The Heroic Crusade Redux

By Dr. Wesley Kime

About a year ago Dr. Ervin Taylor, founding editor-publisher of Adventist Today, emeritus professor of Anthropology at UC Riverside, pioneer apostle of progressive Adventism, famous curator of scientific evidence for eonic Evolution, theistic or otherwise, came over here to proclaim rather formally that Dr. Pitman had undertaken a truly heroic crusade.  Dr. Taylor recognized Dr. Pitman’s leading out against mainstream science by undertaking to provide, in the words of the citation, “solid modern scientific evidence to support the conclusions he has reached because of his religious beliefs,” notably a literal Genesis 1 Creation.   Though heavy with cheery irony, with Pitman sounding more like Don Q flailing windmills than Daniel standing against Babylonians, as many of us saw him and blessed him for, and always will, Taylor’s encomium spotlighted the crusade.

That was a year ago.  Another crusade has taken over these pages, warranting as formal a recognition as last year’s.

This crusade is not Dr. Pitman’s.  Rather he is the butt of it, thrown smack into the den of lions.  A flash mob, of good diversity, from all poles of this here big tent, has materialized from among the lecterns and from deep within our own pews.

Dr. Pitman, erstwhile defender of the faith, wielder of the Sword of Evidence “to support [as the citation says]…his religious beliefs,” is now denounced as the repudiator of religious belief.  A heretic worse than Arius or Canright, perpetuator of a heresy worse than Sunday observance or dancing, plus he’s mean-spirited.  An embarrassment to E.G. White and Ted Wilson, even.

Last year the very idea of using scientific evidence against Evolution or for a literal 6-day Creation was a violation of science itself, a perversion of science, junk science, a crime against science.  A judge had said so.  Science falsely so called.  That was last year.

But now such employment of science, rather than just texts, in support of Creation is not just a crime against science but a sin against the Creator.

This is the thrust of this year’s crusade: Genesis 1 is to be accepted not from evidence but by faith.  Science is, in the Latter Rain, to be as dreaded and eschewed as images of Baal by Israel of old.   O turn ye!  Turn ye!

Now hold it right there!  Weren’t science and religion supposed to be irreconcilable?  Yet here they are, both science and religion, ganging up on this guy just for using science.

From the pew is heard, “Though the whole world of science be for Creation, yet will I not hear those other voices.” From the lectern the cry, even more urgent (“HELL-O-O-O-O!”) and sans a nanogram of irony, “Though the whole world of science be against Creation, yet will I believe.”

The lecternists’ altar call, with synthesizer organ background, devolves solely (we trust there’s no hidden agenda) upon Creation being 100% unprovable and Evolution 100% proved, air tight, hermeneutically sealed.  Dr. Taylor drops by ever so often to offer his Erv’s Odds.  Last I saw, he (cheerily) grants like 1.48% of the data as not inconsistent with Genesis 1, but over here not a shredy-shred-shred-shred is granted or permitted.

And inasmuch as there’s not a shred of evidence, it is alleged, for Genesis 1, which we are stuck with, it follows logically and otherwise that we have no recourse but to proceed on faith only.  If Pitman’s heroic crusade is powered by the likely existence of scientific evidence, high faith’s holy campaign hangs on the absolute nonexistence of it, and we’ll swing our sword at any little lizard of evidence for Creation that shows its head.  If Dr. Pitman has vested interest in evidence, ours is in quashing it.

And furthermore Genesis 1 is to be reverenced not just despite the evidence being against it but because all the evidence is against it.  Alas for your doctoral thesis, if thus structured.  We’re all, all sides of us, relieved that Galileo wasn’t.

Hmmmm.   In this campaign against Dr. Pitman, he is singled out as the epitome of the evil doctor.  In Dr. Pitman’s behalf, in God’s behalf, I object.  If St. Paul in his crusade could not gloat before the Lord, neither can S. Pitman.  The case for evidence doesn’t hang on Dr. Pitman; it hangs, arguably (but elsewhere), on the very character of God, as Dr. Graham Maxwell (prof. of theology, deceased, LLU) taught.  It hangs on science itself, as I was taught long before Sean was born, back in the days of Victorian legalism, at, of all places, LSU (nee LSC), by, of all people, my major biology professor, who shamelessly de-promoted Evolution in the context of evidence.  Don’t recall he mentioned faith once.  Faith was confined to religion class, as it should be.  But that was before evidence had to be downgraded and faith updated.

I propose that the next crusade, heroic and holy, be to reunite faith with evidence as equals integral and integrated, like the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, like frontal cortex and brain stem, like breathing in and breathing out, systole and diastole, the left and right ventricles, one balancing and empowering the other, like male and female, and what God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

 

 

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65 thoughts on “The Heroic Crusade Redux

  1. Wesley Kime writes:

    From the pew is heard, “Though the whole world of science be for Creation, yet will I not hear those other voices.” From the lectern the cry, even more urgent (“HELL-O-O-O-O!”) and sans a nanogram of irony, “Though the whole world of science be against Creation, yet will I believe.”

    Informed Seventh-day Adventists are well aware that the world of science rejects a supernatural creation, yet the vast majority still believe. You should not mock their faith.




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  2. More from Dr. Kime:

    I propose that the next crusade, heroic and holy, be to reunite faith with evidence as equals integral and integrated, like the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, like frontal cortex and brain stem, like breathing in and breathing out, systole and diastole, the left and right ventricles, one balancing and empowering the other, like male and female, and what God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

    All evidence tells us that nervous systems, lungs, and heart will fail and return to the dust from which they were formed. Faith tells us that none of these need fail, and even if they do, they can be reconstructed once again, better than before. Faith has no equal.




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  3. Here

    Here we are by accident or design
    Savoring a bit of ontological wine
    Why sour the cup with toxic slur?
    Who knows best the Cosmic Vitner?

    For Here taste well of varietal drink
    The Mind’s Tongue will help you think
    Though different tastes, have no fear
    All in fellowship, drink in grace Here

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  4. Professor Kent: Informed Seventh-day Adventists are well aware that the world of science rejects a supernatural creation, yet the vast majority still believe. You should not mock their faith.

    Au, Contraire Monsieur professeur, it was no mockery of faith, but merely a statement that there is room in this discussion for both faith AND evidence, and also we should not demonize Dr. Pitman for presenting the evidence!

    Perhaps you would see that if you re-read again what the good Doctor wrote?

    Certainly within this body of believers there is room for both faith And evidence in this discussion, and as Dr. Kime suggests, we would do well to combine them both.

    For any of us to attempt to cause needless division by distorting that point is in fact the real mockery here. It should be completely below any and all of us to engage in such tactics.




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  5. @JohnB:

    Certainly within this body of believers there is room for both faith And evidence in this discussion, and as Dr. Kime suggests, we would do well to combine them both.

    I couldn’t agree more!

    Both faith and evidence must be combined since one cannot have useful meaning or purpose without the other. Faith is not rational without the backing of empirical evidence and empirical evidence is not useful without the ability to take leaps of faith beyond that which can be known with absolute certainty.

    Thank you again Dr. Kime for your kind words and insightful comments. Your thoughts are always very much appreciated and your artistic style and flair add much needed freshness and color to these comparatively drab discussions…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  6. @Professor Kent:

    All evidence tells us that nervous systems, lungs, and heart will fail and return to the dust from which they were formed. Faith tells us that none of these need fail, and even if they do, they can be reconstructed once again, better than before. Faith has no equal.

    Faith can also tell us that Santa Claus exists… but that doesn’t mean it’s true. After all, as the old saying goes, “If wishes were horses beggars would ride.”

    A kid was once asked by his Sabbath school teacher to define the word “faith”. He thought for a moment before saying, “Faith is a belief in those things you know just ain’t so.”

    Must faith be nothing more than wishful thinking? – wishing desperately on a star that some miracle will happen?

    Are we just fooling ourselves here? Is Christianity just a nice story to calm our fears about the future? Or, is there more to it than fanciful wishful thinking? Is there some real evidence to support the very bold statement that the Bible is something more than an moral fable? – that it’s real history and it’s description of a very bright future empirical reality for all who will accept the call of the Holy Spirit is just as certainly true?

    Why should one believe the Bible, to the point of putting one’s life and prosperity in this life on the line, but doubt the existence of Santa Claus? How is faith in one superior to faith in the other as a means to lead someone who is actually intelligent and rational to make real risks and sacrifices?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  7. A well known and oft quoted statement deserves to be heard yet again:

    SC 105.2 God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. His existence, His character, the truthfulness of His word, are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant. Yet God has never removed the possibility of doubt. Our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity; while those who really desire to know the truth will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith.




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  8. You need a shovel or bulldozer to unearth your evidence, when faith can move mountains. And you and Dr. Kime insist they merit equal footing?

    The apostles with Jesus in the boat responded with fear to the evidence they witnessed in the storm, and how did Jesus respond? “Oh ye of little faith.”

    Evidence is important, yes; but it has no match in faith. Evidence won’t rescue us any more so than it saved Lucifer; faith can.

    Let the faith-bashing continue so we can heap more praise on those who peddle evidence. That’s what this is all about.




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  9. Phil, NO ONE has argued evidence is inconsequential or unimportant; not me, not Phil Brantley, not anyone else. Our concern is which you will lean toward when Science and Scripture disagree: evidence (as interpreted by human reason), or God’s word?

    This is Dr. Pitman’s position:

    “I, personally, would have to go with what I saw as the weight of empirical evidence. This is why if I ever honestly became convinced that the weight of empirical evidence was on the side of life existing on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, I would leave not only the SDA Church, but Christianity as well…” [http://www.educatetruth.com/theological/the-credibility-of-faith/]

    And this is my position:

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

    Choose ye this day whom you will serve.




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  10. Sean Pitman: Faith can also tell us that Santa Claus exists… but that doesn’t mean it’s true. After all, as the old saying goes, “If wishes were horses beggars would ride.”

    This is but only the faith of Sean Pitman’s straw man. This is not the faith of the Adventist who accepts God’s word at face value.




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  11. Professor Kent: And this is my position:

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

    Your position doesn’t explain why you believe God is trust worthy. It most likely has to do with evidence. It seems like you agree with Sean, yet you continually argue with him, while agreeing with his arguments.




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  12. @Ken:

    Welcome, welcome back good friend Ken,
    Good to see you again, here in the lions den,
    Where skin is thin and chagrins never end.
    So how’ve you been?

    Welcome again to this sometimes venomous venue.
    What’s your pleasure from our sometimes bilious menu?
    A little faith with this personally proffered doggerel?
    A dash of hot dogged defender dogma rigmarole?

    I’d really rather debate, certainly greet, in meter and rhyme
    With Ogden Nash my paradigm, not Milton or Dante sublime,
    Any time, all the time, from the Maginot Line to dinner time.
    Yours, with this loving evidence, Dual Crusader Kime.




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  13. Professor Kent: This is but only the faith of Sean Pitman’s straw man. This is not the faith of the Adventist who accepts God’s word at face value.

    Sean is correct in his characterization, because that seems to be the kind of “faith” that has been championed here by a number of individuals who have faulted Sean for presenting evidence in favor of creation having happened just thousands of years ago.

    If you accept the interpretation of evolutionists who believe (by faith) that life began on this planet some billions of years ago and then “by faith” believe that God created the world a few thousand years ago, you are essentially asserting “faith” in what you intellectually recognize as being a falsehood. That’s a good sight worse than a child’s “faith” in Santa Claus, because the child doesn’t “know from evidence” that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

    I do accept God’s Word at face value, and because I accept it at face value, I know that all the evidence, rightly interpreted, will support the historical account in God’s Word. It is an intellectually consistent stance, whereas asserting belief in both evolutionism and biblical creation contravenes all rules of logic and intellectual integrity.

    If you really do believe that the Genesis account is a true account of history, why do you characterize Sean’s presentation of scientific evidence to support the Genesis account as being anti-faith??




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  14. Even scripture, in and of itself, is a type of evidence. How does the narrative of scripture fit and flow into the culmination of the New Testament. The Gospels are a type of evidence to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. The Bereans were more noble because they studied the OT thoroughly to see if what Paul said was a good fit for the OT evidence. For many, whether it is scientific data, history, or just the testimony of scripture requires that evidence precedes faith.

    There are many people, including myself, who needed some scientific evidence before faith could come. Others may not need that type of evidence relying on the evidence of scripture and changed lives. But evidence is always foundational to Biblical faith.




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  15. I don’t have a problem telling you why I believe my God is trustworthy, and I’ve said it over and over again (but nobody even seem to even “hear out of that ear”–at least I’ve never seen anyone else even mention the idea.) But to this very old lady it is all of the evidence I’ll ever need–and that’s BIBLE PROPHECY! Show me one evolutionist or one “anybody else” dead or alive who has ever done that–regardless of how many letters they may have following their names! Oh, there have been times when some one has made an “educated guess” that turned out reasonably well but God (alone) has many times told in advance–sometimes centuries in advance–what will ultimately happen to different nations and peoples and when their time has come the prophecy has been (or will be) correct down to slightest detail. As far as I am concerned any One who can do that can be trusted to give an accurate picture of what has happened in the past–even though the current majority of scientists don’t agree with me.

    There are many prophecies–especially in the Revelation which apply especially to the “end times” and anyone who closely follows current events recognizes that many are in the process of being fulfilled right before our eyes–and he who is wise can recognize them and be prepared for the trouble-filled days that are just before us.

    Someday those who scoff at Him now and try to “prove” He doesn’t exist–or at least that “science” is more trustworthy than He is–will–and I believe a lot sooner than we think–) have to stand before the judgement seat of that God and have to try to explain why he/she lived the way he/she did and why they led so many gullible people (especially our youth) astray. I don’t think there will be any laughing or joking then.

    Please don’t misunderstand me. There are many excellent scientists out there who have made many valuable contributions to our life. We owe them a lot! (Believe it or not, many of them are Bible believing men and women!)

    I have absolutely no desire to judge, criticize or “run any individual down.” Only God can read the hearts and motives of anyone but I absolutely disagree with anyone who believes and teaches evolution in any form. And I do NOT believe they should be allowed to teach in any of our Adventist institutions or preach in any of our churches.

    And I totally disagree with anyone who calls that “BLIND faith.” that is INTELLIGENT faith based on rock-solid evidence!




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  16. Sean, you must remember that many,many of us are NOT scientist–and that definitely includes me. That doesn’t mean we are stupid for we are not-our interests, calling and thought processes simply run along different lines. We have other talents and interests and, life being what it is, it is difficult, if not impossible, for us to spend a lot of time searching for the kind of evidence you seem to find necessary in order for us have an “intelligent faith.”

    I, for one, find searching my Bible and studying the prophecies and accepting what God teaches us through them is strong support for believing everything else God tells us. And I do not consider this “blind faith!” After all, God bases His claim to BE God on His ability to do that very thing–His ability to foretell the future–which no one else an do.
    And Ellen White tells us that unless we have a clear understanding of Daniel and the Revelation we will not go through the end times successfully.

    I make no claims of being a Bible expert (or any other kind of an expert) for I definitely am not–but I’m trying to devote a lot more of my time to learning more about the prophecies–and other Bible truths. (I do have an advantage here because at 87 I am freed from most of the heavier responsibilities I carried for so many years.)

    I don’t mean this to be critical of you or anyone else–this is just the way I see it–and I suspect there are a lot of others like me “out there somewhere.”

    Sincerely,

    Lydian




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  17. From my layman’s perspective: “Science” has discovered much about the way things in nature work and also the systems that support life. What we have learned is a testimony to the intelligence that was given to mankind by his Creator. We are able to tinker and discover how some things work. We boldly call it “science”. What we have learned about the natural laws that God put into place to support our reality, has been put to good use and to bad use.

    We will never be able to discover the essence of what we know as “life”. Life is the attribute of our world that separates it from the raw materials that otherwise constitute the world. We know when it (life) is there and we know when it is gone. God has reserved this power to Himself.

    Satan is a wily imitator and indeed can appear to perform “miracles”. But he does not have the power to give life. This is seen in the miracles manifested in the story of Moses’ return to Egypt from his years in the wilderness. At God’s command, Moses threw his wooden staff to the ground and it became a live snake. Satan likewise cause his servants to try to imitate the miracle. They were successful – except that their snakes were lifeless.

    Our hope for eternal life rests totally with a dependant relationship with God as our provider. It rests on obedience to the only way of life, through Him.

    To those who argue in favor of “science” and the notion that religious reality must be subject to it: You are using the flow of life that comes constantly to you from your Creator to do so. God allows you to do this but it cannot continue forever. Turn to Him, acknowledge Him, and submit to Him and He has promised you eternal life.




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  18. Dear Wes

    Never left my friend, just been waiting in the wings observing the Dramatis Personae and thinking.

    Scene

    The curtain opens and our noble Dr. Pitman enters.

    “I’ll have grounds
    More relative than this- the play’s the thing
    Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the Adventist King”

    Your agnostic Puck




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  19. @Lydian:

    Sean, you must remember that many,many of us are NOT scientist–and that definitely includes me. That doesn’t mean we are stupid for we are not-our interests, calling and thought processes simply run along different lines.

    I think you’re more of a scientist than you think you are. The basic ability to use various rules of logic (such as induction, deduction, and abduction) is the same as that employed by scientists and forms the basis of scientific methodologies.

    You use these same processes when coming to your conclusions regarding the meaning of Biblical prophecies… which are a form of empirical evidence that can be used, in a scientific manner, to support of the Biblical claim to a Divine origin.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  20. As a fledging writer myself still at the University of Nevada Reno, I highly object to the style of writing that Dr. Kime exhibits. While we note he is obviously highly educated and very intelligent to boot, this article reeks of me, me, me, look what I can do, see how clever I can write and spin these matters with my crafty words. I simply prefer a straightforward, no-nonsense style that presents my thesis or argument logically and systematically, while attempting to abide by the rules of good expository writing. Furthermore, his information is not correct concerning the scientific community. [edit]

    Many other scientists such as Dr. Walter Vieth (http://amazingdiscoveries.tv/c/9/Science/) lectures on the flaws found in evolution, and on the scientific evidence for creation. The carbon-14 dating system has long been known by many scientists to be flawed—it is based on assumptions. Indeed, considering the scientific evidence, and the Bible evidence, for which a serious study of prophecy proves the Bible true—creationists have the luxury of solid, irrefutable evidence proving creation, while evolutionists must exist on blind faith, assumptions, and lies.

    The crux of the matter is this: evolutionists have virtual control of America’s public school system aside from Christian Bible–based schools, and because they have rejected the claims of the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, found in Holy Writ–to simply come to Jesus and have eternal life—they have therefore rejected the entire Bible including the Genesis account. Because they have rejected the truth that will save them, God has given them over to the delusions they love (2Thess. 2:9-11). Through it all, evolutionary scientists have attempted the impossible, which is to apply the human measuring system to understand God’s creation—an impossibility. Sadly, the evolutionary scientific community will continue to suffer the results of misconceptions, false science, assumptions, blind faith, and quite simply, the most abject lies.

    Job 11:7 Can you by searching find out God? Can you find out the Almighty to perfection?
    Job 11:8 It is as high as heaven; what can you do? deeper than hell; what can you know?
    Job 11:9 The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.




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  21. A Proposal

    Dear Friends

    This morning I read your posts with delight. I have learned and am learning so much from you on matters of faith. No matter my agnostic point of view that has been of immense benefit to me.

    But we all believe, to a smaller or larger degree, a bit differently don’t we?

    I think that what Dr Kime has proposed and Dr. Pitman is trying to do is noble, insofar as the Adventist faith is concerned. But I think that Professor Kent’s and Erv Taylor’s take on what the weight of empirical evidence points to is accurate.I also think that Stephen Hawkings proposal that our universe may be merely a quantum burp out of nothing may be a deeply religious statement. I also think that all of religion(s) are man made, evolving social constructs (s) to help cope with and explain reality.

    Now, with all this strange, unique, meld of ‘beliefs’ I might be able to form a new church: Scienagnology, or Empitmankinenolgy, or Kentaylorfaithology, or Exhawkingnitholgy. And If I had the charisma, commitment and time I might be able to attract followers – and tithes- to my enterprise.

    So what you say, what be the point? That we all think differently and may indeed not be objective, unbiased readers ( no offense Bob, I include myself in the motley subjective gang!) So is Dr. Pitman cherry picking empirical data to support Genesis? Is Erv Taylor molding doctrine to evolution to progressively rationalize
    Adventism? Does Prof Kent’s homage to faith above science defang or exalt faith? Is Stephen Hawkings attempting to avoid First Cause, by saying before the quantum burp that gave birth to our universe there was no Time for a First Cause? Making the universe out of nothing, now that all sounds vaguely familiar to me..hmmm. Grand Design indeed. Is agnostic Ken the unwitting, ultimate ‘Puck’, agent provocateur of some dark force or a small Kimeian shreddy, shred, shred of support for the golden weld for the marriage of Reality to God? All the above? None of the above? Some of the above?

    Here is my proposal, for ‘all’ of us that think, at least a tad, differently. That for one week we treat each other with the same respect and love that Christ would, notwithstanding our many differences. Let’s truly see if we can find that grace together on this wonderful forum.

    With love and respect, your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  22. @Steve Billiter: Steve, Exceptionally well expressed, your critique of evolution. Please write more, here and elsewhere, and often.

    By the way, that particular text, Job 11:8 is a favorite of mine too, not just for content but also for manner of expression, especially in the KJV (“It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?”) – pointed, poetically balanced, almost insolent. But Job isn’t an essay.

    And speaking of stylistic critique, with yours of mine I concur, mostly. I also concur that the happiest essays are the most even toned, e.g. E.B. White’s. Updyke’s are a smidge more vivid, but still well tempered. I’m envious of that kind of essay-writing. But being inescapably visually and poetically oriented, I am also charmed by those of Evelyn Waugh and, well, Erv Taylor. Alas, the rhetoric sometimes swamps the message. I worry about that in mine, honestly; sometimes in anguish.

    But an even more dreadful worry is that my position may not come through clearly from my elaborate sentences and riffs of rhetoric – the only kind I can write, alas — when read cursorily.

    Now then: my essay was to define the recent crusade that has swamped this blog site, materializing from all sides, against the employment of scientific evidence for creation. It was not — repeat not, goodness not! — to define or decry all science, certainly not the scientific community that presents evidence for creation. Of which Dr. Pitman, scientist and enviably even-toned essayist, is an exemplary disputationalist. That my point should be perceived so exactly totally absolutely opposite from what I thought I had presented – another irony.

    Thanks for giving me the chance to extend a hopefully not too florid if-I-offended-you-I’m-sorry, and to unload a little essay on writing – us writers always jump at any chance, – plus upright my upended point. God bless you in your writing.




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  23. @Professor Kent:

    Professor Kent August 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

    “Evidence is important, yes; but it has no match in faith. Evidence won’t rescue us any more so than it saved Lucifer; faith can.

    Let the faith-bashing continue so we can heap more praise on those who peddle evidence. That’s what this is all about.”

    *********

    If evidence is “important” for you, why is it then you disagree so strongly with Sean Pitman? He also believes in the relevant role of faith, otherwise he would have rejected the story of Genesis a long time ago given the geologic evidence which suggests long ages.

    Aren’t you perhaps fighting a fictional enemy which has been distorted by those who read Educate Truth with liberal lenses?




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  24. @Nic Samojluk:

    If evidence is “important” for you, why is it then you disagree so strongly with Sean Pitman? He also believes in the relevant role of faith, otherwise he would have rejected the story of Genesis a long time ago given the geologic evidence which suggests long ages.

    I actually believe that the geologic evidence more strongly supports a recent arival of life on this planet as well as a series of closely-spaced (in time) large, even worldwide, watery catastrophes. In other words, it would take much more faith for me to believe that the geologic evidence supports the mainstream model of life existing and evolving on this planet over hundreds of millions of years.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  25. @Steve Billiter:

    As a fledging writer myself still at the University of Nevada Reno, I highly object to the style of writing that Dr. Kime exhibits. While we note he is obviously highly educated and very intelligent to boot, this article reeks of me, me, me, look what I can do, see how clever I can write and spin these matters with my crafty words. I simply prefer a straightforward, no-nonsense style that presents my thesis or argument logically and systematically, while attempting to abide by the rules of good expository writing.

    Dr. Kime has been much too generous in his response to you. For you to complain about the style of someone’s writing to the point of suggesting selfish motivation, especially when the writing is as fun and interesting as is Dr. Kime’s, is just silly and narrow. I dare say that deep down most of us wish we could write as well.

    Dr. Kime’s writing is actually fun to read, at least for me, besides being insightful and thought provoking. This is far more than I can say for the contributions of many others to this forum – to include many if not most (hopefully not all) of my own contributions.

    Thanks again Wes.

    Sean




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  26. Nic Samojluk: If evidence is “important” for you, why is it then you disagree so strongly with Sean Pitman? He also believes in the relevant role of faith, otherwise he would have rejected the story of Genesis a long time ago given the geologic evidence which suggests long ages.

    Pay attention. Sean puts a priority on physical evidence ahead of God’s word, just as theistic evolutionists and other evolutionists do.




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  27. I also enjoy Dr. Kime’s writing. I believe he is a Pathologist, as is Dr. Pitman. A friend of mine once worked at Dr. Kime’s hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and said Dr. Kime’s pathology reports at conferences were just as eloquent and interesting as his writing here!




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  28. Steve Billiter: Over 25 years ago, the very courageous Dr. Robert Gentry proved through tiny halos in the earths foundational granite rocks that the earth was created instantaneously—just like Genesis 1 says. His research has long been peer-reviewed, and he has many years ago issued a direct challenge to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences to prove him wrong, and they have not even bothered to try. And I quote Dr. Gentry, “The Academy has vehemently opposed creation science, even claiming that the evidence for creation has been scientifically invalidated. We have repeatedly challenged the Academy to publicly explain where the polonium-halo evidence for creation has ever been scientifically invalidated. For over 15 years, they have refused to even try, for they know that their statement is insupportable when it comes to the polonium-halo evidence” (http://www.halos.com/).

    Of course, Steve Billiter, Sean Pitman (at his website), and most Adventists have bolstered their “faith” with this wonderful “evidence.” However, Gentry’s claims have long been dismissed. Even creationists have shown his claims to be flawed:

    http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/technical/Radiohalos-and-Diamonds-Are-Diamonds-Really-for-Ever.pdf [p. 326 is devastating to Gentry’s thesis.]

    Here are additional refs since 2007: http://tinyurl.com/3bo2t4k

    Makes you wonder whether we can trust God’s word at face value after all…




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  29. @Professor Kent:

    Of course, Steve Billiter, Sean Pitman (at his website), and most Adventists have bolstered their “faith” with this wonderful “evidence.” However, Gentry’s claims have long been dismissed. Even creationists have shown his claims to be flawed:

    You’re making false claims here, again, about my position. Where on my website do I promote the idea that polonium halos indicate the instant or even recent formation of granite rocks?

    You see, as I’ve explained to you before, I’m a young-life creationist, not a young-Earth creationist. I believe that the universe itself and even the basic materials of this planet could have existed well prior to the “creation week” described in Genesis where God created life and the habitat necessary to support life on this planet.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  30. @ken:

    A DIATRIBIC PENTAMETER FOR KEN

    If in all argument, as ample evidence shows, rancor rules
    For Km ‘n Kn the rhyme’s the thing, not those raucous duals.
    Luckily for us two chivalrous old-fashioned rhyming fools
    The Hawking belching merits only cheery iambic ridicule.
    To begin:
    It only takes, to beatify a Hawk burp with deep sacerdotal reverence,
    Ken,
    Chuckles, chutzpah, and a quantum deeper faith than evidence.
    Amen.




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  31. There is nothing wrong with believing despite an absence of evidence; there’s everything right with it. There is nothing wrong with showing how the evidence, such as the data of nature, supports your faith; there’s everything right with it.

    While I don’t think there is anything wrong with believing in spite of a lack of evidence, I become deeply suspicious when someone like Ervin Taylor, who does NOT believe (at least not in the Bible’s teaching on a recent creation in six literal days), tells me that I MUST believe by faith alone, and that any attempt to show how evidence supports the faith is somehow illegitimate. That is nonsense. It is utterly obvious nonsense to anyone with even a soupcon of common sense.

    So I think that Dr. Taylor deserves the sarcasm that Dr. Kime has unleashed upon him.




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  32. @David Read:

    There is nothing wrong with believing despite an absence of evidence; there’s everything right with it.

    I suppose there’s nothing wrong with believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster if you really want to, but, without some actual evidence, what’s so “right” about it?

    This appeal to empirically blind faith is part of what so frustrates the likes of Richard Dawkins. And, to be honest, I do sympathize with Dawkins in this particular point.

    A faith that has the power to give rational people the courage to stand under heavy fire, at the risk of the loss of health and life, has always been backed up by a great deal of solid evidence.

    For example, the disciples of Jesus did not gain this type of faith until they were given the evidence of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Not until this empirical evidence was clearly demonstrated before their very eyes did they achieve the faith it took to build the foundations of the early Christian Church.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  33. So I think that Dr. Taylor deserves the sarcasm that Dr. Kime has unleashed upon him.

    I agree. And, I’m still waiting for him to name the “many” members of his new club that teaches evolution and gay marriage.




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  34. @David Read: This time I’m on Tidy-Up patrol. I feel obliged to set straight Dr. Taylor’s positions, since I’ve known and heard him for so long, and cited his declaration that appeared on this site a year ago, to wit, Dr. Pitman has undertaken a Truly Noble Crusade in promoting Genesis 1 despite all odds and all scientific evidence. Dr. Taylor said so in good irony, I thought. Actually he went easy on the sarcasm. And I tried for the same tone – irony, not sarcasm – in my recent essay on how Dr. Pitman’s crusade as characterized by Dr. Taylor differs from others currently being discussed. By the way, there is, I think, a useful operational difference between those words.

    Dr. Taylor sees no scientific evidence for Genesis 1, granting whimsically a measly 2% as not inconsistent. Thus he has enthusiastically embraced and advocated evolution, presumably theistic, not a literal Genesis 1. Some on this site are insisting, with Dr. Taylor, that there is no scientific evidence for Genesis 1, but, differing from Dr. Taylor, it must be believed anyway, by faith alone. Dr. Taylor, remaining admirably consistent, has never taken that course. I’m saying this not in defense of Dr. Taylor’s notions but in defense of accuracy in dealing with all parties.

    OK, everyone: back to your posts!




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  35. Sean Pitman: You’re making false claims here, again, about my position. Where on my website do I promote the idea that polonium halos indicate the instant or even recent formation of granite rocks?

    From http://www.detectingdesign.com/radiometricdating.html

    Radio-halos from rapidly decaying radioactive isotopes in granite seem to indicate that the granites were formed almost instantly.

    Gentry concludes that these particles of uranium and polonium must have entered the deposit before it turned to coal. However, there is only a very small amount of lead with the uranium; if the uranium had entered hundreds of millions of years ago, then there should be much more lead. With very little evidence or obvious method of diffusion or other forms of loss the amount of lead present is consistent with an age of thousands rather than millions of years.”

    However, the fact that these uranium haloes are “embryonic (very faint) also argues for a young age.

    These statements are nestled within a section with numerous “howevers,” leading to some ambiguity regarding your position, so please do clarify.




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  36. Sean Pitman: @David Read:
    There is nothing wrong with believing despite an absence of evidence; there’s everything right with it.

    I suppose there’s nothing wrong with believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster if you really want to, but, without some actual evidence, what’s so “right” about it?

    Give it up, David. You’re vastly outnumbered here if you think you can defend your position.




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  37. Sean, the people who have to stand up under heavy fire, and risk life and limb, are precisely the ones who must believe in spite of evidence. Because all of the currently observable, empirical evidence is telling them they’re in the wrong faith at the wrong time. They are exactly the ones who cannot be swayed by the evidence of the senses, but must be guided by inner conviction.

    And you really need to get over your bigotry against those in the FSM faith. An airborne pasta deity might actually explain a lot.




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  38. A limerick for Wes and Sean

    EMPIRIFAITH

    Pray friends let’s not become hysterical
    About marriage of faith to the empirical
    Like the rhyme of Kime
    Such union is sublime
    Fusion of belief and reality most lyrical

    -your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  39. @David Read:

    Sean, the people who have to stand up under heavy fire, and risk life and limb, are precisely the ones who must believe in spite of evidence. Because all of the currently observable, empirical evidence is telling them they’re in the wrong faith at the wrong time. They are exactly the ones who cannot be swayed by the evidence of the senses, but must be guided by inner conviction.

    No rational person is going to stand under fire via blind faith alone. You have to give a rational person a very very good reason for putting his life on the line.

    The disciples of Jesus were not willing to put their lives on the line without extremely good empirical evidence. Not until the confirmed resurrection of Jesus was their faith strenthened to the point of standing under fire.

    And you really need to get over your bigotry against those in the FSM faith. An airborne pasta deity might actually explain a lot.

    Your argument for faith without positive evidence (even in the face of contrary evidence at the same time) can be used by anyone to believe anything – however nonsensical. Why not believe in the celestial teapot or garden fairies or Santa Claus or little green men living in the middle of the moon? Are these “faiths” equally valid compared to what a faith in God can be like? Is there not something more to the Christian type of faith? – something more substantial? – as was the case for the faith of the disciples of Jesus after his resurrection?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  40. Sean said…..

    “Your argument for faith without positive evidence (even in the face of contrary evidence at the same time) can be used by anyone to believe anything – however nonsensical.”

    Sean, no one denies scriptural evidence who is a believer. The dialogue is about scientific evidence vs. biblical evidence, such as prophecy.

    There seems to be a “false dilemma” from both perspectives.

    Bill Sorensen




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  41. @Bill Sorensen:

    Sean, no one denies scriptural evidence who is a believer. The dialogue is about scientific evidence vs. biblical evidence, such as prophecy.

    As already noted many times, the credibility of Scriptural prophecy, in particular, is dependent upon empirical reality – i.e., the historical sciences.

    Of course, Phil Brantley has argued this point suggesting that Biblical prophecies should be believed to be “true” regardless of if any of them did or did not happen to match historical reality.

    For me, that suggestion is not a rational suggestion and I don’t think God would expect belief or faith without any backing by the weight of empirical evidence.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  42. @Professor Kent:

    From http://www.detectingdesign.com/radiometricdating.html

    “Radio-halos from rapidly decaying radioactive isotopes in granite seem to indicate that the granites were formed almost instantly.”…

    These statements are nestled within a section with numerous “howevers,” leading to some ambiguity regarding your position, so please do clarify.

    I have clarified the particular statement dealing with Gentry’s theories on the instant formation of granites (which I never thought was very solid) and have included a link to the paper you cite.

    However, it seems to me that Gentry’s work with “squashed” polonium halos in coal is still quite good. I’ve been unable to find or think of a reasonable rebuttal for this particular situation.

    Since coal is relatively incompressible, Gentry concludes that these particles of uranium and polonium must have entered the deposit before it turned to coal. However, there is only a very small amount of lead with the uranium; if the uranium had entered hundreds of millions of years ago, then there should be much more lead. With very little evidence or obvious method of diffusion or other forms of loss the amount of lead present is consistent with an age of thousands rather than millions of years. However, it’s just hard to believe, according to conventional geological time scales, that this coal was compressed any time within the past several thousand or even hundred million years.

    Some have argued that “radon 222 that results from uranium decay is an inert gas and may have escaped, resulting in little lead being deposited. This would make the observed haloes consistent with an old age for the coal.” However, the fact that these uranium haloes are “embryonic (very faint) also argues for a young age. In addition, not all of the radon would be on the surface of the particles of uranium. That which was inside or bordering on coal would likely not be able to escape. Since radon 222 has a half-life of about 4 days, it would not have much time to escape, in any event. Such haloes were also found in shale, with young U/Pb ages as well, and it may be less likely for the radon to escape from shale.”

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  43. I just noticed Dr. Kime’s posting on EducateTruth(sic). I would like to invite him to post his comments on the Adventist Today website. Dr. Kime’s views and comments are very interesting and his perspectives would meet with greater appreciation on a more mature web site.




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  44. @Ervin Taylor:

    I just noticed Dr. Kime’s posting on EducateTruth(sic). I would like to invite him to post his comments on the Adventist Today website. Dr. Kime’s views and comments are very interesting and his perspectives would meet with greater appreciation on a more mature web site.

    Of course Adventist Today would benefit from a truly Adventist perspective. The only problem, of course, is that those who hold to a truly Adventist perspective aren’t prone to even read much less contribute to such “mature” magazines as Adventist Today or Spectrum who have matured beyond the childishness of the Church organization…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  45. Readers of EducateTruth(sic) postings need to keep in mind that it was Dr. Pitman who wrote: “[S]uch ‘mature’ magazines as Adventist Today or Spectrum . . . have matured beyond the childishness of the [SDA] Church organization.” Please remember that those words were not posted by anyone associated with Adventist Today or Spectrum. Rather they were posted by someone associated with EducateTruth(sic).




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  46. Well, Dr. Taylor, I suggest you may have missed Sean’s point. I detected a note of sarcasm in Sean’s comments. And you may notice that he put quotation marks around the word ‘mature’.

    Perhaps he meant you have “matured” your way right out of the SDA church?

    You think?

    Bill Sorensen




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  47. Ervin Taylor: I just noticed Dr. Kime’s posting on EducateTruth(sic). I would like to invite him to post his comments on the Adventist Today website. Dr. Kime’s views and comments are very interesting and his perspectives would meet with greater appreciation on a more mature web site.

    Dr. Taylor, As a believer in theistic evolution, you are invited, on this website, to answer some of the questions that have been asked about this belief. As an “emeritus” professor, you should have both the experience and the time.




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  48. Dear All

    As a matter of faith do you think some websites are words of God and some not, or are they all words of men and women. 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  49. @Ervin Taylor:

    Readers of EducateTruth(sic) postings need to keep in mind that it was Dr. Pitman who wrote: “[S]uch ‘mature’ magazines as Adventist Today or Spectrum . . . have matured beyond the childishness of the [SDA] Church organization.” Please remember that those words were not posted by anyone associated with Adventist Today or Spectrum. Rather they were posted by someone associated with EducateTruth(sic).

    I’m afraid you’re experiencing just a touch of senility my friend. Aside from yourself, I’m sure that my intended meaning is quite clear for most people reading this post…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  50. Dear me, I am being accused of experiencing just st a “touch of senility.” This is a devastating charge. I am profoundly dismayed by even the hint of having a mental lapse. As for senility . . . . What did you say your name was?




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  51. Re Erv’s Quote

    “Dear me, I am being accused of experiencing just st a “touch of senility.” This is a devastating charge. I am profoundly dismayed by even the hint of having a mental lapse. As for senility . . . . What did you say your name was?”

    Dear Erv and Sean

    Love the gentle humour gentlemen. Shows you are both keeping things in perspective.

    “I’m a schizophrenic and so am….I”

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  52. I notice that on the EducateTruth(sic) site, when Sean posts something, he always gets a lot of “likes” and when I post, I get a lot of “dislikes.” I wonder why that is? Is it his greater logic? Is it his more pleasant personality? On the other side, why all of the “dislikes?” Do I offend? But I already use a lot of deodorant, but perhaps it is not enough. I will try to use more in the future and see if that helps.




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  53. Ervin Taylor: I notice that on the EducateTruth(sic) site, when Sean posts something, he always gets a lot of “likes” and when I post, I get a lot of “dislikes.” I wonder why that is? Is it his greater logic? Is it his more pleasant personality? On the other side, why all of the “dislikes?” Do I offend? But I already use a lot of deodorant, but perhaps it is not enough. I will try to use more in the future and see if that helps.

    Dr. Taylor, It is not your offensive odor that causes people to not like you, it is your constant expulsion of offensive ideas. So, “deodorizing” your thoughts might help you!




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  54. @Ervin Taylor:

    Ervin TaylorAugust 29, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    “Dear me, I am being accused of experiencing just st a “touch of senility.” This is a devastating charge. I am profoundly dismayed by even the hint of having a mental lapse. As for senility . . . . What did you say your name was?”

    *********
    Are we supposed to remember that to be considered normal?




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  55. @Ervin Taylor:

    I notice that on the EducateTruth(sic) site, when Sean posts something, he always gets a lot of “likes” and when I post, I get a lot of “dislikes.” I wonder why that is? Is it his greater logic? Is it his more pleasant personality? On the other side, why all of the “dislikes?” Do I offend? But I already use a lot of deodorant, but perhaps it is not enough. I will try to use more in the future and see if that helps.

    Perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that if the very same comments were posted at Atoday, Spectrum, Talk.Origins or Pharyngula, or any other forum inherently opposed to the Adventist message, the voting would be, and has been, dramatically reversed. Your comments would be ever so popular while mine would be voted down in mass.

    Consider also that your common use of the term (sic) comes across as a form of derision… as in an effort on your part to make fun of EducateTruth (sic) and all that we stand for here at this website.

    Sic—generally inside square brackets, [sic], and occasionally parentheses, (sic)—when added just after a quote or reprinted text, indicates the passage appears exactly as in the original source…

    The use of sics can be seen as an appeal to ridicule, whether intentional or not, because it highlights perceived irregularities. The application of sics with the intent to disparage has been called the “benighted use” because it creates a “false sense of superiority” in its users.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic

    I suppose it’s fine to try to be humerus or even disparaging in one’s efforts to address errors in the arguments of one’s opponents. Just don’t expect such efforts to go over well with those who don’t already agree with your own perspective.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  56. I’ve been following this cite almost from it’s beginning and, since I know practically nothing about evolution and the science behind it (my college courses were along entirely different lines) I sometimes hesitate to make comments at times.

    But I would like for someone to explain some things for me.

    If you and I were walking through a lush field of corn and I suddenly discovered a small mouse trap on the ground at my feet what would your reaction be if I picked it up and exclaimed, “Isn’t evolution wonderful–look at this perfect mouse trap that evolved out here in this corn field!” I may be wrong, but I suspect you would, at best, question my intelligence. Obviously that simple little trap had a mind behind it somewhere. So why do you consider it “scientifically reasonable” to believe that something as complicated as the human eye just “evolved” through eons of time with absolutely no intelligent mind behind it? I have a hard time following that kind of reasoning.

    Yes, parts of humans and apes do have some similarities–but so what? How does that “prove” that man evolved from apes?

    I have been a seamstress for many years. Until recently I made practically every outfit I owned since I was in grade school and almost everything my daughters wore during their growing up years. While I did have many patterns to go by I also had some that were my favorites and, by “tweaking” things here and there at times could come up with outfits that looked very different. My point is, why does the fact that because different species have some things somewhat in common “prove” that one descended from the other? Is it unreasonable to believe the Creator might do something similar when making different creatures?

    Recently a friend sent me some pictures of a truly magnificent garden where every shrub and bush had been trimmed to look like a flower, a bird, a cat, or some other creature. Whoever worked in that garden had amazing skills and I wished I could actually go there and see it for myself.

    While looking at and enjoying all of the wonderful things that were done to the plants I began to wonder what would happen if I could actually be there. Suppose I walked up to a group of folks who were also enjoying the beauties of the place and started commenting about how wonderful it was that evolution could produce such an outstanding place. What would the reaction of the other viewers have been (even an ardent evolutionist)? I suspect even any believers in evolution would have questioned my sanity. But those same evolutionists expect us to believe that this glorious world simply “evolved” out of nothing with absolutely no Intelligent guidance involved?

    My question is: Whatever happened to common sense? If evolution is unable to produce even a simple inanimate mouse trap or bush clipped to shape like some animal,bird or other creature, what makes us think it can produce a whole world filled with the wonders this world is full of?

    Real facts are one thing. They cannot be disputed. But the interpretations of facts is a whole different thing. These can vary according to our backgrounds our training or experience.

    I grew up in the south and when I married a California GI who was stationed in my home town in WWII and, after we were married and ended up in California, Maryland, Washington DC, Tennessee, and Georgia I had a lot of “relearning” to do and some of my ardently held “facts” did some rapid changing!!

    So I’ve learned (sort of) that while real facts cannot be changed the INTERPRETATION of them can change according to our backgrounds, our training and our experiences. So as we go through life we need to be careful to separate “beliefs” or theories(scientific or otherwise) from actual “facts” (scientific or otherwise). Theories or beliefs may help us arrive at truth but we should be careful that we don’t confuse them with truth itself.

    So–why is it stupid to believe a simple mouse trap “evolved” and yet still believe that all the wonders of nature–including man–came about by random chance with no intelligent mind behind it? I just do not understand that kind of reasoning. Does anybody?

    Where is our “common sense?”




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  57. “From Elijah’s experience during those days of discouragement and apparent defeat there are many lessons to be drawn, lessons invaluable to the servants of God in this age, marked as it is by general departure from right. The apostasy prevailing today is similar to that which in the prophet’s day overspread Israel. In the exaltation of the human above the divine, in the praise of popular leaders, in the worship of mammon, and in the placing of the teachings of science above the truths of revelation, multitudes today are following after Baal. Doubt and unbelief are exercising their baleful influence over mind and heart, and many are substituting for the theories of men. It is publicly taught that we have reached a time when human reason should be exalted above the teachings of the Word. The law of God, the divine standard of righteousness, is declared to be of none effect. The enemy of all truth is working with deceptive power to cause men and women to place human institutions where God should be, and to forget that which was ordained for the happiness and salvation of mankind” Prophets and Kings, pgs.170-171




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