Comment on Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull by Ron.
(Followup from Walla Walla thread)
@ David Read
“Ron, it seems to me that where you’re going with your extraordinarily tedious line of argument is that if creationists acknowledge limited post-creation evolution, then we have no reason not to admit that evolution could account for the entire creation, without the need of a special creation.”
@ Bob Ryan
“Changes in phenotype can happen via the epigenome-genome system God designed without ever enabling an amoeba to turn into a horse, nor even half-horse.”
No, I am actually arguing nearly the opposite, that as a believer in special creation, you do not have to exclude belief in evolution. Those are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Remember, the epigenome-genome system that Bob references wasn’t known back in Darwin’s time. So it seems to me that when you say, as Bob just said, that the epigenome-genome system explains even a small part of the evolution described by Darwin and it is OK to believe that because God created organisms with the ability to change, you have in essence conceded the issue. Because if God created organisms with the ability to change even a little, why couldn’t he have created them with the ability to change a lot?
Ok, as Sean has pointed out, we don’t yet have all the mechanisms worked out that can take an “amoeba to a horse”, but back when Darwin did his study we didn’t have any explanations for any of it. Who’s to say we aren’t going to discover more mechanisms as time progresses?
Even just this week, I heard about the discovery of self aggregating, non-living “cells” without even any DNA that can act in non-random, seemingly goal driven behavior and replicate themselves, and we already know that DNA exists in stellar nebula even before the sun is formed, so it seems like a pretty simple step for the DNA to find it’s way into one of those non-living cells to create a bacterium.
I also heard they discovered in a lab a single celled yeast that turned itself into a true multi-celled organism with tissue differentiation, multiple differentiated organs even with programmed cell death as part of its development. So how do you incorporate those findings into a creation model?
It seems to me that creationists are being beaten back, little by little. At what point do you give up the idea of ONLY a special creation and allow that Darwin was correct in his observations and that God may have created organisms with the ability to evolve? It seems to me that even Bob has already crossed that threshold and that the only thing left now is to argue, as Sean is doing, over how much evolution is possible.
I just want us to be honest with ourselves. Sean and Bob already believe in evolution. They are just afraid to admit it. And I think it is their fear that is driving the attack on the science teachers.
Ron Also Commented
Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
I think what you say could only be true if God were not a loving God.
Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
Can you think of any metafore for God in the Bible where God would not in some way be responsible for our actions? The ones that come to mind for me are: sovereign, Lord, father, shepherd, a male lover. In all of these metafores God is responsible for either instigating the relationship as in the Song of Songs, or being an advocate, protector, or supervisor. I can’t think of anywhere in the Bible where God denies responsibility. I can think of lots of places where he claims responsibility and oundard explanation is, “Oh, he didn’t really mean that, He really just allowed some one else to do it,” Satan, Pharaoh, evil king etc.
“I’m not sure how many more times I have to explain this concept to you? Natural laws, created by God, work independent of God’s need for direct deliberate action.”
Sean, where do you get this idea that there is a natural law apart from God’s action? I don’t see that being taught in the Bible anywhere.
Recent Comments by Ron
La Sierra University Looking for New Biology Professor
Wesley, Please forgive me if I don’t follow what seems to me to be very tortured logic.
Truth is truth regardless of whether you believe it or not. In fact I once heard someone define reality as that which remains after you no longer believe in it.
I think you go astray in your logic when you assert that coercing belief in truth makes it no longer true. Coercion does not alter what is true, it just makes it impossible to independently verify truth. That in turn leaves us very vulnerable to the risk of deception.
For me, I would much rather take the risk of questioning and doubting truth, than the risk of believing in presumably true dogma because I believe truth will stand the test, whereas if I fail to question the truth because it has become dogma, I run the risk of unwittingly believing in the error of a well meaning clergy with no mechanism to identify the error. It is the intellectual equivalent of committing the unpardonable sin because there is no remedy.
Questioning truth has a remedy. Believing in a false dogma doesn’t. Turning truth into a true dogma doesn’t accomplish anything other than to increase the risk.
To quote Christ, “You study the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life”. It is possible that the Bible isn’t saying exactly what you think it is. The only way to know the truth of it is through questioning. Coercion prevents the questioning.
Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
Bill, Science is only a formalized extension of your own logic and senses. If your own senses and logic are not at least equal to the Bible, then ultimately you have no way of knowing what is truth. See my comment to Kent below.
“they will see that their scientific reasoning can never bring them to a correct understanding of origins.” — This seems to me to be an unfounded assertion. Why do you believe such a thing? If this were true, your proverbial rocket would never be able to find it’s way back to earth.
Bill Sorensen: Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan
Bill, It is Satan who is the “accuser of the brethren”. You might want to re-read your post with that in mind.
Bill Sorensen: And so they point out how “loving and tolerant” Jesus was, and refuse to acknowledge His direct challenge to the false doctrine and theology the religious leaders taught in His day.
Hmm . . . The only time I recall Jesus challenging doctrine, is when he explicitly contradicted the clear teaching of the Bible on how to observe the Sabbath. (Something to think about.)
The only time he really got angry was when the people were being robbed in the temple, when they were plotting his murder, and when they were condemning sinners.
I see the spirit of Jesus as being in direct opposition to the spirit of conservativism.
An apology to PUC
“If the goal of the course is “to prepare future pastors for dilemmas they may face in ministry while strengthening the students’ faith in the Adventist Church and its core beliefs,” we would think that there would be evidence within the lecture to demonstrate this was actually happening.”
The course did exactly what it was advertised to do. The fact is that the pastors are going to have to meet the scientific evidence as it stands. Dr. Ness nor any other biology professor can give evidence for our belief in a short creation and a world wide flood because there is no evidence.
If there is evidence we could stop with the polemics and discuss the evidence.
BobRyan: Is it your claim that if we reject atheism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Mormonism, etc and insist that our own voted body of doctrines be promoted “instead” that we have a “creed”?
Bob, The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that we should not reject Catholicism, Hinduism, Mormonism or any other “ism” out right. Certainly not on the basis of an extra-Biblical creed, but we should always listen to everyone with courtesy and respect remembering that Jesus was the light that lights “every man” who comes into the world, and Jesus has sheep who are “not of this fold”. So we should approach every “ism” with an open mind to find the truth that Jesus has especially revealed to the that community. We don’t have to accept everything they say, and we certainly don’t have to give up what we believe without reason, but we need to be open to what God might be trying to teach us through his other children. Light shines in both directions.