Comment on La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist by Professor Kent.
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.
Professor Kent Also Commented
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.
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.
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.
Recent Comments by Professor Kent
Sean Pitman: Science isn’t about “cold hard facts.” Science is about interpreting the “facts” as best as one can given limited background experiences and information. Such interpretations can be wrong and when shown to be wrong, the honest will in fact change to follow where the “weight of evidence” seems to be leading.
Much of science is based on highly technical data that few other than those who generate it can understand. For most questions, science yields data insufficient to support a single interpretation. And much of science leads to contradictory interpretations. Honest individuals will admit that they have a limited understanding of the science, and base their opinions on an extremely limited subset of information which they happen to find compelling whether or not the overall body of science backs it up.
Sean Pitman: The process of detecting artefacts as true artefacts is a real science based on prior experience, experimentation, and testing with the potential of future falsification. Oh, and I do happen to own a bona fide polished granite cube.
Not from Mars. Finding the cube on Mars is the basis of your cubical caricature of science, not some artefact under your roof.
Professor Kent: If you think my brother-in-law who loves to fish in the Sea of Cortez is a scientist because he is trying to catch a wee little fish in a big vast sea, then I guess I need to view fishermen in a different light. I thought they were hobbyists.
The question is not if one will catch a fish, but if one will recognize a fish as a fish if one ever did catch a fish. That’s the scientific question here. And, yet again, the clear answer to this question is – Yes.
I think I’m going to spend the afternoon with my favorite scientist–my 8-year-old nephew. We’re going to go fishing at Lake Elsinore. He wants to know if we might catch a shark there. Brilliant scientist, that lad. He already grasps the importance of potentially falsifiable empirical evidence. I’m doubtful we’ll catch a fish, but I think he’ll recognize a fish if we do catch one.
While fishing, we’ll be scanning the skies to catch a glimpse of archaeopteryx flying by. He believes they might exist, and why not? Like the SETI scientist, he’s doing science to find the elusive evidence.
He scratched himself with a fish hook the other day and asked whether he was going to bleed. A few moments later, some blood emerged from the scratched. Talk about potentilly falsifiable data derived from a brilliant experiment. I’m telling you, the kid’s a brilliant scientist.
What’s really cool about science is that he doesn’t have to publish his observations (or lack thereof) to be doing very meaningful science. He doesn’t even need formal training or a brilliant mind. Did I mention he’s the only autistic scientist I’ve ever met?
As most everyone here knows, I have a poor understanding of science. But I’m pretty sure this nephew of mine will never lecture me or Pauluc on what constitutes science. He’s the most humble, polite, and soft-spoken scientist I’ve ever met.
Sean Pitman: I don’t think you understand the science or rational arguments behind the detection of an artefact as a true artefact. In fact, I don’t think you understand the basis of science in general.
I’m amused by this response. I don’t think you understand the limits of a philosophical argument based on a hypothetical situation, which is all that your convoluted cube story comprises, and nothing more. Whether the artefact is an artefact is immaterial to an argument that is philosophical and does not even consider an actual, bona fide artefact.
Sean Pitman: You argue that such conclusions aren’t “scientific”. If true, you’ve just removed forensic science, anthropology, history in general, and even SETI science from the realm of true fields of scientific study and investigation.
Forensic science, anthropology, and history in general all assume that humans exist and are responsible for the phenomenon examined. Authorities in these disciplines can devise hypotheses to explain the phenomenon they observe and can test them.
SETI assumes there might be non-human life elsewhere in the universe and is nothing more than an expensive fishing expedition. If you think my brother-in-law who loves to fish in the Sea of Cortez is a scientist because he is trying to catch a wee little fish in a big vast sea, then I guess I need to view fishermen in a different light. I thought they were hobbyists.
The search for a granite cube on Mars is nothing more than an exercise in hypotheticals. Call it science if you insist; I don’t see how it is different than a child waiting breathlessly all night beside the fireplace hoping to find Santa coming down the chimney.
I guess the number of science colleagues I acknowledge needs to grow exponentially. I apologize to those I have failed to recognize before as scientists.
Sean Pitman: The observation alone, of the granite cube on an alien planet, informs us that the creator of the cube was intelligent on at least the human level of intelligence – that’s it. You are correct that this observation, alone, would not inform us as to the identity or anything else about the creator beyond the fact that the creator of this particular granite cube was intelligent and deliberate in the creation of the cube.
Your frank admission concedes that the creator of the cube could itself be an evolved being, and therefore you’re back to square one. Thus, your hypothetical argument offers no support for either evolutionism or creationism, and cannot distinguish between them.
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
I have taken much abuse by pointing out the simple fact that SDAs have specific interpretations of origins that originate from scripture and cannot be supported by science (if science is “potentially falsifiable empirical evidence”). The beliefs include:
o fiat creation by voice command from a supernatural being
o all major life forms created in a 6-day period
o original creation of major life forms approximately 6,000 years ago
None of these can be falsified by experimental evidence, and therefore are accepted on faith.
Sean Pitman’s responses to this are predictably all over the place. They include:
“[This] is a request for absolute demonstration. That’s not what science does.” [totally agreed; science can’t examine these beliefs]
“The Biblical account of origins can in fact be supported by strong empirical evidence.” [not any of these three major interpretations of Genesis 1]
“Does real science require leaps of faith? Absolutely!”
I think it’s fair to say from Pitman’s perspective that faith derived from science is laudable, whereas faith derived from scripture–God’s word–is useless.
Don’t fret, Dr. Pitman. I won’t lure you into further pointless discussion. While I am greatly amused by all of this nonsense and deliberation (hardly angry, as you often suggest) for a small handful of largely disinterested readers, I am finished. I won’t be responding to any further remarks or questions.