Angry Scientists: Publishing on Intelligent Design

Angry Scientists: Publishing on Intelligent Design

By: Sean Pitman

From a discussion with “Professor Kent”:

@Professor Kent:

Did you actually read the comments I posted of other scientist who have been continually blocked from publishing such ideas in mainstream literature? – Sean Pitman

And yet there are creationists who can do so. You never know until you try.

There are no publications by creationists or intelligent design theorists in mainstream literature specifically promoting the need for intelligent design to explain various features of living things… except for one. That one paper was published by Stephen Meyer, in 2004, in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. The title of Meyer’s paper was, “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories” and can be reviewed here:

http://www.discovery.org/a/2177

This paper makes very similar arguments to the one’s I’ve been presenting on my own website, in forums like this one, and in my new book, “Turtles All the Way Down: Questions on Origins“.

What is particularly interesting about Meyer’s paper, however, is the reaction to its publication by mainstream scientists. It wasn’t without passion, even anger, that’s for sure…

Dr. Richard Sternberg, the editor of the journal at the time, was subjected to harassment and discrimination in an effort to force him out as a Research Associate. In fact, NMNH officials demoted Dr. Sternberg to the position of Research Collaborator.

In emails exchanged during August and September 2004, NMNH officials revealed their intent to use their government jobs to discriminate against scientists based on their outside activities regarding evolution. For example, Dr. Hans Sues, Associate Director for Research and Collections, suggested in emails on August 30, 2004, and again on September 9, 2004, that Dr. Sternberg would never have been appointed as an RA if Smithsonian officials had known about his non-governmental activities regarding evolution. Sues even blamed the scientist who nominated Sternberg as a Research Associate for not adequately investigating his background: “Sternberg is a well-established figure in anti-evolution circles, and a simple Google search would have exposed these connections.” The clear implication was that had a background check been conducted on Sternberg’s non-governmental activities, he would have been barred from being a Research Associate. Given the attitudes expressed in these emails, scientists who are known to be skeptical of Darwinian theory, whatever their qualifications or research record, cannot expect to receive equal treatment or consideration by NMNH officials.

In November of 2004, Dr. Sternberg filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), the agency charged with “protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing.” The OSC eventually found evidence to corroborate Dr. Sternberg’s complaint, concluding that “[i]t is… clear that a hostile work environment was created with the ultimate goal of forcing” Dr. Sternberg out of the Smithsonian.

For further information on this story see:

http://www.discovery.org/a/2399
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/12/the_house_government_reform_su002968.html

For an interesting video review of this story see:

http://www.youtube.com/user/SkepticalChristian

So, it seems like you simply are not aware of the intense bias against anyone who questions fundamental aspects of Darwinism – especially with regard to the creative potential of the mechanism of RM/NS.

It is also interesting to note, given this background, that the science professors at La Sierra University only allow students to use papers published in mainstream peer-reviewed literature or books published by mainstream authors in their classes (see Dr. Paul Giem’s report of LSU’s science courses here). It would be a big step forward if Meyer’s paper on the origin of biological information (or his new book, Signature in the Cell) were also made part of the required reading in LSU’s upper division science courses. After all, Meyer’s paper was actually published in a mainstream peer-reviewed journal (at great personal cost to Dr. Sternberg)…

As an aside, note that Stephen Meyer has a new book out, Signature in the Cell that is excellent – the best I’ve personally read on the topic. I highly recommend anyone who is interested in such ideas to read this book. – Sean Pitman

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95 thoughts on “Angry Scientists: Publishing on Intelligent Design

  1. Great post Sean. The idea that science is objective and unbiased is totally untrue. This is just one example of why. Orthodoxy is alive and well in scientific academia!




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  2. The movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, by Ben Stein, documented several cases of scientists being attacked by evolutionist devotees within the scientific community for daring to suggest that “intelligent design” is a well observed fact in nature.

    However this “advance to a higher plane of existence” idea has been around since the fall of Lucifer in heaven. Not sure it is going away anytime soon.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  3. I believe that Meyer’s paper is a great embarrassment to science and that no one here is qualified to discuss it.  

    @Academic:

    Have you read Meyer’s book? If so, can you share with us your qualifications, and why you would be more qualified than the following persons to judge its merits?

    “… a comprehensive defense of the theory of intelligent design, it is a lucid and rigorous exposition of the various dimensions of the scientific method…” – Alastair Noble, Ph.D., chemistry, former BBC education officer and Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools for Science, Scotland

    “Meyer has written an eminently readable and engaging account… I recommend this book to laypeople and accomplished professionals alike.” – Edward Peltzer, Ph.D., ocean chemistry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

    “…Anyone who stereotypes IDers as antiscientific ideologues or fundamentalists should read Dr. Meyer’s compelling intellectual memoir.” Dr. Marvin Olasky, provost, The Kings College, New York City, and editor- in-chief, ‘World.’

    “A decisive case based upon breathtaking and cutting-edge science.” – Dr. Phillip S. Skell, National Academy of Sciences and Evan Pugh Professor, emeritus, at Pennsylvania State University

    “A fascinating exploration… Whether you believe intelligent design is true or false, ‘Signature in the Cell’ is a must read book.” – Dr. Scott Turner, environmental and forest biology, State University of New York

    “Meyer has provided no less than a blueprint for 21st century biological science… After this book, readers will wonder whether anything more than sentimentality lies behind the continued association of Darwin’s name with modern biology.” – Dr. Steve Fuller, professor of sociology of science, University of Warwick

    “This book is a landmark in the intelligent design debate and one which accurately draws together all relevant scientific research and information… ‘Signature in the Cell’ will pay rich dividends to everyone who turns its pages.” – Dr. Norman C. Nevin, professor emeritus in medical genetics, Queens University, Belfast, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians




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  4. The following is from an exchange regarding an Atoday article by Cindy Tusch entitled, “Who’s a Fundamentalist”:

    http://www.atoday.com/content/whos-fundamentalist

    On August 6th, 2010 Pastor John Thomas Mclarty wrote:

    Cindy, You begin by defining fundamentalism in the context of 20th century American Protestant history and prove that Adventists, even staunchly conservative Adventists, disagree with a crucial element of that definition. However, you weaken your point by acknowleding this is only one definition of fundamentalism. You cite Hood, Hill and Williams who write:

    “What distinguishes fundamentalism from other religious profiles is its particular approach toward understanding religion, which elevates the role of the sacred text to a position of supreme authority and subordinates all other potential sources of knowledge and meaning.”

    It all depends upon the reason why a particular text, or a particular person, or even a particular idea is elevated to a position of authority. It has to do with establishing credibility. To quote Mrs. White in this regard:

    The infidel Voltaire once boastingly said: “I am weary of hearing people repeat that twelve men established the Christian religion. I will prove that one man may suffice to overthrow it.” Generations have passed since his death. Millions have joined in the war upon the Bible. But it is so far from being destoryed, that where there were a hundred in Voltaire’s time, there are now ten thousand, yes, a hundred thousand copies of the book of God. In the words of an early Reformer concerning the Christian church, “The Bible is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.” – Ellen White, GC p. 288

    Or, consider the thoughts of popular Christian apologist Ravi Zaccharias as he addresses this question:

    If a pastor says, “All we need is the Bible,” what does he say to a man who says, “All I need is the Qu’ran”? It is a solipsistic method of arguing.

    The pastor is saying, “All is need is my own point of reference and nothing more than that.” Even the gospel was verified by external references. The Bible is a book of history, a book of geography, not just a book of spiritual assertions.

    The fact is the resurrection from the dead was the ultimate proof that in history – and in empirically verifiable means – the Word of God was made certain. Otherwise, the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration would have been good enough. But the apostle Peter says in 2 Peter 1:19: “We have the Word of the prophets made more certain… as to a light shining in a dark place.” He testified to the authority and person of Christ, and the resurrected person of Christ.

    To believe, “All we need is the Bible and nothing more,” is what monks believed in medieval times, and they resorted to monasteries. We all know the end of that story. This argument may be good enough for those who are convinced the Bible is authority. The Bible, however, is not authoritative in culture or in a world of counter-perspectives. To say that it is authoritative in these situations is to deny both how the Bible defends itself and how our young people need to defend the Bible’s sufficiency.

    An interview with Ravi Zacharias by Richard L. Schoonover, associate editor of Enrichment Journal, 2009

    The Christian Gospel with its message of hope is written to appeal to the intelligent, thoughtful, candid mind. It is not an appeal to blind faith, devoid of any empirical basis or evidence, at all. It is an appeal that itself invokes physical empirical evidences as the basis for its own authenticity and credibility.

    For example, consider the story of Jesus healing the paralytic. In this story Jesus asks the question, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” Matthew 9:5. Let me ask you, what would have happen to Jesus’ metaphysical claim to be able to forgive sins if the paralyzed man had not been healed when Jesus said, “Get up and walk”? Obviously, Jesus’ claim to be able to forgive sins would have taken a huge blow. His credibility would have been shot.

    The same thing is true when it comes to a rational belief in the Christian Gospel – or even the Bible itself as anything more than a collection of moral fables. The credibility of such a belief is based, or at least can be based, on the established credibility of those biblical statements that are subject to empirical evaluation, testing, and at least the potential of falsification. And, as in the case of Jesus and the paralytic, if the falsifiable claims of the Bible are in fact falsified, the credibility of the Bible, with regard to those metaphysical claims that are not directly testable, declines as well…

    For this reason, it is a mistake to argue that all those who believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God, who take the intended literal meaning of the Genesis authors at face value, or who actually believe that the biblical stories of fantastic miracles really did happen as described, believe such things based on blind faith in the supreme authority of the Bible alone – without any outside empirical evidence or basis for a truly rational faith in such fantastic things.

    While such may be called “fundamentalists” according to certain definitions of this term, these fundamentalists need not be any more irrational in their beliefs compared to high-level scientists who hold certain laws of nature to be fundamentally reliable, with great predictive value regarding the as yet unseen future, due to their extreme credibility in past experience under close empirical evaluation and testing.

    Sean Pitman

    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  5. Sean Pitman wrote to me, in his article above:

    So, it seems like you simply are not aware of the intense bias against anyone who questions fundamental aspects of Darwinism – especially with regard to the creative potential of the mechanism of RM/NS.

    This is old news, Sean. I read about the story some years ago. It’s very disturbing. I recognize the intense bias. I rub shoulders with these people every day. Some of them talk in hushed tones about my personal views, but some like to sit down and talk very frankly with me about my views. So what are you going to do? Are you going to do nothing to change that bias other than pawn your website and your book on creationists who are already barraged with a mix of fact and fiction regarding science? Are you trying to convince creationists that there is evidence to believe all things about creation?

    You don’t seem like the kind of person that says, “Oh shucks, I can’t change anyone’s mind.” (That may well be true.) If you think you can change the worldview toward creationism, why don’t you at least try to convince some real, practicing scientists by publishing your article? Is this the way you think?: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…except publish “simple math” that clearly demonstrates my conclusions!” Simple math, you say. If that’s all it is, I think you might find some open minds, but you will never know until you muster the courage to find out.




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  6. By the way, I have often been pleasantly surprised by the number of biologists I meet who are religious and open to the leading of the Spirit. All it takes is the right combination of editor and reviewers.

    The rub comes in that an awful lot of papers that take a more sanctioned evolutionary view or have nothing whatsoever to do with evolution (the latter are by far the majority in science) are also rejected by journals on a daily basis. And this becomes what may be your bigger challenge: can you write an article that employs your logic and arguments in a compelling way to convince the reader? If your paper gets rejected, it may well be because you have failed on the science rather than the “bias meter.” And that’s why the reviews would be worthwhile posting online for others to judge for themselves.




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  7. I believe that Meyer’s paper is a great embarrassment to science and that no one here is qualified to discuss it.

    The fact that academic would say this and that we would all read this statement the same (elite) way says volumes.

    I don’t think after a statment like this I can take anything academic says seriously.




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  8. Academic has proved once again that you can find anyone on the internet that agrees with your opinion. The above posting is no exception. In case you doubt this realization I will further the discussion (and proof of this fact) although with the opposite viewpoint:

    Regarding Intelligent design and peer review process:
    http://www.allaboutscience.org/intelligent-design-peer-reviewed-faq.htm
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/science/peer-review-process-cannot-be-agreed-upon-by-peers/
    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/20644

    My favorite:

    “Peer revue is a scandal. The editor alone controls all peer revue as he is the one who picks the referees, thereby insulating himself from all responsibility. Most editors are no longer doing research and have abandoned science in order to promote their own agenda which, with rare exceptions, is atheist Darwinism. Anonymity is a further problem and should not be allowed in any step of peer revue or in any form of internet communication. It is one of my pet peeves. It is nothing but ideological cowardice spawned by intellectual insecurity. The same can be said for summary deletion and banishment from internet forums and blogs. I know all about it as I have been there and done that! …”

    -Kazmer Ujvarosy

    “To say that a species now living is adapted to its environment is, in fact, almost tautological … There is hardly any possibility of testing a theory as feeble as this.”

    – Sir Karl Popper (Unended Quest (Oxford: Rutledge, 1991))

    Happy Sabbath!




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  9. @Victor Marshall:

    Victor, our “Academic” friend would say that all these people have drunk the “cool aid” for ID and while this is not statistically probable, statistics and probability have never stopped them from clinging on to delusions before.




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  10. @Academic:

    Everything happens by design if you believe the Bible. So please explain and test the science.

    Have you not read Ecclesiastes 9:11 NIV? – where the biblical author notes that “time and chance happen to them all”?

    Clearly, there are apparently random mindless processes of nature that can explain many types of phenomena. But can they explain all phenomena? – Hardly. It is for this reason that we are able to detect the need for deliberate design to explain the origin of certain phenomena – to include the origin of paragraphs like this one and even statements like yours which, amazingly, suggest that it is scientifically impossible to detect the need for design behind any phenomenon.

    So, what “science”, in particular, do you wish explained? Where is your “science” behind your notion that your proposed mechanism of RM/NS is remotely likely to be able to produce any qualitatively novel system of function which itself requires at least 1000 specifically arranged amino acid parts to work? Please do list off even one paper that deals with the statistical odds of such a notion beyond much much lower levels of functional complexity. As far as I’m aware, there isn’t a single paper which produces either an example of such evolution in real time nor any kind of mathematical/statistical analysis as to the odds that such evolution could theoretically take place in a reasonable amount of time…

    You’re not even addressing the issues. See the short note, Articles on ID in peer-reviewed journals.

    Your EvoWiki reference is hopelessly naive in light of what happened to Sternberg in the publishing of Meyer’s article. And, you’re not actually addressing the arguments, only your belief in the validity and non-biased nature of peer review when it comes to this particular debate in science…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  11. @Professor Kent:

    Simple math, you say. If that’s all it is, I think you might find some open minds, but you will never know until you muster the courage to find out.

    Did you not actually comprehend what happened to Sternberg when he published Meyer’s paper – a paper presenting arguments for design based on very simple math? It isn’t a matter of “courage”. It is simply a futile effort given the current mindset of those who run every mainstream science journal out there. No one is going to publish even the very simple and straightforward mathematical/statistical arguments that form the basis for ID theory – especially after what happened to Sternberg. My arguments are only a slight variation on Meyer’s arguments. If no one is going to publish his arguments, which is why he wrote his book, Signature in the Cell (a very good book on the topic by the way), no one is going to publish mine…

    So, if you actually wish to contribute something relevant here, present some actual arguments relevant to the topic at hand – – besides your noted, though misguided, suggestion that one needs to publish in journals that are extremely biased against the topic at hand before you or anyone else with a rational mind will consider it to be a valid scientific idea.

    What? You can’t understand the implications of “simple math” until some very biased peer review panel tells you its ok? 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  12. @Sean Pitman:

    On August 7th, 2010 dhok says (Link):

    Well, just how do we set up an experiment or research paradigm wherein we can at least potentially falsify the story of the resurrection of Jesus and his healing of the paralytic? And if we cannot set up such a test of their credibility, then how is it that those stories can be established as being just as deserving of our belief (from a scientific perspective) as the reliable laws of nature that high level scientists hold in such high esteem?

    You miss the point. The point of the story of Jesus and the paralytic (and Ravi’s basic argument) is that, according to the biblical authors, Jesus Himself appealed to empirical evidence to support His metaphysical claims. In other words, the biblical authors had a sense of the need for an empirical basis to establish the credibility of metaphysical claims – which is a very interesting rational, even scientific, concept.

    In this line there are many aspects of the Bible, as Ravi points out, that are open to testing and potential falsification – to include its historical statements and statements about natural phenomena and even the human condition. Many, especially among mainstream scientists, consider that many elements of the claims of the Bible have been clearly falsified. For example, the claims of the biblical authors regarding a recent literal creation week and a worldwide Noachian flood are considered, by the vast majority of mainstream scientists, to have been overwhelmingly falsified by the physical evidence.

    What this means, of course, is that there are in fact key elements in the Bible that are indeed open to comparison with external physical reality, to testing in other words, and therefore to the potential for falsification – the basis of the science of establishing credibility in the reliability or authority of a witness. And, as these testable elements are in fact falsified to the satisfaction of one’s own mind, the credibility of those elements of the biblical claims that are not directly subject to testing or potential falsification decline to the same degree – as would have been the case in Jesus’ day if He had not been able to heal the paralytic. Logically, the credibility of His claim to be able to forgive sins would have taken a huge hit – by His own admission.

    In short, the biblical authors do not argue for blind faith as the basis behind their own beliefs, but for a rational evidence-based faith that was built upon solid empirical evidence. They claim that they have not followed cunningly devised fables (2 Peter 1:16), but have believed what they personally saw, heard, and tested. Elsewhere the biblical authors quote God as asking us to “prove” or even “taste” and see if what He says is or is not true. (Malachi 3:10 and Psalms 34:8).

    The same thing is, or at least can, in theory at least, be true today. One’s “faith” can be the same as one’s “science” – and visa versa. In fact, there is always a component of faith even in science. Science is all about taking leaps of faith across gaps in knowledge that are not and cannot be known with absolute perfection. Science is about dealing with limited information as best as one can. If the information were not limited, science would no longer be needed. It is only when information is limited, and one must take a leap of faith of at least some distance, that science becomes useful in helping one to take the best or most useful leap of faith possible…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  13. The article reminds me of a book titled
    Who is this Alien? This Higher Power in the Universe…This Supreme Intelligence

    Intelligent Design is based on scientific discoveries. Hence, it is science and logic blending together forever…..to support the existence of a Supreme intelligent being…..….

    Concerning evolution, scientists at the Genome project and other scientists have concluded that there is an element of design built into creation that cannot be explain by evolution. No life form, be it a single cell, multiple cells or even evolutionary cells can exist without DNA. Genome scientist and other scientists have concluded that every life form is a product of DNA and the DNA molecule is a product of an intelligent source, a Supreme intelligent being.
    Genome scientist Professor Francis Crick and other scientists have come to a conclusion that the DNA molecule originated from some alien source in the heavens, some extra-terrestrial source , not from evolution, according to History channel documentary about “The universe.”

    Yes, there is an intelligent life form beyond our galaxy…Many scientists and individuals are searching the heavens for extra-terrestrial beings; believing by faith that something is out there in the heavens. They will be surprised when this Supreme intelligent being reveals its identity to every scientist at the same time from east to west and north to south …including every human being on this planet-yes at the same time……….It will not be a secret.

    Check out the new book, written in layman’s term, titled “Who is this Alien? It’s all about this Intelligent being, this supreme intelligent being, creator of the DNA Molecule with all of its genetic instructions and intelligence “ to build you- a product of DNA.”
    Check it out on Amazon, Barnes or http://www.kingdomcomeforever.ecrater.com…………..Lou




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  14. Clearly, there are apparently random mindless processes of nature that can explain many types of phenomena.

    “I have seen something else under the sun:
    The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong,
    nor does food come to the wise
    or wealth to the brilliant
    or favor to the learned;
    but time and chance happen to them all.”
    — Ecclesiastes 9:11 (NIV)

    In other words, the teacher is saying that we are all victims of circumstance. I understand him and agree. How does that contradict the most inescapable deduction of philosophy? Nature is not self-acting; every particle of the universe moves as God dictates; and God’s sovereignty includes God’s passive consent to the purposes and actions of all created living things.

    I reject your belief that random mindless processes control nature. Nature is under God’s sovereign control. It is clear that Ecclesiastes 9:11 presents the observation of a human teacher that everyone should find easy to believe. Certainly most humans recognize the truth of his words. The only thing that the teacher is saying is that there is disorder on the social level.

    It is for this reason that we are able to detect the need for deliberate design to explain the origin of certain phenomena

    You must know that the Bible acknowledges the existence of an intelligent designer that creates disorder (Matthew 13:24-28). So when are you going to apply Intelligent Design theory to unmask the evil one scientifically?

    statements like yours which, amazingly, suggest that it is scientifically impossible to detect the need for design behind any phenomenon.

    Your hasty rush to judgment is unwarranted. My point is that, in Christian philosophy, everything is by design and that it is impossible to prove the absence of design because the conclusions are virtually tautological.

    As far as I’m aware, there isn’t a single paper which produces either an example of such evolution in real time nor any kind of mathematical/statistical analysis as to the odds that such evolution could theoretically take place in a reasonable amount of time…

    And I don’t believe that there’s a single paper that refutes the possibility.

    Your EvoWiki reference is hopelessly naive in light of what happened to Sternberg in the publishing of Meyer’s article.

    What I posted is what the loyal opposition respects. And it is your failure to acknowledge and deal honestly with the mainstream countervailing view that is considered unconscionable.

    And, you’re not actually addressing the arguments, only your belief in the validity and non-biased nature of peer review when it comes to this particular debate in science.

    There is no point in debating a particular style of grasping at straws. The arguments in Meyer’s paper are not scientific and it is clear to me that the reactions of the skeptics do not resemble the responses of intellectually defeated adversaries.




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  15. It is Academic that is being tautological

    Sean using the argument that ID papers are not allowed in by the peer review process because of the conclusions that they draw and Academic is trying to prove him wrong by citing evidence upheld by the very peer review process.

    Academic said:
    “And I don’t believe that there’s a single paper that refutes the possibility. ”

    You are right, academic, there is not one but three I could find in a brief search:

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=qu6VFJQ31RQC&oi=fnd&pg=PA11&dq=evolution+mathematics+disproved&ots=7JID_uqKdU&sig=Ex23MWzncbxeAaZZ9fVmmhZdVVY#v=onepage&q=evolution%20mathematics%20disproved&f=false

    http://www.genetics.org/cgi/reprint/47/6/713.pdf

    http://www.idnet.com.au/files/pdf/The%20Origin%20of%20Life%20David%20Berlinski.pdf




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  16. @Academic:

    Regarding Ecclesiastes 9:11

    In other words, the teacher is saying that we are all victims of circumstance. I understand him and agree. How does that contradict the most inescapable deduction of philosophy? Nature is not self-acting; every particle of the universe moves as God dictates; and God’s sovereignty includes God’s passive consent to the purposes and actions of all created living things.

    If every particle of the universe moved as God directly dictated there would be no freewill or possibility of rebellion against God’s will. There would also be no possibility of any kind of accident or evil outside of God’s direct action. This is contrary to the thinking of the biblical authors who seemed to understand the concept of natural law – that God put into place certain very consistent laws of nature that seem to function outside of any need for constant mindful manipulation. Does God really need to mindfully carve every snowflake that falls on this planet? – for example? Or, did He simply put in place a set of natural laws to govern such things outside of the need for direct intelligent manipulation? – as in the creation of some mechanical system that, after it is created, works pretty much on its own independent of the constant need of additional outside intelligent input…

    This biblical concept of natural law is illustrated by such stories as one where the Philistines sent the Ark of God back to Israel after many catastrophes struck them when they took it from Israel. The author of this account writes:

    If it [the cart with the Ark of God on it] goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh, then the LORD has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us and that it happened to us by chance.” 1 Samuel 6:9 NIV

    This passage is describing a kind of scientific test with the hypotheses being between a deliberate act of God vs. an unusual collection random natural catastrophes that just came along by “chance”. In author words, the biblical author here had the idea of natural law and apparently random or “chance” occurrences that took place outside of the direct will of God.

    Beyond this, we are talking about the concept of apparent randomness or “chance” since true randomness cannot be absolutely proven. Apparent randomness is defined as a lack of predictability from a given perspective of limited knowledge. Someone else might know enough information to understand that the pattern that you think looks entirely random or chaotic and non-predictable is in fact non-random and entirely predictable.

    So, how does one detect the need for deliberate design to explain a given phenomenon? How do forensic scientists or anthropologists do it? How do SETI scientists propose doing it? It would be impossible to detect design or use scientific reasoning at all if everything appeared random and non-predictable from the human perspective. It must mean then that we are able to detect predictable biases because science actually works. It may also be possible, therefore, to use these biases to detect the need to invoke ID in certain special cases.

    For instance, if the phenomenon in question goes beyond what all known apparently non-deliberate mindless forces of nature are capable of achieving while being well within the creative potential of at least human-level intelligence, the ID hypothesis gains rational support and useful predictive value.

    I reject your belief that random mindless processes control nature. Nature is under God’s sovereign control. It is clear that Ecclesiastes 9:11 presents the observation of a human teacher that everyone should find easy to believe. Certainly most humans recognize the truth of his words. The only thing that the teacher is saying is that there is disorder on the social level.

    There is apparent randomness or non-predictability on both the social and natural levels. Time and chance occurrences include unexpected accidents or natural calamities that are simply not predictable from our perspective. You may argue that God is still in control, but this is not a directly testable hypothesis subject to scientific evaluation or potential falsification.

    You must know that the Bible acknowledges the existence of an intelligent designer that creates disorder (Matthew 13:24-28). So when are you going to apply Intelligent Design theory to unmask the evil one scientifically?

    You have to get to the point where you acknowledge the scientific basis of detecting the need for general intelligence first; before you start working on motive…

    Your hasty rush to judgment is unwarranted. My point is that, in Christian philosophy, everything is by design and that it is impossible to prove the absence of design because the conclusions are virtually tautological.

    I’m not trying to prove the absence of design. Such a hypothesis cannot be proven or disproven, as noted above. All that can be said when something seems apparently random or non-deliberate is that one cannot tell the difference from a truly random or non-deliberate process of nature.

    Can intelligence mimic randomness or mindless natural production? Absolutely. However, can mindless natural processes produce all that deliberate intelligence can produce? No. Because of this differential, it is possible to gain a very high degree of scientific confidence in the theory that only deliberate intelligence can explain certain types of phenomena…

    As far as I’m aware, there isn’t a single paper which produces either an example of such evolution in real time nor any kind of mathematical/statistical analysis as to the odds that such evolution could theoretically take place in a reasonable amount of time… – Sean Pitman

    And I don’t believe that there’s a single paper that refutes the possibility.

    Everything is “possible”, as you note, but not everything is likely. This is a key problem with your argument. Science doesn’t deal with what is merely possible, but with what is actually likely. Without predictive value, you don’t have a scientific theory. All you have are just-so stories without any predictive or scientific value.

    In this line, there are a number of papers that demonstrate the extremely unlikely potential of RM/NS to produce higher level functional information this side of a practical eternity of time. Meyer’s paper and new book (Signature in the Cell) is just one person’s argument. I’ve have a bit of a different twist, but I present basically the same argument on my website and in my new book, “Turtles All the Way Down” as well. A number of others have presented similar arguments – to include Behe in his book, “The Edge of Evolution”.

    What I posted is what the loyal opposition respects. And it is your failure to acknowledge and deal honestly with the mainstream countervailing view that is considered unconscionable.

    What topic, in particular, have I not covered? Have you read anything from my website on this topic? What key opposing arguments have I overlooked? I haven’t seen you present a single counterargument yet…

    There is no point in debating a particular style of grasping at straws. The arguments in Meyer’s paper are not scientific and it is clear to me that the reactions of the skeptics do not resemble the responses of intellectually defeated adversaries.

    Upon what basis do you consider Meyer’s arguments unscientific? Have you read the paper? Do you understand his arguments about the rarity of potentially beneficial sequences in sequence space? Do you grasp the significance of this argument? Do you not understand the mathematical and statistical implications of what this means for the notion that RM/NS can produce anything at all beyond very low levels of functional complexity?

    It is one thing to make blanket bald assertions like you’ve done here. It is quite another thing to back up your just-so statements and general bravado with some actual statistically-relevant arguments of your own – specifically regarding the likely creative potential of the mechanism of RM/NS beyond very low levels of functional complexity.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  17. If every particle of the universe moved as God directly dictated there would be no freewill or possibility of rebellion against God’s will.

    I see that I made a careless mistake. I can easily correct my misstatement by adding two simple words. Nature is not self-acting; every particle of the universe moves as God dictates [or permits]; and God’s sovereignty includes God’s passive consent to the purposes and actions of all created living things.

    There would also be no possibility of any kind of accident or evil outside of God’s direct action.

    God enables evil to operate. Are you appalled that God enables free choice to do its own will? Evil thoughts decide on moving matter in destructive ways. No rational Christian doubts that God passively consents to the evil of sinful beings. There is no difficulty in imagining how God would prevent accidents from happening in a sinless world.

    1 Samuel 6:9 NIV [quoted]

    This passage is describing a kind of scientific test with the hypotheses being between a deliberate act of God vs. an unusual collection natural catastrophes that just came along by “chance”.

    Yes. Your concept of God’s possible involvement in events is identical to that of the Philistines.

    If the phenomenon in question goes beyond what all known apparently non-deliberate mindless forces of nature are capable of achieving …, the ID hypothesis gains rational support and useful predictive value.

    Mainstream scientists label your presupposition as being antithetical to science.

    There is apparent randomness or non-predictability on both the social and natural levels. …You may argue that God is still in control, but this is not a directly testable hypothesis subject to scientific evaluation or potential falsification.

    And that is precisely why ID isn’t science.

    In this line, there are a number of papers that demonstrate the extremely unlikely potential of RM/NS to produce higher level functional information this side of a practical eternity of time.

    I believe that conclusion is obvious to any clear thinker like Kurt Gödel. “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components.” (Kurt Gödel, quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).)

    Upon what basis do you consider Meyer’s arguments unscientific? Have you read the paper?

    Yes, I have read Meyer’s paper. I have also read your disapproval of the meaning of science on a webpage that highlights an irrefutable definition of science. Meyer’s arguments are unscientific precisely because grasping at straws is not a scientific process. That’s the same reason that your arguments are antithetical to science.




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  18. @Academic:

    I see that I made a careless mistake. I can easily correct my misstatement by adding two simple words. Nature is not self-acting; every particle of the universe moves as God dictates [or permits]; and God’s sovereignty includes God’s passive consent to the purposes and actions of all created living things.

    Doesn’t solve the problem of apparent randomness from the limited human perspective – as already noted. Just because things may not be random from God’s perspective does not mean that certain things don’t appear to be quite random and non-predictable from yours and mine.

    If the phenomenon in question goes beyond what all known apparently non-deliberate mindless forces of nature are capable of achieving …, the ID hypothesis gains rational support and useful predictive value. – Sean Pitman

    Mainstream scientists label your presupposition as being antithetical to science.

    Mainstream scientists use this very same argument to detect design. How do you think forensic scientists detect design? – or anthropologists? – or even SETI scientists?

    There is apparent randomness or non-predictability on both the social and natural levels. …You may argue that God is still in control, but this is not a directly testable hypothesis subject to scientific evaluation or potential falsification. – Sean Pitman

    And that is precisely why ID isn’t science.

    ID isn’t based on the idea that intelligent design could explain a given phenomenon, but that only intelligent design can explain a given phenomenon. The ID-only hypothesis is testable and potentially falsifiable. If it were not, there would be no anthropology, forensics, or SETI.

    In this line, there are a number of papers that demonstrate the extremely unlikely potential of RM/NS to produce higher level functional information this side of a practical eternity of time. – Sean Pitman

    I believe that conclusion is obvious to any clear thinker like Kurt Gödel. “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components.” (Kurt Gödel, quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).)

    Nice assertion. Care to back it up with demonstration or relevant statistical support regarding the mechanism of RM/NS?

    Upon what basis do you consider Meyer’s arguments unscientific? Have you read the paper? – Sean Pitman

    Yes, I have read Meyer’s paper. I have also read your disapproval of the meaning of science on a webpage that highlights an irrefutable definition of science.

    What is this “irrefutable definition of science” with which I don’t approve? Why not actually present the argument?

    Meyer’s arguments are unscientific precisely because grasping at straws is not a scientific process. That’s the same reason that your arguments are antithetical to science.

    Did I miss a real argument here against anything Meyer presented? Again, I ask you to explain how Meyer is really confused in his understanding of sequence space and how the mechanism of RM/NS is actually likely to find novel beneficial sequences within sequence space at higher levels of functional complexity – this side of a practical eternity of time.

    So far, you’ve simply presented your assertions without any backing by demonstration or statistical analysis as far as I can tell. Where have you presented any real science to back up your position?

    I think you’re the one “grasping at straws”, just-so stories, and even a bit of bluster. Please do present a real argument to support your claim that RM/NS is remotely as creative a mechanism as you believe it is. I’d be most interested in any serious effort to present such evidence.

    What is your background by the way? – if you don’t mind my asking? For example, do you understand the concept of sequence space and its relevance to this particular discussion? If so, I’d like to hear your take on the nature of protein sequence space and how it does or does not change with increasing functional complexity of the systems under consideration…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  19. @Professor Kent:

    This is old news, Sean. I read about the story some years ago. It’s very disturbing. I recognize the intense bias. I rub shoulders with these people every day. Some of them talk in hushed tones about my personal views, but some like to sit down and talk very frankly with me about my views. So what are you going to do? Are you going to do nothing to change that bias other than pawn your website and your book on creationists who are already barraged with a mix of fact and fiction regarding science? Are you trying to convince creationists that there is evidence to believe all things about creation?

    Kent is too willing to betray his lack of objectivity on this subject.

    He likes to post the self-conflicted idea that he is a creationist that “believes” their is no science evidence in nature for what actually happened in nature – a literal 6 day creation less than 10,000 years ago.

    And then he objects earnestly to any arguments showing evidence EITHER for a young earth, young life or EVEN “intelligence” in the one who did the creating!!

    By contrast Paul says in Romans 1 that even godless pagans “have no excuse” because the “invisible attributes of God are clearly SEEN in the things that have been made”.

    The Bible argument is that ALL mankind – even non-Bible cultures are so fully and blatantly confronted with the INTELLIGENT design attribute of nature that they are “without excuse”.

    Kent would like to “pretend” that even a Christian cannot see the “invisible attributes of God in the THINGS that have been MADE” apart from the Bible.

    In other words – he want to “pretend” that Romans 1 is wrong, and then make it look like Sean’s fault.

    “instructive” for the unbiased objective reader.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  20. A simple way to view “intelligent design” is “something rocks, a power source and time can never duplicate”.

    And example of I.D applied down to the level of “science” is the case of certain (not all) car radio tuners. They mask out background noise and seek out live radio stations – no matter where you drive in the U.S not based on “seeking only certain pre-set channels” but by comparing “non-design” static to preset patterns known to be the attribute of “design”.

    Now in theory – that is not supposed to even be possible – if you listen to certain anti-knowledge groups. (Antiknowledge being a reference to a way that Colin Patterson described the problem inside the evolutionist camp.).

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  21. @Academic:

    I see that I made a careless mistake. I can easily correct my misstatement by adding two simple words. Nature is not self-acting; every particle of the universe moves as God dictates [or permits]; and God’s sovereignty includes God’s passive consent to the purposes and actions of all created living things.

    1. Where do you get your information about what God does or does not do? The Bible?

    2. What part of “SIX days you shall labor.. for in SIX DAYS the Lord MADE the heavens the earth and the sea and all that is in them” is — “passive consent” in your application of Bible exegesis?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  22. What I am finding these days is that people refuse to take intellectual responsibility (moral as well). When one makes an argument, one must back that claim in the career as well as life. Or else what happens is hypocrisy which is a non-verbal fallacy. One cannot claim macro-evolution, and then attempt harmonizing his/her viewpoint with the God of the Bible without re-interpreting the Bible or God Himself. It’s a child-known fact, friends.

    A non-Christian friend in the social sciences once testified about evolution saying: “I’m not Christian, but I know the cruelty of evolution. I choose NOT to believe because I do not agree with its main principles. It leaves behind the lowest, poorest, and neglected within society, of which, I must support in my career.”

    It was interesting for me to hear this line from an eastern shamanist. Now I do believe I have more in common with this shamanist than a theistic evolutionist. It’s because this shamanist is applying her belief and outlook upon life to her everyday living. She is taking intellectual responsibility and social responsibility for her belief system. For someone who believes in macro-evolution, the mere belief on the surface is one thing, but for some reason, application of the principles within everyday life seems to be a problem. For example, if God allows evolution to sort out the imperfections of organisms, then I shouldn’t really have to make an effort to sort out my own imperfections right? God has automatically started the evolutionary engine to do these things for me. Or is my effort a product of evolutionary processes? If this is so, then others’ lack of effort can be called evolutionary malfunction. But where is the standard point of relativity or reference for this declaration?

    In other words, macro-evolution is the argument for incompleteness. It becomes the science of unscientific matter. It can be called the never-ending void. If one wants to embrace these things in life, then by all means, dive into macro-evolution without reserve.

    But if completeness, conclusiveness, and absolution are more feasible to a person, then obviously macro evolution makes no sense. The debate is finished friends. There’s no need to call anyone names or labels. Choose a principle in life and live by it. Otherwise, one is a hypocrite to society and a disgraceful being.

    Perhaps the best synonym for theistic evolution is the science of hypocrisy.




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  23. @ Bob Ryan

    In other words – he want to “pretend” that Romans 1 is wrong, and then make it look like Sean’s fault.

    Bob, I have to give you credit for an amazing capacity to put things together. Absolutely amazing.




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  24. He [Professor Kent] likes to post the self-conflicted idea that he is a creationist that “believes” their is no science evidence in nature for what actually happened in nature – a literal 6 day creation less than 10,000 years ago.

    It is admirable that there are courageous individuals that have the good sense to not compromise the highest standard of science or the meaning of faith.




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  25. Just because things may not be random from God’s perspective does not mean that certain things don’t appear to be quite random and non-predictable from yours and mine.

    My point was that your philosophy is flawed. You endorsed a pseudo-scientific belief of the Philistines — that random or “chance” occurrences take place outside of the direct will of God (1 Samuel 6:9). I accepted straightforward commonsense (1 Samuel 5).

    The ID-only hypothesis is testable and potentially falsifiable.

    Then what is preventing you from carrying out the experiment?




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  26. @Academic:

    Just because things may not be random from God’s perspective does not mean that certain things don’t appear to be quite random and non-predictable from yours and mine. – Sean Pitman

    My point was that your philosophy is flawed. You endorsed a pseudo-scientific belief of the Philistines — that random or “chance” occurrences take place outside of the direct will of God (1 Samuel 6:9). I accepted straightforward commonsense (1 Samuel 5).

    The question is: Why is your “common sense” so straightforward? What is so obviously scientifically correct about your common sense? How do you know when this or that phenomenon obviously requires the input of deliberate design of any kind much less the input of a God-like intelligence?

    It is easy to say that everything is the direct will of God. The problem here is that there are many things which are in fact non-predictable from your perspective; things that really do appear random or indistinguishable from the product of some non-intelligent force(s) of nature. Can you not tell the difference between those things that can be explained by the action of a tornado vs. those things that require the input of intelligent design on the level of the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci? or Michelangelo?

    Can you not tell that the particular comments you just wrote in this forum were not written by the apparently random typing of a monkey? Do you not see that this is clearly a very unlikely hypothesis? – compared to the hypothesis that deliberate design was required on at least the human level of intelligence and creativity? – scientifically?

    The ID-only hypothesis is testable and potentially falsifiable. – Sean Pitman

    Then what is preventing you from carrying out the experiment?

    You carry out the experiment yourself on a daily basis. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish what anyone wrote in this forum from apparently randomly generated gobbledygook…

    Let me ask you a question. What experiment would you suggest to demonstrate that the sentence that you just wrote here did in fact obviously require the input of intelligent design? I know upon what scientific basis I would make this argument, but I’m curious to see if you understand the basis behind those modern sciences that do invoke the need for ID to explain various phenomena…

    You seem to be repeatedly suggesting that science cannot detect the need for any kind of intelligent input behind anything. Besides the fact that your argument defies common sense, what do you think is the basis of anthropology, forensics, or SETI? – sciences which are based on the detecting design? Do you know? If so, please do explain it to me.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  27. Sean,
    Regarding your evidently biased dissection of a subject; your mixed reasoning is a mess.

    Concerning evolution vs creation vs science beliefs and facts and attempted mixing (even disregarding bias or attention to detail) still leaves it all suspended in that wonderful belief stage….

    Your combined burden of proof/herd mentality is a little excessive, but essential to ensure the flow of your scattered pattern.

    However, until you stop ignoring certain facts that argue your position (specifically ID related), your beliefs matter less than a mouse [sneeze] in a tornado.

    I think you should focus on your medical practice a little more; maybe you can “help” people in the future that god was too busy to waste time with (or whatever other excuse is invented on his behalf when prayers aren’t answered)

    I don’t know why I wasted time writing all this. Believers will continue believing, whether indoctrinated, misled by fear or guilt, or maybe a new method I’m not yet aware of.

    Oh well, reality is great. Especially when it relates to us.
    But wait, I can credit imaginary beings just as well as anyone: much praise to the almighty flying spaghetti monster!!!!




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  28. The question is: Why is your “common sense” so straightforward?

    On second thought, I guess the truth I stated isn’t obvious. You missed it completely.

    The problem here is that there are many things which are in fact non-predictable from your perspective; things that really do appear random or indistinguishable from the product of some non-intelligent force(s) of nature.

    Why is that a problem? I think of it as a small part of a beautiful proposition.

    Can you not tell the difference between those things that can be explained by the action of a tornado vs. those things that require the input of intelligent design on the level of the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci? or Michelangelo?

    Do you always project naivete onto every critic that isn’t impressed by your childish view of science?




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  29. @Academic:

    It is admirable that there are courageous individuals that have the good sense to not compromise the highest standard of science or the meaning of faith. Academic(Quote)

    If only that were true of evolutionists.

    As well known atheist evolutionist Colin Patterson lamented about “his own” they preach evolutionism “as if it were revealed truth”. The drink if the wine of babylon when tney imagine alchemist-like fictions of “birds coming from reptiles” as their doctrine on origins – and then they bless it all by mislabeling it “science” when they really mean “junk-science”.

    As Patterson stated storise from the fossil record “about how one thing came from another are easy enough to make up but they are NOT science because there is no way of putting them to the test”.

    No wonder Patterson was so willing to associate “anti-knowlege” to evolutionism.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  30. @Academic:

    I rather affirm that the ID movement does not honor God. I believe that’s the point of Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.

    The ID movement does not intend to “honor God”. That’s not its primary purpose (though it could be argued that all honest searches for truth honor God – even if this is unintentional). As you know, the basic theory of ID does not even attempt to identify the proposed designer as God or even God-like. All that ID theory does is suggest that intelligence on at least the human level was required to produce certain features of biosystem complexity. However, if a person cannot take even this first small step, if one cannot determine when at least human level intelligence is required to explain a given phenomenon, that person will find it very difficult if not impossible to go any farther toward a rational appreciation of even the existence, much less the character, of God.

    So, while many claim that Intelligent Design Theory isn’t “Christian”, it isn’t true that ID is anti-Christian. It is the first step toward God from a position of atheism or agnosticism where one cannot even appreciate the evidence for God’s existence much less His intense personal interest and care for us all on an individual basis.

    It is for this reason that I ask you how you would go about detecting the need for intelligence to explain the origin of the various statements you’ve written in this thread? – compared to apparently randomly typed characters? If you have no argument in this regard, you really do not understand the basic concepts behind the science needed to detect deliberate design on any level as far as I can tell…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  31. The ID movement does not intend to “honor God”.

    And they have succeeded in their intent. As it is written, “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception” (Proverbs 14:8). Likewise, “A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating” (Proverbs 18:6).




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  32. @Academic:

    And they have succeeded in their intent. As it is written, “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception” (Proverbs 14:8). Likewise, “A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating” (Proverbs 18:6).

    Interesting that you are so willing to call the notion of intelligent design “foolish” but are unwilling to explain how you yourself are able to detect the need for deliberate design (not necessarily all that intelligent mind you) to explain various clearly designed phenomena – such as the paragraph you just wrote…

    Do you think that you have the scientific background to reliably tell the difference between something typed by a monkey banging around on a keyboard and something like a Shakespearean sonnet? If so, how? Please do explain. It’s a very simple question. Why avoid it? After all, you’ve already discarded the advice of the passages of Proverbs you just quoted. Why stop now? 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  33. @d993s:

    But wait, I can credit imaginary beings just as well as anyone: much praise to the almighty flying spaghetti monster!!!!

    This might surprise you, but I actually agree with your point here. If one cannot tell the difference, scientifically, between their “God” and the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” or the existence of garden fairies, what’s the point? In other words, if one’s beliefs are not at all testable or potentially falsifiable, not even in theory, what good are these beliefs?

    You talk about the “belief stage” as if having beliefs were somehow a problem. Yet, you yourself believe that what you wrote is true. You have obvious beliefs that you strongly believe are correct. And, you clearly believe that I’m mistaken in my beliefs. It is quite clear that you believe a great many things already…

    The question is, why do you believe what you believe? It is quite easy to present a bunch of bald statements without backing them up with actual reasonable apologetic arguments for why you believe as you do or why you believe that someone else’s beliefs (mine in particular) are wrong as stated. It is easy to simply declare that I’m obviously wrong. It is quite another thing to clearly explain why.

    If you can actually present a real argument along these lines, I’d be most interested. Pejorative comments and bald declarations that I’m wrong simply aren’t that helpful to me.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  34. @Academic:

    I rather affirm that the ID movement does not honor God. I believe that’s the point of Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. Academic(Quote)

    Question: At what point does the 2 hour propaganda film above tell the viewer that the PBS show has tossed all claims for objectivity out the window?

    Answer: the first 20 seconds. The PBS evolutionist evangelist miscasts the Dover trial as a simple case of the a clash between “science and scripture”.

    How sad.

    But still helfpul for the objective unbiased viewer – telling them at the very start that truth is not something the PBS show held in high regard when assembling their various propaganda and marketing material in favor of the wild alchemist notion that “birds come from reptiles”.

    To their credit they admit that what we know today as the religion of evolutionism can be called “Darwin’s theory of evolution”.

    How amazing that there could ever be an Adventist who rejected common sense, the Bible and the view of his fellow Christians in a blind attempt to “believe Darwin” instead of the Bible. And yet that same Adventist would choose to “DISBELIEVE DARWIN” when Darwin confirms that Darwinism is not compatible with Christianity!!

    Even the atheist evolutionist is not going to such an extreme of darkness because they choose to believe Darwin’s theory AND to believe what Darwin said about his theory being obviously opposed to the Bible!!

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  35. Next question – at what point is it difficult for a reader to read Romans 1 and see it saying that “The invisible attributes of God are CLEARLY SEEN in the things that have been made” argue for Intelligent Design seen IN nature – to such an extent that “even” the non-Bible aware barbarians that Paul mentioned in vs 18-24 of Romans 1 are “without excuse”?

    Does not appear as difficult as some would like to imagine.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  36. BobRyan:

    How amazing that there could ever be an Adventist who rejected common sense, the Bible and the view of his fellow Christians in a blind attempt to “believe Darwin” instead of the Bible. And yet that same Adventist would choose to “DISBELIEVE DARWIN” when Darwin confirms that Darwinism is not compatible with Christianity!!

    Indeed. We’ve got serious systemic problems folks. (cf. Rev. 3:16)
    God bless,

    Rich




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  37. @Academic:

    You are right for asserting that God created life (Isaiah 45:7 NIV). You are wrong for not seeing the great evil of the Intelligent Design movement and you are wrong for refusing to discern the definition of science.

    You’re referencing the opinions of Eugene Shubert as “the” definition of science?! Really? The same Eugene Shubert who claimed to have been given personal Divine revelations directly from God Himself? – and who doesn’t believe that the HIV virus is responsible for AIDS?

    That Eugene Shubert?

    If you think Eugene Shubert is a serious scientist or has rational scientific arguments at all, or is the “New William Miller” prophet he claims to be, you must be Eugene Shubert (or Steve Starman) 😉

    Sorry, but if you are Eugene, or consider him a worthwhile authority on anything, why don’t you use your real name next time instead of referring to yourself with the rather ironic moniker “Academic”?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  38. You’re referencing the opinions of Eugene Shubert as “the” definition of science?!

    I thought I was referencing a consensus of scientific opinions compiled by Shubert and denied by you.

    Really? The same Eugene Shubert who claimed to have been given personal Divine revelations directly from God Himself?

    I haven’t read that. But I have read of Georg Cantor’s belief of having received the mathematical theory of transfinite numbers directly from God. And I have read Cantor’s understanding of the meaning of science. It agrees perfectly with the list of definitions compiled by Shubert.




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  39. I want to go back to the biggest unmasking of the evolutionist agenda on record — thanks to “Academic’s” suggestion that we look at PBS airing of NOVA propaganda crockumentary on the Dover Trial. The number of fallacies piled up in just the first ten minutes is astounding.

    first of all they “admit” that what they prefer to cast as “WAR” was in fact the ACLU drumming up sound and fury by “an overwhelming number of scientists OUTSIDE of Dover” in what NOVA calls “outRAGE” over the fact that the Dover school board DARED to include
    – a “ONE MINUTE STATEMENT” in an otherwise Darwinist biology propaganda course that
    – “claimed that GAPS EXIST” in the theory of evolutionism
    – and that an alternate theory “EXISTS” called Intelligent Design
    – and also that a book EXISTS in the Library called “Of Panda and People”
    – that students could go LOOK at the book on their own if they wished.

    Starting a war over that 1 minute statement, dragging the school board into Federal court – demonstrates the level of intolerance promoted by evolutionists outside of the SDA church. What is amazing is that someone would then proudly paraded that nonsense here for all to review “as if they did a good thing”.

    At the 5:50 – 6:15 mark the ‘show’ makes the wild claim that ALLOWING for this ONE MINUTE statement in an otherwise all-for-darwin propaganda class in biology
    – would put the entire Dover biology curriculum at risk
    – would put “the future of science education in America” at risk
    – Would put “the separation of church and state at risk”.

    The list of absurdities in that first ten minutes includes the wild claim that “Nobody is doing any research” on the subject of intelligent design.

    If it weren’t so sad – it would be very very funny!

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  40. Let us take the NOVA-NPR example that “Academic” suggests as a stellar model – and suppose for just a second that the shoe was on the otheer foot in Dover.

    Suppose that inside Adventist Universities “in Dover” we had 100’s of scientists devoted to pursuing deep-pocket grants for creation research specific to Intelligent Design sciense — and that was all that was “allowed”. Suppose that all of our science courses no matter how remotely associated with the topic of origins – preached not only creation “science” as the only science on the planet – but also “Intelligent Design”.

    Then suppose that a ONE MINUTE statement were added to one of our Biology courses “in Dover” saying:
    “There EXISTS some gaps in our current theory of Intelligent Design and more specifically – Creation Science itself”
    “There EXISTS another theory of origins called Evolution.”
    “There EXISTS a book in the Library” called Origin of the Species
    “students may read that book on their own – but we will be pursuing nothing but Creaetion SCIENCE all the time every day in this course”.

    Then “suppose” that Ted Wilson was asked to “conduct a TRIAL” – over that “ONE MINUTE” statement.

    Suppose that he was asked to determine NOT whether Evolution was correct or not – but rather – whether Evolution “was SCIENCE” at all.

    Suppose that Ted “ruled” that evolution is not science and that to have a ONE MINUTE statement at the start of a biology course would place “all of SCIENCE” in doubt, would change the entire biology curriculum, and would call into doubt the very foundations of democracy!

    Then suppose that someone at antipodes with “Academic” so to speak (Conservative Christian or agnostic — ) goes running to Pharyngula and exclaims – hey look Ted Wilson as “ruled” that a ONE MINUTE statement admitting to “gaps” in the theory of Intelligent Design, and the “existence” of the theory of evolution, and the “existence” of a book in the library on evolution — is not to be “Allowed” so this proves that the evolutionists here at pharyngula should no longer consider evolution to be valid.

    ————————————————–

    Such a dark ages scenario would be hard to even imagine where it not for Dover. What is most glaring in this however – beyond explanation in the extreme. Is how “Academic” could “imagine” that an appeal to extreme dark ages censorship as is exemplified in the NOVA film could/would/should have been applauded here at Educate Truth!!

    Surely Academic had to know that we are using a bit more critical thinking on this particular subject than the average devotee to evolutionism that would have gone so far as to censor even a “one minute statement” in a biology course “As if they did a good thing”.

    As Colin Patterson points out – evolutionism “appears to convey anti-knowledge”. Apparently it does so “in the extreme”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  41. @Academic:

    I thought I was referencing a consensus of scientific opinions compiled by Shubert and denied by you.

    Do you not realize that Shubert denies the consensus of scientific opinions about a great many things? Do you support Shubert’s denial of the scientific consensus that HIV causes AIDS? – for example?

    If you don’t mind my asking, what is your own scientific background? What is your formal training in science? I’m sorry, but if Shubert is your source of authority here regarding mainstream scientific opinion, you’re in for a very rude awakening my friend.

    By the way, if you think there really is a consensus of scientific opinion regarding “the” definition of science please do write out what you think this consensus definition is (you can quote someone who you think does a good job or put it into your own words):

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  42. Dear Sean and Academic

    Gentleman, I’ve been enjoying your debate.

    Sean, your critical assessment of Schubert receiving divine revelations from God and pronouncements on science is well made. Now I hope you can put on your rational, scientific hat and understand that the same criticism applies equally to EGW.

    I fail to see how the theories of evolution or ID are inherently evil. My goodness they are ideas on the nature of reality to be freely debated not malignancies. I’m not religious but I don’t fear, resent or categorize the Adventist faith as evil. In fact I respect your right to your faith and even though it does not make rational sense to me I appreciate how it does to you.

    Debate on, there is nothing to fear except closed minds and hubris. No one has a franchise on truth.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  43. Ken – and your thoughts on the return to the dark ages model of censorship that Academic suggested for us – vis a vi the Dover trial?

    As for Eugene and Ellen White having the same claim to inspiration – that may be fine with you – but I doubt that either Kent or Sean (or anyone here ) would go that far out on a limb. Even Academic might choke on that one EVEN if he were “Eugene” himself.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  44. @Ken:

    Sean, your critical assessment of Schubert receiving divine revelations from God and pronouncements on science is well made. Now I hope you can put on your rational, scientific hat and understand that the same criticism applies equally to EGW.

    There is much much more empirical evidence to support the claim to the direct Inspiration of Mrs. White over that of Eugene Shubert. In fact, the available evidence strongly works against Shubert’s claim to Divine inspiration…

    My main point with “Academic” was not to argue for or against Shubert’s source of “inspiration”, but to point out that whatever his source, his arguments are not at all in line with the consensus opinion of mainstream scientists on many different issues; not the least of which is his argument that HIV is not responsible for AIDS…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  45. Dear Bob and Sean

    Gentleman, thank you for your comments.

    I like Sean’s approach to look at EGW’s ‘messenger’ or ‘prophetess’ status on an empirical basis. That to me is a rational approach to the issue.

    Everyone agree?

    Regards
    Ken




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  46. Hi Sean

    Re Pax 6 Homologue Gene in eye development

    I thought you might find the following article interesting. Seems like a single gene -arising from a mutation and kept by natural selection? – can have a lot to do with the development of the eye. Does this fit in with your ID hypothesis or Behe’s ideas on irreducible complexity?

    Regards
    Ken

    [edit]




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  47. @ken:

    Gentleman, thank you for your comments.

    I like Sean’s approach to look at EGW’s ‘messenger’ or ‘prophetess’ status on an empirical basis. That to me is a rational approach to the issue.

    Everyone agree?

    The first test of a claim to being a prophet is that the doctrines supposedly coming from God in those messages – have to be tested against the Bible (“sola scriptura” as they say). If the teaching supposedly coming from divine revelation is flawed – then the person is a false prophet because God does not contradict God.

    The second test of a claim to being a prophet is found in Matt 7 “by their fruits” you shall know them. The test is against the person to see if they are known for living a sanctified life – devoted to prayer and integrity.

    And as you note – when it comes to additional messages that cannot be tested via Bible (like – hey there is a tree that will fall on this spot next Tuesday, as a silly example) – then you have things like accuracy and fulfillment.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  48. @ken:The first test of a claim to being a prophet is that the doctrines supposedly coming from God in those messages – have to be tested against the Bible (“sola scriptura” as they say). If the teaching supposedly coming from divine revelation is flawed – then the person is a false prophet because God does not contradict God.The second test of a claim to being a prophet is found in Matt 7 “by their fruits” you shall know them. The test is against the person to see if they are known for living a sanctified life – devoted to prayer and integrity.And as you note – when it comes to additional messages that cannot be tested via Bible (like – hey there is a tree that will fall on this spot next Tuesday, as a silly example) – then you have things like accuracy and fulfillment.in Christ,Bob  

    Great summary Bob. Also, the Bible itself is “self-explanatory” in that it has to be (IF it is “God’s Word”) internally consistent. Of course, this means nothing to liberals, even if they consent to its truth, since they believe one can simply “reinterpret” any bible verse to mean virtually anything!




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  49. Re Bob’s quote

    “The first test of a claim to being a prophet is that the doctrines supposedly coming from God in those messages – have to be tested against the Bible (“sola scriptura” as they say). If the teaching supposedly coming from divine revelation is flawed – then the person is a false prophet because God does not contradict God.

    The second test of a claim to being a prophet is found in Matt 7 “by their fruits” you shall know them. The test is against the person to see if they are known for living a sanctified life – devoted to prayer and integrity.

    And as you note – when it comes to additional messages that cannot be tested via Bible (like – hey there is a tree that will fall on this spot next Tuesday, as a silly example) – then you have things like accuracy and fulfillment.”

    Dear Bob

    Thanks for your comments.

    Is that an empirical test or one of biblical interpretation? Sean what do you think?

    Don’t we have to look at other factors, such as the claims of original thought or inspiration versus the writings of others?

    Regards
    Ken




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  50. BobRyan:
    Indeed. We’ve got serious systemic problems folks. (cf. Rev. 3:16)
    God bless,Rich  

    Agreed, the real problem is when humans disregard God’s Word and, instead, choose to believe Man’s word.




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  51. There should be a great fear of the Intelligent Design movement. It holds that some Being created the world (not necessarily God), and argues AGAINST Darwinian evolution.

    Steve Meyer argues scientifically and persuasively against Darwinian evolution, but does not believe that God created the world. I could not get Rick Sternberg to publicly or privately say that God created this world.

    Yes, the Cathars (Albegenses) taught that Satan created the world. Yet, Ellen White, in her landmark book The Great Controversy, praises the Albigenses in two separate places.

    If God did not create this world exactly as he said He did, there would have been no reason for Jesus to die on the cross to redeem us. Without a solid foundation and belief in Genesis 1:1, there is no reason to adhere to anything else that follows.

    The Biblical evidence of the existence of God is so compelling, one would need an extraordinary faith to believe in anything other than what is between Genesis and Revelation.




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  52. “Scientists” who claim not to believe in God are unscientific. Science, by definition, seeks to attain knowledge by study or practice.

    If I say I had a pain in my belly last week but it is gone, scientists may look for some evidence that suggests something could have caused pain, but they do not have to find anything.

    I know a man is has great pain when passing urine. Doctors and technologists have done numerous tests and are not able to detect this cause of pain. Does that mean something is wrong with the patient’s perception of pain, or does it mean there is something wrong (possibly inadequate) with the scientists methods?

    Suppose I claim God spoke to me a few years ago. In this encounter He did not give me specific instructions for conducting affairs or prophesying but just about a particular incident or directive for a specific time period. Can scientists and atheists in this scenario disprove my encounter?

    Clearly, God who claims to speak in dreams and visions(Numbers 12:6; Job 33:13-16) uses a method sometimes that science will find hard, if not impossible to test or falsify. Now science will have to resort to Biblical methods of testing claims. Which are:

    Must be according to His word (Isaiah 8:20)
    Acknowledging the truth about Jesus (1 John 4:2)
    Ye shall know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:16)
    Predictions come o pass (Jeremiah 28:9)
    Accurate predictions alone do not complete the test (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

    The point is that God has His scientific method for things He wants us to test and find out, but He claims to be past finding out (Job 11:7; 37:23)

    I would like the so called scientists therefore, who reject even the existence of God, to carefully consider your opinions because by definition, your position is very unscientific and reveals faith instead.

    ECCLESIASTES 8:17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.




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  53. Corrections

    I know a man who HAS great pain

    Predictions come TO pass

    Additions

    Romans 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.




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  54. Re Kenneth’s quote and EGW on the Albigeneses

    “Yes, the Cathars (Albegenses) taught that Satan created the world. Yet, Ellen White, in her landmark book The Great Controversy, praises the Albigenses in two separate places. ”

    “Century after century the blood of the saints had been shed. While the Waldenses laid down their lives upon the mountains of Piedmont “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ,” similar witness to the truth had been borne by their brethren, the Albigenses of France.”
    — Ellen White, Great Controversy, Ch 15, p271.

    Dear Sean, Bob and Kenneth

    Re Empirical Tests for EGW as a prophet or messenger of God

    Kenneth thank you for your comments and erudition regarding EGW and the Albigenses.From my brief reading it appears as if the Abigeneses or Cathari as they were alternatively called, were dualists. They believed in a God of Good and a God of Evil with equal powers. They also believed that Jesus was a created being but not God.

    It appears as if EGW said the Abigeneses were witnesses to the truth, i.e the word of God.

    Sean, is this empirical evidence as to whether EGW is true messenger or prophetess of God? Bob, does EGW’s support of the Abigenesis fit within your first test of being a prophet: the message indicates a ‘doctrine coming from God tested against the Bible?

    Gentleman, I look forward to your comments.

    Regards
    Ken




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  55. @ken:
    Ken,

    Ellen White also endorsed Luther, Huss, Jerome, etc. Yet she knew well that had some error. The true faith is not so much that the adherents taught without error, but that there were willing to put the Bible over teachings and traditions of men; that were were willing to die for this faith rather than recant and tow the Romish line and that they were willing to defend the Scriptures and pass it on.

    The context of her mention of these people was that they were in the procession of believers who kept the faith. God recognises true faith …”in times of ignorance God winks…” and He looks at the heart rather than the actions.

    It is well stated that Rome had so distorted the truth that over the centuries of Protestantism God had led people to rediscover the light but none had received it full blast. Such was left for God’s endtimes remnant church.

    That is the context within which God’s prophet wrote and I hope you consider that.




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  56. You might also recall that when God called Ellen White she was still eating pork and not keeping the Sabbath.

    God qualifies the called and does not call the qualified. Study also her testimony of how God led in the establishment of the pillars of our faith.




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  57. EGW reportedly received The Great Controversy vision at the present-day site of Bowling Green, Ohio, a vision that lasted several hours and interfered with a funeral. If the vision came from God, is this error attributed to God or to Ellen White? I have trouble with the Albigenses’ attribution of Satan being the Creator of this world while simultaneously being labeled “brethren” and “witnesses to the truth”. I also have trouble with the Intelligent Design movement, which, like the Albigenses, attribute the creation of this world to some entity, but not necessarily the God of the Bible. How can this conflict be resolved?




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  58. @Kenneth Christman, M.D.:

    EGW reportedly received The Great Controversy vision at the present-day site of Bowling Green, Ohio, a vision that lasted several hours and interfered with a funeral. If the vision came from God, is this error attributed to God or to Ellen White? I have trouble with the Albigenses’ attribution of Satan being the Creator of this world while simultaneously being labeled “brethren” and “witnesses to the truth”. I also have trouble with the Intelligent Design movement, which, like the Albigenses, attribute the creation of this world to some entity, but not necessarily the God of the Bible. How can this conflict be resolved?

    You misunderstand the ID movement. The ID position is not opposed to the idea that God created the world and the universe – not at all. What IDist say is that whatever did make our world and life in it, as well as our universe, had to have been extremely intelligent and powerful – to the point of having God-like powers that cannot be distinguished by us from what we would expect from a God or God-like being.

    This is the first step toward God. One must first believe that mindless naturalism is incapable of explaining certain features of the universe and of our own existence before one can rationally believe that God exists. And, one must then believe that God exists before one can progress into a personal relationship with God. The ID theory and the evidence behind his theory is therefore not “evil” or opposed to Christianity in the least. Rather, it is one of the most basic building blocks for a solid Christian faith and a rational understanding of the Gospel’s Good News…

    As far as Mrs. White’s support of the Albigenses, you need to understand the concept of “present truth”. Mrs. White supported the efforts of the Albigenses to live up to as much truth as they had available in their day. It is only reasonable that there will be additional discoveries of truth over time – that God will have revealed more truths to us today than were understood by the Albigenses or the early protestant reformers. Even founders of the SDA Church, to include James White, Mrs. White’s husband, subscribed to numerous doctrinal errors which took some time to realize and relinquish (to include various forms of Arianism).

    In other words, you need to read these statements in context and understand the point of not throwing out the baby with the bathwater – so to speak…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  59. You’re absolutely correct Sean. And that “first step” is why evolutionists fight so hard against IDers, even those that do not profess any Christian or religious beliefs.

    I understand why Ken has “trouble” with some IDers. Some, not all, profess no religious affiliation, which frustrates the atheistic evolutionists, who try to say they DO have some religious belief, otherwise they would believe in evolution!




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  60. I have seen a written report of Steve Meyers, one of the most visible in the ID community, and how he does NOT believe in Biblical Creation. That certainly could not make him a Christian, since God not creating the world would certainly not be consistent with sending His Son Jesus to redeem it!

    A few years ago, while president of a national physician organization, I planned an annual meeting which included Rick Sternberg as banquet speaker. Sternberg has two Ph.D.’s and is very articulate. He was the one who was fired from his position as editor of a prestigious Smithsonian journal simply for publishing Steve Meyer’s paper!

    Sternberg was brilliant in his analysis of why Darwinian evolution could not be successful. His sicentific analysis was flawless, in my opinion. However, he steadfastly refused to admit that the God of Genesis 1:1 created this earth. Either in public or in private.

    The Albigenses were not living up to the truth available to them. They believed in the doctrine of dualism, that spirit was good and matter was bad. They held that Satan created the world. They believed and practiced all sorts of supernatural activities and the Catholic church labored extensively to get them to accept Christianity as Roman Catholocism understood Christianity. However, these people were NOT Christians at all.

    Their predecessors were Manichaeans. Mani, the father of the Manichaeans, was harshly dealt with because he believed and taught that Jesus Christ was the reincarnation of Zoroaster. Those who followed Zoroaster were so upset that they martyred poor old Mani.

    Ellen White received her Great Controversy vision in Bowling Green, Ohio on a Friday afternoon, seriously interrupting a funeral. If this vision came from God, was God proclaiming the Manichaeans (Albigenses) to be something they most definitely were not? Or, was Ellen White falsely claiming God told her these things? Was this the product of her own mind?
    She certainly makes very favorable statements about the Albigenses in two separate places in the Great Controversy. This is all very perplexing for one who indeed believes God created the world, sent His Son to redeem us, and is coming again very soon. How does one reconcile all this?

    Finally, I would strongly urge all to make a visit to the Creation Museum in the Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati. I was there yesterday, and this is very, very well done. Ken Ham is to be strongly commended for his work, and any who are interested could perhaps investigate having him and/or his staff present speakers on the topic of Genesis 1:1. The web site is answersingenesis.org.

    I also applaud the efforts of those who are choosing to adhere to Genesis 1:1 at LSU. Please continue to spread the message, whether or not LSU relinquishes teaching Darwinianism or not. Keep up the good work. Be aware however, that there are some serious problems with ID as well as the Albigenses. Very serious indeed. For me, I cannot consider anything other than Biblical Creation in Genesis 1:1. If it didn’t happen that way, the only other option is that Satan did it, and that is precisely what the Albigenses taught. In my view, they were true heretics, and I cannot follow Ellen White in singing their praises.




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  61. ID is a “Minimalist” position that just admits “to the obvious”. All it says is – hey look that is something that rocks, water and sunlight can produce “given time” – it has the attributes of intelligent design, purpose, pattern, function.

    Obviously – Genesis 1:2-2:3 is about much more than that – but the Bible model includes the obvious facts found in ID and much much more. (certainly not LESS than ID). Given the basics ID – you do not know enough details about the design to pick this or that source. But you do know enough to reject belief purely naturalistic evolutionism, which is why atheists know instantly that they need to attack ID no matter how obvious it is.

    That leaves the puzzling case of the heistic evolutionist that unwittingly denies ID. Clearly those guys are self-conflicted in the extreme. It is a good example where blindly following their classic strategy (i.e simply following the lead set by atheist evolutionists) is not serving them well.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  62. @Kenneth Christman, M.D.:

    I also have trouble with the Intelligent Design movement, which, like the Albigenses, attribute the creation of this world to some entity, but not necessarily the God of the Bible. How can this conflict be resolved? Kenneth Christman, M.D.(Quote)

    ID stops at the point of identifying the designer because there is no “Science” lab that can interview the designer. All ID is doing is admitting to “enough facts” in the area of design to show that non-directed natural events cannot account for the entire result. That is a “minimalist” position. It does not argue that some evolution did not happen. All ID has to prove is that SOME design exists that cannot be accounted for by purely natural forces and sequences of events. It is the monkey wrench in the atheist evolutionist gearbox – which is why atheists know instinctively to oppose it “no mattter what”.

    However ID would not preclude some form of theist evolution where ID is seen in some cases and evolutionism in others. Which is why it is such a “tell” when a supposedly theistic evolutionist unwittingly leaps off the cliff with their atheist evolutionist leadership.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  63. @ken:

    Dear Sean, Bob and Kenneth

    Re Empirical Tests for EGW as a prophet or messenger of God

    Kenneth thank you for your comments and erudition regarding EGW and the Albigenses.From my brief reading it appears as if the Abigeneses or Cathari as they were alternatively called, were dualists. They believed in a God of Good and a God of Evil with equal powers. They also believed that Jesus was a created being but not God.

    It appears as if EGW said the Abigeneses were witnesses to the truth, i.e the word of God.

    Sean, is this empirical evidence as to whether EGW is true messenger or prophetess of God? Bob, does EGW’s support of the Abigenesis fit within your first test of being a prophet: the message indicates a ‘doctrine coming from God tested against the Bible?

    It is important that the “details” be observed when discussing the Albigenses –

    1. The bulk of the information coming to use about the Albigensis comes from the group dedicated to murdering and torturing them. You do not normally go to the perp to get a character witness for the victim.

    Even Luther was declared by the Synod of Sens to be a Manichaean.

    The celebrated Archbishop Ussher says that the charge “of Manichaeanism on the Albigensian sect is evidently false” (Acland, The Glorious Recovery of the Vaudois, lxvii. London, 1857).

    The writings and records of the Albigenses were systematically destroyed by the RCC leaving RC ‘charges against heretics’ as the main source of “objective material” from the dark ages about this group.

    Far from originating in the 12th century – they originate from as early as the 2nd century.

    The descent of the Albigenses has been traced by some writers from the Paulicians (Encyclopedia Britannica, I. 454. 9th edition). Recent writers hold that the Albigenses had been in the valleys of France from the earliest ages of Christianity. Prof. Bury says that “it lingered on in Southern France,” and was not a “mere Bogomilism, but an ancient local survival.” Mr. Conybeare thinks that it lived on from the early times in the Balkan Peninsula, “where it was probably the basis of Bogomilism” (Bury, Ed. Gibbon, History of Rome, VI. 563).

    2. It is certainly the case that Ellen White never claimed that God told her that “Satan created the world” nor did Ellen White ever claim that God told her “to believe whatever Catholic persecutors say about the Abligenses”.

    So – I am not convinced this is even remotely “a test” of her ministry — not even

    So what do we know about Albigenses that would provide incentive to the RCC to hunt them down?

    It is remarkable that the inquisitorial examinations of the Albigenses did not tax them with immoralities, but they were condemned for speculations, or rather for virtuous rules of action, which the Roman Catholics accounted heresy. They said a Christian church should consist of good people; a church had no power to frame any constitutions; it was not right to take oaths; it was not lawful to kill mankind; a man ought not to be delivered up to the officers of justice to be converted; the benefits of society belong alike to all members of it; faith without works could not save a man; the church ought not to persecute any, even the wicked; the law of Moses was no rule for Christians; there was no need of priests, especially of wicked ones; the sacraments, and orders, and ceremonies of the church of Rome were futile, expensive, oppressive, and wicked. They baptized by immersion and rejected infant baptism (Jones, The History of the Christian Church, I. 287). They were decidedly anti-clerical.

    Ok – we have evidencce of more than sufficient “motive” for the RCC to go after them on grounds that we today would not consider worthy of death, torture or banishment.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  64. You are quite correct in implying that the “origins” question is NOT one to be solved by science. As you say, you cannot “interview the designer”. Furthermore, one cannot subject any of the 3 theories (ID, Biblical Creationism, or Darwinian Evolution) to any scientific test of any type. One must rely completely on the written record, which is the Bible. One either chooses to accept this record, or does not.

    Similarly, science cannot even prove or disprove the American Revolution. Sure, one can perhaps unearth some spent shells and find other evidence of skirmishes, but in order to understand what really happened, one must either rely on the written record, or dismiss the written record as fallacious.

    Darwinians quite obviously reject the written record (Bible), and postulate an elaborate scheme that denies God and assumes incorrectly that natural processes are responsible for the development of life on this planet.

    The Intelligent Design Camp dispute the “science” (or lack thereof) and promote the idea that Darwinian Evolution is faulty, and, from a scientific perspective, could NOT have occurred for a variety of reasons. Their science is quite helpful in proving, or at least provoking the thought that it is extremely unlikely for Darwinian Evolution to have accounted for the changes in the natural world, because such changes could not have occured without certain necessary preconditions that are extremely unlikely.

    Even though the ID camp utilizes some pretty strong arguments to disprove Darwinian Evolution, many, and perhaps most of the ID community deny the Genesis account of Creation. This is NOT because they do not have enough information. It is simply that they deny that God created the earth and postulate some other entity–perhaps an “alien” being, a starship somewhere, etc. As Christians, we should not subscribe to that notion at all, as it is in complete discord with the Bible. As Christians, if there was any other entity which created life on earth, it was Satan. That would be the only other choice.

    The third category in the “origins debate” represent those who fully accept the Genesis account as stated. Although some would argue that this is a sub-category of ID, I recoil to think of the consequences. Given the choice of accepting either Darwinian Evolution or that Satan created the world, I’m not quite sure which is worse!!

    Thus, if the highly educated and brilliant group of scientists in the ID community reject the Biblical acccount of Creation, it is NOT because they do not know about it, or are likely to be persuaded. It is because they REJECT it.

    We should be very, very cautious about the ID community. Although utilizing its science disproving Darwinian Evolution would be quite acceptable, I would not consider myself a member of the ID community. Ken Ham uses the terminology “NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL”, and is also quite troubled by the ID community. We should stand firmly with him on this issue. I do not wish to condemn any of those Christians who align themselves with the ID community, as I once did myself. I’m simply alerting you of the dangers involved. I happen to know some of these folk.

    As far as the Albigenses are concerned, we should likewise recognize that they also had choices in believing who created the world. They chose to believe it was Satan’s work. I do not wish to condemn any of you for attempting to find elements of the Albigenses which can be supported, because I once did this myself.

    It would be improper to say that the bulk of criticism against the Albigenses comes from their “torturors”. It is true that Bernard Gui was a member of the Inquisition, and, in the 1320’s published his “Inquisitor’s Guide”, which I have a copy of. It is a manual of heretics, which includes the Beguins, False Apostles, Jews, and Manichaeans, which he considers to be the Albigenses. There is no discord between this Inquisitor’s Manual and other histories of the Albigenses (Cathars). “The Great Heresy”, written by Arthur Guirdham, is perhaps a good place to start. Guirdham considers himself to be a reincarnation of a long-dead Cathar!! Yes, the Albigenses believed in reincarnation. Guirdham describes how some of the book was written via mystical revelations, but some of it came from historical sources, and he meticulously details these sources. All of this happens to correspond with Bernard Gui’s work.

    It is not possible to come to the defense of the Albigenses to the extent of labeling them as Christians. There is much, much more information about these people that places them in the camp of Satan, whom they believe created the world–yes, the same camp the ID community is in.

    As for EGW, she says some awfully nice things about the Albigenses, and I cannot agree with her assertions about these people. I’ve tried. Either she is totally wrong about this, or the visions she received were in total error. The Albigenses were involved in the worst heresies imaginable. Although they were persecuted ruthlessly by the Roman Catholic Church, that does not mean their teachings were congruous with the teachings of Genesis, the teachings of Jesus, or anything else. They did NOT believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation. Neither do we. Nevertheless, their heretical teachings went much, much deeper than that.

    Again, your efforts against the teaching of Darwinism at LSU are commendable, and I fervently pray they will be successful. I merely point out some of the difficulties with competing theories which we should be aware of. I will NOT take my stand with the ID camp, but will proudly stand with those carrying the banner “I SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL.”




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  65. You are quite correct in implying that the “origins” question is NOT one to be solved by science. As you say, you cannot “interview the designer”. Furthermore, one cannot subject any of the 3 theories (ID, Biblical Creationism, or Darwinian Evolution) to any scientific test of any type. One must rely completely on the written record, which is the Bible. One either chooses to accept this record, or does not.

    Right on, Doc! (And interesting stuff about the Albigenses; thank you for sharing.)




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  66. It would be improper to say that the bulk of criticism against the Albigenses comes from their “torturors”. It is true that Bernard Gui was a member of the Inquisition, and, in the 1320′s published his “Inquisitor’s Guide”, which I have a copy of. It is a manual of heretics, which includes the Beguins, False Apostles, Jews, and Manichaeans, which he considers to be the Albigenses. There is no discord between this Inquisitor’s Manual and other histories of the Albigenses (Cathars). “The Great Heresy”, written by Arthur Guirdham, is perhaps a good place to start. Guirdham considers himself to be a reincarnation of a long-dead Cathar!! Yes, the Albigenses believed in reincarnation. Guirdham describes how some of the book was written via mystical revelations, but some of it came from historical sources, and he meticulously details these sources. All of this happens to correspond with Bernard Gui’s work.

    It is not possible to come to the defense of the Albigenses to the extent of labeling them as Christians. There is much, much more information about these people that places them in the camp of Satan, whom they believe created the world–yes, the same camp the ID community is in.

    As I noted before – even Luther was accused of being Manichaean by the RCC. Since the Albigenses are stated as being in existence “from the earliest of christian ages” it is more than a little interesting that it is only at the point of Catholic open warfare on them during the 12th century that “suddenly everyone knows what they believed”.

    The descent of the Albigenses has been traced by some writers from the Paulicians (Encyclopedia Britannica, I. 454. 9th edition). Recent writers hold that the Albigenses had been in the valleys of France from the earliest ages of Christianity. Prof. Bury says that “it lingered on in Southern France,” and was not a “mere Bogomilism, but an ancient local survival.” Mr. Conybeare thinks that it lived on from the early times in the Balkan Peninsula, “where it was probably the basis of Bogomilism” (Bury, Ed. Gibbon, History of Rome, VI. 563).

    Now we have a man who believes in reincarnation and spiritism describing the Albigenses in a way that makes them appear Satanic?

    Guirdham considers himself to be a reincarnation of a long-dead Cathar

    And gives a description in complete harmony with their Catholic tormentors?

    (As you note “There is no discord between this Inquisitor’s Manual and other histories of the Albigenses” )

    Leading the reader to conclude “The Albigenses were involved in the worst heresies imaginable. Although they were persecuted ruthlessly by the Roman Catholic Church” —

    How “surprising” is that?

    I find this part very “instructive”

    There is no discord between this Inquisitor’s Manual and other histories of the Albigenses (Cathars). “The Great Heresy”, written by Arthur Guirdham, is perhaps a good place to start. Guirdham considers himself to be a reincarnation of a long-dead Cathar!! Yes, the Albigenses believed in reincarnation. Guirdham describes how some of the book was written via mystical revelations, but some of it came from historical sour

    Where are the more “objective” sources to establish the claim that Ellen White was wrong? Surely “some historic sources” sprinkled into a text by a guy who claims to be channelling a long dead Cathar and who adds a number of spiritist revelations in his account – is not the “solid source” we seek.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  67. @Kenneth Christman M.D. Ken, who, besides Frances Crick, believes in “aliens” starting life here on earth? I know he believes in “transpermia” but he is not an real ID apologist, as far as I know. He simply made this idea up because he knows Darwinian evolution cannot explain the DNA code, etc. Do any of the major ID spokespeople believe this type of stuff? Just wondering!

    BTW, I also agree with you that one must either believe God’s Word or reject it. Many, including those within our SDA faith, choose to reject it, as we see at LSU.




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  68. @Kenneth Christman, M.D.:

    You are quite correct in implying that the “origins” question is NOT one to be solved by science. As you say, you cannot “interview the designer”. Furthermore, one cannot subject any of the 3 theories (ID, Biblical Creationism, or Darwinian Evolution) to any scientific test of any type. One must rely completely on the written record, which is the Bible. One either chooses to accept this record, or does not.

    Upon what basis does one “choose” between competing options? Is this choice simply based on a deep feeling or desire? Or, is there some sort of empirically-based reasoning involved? – a form of science?

    If one could “interview the designer” one wouldn’t need science to determine what was most likely true. Science is only useful when direct knowledge is not available. This is why beliefs in the truth of even historical events can rationally be based on a form of scientific reasoning – to include abductive reasoning.

    Remember, scientific reasoning doesn’t prove anything in the absolute sense of the word. It may be able to disprove or bring falsifying evidence against a particular position, but it can never fully prove a hypothesis or theory. Yet, it is the best method or rational we have of approaching truth…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  69. There are some very thoughtful questions, and I will attempt to respond to them.

    1. It is not at all surprising that the RCC would attempt to label Martin Luther as a Manichaean. After all, getting an accusation of this sort to stick would facilitate and quick trip to the stake. It would have dispensed with RCC’s problem quickly and easily. Why didn’t this accusation stick? Luther did not deny, as far as I know, that God created this world. To my knowledge, he did not subscribe to the doctrine of reincarnation. Most importantly, perhaps, he did not deviate much, if any, from the RCC’s doctrine of transubstantiation. This was, as you are aware, the method generally used to test the Albigenses. If they did not concur with transubstantiation, they were burned. To this day, the various Lutheran synods adhere to something very near to the RCC’s doctrine of transubstantiation, with some degree of variation in teaching as well as terminology. One can only wonder why Luther did not challenge that very problematic doctrine? Was it because he fully realized that this kind of aberration would seal his fate?

    On the other hand, one could find a charge of mysticism to be a valid one. Luther was described as a Rhineland mystic. Furthermore, he stated that aside from the works of the Bible and St. Augustine, it was the Theologia Germanica which helped him the most to understand God and the human condition. What was Theologia Germanica? It was primarily a compilation of medieval mystics such as Meister Eckhardt and Johannes Tauler–very scary stuff, since one often finds New Agers turning to these folk. It should also be noted that RCC was not the only entity persecuting its theological foes. Martin Luther encouraged and condoned the slaughtering of the poor peasants in 1525. John Calvin was directly responsible for sending Michael Servetus to the flames. Servetus was a physician (the first to accurately described the pulmonary circulation), and was burned alive because he published something about the Trinity.

    2. Yes, the Albigenses’ doctrines did originate in the early Christian era, and could be said to have originated with Mani, the father of the Manichaeans, who lived in the 3rd century. Albigenses are also linked to the Bogomils. Very few link them to the Paulicians.

    3. Other “objective” writers other than Guidham regarding the Albigenses. Yes, there are many, many other writers, and they uniformly describe the Albigenses to have characteristics we have already considered–placing them firmly in the camp of heresy. I did find a Baptist author who completely disregarded all the other authors regarding the Albigenses heretical views, simply because he wanted to “prove” apostolic succession. Other Baptist authors, such as McGoldrick, however, warn against trying to prove apostolic succession via this route. Guirdham is worthy of consideration because part of his book is very scholarly and evaluates the extant literature about the Albigenses. The other part is mystical, and contains information regarding the spirit world, since he believes himself to be reincarnated!! So, part of his work is very scholarly, and certainly cannot be dismissed as pure nonsense.

    4. Are there others besides Crick who believe aliens seeded the world? I don’t know. The ID folk seem to NOT want to respond to any question regareding WHO created the world. They do not want to say. Some quite clearly DENY creationism. Others do not. I consider an “alien” to be synomymous with Satan. Thus, I would lump Crick into the camp of the Albigenses. As a matter of fact, ANYBODY who holds to ID while denying Biblical Creationism must hold that some other entity created this world. There is only one other contender for that designation–the same one the Albigenses believed in.

    5. Upon what basis does one choose from competing options? This is a very good question. No, we do NOT choose based upon “feeling”, or simply what we want to believe in. We evaluate the evidence. If we are meticulous and devoted to searching for evidence OUTSIDE of mystical techniques, God will honor our efforts. We search for the evidence within the pages of Genesis to Revelation. In those pages we will find irrefutable evidence of a God who predicted the future repeatedly. An accurate understanding of the prophets (especially Daniel) reveals a God who was amazingly accurate in depicting future events. So accurate, in fact, that subsequent philosophers/theologians even dare to deny that Daniel lived when he said he lived!! In other words, they felt and feel that Daniel could not have known what was to take place that accurately. Porphyry, a Greek philosopher, was perhaps the earliest to advance this false notion, but it persists today!! The whole picture fits perfectly. As a matter of fact, Daniel foretells the coming of Jesus, and Jesus confirms Daniel in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. So, if you’re going to trash Daniel, you also have to trash Jesus. But, one finds an alarming accuracy that simply cannot be denied. Furthermore, solid proof that these revelations came from the God of the Bible is clearly evident in Daniel 2. After Satan’s agents (the magi, astrologers, wise men, etc.) in Nebuchadnezzar’s court were clearly unable to relate the dream and its significance to the king. Daniel could only do so after it was revealed to him from the God of the Bible. In short, THERE IS NO OTHER SACRED BOOK WHICH FORETELLS THE FUTURE like the Bible does. There are, however, some differences in interpretation of some of Daniel’s prophetic chapters which differ from what I was taught. So, if the Scriptures are so amazingly accurate, one cannot avoid believing in the Creation account as well. After all, if God did not create this world in the first place, why would he redeem it? He certainly would not send Jesus to die in my stead if He did not create me in the first place, would He?

    6. If one could “interview the designer”, one wouldn’t need science? Now then, this is dangerous territory. To “interview the designer” in this day and age places us squarely in the camp of mysticism. We should not depend on the supernatural or extra-Biblical revelations in order to come to any conclusions. We have the Bible, and we do not need nor should we seek any such interview with the designer. It could and would get us an interview with an entity we should wish to avoid.

    Science is the practice of observation, hypothesizing, experimentation, and forming proofs, or conclusions. We cannot experiment with any of the 3 options (evolution, ID, Biblical Creationism), since nobody was around when these events took place and there is no experiment that could be devised to observe any proof. But, solid evidence is abundant, and it is all in the Bible, which we should all be exploring OUTSIDE the realm of any mystic, who will invariable mislead us.




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  70. Here is a 17th century example of an actual historian whose hands are not stained with the blood of the Albigenses and who is ALSO not a claiming to be a spiritist medium or reincarnated Cathar – but rather a 3rd party (Anglican historian) independant of both Catholic and Albigenses bias.

    http://gospelpedlar.com/articles/Church%20History/allix.html

    P. ALLIX 1690 & 1692 [Scholar & Historian of the Church of England]

    Amazingly enough – his official account to the royal court fits the description of the Albigenses given by Ellen White to a large degree.

    This defense of the ancient Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont, is a kind of apology for the Reformation brought about in the century last past, in which those heroes of your name had so great a part. The Reformation, rightly considered, consists only in the rejecting of what for many ages has been superadded to the Christian religion. The conduct of the ancient Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont has served for a model to our Reformers, and has justified their undertaking, seeing they have always preserved amongst them the sacred truths of the Christian religion committed to them, as they had received them from the disciples of the Apostles, and rejected the corruptions thereof, according as by degrees they broke forth in the west.
    This hath been the only thing that hath made them the object of the hatred of the Church of Rome, and hath drawn upon them, for so many ages, such prodigious floods of persecution

    By contrast – here is one of many condemning sources totally in agreement with throwing the Albigenses under the bus – but even they are forced to admit that their information comes to them by the less than objective method of relying on “the perp” to be an objective unbiased “character witness for the victim”.

    Of the more durable and formidable heresies which took stubborn root in the south of France during the twelfth century none is better known than that of the Cathari, being variously called Pataris, Poblicans, Bulgars, Albigenses. Their history, as already mentioned, is difficult to trace due to the fact that the only source of information available is the testimony of their enemies. The origin of the sect is very obscure and a number of often contradictory theories have been advanced

    http://www.blavatsky.net/magazine/theosophy/ww/additional/ListOfCollatedArticles/TheCathariOrAlbigenses.html

    As it turns out – Fox’s book of martyrs tends to side with the report given to the royal court in the 17th century.

    Here is another source that does not assume the POV of the perp has resulted in an objective or remotely accurate picture.
    http://www.a4t.org/Library/History/faber-hava.pdf

    But I trust, that not one of the Bishop’s positions is tenable. I trust, that the Paulicians and Albigenses will be found, upon sufficient historical evidence, to have not been Manicheans: and I also trust, that, upon
    16
    sufficient historical evidence likewise, the Valdenses may be distinctly
    shown, to have tenanted their Alpine Valleys from the age of primitive
    persecution, and to have always held a system of doctrine and practice,
    the same, in all grand fundamentals and essentials, as that of the Reformed
    Churches of the sixteenth century.
    The proof of these matters will, of course, form the main part of the
    following Inquiry.

    In any case – the point is that I do not know that we have the conclusive evidence from either the Catholic Church’s efforts to “exterminate” them or the evidence of a source claiming to get information directly from the “afterlife” – are sufficient sources to disprove what Ellen White claimed to have been shown in this regard.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  71. Is this choice simply based on a deep feeling or desire? Or, is there some sort of empirically-based reasoning involved? – a form of science?

    Personally, for me, it comes down to the shape of my toes. If my big toe was shorter than my second toe, I’d go for the empirically-based reasoning. However, my big toe is actually longer, which compels me to go with the Bible instead. So, you see, it’s an empirically-based feeling in my situation, which seriously confounds your reasoning, no doubt. Comprende amigo?




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  72. Kenneth Christman, M.D. says:
    August 25, 2010

    There are some very thoughtful questions, and I will attempt to respond to them.1. It is not at all surprising that the RCC would attempt to label Martin Luther as a Manichaean. After all, getting an accusation of this sort to stick would facilitate and quick trip to the stake. It would have dispensed with RCC’s problem quickly and easily. Why didn’t this accusation stick? Luther did not deny, as far as I know, that God created this world. To my knowledge, he did not subscribe to the doctrine of reincarnation.

    Indeed. Having so many of Luther’s writings preserved for us – made it very difficult for the RCC to sustain their false accusations against him. He was helped not only by wide publication of his works but also by the fact that the government of Germany eventually organized a civil stronghold and defense supporting him.

    Kenneth Christman, M.D. says:
    August 25, 2010

    Most importantly, perhaps, he did not deviate much, if any, from the RCC’s doctrine of transubstantiation. This was, as you are aware, the method generally used to test the Albigenses. If they did not concur with transubstantiation, they were burned. To this day, the various Lutheran synods adhere to something very near to the RCC’s doctrine of transubstantiation, with some degree of variation in teaching as well as terminology. One can only wonder why Luther did not challenge that very problematic doctrine? Was it because he fully realized that this kind of aberration would seal his fate? On the other hand, one could find a charge of mysticism to be a valid one. Luther was described as a Rhineland mystic. Furthermore, he stated that aside from the works of the Bible and St. Augustine, it was the Theologia Germanica which helped him the most to understand God and the human condition. What was Theologia Germanica? It was primarily a compilation of medieval mystics such as Meister Eckhardt and Johannes Tauler–very scary stuff, since one often finds New Agers turning to these folk. It should also be noted that RCC was not the only entity persecuting its theological foes. Martin Luther encouraged and condoned the slaughtering of the poor peasants in 1525.

    Luther did not start out as a “Lutheran”. He was first and foremost a Catholic trying to reform the RCC in regard to indulgences and a few other items. In fact his initial thinking was that all the abuse in the RCC was being carried on behind the Pope’s back – and that if the Pope only knew of the problem he would thank Luther for helping him clean up the church.

    It is not entirely surprising that he failed to expell some of his initial Catholic notions of compulsion and reading of the Catholic-mystics.

    “According to the introduction of the “Theologia” the author was a priest and a member of the Teutonic Order living in Frankfurt, Germany”. Rumor has it that it may even have been Meister Eckhardt. How true that rumor is – I don’t know.

    But Luther did not claim to get his 99 thesis from the spirits of the dead.

    When the followers of Luther began to turn to fanatacism of the kind that Thomas Miuntzer promoted – Melancthon and Luther finally had to stand up and declare them to be wrong. Those that opposed the Lutheran reforms were more than happy to portray them all as “one” and even the fanatics claimed to be followers of Luther’s reforms.

    Fortunately we have the writings of Luther himself to help sort that out.

    I did find a Baptist author who completely disregarded all the other authors regarding the Albigenses heretical views, simply because he wanted to “prove” apostolic succession. Other Baptist authors, such as McGoldrick, however, warn against trying to prove apostolic succession via this route. Guirdham is worthy of consideration because part of his book is very scholarly and evaluates the extant literature about the Albigenses. The other part is mystical, and contains information regarding the spirit world, since he believes himself to be reincarnated!!

    Which is why I think the 17th century historian Paul Allix’s own historical survey (as an Anglican scholar) of both the Waldenses and the Albigensis given as an official document to the Royal court of England is far more objective and being closer to the source (Paul apparently came from France to England) is an objective historic reference that cannot be easily dismissed. No “spirit guides” in the case of Allix.

    In my prior post I also gave this objective independant official history by G. S. Faber (neigher Catholic nor Albigenses) – as yet another confirming source.

    THE HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT VALLENSES AND ALBIGENSES
    by George Stanley Faber

    AN INQUIRY INTO THE HISTORY AND THEOLOGY OF THE ANCIENT VALLENSES AND ALBIGENSES;
    AS EXHIBITING, AGREEABLY TO THE PROMISES, THE PERPETUITY OF THE SINCERE
    CHURCH OF CHRIST.
    BY
    GEORGE STANLEY FABER, B. D.
    MASTER OF SHERBURN HOSPITAL
    AND PREBENDARY OF SALISBURY.

    TO THE MOST REVEREND THE LORD PRIMATE,
    And The Right Reverend And Reverend
    THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY OF IRELAND,

    THIS WORK,
    Treating Of The Divinely Appointed Office And The Fully Corresponding Character Of The Two Ancient And Long Suffering Churches Of The
    VALLENSES AND ALBIGENSES, Is, With Every Sentiment Of Respect And Admiration, Fitly Inscribed,

    BY THEIR SERVANT IN CHRIST,
    THE AUTHOR.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  73. You are to be commended for the tenaciousness of your investigation.

    1. P. Allix (Scholar and Historian in the Church of England, refers to “the ancient Churches of the Valley of the Piedmont” in the reference quoted. Ellen White uses this terminology to refer to the Waldenses, not the Albigenses. It should be noted that there is a VAST difference in the teachings of the Waldenses vs. the doctrines of the Albigenses. No comparison whatsoever should be made as to their respective beliefs, even though they were both martyred by the RCC, and even though both could be viewed as heretics. It would not be proper for Allix to come to the defense of the Albigenses via the Waldensians.

    2. Yes, even the Blavatsky/Theosophists web site concurs with the application of the heresy label to the Albigenses. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, as you know, is held by many as the founder of the New Age. She published “Isis Unveiled” in 1875, and developed a significant following which persists today in the form of Anthroposophy, Theosophy, and the Lucis Trust (originally Lucipher Publishing), which is now involved with the United Nations! Yes, even the Blavatsky folk consider this a “heresy”.

    3. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology is a huge two-volume work edited by Dr. J. Gordon Melton, who also authored reference works such as The New Age Encyclopedia and the New Age Almanac. Blavatsky has earned a long description in this encyclopedia, and the Waldenses and Albigenses are also listed!! There is a clear distinction made, however, between their respective beliefs.

    4. The Inquisitor’s Guide (A Medieval Manual on Heretics) was written by Bernardo Gui in the 1320’s, at a time when the Inquisition was in full force. It is simply a manual that describes how to deal and root out various heresies. There is much value in reading the descriptions and accounts of the various heretical groups which he was stamping out, in spite of the fact that Gui himself should be condemned for violating the instructions of Jesus to allow the wheat and the tares to flourish together, and allow the Master to deal with the tares at the time of the harvest. Likewise, we can learn from accounts of Michael Servetus, the physician who was burned alive at the stake in Geneva at the hands of John Calvin. His last cry as the flames were extinguishing his life, was a cry to Jesus. Was it the same Jesus Calvin claimed to represent? Did Calvin also ignore the clear instructions of Jesus in how to deal with “heresy”?
    Simply because people are martyred by an evil agency does not, in and of itself, however, mean that these people did not hold beliefs contrary to God, Jesus, and the Bible. A thorough investigation should be done.

    5. Arthur Guirdham, who believes himself to be reincarnated, should not be entirely dismissed either, since he actually titles his book The Great Heresy. Furthermore, as stated previously, the first portion of the book is devoted to an evaluation of the extant historical material. The second part of the book is mystical, i.e., represents direct revelation from Satan. Even this information, however, can be instructive in understanding what this heresy was all about. Guirdham says this about the English writers:
    “English writers make two major errors depending on the period in
    which they live. The earlier authorities persist in regarding
    Catharism as a forerunner of Protestantism. This is based on the
    hundred per cent erroneous view that the Inquisition was established
    primarily to combat the Protestant heresy. This is simply untenable.
    No Protestant Church had, as its basic tenets, belief in reincarna-
    tion, in the creation of the world by Satan, and in the existence of
    forces of good and evil in the universe. . .

    Peter Allix, writing in 1692, is interesting in that he recognises
    how for long before the advent of Catharism the southwest of France
    had been a centre of heresy. His book, “Remarks Upon the Ecclesias-
    tical History of the Ancient Churches of the Albigenses” has two
    cardinal errors. It lumps the Cathars with the Vaudois who were cer-
    tainly precursors of the Reformation. As a good Protestant, Perrin
    exercises himself vainly in defending the Cathars against the horrible
    charge of being Manichaeans.”

    Guirdham himself is applying the label “heresy” to what he is intimately involved with, and steadfastly adheres to the labels applied by virtually everybody else!

    6. Fox’s Book of Martyrs is more interested in describing martyrdom of all different stripes. Another book, a very, very large one, entitled Martyrs’ Mirror, has been published extensively by certain groups. Early in this country, it was published by Conrad Beisel at Ephrata, Pennsylvania. Beisel was a Sabbatarian celibate, with origins in Lutheran Pietism, as well as being a devout follower of the occultist Jacob Boehme. He and his monastic group were very much involved in mystical activities and promoted this book heavily. It is true that this book portrays them (Albigensian martyrs) in as positive a light as possible.

    7. As far as the various toe lengths, I am not in a position to render any judgment on this. I would suggest some sort of measuring device; perhaps a ruler would be a good start.

    8. Another useful ruler would be ANYTHNG AND EVERYTHING that is found between the pages of Genesis and Revelation. There is no other measuring device. Although one can be quite concerned about some aspects of Martin Luther, we should all help carry his banner of SOLA SCRIPTURA. That is where we will discover unadulterated truth.




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  74. @Professor Kent:

    Is this choice [to believe that the Bible is more credible than other competing options] simply based on a deep feeling or desire? Or, is there some sort of empirically-based reasoning involved? – a form of science? – Sean Pitman

    Personally, for me, it comes down to the shape of my toes… – Prof. Kent

    Why try to make fun of my question? You yourself seem to recognize the need to appeal to at least some sort of empirical basis for belief in the Bible over other competing options – as in your appeal to certain historically fulfilled Biblical prophesies as evidence, empirically-based evidence, for the greater validity of the Bible.

    Yet, when someone comes along and suggests that we need to believe the Bible, even given a situation where every bit of empirical evidence is against the validity of the Bible, you support such arguments as well. It seems to me like you’re trying to straddle the fence…

    How is such a position, a position of belief or faith in the credibility of the Bible even when all empirical evidence is against it as far as one can tell, superior to those who hold that some other source of authority is superior to the Bible because they have “faith” in this other source (regardless of any empirical argument) or because they Holy Spirit, or some other spirit, has given them some kind of internal impression?

    Why not at least try and seriously address this serious question? Do you really think that such questions are invalid?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  75. @Kenneth Christman, M.D.:

    Science is the practice of observation, hypothesizing, experimentation, and forming proofs, or conclusions. We cannot experiment with any of the 3 options (evolution, ID, Biblical Creationism), since nobody was around when these events took place and there is no experiment that could be devised to observe any proof. But, solid evidence is abundant, and it is all in the Bible, which we should all be exploring OUTSIDE the realm of any mystic, who will invariable mislead us.

    You reference the historical fulfillment of prophecy as evidence for the Divine origin of the Bible. Yet, the study of history and the notion that certain specific events actually happened in history, is based on a form of scientific reasoning known as abductive reasoning.

    This abductive scientific reasoning includes your reference to “the practice of observation, hypothesizing, experimentation, and forming proofs, or conclusions.” While scientific methodologies never absolutely prove anything, they are open to testing and the potential of falsification – as are your notions regarding the true nature of history and fulfilled prophecy. These ideas of yours could, at least in theory, be falsified by additional information which you are not currently aware.

    So, in short, your idea that the Bible has superior credibility is based on certain forms of scientific arguments and empirical data. You are not appealing to internal features of the Bible alone. You are in fact comparing internal statements of the Bible with external information within the world outside of the Bible to see if they match. That’s a scientific concept… a scientific argument which is open to testing and potential falsification with the weight of evidence. In other words, if the biblical statements did not match the weight of evidence for a particular interpretation of historical reality, this would work against biblical credibility…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  76. @Sean Pitman:

    Why try to make fun of my question?

    Because it’s fun.

    Why not at least try and seriously address this serious question? Do you really think that such questions are invalid?

    I have. The fact that we’re back to this conversation should make clear to you (as it no doubt is to others) that we are at an impasse. You will continue to denigrate faith, and I will continue to defend it. Except that I’m finished doing so.




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  77. @Professor Kent:

    Why not at least try and seriously address this serious question? Do you really think that such questions are invalid? – Sean Pitman

    I have. The fact that we’re back to this conversation should make clear to you (as it no doubt is to others) that we are at an impasse. You will continue to denigrate faith, and I will continue to defend it. Except that I’m finished doing so.

    I don’t remember where you’ve defended your position beyond simply claiming that you’re right and everyone else is wrong. Do you not claim that your faith in the credibility of the Bible is superior to someone else’s faith in the Book of Mormon? or the Qur’an? – based what? You say that there need be no basis in science or evidence. You say that, “faith trumps science and evidence”. So what then is your ultimate basis for assuming the superiority of your faith in the Bible vs. other competing options?

    If faith does in fact trump science and evidence, upon what basis is one able to tell which faith is correct? – faith in the Bible? – or the Book of Mormon? or the Qur’an? or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? How does one tell the difference if faith does in fact “trump science and evidence”?

    Again, this is a sincere question and I’d be most interested in a serious response to this question. So far I’ve only seen you make fun of this question. I haven’t seen where you’ve even tried to seriously address this particular question. Why not?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  78. Sean, check my answer at the Ravi Zaccharias thread.

    By the way, there is some fascinating documentation of the Flying Spaghetti Monster–the “God” of the Pastafarians. Check out Google Images. And FYI, if you read what Wikipedia has to say, this much besmirched deity was not invented by Richard Dawkins.




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  79. The difference between the Flying Spaghetti Monster is that he has never told anyone in any book that he wrote or caused to be written that he created them last Tuesday. In fact the argument goes ‘We don’t know but what we were created last Tuesday by the Flying Spaghetti Monster with fake memories of history built in. You don’t know if your “god” created you last Tuesday.”

    Wrong. The God of the Bible walked and talked with Adam and Eve and told them that he had created them and why. He has talked with prophets ever since. So, we do know that God created us approximately 6000 years ago because he told us. All we have to do is believe it.

    Or, all we have to do is believe, based on no evidence whatsoever, that the Flying Spaghetti Monster did it. It’s all based on faith.

    Allen Roy
    AKA: SkepticalChristian




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  80. August 26, 2010 @Sean Pitman:

    Why try to make fun of my question?

    Professor Kent says:

    Because it’s fun.

    Much of what Kent posts is just “gaming the point” – obviously. But in this case he has been a bit more transparently obvious than most. Kent is simply “gaming”. At times Kent’s “game” speaks to a topic worth highlighting – but often it is just a game for the sake of gaming.

    It is important to wait until he has said something of substance rather than chase down every single dead-end rabbit trail Kent can imagine.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  81. @Sean Pitman:

    You won’t know if you can be published or not if you don’t try. Get out there and do it if you think you’re right. The truth comes always comes out if people keep pursuing it. Please don’t make the excuse that no one will publish you, no one will listen, or it will ruin your career. You’re an intelligent person, don’t sell yourself short.




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