Are you suggesting that Lawrence Geraty has never been subjected …

Comment on Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism by Eddie.

Are you suggesting that Lawrence Geraty has never been subjected to “any civil reprisals whatsoever” from the Church?

Eddie Also Commented

Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
There are a few documented interfamilial hybrids, such as between ducks (family Anatidae) and geese (family Anseridae), but maybe they shouldn’t be classified as belonging to different families. Reproductive compatibility (which is not synonymous with reproductive isolation) clearly demonstrates a close genetic relationship (such as the same number of chromosomes). It has been argued that the ability to hybridize should be limited to taxa of the same genus, which has been proposed for the classification of mammals (American Museum Novitates 2635:1-25, 1977) but not birds. So if the ability to interbreed is ever applied to taxonomy as the definition of the upper limit of the genus, there would be no such thing as an intergeneric or interfamilial hybrid. Ducks and geese would be considered to be congeneric.

Now then, if morphologically divergent ducks and geese are capable of interbreeding, what does that tell us about their ancestry? Do they not have a common ancestor? At what point does one define the difference between microevolution and macroevolution? I have never liked using any taxonomic level as a criterion for distinguishing between microevolution and macroevolution. For me, macroevolution is simply the evolution of a novel complex structure. After all, taxonomic levels above the species are based somewhat arbitrarily on the presumed of derived characters. Maybe megaevolution, as used by Brand, is the better term.

Sean, what is an “intra-ordinal hybrid”?!? Google doesn’t help. Did you mean “inter-order” hybrid?

I absolutely agree. The subjective and somewhat arbitrary nature of taxonomic classification schemes is not helpful when it comes to determining the nature of evolutionary change. A better definition of “macroevolution” should be based on the demonstration of novel structures/systems at various levels of functional complexity. Such a definition shows that evolutionary progress stalls out well below the level of systems that require at least 1000 specifically arranged amino acid residues working together at the same time.

Sean Pitman

P.S. Yes, I meant interordinal hybrids. I suppose that it could be argued that there are a few limited examples of such hybrids, such as embryonic hybrids between sea urchins and sand dollars or in certain fishes where interordinal hybrid larvae can be produced (which die after hatching).

Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
With due respect, Ron, prayer is NEVER “a classic cop-out.” If you really want to DO something more about it, rather than criticizing SDA leaders in general and Californian SDAs in particular, why not encourage young, bright, inquisitive and dedicated SDAs to become professors in SDA colleges and universities? How many of you have actually encouraged your own children to become a SDA college or university professor?

Some of you seem unaware that it is often very difficult to find a suitable candidate to fill a vacancy as a professor in one of our institutions, which is why non-SDAs or marginal SDAs are often hired on a contractual or salary basis. Unfortunately our church’s culture does very little to encourage young people to become professors in SDA institutions–and the reasons why are obvious. Health care is the holy grail for young, bright science students. Obtaining a PhD degree requires years of personal sacrifice for a remuneration that is less than what most SDA primary and secondary school teachers are paid–and much, much less than what SDA health care professionals make. I personally know one biology professor with a PhD degree in a SDA college who makes $15K less than his wife who teaches in a SDA primary school less than a mile away. How fair is that?!?!? How can SDA students ever be expected to become excited about teaching the truth about origins when SDA professors are treated with disrespect by the church’s own culture?

I’m quite certain that less than 1% of science students in SDA institutions of higher education aspire to become a science professor in a SDA institution. If you want SDA science professors who are dedicated to teaching traditional SDA views of origins in the classroom, you are going to have to increase the pool of suitable candidates. Just ask Southern Adventist University–they rejected three of four candidates interviewed for three openings, and the one they accepted was already employed by Union College. THE CRISIS IN SDA SCIENCE EDUCATION IS A CRISIS IN SDA CULTURE!

Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
“the Church does and should have a right to selectively hire only those individuals who will accurately represent the Church organization”

Yeah, I agree, but it saddens me to see people ridiculed publicly by fellow SDAs. I still believe there is a better, more Christ-like way…

Recent Comments by Eddie

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation

SDA Bio Prof: The Bible makes multiple falsifiable prophecies about Nebuchadnezzar conquering Egypt, yet history never records it happening. Does this mean the Bible is effectively falsified?

Sean Pitman: Egyptians had a strong tendency not to record their losses… only their victories.

Sean, does that mean YOU personally believe Babylon conquered Egypt, just as predicted by two prophets? In the absence of any empirical evidence? If the Egyptians didn’t record their losses, why wouldn’t the Babylonians have recorded such a stunning victory?

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

Holly Pham: One of the things that has always concerned me is that, according to what I’ve read, birds and reptiles have completely different forms of respiratory systems (flow-through vs. bellows) How is this explained by evolutionists?

Evidence from the vertebrae of non-avian theropod dinosaurs suggests that they, too, possessed unidirectional flow-through ventilation of the lungs. So, according to evolutionary theory, it evolved first in “primitive” non-avian theropods rather than in birds, and comprises one of many shared derived characters supposedly linking birds with more “advanced” theropods. However, I don’t think there is any evidence or even a hypothesis for a step-by-step process of HOW it evolved. Here is a reference:

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
@Bob Helm: Bob, if you send me an e-mail at I will send you a pdf file of a 1991 article published by Chatterjee in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 332:277-342, titled “Cranial anatomy and relationships of a new Triassic bird from Texas.”

Curiously his description is based only on cranial anatomy. I don’t think he ever published an analysis of its postcranial anatomy.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

David Read: Eddie, ecological zonation will yield the same basic order that you’re pointing to: invertebrates appear before vertebrates; fish appear before amphibians; amphibians appear before reptiles; reptiles appear before mammals; reptiles appear before birds, etc.

It could, and it’s the best creationist explanation, but it doesn’t explain why flowering plants were absent from lowland forests. Or why so many land plants appeared before mangroves, which today occur strictly in the intertidal zone. Or why no pre-flood humans have been found. Or, if Sean is correct that the flood ended at the K-T boundary, why many modern groups of birds and mammals (including marine mammals) which first appear during the Tertiary were not buried by the flood.

David Read: The fact that something appears before something else in the fossil record is not proof than anything evolved into anything else.


David Read: You seem to be complaining that God has not made the fossil evidence compulsory, i.e., so clear that no reasonable person can possibly doubt it. And if God hasn’t made the evidence skeptic-proof, then the skeptic is God’s fault, God is responsible for the skeptic.

I’m not complaining. I’m merely pointing out that the evidence can be interpreted in different ways by honest people. And I’m relieved to see that even you don’t think the evidence is crystal clear.

David Read: Only people of faith can be saved, that is, only people who are willing to trust God and put away doubts can be saved.

I agree.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

David Read: Those tracks are so obviously bird tracks that the fact that some scientists want to assign them to “birdlike theropods” is itself a very useful teaching tool as to how the model creates the data.

David Read: That the model actually creates the data is one of the hardest concepts to get across, not only to lay people but even to the scientists themselves.

How does the model affect the data? Data don’t change and they shouldn’t change. It’s the interpretation, not the data, that is affected by the model.