Comment on Ted Wilson: No Room for Evolution as Truth in Adventist Schools by George.
Bill is right, Science can neither disprove or prove God.
However, Science can provide clues as to what God as a creator is not. The reason Dr. Pitman is trying to hang his hat on ID is because it is more palatable – a back door approach to biblical creationism- than the magic of the Bible, to the rational mind. But when he starts promoting the Nochian flood story- a refined version of the previous Epic of Gilamesh- attendant with the animals gamely walking two by two up the gangplank as a rational explanation of the exisitng biodiversity of the world, he succumbs to Faith. And that is fine because he is an Adventist first, before he is a scientist. This is patently obvious.
George Also Commented
“Not everyone is like that, I understand. There are those who would prefer to believe a lovely lie than to live with an ugly truth. Not me.”
And yet you have no empirical evidence that once creation was perfect and there was no death or decay. All the scientific evidence we have suggests the latter state has always been but you accept wholeheartedly fiat creation. Why? Because that offers you hope and redemption. And that is fine, but it is not scientific. Of course your rationalization is to talk about the ‘ credibility of the Bible’ but that is not scientific proof of the iterated God depicted therein. That is why Bill Sorenson and Pauluc are correct with their view that science can only take one so far when it comes to believe in God and one must trust the ‘word’ of God or the ‘spirit’ gestalt of God.
Like you I think any proclaimed ‘ word’ of God or phenomenologically spiritual experience is subjective, hence unreliable as proof, of God. Yet, I don’t think science can prove or disprove God. Of course your answer to this is that science can prove design in the universe, hence a designer, hence a God like being, hence the most credible source of its intervention in human affairs is the Bible, hence the most reliable, recent prophet is Ellen White, hence the best interpretation of all that YLC and there you are! That’s a lot of ontological dominoes or turtles all the way up! But at the end of the day- because you deeply feel it! – that is the path you are going to follow it no matter what scientific evidence there is to to the contrary to your quite unique position.
Others of us are not sure of the ultimate truth but see ourselves on the arrow of time understanding perhaps a little more than our ancestors due to scientifc progress. Will Mankind have a better grasp of reality in a 1000 years. Of course!
It is also important to understand the relative cultural aspects of religions and the different iterations of God(s) as articulated over time. Comparative religious study tells one a lot as to the evolution(?) of the concept of God(s). Each organized religion has a vested interest in indoctrinating its members to maintain its power. And at the top of those power hierarchies are men who will attempt to maintain their positions with the enforcement of orthodoxy. And when that becomes unbearable schisms happen and new iterations of the brand occur. What is happening to Adventism is predictable. Liberal views are aimed at inclusiveness so all can remain under the big tent.
The answer of course is the untrammeled freedom of the individual to seek knowledge and decide for him or herself. This takes integrity and courage. Sometimes it means shedding all extant belief systems and evaluating – as best as one can – the current state of scientific understanding of reality. If one’s existence is merely an accident of nature- not part of a grander design- then one should be at least a thinking accident 🙂 Now you may see this as an appalling, hopeless state of affairs as is your right. But I see it as an honest one and mortal life as a privilege to live, experience, procreate, contribute to society and above al think. Can you be happy and mortal? Yes, by accepting the limitations of your mortal life but making the most of it!
I believe much of religious belief emanates from a fear of death. That is why pharoahs buried themselves in pyramids. That is also why stories or resurrection and heaven are so appealing and compelling. As to the ultimate nature of God? Who knows? Fun to contemplate though 🙂
.” However, this desire is based on an internally derived knowledge of the moral law – the “Royal Law” that is written on the hearts of all humans. ”
Would you say this is an empirical statement, a philosophical statement or one of faith? How do you empirically know God inscribed this moral code on the hearts of all humans?
You seem to interpose statements of faith with your empirical reasoning to come up with an amalgam of individual belief? Also to think you came of your faith, independently, objectively, devoid of cultural, family influence is – dare I say- bordering on self deceit. If your father had have been a rabbi do you really think independently you would have examined all the facts scientifically and become an Adventist?
Pauluc sees the conundrum of the overwhelming evidence for long term evolution and the redemptive power of Christian faith. You, on the other hand have to fit the evidence into the YLC box, which genesis is clearly from the bible not the overwhelming multi – disciplinary evidence from science. If creationism was overwhelmingly supported by science it would be being taught in public institutions which cut across religious bias. Tell me one advocate of a young earth or young life who does not believe in the Bible and came by their beliefs without religion? On the other hand many people of religious belief think evolution is the best scientific explanation as to how life developed from a very simple stage on this planet. Are they all suffering from self delusion or able to bifurcate objective evidence from subjective religious belief?
Ted Wilson: No Room for Evolution as Truth in Adventist Schools
“This particular topic is one for which words, sentences, logic very rarely are up to the task. It comes out muddled, or worse, even by historical and famous authors and philosophers. So each time I read Sean’s take on it, I am again impressed, sometimes astounded. It’s not been put more clearly, and to me convincingly, even by St. Paul”
From our good Sage Kime: the Wisdom of Age and Time.
Recent Comments by George
The Creator of Time
In fairness to you and your readers I feel like we are being redundant on many points and issues. I need to be respectful that this is an Adventist forum that believes and supports YEC not a platform for my agnosticism.
I do appreciate and thank you for the opportunity to lively debate issues.
The Creator of Time
“ A hypothesis about the supernatural world cannot be tested, so it is not scientific. The concept of God, Allah, or other supernatural designer(s), capable of designing the whole Universe, can neither be proved nor disproved. Hence, any claims that any supernatural being or force cause some event is not able to be scientifically validated (however, whether that event really occurred can be scientifically investigated).”
And back to you
The Creator of Time
“Remember also that the assumption that future discoveries will one day be able to explain everything via mindless naturalistic mechanisms is not science, but a philosophy of naturalism that is very similar to a blind faith religion.”
How does this compare to the assumption that the Bible will be able to predict the end of the world? Scientific in your estimation or perhaps I really don’t understand how science versus religion works
The Creator of Time
“I began my investigation with genetic evolution since that is my own personal field of expertise. ”
So have you published papers in scientific peer reviewed journals in this regard? Have you done experiments in this regard? Have you published statistical analysis to demonstrate your theory that macro evolution is mathematically possible?
You are always stating that others have to proof you wrong? Really? If you we’re trying to prove Newton or Einstein wrong would you not have to do so before your scientific peers?
Come on now, as you like to say, do you really scientically think all the biodiversity we witness today cane off a floating Ark some 4000 years ago! Is that really a scientific proposition that is provable or just some just so story?
You see I get the design argument but miracles, prophets, Santa Claus, fairies, ghosts, goblins, arks and the like are not proper subjects for science in my opinion. This is why you are seeing religions, including the progressive side of Adventistism moving more towards acceptance of science as reality, because they understand the modern educated mind will reject them if the stories are too fanciful or don’t make sense.
You see I don’t mind you calling ideas of the meta verse just so stories or not currently scientific as being non falsifiable. You have a point there. I don’t mind you advancing design arguments, especially as it relates to the fine tuned mechanisms of physics and organic life. You have good points there. But please, try to objectively use use that same scientific circumspection to the fantastic claims of the Bible and EGW prophecies or even the age of life on earth. Then perhaps I’ll see a bit of rational sense to your overall position.
The Creator of Time
Your real problem of credibility is your double standard of proof. Put your biblical stories of reality to the same degree of circumspection as you put evolution. To really conclude that all the bio diversity that we see in the world today- apart from that that survived in the water- came off an Ark is probably the most unscientific fantastic claim that even all children see as allegory. There is a reason this is not taught as the source of biodiversity in schools Sean. Yet you as a scientist believe it and think it has an evidentiary basis.
Your arguments on design make much more sense because it is certainly arguable that there is a design to the universe based on the anthropiic principle. It is certainly arguable that a designer like God could have designed a universe like ours but also a designerlike God could have designed a cause and effect evolving universe as well. Like Deism I think ID is worthwhile exploring. But I also think science continues to demonstrate mindless cause and effect mechanisms that don’t require design.
You and Behe are focused on irreducible complexity as an underpinning for design – which for you then becomes the stepping stone to biblical creation. Your methodology is apparent to get ‘educated’ minds to buy into a biblically designer God.
You see I don’t mind admitting that there is still much to do when it comes to understanding how physics and biology work. The best minds in the world continue to work, theorize and experiment in these areas. But you dismiss these efforts with a wave of your hand because they fall outside the biblical narrative so they can’t be true. And it is THAT factor Sean that utterly shatters the rational credibilty of
of creation science as an objective endeavour. The boys at the Discovery Institute understood this and have tried to broaden their approach. Deists understood this as well to get away from cultural myth and move towards a more observational basis for understanding the universe. But sadly Sean l, I think you are so entrenched in your biblical paradigm that you cannot see how your double standard of scientific inquiry harms your credibilty as an objective scientist. If I was to cross examine you in a Court of Law I would have a field day on pointing this discrepancy. And believe me, having cross examined many medical experts in forensic matters I do speak from professional experience.
Yes I know I am stating the obvious as many of your fellow ‘progressive’ Adventist colleagues have stayed before, no doubt to no avail. But, without being smug, just as you have encouraged me to look for God, I encourage you to look very deeply within yourself and look for humbly for rational contradiction. Objective humility is the real start to seeking truth.