Comment on Faith without Evidence: Are we really a bunch of ‘Flat Earthers’? by Greg.
Dr Sean Pitman says above: “…Note the irony of someone working for the GRI (an institution developed by the SDA Church in order to present physical evidence to support the Churchâ€™s position on origins) claiming that physical evidence is not necessary to believe in the SDA position on origins â€“ that only faith is required. If only faith was required, contrary to all available physical evidence, whatâ€™s the point of even having an institution like the GRI?”
WAIT A MINUTE, things appear to be going around in circles here. Dr Pitman suggests that someone is wrong for “claiming that physical evidence is not necessary to believe…that only faith is required”? Didn’t Jesus, when he appeared to the group when Thomas was present, scold Thomas for needing evidence (to stick his fingers in Christ’s wounds) in order to believe? Few of us get the Joy Davidman (C.S. Lewis’s wife) experience, so we must rely on faith, while looking for Christ’s working in our lives.
I had to look GRI up. I doubt the average Adventist knows what it is, never mind being aware of this La Sierra issue–which is West Coast to us East Coasters. (I know a conservative, vegan, West Coast Adventist, for example, who goes out regularly to eat on Sabbath, but that’s another issue.) Anyway, the GRI web paged says that GRI “uses both science and revelation to study the question of origins because it considers the EXCLUSIVE USE OF SCIENCE AS TOO NARROW AN APPROACH.” Therefore, GRI examines the scientific evidence (which is not the final evidence but only an inicator) while relying on faith.
Respectfully sumitted,…Interesting reading, but I’m sending 20 bucks to La Sierra because I think the issue has been slanted and La Sierra has been libeled.
Recent Comments by Greg
Well, one can mince words, sir. But basically, yeah, the biology and faculty at LSU have been called liars elsewhere and above. Sir, you’ve just contradicted yourself in the above post, between the first and last paragraphs, I presume intentionally. But I don’t get it. Are you being humorous? See excerpts below.
Paragraph 1: “Is it therefore fair or even accurate to refer to such a person as a â€œliarâ€™? I think not.”
Paragraph 2: “I am personally convinced that these professors sincerely and honestly believe what they are teaching regarding the â€œtruthâ€….Therefore, they are not â€œliarsâ€.”
But then you said:
Paragraph 4: “This, as they full well know, is a bold faced lie….They are deliberately lying to us”
Paragraph 5: “Why are the LSU representatives deliberately lying to us?… I donâ€™t understand all this deliberate deception.”
I am not understanding the transition in your argument from saying that LSU is honestly mistaken to then calling them liars and thieves. That is very strong language. I presume that you will pay a visit to LSU and tell the Biology faculty that to their face, in person?
LSU responds to Michigan Conference
A visiting pastor two weeks ago mentioned (I’ll say, from my standpoint, alleged) that LSU teaches evolution as the truth. That was the first I had heard about it, so I started looking into the matter. The visiting pastor also said that much of what we hear and read in viewer responses on CNN and Fox and on web blogs are opinion rather than fact. So far I see a lot of opinion.
What are the facts? Dr. Sean Pitman (I am ever respectful, as a nurse) has said elsewhere that SWU and SWAU teach ABOUT evolution, but that LSU presents evolution as the truth while spurning the six-day creation account of “Genesis.” But the LSU president and biology department and others at LSU state that they teach about but do not embrace evolution. Someone is lying, or if that is too harsh, misrepresenting or shading the truth–whatever you prefer.
I have been in the Adventist Church only since age 40, about 17 years now, having been raised as a Roman Catholic. I am an old dog; I am like a Frenchman who has come to America–I suppose I still speak with an accent, still influenced by the smell of French food, in a way that most of you cannot possibly understand. I see Adventist teaching about Roman Catholicism to be similar to teaching ABOUT the theory of evolution, because Catholic teachings, I will admit, are theory or fantasy where they stray from Scripture.
In any case, you longer termers had better get this matter settled, please, because it tends to draw from my confidence in Adventist leadership. I’m a big believer in the scriptural adage, borrowed by Lincoln, about “a house divided.” I became an Adventist, at the start, because my wife was Adventist, and God gave me the insight that a home should not be divided. I now embrace Adventism, but no longer evolution since if Christ could instantly cure a withered hand, he could obviously call the very elements into a living being.
As someone stated elsewhere on one of Dr Pitman’s pages, there begins to be a parallel, in my mind, between the two chuches where administration is concerned. Power begets abuse of that power. And the discussion is beginning to sound more like the supposed rancor at a union meeting–except that unions are quite harmonious by comparison. If it takes the General Conference to bring the parties together and figure out the truth (if that is possible), then so be it. But please do it SOON. OK, now I’ll hang up and listen.
Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
I imagine that Dr Geraty is actually quite GLAD that he is retired. So basically, the LSU Biology Dept would have to limit its approach to what Mrs White writes in pages 112-115 in “Patriarchs and Prophets?” I am sure that the LSU science students would be glad to hear that as it would make testing so much easier for both instructor and student. Of course, MRs White did not have the benefit of an Adventist scientific education–she was just lead by the Spirit of God.
But in a recent handout, the LSU Biology Dept states (emphasis added):
“It should be pointed out that the theory of evolution is discussed, BUT NOT PROMOTED, at La Sierra University. We believe that God the Creator is the source of all life.
Students examine our denominationâ€™s voted fundamental belief regarding creation and understand the data used to support our faith in creation. We believe that by providing a complete curriculum grounded in biological principles, paralleled and supported by a strong general education curriculum, students will be able to graduate with an integrated knowledge of their discipline as well as a stronger faith and understanding of God as their Creator and Saviour. The scientific data are presented just as they are at most other Seventh-day Adventist institutions, often with the same textbook. We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that students receive a complete and comprehensive education as warranted by their given program of study.”
Now, I’d like to know, would the Michigan Conference, the General Conference of SDAs, and Dr Pitman call the LSU Biology faculty liars, in regard to the above statement?
Unfortunately yes. The LSU biology faculty are indeed promoting their view that life has existed and evolved over millions of years on this planet and that the literal creation week is a “ludicrous” idea believed only by the “lunatic fringe” within the SDA Church. LSU has always made it very clear that they are all “creationists” – which is true. But their theistic view of creation isn’t remotely the same view of the Creator as the SDA view which claims that He created life on this planet in just six literal days. LSU is in fact fundamentally at odds with the literal six-day creation week. That’s the real problem here and that is exactly what LSU is not being honest enough to even own up to. – sp
I am a registered nurse (RN-BSN) (with an unrelated degree from Andrews) who attended a state university for nursing and in none of the science classes did we ever discuss evolutionary theory. It seems to be only applicable–and relevant–to those classes where fossilization is discussed.
Now, my wife, as K-12 teacher, did take such a course at a state university, went out into the field to collect sharks teeth and look at geologic formations, and the professor told the class that while he respected the right to hold religious beliefs, anyone who argued Creationism would flunk the course. And when my wife taught public school, she was required to teach evolutionary theory–I mean, it was in the textbooks. But she was allowed to say that she believed in Creationism.
In looking Dr Pitman up on Google, under multiple listings, I see that he lists only Loma Linda School of Medicine. If it’s OK to ask, did Dr Pitman attend a secular institution undergrad, and, if so, did he have to learn and spit back evolutionary theory on any tests at any point on his voyage to M.D.?
Besides LLU, I attended the City of Hope National Medical Center for hematopathology fellowship training. I also took organic chemistry at the USM. However, my primary exposure to the Theory of Evolution was on my own time as I’ve been intensively studying this theory for the past 10 years (devoting more time to it than I did in learning medicine). Now, I was taught about the ToE at SAU, but was also taught that it was an erroneous theory that has serous flaws – a method of teaching about the ToE that is still in place at SAU and SWAU. LSU is not simply teaching about the ToE while supporting the literal creation week in its science classrooms. Big difference…
Andrews University statement on creation
Well, how about the statement by the LSU Biology Dept, excerpted below regarding LSU’s stand on evolution? Michigan Conference, please take note. If the LSU Biology Dept would agree to not address evolution in its classes, then perhaps the Andrews Seminary would agree to never mention Catholic dogma again. Seems a fair trade.
From the recent LSU Biology Dept handout (emphasis is mine):
“Our biology curriculum offers a selection of classes with both breadth and depth. It should be pointed out that the theory of
evolution is discussed, BUT NOT PROMOTED, at La Sierra University. We believe that God the Creator is the source of all life.
Students examine our denominationâ€™s voted fundamental belief regarding creation and understand the data used to support
our faith in creation. We believe that by providing a complete curriculum grounded in biological principles, paralleled and
supported by a strong general education curriculum, students will be able to graduate with an integrated knowledge of their
discipline as well as a stronger faith and understanding of God as their Creator and Saviour. The scientific data are presented
just as they are at most other Seventh-day Adventist institutions, often with the same textbook. We believe that it is our
responsibility to ensure that students receive a complete and comprehensive education as warranted by their given program
Our biology faculty have heard, and taken seriously, the questions and concerns expressed by some in our church. We continue
to take steps to ensure that our students understand the Adventist Churchâ€™s voted position on creation and to help them
understand the arguments that are used to support the statement of fundamental belief in creation.”