned from the people who are teaching them error.”

    That’s exactly right, Wayne. Our church leaders are far more culpable than the deceivers they allow to have influence and authority in the SDA church.

    If EGW was alive, she would kick their “spiritual butts” out of the church and oppose and expose the duplicity in no uncertain terms.

    Even when Dr. Kellogg was the White’s friend, it did not influence them to patronize his book “Living Temple” in the name of “academic freedom”. She expose his false doctrine and stated his name in doing so. And finally, Wayne, you are equally correct when you stated…..

    “When I came into the truth that the Adventist church taught back in the ’70′s, I made a committment to the truth in the Bible not the church, and I, today will stand on the truth of the scriptures, not what the “church” teaches, or any educational institution. One is to compare what the truth is by the scriptures…..”

    “There is NO fence sitting. Either you are on the side of Christ or the side of the devil. There is no middle ground.”

    When the gospel is not defined in its true biblical context, the result is exactly what we see in the church today.

    Keep the faith.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  13. When the Son of man comes will He find faith on the earth? – Luke 18:8

    From: A Christian believer. Imagine that, a Christian who believes the entire Bible. I know we are not in Kansas yet but we will be going to even a better place!

    Ron




    0
    View Comment
  14. Re Christian Agnosticism

    I must admit I was curious about this term which would seem to be a oxymoron. Below is what I found on Wikipedia on the subject. Hope it helps the discussion.

    “Christian Agnostics (distinct from a Christian who is agnostic) practice a distinct form of agnosticism that applies only to the properties of God. They hold that it is difficult or impossible to be sure of anything beyond the basic tenets of the Christian faith. They believe that God exists, that Jesus has a special relationship with him and is in some way divine, that God should be worshiped and that humans should be compassionate toward one another. This belief system has deep roots in Judaism and the early days of the Church.[3]”

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  15. Apparently some “Christian agnostics” embrace the term with a bit more “enthusiasm”. For them it involves denying the first 11 chapters of the Bible, rejecting God as creator if by that He means that He did exactly what He said He did in Genesis 1-2. They reject the “For in Six days the Lord Created” central point of the 4th commandment and ridicule those who choose to believe the Bible record is a trustworthy account of history.

    So — err.. umm.. there is always “that” Christian agnostic.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  16. Pastor Cook said…..

    ” I know we are not in Kansas yet but we will be going to even a better place!”

    Well……I hope so, I am in Kansas now. Actually, it is about as good as you can get in this old world…..So….I like me here, until the Lord will take me there.

    Are you still in Colorado, Hub?

    Bill




    0
    View Comment
  17. Ken: Ken October 24, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Dear all

    All attacks on agnosticism are most welcome. We, or maybe only I, are the smallest remnant at Educate Truth, but an enthusiastic participant all the same.

    You raise the question of honest up-front agnosticism (something you claim to hold to ) vs those who are trying to “have it both ways” in their so-called “Christian agnosticism”.

    There is no question but that true agnosticism would be an interesting topic to discuss.

    However I do not see that as the topic of this particular thread. At least not based on the opening post.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  18. That post was confusing. Hubb is not pastor Cook. The comment was to pastor Cook and the question was directed to Dr. Hubert Sturges. Sorry.

    Bill




    0
    View Comment
  19. Hi Sean

    I’m not exactly sure what Erv believes. But in fairness what he sais was that he was ‘attracted’ to the position of Christian agnosticism and gave a talk on the subject, not that he necessarily was one.

    By the way I’d still love to see a live civil debate between you and Erv. I’d be very happy to moderate. Perhaps the question could be: Should FB# 6 be changed?

    As you know even though I am an agnostic, and not a Christian one, by the wikipedia defintion I have cited above, I am a defender and in favour of what you are attempting to do: prove faith with science. But I also think Erv is an honest man who sincerly believes what he does. And Bob, I think I can reassure you that the depth of my agnosticim runs as deep as you faith my friend. The existence and nature of reality , hence existence and nature of God, has been the chief occupation of my life. I hope you can take that on faith. In short I think honest people can believe different things and I always want to know why.

    I think the disparity in Adventist thought reperents a microcosm of the
    turmoil between faith and reason as a whole. And science iis the shiny, gleamng tool of ontological surgery. Over time it has sliced and diced many of my previously held phiolosophical concepts and laid them bare on coroner’s table of Reality. Do I think myself superior to those of Faith? No, in fact I am somewhat envious because I’d liike to rest from the constant enquiry. I venture Faith must be a great comfort but it is that very attraction that makes me wary as to whether it is a rose coloured prism to view reality. That is why I am so intrigued by your topic of intelligent design and whether it exists versus a universe formed randomly from a quantum fluctuation. Because the question will always remain why even though atheists consider it irrelevant.

    My father once said he learned far more from people he diaageed with than agreed with. I am very glad that you and Shane have seen fit to allow contributors of very different mind sets to post on Educate Truth, including Dr. Taylor. Like a great court case I think it is dialectical discourse where we will all get closer to the truth of reality. Yes, i know Dr. Kime, you plainly see the infantile Ken sitting on the Socratic knee, but we all got trained in some school of thought didn’t we?

    So on we go, and that is a good thing in a world where many do not care.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken
    How is the new baby my friend?

    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  20. @ken:

    Christian Agnostics (distinct from a Christian who is agnostic) practice a distinct form of agnosticism that applies only to the properties of God. They hold that it is difficult or impossible to be sure of anything beyond the basic tenets of the Christian faith.

    Indeed. Which, I suppose, is why Dr. Taylor claims to believe in God and in Jesus as the Son of God. However, when asked, Dr. Taylor also says that he knows of no good evidence to support his belief in even the basic existence of God that he could honestly share with his own granddaughter. In this sense, his form of agnosticism goes a bit deeper than what you’ve referenced here.

    Also, the idea that one can accept the fantastic claims of the Bible about Jesus’ divine origin, life, death, and resurrection, but reject other Biblical statements on the origin of life on this planet is just a bit inconsistent… which was the main point of my essay.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  21. Dear Sean

    Thanks for the further comments on our friend Dr. Taylor.

    What great courage he must have to have such faith where he thinks the evidence points in a different direction. In the latter part of her life Mother Teresa thought God had stopped taliking to her and she expressed much private doubt. But on she went with her great work for the poor. And on Dr Taylor goes, perhaps seeking to redefine Adventism because of his misgivings of a litreal Genesis. And on you go valiantly attempting to prove the literal word of the bible with science notwithstanding fideists in the adventist ranks.

    I think you three are all great Christians of different doctrinal bent. Now can you all love and respect each other as Christ would want?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  22. @Ken:

    I think you three are all great Christians of different doctrinal bent. Now can you all love and respect each other as Christ would want?

    I do not question Dr. Taylor’s honesty or sincerity or his standing before God. I do, however, question his logic, reasoning abilities, and his definition of Adventism. His view of Adventism, in particular, seems to me to be inconsistent with itself. His efforts, if successful, will take useful meaning from the name “Seventh-day Adventist” as something unique from what already exists elsewhere.

    In other words, I see Dr. Taylor’s efforts as tending to destroy all uniqueness from the Adventist movement by turning it into something that already exists within various non-denominational organizations that promote good Christian ethics, but are short on the doctrinal truths that the Adventist Church brings to the table in support of the Gospel’s Good News… i.e., that there really is very good evidence for the existence of a personal God who does indeed love us and has died to save us and who will recreate both us and this world that we live in back to the way it was originally intended to be as our Eden home.

    The current “order of things” will pass away. There will be no more predation among sentient creatures that can experience pain and suffering. There will be no more “survival of the fittest” or “natural selection” as such death-dependent mechanisms are completely at odds with God’s character, as described in the Bible, and his original intent for our world.

    This is why I oppose the efforts of those like Dr. Taylor and why I think that the organized SDA Church should not provide a platform within Adventist churches or schools for those who hold similar views to directly undermine the primary, supposedly “fundamental”, goals and ideals of the church as an organization. I think that when the church does invite such to teach our congregations or our youth that the church is, in a very real sense, shooting itself in the foot (or some much more vital organ).

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  23. Hi Sean

    I appreciate your comments. ‘Progressive’ Adventism is antithetical to conservative doctrine. The question for Adventists is whether YEC or YLC is tenable in light of science. And, importantly, whose science?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  24. @ken:

    I appreciate your comments. ‘Progressive’ Adventism is antithetical to conservative doctrine.

    “Progressive Adventism” is antithetical to itself. It is a self-defeating idea since the progressives, like Dr. Taylor, argue against everything that makes Adventism unique. They argue against all that separates Adventism from what already exists in non-denominational organizations that emphasize ethics while down playing the evidence for God’s existence, His detectable involvement in the universe and in one’s personal life, and the basis of Biblical credibility. In other words, they argue against everything that forms the very basis of our solid hope in the actually reality of the Gospel’s message of “Good News” for the future…

    In other words, if “progressives” are successful in their goals, within a couple generations there will be no more Adventist Church – progressive or otherwise. There will simply be more non-denominational organizations that emphasize popular ethics and mainstream science…

    What I’m saying here is that so-called ‘progressives’ within the church are indebted, for their very existence, to those Adventists who actually believe in and support the collectively unique doctrinal positions of the church.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  25. To add a little texture to this thread: An Academic or Freelance Agnostic is a different question-slinger than a Christian Agnostic, very.

    A simple agnostic firing questions at no target, just into the air for the hell of it, like a gunslinger roaring into town Saturday nights; or just to get your attention (“get you to think,” as he puts it, or to dance, in Westerns), or wince at the noise, and bagging no answers and at the end of the day empty-handed, is not unrespectable. His fusillade can be awesome, and, as long as a stray shot doesn’t take out an innocent bystander who failed to duck, entertaining, like fireworks. Some of our best friends are such straight-from-the-hip high caliber agnostics. Somehow they emerge from their cloud of gunsmoke smiling and unscathed. What a relief, on all sides. (I could have likened the Colt-waver to Don Quixote but he’s already taken.)

    But a Christian knows his God and knows that he knows. But that knowledge of God, and soon God Himself, and then the slinger himself, become the Agnostic Christian’s target, and those self-inflicted wounds are not uncommonly fatal (not to God, not to worry). The holey Agnostic Christian is not just an oxymoron but terminated. Agnostic Christian, R.I.P.—oh that he would! His ghost seems hellbent on even higher decibel cannonades, and his targets his fellow Christians…with the happy Agnostic gunslinger still standing.

    Wall, padnah, ah’m as ee-droit ah slinger as anaboodee in these he-are pahts, and ah find ma ammo (allegories and parables) all over’n the range ‘cept Genesis 1. Loading up another silver bullet, I take aim again:

    A Christian Miner is different from a Christian Sapper. A Christian should never, yea he must never, in this life or the next, for eternity, never cease digging deeper into his mine, his God-given mine, harvesting ever more precious gems the deeper he digs. He digs deeper into the mine, not around or at that mine to undermine it, discovering only dung, and caving the whole mine in upon itself, and himself.




    0
    View Comment
  26. In other words, if “progressives” are successful in their goals, within a couple generations there will be no more Adventist Church – progressive or otherwise. There will simply be more non-denominational organizations that emphasize popular ethics and mainstream science…Sean Pitmanhttp://www.DetectingDesign.com

    I believe the actual goal of the progressive SDA’s is to have such a church as you describe, Sean. Read not only Dr. Taylor, but others such as Ryan Bell, Alexander Carpenter, and Jared Wright, etc. That is the exact type of SDA Church they want and strive for. And, they are being PAID (at least the last three) for working toward it! How dumb can our Church leader be?




    0
    View Comment
  27. @Wesley Kime: “… digging around or at that mine to undermine it, discovering only DUNG…”? Better put: Discovering only old BONES. Very large fossilized bones. Very large fossilized bones datable to the nearest million years. Very large fossilized 400 million year old bones well chewed.




    0
    View Comment
  28. Dear Sheriff EE Droit

    I reckin’ you forgot about what I tole ya about the merit of Deputy Pitman tryin’ to hitch that reliable wagon of science to that mystery colt of faith? Does that seem like random ropin’ to ya’ all?

    Now ya’ll be careful about firin’ that ole silver bullet down that mixed metaphor mine of yours. You might find that place bigger than ya’ll thought and end up shootin’ some fine folks including that good ole girl Theresa.

    Hope I hit the target with that one pah’d, rather that just firin’ in the air.

    From the agnostic saloon
    Rawhide Ken




    0
    View Comment
  29. Hi Wes

    I always miss you…..when you are not around, marriage counselor for Faith and Science.

    Hopefully heaven will be a cheery place!

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  30. In other words, if “progressives” are successful in their goals, within a couple generations there will be no more Adventist Church – progressive or otherwise. Sean Pitmanhttp://www.DetectingDesign.com

    Ryan Bell, Pastor of the Hollywood Adventist Church, on a podcast about two years ago, implied that the way progressives would take over the SDA Church is for the conservative members and leaders to either retire or die off, giving the younger, more modern progressives the opportunity to take over the SDA Church.

    However, as we see today, the growth of the SDA Church in Third World countries is putting a “monkey wrench” in Bell’s plans. Newer members tend to be actually more conservative, making Bell’s progressive group smaller and smaller. I wonder what Ryan’s new philosophy will be to counter this trend?




    0
    View Comment
  31. ken: I appreciate your comments. ‘Progressive’ Adventism is antithetical to conservative doctrine. The question for Adventists is whether YEC or YLC is tenable in light of science. And, importantly, whose science?

    Given that the YEC model has the ONLY mechanism known to actual “science” that can create something from nothing or that can design and manufacture a complex system such as a computer – I see no problem with YEC and actual science.

    Letting the YEC model stand up against the blind-faith fictions of evolutionist who have no mechanism for creating or evolving life at all known to work in actual “science”, makes perfect sense (even given the rich history of hoax, fraud and deceit used to promote evolutionism over time.)

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  32. Hi Bob

    What science did God employ to make the universe and living organisms?

    In fairness if you want to want to label evolution and an old earth as a fraud and a hoax it is incumbent upon you to come up with a tenable alternative. Isn’t that why the SDA set up the GRI? And the GRI has said there is no viable YEC model hasn’t it?

    I don’t mind your hyberbolic rhetoric about evolution.. The problem is if you do not rationally provide a viable altrnative, as Dr. Pitman is scientifically attempting to do, such dogmatic denial haa zero persuavive value on the ‘objective, candid reader’.

    So please Bob lay out your YEC model for our asessment.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  33. Hi Wes

    I’ve been thinking very seriously about yiour entertaining comments about the non purposeful agnostic gunslinger. Let’s test your theory my friend.

    Lat’s start with Genesis 1. Why do you think it is an accurate account of creation?

    Your engaged agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  34. @Ken: • Hi pardna’,

    Test my theory that the grim Oxy-Christian Moron-Agnostic shoots to kill but the happy two-gun Knight Errant Agnostic just shoots? Start with Genesis 1? Again? Why do I think Genesis 1 accurate? Accurate of creation? Why? Creation as opposed to..no, not that again. Again? Don’t those questions prove my…? Must I spell it out? Res ipsa loquitur? Won’t people catch on to us great friends conspiring and scripting all this?




    0
    View Comment
  35. Re Wes’s Quote

    “Why do I think Genesis 1 accurate? Accurate of creation? ”

    Hi Wes

    That’s the question if you care to answer it.

    Remember it was you that called out the simple agnostic without a target. Well here I am Wes standing in Origins Street, not hiding, ducking, evading, dodging or taking potshots at the Great Defender of Genesis 1. You’ve have got my full attention and perhaps that’s what you wanted all along? Well done if so.

    Now if you want to comment that there is no purpose in me being here that is your choice. But I respectfully submit my rational agnosticism is as deep as your faith and has just as great a purpose.

    So let me start. Since your conversion, at age 10 I think, did you ever question Genesis 1 as to its literal merits? Notwithstanding your submission of the mutual marriage of faith and science, which spouse holds the upper hand when there is conflict?

    Let’s engage!

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  36. An agnostic is nothing but a skeptic at best. Like John Alfke on the liberal forums, I could only wonder why an agnostic whould have any voice on a conservative SDA discussion on any doctrine?

    So I would say to Ken. Any agnostic is not my “friend” in any biblical discussion. And I doubt you are anyone’s “friend” who takes the bible seriously.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  37. Re Bill’s Quote

    “So I would say to Ken. Any agnostic is not my “friend” in any biblical discussion. And I doubt you are anyone’s “friend” who takes the bible seriously.”

    Hi Bill

    Well Bill, that’s a shame. I guess I’ll just turn my other cheek and not hold that against you.

    ~

    “This principle may be stated in various ways but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty.”

    -Thomas Huxley

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  38. ken: Re Bill’s Quote“So I would say to Ken. Any agnostic is not my “friend” in any biblical discussion. And I doubt you are anyone’s “friend” who takes the bible seriously.”Hi BillWell Bill, that’s a shame. I guess I’ll just turn my other cheek and not hold that against you.~“This principle may be stated in various ways but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty.”-Thomas HuxleyYour agnostic friendKen

    Huxley was an agnostic evolutionist. Why would we be interested in anything he had to say about “objective truth?”




    0
    View Comment
  39. @ken: My engaging friend! First, apologies – I went one metaphor too far. Second, submission to your protocol. OK, let us get personal, and you’d like me to start? Will you be joining in?

    You remember! But I wasn’t automatically converted at age 10, just baptized. The two aren’t necessarily, or very often, concurrent. Anyway, it happened in a Big Tent, rather different from the Commodious Tent now being advocated, the message was not the contemporary syndicated powerpointed otherwise powerless and pointless celebration, and there really was a sawdust floor. It was in North Hollywood, of all places. I don’t remember being raptured. The part I remember, the last thing I remember as I went under, was seeing the tent canvas sort of flapping and the pole-to-pole diagram of Daniel 2. Then, splash. At 83 I believe, going by faith plus evidence, I’m at last converted. It takes a lifetime. Longer. (Don’t despair, friend.)

    As to Genesis 1, admittedly and unabashedly I was converted, submitted to (if you must), compelled by evidence, multidisciplinary and multifaceted and multivectored and criss-crossing, cross-linked, cascading. When? It started at age 13 or 14, I think; in the 7th grade. Back then we didn’t have gender-sensitivity class, we had physiology. The textbook was not appropriate to the grade. That was before committees, and now the State, decide on texts. But for some reason (I’ve always wondered) the textbook given us 7th graders was a college text, as I found later, perusing the shelves at Occidental College (I was there before Obama). Marvelously detailed. I was besides myself with excitement. (Got an A+) Never been as excited by school since, but almost, in medical school. It was the late 1930s and I submitted to it like the 60s submitted to the Beatles. But I never thought to connect physiology with Genesis 1 until the 1960s, when the likes of Erv Taylor (we go way back) began to question it, question, question, bang bang bang. That awoke me. (I believe I, and officially this site, have duly thanked Dr. Taylor for his heroic crusade that misfired and roused us instead.)

    I can’t say I ever sat down and suffered through a crisis – that would be too tidy a story. But somehow for every carbon-dated fossil that shouted at me, the Krebs Circle shouted louder.

    As to which holds the upper hand in Genesis 1, and everything else, faith or science (I like “evidence” in all contexts), I’ve never thought to ask the question. Never occurred to me, would you believe? (to slip in a question for you.) Just like the centipede never thought about how he manages all those legs at once, all those perfect little legs fluttering in programmed sequence like peristalsis, until somebody asked him. So, rather flustered at the idea of having to say one or the other, I say both, sometimes the front batch of legs bearing more weight than the middle batch, and then the back batch kicks in.

    Adventists, at least in my day, were famously expected to witness at any street corner, knock on doors, regale seatmates in planes. Personally (you get confessions as a bonus) I never cared to. Not my style. And I don’t care to on this blog, either. I prefer parable to proselytics, rhetorical devices to rhetoric. By your leave I’ll leave in-depth and in-detail exposition of Genesis 1 to Dr. Pitman. He’s young and feisty, up to it and up on it. I’m too old for writing pugilistic polemics. I’ve written my share, footnotes and all. But somehow acclaiming my own empiric evolution, though not in the disputationally academic format you wanted, is exciting. Thanks for finally, after a couple of years, goading me into it. Next question? But considering the outburst your question marks unplugged (beware when you shoot off those things), you don’t want more, do you?

    Gratefully, W

    PS: For the record, anent the twist in the current thread, Jesus greeted Judas as “friend” even as Judas was betraying Him. And – anent our own thread – having Himself prophesied repeatedly exactly that this would happen, Jesus, as was his wont, greeted Judus with a rhetorical and consummately purposeful question: “Wherefore art thou come?” Matthew 26:50. An answer was not forthcoming, only clubs and a crown of thorns, and salvation.




    0
    View Comment
  40. Ken: Hi Bob
    What science did God employ to make the universe and living organisms?

    How fun it would be to “be God” and figure that one out.

    So sad – we can’t “be God”.

    But we can “observe” that the making of complex systems (and books, and works of art and science) is done by “creators” every day – observable, repeatable, testable. A mechanism proven to work.

    But the evolutionist has only the “imaginary mechanism” whereby static genomes (in terms of coding genes) for eukaryote systems magically “acquire” new coding genes – despite our “observations in nature” to the contary.

    In fairness if you want to want to label evolution and an old earth as a fraud and a hoax it is incumbent upon you to come up with a tenable alternative.

    1. I keep offering the alternative to “making stuff up” when I point to proven success in observing that “creators create stuff that would not just happen on its own”. Observable, repeatable, testable.

    This is not the hard part.

    2. Fraud is a “bad thing” as it turns out – even if I were asleep or on vacation instead of posting on this thread.

    Here again – the “easy part”.

    So that means that Othaniel Marsh’s horse fraud printed by Simpson and on display in the Smithsonian to this very day – over 100 years later – is not “the best science” we can do.

    Here again – “this is the easy part”.

    But that “horse fraud” was one of many essential pieces needed to raise the religion of evolutionism to the level of blind-faith orthodoxy at the national academy of sciences.

    So far – I only state the obvious. More complex offerings await a cogent reply.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  41. ken: “Christian Agnostics (distinct from a Christian who is agnostic) practice a distinct form of agnosticism that applies only to the properties of God. They hold that it is difficult or impossible to be sure of anything beyond the basic tenets of the Christian faith. They believe that God exists, that Jesus has a special relationship with him and is in some way divine, that God should be worshiped and that humans should be compassionate toward one another. This belief system has deep roots in Judaism and the early days of the Church.[3]”

    Hi Ken:

    “Agnostic Christian” does not just appear to be an oxymoron, it genuinely is–one part of the expression negates the other.

    People nowadays seem to think that there are many ways to be saved. That isn’t Biblical; we don’t get to pick door #1, door #2, or door #3, etc. There is only ONE way to be saved and that is through Jesus Christ. He is the one who gave His life on the cross to be the remedy for sin. That is what salvation is all about. That is what it means to be a Christian–to follow Christ–to believe in Him. Agnostism is opposite of that. People who do not understand Christ or the Christian philosphy can write all the definitions they want, but that doesn’t make it the truth.




    0
    View Comment
  42. Yes, “Friend” is used in the bible by the way of sarcasm on several occasions. So, Jesus called Judas “friend” and the king asks, “Friend, how comest in here without a wedding garment.” No doubt other places may be found in this same context.

    How patronizing and “kind” of Ken to “turn the other cheek.”

    No true believer should be fooled by his duplicity. Nor his self proclaimed condecending attitude toward a Christian.

    Like Father Jim on the spectrum forum who assures all who will listen that his church is totally innocent of any and all the religious crimes of the past.

    And it is only bigoted Protestantism that would accuse his church of such terrible activities. And he receives many “amens” from more than a few deluded individuals who hold his same sentiment. Not a few claiming to be loyal bible believing SDA’s.

    No doubt the devil can project an attitude of love and good fellowship when it suits his purpose as he infilterates the Protestant community with an attitude of good will.

    But let me remind any and all who will listen and carefully consider what Jesus clearly said.

    “He who is not for me, is against me.”

    There is no neutral ground. There are no agnostic Christians. And agnostics are typical of the wishy-washy attitudes of unbelievers who project an air of open mindedness that is far from the reality.

    Rather, it is an excuse for unbelief with a self justifying attitude that if only someone could show them with undeniable evidence, they too would believe.

    I could consider Ken a “friend” in my neighborhood. A civil attitude based on civil righteousness. But he is no “friend” to my religion nor the bible.

    I have many “friends” who are not Christians. But they don’t come to my church expressing doubt, skepticism, and unbelief.

    I trust that at least some of you see and know the difference.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  43. I wonder whether Sean would have written this had Erv happened to be his father, brother, or the best man in his wedding.

    Ken, I love your Christ-like attitude toward others. You remind me of the publican.




    0
    View Comment
  44. Dear Eddie

    Thank you very much! I was beginning to think that everyone saw me as a devil in a blue dress.

    Eddie, I have such a long way to go to even understand what it takes to be a good person but I believe the effort is worth while.

    Have a great Sabbath

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  45. Re Bob’s Quote

    “But we can “observe” that the making of complex systems (and books, and works of art and science) is done by “creators” every day – observable, repeatable, testable. A mechanism proven to work.”

    Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comments.

    This may surprise you but I’m actually intrigued by the design argument. My Dad is a Deist although I’m not of that bent, at least not yet! The laws of nature, i.e. gravity, that even allow the universe to exist are pretty marvelous. Did they arise as a result of a random quantum fluctuation or was their Grand Designer behind it all. If so what is or was the nature of such designer based on what we empirically observe about our universe?

    The problem I have with intelligent design within our universe and especially regarding life on earth is theodicy. I do understand how the concept of original biblical sin accounts for the loss of perfection, but I have a very tough time understanding why a God would cause such destruction of his creation based on the disobedience of the literal eating of an apple. I just can’t rationally fathom how the eventual and natural demise of our solar system can be based on Man’s fall. Empirically, through science we can now view the death, and birth, of stars. Was this all caused by eating forbidden fruit?

    Thus one must ask: why would a good, compassionate God create a Universe, and sentient life, that suffers and dies? Age old problem, that in my estimation has been allegorically resolved through the Genesis narrative.

    Let’s move on to evolution. Micro evolution does not seem to be a problem for anyone. Life does adapt to its environment through genetic change. In my mind the issue becomes what happens over billions of years. After considering everything I have read to date I cannot honestly see an overwhelming case for a young earth. Moreover I have not read or heard anything yet that such a view can be scientifically supported by anyone without a biblical creationist bias. Given enough time great change will occur as evidenced by the vast diversity of life spread over every niche of our planet. Were there kangaroos on the Ark, or did they evolve in an isolated part of the world from whence they could not spread?

    I don’t think evolution is a fraud or a hoax. Too many educated people of faith believe and accept it for it to be an atheist conspiracy. Have their been mistakes made and will they continue to be made? Are there dishonest scientists? Certainly. They are fallible humans, just like you and I, after all. But the issue is what does the weight of all the multidisciplinary evidence indicate?

    Hope that helps

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  46. Dear Wes

    You got me right in the ticker with your best bullet yet.

    Yes I’ll be joining you in personam, otherwise betrayal would be res ipsa loquiter.

    “Wherefore art thou come”? Judas didn’t answer did he?

    Wes, if you will forgive me I need a little time to compose my personal post because I owe you full disclosure. I started last night but my draft was too self indulgent, egocentric, vain, sycophantic. etc. So I stopped and reread your post countless times to understand the privilege and wisdom you have afforded me. I know that did not come easy. The wrong reply will not only abuse and betray you but every other friend I have here. And from that there will be salvation, especially from the grim face in the mirror.

    I know I have to earn your trust and I hope you have a smidgen of faith that I will do so.

    Your grateful agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  47. “And from that there will be salvation, especially from the grim face in the mirror.”

    Sorry I meant ‘no’ salvation.

    Oh and by the way that grim face in the mirror is by far the harshest judge I have ever known.




    0
    View Comment
  48. ken: Thus one must ask: why would a good, compassionate God create a Universe, and sentient life, that suffers and dies? Age old problem, that in my estimation has been allegorically resolved through the Genesis narrative.

    You begin by admitting that the “fine tuning” of gravity, electromagnetism etc represent an argument for design. And of course the cosmological constant goes a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion… times father along that “level of precision” than either gravity or electromagnetism.

    1. So that is welcome acceptance of fact.

    2. You then argue that God should either not allow intelligent beings to make dumb choices, or he should not make the second-death the penalty for those choices, or he should not allow a probationary time of life to re-think those choices IF that life will not be all roses and candy.

    You really need to read Story of Redemption for the SDA view on just how “glorious” life was after the fall of Adam. Where people lived for over 900 years (yes that is also in the Bible) and food was abundant on earth.

    You miss the bigger picture. Free will requires “compelling data” to motivate for right choices in such a way that sin is “guaranteed” to never rise again through all of eternity.

    The other thing you miss is God’s dedication to the principle of “free will”. Think of it – the all-knowing could easily have “tweeked Lucifer’s brain” just a tinge as he was contemplating his first foray into selfishness – such that Lucifer would never even have been aware of it himself – much less anyone who spoke with him.

    This would save God 1/3 of the Angels, the loss of mankind and His anguish in the death of His own Son on the cross to rescue mankind.

    But God “chose free will at all costs”.

    You have to “BE the Creator” to fully appreciate the scope of that concept.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  49. ken: Let’s move on to evolution. Micro evolution does not seem to be a problem for anyone. Life does adapt to its environment through genetic change. In my mind the issue becomes what happens over billions of years. After considering everything I have read to date I cannot honestly see an overwhelming case for a young earth. Moreover I have not read or heard anything yet that such a view can be scientifically supported by anyone without a biblical creationist bias. Given enough time great change will occur as evidenced by the vast diversity of life spread over every niche of our planet. Were there kangaroos on the Ark, or did they evolve in an isolated part of the world from whence they could not spread?

    I don’t think evolution is a fraud or a hoax

    1. You never stated that you have seen the “actual mechanism” for macro evolution – to ever work. Not one single example of a eukaryote genome “acquiring” new coding genes to create some novel new feature that did not exist in nature before.

    2. Then you argue that without the actual mechanism ever seen — well then maybe an amoeba does turn into an elephant “if we say billions and billions enough times” – so to speak.

    That is more that magic mantra – than science.

    3. You argue that blind faith evolutionism is not a hoax – even though we both know that for many many decades – the BEST arguments for evolutionism were actually hoaxes and that this situation continued UNTIL acceptance of evolution had reached “critical mass” and gained the status of “orthodoxy”. After which it simply propagates itself via the mechanism of self-interest – no need to actually “observe” the salient point mechanism to ever actually exist!

    Your response lacks some objectivity in that regard.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  50. Hi Bob

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to reply. I appreciate it.

    I am really trying to understand your mindset. On one hand you say evolution is a hoax because no one has witnessed the actual mechanism of how macro evolution works. On the other hand you matter fact talk about people living for 900 years. Never seen anyone live that long, have you?

    I’m all for free will. What about the free will of the universe to unfold oblivious to the actions of the species of man. Because that it what modern astrophysics indicates is the case, objectively speaking.

    Are you saying Darwin’s observations were all hoaxes? I can understand you might disagree with them but are they hoaxes!

    Bob. I can see jeans but not genes in action 🙂 Perhaps if I was 900 years old I might have a bit more opportunity to observe evolution in play, but then again conventional wisdom seems to indicate it takes a bit longer.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  51. ken: Thanks for taking the time and effort to reply. I appreciate it.

    I am really trying to understand your mindset. On one hand you say evolution is a hoax because no one has witnessed the actual mechanism of how macro evolution works. On the other hand you matter fact talk about people living for 900 years. Never seen anyone live that long, have you?

    Here again you are simply using an “any old excuse will do” come back rather than thinking it through.

    In the “Live 900 years” issue the “mechanism” is the telomere and the enzyme, telomerase reverse transcriptase. Infants have it.

    Obviously one of the effects of eating the fruit from the tree of life must have allowed for production or availability of that enzyme beyond birth.

    So – do we “observe the mechanism” that is at the root of that phenomena “in nature” ?? Obviously we do.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  52. ken: I’m all for free will. What about the free will of the universe to unfold oblivious to the actions of the species of man. Because that it what modern astrophysics indicates is the case, objectively speaking.

    1. That is a claim not an observation.

    2. The universe proper is not a person.

    3. The “free will of the murderer” is often cut short by “law”. I am sure we both agree.

    There is no indication at all that beyond earth – people are being murdered “because of the will of the universe”.

    More facts – less smoke and mirrors.

    Are you saying Darwin’s observations were all hoaxes? I can understand you might disagree with them but are they hoaxes!

    Bob. I can see jeans but not genes in action 🙂 Perhaps if I was 900 years old I might have a bit more opportunity to observe evolution in play, but then again conventional wisdom seems to indicate it takes a bit longer.

    Darwin observed that dominant finch beak characteristic expression in phenotype changes in response to environmental pressures.

    I am all for that “observation in nature”.

    If he were simply satisified to “stick with the facts” rather than engaging in Lamarkian fictions due to his prior study – all would have been well.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  53. ken: Bob. I can see jeans but not genes in action 🙂 Perhaps if I was 900 years old I might have a bit more opportunity to observe evolution in play, but then again conventional wisdom seems to indicate it takes a bit longer.

    So because you “imagine” that saying the word “billions” a few more times would have uncovered the much imagined, much hoped for “mechanism” so necessary to evolutionism – you now want to place your “imagination” as a valid substitute for observed fact?

    That is not science.

    If we just stick to “observations in nature” then blind faith evolutionism is stuck with a by-faith-alone belief in a “mechanism” never actually seen in nature.

    That my friend – is religion. Without the mechanism – it is at a dead end.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  54. Morning Bob

    So in the case of the 900 yeard old folks what caused the telemorase to act in the way in did? And what caused it to change. What was observed,?

    Don’t get me wrong I love the story about the magic fruit from the tree of life. Wonderful stuff. But from a scientific point of view it is not obvious thr properties thereof alter the operation of an enzyme. But I’m reluctant to call that a hoax or a fiction or pray tell a Ryanian scientific theory until I give you a full opportunity to explain the empirical basis for your claim.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  55. I meant to say:” …. It is not obvious to me the properties thereof altered the operation of an enzyme”

    Sorry about that, didn’t have enough caffeine from the magic pot. 🙂

    Hapy Sabbath everyone
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  56. Dale: “Professing to be wise, they became fools” –Romans 1:22,NKJV

    Dale, who is it who is professing to be wise here? Isn’t it Faith, and Bob, and Sean who believe they, and only they know not only what the Bible says, but what it actually means? You are quoting the Bible, but applying it to the wrong people.




    0
    View Comment
  57. Bill Sorensen: No doubt the devil can project an attitude of love and good fellowship when it suits his purpose as he infilterates the Protestant community with an attitude of good will

    Bill, As you have stated, I am sure that the Devil could project and attitude of love and good fellowship for awhile if it met his ends, however, I have a hard time imagining Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, ever making the hard, dogmatic, cynical, and derogatory comments that are coming from the most “conservative fundamentalists” on this site.




    0
    View Comment
  58. Ron said…..

    “I have a hard time imagining Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, ever making the hard, dogmatic, cynical, and derogatory comments that are coming from the most “conservative fundamentalists” on this site.”

    Well, you may be right, Ron. On the other hand, the same could be said for all the prophets including Jesus Himself.

    To be totally objective may well be impossible. How I would “judge” you, or Ken or anyone else will be based on my own understanding of the biblical issues being discussed.

    And I am well aware that you and others will do the same. I glean from your comments, that the church has no moral imperative to discipline employees who abandon fundamental church teachings.

    I know that more than a few of us would completely disagree with this evaluation. And I am also aware that there is a growing movement in the SDA church that would agree with you completely.

    Polarization is inevitable and even necessary for a final unity of the church.
    Pluralism can not and will not survive in historical bible Adventism.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  59. ken:: Let’s move on to evolution. Micro evolution does not seem to be a problem for anyone. Life does adapt to its environment through genetic change. In my mind the issue becomes what happens over billions of years. After considering everything I have read to date I cannot honestly see an overwhelming case for a young earth. Moreover I have not read or heard anything yet that such a view can be scientifically supported by anyone without a biblical creationist bias. Given enough time great change will occur as evidenced by the vast diversity of life spread over every niche of our planet. Were there kangaroos on the Ark, or did they evolve in an isolated part of the world from whence they could not spread?

    I don’t think evolution is a fraud or a hoax

    BobRyan:

    1. You never stated that you have seen the “actual mechanism” for macro evolution – to ever work. Not one single example of a eukaryote genome “acquiring” new coding genes to create some novel new feature that did not exist in nature before.

    2. Then you argue that without the actual mechanism ever seen — well then maybe an amoeba does turn into an elephant “if we say billions and billions enough times” – so to speak.

    That is more like a magic mantra – than science.

    </blockquote

    Salient point:

    1. You never stated that you have seen the “actual mechanism” for macro evolution – to ever work. Not one single example of a eukaryote genome “acquiring” new coding genes to create some novel new feature that did not exist in nature before.

    Ron: I have.

    >

    Oh goody – we get a taker on that one.

    oops – but then no actual reference to any fact to back up his claim…

    Oh well…

    Less smoke – more fire please.

    Meanwhile we have Dawkins’ instructively flummoxed response to that same evolution 101 basic request for “observation in nature”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaKryi3605g

    Apparently the answer was being spelled out on the ceiling for Dawkins but then got smugged at the last minute.

    oh well… we continue to wait for the “observation in nature” for the actual “mechanism that adds new coding genes” to the otherwise static species level genome.




    0
    View Comment
  60. BobRyan: In the “Live 900 years” issue the “mechanism” is the telomere and the enzyme, telomerase reverse transcriptase. Infants have it.

    Obviously one of the effects of eating the fruit from the tree of life must have allowed for production or availability of that enzyme beyond birth.

    So – do we “observe the mechanism” that is at the root of that phenomena “in nature” ?? Obviously we do

    So… hm.. food is “observed to contain” proteins, sugars, enzymes, fats, minerals and vitamins.

    And the Genesis 3 story holds that being denied access to a very specific food from the Tree of Life – excludes access to some necessary element.

    And then… science “observes” the enzyme in question and how it functions.

    These observations in nature however would not be sufficient to deter one who is truly determined to doubt in any-ol-excuse-will-do fashion.

    Surely we can all agree on that point.

    Ken: So in the case of the 900 yeard old folks what caused the telemorase to act in the way in did? And what caused it to change. What was observed,?

    Telemerase is seen today to act in the “same way” … so err umm.. that is “no change” in the way the enzyme telemerase “acts”.

    The salient issue in the events described is “access to telemerase”. Not how the enzyme works – but how to continue to get access to it.

    But from a scientific point of view it is not obvious thr properties thereof alter the operation of an enzyme.

    Again – you seem to be arguing an “any-ol-excuse-will-do” solution by imagining in some way that the enzyme workes differently today than it ever did.

    No one is claiming different properties for the enzyme. The question is access not a change in the chemical makeup or properties of the enzyme.

    Your response indicates less objectivity than you seem to want to claim. You need to refine it just a bit.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  61. ken: I am really trying to understand your mindset. On one hand you say evolution is a hoax because no one has witnessed the actual mechanism of how macro evolution works. On the other hand you matter fact talk about people living for 900 years.

    You compare the unkown unseen much-imagined “mechanism” for evolutionism – against the 900 year life span in Genesis for pre-flood man arguing that just as there is no observed mechanism for blind-faith evolutionism (i.e. adding new novel coding genes to a eukaryote species) — so also there is no known mechanism for extending the life of cells.

    I then point to the known mechanism for extending cell life and the fact that it is already observed at very early stages of life.

    You then simply cast about you for any ol’ excuse to side step the point.

    Why do that when it only exposes a certain lack of objectivity in your claim?

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  62. Bill Sorensen: Polarization is inevitable and even necessary for a final unity of the church.
    Pluralism can not and will not survive in historical bible Adventism.

    So, am I interpreting you right? Are you meaning to imply that polarization and ultimately the breakup or splitting of the church is necessary, desirable, and an implicit goal?

    That saddens me. I have spent my whole life trying to build up this church. It pains me to see “Educate Truth” trying to tear it down.

    I honestly cannot see Jesus taking the stance that you, Bob, Sean et.al. are taking. I keep thinking of Peter and the sheet, and John 5:39 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.” I cannot think of any time when Jesus or any of the prophets were unkind, cynical or coercive toward those who were diligently searching for the truth. Jesus always gave a rational explanation when people had questions, and he always gave them space and time to figure it out.

    If you take Gen. 1 literally, NOBODY can explain how to reconcile it with science. Far from persecuting our teachers who are struggling and trying to polarize the church, we should be like Jesus. Kind, tolerant, healing, and holy enough to live with the dichotomy until people figure it out. Our schools . . . no, our churches also, should be safe places where everyone, even pastors and teachers can express their doubts freely, and where we can all, at least temporarily, hold what may turn out to be false beliefs long enough to explore them and find out what is true.

    Mrs. White told us that in the last days, the most bitter critics and persecutors would be former church members. I had always thought it would be those who had apostatized that would accuse the orthodox believers. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to find it the other way around, it is the Orthodox who are the persecutors. I guess that is the way it was in Jesus time too.




    0
    View Comment
  63. BobRyan: oops – but then no actual reference to any fact to back up his claim…

    Bob, You think to “wear out the saints of the Most High” I have given you many, many references and examples over the last couple of years but you have stopped up your ears and refuse to hear. “He who has an ear, let him hear”.

    If there is anyone reading this web site who still has an open heart and mind and really wants to explore the issues, I am willing to provide references. Maybe in a private discussion. I guess I have lost all faith that any of the principle supporters of “Educate Truth” really have any interest in truth beyond dogma.




    0
    View Comment
  64. The continual post of the form “Yes I have provided that answer someplace. Sometime in the past – I did very well on that question” is not the compelling form of response that you seem to imagine it to be.

    In the mean time – we wait…




    0
    View Comment
  65. At least in that video I posted – Dawkins made an effort to read the tea leaves on the ceiling – for his answer.

    I suppose he could have resorted to nothing more than “Well I did very well with that question some time in the past — I just know I did”. But he did not resort to that. Credit where credit is due.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  66. Ron: I honestly cannot see Jesus taking the stance that you, Bob, Sean et.al. are taking. I keep thinking of Peter and the sheet, and John 5:39 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.” I cannot think of any time when Jesus or any of the prophets were unkind, cynical or coercive toward those who were diligently searching for the truth. Jesus always gave a rational explanation when people had questions, and he always gave them space and time to figure it out.

    If you take Gen. 1 literally, NOBODY can explain how to reconcile it with science. Far from persecuting our teachers who are struggling and trying to polarize the church, we should be like Jesus. Kind, tolerant, healing, and holy enough to live with the dichotomy until people figure it out. Our schools . . . no, our churches also, should be safe places where everyone, even pastors and teachers can express their doubts freely, and where we can all, at least temporarily, hold what may turn out to be false beliefs long enough to explore them and find out what is true.

    Mrs. White told us that in the last days, the most bitter critics and persecutors would be former church members

    1. Anyone who actually takes the writings of Ellen White seriously on the subject of blind-faith evolutionism vs the Bible – owes it to themselves to read 3SG 90-91 “carefully”.

    2. You seem to argue that I am unkind simply because I point to evidence for the mechanism of creation and for long ages of life pre-flood while pointing to the utter lack of an “observed mechanism” for evolutionist claims about adding coding genes to static eukaryote genomes.

    I find your logic hard to follow at that point.

    3. You claim “Our schools . . . no, our churches also, should be safe places where everyone, even pastors and teachers can express their doubts freely” — as if Ellen White argued that “doubt is a virtue”. The truth is Ellen White wrote quite a lot about hose who view “doubt as a virtue”.

    Your post exposes the very aspect of your argument least supported by Ellen White and the Bible – as if that is helping your case.

    Why do that?

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  67. Ron said…..

    “If you take Gen. 1 literally, NOBODY can explain how to reconcile it with science.”

    Really, Ron? And can you explain by science how Jesus rose from the dead? or how He heals the blind man? Or, how He can be God and man at one and the same time?

    I know I can’t. None the less, I know they are all true by faith. I don’t look to science to “prove” the spiritual concepts of the bible.

    Small wonder you justify doubt, skepticism and unbelief. Apparently you think science can eventually concur and prove all biblical statements and concepts.

    As for freedom to question the bible, yes, anyone can. But not anyone who is employed by the church who supposedly confesses faith in the bible and has pledged loyalty to the bible and to the church as long as the church continues to defend the bible.

    You create a false dilemma by claiming the church can not discipline unbelief or actions that are clearly contrary to the church’s understanding of the bible.

    It would seem that you, like others, have a distorted view of religious liberty. There is no “religious liberty” in the context you would use it in the church.

    Religious liberty means you can leave the church and attack its doctrines without the church appealing to the civil law to punish you for doing so. This is the only “religious freedom” you can expect by way of seperation of church and state.

    It does not mean you have freedom and liberty to remain a church member and attack the church doctrine without being disciplined and even dis-fellowshipped if the church deems it necessary.

    And it certainly does not mean you can remain employed by the church and draw a pay check while you continue to attack the church and its stated doctrine.

    It would seem you have a warped view of what religious liberty is all about.

    Hopefully, Ron, the church is not going to appeal to civil authorities if you attack church doctrine and then burn you at the stake. Not yet anyway.

    No, Ron. You are free to leave the church, attack it, and try to persuade people the church is not teaching the truth. But you are not free to stay in the church and do it. It is not Christian nor honorable for you to do so.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  68. @Bill Sorensen:

    Bill SorensenOctober 30, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    “Ron said…..

    “If you take Gen. 1 literally, NOBODY can explain how to reconcile it with science.”
    Really, Ron? And can you explain by science how Jesus rose from the dead? or how He heals the blind man? Or, how He can be God and man at one and the same time?
    I know I can’t. None the less, I know they are all true by faith. I don’t look to science to “prove” the spiritual concepts of the bible.

    Small wonder you justify doubt, skepticism and unbelief. Apparently you think science can eventually concur and prove all biblical statements and concepts.”

    *********
    Does Sean and Shane really believe that eventually science will be able to explain “and prove all biblical statements and concepts” including Jesus resurrection and his ability to turn instantly water into wine? If they do, I would like to know this!

    There are things in the Bible—like Noah’s Flood—for which there is plenty of scientific evidence. If anyone has any doubts about this they need to listen to D. Ariel Roth.

    Last Sabbath he made a presentation of such evidence and I was impressed. Does this mean that Roth can provide scientific evidence for all the supernatural evidence recorded in Scripture? Of course not! God provides sufficient evidence for belief to take root and grow.




    0
    View Comment
  69. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Obviously one of the effects of eating the fruit from the tree of life must have allowed for production or availability of that enzyme beyond birth.”

    Hi Bob

    Did any of the 900 year old folks eat from the tree of life after Adam and Eve got chucked out of the Garden of Eden? I thought God placed Cherubins and a flaming sword to keep folks away from the tree of life. ( Gen 3:24 KJV)

    If so, how did they produce or activate the enzyme beyond birth to allow for such an increase in life span?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  70. Ken –

    Again critical thinking is needed. You merely “assume” that the enzyme was not produced beyond the point of birth for the children of Adam and Eve – even though it is clear that as adults – Adam and Eve were producing it.

    You “assume” that the children were instantly translated to our same point of biological decline at birth. A very unlikely assumption on your part.

    It is more likely that the effects wore off gradually – given that the Bible record shows the longevity effect wearing off gradually over time.

    So the Bible “claim” is that once access to the nutrients in the fruit of the tree of life was removed – not only did mankind not “live forever” but that mankind gradually declined until death at around 900 years of age.

    The Bible also states that this decline accelerated after the flood over a 500 year period time – down to 120 years of life.

    So when you leap to your conclusion that the children must not have been able to produce the enzyme at the point of birth – rather than at ever decreasing ages – you do so without much warrant.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  71. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Again critical thinking is needed. You merely “assume” that the enzyme was not produced beyond the point of birth for the children of Adam and Eve – even though it is clear that as adults – Adam and Eve were producing it.

    You “assume” that the children were instantly translated to our same point of biological decline at birth. A very unlikely assumption on your part.”

    Hi Bob

    We certainly agree on the point that critical thinking is needed.

    Let’s continue shall we. You posit that Adam and Eve were producing telomerase as adults as a result of eating fruit from the tree of life. Would you agree that the production of adult telomerase was a direct result of the environment or did the gene(s) affecting production of the a enzyme as adults mutate in their progeny?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  72. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Bob,

    Telemerase is not the only factor in aging or the “negligible senescence” that certain animals are able to achieve – not by a long shot. The reasons/mechanisms for aging, and why some animals do not seem to age over time, are still very poorly understood. In short, I wouldn’t put too much weight in the arguments you’ve presented thus far if I were you.

    Sean Pitman”

    Hi Sean and Bob

    Thanks for the comments Sean. Frankly I don’t know the answer and it may well be multifactorial, as Sean pointed out. My point to Bob is I don’t see how it is the ‘obvious, observed’ mechanism in nature that allowed people to live 900 years.

    My main point is, even if Bob’s point is conjecture: magic fruit = adult production or activation of telomerase, I wouldn’t call it a hoax or a fraud, unless I could prove otherwise.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  73. To Dr. Kime, with the kind permission of the Editors

    Confession of an agnostic

    In the beginning the boy was born formless and empty….

    Shortly thereafter the boy was baptized as an Anglican being his mother’s faith. Every Sunday the boy attended Sunday school and sometimes the main service. The boy was confirmed at age 12 and thereafter partook of communion. Thereafter he participated in the youth Bible study group and began to ask questions.

    The boy enjoyed the services and the solemnity of the occasions. But even in the midst of ceremony, he recalls asking why it was necessary. Then he began to ask tough questions that the minister, who led the study group, could not answer. To the minister’s great credit, he did not chastise the boy but said that the boy would just have to have faith. The boy wondered what that meant.

    Shortly thereafter the boy advised his parents he no longer wanted to go to church as no one could answer his questions. The boy had Catholic and Baptist neighbourhood friends with who he played sports with everyday after school. One of his friends was the son of a Baptist minister. The Baptist Church had a gym. The boy and his friends were avid athletes so every afternoon and Saturday nights they would go to gym. The boy joined the Baptist youth group TYROS which met at the gym on Saturday nights. The boys played sports for an hour then met with the youth leader for Bible study and discussion. Again the youth leader was kind, tolerant but had difficulty answering the boy’s incessant questions. On Sundays the boy went to the the Baptist service and observed. He noted the differences between the Anglican and Baptist services and wanted to understand why. He continued going to church up to his first year university, enjoying his friends and chats with the Baptist minister on the nature of God.

    To their credit, no one told the boy what to think or believe but encouraged him to read and think. He ate books like candy, reading the Iliad and the Odyssey in Grade 6 and 7. He started to compare the Greek deities to the God of the Bible and how the stories had come about. He dissected everything he read, like Dr Kime would a body, to understand why things were the way they were. Then he began to write and win academic awards.

    Fast forward to university … He majored in biology, excelling in genetics. But it was not his cup of a tea, something was missing, but he did not know what. He barely survived his first year, largely due to being a varsity athlete- his real passion! – and entered his second year with academic trepidation.

    Then his world changed. He took a introductory philosophy course and found meaning in the search for meaning. When he subsequently studied epistemology he began to understand how people thought. Now he began to study religions and their roots in earnest. He compared and examined the essence of faiths and how it led to principles and doctrines. He looked at them all dispassionately but with an appreciation for their history. To test his theories he talked to people of faith to understand why they believed what they did.

    Now, like his friend Dr. Kime, passion and intellect were fused at the metaphorical hip and the boy excelled at every course he took. And the lesson he learned was it was not so important what people thought as to why they thought it. Because there were always reasons why, and if one understood the reasons one could examine the reasoning behind the reasons. And if the reasons were truly empirical, without any faith or non faith bias, they would approximate objective truth. Which is the essence of science.

    But Faith should not be denigrated, because it is universal and illustrates the human yearning to connect and communicate with the divine. Noble. Its iterations are as diverse as life itself and shall continue – as evidenced by the differences of opinion expressed on this site.

    Now Wes, for the truly in personam, that which cannot by its definition betray, that which I try to live by – often in vain, that which surpasses all doctrinal differences and transcends intellect, that which was my mother’s greatest gift, that which causes me to try to reach out to all of you as friends, that which I have so often applauded Sean for on this forum: The Royal Law of Love.

    Love
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  74. Sean Pitman: Telemerase is not the only factor in aging or the “negligible senescence” that certain animals are able to achieve – not by a long shot

    My focus is specifically on the issue of human cells and the known mechanism of telomeres.

    Admittedly Nurse Sharks and other animals have various factors in play.

    But in the case of humans there is one clear mechanism “observed” to have a specific effect. Not saying it is the only one that the Tree of Life would provide.

    But I am saying that the presence and function of the enzyme telemerase is “a known” mechanism and the function is “a known one”.

    However – if you have a study showing the production of telermase in adults reseting telomeres has no effect on aging – I am all for reading about it.

    Ken asked about the 900 year “mechanism” – I am simply pointing to a “known mechanism” related to aging in humans.

    As they used to say – “just the facts ma’am”. I will take a better observed mechanism – every day.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  75. ken: Thanks for the comments Sean. Frankly I don’t know the answer and it may well be multifactorial, as Sean pointed out. My point to Bob is I don’t see how it is the ‘obvious, observed’ mechanism in nature that allowed people to live 900 years.
    My main point is, even if Bob’s point is conjecture: magic fruit = adult production or activation of telomerase, I wouldn’t call it a hoax or a fraud, unless I could prove otherwise.

    My point is that we have a mechanism that can be “observed today” and the effect of that mechanism can be “observed”.

    My point is that enzymes are known to “come from food” or to be produced by the body in reaction to other proteins, other enzymes that “come from food”.

    My appeal is to know “observed mechanism”.

    By contrast the “static genomes acquire new coding genes not previously present in nature over time” mechanism – has never been “observed”.

    yet it is the basis of blind faith belief in evolutionism.

    Thus we have known “observed” mechanism – vs much hoped for mechanism.

    The comparison is obvious.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  76. ken: Let’s continue shall we. You posit that Adam and Eve were producing telomerase as adults as a result of eating fruit from the tree of life. Would you agree that the production of adult telomerase was a direct result of the environment or did the gene(s) affecting production of the a enzyme as adults mutate in their progeny?

    It is hard to “do the study” without having them under observation.

    But it is not hard to see the gradual decline in ages over time.

    It is not hard to see the Bible declare that access to the Tree of Life was the determining factor.

    it is not hard to see that even in humans today – the ability remains for us to produce telemerase – but we quickly lose that ability.

    It is not hard to see what effect that has on the telomeres of infants.

    The list of knowns for this mechanism are far more impressive than the “I imagine a mechanism whereby static genomes acquire new coding genes not already present and functioning in nature and that this happens for billions of years”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  77. Hi Bob

    We are making good progress!

    Thanks for your admitting thaf we do not have Adam and Eve or their progeny under observation to do the study.

    Let’s look at the empirical results of your observation. There is no physical evidence that the progeny or descendants lived to 900 years, right? Thus there is no physical evidence that the tree of life provided longevity through the increased production or activation of telermerase right? I respectfully suggest that what you stated was an ‘obvious mechanism’ of longevity in Adam and Eve,( ‘clear they were producing it’ ) is not so clear to the objective non biased reader.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  78. While it must be obvious that there can be no such thing as a ‘Christian agnostic’ (one who embraces the certainty of Christ, his atonement and his teachings, while at the same time holding that God is entirely unknowable), rigid, unintrospective dogmatism cannot be the only alternative.
    Saul of Tarsus was unwavering in his conviction that his bitter opposition to the Christian message was wielded in defense of the truth. That is, of course until he found out how mistaken he had been.
    Yet there is this eagerness to denounce any reexaminatio of our church’s cherished beliefs. Start questioning any of the doctrines we’ve been handed and be viewed as a Skeptic. But isn’t that the skepticism to which the Bible calls with Paul’s caveat (Romans 3:4), “…Let God be true, but every man a liar”? Just look at the rabid idiocy that’s out hre representing Christianity in the political arena.
    Sis. White herself cautioned, “The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God’s people, should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is a reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves, to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition, and worship they know not what.” (EGW, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 39)




    0
    View Comment
  79. Ken, thanks for sharing your spiritual journey and, especially, your endorsement of “The Royal Law of Love.” Out of curiosity, how did you become acquainted with SDAs and this particular controversy?




    0
    View Comment
  80. Hi Eddie

    Great question.

    In the summer of 2007 I was sitting on a park bench in Pugwash, Nova Scotia working on my laptop computer. A man came and sat beside me which I thought a bit strange because there were other benches in the area.

    We introduced ourselves. He was Ron Henderson an Adventist pastor who was attending the SDA camp on the Gulf shore. What followed was a great two hour conversation about life.

    I have a great interest in religions but knew nothing about the Adventism. Ron was very kind and patient to answer all my questions. Oddly I had been contemplating the topic of evolution and whether, contrary to conventional wisdom, there may be a design element to it. I actually was thinking of that as a literary theme and have incorporated it into a work of fiction I am writing.

    Of course when the topic turned to evolution Ron expounded on the Adventist position which I found absolutely fascinating. I could have sat on that bench for days with Ron, but my wife came along and I had to go. I gave Ron my business card and we agreed to stay in touch.

    When I got back to Alberta where I live and work, Ron started to send me materials on creationism and my inquiries began in earnest. Ron and I have spent hundreds of hours vigorously debating matters. Ron has been instrumental in my biblical and Adventist education and I owe him an extreme debt of gratitude. He is a very good man and I am proud to call him my friend.

    During one of my internet searches on a point that Ron and I were debating – I can’t recall what it was right now- I came across Educate Truth, and the rest as they say is history.

    Hope that helps.

    Once again thank you for your kindness, it means a great deal.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  81. Re Bob’s Quote

    “By contrast the “static genomes acquire new coding genes not previously present in nature over time” mechanism – has never been “observed”.”

    Hi Bob

    I confess that I am not a molecular geneticist and I may not even understand the full import of your question. I did go online though and found an article that seems to suggest the opposite to what you are saying. Please see the link below.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/origins-of-new-genes-and-pseudogenes-835




    0
    View Comment
  82. Re Origin of the Jingwei coding gene

    Hi Bob

    More links on the origin of the coding gene Jingwei in Drosophila.

    Query: if genomes can acquire new coding genes, as this research seems to indicate, are any genomes truly static?

    Interesting stuff, enjoy the reading.

    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/9/1294.full.pdf

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=Th2pJZ3FRKMC&pg=PA174&lpg=PA174&dq=is+the+jingwei+gene+a+coding+gene&source=bl&ots=1K8ruHzG0Y&sig=gM2q1Xj12bFYYf-hg0xThrP3zXs&hl=en&ei=D1uwTrqQGKX00gHnmajDAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=is%20the%20jingwei%20gene%20a%20coding%20gene&f=false

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  83. @ken:

    From Bob:

    “By contrast the “static genomes acquire new coding genes not previously present in nature over time” mechanism – has never been “observed”.”

    This is not quite accurate as stated. New genes with entirely novel functions can and do evolve all the time. The only caveat here is that they do not evolve novel functionality beyond very low levels of functional complexity.

    To be more specific, there are no examples of evolution in action in literature whereby a system of function is produced which requires at least 1000 specifically arranged amino acid residues.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  84. My comment about “static genomes” is about the group level genome for a species — as in “the Human genome” etc. The catalog of coding genes for a given species does not change over time – with the gradual addition of new coding genes not previously present in nature – such that the eukaryote species itself is now updated having that additional coding gene added.

    If Dawkins or anyone else were able to produce such a thing on command they would regard this as true evolution 101 proof of their baseline “mechanism” for evolution.

    And who could blame them?

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  85. ken:: Let’s continue shall we. You posit that Adam and Eve were producing telomerase as adults as a result of eating fruit from the tree of life. Would you agree that the production of adult telomerase was a direct result of the environment or did the gene(s) affecting production of the a enzyme as adults mutate in their progeny?

    1. I never stated whether the fruit from the Tree of Life provided the telemerase enzyme or simply provided a trigger enzyme/protein that caused Adam and Eve to produce Telemerase. Either way the end result was the same.

    2. The salient point is that we have a known mechanism that affects the aging of cells starting with new borns.

    This is simply “observation in nature” given in response to your question about an observed mechanism in humans for the 900 year life span the Bible mentions.

    BobRyan:
    It is hard to “do the study” without having them under observation.

    1. But it is not hard to see the gradual decline in ages over time.

    2. It is not hard to see the Bible declare that access to the Tree of Life was the determining factor.

    3. It is not hard to see that even in humans today – the ability remains for us to produce telemerase – but we quickly lose that ability.

    4. It is not hard to see what effect that has on the telomeres of infants.

    The list of knowns for this mechanism are far more impressive than the “I imagine a mechanism whereby static genomes acquire new coding genes not already present and functioning in nature and that this happens for billions of years”.

    Ken: Hi BobWe are making good progress!Thanks for your admitting thaf we do not have Adam and Eve or their progeny under observation to do the study.

    My pleasure.

    Let’s look at the empirical results of your observation. There is no physical evidence that the progeny or descendants lived to 900 years, right? Thus there is no physical evidence that the tree of life provided longevity through the increased production or activation of telermerase right?

    There is evidence that a mechanism does exist whereby access to an enzyme would in fact affect the aging process of human cells.

    That mechanism is observed in nature to be related to the enzyme Telemerase.

    There is a ton of evidence that food contains enzymes and proteins and that the human body can produce enzymes in response to the presence of trigger proteins and enzymes.

    It is irrefutably true that humans still today produce telemerase in the case of infants just before birth. Impossible to deny it – though you seem to want to go down that dead end road.

    You asked about the “mechanism” that can be observed today that would account for long ages of life recorded in the Bible.

    You now seem to be pulling the classic “bait and switch” asking for the video of the people living for long ages before the flood.

    Nice try —

    As I said before – your method is along the lines of grasping at straws in a true “any ol’ exuse will do” fashion.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  86. ken: I confess that I am not a molecular geneticist and I may not even understand the full import of your question. I did go online though and found an article that seems to suggest the opposite to what you are saying. Please see the link below.
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken
    http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/origins-of-new-genes-and-pseudogenes-835

    My claim has been that blind faith evolutionism provides no “mechanism” observed in nature that would provide for its’ amoeba-to-horse story telling.

    If you propose that the chimeric recombination of existing amoeba genes ( as illustrated in your proposed chimeric Jingwei that left mosquittos as mosquittos for millions of years) is how the amoeba acquires all the coding genes needed to become a horse (say the word billions and billions as often as you like at this point) – then you are alone in the claim that chimeric combination of existing amoeba genes can account for all the genes in a horse.

    But IF they could show that horse genes are nothing more than recombinations of exiting amoeba genes – You would at least have a proposed mechanism that suits your need.

    I grant you that.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  87. Re Bob’s Quote

    “You asked about the “mechanism” that can be observed today that would account for long ages of life recorded in the Bible.”

    Hi Bob

    I don’t think so, but I stand to be corrected if you can direct me to the precise question I asked. Sorry, you are not entitled to reinterpret my questions to suit your own fancy. I don’t agree with that contextual hermeneutic. 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  88. Ok Ken I have a question for you —

    Are you wanting to have it this way ..

    ken: Hi BobThanks for taking the time and effort to reply. I appreciate it.I am really trying to understand your mindset.

    On one hand you say evolution is a hoax because no one has witnessed the actual mechanism of how macro evolution works.

    On the other hand you matter fact talk about people living for 900 years. Never seen anyone live that long, have you?

    Your agnostic friendKen

    Or are you wanting to have it this way…?

    ken: Re Bob’s Quote“You asked about the “mechanism” that can be observed today that would account for long ages of life recorded in the Bible.”

    Hi BobI don’t think so, but I stand to be corrected if you can direct me to the precise question I asked. Sorry, you are not entitled to reinterpret my questions to suit your own fancy. I don’t agree with that contextual hermeneutic. Your agnostic friendKen

    Are you really taking some objectivity with you in this discussion or just trying to find new ways to say ” I refuse to consider that”??

    We both agree with the principle of free will and I am not trying to force you to believe anything. You are free to choose as you wish and let the chips fall where they may.

    in Christ,
    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  89. Hi Bob

    Good stuff, you directed me to the ‘precise’ question I asked: “Never seen anyone live that long, have you?”

    Here is the question you said I asked: “You asked about the mechanism that can be observed today that would account for long ages of life recorded in the Bible”

    Precisely speaking, these are different questions. The first question makes no reference to a mechanism but talks about ‘seeing’ people. Big difference.

    However, I think I understand how you became confused. The paragraph before the first question, which does not pose a question, talks about a ‘mechanism related to ‘macro evolution’ , not a mechanism related to long ages of life recorded in the Bible. Or perhaps you are saying macro evolution and long ages of life recorded in the Bible are the same thing. 🙂

    Objectively,

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  90. Re Bob’s Quote

    “If you propose that the chimeric recombination of existing amoeba genes ( as illustrated in your proposed chimeric Jingwei that left mosquittos as mosquittos for millions of years) is how the amoeba acquires all the coding genes needed to become a horse (say the word billions and billions as often as you like at this point) – then you are alone in the claim that chimeric combination of existing amoeba genes can account for all the genes in a horse.”

    Hi Bob

    Amoebas becoming horses, did I say that! Weren’t we talking specifically about genomes acquiring coding genes?

    As I said, I’m not a molecular geneticist and was just forwarding research that in my laymen’s mind suggested that genomes could acquire coding genes. By the way I think the research was about fruit flies not mosquitoes. 🙂

    Please don’t shoot the messenger!

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  91. Hi Sean

    Thanks for your comments regarding evolving new genes with novel functions. That seemed to me be what the literature was saying in contrast to Bob’s point that this did not happen. It seems that coding genes do evolve in genomes, at least in fruit flies.

    I appreciate your caveat as to the limits of novel complexity that such phenomena will cause. This seems to be in line with Behe’s argument of irreducible complexity but I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Am I getting the gist of your argument?

    As a laymen I have no expertise in this area but I am keen to learn and will keep looking at the extant literature. Unfortunately with Bob I’m finding the discussion is devolving into polemics and mischaracterization of what is being said. Bob, rather than pointing fingers, I want apologize for my contribution to such methodology and ask for your forgiveness. However I don’t think I can rationally debate anything anymore with you so I’ll refrain from future comments on your posts. In that sense you have won my friend!

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  92. A poem for Wes

    Mirror, mirror on the wall
    Who is the mosf honest of them all?
    If confession is good for the soul
    Is the confessor prepared to pay the toll?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment

Comments are closed.