@Professor Kent: You’ve tried to slip this disingenious explanation past …

Comment on Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation by Sean Pitman.

@Professor Kent:

You’ve tried to slip this disingenious explanation past us before. You just can’t bring yourself to admit that YOUR gold criterion of truth–science–fails to explain at the most elemental level what God can do.

The science of detecting the need for intelligent design behind certain phenomena holds for floating axeheads and the like. If you saw an axehead floating, as described in the Biblical story, even you would immediately know that high level deliberate intelligence was required to explain what you’re seeing. It is for this reason that such things are recognizable as “miracles” of design and creative power rather than simply another “natural” phenomenon.

The other question, of course, is, “Did this fantastic story really happen as described?” Again, one can only rationally answer “Yes” to this question if one can establish a very high level of credibility for the story teller. This is also based on scientific methodologies which are subject to testing and potential falsification… not just non-testable empirically-blind faith.

Admit it: metal is denser than water, and therefore it sinks. Can you not grasp simple physics?

Your point?

It is because I can and do grasp simple physics that I would recognize the design behind a floating axehead if I were to ever see such a demonstration… as described by the Bible storyteller. I would recognize it as non-natural outside of deliberate design and creative power.

You would no doubt come to the same conclusion if you saw something similar happen in front of your own eyes. For example, say you do your experiment with your own axehead. You throw your various kinds of sticks in your pool and nothing happens – the axehead stays at the bottom of your pool. Then, say, I happen to walk up and toss a stick of my own in your pool and, surprise surprise, the axehead starts “floating” up to the surface. What would you think? You may not know how I did this “trick”, but you’d know one thing – it was done by deliberate design which required high-level intelligence and creative power…

And, by the way, just watch a few hidden video shows on TV and you’ll see deliberately designed set-ups very similar to this done all the time. This is not saying that all of God’s miracles can be copied (not remotely true). However, I can certainly visualize how the floating axehead scenario might be produced by human-level design…

God’s existence–His power, His might, and His spoken word–goes far beyond your insistence that we can put God to the test of human reason and understanding.

We wouldn’t be able to detect the fact that God’s power, might, intelligence, or spoken word go far beyond human capabilities if we were not able to reason empirically/scientifically from cause to effect or from effect to likely cause – if we were not able to detect a need to invoke such high-level intelligence and creative power that cannot be distinguished, from our perspective, from that belonging to a God or God-like entity.

Therefore, it is precisely science, or a form of scientific reasoning based on empirical evidence, that allows us to detect the amazing signature of God in all of His works – to include nature and the Bible.

How is this not an intuitive concept? How is it that anyone can argue that the signature of a Designer cannot be rationally detected from the study of His own handiwork? How is it rational to claim that empirically-blind faith alone is able to detect God? – via a form of faith that is not easily distinguished from wishful thinking?

You’re also being inconsistent. You’re claiming that you recognize that the Bible is the Word of God by faith alone, yet you reject what the Bible says about our God-given ability to recognize God’s signature through the study of nature and in empirical evidences supporting the validity of the written Word (such as historically-fulfilled prophecies and other empirically-testable claims)…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
@Bill Sorensen:

The Bible makes claims about the future. It does not cause the future. It therefore is not “self-validating”. It’s just a book after all. It can be read, but it cannot itself act to perform any tasks. Therefore, it’s claims, if they are to be rationally understood to be “true” must obviously be supported by external evidence based on the historical sciences. In other words, its own claims regarding history are validated by external sources – based on independent evidence that comes from outside of itself. How is this concept not self-evident?

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
@Professor Kent:

Let’s get a few things straight. I have not attacked the claims of scripture regarding the “the recent origin of all life on this planet, created within just six literal days, and the worldwide nature of the Noachian Flood.” All I did was point out that the physical evidence supporting flood geology has serious problems.

That is an attack on Scripture. When you attempt to undermine the empirical claims of Scripture as being contrary to the weight of empirical evidence, you are in fact undermining the rational basis for Scriptural credibility.

Don’t you recognize that in claiming that the weight of scientific evidence clearly favors the neo-Darwinian perspective, a perspective which is diametrically opposed to the Biblical perspective, you do in fact undermine the credibility of the Biblical account? Your faith-only approach, regardless of the evidence, simply doesn’t do it for many people. For many many people such arguments as you are presenting do in fact undermine the rational basis for their faith despite your own ability to be able to have faith despite the weight evidence. Many people see this as irrational – and for good reason.

Faith, without a need for a basis in the weight of evidence, is irrational by definition. It is blind-faith in that it cannot be rationally distinguished from a form of wishful thinking.

And you were the one, not me, who has asserted that the flood did not create all of the layers of the geological column.

Of course. I fail to see why this might be a problem?

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
@Eddie:

By implication Nebuchadnezzar won the battle with Egypt – just as Ezekiel prophesied. Otherwise, it is unlikely that the Babylonians would have recorded the event…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
We are talking about something a bit more subtle here than the question as to what is merely “alive” and what is not “alive” – in the most basic sense of the term (as in the skin cell on my earlobe is “alive” and “human”). What we are talking about here are the qualitative differences between a single cell or a small cluster of unformed cells and a human being that can think and feel and appreciate sensory input. Now, someone might have their own personal ideas as to when, exactly, the human soul is achieved during embryogenesis, but the fact remains that the Bible is not clear on this particular question – and even includes passages suggesting that there is a spectrum of moral value to the human embryo/fetus. Consider the passage in Exodus 21:22-25, for example, which seems to many to suggest such a spectrum of value where the unformed fetus is not given the same value as a fully formed baby or the life of the mother (especially if read from the ancient LXX Greek translation which appears to be the most accurate translation of the original Hebrew text).

Because of this, there actually appears to me to be a great deal of disagreement among honest and sincere Bible-believing Christian medical professionals, embryologists, and theologians (modern and ancient) over when, exactly, during embryogenesis, does humanity become fully realized. Given the information currently in hand, I certainly could not, in good conscience, accuse a woman of “murder” for using various forms of birth control that end pregnancy within the first few days after conception (such as intrauterine devises or birth control pills).

Would you actually be willing to take action on this as you would for any other cold-blooded murderer? Would you be willing to accuse such a woman of wanton murder with all the guilt that is involved with such an accusation? or put her in prison for life for such an intentional act? Could you really do this? I certainly could not for the use of such standard forms of birth control during the earliest days following conception. Yet, that is what the current language of the church’s guidelines on abortion suggest… that these women who take such forms of birth control are in fact guilty of a heinous act of cold-blooded murder.


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
”These latest guidelines appear to me to put the SDA Church in the same position as the Catholic Church on this topic –with human life beginning at the moment of conception. That doesn’t seem like a reasonable position ” – Sean Pitman (From an Adentist Review Article: https://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story14133-statement-on-the-biblical-view-of-unborn-life-and-its-implications-for-abortion)

Yes, it is also in harmony with when every SDA pioneer, including the church’s founder, put the beginning of human life. It is also the same point that virtually every secular, evolutionary embryologist puts the beginning of human life. In fact, it’s the unanimous point of agreement among every biology textbook. If that doesn’t sound like a reasonable position based on empirical evidence then factual reasoning has escaped those who try to equate preventing the conception of a human being with intentional kllling of one that is already biologically and detectably in existence.


Brilliant and Beautiful, but Wrong
Thank you Wes. Really appreciate your note and being able to see you again!


Complex Organisms are Degenerating – Rapidly
As far as the current article is concerned, I know of no “outdated” information. The information is current as far as I’m aware. The detrimental mutation rate is far too high for complex organisms to avoid an inevitable downhill devolutionary path. There is simply no way to rationally avoid this conclusion as far as I’m aware.

So, perhaps your friend could be more specific regarding his particular objections to the information presented?


Complex Organisms are Degenerating – Rapidly
Look again. I did reference the 2018 paper of Basener and Sanford (which was the motivation for me writing this particular article). Of course, as you’ve mentioned, Sanford has also written an interesting book on this topic entitled, “Genetic Entropy” – which I’ve previously referenced before in this blog (along with a YouTube video of a lecture he gave on the topic at Loma Linda University: (Link). For those who haven’t read it or seen Sanford’s lecture on this topic, it’s certainly worth your time…