La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist

By Sean Pitman
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It has just come to my attention that La Sierra University has taken on a new evolutionary biologist.  As of this month LSU signed on Raul Diaz as an assistant biology professor.  Loma Linda University has also taken on Diaz as an adjunct assistant professor in their department for perinatal biology.

Diaz is currently working on finishing up his PhD in anatomy and cell biology from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.  His special interests include evolutionary developmental biology (especially of reptiles and amphibians) as well as molecular biology and morphology (Link, Link).

Originally, I received notice from a source close to Diaz, who wishes to remain anonymous, as follows:

“Raul Diaz grew up in an Adventist home, went to La Sierra and later on to Berkeley, then on to Kansas to finish a Ph.D., and lost his faith.  I believe that he is a self-declared atheist, a hardcore evolutionist, and is antagonist against Adventism and Christianity.”

However an article has since been published (1/23/13) by Shane Hilde at Advindicate.com that contradicts some of these claims regarding Diaz.  Dr. Diaz wrote to Hilde noting that, while he does accept the title of “evolutionary biologist”, he rejects the title of “atheist” as well as the notion that he is antagonistic toward any religious group or organization.

“I am a humanitarian and conservationist above everything, and people and nature come first, not silly debates.”

Now, I do apologize for originally posting the conclusion of my anonymous, though seemingly well-informed, source that Diaz is an open atheist when Diaz himself claims that he isn’t an atheist and to have nothing against faith traditions in general.  However, I remain concerned.  Forget about his heavy-metal and punk-rock interests (not exactly something the church wants to promote either), Dr. Diaz is fundamentally and actively opposed to the church’s position on origins – which I believe undermines the rational basis for Adventism as well as Christianity at large.

For example, a friend and associate of Dr. Diaz, an evolutionary biologist from Harvard University, Dr. Gabriel Gartner, wrote the following affirmation of his friend in the comment section of this article:

“Are you a church or are you a University? If the latter, then you have hired an up and coming academic rockstar and outstanding educator who will elevate the stature of LSU in academic circles. If you are the former, than you shouldn’t have wasted your time in hiring Professor Diaz whose only claim is to promote the advancement of science and to educate young people in these critically important fields.” – Dr. Gabriel Gartner

Of course, this shouldn’t be his only claim if he wishes to be working in an Adventist school.  A science professor in one of our Adventist schools should also be active in promoting the primary goals and ideals of the church – not undermining them from within.

In any case, Professor Diaz and Professor Lee Grismer, the “Reptile King” and department chair at LSU who has long been openly antagonistic toward the Adventist position on origins, should get along great.

I have yet to hear if the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA) has actually finished its review and given LSU back its full denominational accreditation or not.  The AAA had suspended LSU’s full accreditation on April 4, 2011 with an extension till December 31, 2012, due to problems with several of LSU’s science and even religion professors promoting mainstream evolutionary theories as the true story of origins in their classrooms, undermining the Adventist position on origins.  After an investigation into this issue, AAA concluded:

“Although La Sierra University has deviated from the philosophy and objectives of Seventh-day Adventist education,” the voted action reads, “it is moved that the university be granted an extension of accreditation to December 31, 2012 in order for the university to act upon its commitments and implement changes and enhancements” involving the teaching of origins at the school. The action extending the university’s current term of accreditation, but did not address the prospect of a new term, up to five years in length (Link).

So, there was supposed to be an “on-site review by a AAA panel in the second quarter of 2012, and AAA board action in October 2012,” to this effect.  However, it seems as if both the AAA and LSU have kept this all under the rug – very hush hush.

As of today (1/23/13), Hilde noted in his article that, “According to Vice President of Education for the North American Division Larry Blackmer, a visit to La Sierra is planned for March 2013.”   However, according to a recent Spetrum article, is seems like WASC is visiting LSU in March and AAA afterward in April to review the WASC recommendations.

It doesn’t seem to me, however, with current leaders in LSU’s biology department having long undermined and openly derided the Adventist position on origins and the hiring of a new ardent evolutionary biologist, that LSU is taking any of the original AAA concerns, or the concerns of the church membership at large, seriously.  At this point, I do not see why anyone who actually believes in and supports the Adventist fundamental position on origins would think to send their children to or otherwise support LSU.   It simply isn’t an Adventist school since it does not consider the support of certain key doctrinal positions of the church, in all of its departments, of any real importance or long term significance.  Therefore, calling itself an Adventist school is misleading – effectively false advertising.

If you’re going to promote the Darwinian position on origins over and above the Adventist position on origins, fine.  Just be open and honest about it. Why pretend to be something you’re not?  outside of monetary reasons that is?

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94 thoughts on “La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist

  1. I have read the links you provide but cannot see the documentation of the statement you make about his atheism and hostility to Adventism. I personally would withhold judgement on his position re adventism until he has articulated it himself and I would be surprised if a competent search committee did not ask him how he felt about teaching in a church institution and have judged accordingly.

    I certainly do not trust as accurate the characterization of my position by people like David Read so why should I trust hearsay about Diaz?

    Please provide the data in a form that can be authenticated otherwise it is just so much gossip and character assassination neither of which fall within the gambit of Christian behaviour.

    I think you have to make a decision on whether you want a university or a bible school. The church has decided it wants a university with the associated accreditation and government funding. If you want a competent scientist participating in the process of science by research and publication to be on the faculty in biological sciences unfortunately you will have to accept that all the top candidates will have good understanding of the biological process supported by the overwhelming evidence.

    If you want someone to teach a faith position as science that is supported by the overwhelming weight of evidence you will get a person with limited academic credentials. This is the reality whether you like it or not.

    After all at LLU how much bible did you get taught by your biochemistry lecturer? How much do you expect?




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    • Dr. Diaz has now made a statement in response to the information I was given (from a source who wishes to remain anonymous). Dr. Diaz does claim to be an evolutionary biologist, but rejects the title of “atheist” -(though, with his punk rock / heavy metal interests and lifestyle I could see how someone could get the wrong idea here). Perhaps he’s just agnostic or believes in some kind of non-Christian God?

      All I want to know, at this point, is if he believes in and will teach neo-Darwinism – that life has existed and evolved on this planet over hundreds of millions of years? Or, will he promote the Adventist position on origins to include a recent arrival of the diversity of life on this planet and limited evolutionary potential to the lowest levels of functional complexity?

      The church doesn’t need to sponsor another public university that promotes ideas which fundamentally undermine what the church is trying to promote. It’s as simple as that. If the church cannot find qualified professors who are willing to support the church’s positions in the classroom, it would be better off, from the church’s perspective, to simply sell off the school or such it down. At the very least, both the church and LSU should be open and honest about what is being taught there…




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      • @Sean Pitman:

        When will you change the article to at least indicate that the conclusion of your anonymous source is contradicted by the word of the person himself?

        In your incomprehension you are of course quite able to directly call him a lier yourself and claim he is really a closet atheist just as you do me but to hide behind the skirt of an anonymous person and vicariously cast aspersions is hardly honourable.

        To ask an honest scientist who is asked to teach biology to then teach a faith position as science is to promote the ethos of a madrasa rather than a university.




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        • When will you change the article to at least indicate that the conclusion of your anonymous source is contradicted by the word of the person himself?

          My source misunderstood something, obviously, but for understandable reasons. I don’t think this was a deliberate thing – and I have made note of this in my original article (to include my own apology).

          Of course, most of the key elements relayed to me about the position and lifestyle of Dr. Diaz, contrary to Adventism, seem to be correct. I therefore remain very concerned over the employment of Dr. Diaz, an ardent evolutionary biologist who believes in and promotes mainstream notions on the existence and evolution of life on this planet, in a Darwinian manner, over hundreds of millions of years. Such a position is in direct conflict with the position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church – not to mention all the heavy metal music and punk rock stuff he’s into (not exactly something the church is looking to promote either).

          In your incomprehension you are of course quite able to directly call him a lier yourself and claim he is really a closet atheist just as you do me but to hide behind the skirt of an anonymous person and vicariously cast aspersions is hardly honourable.

          Where have I even suggested that you’re a closet atheist? You know very well that this is a misrepresentation of your own. Of course, I have said that you don’t seem to believe very much of what the Bible says (what the Biblical authors intended to convey), but I do believe you when you say that you believe in God and in Jesus Christ.

          Also, as I’ve already noted, I don’t believe my source to be a liar. I believe my source honestly thought Diaz to be an atheist from various conversations with Diaz and how he described Adventism and religion in general…

          To ask an honest scientist who is asked to teach biology to then teach a faith position as science is to promote the ethos of a madrasa rather than a university.

          Again, this is where we disagree. If you take on a job from any employer, don’t expect to get paid or maintain your job if you go around undermining your employer’s primary goals and ideals. I mean really, the honest thing to do if your conscience won’t let you do what you’re employer is asking you to do, is to find a job somewhere else to begin with. If you’re talking honesty here, how honest is it to steal from your own employer?




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      • @Sean Pitman: So you have spent the last few years following LSU’s every move and writing about it and since they don’t meet your expectations your solution is to shut it down? I can sarcastically say that you must really love Adventism because you are willing to betray it at its core.




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        • I didn’t say that I wanted to shut it down. I’m sure LSU would make a great secular or non-sectarian University. However, as it currently stands, it is not representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It has hired several professors who do not believe in and who actively undermine certain primary goals and ideals of the church. Such cannot long be tolerated by the church if the church wishes to remain viable. At the very least, it is the responsibility of the church to clearly inform its constituency, its membership at large, what can be expected from any school that bears the name of the church. If the church fails to inform people that certain schools are teaching ideals that fundamentally conflict with Adventist doctrine, that amounts to false advertising. At the very least, parents deserve to know what they’re paying for when they send their children to what they believe is a school that will uphold all the “fundamental” Adventist ideals…




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  2. LSU should be congratulated for standing-up against the reactionary forces who wants to turn it into a Bible College. May LSU live long and prosper — as it is doing now with enrollments continuing to increase and new buildings going up.




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    • Indeed, but not as an Adventist institution. All I’m saying is that LSU should at least come clean and openly admit what its own professors believe and teach as truth in their classrooms regarding the topic of origins…




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  3. Who is the gutless coward who made the anonymous claim that Mr. Diaz is “a self-declared atheist, a hardcore evolutionist, and is antagonist against Adventism and Christianity?”

    Did you check out these facts for yourself, following the spirit of Matthew 18? Or was it too tempting for you to hurl another grenade at your favorite target rather than apply Christ’s words to the way you live your life?




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    • @Professor Kent:

      Dr. Diaz is a “hardcore” evolutionist who believes in and promotes, as the true story of origins, mainstream neo-Darwinism. He is clearly antagonistic toward key Adventist beliefs. That much was very clear to me from numerous other sources. It is also reasonable how someone could conclude, from conversations with Dr. Diaz, that he is either atheistic or agnostic in his thinking.

      Of course, now that he has at least denied the title of “atheist”, that’s great, but he still isn’t qualified to represent Adventism as a professor within one of our schools.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  4. I’m afraid there is a frightful chasm between the “person in the pew” and academia that apparently too few appreciate. The reason that LSU can so easily hire another anti-Creationist is that the boys and girls “in the field” just quietly chuckle and chortle at all the “noises” that primitive peons in the pew are making over the whole shebang. Indeed, this is precisely what that poor old bloke (student) experienced when he actually attempted to gurgle a basic Adventist tenant of the faith in class. Again, if one was a “little bird” at faculty chats, one might hear the elongated gales of laughter at such “small thinking” in such an enlightened age…




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  5. I really appreciate that Sean is keeping an eye on LSU and keeping us informed.

    I am baffled as to why LSU senior staffs still wants to be at LSU and continue to teach something that is opposed to SDA believes. Are they that hard up for the job at LSU? Are they unemployable elsewhere where they can teach their believes to their hearts content without criticism? I understand that SDA schools don’t pay as much as other universities. If so, we should find jobs for these guys elsewhere and save all the aggravation.




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  6. I say Amen to Larry’s comment. We must take a stand, or be held accountable. For if AAA and the SDA church do not take a stand for God, then in my estimation, by their silance they are confirming La Sierra’s actions.




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      • @Sean Pitman: @Sean Pitman:
        Sorry to burst your bubble but the idea that you can reconcile science and religion is ludicrous. To teach science ignoring evolution is not teach science at all! So I suggest that if this is indeed your stance, you make it clear that it has no bearing on who is doing the teaching but that it is the discipline itself that you take issue with. Once that is out in the open maybe we can have an “honest” discussion about what your intentions are. Then perhaps, there may be a way to have discourse about non-overlapping megisterial realms. If you were to have ‘faith’ in the believers of religion, then why deprive them of critical thinking and alternative views – or do you assume that the evil ways of science and fact are too coercive for intelligent, university attendees?




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        • @Sean Pitman:
          I ‘fundamentally’ disagree. The opinions of some do not equate to fact. Science, by definition, is a universally-testable, hypothesis-driven way of knowing…thus it is falsifiable. This is not something that falls within the boundaries of religion and thus I see no reconciliation. For example, maybe you can test and find evidence against evolution. Sure, why not. But that does not equate to evidence FOR an intelligent designer, nor will it ever. The distortion, and misinterpretation of science is common, so I do not fault you specifically for that. However, if we are arguing for teaching two very dichotomous realms at the same time, why not chemisty along side alchemy, magic with physics, astology and astronomy…I could go on but I wont. My point is this and this alone: you can teach religion, but as soon as you also decide to teach science, religion is left at the door. Maybe not as a personal philosophy, but definitely in the way you teach scientific methodology. And so I conclude, again, why should it matter WHO is teaching you science classes if there are science classes to begin with? Do secular universities screen out professors with faith – I doubt it or they would get sued.




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        • I ‘fundamentally’ disagree. The opinions of some do not equate to fact.

          That’s true. However, science itself isn’t about producing “facts”. Science is about interpreting facts or observations.

          Science, by definition, is a universally-testable, hypothesis-driven way of knowing… thus it is falsifiable.

          Indeed, but the notion that the Darwinian mechanism produced the diversity of life around us over hundreds of millions of years from a common ancestor has not been demonstrated in the lab or even statistically. As far as testability is concerned, via observations or statistical evaluation, this notion has been effectively falsified. Yet, it is still promoted as “science” when it really isn’t anything more than a philosophically-based faith or belief system.

          This is not something that falls within the boundaries of religion and thus I see no reconciliation. For example, maybe you can test and find evidence against evolution. Sure, why not. But that does not equate to evidence FOR an intelligent designer, nor will it ever.

          Then you must be opposed to sciences such as forensics, anthropology and SETI – since they are all based on the empirical ability to detect design via falsifiable hypotheses. The scientific detection of design, you understand, is based on two factors:

          1) The artifact in question is well beyond the production capacity of any known non-deliberate forces of nature, and
          2) The artifact in question is within the realm of what intelligence is known to be able to achieve – or is at least closely to something that could be designed vs. anything that known non-deliberate mechanisms of nature could achieve.

          That’s the basis of the science of intelligent design. And, this scientific proposal has univeral application potential – to include the evaluation of various features of the universe and of living things- not just pottery shards, arrowheads, and radio signals.

          The distortion, and misinterpretation of science is common, so I do not fault you specifically for that. However, if we are arguing for teaching two very dichotomous realms at the same time, why not chemisty along side alchemy, magic with physics, astology and astronomy…I could go on but I wont.

          I agree with you here. As long as a religion has no testable potentially falsifiable elements, it is pointless to try to differentiate it from alchemy, magic, or astrology. I’m proposing to you that it is in fact possible to have a rational empirical basis for what are generally thought of as “religious” conclusions – that science and religion can be one in the same.

          My point is this and this alone: you can teach religion, but as soon as you also decide to teach science, religion is left at the door. Maybe not as a personal philosophy, but definitely in the way you teach scientific methodology. And so I conclude, again, why should it matter WHO is teaching you science classes if there are science classes to begin with? Do secular universities screen out professors with faith – I doubt it or they would get sued.

          Again, religion need not be left at the door of a science classroom if the empirical evidence is there to support a given conclusion previously thought to be strictly “religious”. Scientists should be free to go wherever the evidence leads – even if it leads one to rationally conclude that a God or God-like signature is evident in this or that artefactual feature of the universe or of living things.

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  7. Another reason to get rid of La Sierra completely and let [those] running it go their own way. Nothing has or will change as long as Randall Wisbey and [others], including Ricardo Graham, run the school. It’s time [to just let it go.]




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  8. Are you a church or are you a University? If the latter, then you have hired an up and coming academic rockstar and outstanding educator who will elevate the stature of LSU in academic circles. If you are the former, than you shouldn’t have wasted your time in hiring Professor Diaz whose only claim is to promote the advancement of science and to educate young people in these critically important fields.

    Dr. Gabriel Gartner




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    • Our SDA churches AND SDA universities belong to God and stand for God’s truth. There is to be no dichotomy between our churches and our universities. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

      It is clear that if we let darkness in, then the light will go out. Evolution, as it is presently taught in the world, is in direct conflict with the Word of God. Pure, plain, and simple.

      Dr. Richard Brown




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      • @Dr. Richard Brown: What could you possibly be a Dr. in? Spouting such ignorance would most likely disqualify you from any reasonable profession. Maybe we should also start bleeding our patients and taking mercury pills again. At least when those ignorant fools called themselves doctors it was because they did not know any better.




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        • @Cory Tophanes:

          I too am a medical doctor, a pathologist, who questions the claims of modern neo-Darwinists. The evolutionary mechanism of random mutations combined with natural selection simply doesn’t work beyond very low levels of functional complexity this side of a practical eternity of time.

          Also, far from evolving over time, we’re actually devolving. The gene pools of all slowly reproducing animals are building up more and more detrimental mutations in each generation far far faster than natural selection can get rid of them. In other words, we are headed for eventual genetic meltdown and extinction – and always have been.

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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        • @Cory Tophanes: Interesting you quote past science fallacies Cory, (oh and you forgot blood letting & leeches) brought to us by the same elite scientific community who is today peddling their latest theories. Will future generations get a chuckle at your expense just as we are today at your predecessors’ expense?




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  9. “Church School” that is an oxymoron if I have ever heard one!! One is self correcting, taking in new information and adjusting accordingly and the other is a church ignoring evidence that does not fit into their myths.




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    • @Cory Tophanes:

      Neo-Darwinism is far more of a myth, devoid of the weight of real scientific evidence, than is intelligent design or even Biblical creationism. The evidence that is currently in hand strongly favors the idea that a God or God-like intelligence created our universe and all of the basic kinds of living things on this planet. The evidence strongly opposes the notion that any kind of non-intelligent natural mechanism could have done the job.

      Interesting pseudonym by the way. You wouldn’t happen to be Dr. Raul Diaz would you?

      Laemanctus, Corytophanes and Basiliscus

      Laemanctus, Corytophanes and Basiliscus
      http://la-calavera.net/




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  10. And, Loma Linda University hired Raul also? Why the silence of the multitude of LLUC pastors, and silence of the multitude of LLU religion professors (top floor plush-office occupiers of newest building) in voicing their opinions as to the hiring direction of the LLU biology department? Are these professionals suppose to be the representatives of Adventist faith doctrines in our institutions? Is their silence encouraging the evolution over creation biology department position? Did LLU confirm La Sierra’s hiring with LLU hiring of the same person? (Or lead to La Sierra’s hiring of this person by LLU hiring him first?) Surely, there are other choices among Adventist believers. Why should one person get the two jobs – La Sierra U and LLU?




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  11. Pingback: La Sierra University hires new assistant professor to biology department | ADvindicate

  12. As SDA Anonymous put it, LLU has not hired the guy. His adjunct appointment may not even be official. The religion department is not involved in any way with adjunct appointments.

    If the article misrepresents the new hire, which Dr. Pitman appears to concede, then a public apology is in order and those of you who have rushed to judgment should be ashamed of yourselves.




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  13. I have been told that the AAA site visit will be in April. I recommend that everyone call or write Lisa Beardsley-Hardy at the GC Department of Education:

    Department of Education
    General Conference World Headquarters
    12501 Old Columbia Pike
    Silver Spring, Maryland 20904, USA

    and tell her that we expect AAA to do its job and deny Adventist accreditation to an institution that is not upholding the Adventist philosophy of education, and is in effect an anti-Adventist school.

    By April, the question may be moot, because WASC-recommended changes to the La Sierra bylaws that are to be voted on by the LSU constituency on February 21 may effectively cut the school’s ties to the denomination. T. Joe Willey has posted an article at Spectrum saying that the bylaw changes will remove the Pacific Union Conference president from the post of Chair of the Board of Trustees:

    http://spectrummagazine.org/blog/2013/01/21/accreditation-la-sierra-university-formal-notice-concern.

    If that happens, I wonder how long the larger church will continue to play along with the idea that La Sierra is a church school.

    In times past the union with which the college was affiliated owned the land. We know that this is no longer true of La Sierra–it owns its own land–and may no longer be true of any of the Adventist colleges.

    Another safeguard that bound the colleges to their sponsoring unions was that the union conference president is ex-officio chairman of the board and the presidents of all constituent conferences are ex-officio board members. If La Sierra’s bylaws are changed to significantly dilute the control of church officers over the boards, I wonder what is even left of church control.

    And yet I think it remains important to the liberals to be able to argue that La Sierra is an Adventist school. Their larger goal is to redefine Adventism to include a Darwinistic view of origins. They seek “pluralism” on that issue as well as many others. That La Sierra has now educated more than a generation of students to believe that some form of theistic evolution is acceptably Adventist has greatly furthered their goals.

    My sense is that the church at the higher levels–and I mean Ted Wilson, Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, and many, many others–is still somewhat in denial about how bad the situation is, and how hostile large tracts of the church in North America, Europe, and Australia are to what used to be considered basic and essential Adventism. I don’t think even Ted Wilson wants to be remembered as the man who acknowledged the true severity of the crisis facing Adventism from within.




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    • @David Read:

      There is a great divide between the NAD and the World Church. La Sierra is just the tip of a very large problem. It does reveal the extent of the problem, though. That one of our schools would teach against creation is rather amazing. That the board of trustees would countenance this is amazing. They will have no “witch hunt”.

      From my studies, it appears that the school has been able to add board members that are not faithful Seventh-day Adventists. They are in a position from what I have seen to take control of the board and that means modify the by-laws in any manner they wish, contrary to church doctrine.

      The separation of schools of higher education from their churches is nothing new. This separation has not been rightly understood. It has been expressed that the problem begins with the schools, but this is not true. La Sierra did not originate the problem. It began in the church. The church owned the school, the land, and appointed the board of trustees. It was by not being faithful to the Bible and our counsel that the church allowed the school to end up where it is today. The church drew up the by-laws that the school operates under. By not keeping the leadership of the school at a high level of piety, we end up with rebellion at the school.

      But, again, it is only a small problem when compared to other greater difficulties in the church. We can be encouraged and hopeful because there is a call for revival and reformation. Lisa Hardy and Pastor Wilson are busy administrating a world church that is actively growing around the world. If America, Europe, and Australia are too advanced for God, then let us seek those who are wanting truth and lead them into God’s church. The message will do its appointed work. God has His 7,000 who will not come down off the wall. Praise God!




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  14. I am beginning to believe that the leadership of our SDA church is schizophrenic. Our current — approved — Sabbath School Lesson Study Guide (“Origins”) promotes Creation, as described in Genesis. There have also been many favorable articles on Creation in the “Adventist Review.” On the other hand, our leaders seem to be unwilling to take a stand against the promotion of evolution at our universities. How long can this confusion continue?




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  15. Pingback: WASC Issues Formal Letter of Concern to LSU | Educate Truth

  16. Lots of thoughts going back and forth. It seems reasonable that if you are a Toyota Salesman hired to sell Toyotas then is the dealership out of line when they find said salesman pushing Hondas to let that salesman go? There are plenty of Honda dealerships to work at. My biggest question in all of this is: “How does the problem of sin fit in with the theory of evolution?” Again this is pretty basic. At what point does mankind become sinful enough in the evolutionary process to be in need of a savior? The scriptures from Genesis to Revelation speak to our totally being lost and brokenness. LSU is a school that I understand deals with the whole person. LSU is not a union shop where one department has no bearing on the other. These are core questions that need to be addressed first I feel. No amount of intelligence or letters behind a person’s name will take away the fact that Christ came to save broken,lost people not “evolving people”. At what point am I a sinner in this process? Honest question.




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    • @Steve:

      You make some good point. A couple of points in response

      1] I agree if you are employed as a Toyota salesman you are expected to sell Toyotas. Scientists are employed at tertiary institutions because of their expertise and knowledge of science not to teach religion (or sell Hondas). You expect the teachers in a discipline to teach with expertise in their field and to acknowledge that their ignorance and lack of expertise in all others. Any University including LSU knows this. It is some preachers lawyers and MDs outside the academic environment who do not.
      Science has only ever been a mechanisms of explaining the natural world by natural mechanism. It is not a way to God. As most scientists who are Christian will acknowledge science based as it is no natural mechanism tells us nothing about the supernatural why should they then be expected to teach the supernatural for which they have absolutely no qualification.

      2] In terms of the nature of sin in a world of long ages for the animate and inanimate, this is not a problem we as Adventists uniquely confront. I know it does hurt our pride to ask how other Christians have confronted this question. We should not be so insular as to pretend we cannot learn from theologians outside our community.

      3] Unfortunately this will not go away just by covering our ear and reciting the mantra the predominance of scientific data supports our faith position. We should first dial down the rhetoric and hostility to the Universities and have some sympathy for those who are experts in biology that teach there. What is a committed Adventist Christian who sees the evidence for long ages of earth and life do? Does he follow the Sean Pitman model and reject all of Adventism and Christianity itself if life is more than 6000 years old and there is common ancestory? Or does he say I am committed to Christ and his Church and seek to reconcile the life of faith with the realities of the natural world.
      Unfortunately Sean is prescient in this. In the next 20 years judging by the recent world wide trends we are fated to have a whole generation of fundamentalist Adventist students and young people becoming fundamentalist atheists encouraged by spokesman like CG KP DCR and Sean.
      What of the faithful academic who say no it is possible to both have stewardship of a natural world best understood by natural mechanisms and to appropriate a world beyond now and in the future where dwells Grace, beauty and the peace and love of God that is beyond the natural and the carnal?




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      • Regardless of your own personal opinions about what sciences can and cannot teach, the church itself has asked all of its professors in all of its own schools to promote the church’s position on origins. That means that if a professor cannot do this in good consciences, it would be dishonest of him/her to apply for and accept such a job knowing that they can only but undermine their employer on the employer’s dime. That’s called stealing. There’s no other word for it. That’s a moral wrong in anyone’s book.

        As far as science is concerned, there is absolutely nothing in any scientific methodology that limits scientific investigations to non-intelligent naturalistic mechanisms. Science is perfectly capable of hypothesizing highly intelligent agents as the creators of various artifacts within the universe and living things. This is the basis of anthropology, forensics, and SETI after all.

        The only reason why many argue that science cannot detect the actions of intelligent design for the origin of living things on this planet, by definition, is because of a philosophical or religious-type belief in the powers of mindless naturalism – not because scientific methodologies themselves force anyone to this conclusion. Naturalism becomes the “God of Science” where anything and everything is attributed to the powers of this god – no matter how convoluted and ridiculous the hypotheses and theories needed to prop up this god become.

        Have you heard the latest, by the way? – that up to 25% of cow DNA is reptilian (Link)? The Darwinian solution? – lateral gene transfer by mosquitoes and ticks etc. Kinda messes up the whole neat “nested hierarchical pattern” argument – doesn’t it? No matter, the Mindless God of Naturalism can explain everything…

        Sean Pitman
        http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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        • @Sean Pitman:
          Sean
          Like King Canute in the face of the tradition and accepted practice of science going back hundreds of years you wish now to try to inject the premise that the world can be explained by supernatural events. And for why? Because you somehow feel insecure in accepting by faith your religious convictions and want the imprimatur of science even if in gaining that imprimatur you have to convert science into religion. The mind of Sean Pitman is truly impenetrable.

          I am sorry to inform you that it is extremely unlikely that you will change the accepted practice of science to include magic when you are so little involved in the process and do not accept that magic is the basis of your medical practice or your understanding of the computer systems on which this conversation is taking place.

          As for the work of Adelson’s group in PNAS what exactly is your interpretation of the data? In essence they have found that a retrotransposon BovB a 3.2kb LINE that they initially described as widespread across species in their 2009 PNAS paper is found in both snakes and cattle. I know that the details of the science and what the authors actually say is relatively unimportant to you and you are more interested in the sound bites that you can use to bolster your established position but if you actually read the paper or even look at the abstract you will see that it is found in ruminants, marsupials, squamates, monotremes, and African mammals. The familiar phylogenetic trees based on proteins sequence of genes of course do not correspond to the phylogeny of BovB which require up to 9 transfer events. They provide evidence that insect vectors contain BovB sequences and may be the source of the transfer events.

          Why do you lack so much in imagination? Do you not think that there was a high concentration of these species on the ark. Maybe the cattle and elephants were closely housed with kinds from the squamata? Perhaps the housing of african animals together is an alternative to the events occuring before the breakup of gondwanaland. Do you not think that there were some blood sucking insects also included along with the animals. Why could not the described observation be accepted as simply reflecting an inevitable consequence of close proximity for 1 year on a small boat? After all you have suggested that no miracles are required for the geo-biodiversity we see today and that mechanisms of mutation and natural selection account for speciation from 2 animals in the last 4000 years.




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  17. LSU is not the problem, it is a symptom that we have left our first love and we think that we are OK and have need of nothing.

    How long will God allow the institutions established to prepare young people for His service to go the way of the world? Will He remain silent forever?

    NO! When the cup is full, the bitter drink will be drunk by those who mixed it.

    But it is not just LSU that is in danger. Every institution from the GC to the struggling local church and/or school will be measured by God’s standard for Judgment WILL begin at the house of God.




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  18. Ervin Taylor: LSU should be congratulated for standing-up against the reactionary forces who wants to turn it into a Bible College. May LSU live long and prosper —

    Very often when Erv comes over here to flame post and then flee – he does us all the favor of admitting that LSU is dead set against the teachings of the Adventist Church.

    Of course in Erv’s mind “that is a good thing” – which just makes for a more frank and objective statement of the facts regarding LSUs opposition to its own denomination.

    Erv’s role in the “not-so-loyal opposition” seldom leaves him in a position to contribute positively – but at least in this one regard, in this one aspect, he is doing us all a favor.

    in Christ,

    BobRyan




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  19. pauluc:
    @Sean Pitman:

    When will you change the article to at least indicate that the conclusion of your anonymous source is contradicted by the word of the person himself?

    To ask an honest scientist who is asked to teach biology to then teach a faith position as science is to promote the ethos of a madrasa rather than a university.

    Sounds to me like you believe in evolution so why should we care about what you think is right or wrong for our schools? Perhaps you’d feel more at home at Spectrum.org?




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  20. If the charges made here are true–that LSU has hired someone eager to teach evolutionist views–this is unfortunate, indeed. However, the assertion that the new hire will be disrespectful appears to have no foundation thus far in fact. It’s an assumption at best.

    And the extreme views espoused here that we should burn an institution and eliminate SDA education to thousands of southern California students because of one or two individuals is absolutely ludicrous. Fortunately, reasonable minds at the GC and the NA Division recognize the depravity of these suggestions. Those calling for the end of LSU’s affiliation with the church have lost their sense of mission and are consumed by a growing sense of vindictiveness.




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    • It is no assumption that Dr. Diaz is strongly opposed to presenting the Adventist perspective on origins in a favorable light to his students. Also, I think you underestimate the influence that one or two individual professors can have on an institution and thousands of students who pass through their classrooms. If LSU cannot hire professors who are supportive of the church, then really, calling itself an Adventist institution is quite misleading. It’s a form of false advertising really.




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      • @Sean Pitman: The difference is that was Pastor David Asscherick former life, and you have to live with the results of your past life. I don’t think we need to be concern that Pastor Asscherick will continue getting more tattoos. In Dr. Diaz case the tattoos are part of his present life, which is teaching our children at our schools. Will he continue getting more tattoos?




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  21. Richard is absolutely right. Those calling for separation of LSU from the Church, including Sean Pitman and David Read, ARE totally extreme.

    Let’s see, where would we be today if we terminated our affiliation with each SDA college that had several “wayward” faculty. Here are the obvious ones that come to mind: we would no longer have Southern Adventist University, Pacific Union College, or Walla Walla University. Each of these went through major upheavels which required time to correct. And there have also been numerous minor upheavels over the years that have attracted less attention. In cases like these, some “bad” guys were properly released, some “good” guys were improperly released, and some “bad” guys were inappropriately immue or overlooked. And not every situation was resolved to the satisfaction of those from the outside looking in.

    And what about other institutions? We’ve had bad eggs in leadership positions at one time or other in most if not all of our churches, conferences, unions, and even at the GC. Often, a bad egg hangs around for many years, or is shuffled from one institution to another. How should we have dealt with the Pacific Press, which unfairly exploited women and broke United States law until the Merikay McCleod lawsuit. Should we have dumped Pacific Press–and the GC itself, which staunchly defended it–because of their immoral and illegal actions? What about the Davenport affair, in which dozens of church leaders at multiple administrative levels were engaged in fraudulent activity that required discipline (which Neal Wilson described as “eighty individuals”)? How many institutions should we have discarded then because of the employees who were undermining church values? ADRA has had its scandals, and few people know the extent to which double-billing and other illegal practices were conducted. Should we have terminated that agency? What about the dozens, or more likely hundreds, of pastors, conferences, and schools who have tolerated or abetted leaders who molested children? Many of these individuals were never fired or held accountable! (I personally know a few victims.) Should we have separated from those congregations and schools?

    The simple reality is that you, David Read, and others simply cannot view the LSU situation in the best interest of the denomination because you have personal vendettas and axes to grind. You simply don’t give a damn whether thousands of SDA and non-SDA students majoring in English, History, Physics, Art, Phys Ed, Nursing, Computers, and other areas get exposed to SDA beliefs and perspectives–students who earn their degress without taking any biology classes and have no risk of being taught Darwinian ideas. You insist they are better off going to public schools. You’re so blinded by your personal rage and obsession over one small “foundational” belief that you want to destroy for all the positive experiences one can gain from Adventist education. How vicious and selfish of you!




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    • It’s not that LSU has wayward faculty who changed course unexpectedly to take on new anti-Adventist positions after many years of solidly promoting Adventist ideals. That would indeed be a very different circumstance. LSU’s case is quite different in that LSU is deliberately hiring professors who are known, up front, to believe and teach contrary to the primary goals and ideals of the Adventist Church. That’s the real problem here. The church, as an organization, simply cannot sit idly by and do nothing while LSU continues to deliberately hire professors who are known to be antagonistic toward key fundamentals of the church.




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    • @Professor Kent: Jeff Kent, I have no personal vendettas or axes to grind about La Sierra. The situation is not personal to me in any way, shape or form.

      And the situation is not just one or few rogue professors; if it were, it could easily be dealt with and would already have been dealt with long since. The problem is ideological, and pervades the institution. La Sierra has a president, a Board of Trustees, and a faculty that represent a type of cultural Adventism that is hostile to believing Adventism.

      The faction that controls La Sierra seeks doctrinal diversity on origins, meaning that it wants to make theistic evolution and other similar views as acceptably “Adventist” as the view that we were created in six literal days. But it isn’t just this one “small” foundational belief that is under attack. The faction that controls La Sierra wants doctrinal diversity on essentially all of our beliefs. Beyond that, they want to de-emphasize doctrine entirely, and replace it with social welfare and “social justice.”

      I now believe that the threat posed to believing Adventism by La Sierra’s graduate school of religion is probably greater than the threat posed by the Darwinist faculty, because it is not merely an attack on the factual foundations of one doctrine but an attack on our way of reading the Bible, i.e., the hermeneutical foundations of all of our doctrines.

      What La Sierra represents is an attempt to legitimize liberalism within the SDA Church, both in theology and in practice. Yes, Randal Wisbey is committed to Darwinism, but that is merely symptomatic of his larger and more comprehensive commitment to destroying traditional Adventism and replacing it with a liberal form of “Adventism.”




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  22. Those calling for the destruction of LSU are taking a serious position that God himself has an opinion on. God takes seriously the mission that each institution has, and he knows its future better than you do. Do you really believe that YOU accurately represent the voice of God in this matter? Has God appointed YOU to determine the fate of an institution that has positively influenced tens of thousands of SDAs and non-SDAs alike over many decades?

    “Vengeance is mine…saith the Lord” (Rev 12:9). You people need to let go of yours. You probably need some serious counseling.




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    • I’m not calling for “destruction of LSU”. I’m sure LSU would do just fine as an independent University. What I’m calling for is transparency from LSU and for the church itself to withdraw AAA accreditation from any school that deliberately hires and/or maintains professors who believe and teach contrary to the fundamental doctrinal positions of the church. How is it at all wrong to suggest that “Adventist” schools actually support and actively promote the primary goals and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church?




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    • @Professor Kent:

      God is not silent on this matter. But will we listen or by our actions place our opinions above His counsel?

      “The Lord is guarding his people against a repetition of the errors and mistakes of the past. There have always abounded false teachers, who advocating erroneous doctrines and unholy practices, and working upon false principles in a most specious, covert, deceptive manner, have endeavored to deceive, if possible, the very elect. They bind themselves up in their own fallacies. If they do not succeed, because their way becomes hedged by warnings from God, they will change somewhat the features of their work, and the representations they have made, and bring out their plans again under a false showing. They refuse to confess, repent, and believe. Confessions may be made, but no real reformation takes place, and erroneous theories bring ruin upon unsuspecting souls, because these souls believe and rely upon the men advocating these theories.” {RP, October 30, 1913 par. 8}




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  23. Sean Pitman: LSU’s case is quite different in that LSU is deliberately hiring professors who are known, up front, to believe and teach contrary to the primary goals and ideals of the Adventist Church.

    Did you eavesdrop on the hiring committee and the interview process? Do you have firsthand knowledge of what was asked? Of what the answers were? Do you know of one instance in which this new hire has taught anything contrary to the primary goals and ideals of the Adventist Church?

    You are making claims that you cannot back up. That’s called bearing false witness, which goes against the moral law that our Church upholds. You’re undermining the Church when you bear false witness. And you’ve got a lot of people who applaud your false witness.

    Do you have the courage to post this message?




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    • There’s no false witness here. Ask Dr. Diaz yourself what he personally believes and will teach on the issue of origins. His position on this issue is quite clear and publicly available. The same is true for Dr. Lee Grismer, the head of the department.




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  24. Dr. Diaz is a close friend, and he is a wonderful person. He is an outstanding scientist with a huge heart, and his outgoing personality and enthusiasm will make him a great educator! I am a Christian and a scientist…which many (but not all!) people believe is impossible. A scientist that believes in God?!?!?!? Oh my! I grew up in Kansas and attended a Baptist college. I did not learn anything about evolution until graduate school because of debates like this, and I would have appreciated learning about the subject earlier to better make up my own mind about what I believe. Learning about evolution did not cause me to lose my faith or harm me in any way. So, please do not judge my dear friend, because he will never judge you. Please allow him to spread his love for reptiles and science, and do not put words in his mouth about who he is or what he believes. Best of luck to you Raul! Miss and love you!




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    • I appreciate your love and concern for your friend Dr. Diaz. I also appreciate your own Christianity in the face of secular pressure. However, my concern isn’t over if Dr. Diaz is a good person, an excellent scientist from a popular perspective, or a gifted teacher. I’m sure he is all of these. The concern here is over the position of Dr. Diaz on the question of origins – as it relates to the church’s position on origins.

      Dr. Diaz believes and teaches neo-Darwinism as the true story of origins. He does not believe in and will not promote in his classroom the Adventist position on origins. This is problematic because this effectively undermines a key doctrinal position of the church – the employer Dr. Diaz is supposed to represent. Since he cannot do this effectively, his undermining of a key position of his employer is effectively misrepresenting what his employer is paying him to do. That’s just not right. It’s a moral wrong to undermine one’s employer on the employer’s dime.




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  25. Sean Pitman: Dr. Diaz believes and teaches neo-Darwinism as the true story of origins.

    Please give us the date and venue at which you heard him teach this. I think Prof Kent is right: you are bearing false witness.




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  26. Sean, Is Diaz willing to come on this website and do a one on one inteview with you to actually explain his views on these matters? Not some “powder puff” interview but an actual let’s get to the truth interview?




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      • @Sean Pitman:
        Could someone just ask Dr Diaz directly and report back to this forum? Don’t need to get into any debate but just a straight forward and direct question as to what is his belief. If and when a straight answer is given, then maybe about half of the comments here will be redundant. WDYT?




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        • That would be great. I would love to get some straight answers to a few questions from Dr. Diaz himself. But, so far, he seems reluctant to participate. A few simple statements from him could clear everything up.

          All he’d need to say is something like, “I am in full support of the Adventist position on origins, to include the literal 7-day creation week, and will promote this position to my students over and above popular Darwinian theories of origins.”

          Such a statement, from any science professor at LSU, would be a most welcome breath of fresh air…




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        • @Sean Pitman:

          Since it is an SDA educational institution – I am sure they have that statement on record as part of the application process for all professors at the school in the areas of religion and science – right?. (The two areas currently off the rails at LSU).




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  27. This quote came from an unrelated forum. It is authentic. A call to action followed by the consequences of inaction.

    “My message to you is: No longer consent to listen without protest to the perversion of truth. Unmask the pretentious sophistries which, if received, will lead ministers and physicians and medical missionary workers to ignore the truth. Every one is now to stand on his guard. God calls upon men and women to take their stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. I have been instructed to warn our people; for many are in danger of receiving theories and sophistries that undermine the foundation pillars of the faith.” {1SM 196.4}

    Evolution is opposed to the sure word of God and thus is not true science. And it is the more dangerous when the teacher is a likable young fellow with a great personality. Like poison in a Tylenol bottle is more dangerous than when it is in one that is clearly marked with a skull and cross bones.




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  28. Pingback: LSU Responds to Issues Regarding Dr. Diaz and WASC | Educate Truth

  29. Sean, you are doing a great service and job with these postings! Keep up the good work.

    Bottom line: no matter how good a teacher Diaz is, or how wonderful any of the teachers are, if they are not going to support the theological positions of thier employer, then to take renumeration is fraudulent, dishonest and unacceptable. Especially when the sacred tithe money pays thier salaries.

    Solution- let LSU go it’s own way, sever all connections to the church, including any and all financial support and/or salaries. Then, as a secular university, it can teach anything it wants; and can pay it’s own way.




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  30. deebee said “Bottom line: no matter how good a teacher Diaz is, or how wonderful any of the teachers are, if they are not going to support the theological positions of thier employer, then to take renumeration is fraudulent, dishonest and unacceptable. Especially when the sacred tithe money pays their salaries.”

    I don’t think tithe money pays science teacher salaries. But it does pay for the religion department at LSU – that appears to be backing the pro-evolution history of that school.

    And as for the “employer” if LSU is the “employer” and given that the head of the biology department is himself an evolutionist – I don’t think either the biology department at LSU or the university would view more evolutionist pablum fed to students by hiring more evolutionist professors to be a “bad thing”.

    So the real question is – to what extent does LSU view itself as an Adventist institution – vs and independent educational facility?

    Because if it is a Seventh-day Adventist educational institution, then the teachers are working for a denomination that totally rejects evolutionism as something “of the devil” (according to 3SG 90-91).

    Do they read that to potential candidates and inform them that they do not want anyone to teach “of the devil” material in class as if the devil had it about right but God has it all backwards?

    Or is that asking too much?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  31. Sean Pitman: It is no assumption that Dr. Diaz is strongly opposed to presenting the Adventist perspective on origins in a favorable light to his students.

    I’m making a collection of screen shots of my messages that you refuse to post. They support the obvious conclusion that I will be making elsewhere: you either have no conscience or it is seared by recognition that you are deliberately perpetuating lies in a most unChristlike fashion.




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    • Go ahead. Post your screen shots wherever you want. You don’t know what you’re talking about on this one. I cannot share certain information with you, but you are mistaken regarding the views of Dr. Diaz on the topic of origins. Doing a simple background check on him should be enough for you to get a very good idea of his views on origins. I’m simply not going to post the vitriolic tirades and conjectures of an anonymous individual who doesn’t know what’s going on.




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      • I haven’t taken a side on this debate. As an alumni of LSU I do care about who they hire and what they teach. I am concerned that this professor has not gotten fair treatment. How long has he been there? Have the students complained about him? Does his contract not stipulate that it is an SDA school and he must accept both the teachings and lifestyle of the church while he us there? How about a waiting period to see how his teaching pans out? Shouldn’t the tuition paying students have a final say? Also, if he is an atheist, isn’t this a great opportunity for the university community to embrace him and evangelize him in order to win his soul for the kingdom of heaven? I don’t think that censoring others like Professor Kent, whose opinion may differ from yours, shows a great deal of confidence in your own position.




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        • Our schools are not a place to try to reform professors who are known, up front, to be antagonistic toward the fundamentals of Adventism. Professors are the one’s who should already be in line with the primary goals and ideals of Adventism so that they can be the ones to give confidence and hope and leadership to the young people put in their charge.

          And no, students don’t get to determine who gets hired by one of our schools. It’s the school board who decides and the church should be represented by the school board in one of its own schools that bears the name, “Seventh-day Adventist”.

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  32. Fabicarb: Does his contract not stipulate that it is an SDA school and he must accept both the teachings and lifestyle of the church while he us there?

    At a minimum, the contract (verbal or written) needs to stipulate that the teachings and lifestyle of the church must be treated with respect.

    On this issue, let me say this. I have taught at a number of both public and private univerities (including contract teaching at an SDA university). Few if any Church-affiliated universities hire exclusively members of their own denomination. It’s exceedingly difficult to find expertise in all areas, and there are many good candidates that can respect the expectations of their employer. I recall well a Baptist university I once taught at. I informed them I was an SDA, but they pleaded for me to accept a position they needed to fill. They handed me a brochure that summarized Baptist beliefs. I asked if I needed to subscribe to their beliefs. They gracefully responded, “No, but we would like you to be aware of them and respect them, and not to proselytize your beliefs on our campus.” I told them I would treat their request with utmost respect.

    We do our young people a disservice when we demand that every professor or instructor they interact with is an SDA with perfectly uniform beliefs. This type of sheltered environment does not prepare our young people adequately for the real world. They need to learn how to critically examine and effectively communicate about differing ideals and beliefs. Failure in this regard is no small part of the reason why many SDA university graduates leave the Church AFTER they graduate.




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    • You’ve got to have more than one screw loose to suggest that it is actually to the church’s advantage to hire neo-Darwinian professors who believe and teach that the church is clearly mistaken on the issue of origins. You might get away with it if you’re talking about something neutral to Adventism, like a mathematics professor, but not when you’re talking about biology – especially evolutionary biology. We do not need to hire professors who tell their students that the church’s position on this or that primary goal or ideal is clearly mistaken – no matter who respectful they are in the process. The church needs to hire professors who will actually be supportive of and promote its primary goals and ideals – all of them. Giving students goods reasons to believe the SDA fundamentals is not why some of them leave the church later on in life – obviously.




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  33. Sean Pitman: You’ve got to have more than one screw loose to suggest that it is actually to the church’s advantage to hire neo-Darwinian professors who believe and teach that the church is clearly mistaken on the issue of origins

    I agree, so who are you suggesting has a nut loose?

    If you had any experience as a professor, you would recognize that one does not teach all that one believes. Those who obsess over singular issues like you and David Read (evolution-creation) and Nic Samojluk (abortion) overlook the simple fact that many SDA faculty are completely silent about their views on alcohol, homosexuality, marriage, Catholicism, the investigative judgment, gender roles in marriage, Sabbath observance, Ellen White’s prophetic authenticity, the remnant church, environmental responsiblity, pornography, tithe-paying, caffeine consumption, and much, much more.
    Frankly, anyone who insists that one who leans toward or believes in evolutionism is incapable of resisting the urge to teach it as the gospel truth has a nut loose. That’s a deterministic view which precludes free will and simple human decency. If you have any recollection of college, you would know that many faculty–and many people elsewhere–can freely discuss their own personal views without becoming dogmatic and insistent that others view things exactly as they do. This is probably a hard concept for you to grasp.

    Of course, those with extreme views will believe the Church succeeds or fails, will participate in corporate worship, or will give of their tithe based solely on just one or two issues that they deem to be “foundational.” We can encourage students to approach life with your perspective, but there’s a bigger world out there that students will one day interact with.




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    • I don’t care if someone isn’t “dogmatic” about their own views on evolution. We don’t need any professor in any one of our schools explaining to his/her students that he/she personally believes that the Darwinian story of origins is true – no matter how nice they are about it and no matter if they are fine with students continuing to believe in the Adventist perspective and no matter how respectful they are of the Adventist perspective. The very fact that they personally disagree with it and their students know it is the problem here.

      Now, it’s fine to teach “about” neo-Darwinism. I think that our young people should know just as much and more than what public school students know about mainstream evolutionary theories. However, a professor in our school should be able to go farther and actually explain to his/her students why he/she believes that neo-Darwinism isn’t correct and why the Biblical perspective on origins, as the SDA Church understands it, is the more reasonable view.




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  34. @pualuc

    I have been considering your response to the points I raised back on the 24th of Jan. and I appreciate your responding in an attitude of openness. I am not a full-blown scientist coming to the table in this discussion but I do have a Biology minor and taught Biology in our Adventist schools for a number of years to high school sophomores and have a decent grasp of the big picture. The text-book used was evolutionary at its core but over all the text was well written and I decided to use it. We did not skirt around the theory of evolution but took it as it read and looked at it from as many sides as possible. Interestingly enough my students begin to form their own opinions based on what we had already studied from cell structures to genetics. Most of them begin to observe a disconnect between the amazing complexity of life at it smallest and the possibilities of even that happening by chance or even over long periods of time in systems left to themselves. I’m sharing this to not argue the rightness or wrongness of evolution from a purely scientific view as I am not articulate enough to do so in this forum. What I did want to come back to was “Evolution and the Sin Problem?” Here was your response to that: “In terms of the nature of sin in a world of long ages for the animate and inanimate, this is not a problem we as Adventists uniquely confront. I know it does hurt our pride to ask how other Christians have confronted this question. We should not be so insular as to pretend we cannot learn from theologians outside our community.In terms of the nature of sin in a world of long ages for the animate and inanimate, this is not a problem we as Adventists uniquely confront. I know it does hurt our pride to ask how other Christians have confronted this question. We should not be so insular as to pretend we cannot learn from theologians outside our community.”
    As a teacher who also taught high school Bible for many years I begin to see a very strong connect between science and theology (notice I did not say religion) And this was where I raised the question last week. I have read fairly widely and have not found how “other Christians” have confronted this question very deeply. We studied the plan of salvation in Bible class where man had a perfect beginning and chose to follow his own way and sinned. At that point mankind was in need of a solution to that sin problem or face eternal separation from God forever. God steps in with a plan for mankind’s total restoration through the person of Jesus. While on earth he healed diseases 100%, brought dead people back to life 100%, and assured people that their sins were 100% forgiven. None of these seemed to be a big deal for Jesus/God to do. Then I have the same students in Biology class looking at different ideas about man’s origins. You tell me as a teacher who has just shared that a God who can call dead people back to life is now in the “scientific realm” suddenly having to tell my students that He is handicapped and hobbled to create something from nothing? When Jesus healed did it take long periods of time? When He offered forgiveness did He tell the sinner it might not totally happen in this lifetime? I don’t have to look at the all the specific arguments as much as I look at what those arguments seem to be telling about the God of the Cosmos. I also look at many of the teachings from theistic evolutionists who by the very nature of the basis of evolutionary theories will eventually have to, it seems, write God completely out of the script.
    If you think we can have it both ways I’m all ears and truly would like to understand the relationship that “Adventist Evolutionists” have for God in their scientific paradigm. Just some additional thoughts from an open-minded Adventist who has to see where a teaching is leading him in his relationship to God, closer or further apart.




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  35. It appears that Prof Kent is perhaps more then likely a ‘plant’ from the liberal camp who enjoys stirring up trouble and aptly plays the devil’s advocate. ‘Me thinks he doth protest too much!’

    Bob Ryan, you said you don’t think that the tithe is used to pay teacher’s salaries at SDA educational institutions. You may want to recall discussions and articles carried by the official SDA church publication ‘The Review’ some time back that brought to light the fact that some SDA higher educational institutions were paying additional salary supplements on the side to certain teachers and professors to lure high profile professors to their various institutions because they would not work for the denominational wage scale. It was also brought out during those articles and discussions that professor’s salaries were paid for out of the tithe at the same remuneration schedules as ministers in the denomination.

    I once taught for the church in SoCal. I have a close relative who teaches at an SDA university. So I am not entirely unaware of what is going on in life.




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  36. deebee: It appears that Prof Kent is perhaps more then likely a ‘plant’ from the liberal camp who enjoys stirring up trouble and aptly plays the devil’s advocate. ‘Me thinks he doth protest too much!’

    I’m honest with my views. Believe what you wish.




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  37. As a parent I would never send my children to such a University that has gone so far from the WORD of GOD and HIS Coucsil through E.G.White. What a sad legacy to leave a World Wide Movement,it does prove we are at the End of time and Woe to them that destroy, Ez. says their eyes will melt in their socets and their tounge will burn, turn from your wicked ways, why will you die says the LORD. Ray Renk




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