Comment on Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation by Eddie.
Stephen Ferguson: Sean, how did we get to this position? In particular, why after spending decades and millions of dollars has the official Church’s own pet organisation, the Geoscience Research Institute, done so little to disprove evolution?
Why if it is all hogwash has it been thoroughly not been disproved over the last 150 years? Why do some 99% of scientists across a multitude of different fields (e.g. paleontologists, physicists, archaeologists, anthropologists, biologists, chemists, cosmologists, historians, cosmologists and geologists etc) all consider evolution to be the most plausible model?
Maybe because the evidence for microevolution and speciation is overwhelming. And some evidence for megaevolution (e.g., sequence of fossils) and long geological ages can be perplexing to explain from the perspective of most (but not all) young life and young earth creationists.
Stephen Ferguson: Why, if it is all rubbish, is there Adventist scientists and theologians who believe in evolution? Why would they risk their careers and standing in the Church to promote something they consider truth, given the huge pressure to just shut up, if they didn’t believe there was something in it?
Maybe because they’re not as honest as some prominent supporters here. Or their faith is weaker. Or, perhaps, physicians and lawyers are simply better trained than scientists and theologians to evaluate scientific evidence.
Stephen Ferguson: I really, really hope Christian scientists, especially Adventist ones, will disprove evolution some day.
Stephen Ferguson: If the SDA hierarchy wants someone to blame for all this, they should blame themselves. It has been their pet organisations that have so spectacularly failed to offer scientific arguments in favour of YEC. Ted Wilson must accept some of the blame onto himself – if not personally then on behalf of the hierachy he leads.
I wouldn’t blame anybody. But if they were to fire the current GRI staff, hire certain supporters here, and then move GRI from LLU to SAU or SWAU, I suspect a certain faction of the church would be happier.
Eddie Also Commented
SDA Bio Prof: The Bible makes multiple falsifiable prophecies about Nebuchadnezzar conquering Egypt, yet history never records it happening. Does this mean the Bible is effectively falsified?
Sean Pitman: Egyptians had a strong tendency not to record their losses… only their victories.
Sean, does that mean YOU personally believe Babylon conquered Egypt, just as predicted by two prophets? In the absence of any empirical evidence? If the Egyptians didn’t record their losses, why wouldn’t the Babylonians have recorded such a stunning victory?
Recent Comments by Eddie
Holly Pham: One of the things that has always concerned me is that, according to what I’ve read, birds and reptiles have completely different forms of respiratory systems (flow-through vs. bellows) How is this explained by evolutionists?
Evidence from the vertebrae of non-avian theropod dinosaurs suggests that they, too, possessed unidirectional flow-through ventilation of the lungs. So, according to evolutionary theory, it evolved first in “primitive” non-avian theropods rather than in birds, and comprises one of many shared derived characters supposedly linking birds with more “advanced” theropods. However, I don’t think there is any evidence or even a hypothesis for a step-by-step process of HOW it evolved. Here is a reference:
Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
@Bob Helm: Bob, if you send me an e-mail at email@example.com I will send you a pdf file of a 1991 article published by Chatterjee in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 332:277-342, titled “Cranial anatomy and relationships of a new Triassic bird from Texas.”
Curiously his description is based only on cranial anatomy. I don’t think he ever published an analysis of its postcranial anatomy.
David Read: Eddie, ecological zonation will yield the same basic order that you’re pointing to: invertebrates appear before vertebrates; fish appear before amphibians; amphibians appear before reptiles; reptiles appear before mammals; reptiles appear before birds, etc.
It could, and it’s the best creationist explanation, but it doesn’t explain why flowering plants were absent from lowland forests. Or why so many land plants appeared before mangroves, which today occur strictly in the intertidal zone. Or why no pre-flood humans have been found. Or, if Sean is correct that the flood ended at the K-T boundary, why many modern groups of birds and mammals (including marine mammals) which first appear during the Tertiary were not buried by the flood.
David Read: The fact that something appears before something else in the fossil record is not proof than anything evolved into anything else.
David Read: You seem to be complaining that God has not made the fossil evidence compulsory, i.e., so clear that no reasonable person can possibly doubt it. And if God hasn’t made the evidence skeptic-proof, then the skeptic is God’s fault, God is responsible for the skeptic.
I’m not complaining. I’m merely pointing out that the evidence can be interpreted in different ways by honest people. And I’m relieved to see that even you don’t think the evidence is crystal clear.
David Read: Only people of faith can be saved, that is, only people who are willing to trust God and put away doubts can be saved.
David Read: Those tracks are so obviously bird tracks that the fact that some scientists want to assign them to “birdlike theropods” is itself a very useful teaching tool as to how the model creates the data.
David Read: That the model actually creates the data is one of the hardest concepts to get across, not only to lay people but even to the scientists themselves.
How does the model affect the data? Data don’t change and they shouldn’t change. It’s the interpretation, not the data, that is affected by the model.
Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
@Sean Pitman: Yes, yes, yes, you are right, but toothed birds with clawed forewings and long bony tails nevertheless do appear in the fossil record before beaked birds lacking clawed forewings and long bony tails, which is predicted by evolutionary theory–not Biblical creationism.
The fact that chickens have produced tooth-like structures, juvenile Hoatzins (and adults of a few other species) have claws on their forewings and penguins have short bony tails doesn’t mean that the fossil record of the reptile-bird transition overwhelmingly favors Biblical creationism. An evolutionist would merely shrug and say the facts you pointed out simply confirm the evolutionary connection between reptiles and birds.
I think the occurrence of Protoavis and bird-like tracks from the Triassic, long before any avian-like theropod dinosaurs appear in the fossil record, are the strongest arguments creationists can make against the evolution of birds from theropod dinosaurs.