Board requests progress reports from LSU administration

LSU Board release: Reaffirmation of November actions upholding the Adventist Church’s doctrine of creation.
Board requests administration provide progress reports identifying specific actions taken.

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379 thoughts on “Board requests progress reports from LSU administration

  1. @Geanna Dane:

    The Bible indicates that all life, as we observe it now, originated with the animals that came off of the ark. I believe the account of Noah and the ark is a historical fact.

    I disagree that the plethora of species all around the world is a problem for creationists.

    Why is it tough to say all life as we see it today originated from the animals on the ark roughly 4,000 years ago? You presume some difficulty that I fail to see.

    Lamas and camels are very different from each other and even live on different continents. However, they are able to breed together. Other animals (or plants) that can be mated are zebras and horses; tigers and lions; or even potatoes with peppers.

    Based on modern rates of change, new species should quickly loose their ability to interbreed with other species. So modern species that interbreed must have formed recently and rapidly. The question though is how these changes occurred so rapidly. We don’t observe such wide spread change today. Biologists are unaware of any natural process that can create the biological information for such changes.

    I believe the Bible may have the answer to this question. We know from the Genesis 1 that God created each animal according to its kind.

    Breeders of domesticated animals and plants have known for quite some time that plants and animals possess a great reserve of information that has the potential for great variation. For example, most modern dogs came from a handful of breeds in the 1600s. The range in these dogs is incredible. This variety of information within dogs can be found in other domesticated animals and plants also.

    So it makes sense that the non-domesticated animals on the ark would have a similar, more likely greater, resource of information. Thus two cats could very well produce a great variety of cats within a short amount of time (4,000 years).

    Evolutionists are working backwards in comparison. They believe organisms evolved from simple to more complex. With this presupposition I can see how it would be difficult to understand how there could be such variety today in only 4,000 years. But God created a huge amount of information within each kind.

    So given the four possibilities for animal migration around the world:

    1. natural raft
    2. Human agency
    3. land bridges
    4. walking (crawling etc.)

    I see no difficulty or challenge to the biblical account of the flood.

    How could you possibly calculate how much time would be required for the various animals, plants, insects, and birds to migrate around the globe?

    So while it may sound unreasonable for all life as know it to have originated from the ark, on what basis is there reason to be skeptical of this fact? I think your presuppositions about the original of life would have to be different.

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  2. @Bravus: I agree there are many different theories on origins; however, I believe there is only one right one.

    God created all life within 6 days, rested the seventh, and this all happened roughly 6 thousand years ago. While it’s affirming to have evidence that supports this, evidence that apparently contradicts this should not be disregarded but neither should it achieve higher status than the word of God. The biblical account doesn’t explain everything, but it does give us a foundation with which to work with. Without the historical account of Genesis we would be as aimless as the evolutionists.

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  3. 3SG 90-91
    I was then carried back to the creation and was shown that the first week, in which God performed the work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day, was just like every other week. The great God in his days of creation and day of rest, measured off the first cycle as a sample for successive weeks till the close of time. … The weekly cycle of seven literal days, six for labor, and the seventh for rest, which has been preserved and brought down through Bible history, originated in the great facts of the first seven days.
    {3SG 90.1}
    http://egwdatabase.whiteestate.org/nxt/gateway.dll/egw-comp/section00000.htm/book05137.htm/chapter05149.htm

    When referring to the item above – we can sometimes get the response below —

    @Bravus:

    Bravus says:
    October 10, 2009 Jonathan: Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    Bob Pickle: I have responded to BobRyan’s spamming of 3SG90-91 before, by simply and unabashedly saying “Ellen White was wrong on that point”. Traditional Adventist belief does not hold that EGW was inerrant: she made mistakes and it is my belief that this is one of them.

    This is a clear indication of a “choke point” in the seventh-eon-darwintist’s argument and it also outs the truth about Bravus’ insistence that either he is neutral or a kind of creationist when it comes to the creation vs evolution debate.

    @Bravus:

    Bravus says:
    March 7, 2010 I think you may have come in to the discussion later, David, so might not have read some of my earlier statements on why I’m here. I’m absolutely, 100% not here to proselytise for evolution, Darwinian or otherwise. I am not at all trying to get creationists to become Darwinists. I do not have a firm position on origins myself, and in other venues I argue just as strenuously against evolutionists.

    I am a scientist and science educator, and my purpose here is to seek truth, honesty and integrity. I challenge sloppy thing and ridicule, and arguments based on straw men or personal incredulity. I respect people who are willing to base their perspectives on science *and* on Scripture, and who are modest enough to accept that there is still intellectual work to be done.

    Bravus’ claims to supposed neutrality does not survive the observation regarding his adamant claims that the literal 6 day creation week reported by Moses and Ellen White as a direct result of communication from God are dead wrong.

    We contrast with the observation that a truly neutral position would be limited to “I DON’t KNOW if Ellen White (in 3SG 90-91) and Moses (in Ex 20:8-11) were in fact right or wrong – I am still looking into the matter”.

    There is no way a neutral argument is of the form “She was dead wrong” and “I don’t care if she claims God showed her this or not”. Though I am sure that to a dedicated Theistic Evolutionist that probably appears “neutral”.

    @Bravus:

    General response to the dozen or so posts in this thread while I’ve been sleeping.

    If there were only two possible positions on origins, then affirming that one of them is wrong would be affirming that the other is right. That’s not the case, though, there are literally dozens of nuances of possible position, but I can think of at least 6 mainstream possibilities:

    1. Recent creationism (with variants depending on which god/s did it)
    2. Ancient creationism (ditto)
    3. Theistic evolutionism (ditto)
    4. Deism
    5. Atheistic evolutionism
    6. Panspermia of one kind or another

    The fact that I affirm that I believe Ellen White was wrong to use the ‘I was shown’ formulation to give Divine imprimatur to Bishop Ussher’s fatally flawed chronology effectively rules me out of the recent creationist camp, but does *not* then place me firmly in either of the evolutionist camps or any other firm position on origins.

    6000 years never appears anywhere in the Bible as the age of the earth or life. Recent Turkish archaeological finds of a quite sophisticated small city 11,500 years old are just the newest of the thousands of pieces of evidence that contradict 6000 years as the age of… much of anything.

    It is remarkable that we never see Bravus argue for a literal 6 day creation week of all developed genomes on planet earth – with the “variation in his claim” that it was instant creation in 6 days – that all happened 10 million years ago instead of 6,000 years ago”.

    So tossing that idea in – as if it is something he has promoted seriously or as his preferred view to the 3SG 90-91 statements is fiction – it is simply a Red Herring.

    Bravus said –
    1. The creationists here and everywhere else where they speak go outside the Bible, and then require adherence to those extraBiblical tenets as an article of faith.
    2. The plain evidence of the world around us clearly shows that life on earth is much more than 6000 years old. To start disbelieving in the world is to move into delusion.

    The problems are very difficult – and perhaps more so for someone who works in science and has to actually process the scientific evidence rather than be able to ignore it. The open-minded, open-hearted search needs to go on, and finding a synthesis is, IMO, a saner response than sweeping away all inconvenient evidence.

    Ok – so since you are dead sure that it cannot be 6,000 years of life on earth — lets take a number like 200 or 300 million years of life on planet earth as a token example of an “alternative”. Is Bravus going to argue here for fully developed human remains that are 300 million years old? – Because that is what the “literal 6 day creation week, 300 million years ago” gets him.

    Certainly it is not supported by any evolutionists in Queensland. Nor anyone he has ever quoted here or anywhere else that I can find.

    Thus the unmasking of Bravus’ claim to supposed “neutrality” remains in place.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  4. Shane, I found your email in my spam folder and just sent you a reply. Sorry about that. I dont know anything about those other accounts. I’m not into weird stuff, I promise!

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  5. “So while it may sound unreasonable for all life as know it to have originated from the ark, on what basis is there reason to be skeptical of this fact?” (Shane Hidle)

    Um, I dont know what to say. If it all sounds honkey dorey to you then I guess we live on a two different planets. On my planet I have difficulty understanding how animals like toads and snakes can hop or crawl tens of thousands of miles across entire contients in 4,000 years all the while evolving into a bunch of different species narrowly adapted to deserts, grasslands, mountains or swamps and with all trace of ancestors disappearing so that dots can no longer be connected.. One never finds hybrids between vermillion flycatchers, ash throated flycatchers, black phoebes, and western kingbirds (just a few of the many tyrannid flycatchers in California), but if you want to equate the 500 New World flycatchers to the varieties of cats and dogs be my guest.

    I do appreciate your honest about creationists believing in extreme evolution. This is the first website where I’ve heard Adventists all agreeing on this point. Its amazing really.

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  6. Geanna Dane: If it all sounds honkey dorey to you then I guess we live on a two different planets.

    While I believe beyond a shadow of doubt in the historicity of Genesis 6-9, that doesn’t mean I have come up with answers to every question that could be asked. As I’ve stated twice before there are some reasonable explanations as to how animals spread around the globe:

    1. Natural raft
    2. Human agency
    3. Land bridges
    4. Natural dispersion (walking, slithering, hopping, etc.)
    5. Supernatural intervention (God did direct the animals to the ark, so it’s possible he did the same with their dispersion)
    6. Animal agency

    Are there other options? I wouldn’t doubt it, and the list above is not intended to be exhaustive. Within my world view they are reasonable explanations for addressing your issue in a general sense.

    Even if I couldn’t think of some rational explanation for dispersion from the ark, it wouldn’t cast any doubt in my mind as to the historicity of the account in Genesis. Just because I’m at peace with the truth in the specifics addressed in the account of Genesis, doesn’t mean that I’m not curious as to how exactly dispersion occurred.

    I’m not sure we’ll ever know till we get to heaven. The only record we have of that time is in the Bible and it doesn’t tell us those details. At best we can speculate. This is hardly an issue to be a monkey wrench in the creationist worldview.

    I had asked you a question earlier, which you have not answered.

    Shane Hilde: You said: “By the way I too believe in creation and the flood.” Does this mean you believe in a recent, six-day creation and a universal flood?

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  7. What’s with our email today? Here is what I got. Look familiar?

    From: Shane Hilde Add to Contacts
    To: collegkid21@yahoo.com
    ______________________________

    Geanna,

    Is this your email address? It has come to our attention that this email address has been attached to a questionable MySpace account that references the male sexual anatomy. The email address was also attached to a Flickr account with the picture of young black male with his shirt off. Currently this email address is no longer associated with those accounts, but we do require users to use real email addresses. To all appearances it looks like this is not your email address. Please confirm by responding this email.

    Shane Hilde
    Editor
    EducateTruth.com

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  8. Shane Hilde: You said: “By the way I too believe in creation and the flood.” Does this mean you believe in a recent, six-day creation and a universal flood?

    Sorry I guess I did’nt see the question. My answer: Mostly. 100% conviction? Close. Do I have to be 100% to post here?. I feel like I’m; getting the third degree.

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  9. Geanna Dane: If it all sounds honkey dorey to you then I guess we live on a two different planets.

    I’ve been out of the loop for a bit because of travel and work. I haven’t read the last fifty posts. But I have to admit that imagining Geanna saying “honkey dorey” makes me chuckle!

    Faith, Geanna, Faith! I can appreciate your thirst for knowledge. I share it. But we don’t have to answer all of the worlds problems today.

    When I was a boy I used to wonder how watering holes in the middle of a cow pasture could have fish, frogs, toads, etc. in them. An old, uneducated farmer explained it to me. He told me that Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Cow birds and such would see that watering hole from a long way off. He may have flown a couple of miles before he spotted it from overhead. After getting his drink and checking around for prey he doesn’t even realize that he left something behind: eggs. You see, while he was walking in the previous pond a few of those slimy amphibian and fish eggs stuck to his feet while he waded around. He later deposits them in the empty pond (which is no longer empty). How far do geese and ducks fly between stops? Sometimes hundreds of miles.

    God bless.

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  10. @Geanna Dane: Thanks. That’s the email. No, you don’t have to agree 100% to post here. I try to be very clear what my beliefs and presuppositions are in discussions, but not everyone puts that out at the start and it’s helpful to me in understanding your worldview.

    Ultimately though, this website does not exist to defend creationism. Discussions of evolution vs creation have nothing to do with the heart of why Educate Truth exists, but since evolution and creation are connected to the controversy with La Sierra I suppose it’s good to diverge a bit. Talking about LSU gets old sometimes. This site will be a year old June 2.

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  11. Geanna Dane: I feel like I’m; getting the third degree.

    No third degree. Post til your heart’s desire. You keep us challenged. There are no easy answers to these questions; only ideas based of evidence. Dialogue is one of the rights of freedom.

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  12. Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence. {3T 255.1}

    Thus the argument “as long as a single mystery is left – I will not trust God on this” is left without any support at all.

    So also the argument “I believe in silly stuff because I am a Christian and God likes it that way” is also left totally unsupported.

    Atheist evolutionists (Dawkins for example) like to accuse Christians of making the blind faith argument “we believe in stuff that makes no sense because we are silly and intelligence does not please God”.

    Thus we are lead to looking at “inconvenient details” not just the ones that face the view for a literal 6 day creation week – but those that face the wild speculation about life “just appearing” and the equally silly claims about “birds coming from reptiles”.

    At the very start we can see that BOTH sides will have something that is “not answered”. So where will your faith be placed – will it be placed in “stories easy enough to tell but they are not science because they cannot be tested”?? As even atheist evolutionists claim about their own arguments from the fossil record that tell stories about “how one thing came from another”?

    Or will it be placed in the Bible PLUS actual science that can be demonstrated in the lab.

    The LSU professors have made their choice.

    The Adventist church as a denomination has made an entirely different choice.

    Have you made yours?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  13. @Geanna Dane:

    Gen 7:21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
    Gen 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
    Gen 7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground…

    So if we are going to be consistent and take every word here literally, then EVERYTHING today descended from the animals that came off the ark on Mt. Ararat. We have not tother choice. We’ve barely touched on the problems this poses for just 4000 years.

    As I’ve mentioned none of us can explain how rattlesnakes found the time to crawl all the way to the distant pionts of the New world and evolve into 30 species. None of us can answer how sidewinder rattlesnakes and horned vipers got from the ark to deserts on two different continents and despite having differnet ancestors they evolved to look identical (apart from the rattle and facial pits on the sidewinder).

    Then science it is.

    1. The scientist notes that your scenario is still a “snakes come from snakes” scenario – which does nothing for “birds come from reptiles”.

    2. To measure the rate of evolution you would need the remains of all the serpents that came off the ark to compare that set – to what we have today. I.E what was the start? Not just morphology but also in genetic make up.

    3. To see if over time a coding gene was merely “activated” by the epigenome or if it was actually “added” you would need DNA samples and a complete genome mapping of the serpent ancestors that came off of the ark.

    So we have just from the “science” of it – a number of variables being filled in via “guesswork” – and not a measured value in the lab. Thus the true scientist would have “pause for reflection” before simply making up a “just so” story with lots of handwaiving smoke and mirrors.

    4. Last but not least – the atheist evolutionist “environment” in which evolution “can occur” does not include a Creator God nor any human with the ability to manipulate genetics nor a devil nor a “change” in the creation itself from sinLESS (vegetarian etc) to sinFUL.

    Thus to conclude that “Christians say evolution happened rapidly” (either from abiogensis of non-life to a full bloom of all genomes in 6 literal days, or the change in creation from sinLESS to sinFULL and all the defense mechanisms that were introduced) – but evolutionists “slowly” would be like comparing natives seeking to cross the ocean in canoes vs an astronaut in the space shuttle crossing over the ocean. One claims man can cross the distance “Fast” the other “slow”. But it is not actually a case of a canoe racing across the ocean in 15 minutes – is it? It leads to false conclusions to eliminate the subtantive differences in context.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  14. I have often heard SDA intellectuals claim there is no evidence for a worldwide flood, yet virtually all geologists concede that sea levels were much higher, nearly covering the continents (up to 400 m above current sea level), during the early Paleozoic (when mountains apparently did not exist), and a second cycle of flooding occurred during the early Cenozoic. According to conventional geological theory, sea levels were higher than than now during most of our planet’s geological history. If you don’t believe me, just check out the graphs in the Wikipedia account for “sea level,” which present two sets of data. You can also read the conventional explanations for variation in sea level. I wish people would quit saying there is no evidence for a worldwide flood–because clearly there is.

    I have often wondered which of the two (or both?) peaks of sea level rise represents Noah’s flood, which I believe (more by faith than evidence) was a historic event. Creationists have traditionally interpreted most of the geological record being deposited by Noah’s flood, but as Leonard Brand pointed out in a recent article in Origins, deposits from Noah’s flood might represent only a small portion of the geological record with significant catastrophic deposition occurring both before and after the flood. My impression is that many creationists think that the flood ended near the end of the Mesozoic or early Cenozoic; if so, than the Paleozoic peak in sea level would most likely represent Noah’s flood.

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  15. Regarding the post-flood distribution of animals, it is very, very difficult to explain the dispersal of all living animals from Mt. Ararat–if you believe that all living terrestrial animals outside of the ark were killed by the flood. The southern continents, especially, have large radiations (if I may use the term) of species within endemic families or orders. Many species or even subfamilies, such as Darwin’s finchs (subfamily Geospizinae) on the Galapagos and Cocos Islands, are endemic to islands or island archipelagos. I have never calculated the distance required, but I have often wondered how far frogs–which cannot tolerate seawater and therefore are unlikely to raft long distances–would have to leap each year over the roughly 4,000-year period to disperse from Mt. Ararat across the Bering Strait and Isthmus of Panama in order to reach Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. There must have been some fast-leaping frogs, which Mark Twain would have been keenly interested in finding!

    Regarding marsupials, from what I understand the earliest fossils are from North America. They apparently occurred on all of the continents except–curiously–Africa (fossils have been found in Antarctica). Even evolutionary biologists are puzzled by their absence from Africa. There are also some other bizarre biogeographical quirks that defy explanation from either an evolutionary or creationist perspective, such as boas (subfamily Boinae) and iguanids (family Iguanidae) occurring in the Americas, Indo-Pacific islands, and in Madagascar–but not in Africa or Asia (or Australia? I’d have to look that up).

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  16. Good thing Bravus, because that’s impossible. Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30. He also said with reference to the Scriptures, “…Thy word is truth.” John 17:17. So we either stand with the truth of God’s word, or we’re against Him. There’s no middle ground. We either believe what’s written, including the Genesis account of origins, or we’re fighting God. It’s one or the other. There’s no neutrality involved. There cannot be.

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  17. Agreed, I guess. Now we just need to make the critical distinction between ‘what’s written’ and ‘particular human interpretations of what’s written’. We fall into fatal error when we ‘define people out’ of salvation based on the latter.

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  18. So where do the writings of Ellen White come into play when trying to interpret these things, in your view? To my way of thinking, her statements on origins remove a lot of the guesswork. She was a prophet too, y’know, and prophets have always had a way of clarifying the things written by those who came before.

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  19. Here are a few quotes that go well together —

    @Bravus:

    Bravus says:
    October 10, 2009 Jonathan: Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    Bob Pickle: I have responded to BobRyan’s spamming of 3SG90-91 before, by simply and unabashedly saying “Ellen White was wrong on that point”. Traditional Adventist belief does not hold that EGW was inerrant: she made mistakes and it is my belief that this is one of them.

    @Bravus:

    ‘Neutrality’ was never a claim I actually made…

    they prove to be instructive in helping anyone who might be under the illusion that Bravus is somehow neutral on this subject.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  20. (in response to John Howard above)

    Sola Scriptura when it comes to establishing doctrine: the official SDA position is *not* that she is inerrant. Lesser light/greater light, all that. If it can’t be established from Scripture then it can’t be established as doctrine on her say-so alone.

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  21. Thanks for the support, Bob. I never said I was neutral, you claimed that I did say so (or at least tried to argue against the idea that I was), but then you kindly posted the evidence that I never said I was neutral. So nice to be in agreement with you for a change.

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  22. No one is claiming “SIX days you shall labor …for in SIX DAYS the Lord made” is somehow “unclear”.

    That is a “sola scriptura” position that is hard to obfuscate.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  23. Bravus says:
    March 8, 2010 Thanks for the support, Bob. I never said I was neutral, you claimed that I did say so (or at least tried to argue against the idea that I was), but then you kindly posted the evidence that I never said I was neutral. So nice to be in agreement with you for a change.

    Always happy to find agreement when it happens to come along. 😉

    My argument is never that you are neutral – rather I consider you to be “in the tank” (as they say) for evolutionism. I am fully confident that the science pamphlets that you author and publish for public school children treat the subject of evolution as though it were “proven science fact” in terms of both long ages and in terms of “birds coming from reptiles” etc.

    But there are times I think when after reading your post below – some of the other readers are spun around enough so they forget just how “not neutral” you really are…

    @Bravus:

    Bravus says:
    March 7, 2010 I think you may have come in to the discussion later, David, so might not have read some of my earlier statements on why I’m here. I’m absolutely, 100% not here to proselytise for evolution, Darwinian or otherwise. I am not at all trying to get creationists to become Darwinists. I do not have a firm position on origins myself, and in other venues I argue just as strenuously against evolutionists.

    So I use that classic response of yours to 3SG 90-91 @BobRyan: to illustrate the difference between actually being neutral – vs the work you are doing.

    Consider it a public service if you will. Just trying to make sure everyone is seeing clearly.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  24. The problem is, you do not recognise the logical difference between ‘being neutral’ and ‘having no firm position’. Neutrality would, as you have correctly noted, mean saying nothing about the probable correctness or the evidentiary base for any of the (at least 6) possible positions. Neutrality would be a kind of toothless ‘can’t we just all get along?’ position that stood for nothing. I reject that.

    But having a firm position would be choosing one of the (at least 6) possible positions and defending it against all comers, providing all of the evidence for that position, credibly disposing of all the evidence for all other positions, and so on.

    If you can show evidence, beyond your own assumptions described above, that I have done that in favour of any specific position, then please show that evidence. Otherwise, you ought to accept the truth about me as I repeatedly tell it: I have no firm position. (And I am also not neutral – the two things are *not* logically mutually exclusive.)

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  25. @Bravus:

    Bravus says:
    March 8, 2010 The problem is, you do not recognise the logical difference between ‘being neutral’ and ‘having no firm position’. … But having a firm position would be choosing one of the (at least 6) possible positions and defending it against all comers, providing all of the evidence for that position, credibly disposing of all the evidence for all other positions, and so on. If you can show evidence, beyond your own assumptions described above, that I have done that in favour of any specific position, then please show that evidence.

    Indeed you have taken a “firm position” on the notion that a literal 6 day creation week is wrong by specifically objecting to the following quote (so often held up on these threads by me as an example of just where Theistic Evolutionists oppose the revelations God has given on the subject of origins).

    Thus the FIRST of your six options that you say you have no firm position on – is at this point a “firm no”. And we see in Ellen White’s statement below a “firm YES” on that first option you listed – as compared to your own “firm no”.

    3SG 90-91
    I was then carried back to the creation and was shown that the first week, in which God performed the work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day, was just like every other week. The great God in his days of creation and day of rest, measured off the first cycle as a sample for successive weeks till the close of time. … The weekly cycle of seven literal days, six for labor, and the seventh for rest, which has been preserved and brought down through Bible history, originated in the great facts of the first seven days.
    {3SG 90.1}

    http://egwdatabase.whiteestate.org/nxt/gateway.dll/egw-comp/section00000.htm/book05137.htm/chapter05149.htm

    Thus you now appear to argue that though you ARE FIRMLY opposed to what the Bible and Ellen White say on this subject – regarding what God has revealed about a literal 6 day creation week in which all the basic Genomes appear in full bloom and perfection, you are NOT settled on WHICH flavor of long-ages old-life evolutionism you prefer most.

    Otherwise, you ought to accept the truth about me as I repeatedly tell it: I have no firm position. (And I am also not neutral – the two things are *not* logically mutually exclusive.)

    And yet – somewhat misleading in the way you present it – without adding the revealing clarification of the form “But I am firmly opposed to a literal 6 day creation week and also opposed to a young earth – as I have repeatedly stated”.

    So it is often left to me to ensure that the reader is not mislead in that regard.

    As I say – you may wish to think of it simply as a public service on my part.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  26. Shane – I agree that most people have seen this contrast already.

    However when I read this post by John Howard (see below link) – it was not clear to me – that he understood the full context of Bravus’ claim and I thought we might have a few new readers in the last month or two who also may not have the full context. (Plus many of the clarifying posts on this subject from last year are no longer visible on the web site)

    @John Howard:

    But as per your suggestion – I end my reminder list here.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  27. I am not seeing anything offensive whatsoever in Bravus’s posts. What I am reading is intense personal dislike toward another person. Nomatter what is said offense is taken. I’m glad the moderator is stepping in.

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  28. “I have never calculated the distance required, but I have often wondered how far frogs–which cannot tolerate seawater and therefore are unlikely to raft long distances–would have to leap each year over the roughly 4,000-year period to disperse from Mt. Ararat across the Bering Strait and Isthmus of Panama in order to reach Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. There must have been some fast-leaping frogs, which Mark Twain would have been keenly interested in finding!” (Eddie)

    I totally see the difficultes of this dilemma. I went to Google Distance Calculator once again and estimated at least 5,000 miles from Turkey to the Bearing Sea and att least 10,000 miles from the the Bering Sea to southern Argentian. Thats 15,000 miles in 4,000 years during which frogs would have to travel 3.75 miles per year, all the while penetrating hostil environments like deserts, finding bodies of water in which to breed, and evolving into many hundreds of new species.. Some off them had to quickly crossed ocean water to get to Carribean islands and speciate further.

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  29. To continue this farther I found a handful of original science papers that I donwloaded from my library account. In a fantastic 2003 review paper the autors found a mean maximum migration distance fo adult frogs and toads of 368 m from the breeding site and 218 m for adult salamanders (based on studies of 19 sppecies of frogs and 13 species of salalanders representing 1363 individuals). Toads exhibit the largest mximum migrations distances among amphibians. Among the toads studied according to another paper the four species that traveled fartherst had maximum distances of 895 m,, 1015 m, 1600 m and 2440 m. For perpective 1 mile = 1600 m. Thus the vast majority of amphibian species do not move even 1 mile from where they breed! And of course they would need to move to a new breeding site altogether.

    To believe that populations could expand by 1 mile per year over 4,000 years is a bit difficult to swallow. To believe they expand by more than 3 miles per year totally stretch’s credulity. At 1 mile per year it would take nearly 3,000 years just to get from coast to coast in North America. Something else obviously hapenned.

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  30. Cool, Bravus. Cane toads are HUGE so they should be able to travel farther and faster then most species.. I remember a TV program talking how Australian animals like snakes have evolved new adaptations (not wings mind you!) in a very short time to better survive the toad invasion. You live in a really awesome country.

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  31. We have clear evidence that the continents didn’t always have their current configuration:

    “And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” Gen 10:25

    This is post-Flood.

    We also have the fact that such animals as fish, toads, salamanders, etc. don’t have to migrate all by themselves. Wading birds such as herons, egrets, etc. can do the trick for them. Eggs adhere to the feet and legs of these waders, and when they fly to other environs, the migration of said fish / reptile / amphibian is accomplished in no time flat.

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  32. Continental drift and aided transport. I was waiting for both these items to come up. did’nt have time to check distances via Africa/South America but its not going to help much. I have heard of fish/amphibian eggs adhering to feet and legs of waders but would have to look up the evidence to see if its real or speculated. Most amphibian species have very restricted ranges which suggests that continiuing assisted transport isn’t happening or is not very useful.

    I think “earth divided” could mean many things. I sinceriously doubt continental drift would have been relvant to ancient jews. Other things possibly more relevant like meteor impacts,, earthquakes and local floods, are seldome if ever mentioned.

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  33. @John Howard:

    John: In addition to the fact that eggs can travel on birds, we have to take into account differing conditions in the early post-flood era, in particular much wetter conditions. According to current creationist modeling, the oceans waters were much warmer coming out of the Flood than they are today, which gave rise to much more precipitation. This greater precipitation (combined with cooler summers caused by volcanism) caused the post-Flood ice age, and also watered currently arid areas. For example, in the early post flood era, North Africa was not covered by the Sahara Desert but was green:

    http://ecolocalizer.com/2009/08/04/when-the-sahara-was-green/.

    In North America, there were many larger lakes that have vanished or that are only a smaller remnant of what they were. Lake Bonneville is an example.

    Given these wetter conditions, with many more lakes and ponds, current calculations of how far frogs migrate under current conditions are bound to be misleading. And as you note, humans often have a hand in radiating species. Often the results are disastrous (fire ants and Kudzu in the American southeast, Africanized bees in South America now reaching north America, the European rabbit in Australia, etc.), but if early post-flood man had had a hand in radiating species like frogs, we’d probably have no way of detecting that.

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  34. Like Shane said, the frogs/snakes etc don’t need to cross the distance by themselves. Humans could have brought them etc. A lot of animals are now in places they didn’t originally exist due to being cargo etc. Also a lot of things are now extinct due to disease, over hunting, loss or change of habitat etc. It’s not hard to see these things along with others events making the world we know today.

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  35. Two kind of opposing points on this:

    1. If you think about it, the 15,000 mile distance is about the ‘shortest longest’ distance any species would need to cover. The earth is almost spherical, with a mean radius of 3,959 miles. If all species on earth started from a single point (Mt Ararat) then some species have to make it all the way to the antipodes of that point. Assuming there were no oceans in the way and they could travel in a straight line, that distance is going to be pi times the radius, or 12,437 miles. Of course, given that the surface of the earth is currently about 70% water, most paths would be *much* longer than that… even if we include land bridges that have since been submerged and so on. But 15,000 is a decent sort of estimate to work with.

    2. Apparently cane toads are spreading *much* faster than the 3-4 miles per year required in the scenario Geanna laid out above: in Australia, since their introduction in 1935, they have spread across the country at a rate of 27-50 km per year (17-31 miles per year). Cane toads are particularly virulent and have no natural predators in Australia, so not all species are going to reach those rates, but taking them as a model at least there is no major problem getting them around the world n time…

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  36. But not “bears everywhere” – interesting that the “there is everywhere” list seems limited to things that birds or the wind can carry.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  37. So birds and humans transported 400 species of plethodontid salamanders and 100 species of leptodactylid frogs to the new world.. BUT FROM WHERE? Not one single representtive of these amphibian families exist in the Old World.

    So birds and humans transported 65 species of freshwater fishes and 170 species of amphibians to the Carriban islands. BUT FROM WHERE? Not a single representative of these fish and amphibian species exists anywhere else. Did they come from North America, Central America, South America, Africa, or primordial mud?

    C’mon on guys, we STILL have EXTREME EVOLUTION. The most probable senario is that an ancestor of these groups rafted to the region and then rapidly evolved into entirely new species.

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  38. “in the early post flood era, North Africa was not covered by the Sahara Desert but was green” (David Read)

    Okay so if deserts came along came later that gives even less tim for desert specialists to evolve their unique adaptations. That makes convergent evolution in the case of Sidewinder rattlesnakes and Desert Horned Vipers happen even faster than we thought!

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  39. Having wings does’nt necessarily solve our problem. 300 species of trochilids (hummingbirds), 500 species of tyranids (flycatchers), and 300 species of funariids (ovenbirds, woodcreepers) all exist in the new wolrd and not a single representative of these huge bird faimilies exists in the Old World. Did every single individual of each species fly to the new world in mass from Mr. Ararat? Did they all evolve in the New World and simply refuse to fly to the Old World? (Wait a minute- did entire FAMILIES evolve?)

    The point is that enquiring minds struggle with these biologicle facts. If we insist that science matches scripture and that science supports our faith then there is plenty of reason to scratch our heads. If we insit that evolutoiin is a bad thing and should not be taught in any form in our colleges than we are doing a diservice to our students.

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  40. @Geanna Dane:

    Geanna: I think you are focused on mechanisms rather than models. The real issue is which model are you committed to, the Biblical model or the anti-biblical model. The mechanisms are very much secondary.

    For example, the scientific world was committed to naturalistic evolution for some 80 years before it was even ascertained that genetic information is carried in the DNA molecule. Darwin thought that “natural selection”, which was just selective breeding in the wild, was sufficient to accomplish all the changes envisioned in his theory; he had no idea of the limits of selective breeding, or the need for new genetic information to get where he needed to go. The Neo-Darwinian theory, the idea that evolution proceeds by natural selection acting upon genetic mutations (DNA copying errors), is a product of the 1940s and 50s, but science had been committed to naturalistic evolution since the 1860s. Theories about mechanisms follow, and are secondary to, the larger model of earth history. This has clearly been the case with Darwinism.

    There’s no question which model should be taught in Seventh-day Adventist institutions. Adventists believe in a creator God who created the basic kinds of animals in a literal week in the fairly recently past, after which there was the Fall, and a worldwide Flood (that comprehensively reshaped the surface of the earth and created most of the fossil record and the stratigraphical pile). A non-literal reading of Genesis totally deracinates and destroys the Adventist way of reading the Bible, and would cause our entire doctrinal structure to collapse. It would also impeach our founding prophet beyond any hope of rehabilitation. Obviously we should be committed to the biblical model, and I think that, LaSierra notwithstanding, most Adventists and even most Ph.D.-level Adventist scientists are committed to that model.

    The reason why you are having such difficulty with the idea of a rapid post-Flood speciation and diversification is that you are viewing the problem through the lens of the Darwinian worldview, and trying to plug in the currently poplular Darwinian mechanism of selection of DNA copying errors. If I were viewing the problem through that lens and trying to use that mechanism, I would agree with you that the problem is completely hopeless. The Darwinian model is faced with having to build up genetic information out of nothing. I don’t think this is possible, but if it were, I agree that it would take a long, long, long, long time.

    But the creationist model is NOT faced with the problem of having to create new genetic information. In our model, a Creator God of ineffable genius, majesty, and power created all the genetic information that any creature’s descendants would ever need in order to cope with all of the various environmental conditions that they would face. So I have no trouble envisioning a process by which creatures were able to rapidly change, to adapt to, and exploit, changed environmental conditions.

    But I’m not trying to use the hunt-peck method of random DNA copying errors–which are almost always deadly or deleterious for the organism. I’m envisioning a process that is mostly turning on or turning off previously existing genetic information, probably in response to environmental stimuli. I’m also thinking that adaptive genetic information, on/off switches or even major sections of coding, can be transferred virally by horizontal genetic transfer, which would greatly speed up any adaptive changes.

    But again, the mechanism follows the model, not the other way around. Mainstream science seems content with the mechanism of selection of random DNA copying errors because it has hundreds of millions of years to get where it wants to go. But I don’t think that even the ceaseless ages of eternity is enough time for random DNA copying errors to build up new genetic information sufficient to create new biological mechanisms, organs and organ systems. I think the role of natural selection has been conservative and preservational, not innovational.

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  41. Mr. Reed says: “Adventists believe in a creator God who created the basic kinds of animals in a literal week in the fairly recently past . . .
    A non-literal reading of Genesis totally . . . destroys the Adventist way of reading the Bible, and would cause our entire doctrinal structure to collapse. It would also impeach our founding prophet beyond any hope of rehabilitation. Obviously we should be committed to the biblical model . . ”

    As usual, Mr. Read confuses what the political process in the Adventist Church has declared to be the “truth” from what all Adventists believe. If he would say “an overwhelming percentage of Adventist laymen with little or no scientific understanding believe in a literal seven-day creation week in the fairly recent past” then I don’t believe that anyone would object. That would also be true of a sizable proportion of the American public taken as a whole. As for destroying the “Adventist way of reading the Bible,” I would certainly agree that a fundamentalist reading of the Bible would be destroyed. As for impeaching “our founding prophet,” I was not aware that any Adventist believes that Ellen White was infallible in anything she wrote and was written in her name. Finally, Mr. Read also confuses the “Biblical model” with a fundamentalist understanding of what the “Biblical model” is.

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  42. @Geanna Dane:

    So birds and humans transported 65 species of freshwater fishes and 170 species of amphibians to the Carriban islands. BUT FROM WHERE? Not a single representative of these fish and amphibian species exists anywhere else. Did they come from North America, Central America, South America, Africa, or primordial mud?

    C’mon on guys, we STILL have EXTREME EVOLUTION. The most probable senario is that an ancestor of these groups rafted to the region and then rapidly evolved into entirely new species.

    The equivocation you are striving for is in direct contradiction to the context of the argument at hand.

    @BobRyan:

    1. To measure the rate of evolution you would need the remains of all the serpents that came off the ark to compare that set – to what we have today. I.E what was the start? Not just morphology but also in genetic make up.

    2. To see if over time a coding gene was merely “activated” by the epigenome or if it was actually “added” you would need DNA samples and a complete genome mapping of the serpent ancestors that came off of the ark.

    So we have just from the “science” of it – a number of variables being filled in via “guesswork” – and not a measured value in the lab. Thus the true scientist would have “pause for reflection” before simply making up a “just so” story with lots of handwaiving smoke and mirrors.

    3. Last but not least – the atheist evolutionist “environment” in which evolution “can occur” does not include a Creator God nor any human with the ability to manipulate genetics nor a devil nor a “change” in the creation itself from sinLESS (vegetarian etc) to sinFUL.

    Thus to conclude that “Christians say evolution happened rapidly” (either from abiogensis of non-life to a full bloom of all genomes in 6 literal days, or the change in creation from sinLESS to sinFULL and all the defense mechanisms that were introduced) – but evolutionists say it happened “slowly” would be like comparing natives seeking to cross the ocean in canoes vs an astronaut in the space shuttle crossing over the ocean. One claims man can cross the distance “Fast” the other “slow”. But it is not actually a case of a canoe racing across the ocean in 15 minutes – is it? It leads to false conclusions to eliminate the subtantive differences in context.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  43. @Ervin Taylor:

    As usual, Mr. Read confuses what the political process in the Adventist Church has declared to be the “truth” from what all Adventists believe. If he would say “an overwhelming percentage of Adventist laymen with little or no scientific understanding believe in a literal seven-day creation week in the fairly recent past” then I don’t believe that anyone would object. That would also be true of a sizable proportion of the American public taken as a whole. As for destroying the “Adventist way of reading the Bible,” I would certainly agree that a fundamentalist reading of the Bible would be destroyed.

    As for impeaching “our founding prophet,” I was not aware that any Adventist believes that Ellen White was infallible in anything she wrote and was written in her name. Finally, Mr. Read also confuses the “Biblical model” with a fundamentalist understanding of what the “Biblical model” is.

    As usual Mr Taylor confuses the theistic evolutionist’s desire to have a realistic exegetically sound Bible solution, as they seek to bend the Bible to their usages, – with actually “having an exegetically sound solution”. Thus (as usual) Erv presents no such Bible solution for the theistic evolutionist “story” – he simply leaves it to the reader to “imagine” that a Bible solution does exist and that it is valid.

    Further Taylor’s “argument from the void” (in this case the void of doctrinal positions the Adventist church does NOT have and never DID have) – imagines that on the doctrine of origins there is “no” voted 28 FB. There is — according to Taylor’s argument – in fact nothing more than an “ad hoc” statement of faith of sufficient plasticity and pluralism so as to lend itself to the editing of each and every member who is so inclined (as if we lacked an actual official vote on the subject).

    How sad that such revisionist methods are so transparently necessary to prop up the storytelling of theistic evolutionists.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  44. Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. <b.God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence. {3T 255.1}

    Thus the idea that “a story must be presented for every possible question imaginable” – is not something that we “weigh the Bible against”.

    More than this – we cannot blindly equivocate between the wild “birds came from reptiles” story telling of evolutionists — vs the Bible account of a six day creation week, simply because “humming birds live in the Americas”.

    While evolutionists are free to “invent stories” about why they think humming birds should only live in the Americas – Bible believing Christians do not have that level of loose “freedom with the facts” of what Can or cannot be demonstrated in the lab – as compared to what can be wildly speculated.

    As Dawkins points out – in the evolutionist system of storytelling there has to have been ONE single ancestor of ALL Ardvarks and ALL humans if you go back up the tree “sufficiently” far enough. And then a division takes place with one of his descendants such that ancestor A is the ancestor of ALL Ardvarks and descendant H is the ancestor of all humans. Darwin draws the case even more strikingly arguing that two ancestors are not different from each other in any significant degree.

    How “instructive” that the storytelling to which our evolutionist friends choose to resort – rather than believe God’s Word on the subject of origins — is as wild a fiction as one might possibly imagine.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  45. I’m afraid you’ve missed Erv’s point, Bob. He didn’t ignore the existence of the Fundamental Belief, but rather described that as “what the political process in the Adventist Church has declared to be the “truth””, and distinguished that “from what all Adventists believe”. That is, David Read took the FB as ‘what Adventists believe’, but the truth is that many actual Adventists believe something different.

    Now, much of the point of this site is discussion of whether that is appropriate: whether, in fact, one can be an SDA with subscribing 100% to the 28. But recognising that the 28 arise through sometimes-cumbersome political processes means that the reality of a large world-wide group is that there will be a range of views and positions on issues that they address.

    Maybe this is something that could usefully be discussed in a separate thread, Shane: just how binding the 28 are on members. Are they a creed on which one is required to swear and which one can be disfellowshipped for not following/believing in every detail? Or are they a core of common beliefs in what is, whether we like it or not, a huge and very diverse group of Christian believers?

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  46. @Ervin Taylor:

    Ervin: Very little is universal or unanimous; saying something is the Adventist position does not imply universality or unanimity within Adventism, nor would a reasonable person read it as making such a claim. However, the fact that it is the official position of the Church and the position of the overwhelming majority of Adventists justifies calling it the Adventist view or position. If you are saying that some Adventists hold to another position, like theistic evolution, then the onus is on you to add a modifier to describe this admittedly minority group of Adventists, such as “progressive Adventists”, “cultural Adventists”, “non-believing Adventists”, or, my personal favorite, “Adventists.”

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  47. Erv Taylor is playing a very dangerous game with his soul when he presumes to pick apart the SOP into what’s reliable and what’s not.

    I have my work to do, to meet the misconceptions of those who suppose themselves able to say what is testimony from God and what is human production. If those who have done this work continue in this course, satanic agencies will choose for them. . . . {4MR 63.1}
    Those who have helped souls to feel at liberty to specify what is of God in the Testimonies and what are the uninspired words of Sister White, will find that they were helping the devil in his work of deception… — Letter 28, 1906, p. 2. (To Brother George Amadon, January 15, 1906.) {4MR 63.2}

    I hope and pray that he’ll realize the error of his ways, and change them before it’s too late.

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  48. I’m staying out of the “what Adventists believe” fray. And contrary to what David Read suggested I tdo think I’m addressing a creationist or post-flood model. My questions and concerns are niether biblical or anti Biblical.

    There was a suggewstion that the continents were together immediately after the flood which would help dispersal. One major problem with this would be current day bird distribution. Remember, they have wings and can fly. Inspite of this, many families of birds are restricted to a single continent or region and some of these are really quite sizeable. I mentioned a few examples. 300 species of trochilids (hummingbirds), 500 species of tyranids (flycatchers), and 300 species of funariids (ovenbirds, woodcreepers) all exist in the new wolrd and not a single representative of these huge bird faimilies exists in the Old World. There are roughly 180 species of meliphagids (honeyeaters) restricted to Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, and some Pacific islands. There are roughly 120 species of Cisticolids (old world warblers) in the Old World including Africa with none that make it to the new world. In stark contrast, Many bird famlies containing species capable of exceptional flight are, in contrast, often cosmopolitan (worlwide).

    So any post-flood model really needs to asssume the major continents were separated.. There are groups of flying birds that simpy could not get from one continent to another. If South America and Africa for example were joinged then what stopped these birds from moving across? The enormous diversity within these groups suggest that all these species almost surelly evolved in isolation. Thats 1400 of the worlds 9000 bird species, and we havent mentioned dozens of other bird families with restricted distributeons.

    I dont think any of this contradicts our 28 fundamental beliefs. But if we want to keep thinking Adventists from leaving our chruch we need to give more freedom to question some of our fundamental assumptions and interpretations about whether evolution occurs in any form and how fast and extnsive it can be.

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  49. @Geanna Dane:

    Geanna: My understanding is that most creationists believe the continents separated during the Flood, hypothesizing rapid seafloor spreading and plate movements during this time. This is the position I take in my book. I don’t agree completely with Baumgardner, who sees catastrophic plate tectonics as the engine behind the entire catastophre, but there appears to have been rapid seaflood spreading and plate movement during the flood.

    The statement in Genesis 10:25 that in Peleg’s time “the earth was divided” doesn’t necessarily refer to a physical division of the land mass, but could refer to the division of the world into language groups after Babel, or the division of the people into Yahweh worshippers and idolators, or something else.

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  50. Ervin Taylor: Mr. Read confuses what the political process in the Adventist Church has declared to be the “truth” from what all Adventists believe.

    What I hear you saying is that, just because the majority of thinking Adventist theologians and scientists confess the traditional orthodox Adventist understanding on this and other historically professed doctrines, does not mean that your highly unorthodox and revisionist views should not be considered as ‘Adventist’ as well. Let’s be honest, what you really want is to redefine what an Adventist is. Just because someone is called an ‘Adventist’ does not mean their views are Adventist.
    You view the traditional, orthodox, historical Adventist theology as something bad (Fundamentalist)- something which needs to be revised to be more acceptable ‘scientifically’ and ‘culturally.’ These new revelations have not been generated from a sound Biblical exegesis(certainly not from any prophetic revelation). No one sat down for serious exegetical study and exclaimed, ‘Wow, I see evolution clearly in the Bible!’ Instead, men accepted a ‘scientific’ view of nature generated from an atheistic/materialistic view of the universe – they put on Darwinistic spectacles, and while vigorously squinting askance at the Scripture exclaimed, ‘I think I see evolution!’ And this is called a Biblical model?!

    Your proposed higher-critical compromises have already been adopted by the mainline churches many years before this. The degeneration of these bodies (many of which have been pronounced dead) can be traced directly to their abandonment of a biblical theology – not the adoption of a more faithful one. I have been in many mainline ecumenical venues. Invariably when I mentioned the Bible as being authoritative, I was often viewed as an oddball – or even mocked. Of course Ellen White predicted what would happen to our movement if we began to view her gift (and the Bible prophet’s gift) through jaundiced eyes – just what has happened to the mainline churches. Pronouncing her not to be infallible, is only a back handed justification for dispensing with even her strongest inspired statements at will. Neither were the Bible prophets infallible. Do we likewise fly our contrary opinions in the face of their inspired pronouncements? Adventists do believe that Ellen White’s writings are ‘an authoritative source of truth.’ Since her gift was given to confirm our confidence in the Biblical revelation, it would seem evident that her inspired commentary on Scripture (inspired by the same Holy Spirit) should be considered trustworthy. If your speculative prognostications even conflict with the most authoritative portion of all of God’s revelation to man (i.e. the 4th commandment of the decalogue) – infidelity may be too mild an adjective to describe your views.

    Ervin Taylor: As for destroying the “Adventist way of reading the Bible,” I would certainly agree that a fundamentalist reading of the Bible would be destroyed. As for impeaching “our founding prophet,” I was not aware that any Adventist believes that Ellen White was infallible in anything she wrote and was written in her name. Finally, Mr. Read also confuses the “Biblical model” with a fundamentalist understanding of what the “Biblical model” is.

    You have equated orthodox Adventist theology with a pejorative ‘Fundamentalist’ straw-man. Any thing that doesn’t suit your revisionist
    fancy is now branded ‘Fundamentalist.’ Let’s be honest. If we are to embrace your theory, then all of the church’s pioneers (Ellen White included) were deluded ‘Fundamentalists’ who did not interpret the Bible in a truly Biblical way. On top of that, the world church has signed off on an unbiblical model of the Bible. There was no one among the pioneers who promoted your revisionist interpretations (even though there was less scientific proof for creation in their day than ours). Because there are some professing ‘Adventists’ who align themselves now with your revisions (contrary to the will of the world church in session) does not mean your presuppositions are in any way ‘Adventist’ or ‘Biblical.’

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  51. @Victor Marshall:

    Let’s be honest, what you really want is to redefine what an Adventist is. Just because someone is called an ‘Adventist’ does not mean their views are Adventist.

    Hence the “28 Fundamental Beliefs” instead of the “28 million conflicting beliefs” ( as customized by the individual whim and preference of each member).

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  52. Geanna Dane: The point is that enquiring minds struggle with these biologicle facts. If we insist that science matches scripture and that science supports our faith then there is plenty of reason to scratch our heads. If we insit that evolutoiin is a bad thing and should not be taught in any form in our colleges than we are doing a diservice to our students.

    Plethodontid, and leptodactylid, and trochilids, and tyranids, and funariids – OH MY!

    Inquiring minds love to speculate and ruminate and fixate on questions that raise doubts about the veracity of Scripture and take the mind down rabbit holes of infidelity. We do a grave disservice to our students if we teach macro-evolution (from goo to you via the zoo)as fact. Nobody ever said evolutionary theory shouldn’t be explained in our schools (I hope you are not telling anyone that someone on this site ever said that). However, Creation Science should be taught as the option most in harmony with Scripture. This thoroughly valid field of scientific endeavor should dominate all of our schools of higher learning.

    “What is the condition in the world today? Is not faith in the Bible as effectually destroyed by the higher criticism and speculation of today as it was by tradition and rabbinism in the days of Christ?” {MH 142.3}

    “In the word of God are grand truths that are worthy of intense study. Shall we neglect these great fundamental truths in order that we may enter into speculation over what has not been clearly revealed?…Let us study the great truths of the Scriptures; they are sufficient to tax our minds to their utmost capacity.” {MM 102.1}

    “The master mind in the confederacy of evil is ever working to keep out of sight the words of God and to bring into view the opinions of men…. Through perverted educational processes he is doing his utmost to obscure heaven’s light. Philosophical speculation and scientific research in which God is not acknowledged are making skeptics of thousands. In the schools of today the conclusions that learned men have reached as the result of their scientific investigations are carefully taught and fully explained; while the impression is distinctly given that if these learned men are correct, the Bible cannot be. Skepticism is attractive to the human mind. The youth see in it an independence that captivates the imagination, and they are deceived. Satan triumphs. He nourishes every seed of doubt that is sown in young hearts. He causes it to grow and bear fruit, and soon a plentiful harvest of infidelity is reaped. It is because the human heart is inclined to evil that it is so dangerous to sow the seeds of skepticism in young minds. Whatever weakens faith in God robs the soul of power to resist temptation.” CT 377-78

    Continuously trying to raise questions that Creationists will never be able to fully answer(and may remain unanswered this side of eternity) does little to strengthen confidence in the Biblical testimony and the scientific record that is clearly established in favor of inspiration. If you spend all your time hanging doubts on speculative pegs – in the end you will be left with nothing but doubt.
    We are saved by grace through faith (not doubt).
    Stop scratching your head, and start believing the Bible.

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  53. @Bravus:

    I’m afraid you’ve missed Erv’s point, Bob. He didn’t ignore the existence of the Fundamental Belief, but rather described that as “what the political process in the Adventist Church has declared to be the “truth””, and distinguished that “from what all Adventists believe”. That is, David Read took the FB as ‘what Adventists believe’, but the truth is that many actual Adventists believe something different.

    I certainly agree that individual by individual “opinions may vary”.

    However – your individual opinion or my individual opinion does not “a General Conference in session – quiquinium vote” make. Certainly we can agree to that central point.

    The idea is that the General Conference voting “in session” is the closest thing you get to “The Voice of God” apart from supernatural divine revelation. Adventists generally believe that our doctrines are correct and that God is very concerned with what this denomination (that He specifically called into being ) is doing at this time in earth’s history.

    Now, much of the point of this site is discussion of whether that is appropriate: whether, in fact, one can be an SDA with subscribing 100% to the 28. But recognising that the 28 arise through sometimes-cumbersome political processes means that the reality of a large world-wide group is that there will be a range of views and positions on issues that they address.

    Agreed. The central question is “Does God own this church or not?” – Is this church “His” or does it simply belong to every wild idea activist that comes along?

    The whole point of this web site is to raise awareness of the fact that the evolutionist agenda at LSU is in direct contradiction to the voted – stated – beliefs of this denomination.

    Maybe this is something that could usefully be discussed in a separate thread, Shane: just how binding the 28 are on members. Are they a creed on which one is required to swear and which one can be disfellowshipped for not following/believing in every detail? Or are they a core of common beliefs in what is, whether we like it or not, a huge and very diverse group of Christian believers?

    If you look into the history of why the Adventists of the 19th century felt it was necessary to specify a set of doctrinal beliefs (Search for Identity by George Knight is pretty good in that regard) — then you will see that even AFTER “the Sabbath Conferences” where a number of doctrines were formally solidified – the problem of “fringe elements” trying to pass themselves off as Adventist evangelists and pastors – continued to be a driving motivation behind specifying our postions more formally.

    Our evolutionist friends have attempted a kind of “revisionist history” imagining to themselves that we actually have no formal set of beliefs. That in fact there IS no such thing as “Adventist doctrinal statement” on anything. That everyone pretty much picks and chooses as they like – and no one set of personal choices about doctrine is any better than someone else – (assuming they both have PhDs in biology of course 😉 )

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  54. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a faith community, emphasis on the word “faith.” “Evidence” is really irrelevant. If that sounds absurd to you, then you are not a believer. “Faith,” people, “faith!” It is not dependent on evidence. If there are professors calling themselves SDAs, and yet they are not “faith” based, they are just fooling themselves. The idea is paradoxal.

    You cannot logically explain what happens to a person when the living Christ enters the heart. When the Holy Spirit overshadows a person and changes him, making him a new creation, it is a miracle.

    When God created the world, it was a miracle. We cannot explain it. We can understand some of the wonderful works of God, and should try to. But we cannot base our beliefs on scientific evidence. Our beliefs must be based on God’s Word! Not any of us has the right, or the ability, or the intelligence to determine that God’s Word was incorrect.

    If believing God is more than you can accept, you are not in a saving relationship with Jesus anyway, which means you are lost. I am concerned about your soul. But why are you trying to call yourself a Christian if you don’t believe Christ? It doesn’t make any sense. I am saying this, not to drive you out, but to cause you to think about what you are doing.

    “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” “Making themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

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  55. You people are all totally missing the point.

    Creationists = Christ died for my sins because sin brought death into the world and Jesus paid my penalty with His life.
    Evolutionists = Christ did not die for my sins because death is a natural process that has nothing to do with sin, therefore Christ’s death is meaningless.

    Which one are you? There is NO mixture of the two.

    If you believe that Jesus died for you, and saved you with His blood, and set you free from sin, then you MUST be a creationist.

    Evolution can ONLY be your option if you reject the Gospel.

    Make up your minds please. You are arguing a moot point!

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  56. Bravus: In that case, SDA universities ought to give up all pretence to teaching science courses. That’s the logical conclusion of your post.

    Science and evolution are not the same thing. Science is something that can be messured and proved. We should study the creation in order to understand it, true. But science that draws one away from the “Creator” is false science that will one day prove unsatisfying. Sorry. God bless.

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  57. Geanna,

    Your desire to have an answer for everything before you believe it is idealistic, and will drive you insane, or it will drive you away from your Savior. I am sorry, but God does not take away all reasons for doubt. He leaves them there on purpose so that you can make a choice. It’s just like in the Garden. God told Adam and Eve one thing, and the serpent told them something that contradicted what God said. They had to make a choice. So do you. I really don’t care how the frogs got where they are. You know what, most people don’t. And in the depths of your soul, do you really care? Are you going to choose God’s voice, or the opposing one?

    Your friend,
    Stephen

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  58. I would say that faith and evidence are linked, since Paul did:

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

    Isaiah recorded a related concept:

    “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:…” Isaiah 1:18

    And He’s given us plenty of reasonable evidence upon which to base our faith — prophecy, the book of nature, the phenomenon of a changed life when one accepts Jesus as his/her personal savior.

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  59. Despite some of your concerns I find the mysteries of life as I see them immensely humbling. I dont have the anwswers and I dont have to look to creationism (the term creation science is just plain wrong) or evolutionism for the answers. I choose to believe every day that the God of the Bible has all the relevant answers I need (and lacks answers to many other things) and I long for the day when He/She might be able to explain them all to me face to face. I wish that we could all agree to either agree, or amicably disagre,, here, before that blessed day comes. Good night!

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  60. I was wondering when someone would say it on this web site. Now Mr. Vicaro has gone and done it: “The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a faith community, emphasis on the word “faith.” “Evidence” is really irrelevant.” That is about as clear as it gets. Might I suggest that this be the motto of many of those posting on the EducateTruth site. If Mr. Vicaro wants to live that way, that certainly is his right. But please don’t assume that reasonable and rational people will wish to park their brains outside the church door. Geanna and Bravus have it right.

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  61. @Ervin Taylor:

    Ervin: Stephen Vicaro makes a good point. Ultimately, one must choose whether to believe the theories of men or the Word of God, and on that choice hangs one’s eternal salvation. If you prefer unaided human reason over revealed truth, I don’t see how you can be saved, because there is no more reason to believe that Christ is the Son of God, or that he died for your sins and rose again on the third day than there is to believe in a six-day creation.

    “It may be innocent to speculate beyond what God’s word has revealed, if our theories do not contradict facts found in the Scriptures; but those who leave the word of God, and seek to account for His created works upon scientific principles, are drifting without chart or compass upon an unknown ocean. The greatest minds, if not guided by the word of God in their research, become bewildered in their attempts to trace the relations of science and revelation. Because the Creator and His works are so far beyond their comprehension that they are unable to explain them by natural laws, they regard Bible history as unreliable. Those who doubt the reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments, will be led to go a step further, and doubt the existence of God; and then, having lost their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity. . . . There should be a settled belief in the divine authority of God’s Holy Word. The Bible is not to be tested by men’s ideas of science.” PP 113-114.

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  62. Of course there are reasonable evidences which help to substantiate our faith (John Howard has mentioned a few of them).
    From a Biblical perspective though – the Word of God must be the ultimate evidence for our faith .

    The final test of the human race outlined in Daniel and Revelation will center upon just this very issue. Will we trust our senses, or will we trust the Word of God. Will we trust physical, material evidence – or will we trust in God’s Word by faith.

    Faith is not based on scientific sight, but spiritual sight(grounded in the Word of God).

    If a person is consciously placing more confidence in physical science (interpreted mostly by biblical skeptics)instead of the Bible – how can they possibly think they will pass this final test of loyalty.

    All the world will be deceived by signs and wonders and miracles done in the SIGHT of men. Why will they all be deceived? Because they received not the love of Bible truth! Because their faith was based on material evidence, not God’s Word.

    In light of these sobering Biblical facts – one of the most dangerous things anyone could do, would be to subject the Word of God to constant criticism based upon so-called material ‘science.’

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  63. Finally,
    Does anyone really think that the whole world could be deceived by supernatural phenomenon that are not also confirmed by hard-core scientific ‘facts’?

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  64. @Ervin Taylor:

    I was wondering when someone would say it on this web site. Now Mr. Vicaro has gone and done it: “The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a faith community, emphasis on the word “faith.” “Evidence” is really irrelevant.” That is about as clear as it gets. Might I suggest that this be the motto of many of those posting on the EducateTruth site. If Mr. Vicaro wants to live that way, that certainly is his right. But please don’t assume that reasonable and rational people will wish to park their brains outside the church door.

    This is the same accusation Dawkins makes against Bible believers – characterizing Christians as saying in essence “we say and think silly things because that is the only way to accept the Bible – and God does not like intelligence”

    The idea in Dawkins’ accusation (being echoed by Erv Taylor in his prior post) is to present the false choice between “atheist naturalism ABOVE the Word of God… No trust in God’s Word” — or “be silly and check your brains at the door when you enter my church”.

    In direct contrast to that false choice – we have

    I have been shown that the greatest reason why the people of God are now found in this state of spiritual blindness is that they will not receive correction. Many have despised the reproofs and warnings given them. The True Witness condemns the lukewarm condition of the people of God, which gives Satan great power over them in this waiting, watching time. The selfish, the proud, and the lovers of sin are ever assailed with doubts. Satan has ability to suggest doubts and to devise objections to the pointed testimony that God sends, and many think it a virtue, a mark of intelligence in them, to be unbelieving and to question and quibble. Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence. {3T 255.1}

    This is WHY we discuss the evidence that is in favor of the Bible doctrine on origins. It is also WHY those who devote themselves to the work of evangelizing for evolutionism – pay lip service only – to the idea that their views might in some mythical way be compatible with some part of the Bible.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  65. “I choose to believe every day that the God of the Bible has all the relevant answers I need (and lacks answers to many other things) and I long for the day when He/She might be able to explain them all to me face to face.” (I wrote this)

    I goofed up. God has all the answers but what I meant to say was the Bible lacks answers to many things.

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  66. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

    To me this says that we can believe in God based on things like personal experience (ours or that of tothers) for which no physical data (“evidence”) exists. The Bible more than anything else to me is a collection of experiences and not a scientific account of evidence. I trust it as a description of God and his character. When the Bible and his second book Nature appear to conflict, I think its fair and reasonable to say we lack a complete understanding. Rather than judge every view as “right” or “wrong” and hastily condem those who we think have it wrong, I think we should more often say “let’s wait and see” and hope that one day we have the opportunity to “see” more clearly.

    “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Cor 13:12)

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  67. @Stephen Vicaro:

    You people are all totally missing the point.

    Creationists = Christ died for my sins because sin brought death into the world and Jesus paid my penalty with His life.
    Evolutionists = Christ did not die for my sins because death is a natural process that has nothing to do with sin, therefore Christ’s death is meaningless.

    Which one are you? There is NO mixture of the two.

    If you believe that Jesus died for you, and saved you with His blood, and set you free from sin, then you MUST be a creationist.

    Evolution can ONLY be your option if you reject the Gospel.

    Make up your minds please. You are arguing a moot point!

    The point above gets to the essence of Genesis 1-3 as a foundation for the Bible – and John 1 as the foundation for the Gospel.

    God as Creator. God as trustworthy. God’s Word being Reliable. The creation being an almost instantaneous (6 days – for real) act of the Creation with all life appearing in complete Genomes by the end of day 6 – WITHOUT “tooth and claw, disease, predation, starvation and extinction”. And then SIN resulting in “the Law of tooth and claw, disease, starvation and predation” — a system of “death” from which we will be redeemed at the 2nd coming.

    A point that our evolutionist friends would wish to avoid discussing at all costs.

    @Bravus:

    In that case, SDA universities ought to give up all pretence to teaching science courses. That’s the logical conclusion of your post.

    The false conclusion above demands that the reader ignore the junk-science foundation in evolutionism regarding “stories easy enough to make up – but they are NOT science”.

    One you consider the junk-science methods and exposed hoaxes used as “proofs” of evolutionism over time – to be trivial history only good for sweeping under the rug — evolutionism becomes a much more viable doctrine on the subject of origins.

    in Christian,

    Bob

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  68. I remember once listening to a radio host- I thinnk it was Michael Savage of Savage Nation- who during his show had on the air the President’s address to the nation. Every few seconds or so the host would add “color commentary” to the President’s words, interpreting and criticizing and rewording as he saw fit essentially evrything the President said. It was so arrogant and obnoxious that I had to turn the radio off. I dont understand why some people think they have everything and everyone figured out.

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  69. Geanna Dane: (the term creation science is just plain wrong)

    Please explain what is wrong about the term, ‘Creation Science’? If the world and life as we know it was created – then why can’t scientific endeavor be guided by the a priori assumption that God created everything? Would you prefer the a priori assumption that life brought itself into being (spontaneous generation)? Or how about ‘directed panspermia’ (that aliens did it). Or how about the assumption that the Bible’s account of creation is pure myth and all sceintific inquiry must be guided by the a priori assumption of pure materialism? Perhaps you have been informed that science is not science if the Creator is added to the pursuit. Have you been told that all ‘Creation Scientists’ are bogus hacks? Where have you received such a negative view of Creationism? From an LSU professor?

    From Wikipedia? :

    “Creation Science or scientific creationism is a branch of creationism which attempts to provide scientific support for the Genesis creation myth, and disprove generally accepted scientific facts, theories and scientific paradigms about the history of the Earth, cosmology and biological evolution… While creation science purports to be a genuinely scientific challenge to historical geology, the antiquity of the universe, and the theory of evolution (which creation science proponents often refer to as Darwinism or as Darwinian evolution), is a religious, not a scientific view. Creation science does not qualify as science because it lacks empirical support, supplies no tentative hypotheses, and resolves to describe natural history in terms of scientifically untestable supernatural causes.”

    Do you believe this grotesque mischaracterization of Creation Science that has been fed to you by some evolutionists? The perpetually repeated ad nauseum hogwash/smokescreen that creationism is religious, not scientific, and lacks any empirical support(and can therefore be summarily dismissed without ever contending with its formidable claims)? Do you consider the creation account a myth? Do you believe more in ‘generally accepted scientific facts’ than the Bible based tenets of Scientific Creationism? Wikipedia defines them in this way:

    “The main ideas in creation science are: the belief in “creation ex nihilo”; the conviction that the Earth was created within the last several thousand years (“relatively recent inception”); the belief that mankind and other life on Earth were created as distinct fixed “baraminological” kinds; and the hypothesis that fossils found in geological strata were deposited during a cataclysmic flood which completely covered the entire Earth.”

    Can you please tell me which one of these tenets you disagree with and consider to be ‘just plain wrong’?

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  70. @Victor Marshall: (In my experience) the most prominent “grotesque mischaracterization of science” comes from Creationists (not necessarily SDA). Kent Hovind, Jack Cuozzo, Marvin Lubenow, those members of the RATE team who announce sensational discoveries seemingly before having made any at all, Walter Veith,
    David C. Read (sorry David, I enjoyed reading the dinosaur book nonetheless) [in no particular order],…
    Now hold on – they don’t really mis-characterize science, they mis-chacterize creationism as something hokey.
    Anyway, such people do more harm to creationism than all “Dawkinses” combined.

    Mark

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  71. Science cant investigate supernatural events. Creationism is a theroy about a supernatural event. Let’s get real.

    We can subject notions about creationism to scientific tests, but we can do that also with notions about UFO’S, alien abductions and all sorts of paranormal phenomenon. None of these are legitimate science because the basic thesis of each remains absolutely, irrefutably untestable (until God him/herself or a real alien or ghost shows up in person and removes all doubt).

    And yes evolutionism has it’s problems too. Even so, we can test evolution (change) as a process, evolutiionary patterns and possible mechanisms of abiogenesis. We cant test how or weather God did his remarkable creative act.

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  72. I haven’t had time to follow the conversations here lately so I haven’t read all of the posts in this thread.

    Here are my thoughts. As a Christian who originally lost my faith due to things I learned in college; regained my faith due to the living relationship between Christ and his followers, and the Holy Spirit’s draw and Christ’s knocking on the door of my own heart–I recognize there is a lot more than physical evidence to consider here.

    “NATURE and revelation alike testify of God’s love. Our Father in heaven is the source of life, of wisdom, and of joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature. Think of their marvelous adaptation to the needs and happiness, not only of man, but of all living creatures. The sunshine and the rain, that gladden and refresh the earth, the hills and seas and plains, all speak to us of the Creator’s love. It is God who supplies the daily needs of all His creatures.” (Steps to Christ)

    Isn’t it interesting that nature and revelation testify of God’s love? The book doesn’t begin by stating that we should use revelation to prove others wrong. Isn’t the theme of the entire Bible that God so loved the world…?

    How many times have we heard that something scientists believed in the past has now been debunked? I love science! I recently took biology courses and was afraid it might affect my faith negatively. However, the opposite happened. I saw so much complexity and beauty and symmetry that I could clearly see how nature testifies of God’s love! My faith was strengthened.

    How can anyone be so sure that what is presented in textbooks is true? I mean, think about it. Someone who has an advanced degree today may have had time in the lab–but there is no way one person can have hands on experience studying all of the things that have been gathered together into the body of knowledge that is called evolution!

    Those with an advanced degree by necessity choose a very narrow area to do a master’s thesis, then a more narrow area to do their Ph.D. The more a person knows, if they would admit it–the more they know they don’t know. Yet they think they can post positively that there is proof of evolution.

    Have you ever thought about how much time it would take you to confirm all of the points that you think “prove” evolution? Try this exercise if you believe evolution is a truth: write down every point that you believe is evidence of evolution. (Why do you believe each point?) Categorize them in the different scientific specialties (biology, biochemistry, geology, etc.).

    Create a plan on how you would actually be able to prove to yourself that these points have been made so clear that no reasonable person could doubt them. I don’t mean by reading what has been “peer reviewed,” but what you can actually do yourself. How can you prove it in the field, in the lab, etc.? If you even have time in your lifetime to get to each point, what questions come up in your own mind about the different research papers you are trying to prove? How long do you think it would take for you to answer all of them beyond the shadow of a doubt?

    I know that each time I read a research paper, it takes an incredibly long time to analyze the implications of only one.

    As you look over this plan, can you reasonably say that it is possible in one person’s lifetime?

    As a Christian, you must at least believe that you should be honest. Spouting out facts that others have claimed they have proven is not honest unless you speak plainly: “so and so claims such and such, but I do not have first hand knowledge of this.”

    If you actually begin to prove everything (on paper not in the field), you will be checking out every citation. Every citation represents a paper that cites other work. You will continue to go backward until it looks like a mirror in a mirror in a mirror. Only here and there you will probably notice discrepancies in how one author claimed what the other author claimed that the other authors claimed, and so on. You will begin to see slight prevarications.

    As a Christian, you must know that you are responsible to be a good steward of your time.

    Do you think that the Lord wants you to be spending all of your time proving that a scientific theory is true?

    Do you think He wants you to dishonestly make claims you haven’t been able to prove even to yourself–especially if these are claims that could weaken the faith of others?

    The only way you can continue to make these claims is if you are either ignorant of the fact that you just don’t know these things for a fact–or if you decide to ignore that you’ve probably spent most of your learning time in books, trusting what you read based on little footnotes and citations.

    Little footnotes and citations.

    What does that mean, really? It means that you have put an inordinate trust in the work of others whose lives and character you are ignorant of. It means that you have faith that these individuals have not fudged their facts or results in order to get funding for their next project or to simply complete a degree. And you trust dissertation committees too. Lots and lots of hearts and minds that our God says are “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” (Jeremiah 17:9)

    It means that you trust these authors more than you trust the living God.

    Wouldn’t it be better to search both revelation and nature to find God’s love? Why are you looking to find anything else? It’s all a fabrication to distract us from the work we’ve been given to do, the Great Commission.

    Anyone here have some soul-winning to do? Wouldn’t you rather do that than spend your time contributing to faith crushing? Look for God everywhere, not Darwin. You won’t be disappointed.

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  73. Science is huge but finite. God is infinite. Any amount of study humans do of God is finite, which when divided by His infinity is zero. So how do we DARE to claim that our own understanding of God is correct and another’s is incorrect, when each of us has vanishingly small knowledge? We must each keep studying and learning, but if we really *believe* that God is infinite, then it should inspire in us a great humility.

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  74. Asking tough questions, studying science and conducting scientific research has increased–not decreased–my faith in the Creator and has decreased–not increased–my faith in human reason.

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  75. Bravus: Science is huge but finite. God is infinite. Any amount of study humans do of God is finite, which when divided by His infinity is zero. So how do we DARE to claim that our own understanding of God is correct and another’s is incorrect, when each of us has vanishingly small knowledge? We must each keep studying and learning, but if we really *believe* that God is infinite, then it should inspire in us a great humility.

    How very post-modern of you…

    Your argument suggests that it is impossible to determine if any idea about God is likely right or wrong. Given this basic premise, there’s logically no point in even trying to understand God at all to any degree. After all, if you can never determine which one of any opposing ideas is more likely correct, regardless of the ideas being presented, what’s the point in saying anything at all about what God is or is not like?

    The fact of the matter is that God has revealed himself to us in ways that we can understand. No one is saying that we can understand God in all of his infinity. However, it is quite clear that God has given us the ability to understand small parts of who He – and that with clarity of what is right and what is wrong when someone speaks against that which God has clearly revealed to us about himself.

    You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
    – Job 42:8

    The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
    – Deuteronomy 29:29

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  76. Bravus, that all sounds wonderful, sort of like an Obama speech, but it would seem to rule out Christian evangelism. Don’t we contend that Christ calls everyone to repentance, and to accept the salvation He has made available through His death on the cross. Don’t we have to say to the Muslim, “Christ really died on the cross, you are wrong to say it just appeared that way.” Don’t we have to say to the Jew, “You cannot be saved by keeping the law, you need a savior in the Person of Jesus Christ.” Don’t we have to say to the atheist and the unbeliever, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

    So in order to evangelize, we have to “DARE to claim that our own understanding of God is correct and another’s is incorrect,” our “vanishingly small knowledge” notwithstanding.

    In fact, we have to believe there are better and worse understandings of God to pick any religion over any other, and to pick any Christian denomination over any other. The way that we traditionally do this within Protestantism is to see which faith is most closely following the Bible’s teachings. So we have made a decision to trust that the Bible is God’s Word, His self-revelation.

    On that same basis we reject human theories about origins that do not account for what God has told us in His word about our origins. It simply won’t do to complain that “God is infinite and we are finite,” and then reject what God has told us in His Word about origins. That is really just elevating finite man and his theories above the infinite wisdom of God and what He has revealed to us.

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  77. I think Bravus is limiting his conclusions to what we can learn about God through science. I dont think he is including what God revealed to us in the Bible, which is not a scientific document. His main point was that we need more humility and I think God makes this clear him/herself. You know, no matter what he writes some of you guys are awfuly quick to jump all over him..

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  78. @Geanna Dane:

    Geanna: Who shows more humility, the one who says, “I trust that God is telling me the truth about our origins, even if I don’t currently understand the means and mechanisms by which the created kinds spread out and diversified into so many different species,” or the one who says, “I have enough confidence in science and its conclusions to know that the Bible cannot be taken literally as it reads; the way Adventists have always read the Bible is wrong”??

    Which one has humility and which one displays hubris?

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  79. No Obama speech (but how quickly we betray our biases), just simple mathematical logic. Rigorous reasoning from the attributes of God. Inescapable, if one *really* believes that God is infinite. Clearly many here do not.

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  80. We have an eternity to learn about God’s Word but not an eternity to doubt God’s Word. (Revelation 21:8) Many people erroneously think that God is schizophrenic who once finished writing the ten commandments in stone and declared it would never change. (Matthew 5:17, 18; Exodus 20:8, 9, 10 11)
    God bless,

    Rich

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  81. @Victor Marshall:

    Please explain what is wrong about the term, ‘Creation Science’? If the world and life as we know it was created – then why can’t scientific endeavor be guided by the a priori assumption that God created everything? Would you prefer the a priori assumption that life brought itself into being (spontaneous generation)? Or how about ‘directed panspermia’ (that aliens did it). Or how about the assumption that the Bible’s account of creation is pure myth and all sceintific inquiry must be guided by the a priori assumption of pure materialism? Perhaps you have been informed that science is not science if the Creator is added to the pursuit. Have you been told that all ‘Creation Scientists’ are bogus hacks? Where have you received such a negative view of Creationism? From an LSU professor?

    It is like the desk I have in my office – it would be “much more fun” to imagine that given millions and billions of years – it just “so happened” to come about – -given enough “just so stories” — stories of course that are “easy enough to make up but they are NOT science”.

    On the other hand – we could talk about the science in design and architecture function and form in things that “are made”. And obviously in the case of “things that are made” that is a much more useful activity than “imagining stories” in fact “just so stories” where given enough “billions” of years – a desk simply “occurs”.

    But not everyone has enough devotion to Science and trust in the word of God to study things that are ‘designed’ and to see them for what they are.

    Yet God says in Romans 1 that “they are without excuse” in denying the designer – as in fact His invisible attribute are “clearly SEEN in the THINGS that have been MADE”.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  82. @Bravus:

    Science is huge but finite. God is infinite. Any amount of study humans do of God is finite, which when divided by His infinity is zero. So how do we DARE to claim that our own understanding of God is correct

    This appears to be where Bravus takes his “Ellen White was wrong” in regard to what She said God SHOWED her in 3SG 90-91 about a Creation week that is non-complimentary to evolutionism, and advances it to the logica conclusion of the form — How dare Adventists have a voted 28 Fundamental Beliefs statement that they claim is “correct”.

    Turns out the Seventh-DAY Adventist denomination did officially vote in that set of beliefs. God is the author of His Word, He is the Author of Creation, He is the “voice” behind the gift of Prophecy and He is the one that decided to raise up the Seventh-DAY Adventist church.

    I understand why that may not please some of our TE friends – but it is a bit too late to suggest that we toss that entire set of beliefs out the window AS if we did not have them — just to suit the false doctrines on origins found among evolutionism’s evangelists now operating from within the Seventh-DAY Adventist Church.

    @BobRyan:

    Our evolutionist friends have attempted a kind of “revisionist history” imagining to themselves that we actually have no formal set of beliefs. That in fact there IS no such thing as “Adventist doctrinal statement” on anything. That everyone pretty much picks and chooses as they like – and no one set of personal choices about doctrine is any better than someone else – (assuming they both have PhDs in biology of course )

    Just for the record – I was not actually trying to “predict” that Bravus would then post what he did – it only looks that way .

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  83. Geanna Dane: You know, no matter what he writes some of you guys are awfuly quick to jump all over him..  

    Let’s not, “jump all over” God, “no matter what” He inspired or those who object to disguised infidelity. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) Will someone not please rewrite the fourth commandment so it could more clearly speak of a real creation by a real God in a real six-day week who thinks this a matter of, “private interpretation?” (Cf. Exodus 20:8-9, 10, 11; 2 Peter 1:19, 20, 21)

    Plain infidelity is desirable over disguised infidelity. (Revelation 3:15) Let us then agree with the Bible’s plain teaching or plainly disagree with the Bible’s plain teaching; but let us not betray God with a kiss. We don’t worship a deity who changes forever, but Him in whom is, “no variableness, nor shadow of turning.” (James 1:17; Hebrews 11:6)
    God bless,

    Rich

    (Cf. Genesis 1:31; Exodus 20:8-9, 10, 11; Psalms 33:6, 9; Psalms 95:3-4, 5-6; Psalms 96:5; Psalms 104:5; Isaiah 45:11-12; Isaiah 65:17; Malachi 2:10; Matthew 19:4-5; John 1:1-2, 3; Acts 17:28; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:15-16; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 11:3; 2 Peter 3:5; Revelation 4:11; Revelation 14:7; Revelation 21:1.)

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  84. David, I think the one showing most humility would say “I trust that God is telling me some of the truth about our origins, even if I don’t currently understand the means and mechanisms by which the created kinds spread out and diversified into so many different species. I have enough confidence in science and its conclusions to know that the Bible perhaps cannot be taken literally as it reads all of the time; the way many Adventists have read the Bible could be wrong in some regards. Many Adventists have been open to the possibilty of new light and so am I.”

    I know this is’nt what you wanted to hear but its my personal conviction that some level of open mindednes (more so than you gave in your examples) is a necesary part of humility.

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  85. Geanna Dane: There was a suggewstion that the continents were together immediately after the flood which would help dispersal. One major problem with this would be current day bird distribution.

    A common problem with trying to “figure out” what happened in the past without acknowledging a written testimony is this common evolutionary fallacy: that the earth behaved in the past the same way it does today.

    The flood scientifically should not have happened; God made it happen. The animals scientifically should not have come into the ark; but God summoned them and they obeyed. The earth scientifically should not have divided in Genesis 10:25 on its own; God divided it. The languages at Babel scientifically should not have been confused; God did that too. In Joshua, the earth scientifically should not have stopped rotating for an entire day; God stopped dead on its axis. Scientifically, the dead cannot rise again; God does that miraculously.

    I am sorry, science has been elevated higher than it was ever meant to be; you make it higher than God. It has become a form of idolatry.

    “Many teach that matter possesses vital power,– that certain properties are imparted to matter, and it is then left to act through its own inherent energy; and that the operations of nature are conducted in harmony with fixed laws, with which God himself cannot interfere. This is false science, and is not sustained by the word of God. Nature is the servant of her Creator. God does not annul his laws, or work contrary to them; but he is continually using them as his instruments. Nature testifies of an intelligence, a presence, an active energy, that works in and through her laws. There is in nature the continual working of the Father and the Son. Christ says, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” [John 5:17.]” EGW, Christian Education 195-196

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  86. Mark Houston: @Victor Marshall: (In my experience) the most prominent “grotesque mischaracterization of science” comes from Creationists (not necessarily SDA). Kent Hovind, Jack Cuozzo, Marvin Lubenow, those members of the RATE team who announce sensational discoveries seemingly before having made any at all, Walter Veith,
    David C. Read (sorry David, I enjoyed reading the dinosaur book nonetheless) [in no particular order],…
    Now hold on – they don’t really mis-characterize science, they mis-chacterize creationism as something hokey.
    Anyway, such people do more harm to creationism than all “Dawkinses” combined.Mark  

    You seem to be mixing some respectable Creationists with a few wackos.
    Why isn’t Sean Pittman on your list too?

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  87. John Howard: I would say that faith and evidence are linked, since Paul did:
    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    Hi John. I want to be respectful. But I must correct your observation of the apostle Paul’s statement. Faith “IS” the evidence of things not seen. He is not saying that faith and evidence are linked. He is saying that when there is no evidence, there is faith. This is emphasized in the previous word “substance.” There is nothing to hold onto but faith. No physical evidence. Faith is equal substance and evidence.

    John Howard: Isaiah recorded a related concept:
    “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:

    Reasoning together does not mean finding evidence to verify that God’s Word is true before believing it.

    God bless, brother.

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  88. Ervin Taylor: If Mr. Vicaro wants to live that way, that certainly is his right. But please don’t assume that reasonable and rational people will wish to park their brains outside the church door.

    Hi Ervin.

    You know, you can address me rather than talking about me. Just a touch of elitism, maybe? You entirely missed the point. However, you may twist my words any way you wish.

    Science is not God. Science is not God’s judge. Science is not the Bible’s Judge. Science is not infallible. The findings of science are ever changing. God does not change. And God does not lie.

    Answer this question: do you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?

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  89. Geanna Dane: I remember once listening to a radio host- I thinnk it was Michael Savage of Savage Nation- who during his show had on the air the President’s address to the nation. Every few seconds or so the host would add “color commentary” to the President’s words, interpreting and criticizing and rewording as he saw fit essentially evrything the President said. It was so arrogant and obnoxious that I had to turn the radio off. I dont understand why some people think they have everything and everyone figured out.

    Amen, sister.

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  90. @Mark Houston:

    @Victor Marshall: (In my experience) the most prominent “grotesque mischaracterization of science” comes from Creationists (not necessarily SDA). Kent Hovind, Jack Cuozzo, Marvin Lubenow, those members of the RATE team who announce sensational discoveries seemingly before having made any at all, Walter Veith,

    I think it is Walter Veith makes a high priority target for evolutionists – because he is a stellar example of an agnostic evolutionist scientist teaching at the university level and in high demand in his field – that turned to accept the Bible account of Creation. And even after doing so – was still a sought after scientists among otherwise atheist centric universities.

    There is a guy that surely must be shot down – even if no information at all is given as a reason for doing so.

    Then we have Kent Hovind’s videos on Youtube where he engages with debates with evolutionists on college campus after college campus. Surey that proves he is evil – or at least another high value target for evolutionists.

    Sooo many things “not to notice” if you are an evolutionist — so little time.

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