I ‘fundamentally’ disagree. The opinions of some do not equate …

Comment on La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist by Sean Pitman.

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

Sean Pitman Also Commented

La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist
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.

La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist
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.

La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist
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

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