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. Hi Stephen — I want to be respectful too, but you’ve just made what I consider to be quite an erroneous statement:

    Faith “IS” the evidence of things not seen. He is not saying that faith and evidence are linked.

    Now that’s like saying, “A = B, but A and B aren’t related.”

    I hope you can see the fallacy in what you wrote there. God most assuredly gives us evidence upon which to base our faith. It’s all around us.

    I would also maintain that “reasoning together” in Isaiah involves looking at the evidences of God’s love for us. It takes some people longer than others, y’know? Some need to review the evidence, to look at the facts of the matter before having a change of heart. Certainly God is aware of that facet of human nature, and makes allowances for it.

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  2. In response to my post about God’s infinity and our humility, @Sean Pitman, M.D. posted the following text:

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

    Let’s go back a few verses in the same chapter and see what Job had said to earn this divine approbation:

    1 Then Job replied to the LORD :
    2 “I know that you can do all things;
    no plan of yours can be thwarted.

    3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’
    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me to know.

    4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.’

    5 My ears had heard of you
    but now my eyes have seen you.

    6 Therefore I despise myself
    and repent in dust and ashes.”

    Not a million miles from what I said: God exceeds us, and we need to shut our mouths, listen and learn, not spout forth our knowledge as Job’s friends did. Interesting what taking texts in context reveals.

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  3. Geanna Dane: 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).

    Geanna,

    Did you know that Ellen White was shown by God that just prior to the second coming of Jesus, Satan would have a “counterfeit second coming.” Everything you meantioned in your quote will be verified by that deception. It will appear that “God Himself has shown up in person,” and it will apparantly “remove all doubt” of the whole world, including the evolutionists. That deception will be targeting SDAs. Many SDAs will fall for it, the ones who do not know, or do not believe God’s Word. Are you saying that you want that “evidence?”

    “Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.” Great Controversy, page 626.

    “These persons overlook the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the wonders wrought by Satan and his agents. It was by satanic aid that Pharaoh’s magicians were enabled to counterfeit the work of God. Paul testifies that before the second advent of Christ there will be similar manifestations of satanic power. The coming of the Lord is to be preceded by “the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9,10.” Great Controversy, page 554.

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  4. Bravus: 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?

    Our understanding of God must be consistent with God’s Word, what He has said about Himself. If our understanding is inconsistent with what God has said about Himself and His creation, then we can be certain that our understanding is incorrect. It’s not what I or anyone else says, it is what God says. God’s Word is clear about our origins.

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  5. John Howard: I hope you can see the fallacy in what you wrote there. God most assuredly gives us evidence upon which to base our faith. It’s all around us.

    John,

    though God does give us evidence upon which to base our faith (a comment I have made is a previous post), that is NOT the context of THE QUOTED PASSAGE.

    The passage says, “Faith IS the substance of things hoped for, [faith is] the evidence of things not seen. “I hope that YOU can see the fallacy of what you wrote there!” Open up your Bible and parse the sentence. “Faith IS the substance … the evidence…” Find your nearest english grammer teacher and ask him or her what this sentence is saying.

    You cannot make it say what is not there. It says, “FAITH IS…” Not “faith is linked to…”

    John Howard: I would also maintain that “reasoning together” in Isaiah involves looking at the evidences of God’s love for us.

    I would like to repeat my previous statement: “Reasoning together does not mean finding evidence to verify that God’s Word is true before believing it.” John 20:29. I meant exactly what I said, in its context, nothing more, nothing less. Please don’t make more out of this than what I obviously intended. Disagreement for the sake of disagreement does not prove one correct.

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  6. Bravus: Not a million miles from what I said: God exceeds us, and we need to shut our mouths, listen and learn, not spout forth our knowledge as Job’s friends did. Interesting what taking texts in context reveals.

    According to your arguments Bravus, we cannot really “learn” anything about God – nothing at all. Even if God tells us something about himself, you’re saying that we cannot know if this or that idea about God is more or less correct. That particular post-modern notion of yours is what is troubling – that all ideas about God should be given equal weight without judgment as to which ones are right and which ones are not. Given that position why should anyone even be a Christian? vs. a Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist? – if all views of God are equally valid or invalid?

    Your arguments are self-defeating as is post-modernism in general.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  7. @BobRyan:
    Bob,
    I hate to keep disagreeing with you because I like you – but; Walter Veith should not be held up as an exemplar of a creationism. Though his scientific expositions may be sound (I haven’t examined them in depth) – many of his conspiratorial expositions are rife with poor, misascribed or non-existent documentation. If you subscribe to his raft of unsubstantiated inuendos then you will find a Mason under every rock and a Jesuit in every closet. 9/11 was a controlled demolition – practically every president we ever had was a Masonic mole etc. etc. ad naseum. I will follow up with documented examples. No, I’m sorry, Mr. Veith does not give Creationsits a good name.

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  8. Bravus has perhaps unwittingly – exposed the real goal of his work – to argue against theology itself – to argue against the very idea of promoting the 28 Fundamental Beliefs as “correct”

    Bravus: So how do we DARE to claim that our own understanding of God is correct

    By contrast I would ask – How DARE we NOT hava firm foundation of doctrinal statments that have been tested and PROVEN to be Biblically correct!

    How DARE we leap off the cliff of “being blown about by every wind of doctrine”

    How DARE we leap right into the TEETH of the Gal 1:6-11 warning “IF anyone preaches to you a gospel OTHER than what we have given – let him be accursed”.

    How DARE we ignore the Bible example in John 1 that CREATION is the BASIS for Gospel, in Rev 14 that CREATION is the BASIS for Worship, in Genesis 1 that CREATION is the basis for the BIBLE itself!!

    Well anyway – just a thought.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  9. @Victor Marshall:

    @BobRyan:
    Bob,
    I hate to keep disagreeing with you because I like you – but; Walter Veith should not be held up as an exemplar of a creationism. Though his scientific expositions may be sound (I haven’t examined them in depth) – many of his conspiratorial expositions are rife with poor, misascribed or non-existent documentation.

    My reference to Walter Veith was only in respect to his understanding of science.

    When we speak of the reformer Martin Luther – we speak of the Protestant reformation, grace, righteousness by faith, “sola scriptura” etc.

    But if we want to talk about “something else” when it comes to Martin Luther – we can talk about his drinking alcohol or we can talk about the following statements he made regarding Jews.

    Martin Luther
    Martin Luther on the subject of Jews:

    “The Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows, seven times higher than ordinary thieves”

    “We ought to take revenge on the Jews and kill them.”

    “The blind Jews are truly stupid fools”

    “Now just behold these miserable, blind, and senseless people.”

    “eject them forever from this country”

    “they are nothing but thieves and robbers”

    “What then shall we do with this damned, rejected race of Jews?”

    “Such a desperate, thoroughly evil, poisonous, and devilish lot are these Jews”

    “They are the real liars and bloodhounds”

    “We are at fault for not slaying them.”

    “I shall give you my sincere advice: first to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them.”

    “Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed.”

    “Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews.”

    “Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them”

    “If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs”

    “If I had to baptize a Jew, I would take him to the river Elbe, hang a stone around his neck and push him over with the words `I baptize thee in the name of Abraham’.”

    Mixing subject “A” with subject “B” does not work for Martin Luther, or John Calvin or Walter Veith. Each of the topics has to stand on their own.

    No Mixing Martin Luther’s correction of abuses in Catholicism – with areas where he failed to continue uncovering the need for correction.
    Same with John Calvin.

    And in Walter Veith’s case – no mixing his views on science with his views on politics or world events as if a bad political idea would destroy NaCl precipitant in your test tube.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  10. @Bravus:

    Interesting what taking texts in context reveals.

    Though I have to confess to differing with Bravus on much of what he says – here is one tiny snippet in his post that I think should be looked at with care.

    The entire concept of good Bible exegesis demands that we keep texts in context. Which means that what Moses writes in Genesis 1-2:3 and in Ex 20:8-11 regarding the making of the World and ALL life forms on it in 6 literal days followed by the seventh-DAY Sabbath has to be looked at In the context of the chapter where you find it,and in the context of other references Moses makes about the same subject and – in the context of what OTHER inspired Bible writers say about the same topic, and BECAUSE inspiriation is really GOD speaking not MAN ( 2Pet 1:20-21 )we also take into account what GOD has said by direct special revelation to others outside the Bible (3SG 90-91 comes to mind).

    It is not often that we can get our TE friends to speak positively on this point – so I wanted to highlight it when it ever happens.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  11. BobRyan: And in Walter Veith’s case – no mixing his views on science with his views on politics or world events as if a bad political idea would destroy NaCl precipitant in your test tube.

    No,
    But a willingness to fudge, fabricate, or foist data in one field might lead one to hold their research in another field suspect. It might damage how you view his interpretation of various precipitant research data.

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  12. Stephen V.,

    I find it somewhat amusing that you would think to “talk down” at me as though I didn’t understand the English language. I’ve spoken, read, and written it for around a half-century now, and your patronizing attitude hardly does anything to support your argument.

    Find your nearest english grammer teacher and ask him or her what this sentence is saying.

    There’s a good example of what I mean. Condescension writ large. By the way, just so you’ll know — I’m an instructor at a fairly large university, and one condition of employment is that my English proficiency (including comprehension) be at a level significantly above that of the average person. Not trying to toot my horn, that’s just a fact. Consequently there’s not a great need for me to be consulting with an English teacher right now, especially not at the prompting of someone who evidently isn’t familiar with the proper spelling of the word “grammar,” or the rules governing the correct capitalization of words like “English”! (See the blockquote above, from your previous post.) That old saying about rocks and glass houses comes to mind… 🙂

    Once again, your contention that something can be equal to, yet at the same time unrelated to, something else flies in the face of common sense and logic. God does not require blind faith, and John 20:29 doesn’t indicate that Jesus wants us to be blind in our belief without recourse to any evidence whatsoever. Granted, it does show that He wants us to take some things on faith without visible evidence, but it would take the expunging of a great many Biblical events to establish that He would have us to go through life without any evidence at all. As Paul wrote, for example, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:…” 1 Cor. 14:22. God does give evidence in attempts at persuasion, with respect to His existence and the truths of the gospel of Christ. He prefers that people would believe Him without needing such evidence, sure. But some people need more persuading than others, as I said above, so He gives them what they need. Jesus did satisfy Thomas’ ‘requirement’ after all, didn’t He? John 20:25-27.

    So contrary to what you’re saying here, I still think you’re misconstruing the plain meaning of what Paul wrote in Heb. 11:1, and misconstruing it pretty badly.

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  13. Walter Veith was a university-level science instructor in South Africa. He is now a creationist, but creationism does not seem to be his main thrust, or the main thrust of his ministry, “Amazing Discoveries.”

    I have seen some of Veith’s lecture tapes, and he does mix many conspiracy theories into his prophetic expositions. His basic biblical exposition is sound, but his wilder conspiracy theories, like the idea that Rome secretly controls Islam, are unlikely and unproven, by the nature of things, inherently unprovable.

    I think Veith would be better off to leave these things out of his presentations. But his ministry, “Amazing Discoveries”, is self-supporting and does not accept tithe. That gives him greater leeway. By contrast, LaSierra is a not a self-supporting ministry, but an auxilliary of the Pacific Union, part of the official Seventh-day Adventist Church, and it does accept some tithe dollars. It should not be teaching strongly against church doctrine.

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  14. Based on their recent responses and other comments they have made on EducateTruth, both Sean Pitman and David Read seem to share with all other fundamentalists—ancient and modern, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu–a profound and pervasive hubris—otherwise known as pride—in their special ability to think God’s thoughts and do God’s will.

    It is especially dangerous since these individuals tend to think that their understanding of what God wants them to believe about what the Bible teaches is what God wants everybody to believe about what the Bible teaches. There is only one truth and they just happened to know what that truth is. That is pure hubris.

    This fundamental misunderstanding is, in many ways, a kind of disease that appears often among the highly religiously motivated. We all need to help these individuals to see the nature of their problem and assist them to channel their passionate beliefs in more productive and positive ways. Don’t tell them they are wrong. Just suggest that as Adventist Christians they have a right to their beliefs just as every other Adventist Christian does.

    Also, we might also suggest that they should work passionately towards having all of us make a special donation to ADRA. All Adventist Christians—liberal, conservative, historic, evangelical, or whatever—would probably support that. It seems to me that this would be a more appropriate and helpful way to channel their religious enthusiasms than what they are currently doing. Why not believe and do something that really helps people? Is that too much to ask?

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  15. @Ervin Taylor:

    Ervin, it is interesting that you continue to assert that strong, steadfast faith equals hubris, without specifically addressing the counter-arguments that Sean, I, and others posted in response to Bravus’s taking the same position.

    It is doubly interesting because this same debate recently surfaced on the Atoday website. One of the bloggers there, Kendra Perry wrote:

    “I question whether theologically liberal Adventists (or theologically liberal Christians of any stripe, for that matter), can truly unite around the Great Commission. My vague impression seems to be that their attitude is “my view is fine for me; your view is fine for you; let’s leave each other alone.” There doesn’t seem to be a compelling need to introduce people to Christ or unique Adventist understandings of truth.”

    I agreed with Kendra as follows:

    “I second what Kendra Perry wrote. The idea of uniting behind the mission of the Adventist Church presupposes that our church has something worth selling, something that is better than what other people and denominations have. The theologically liberal mind is extremely uncomfortable with the idea that anyone’s religion is better than anyone else’s. . . . A strong commitment to evangelism presupposes theological conservatism, because it presupposes the idea that Christianity–and in our case, Seventh-day Adventist Protestant Christianity–is better than atheism, agnosticism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Methodism, Islam, etc., and so much better that people’s eternal destiny depends upon adopting our product and rejecting those others. That kind of attitude is absoutely hateful to the liberal mind. The arc of theological liberalism ends in an attitude of embarrassment and apology for one’s own beliefs, and the elevation of somebody, anybody, else’s beliefs over one’s own wretched superstitions. Or, I should say, it nears the end at that point. The end of the arc is the abandonment of any firmly held beliefs.”

    Your post is triply interesting because it mirrors the arc of liberal religion in eschewing any doctrinal orthodoxy in favor of good works, or the “social gospel.” You are saying that, instead of evangelizing faith, just go do good works, go raise money for Haiti. What you don’t seem to understand is that belief goes hand in hand with good works. Post-Christian societies start to have the attitude of “I pay taxes; let the government send money to Haiti” and private giving declines markedly. This is the situation in Europe, whereas private giving in the U.S. remains relatively healthy (although not as healthy as it was just 20 or 30 years ago).

    Theological liberalism is a dead end, as evidenced by the fact that the liberal churches have stopped growing and, in the past half-century, have begun to wither away. The reason is obvious: because they abandoned their own belief system. Obviously, they couldn’t get motivated to convince others of what they no longer believed themselves.

    Do you have something constructive to add to this debate, or do you just want to keep chanting, “Faith equals hubris, faith equals hubris”?

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  16. The most interesting thing on this website is when people who pose questions leave, those who stick around turn on each other. Who turns out the light when the last right person is left in the room?

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  17. Again, a brief response to the long conversation that has gone on while I’ve been asleep. People have managed to project all sorts of things all over my short statement about humility – postmodernism (nup) and completely giving up on evangelism or any understanding of God at all. People have also assumed that that statement was simply a stratagem to question (particular views of) the Biblical creation account and introduce evolutionism… which it wasn’t.

    Perhaps that means I was unclear in trying to be brief, perhaps that they have managed to bring their own obsessions and imprint them over my intentions – probably a little of both.

    I am humble about my knowledge of educational research, although I have written and published two books on the topic. Within the narrow field of narrative multimethod approaches, it could be argued I am an internationally known expert… but I know also how much more there is to know. Being humble about how much I know does not prevent me from speaking and writing about what I do know. It doesn’t even prevent me from suggesting to people who want to do educational research that my approach might serve them well in their studies.

    What it also does, though, is mean I am willing to listen to others’ perspectives and learn from them. It means I’m much less willing to condemn without understanding. It means I can continue in dialogue with proponents of different research approaches, and draw the best from them.

    Now, of course, religious cases are more difficult and the stakes are higher, and we are studying sacred texts instead of classrooms, and we have the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I still maintain that knowing both what we do know and how much we don’t know is far healthier than believing we know it all… especially when our Subject is infinite.

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  18. Bravus, where are you getting the idea that your ideological opponents think they know everything? Where does this come from?

    I’ve never claimed to know it all, but what does that have to do with our faith differences? Obviously, nobody knows anything about origins. It is all a matter of faith. I read the Bible the way Adventists have always read it, and you think that reading can’t possibly be correct. So we have a faith difference, or a difference of opinion. How does my opinion make me a know-it-all? Why doesn’t your opinion make you a know-it-all?

    I’m not following your logic at all, nor Ervin’s, and I’m really trying to. I think perhaps the conservative mind is cast in such an utterly different modality than the liberal mind that meaningful dialog is all but impossible.

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  19. Good questions David, thanks for engaging and continuing the discussion. Two quick responses:

    1. I think the whole ‘conservative vs liberal’ mindset is part of the problem, certainly – because I don’t even think that way. Arguments stand or fall on their own merit, not whether they are conservative or liberal. And most ideas are complex enough that they partake to some extent of both of those rather arbitrary frames. The division of the world into two and only two warring camps is an unfortunate development of the past decade or so, and impoverishes debate. It would be excellent if we could get beyond it here. I am not flying a liberal flag in a den of conservatives, I am having a conversation with a group of fellow believers in Christ.

    2. There’s a categorical error in your response. I’m not at all saying that you think you know everything. I *am* saying that creationists often come across as thinking that they know enough to know that their views are *definitively, finally, objectively* true and correct and their opponents views are *definitively, finally, objectively* wrong. My call is simply for more humility than that: recognition that while our views are *substantively* correct, and *more correct than some other views* we always still have more to learn. Which I think is what I hear you saying too. (And it ought to go without saying but I’ll say it anyway: the same definitely applies to evolutionists of any stripe, to ancient creationists, to those who in any way want to challenge the orthodoxy as well as to those who want to defend it. Any statement I make is *first* to be applied to myself and those with whom I agree.)

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  20. The Post-Modern Hubris of Erv Taylor

    Ervin Taylor: Based on their recent responses and other comments they have made on EducateTruth, both Sean Pitman and David Read seem to share with all other fundamentalists—ancient and modern, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu–a profound and pervasive hubris—otherwise known as pride—in their special ability to think God’s thoughts and do God’s will.

    It is especially dangerous since these individuals tend to think that their understanding of what God wants them to believe about what the Bible teaches is what God wants everybody to believe about what the Bible teaches. There is only one truth and they just happened to know what that truth is. That is pure hubris.

    If I didn’t think what I believe was worth while or beneficial for anyone but myself, I’d not try to share what I think I’ve discovered that is helpful and hopeful.

    What is amazing here is that those like Erv think to chastise others for having an opinion on what they think is true or false while forgetting they they also have very strong opinions as to what is and isn’t true as well. And, they are perfectly willing to share their opinion and to declare that they are right and that others who disagree with them are almost certainly wrong – and likely a little mentally warped or even evil. Talk about arrogance!

    The fact is that anyone with any opinion whatsoever has just a little bit of hubris to think that perhaps, just perhaps, he/she knows something that is worth sharing. Don’t let Erv fool you. He’s just as opinionated and passionate about his ideas as the rest of us – and he doesn’t mind telling you his opinions either and why those who disagree with him are clearly nut cases.

    Also, it is disingenuous of Erv to suggest that I am trying to coerce or even force others to accept my point of view. That’s completely unfair and untrue. As Erv knows, I have consistently pointed out that freedom to leave the SDA organization without any fear of civil reprisals or moral accusations or recriminations is vitally important. However, this does not mean that the SDA Church can simply hire anyone and everyone as paid representatives either. No one has a right to claim money from an organization simply for being sincere and honest. That simply isn’t enough to be an official paid representative. Sorry Erv. Organizations require rules of internal order and government. A complete lack of internally enforced rules ends in anarchy, not a productive organization.

    This fundamental misunderstanding is, in many ways, a kind of disease that appears often among the highly religiously motivated. We all need to help these individuals to see the nature of their problem and assist them to channel their passionate beliefs in more productive and positive ways. Don’t tell them they are wrong. Just suggest that as Adventist Christians they have a right to their beliefs just as every other Adventist Christian does.

    Everyone has a right to his/her beliefs in a free civil society Erv. We have this in these great United States of America. However, not everyone has a right to expect to be paid by any particular organization for his/her beliefs – not even in the good ol’ US of A. That’s the rub here and you know it. Don’t try to confuse this issue by suggesting that I am making moral judgments regarding those who happen to disagree with me. I’m not – except to suggest that taking a paycheck from any organization while deliberately doing contrary to what that organization is paying you to do is stealing of the employer’s time and money (a moral wrong in anyone’s book).

    Also, we might also suggest that they should work passionately towards having all of us make a special donation to ADRA. All Adventist Christians—liberal, conservative, historic, evangelical, or whatever—would probably support that. It seems to me that this would be a more appropriate and helpful way to channel their religious enthusiasms than what they are currently doing. Why not believe and do something that really helps people? Is that too much to ask?

    We should all being helping the poor and needy continually, regardless of religious affiliation. This is basic morality that is written upon the hearts of all. This is also the basis of salvation. However, it isn’t the basis of a solid conscious hope in a bright literal future. In order to obtain such a confidence in the Gospel’s “Good News”, you need to understand the validity of the Christian Doctrines.

    Let me ask you a simple question Erv. You claim to believe in God – right? Would you say that those who don’t believe in the existence of God are mistaken? Should the SDA Church pay people, as official representatives, to go around explaining to our Churches and schools why they think God doesn’t exist? Would that be a proper use of church funds?

    Your post-modernist thinking is really self-defeating you know… all truth is relative – – except for your own of course ; )

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  21. Bravus, I think the terms “liberal” and “conservative” are used because they are economical. Clusters of beliefs, attitudes, and views so often reside together in the same individual that it is much more efficient to name the cluster than to go through a long laundry list of all of the constituent beliefs, attitudes and views.

    Speaking for myself, I do not claim to know anything about origins, much less to know anything “definitively, finally, and objectively.” I do read Scripture in a certain way (the traditional Adventist reading), and based upon that reading, I explore various hypotheses and theories about origins. I do not hold dogmatically the various hypotheses and theories through which I seek to correlate what I believe from Scripture with the data found in the world (and the universe).

    But I DO hold dogmatically to my reading of Scripture, and I think that is the heart of our disagreement. I think it bothers you that I am (as are most of us who post here) so unbending and uncompromising in my faith. Again speaking for myself, my faith in Scripture, as God has given me to understand Scripture, is firm, steadfast, unbending, uncompromising, and non-negotiable. I think it is this attitude that you are interpreting as lack of humility, arrogance, pride, hubris, etc., but to me it is just strongly held faith. I know what I believe, and it isn’t up for debate. If that makes me seem arrogant, then I will just have to seem arrogant.

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  22. You have been careful throughout your post to speak of ‘my reading of Scripture’, ‘my understanding’ and so on, and of your faith in that. That is very commendable, and in itself a level of humility and awareness that is not displayed by many others posting here (and remember that my comment was for everyone, not just you).

    Recognising that *both* our reading of Scripture and our reading of the natural world might need work is all I’m talking about. Again, not that Scripture is wrong, but that our reading of it might be. William Miller’s was, yet led to us all being here. Our understanding may be wrong… “Trust in the Lord and lean not on thine own understanding” extends to our understanding of Scripture.

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  23. Bravus: Recognising that *both* our reading of Scripture and our reading of the natural world might need work is all I’m talking about. Again, not that Scripture is wrong, but that our reading of it might be. William Miller’s was, yet led to us all being here. Our understanding may be wrong… “Trust in the Lord and lean not on thine own understanding” extends to our understanding of Scripture.

    We all might be wrong Bravus. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have opinions or stand for what we currently think is right. You yourself clearly have very decided opinions about what is right and what is wrong. You think you clearly know some form of “truth” because of this. That’s Ok. What’s disingenuous on your part is your notion that no one else should be able to have solid opinions about what is right and wrong – especially when it comes to interpreting scripture. You may be right and I may be wrong. However, what is clearly wrong is for you to expect me to pay you for your views even if I don’t agree with you. Paid representation is a privilege, not a right. It doesn’t matter if the organization is actually right or wrong in what it is trying to do. Either way, it would still be wrong of you or anyone else to take money from any organization and then do contrary to what that organization is paying you to do. It would also be wrong of any organization to advertise one product for sale and then provide a completely different product. That’s deceptive – a form of lying. Clearly, such deception is a moral wrong…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  24. @BobRyan:

    Our evolutionist friends have attempted a kind of “revisionist history” imagining to themselves that we actually have no formal set of beliefs

    They imagine a fiction where there IS no such thing as voted-in-quinquinium “Adventist doctrinal statement” on anything that matters.

    They suppose to themselves 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 that all those doing the choosing – have PhDs in biology of course )

    @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 then how surprising that Erv Taylor then joins in this happy little chorus

    @Ervin Taylor:

    It is especially dangerous since these individuals tend to think that their understanding of what God wants them to believe about what the Bible teaches is what God wants everybody to believe

    Apparently the evolutionist in Taylor imagines that God wants SOME people to believe he is the Creator and the Savior – but wants OTHERS to believe in Hindu gods or the tooth fairy.

    Oh well…

    There is only one truth and they just happened to know what that truth is. That is pure hubris.

    Is this where it is “hubris” to HAVE a 28 Fundamental Beliefs? Or just dangerous to “BELIEVE them as IF they are actually true” – hard to tell which idea is being shot at in that post by Taylor.

    Anyway – Erv Taylor wants us to know that those beliefs are “dangerous”.

    Ok – I think we call see what you want – the only question is – how are you going to present it in a way that makes sense and is believable??

    This fundamental misunderstanding is, in many ways, a kind of disease that appears often among the highly religiously motivated. We all need to help these individuals to see the nature of their problem and assist them

    Sounds like “the doctor is in” –

    Are you offering a cure that comes in a bottle or is it something we have to watch swinging back and forth while imaginative stories about birds coming from reptiles are gently played in the background? 😉

    I for one – want to know what your ‘fix’ is for the 28 Fundamental beliefs actually “existing”.

    Just suggest that as Adventist Christians they have a right to their beliefs just as every other Adventist Christian does.

    So err um.. “everyone believe whatever they feel like believing because after all – we don’t have a voted statement of 28 Fundamental beliefs that actually mean anything”??

    I think this is where I came in – with my post listed here.

    I just don’t get why you are trying that the transparent revisionism in broad daylight?

    Shouldn’t you be at least offering up some smoke and mirrors with that?

    Do you really intend to just come right out with it??

    Seems kind of self-defeating for an evolutionist if you ask me.

    I think the idea is to win the hearts and minds of those viewers who might be sitting on the fence by a compelling argument based on “fact” and not simply offering up more fiction.

    In any case – the facts remain as they are — storytelling not withstanding. We actually have a set of voted 28 Fundamental Beliefs. The ease with which evolutionists choose to dismissively wave them off is now all too apparent.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  25. I’d be interested to hear where you’ve seen certainty that I am right in anything I have written, Sean. On the contrary, I have *continuously* said, and meant, that I have no firm position on origins. As it happens, I believe (and have said) that as long as the official position of the church is as it is, that ought to be taught in schools owned and run by the church. My comments here are concerned with changing the church’s position (and, Bob, I’d be fascinated to see anyone here on any side who has claimed the 28 don’t exist).

    (When I said to Bob Ryan that ‘EGW was dead wrong’ in 3SG90-91, that was a rhetorical device intended to shortcircuit his repeated spamming of that reference as though it was the end of all discussion (t didn’t work). A more nuanced response might have said that I could not see how EGW’s comments on those pages could be made to accord with the evidence we see around us in the physical world. I went for the short, sharp, shock for effect, and have paid for it since.)

    I’ve said it at every stage: prescriptions for humility point first and most at myself. So I’m not sure where you guys are hearing this certainty that you’re describing hearing from me.

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  26. Bravus: “Recognising that *both* our reading of Scripture and our reading of the natural world might need work” sounds like a reasonable idea. But it is not sound exegesis to adopt a certain reading of Scripture merely so that Scripture accommodates some theory of origins. “The Bible is not to be tested by men’s ideas of science.” PP 114. Rather, the Bible should be interpreted using its own internal evidence. The Bible should be read and interpreted by comparing passage with passage, verse with verse, chapter with chapter, and thereby getting a sense of what God was trying to communicate to us in His word. An astonishing consistency emerges from that kind of Bible study.

    It is especially unsound and illogical to interpret Scripture so as to accommodate theories of origins that have been developed in accordance with the philosophy of naturalism. Scripture is written from a supernaturalistic point of view, and assumes that God, angels, demons and Satan exist, that God created, and upholds and sustains His creation, and that God has often miraculously intervened in His created universe. So the philosophical foundation of Scripture is contrary to the philosophy underpinning Darwinism and long ages geology. It is exegetically senseless to strain to interpret Scripture, which is marinated in the supernatural, so as to accommodate theories of origins that are premised upon naturalistic (functionally atheistic) philosophical foundations.

    You mention that history proved Wm. Miller’s reading of Scripture wrong, and your point seems to be that the facts of nature can prove that a literal reading of Genesis 1 and Exodus 20 is also wrong. This isn’t the case. The data of nature do not interpret themselves, but must be interpreted according to a theory or hypothesis. Those who believe that the facts of nature themselves disprove a literal reading of Scripture suffer from a lack of imagination, an inability to interpret the facts in any way other than along Lyellian and Darwinian lines. To paraphrase Ervin Taylor, they suffer from a fundamental misunderstanding, in many ways, a kind of disease that appears often among the highly scientifically indoctrinated.

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  27. @Bravus:

    Again, not that Scripture is wrong, but that our reading of it might be. William Miller’s was, yet led to us all being here. Our understanding may be wrong… “Trust in the Lord and lean not on thine own understanding” extends to our understanding of Scripture.

    There is no doubt that – any one person could easily be mistaken.

    That is not the issue here.

    The issue is the entire concept of a remnant doctrinal message for the end times. The issue is the value of the 1Cor 12 gift of Prophecy. The issue is the value of the entire 2300 year 1844 movement by God. The issue is the value that God places on that entire concept of raising up the Seventh-DAY Adventist Church to the point of actually discovering that He “cares” about what happens in things like the quinquinium vote — when the entire church in the form of it’s representatives meets and votes on what is accepted Doctrinal statements for this denomination. And the issue is the fact that hands-down the Ex 20:8-11 Genesis 2:1-3 match up has been shown to be rock solid – and by contrast the TE smoke and mirrors dance around those very details has been shown to be without any support at all from the text of scripture.

    IF all of that actually can be dismissively swept under the rug (as evolutionists here appear to be suggesting – all in blind service to evolutionism ) — then the TE position has a leg to stand on — at least a beginning. Because then they only have to deal with the train-wreck they are making of both science and education in their “stories easy enough to make up” that are in fact – not science.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  28. @Bravus:

    My comments here are concerned with changing the church’s position (and, Bob, I’d be fascinated to see anyone here on any side who has claimed the 28 don’t exist).

    (When I said to Bob Ryan that ‘EGW was dead wrong’ in 3SG90-91, that was a rhetorical device intended to shortcircuit his repeated spamming of that reference as though it was the end of all discussion (t didn’t work). A more nuanced response might have said that I could not see how EGW’s comments on those pages could be made to accord with the evidence we see around us in the physical world. I went for the short, sharp, shock for effect, and have paid for it since.)

    Indeed you have the point right – your work here is focused on changing “The church’s position” not changing the views of any one individual or even some mythical fringe group that supposedly strayed away from the majority vote on SDA doctrinal statements of the Church.

    It is the church itself that TE and therefore your criticism is aimed at. It is the voted statements themselves that you find issue with.

    Though we have seen it oft “recast” in true revisionist fashion by our evolutionist friends, bending the facts to the imaginary idea that some small fringe, factious, fundamentalist few have come upon a wild idea about how to read Genesis 2:3 or Ex 20:8-11 or Belief #6 – what we really have is unmistakable language in those very texts pointing clearly to the literal 7 day week at creation. What we really have is the denomination itself squarely in line with the 28 FB and Ex 20:8-11 when it comes to a literal 7 day Creation week less than 10,000 years ago. There is nothing “fringe” about that.

    You also have it right that your offhand objection to Ellen White’s “I was shown by God — the literal 7 day creation week” has nothing at all to do with your study or understanding of prophecy – how it works or what the impact is of God actually providing that kind of revelation. Your objection is based solely on looking at evolutionist stories on origins and questions in nature that as yet you have no answer for –

    Fritz Guy at the very least – admits that this is an issue with our stated doctrinal positions – formally voted – publically accepted, universally taught within this denomination.

    So “yes” the discussion then has to be framed as you have done in a “change the church” context, and NOT in the oft repeated “I have found a wild dangerous fundamentalist that thinks Adventists believe in a 7 day creation week” kind of fiction.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  29. This web site also has as an avowed goal ‘changing the church’s position’ – tightening the Fundamental Beliefs at the next General Conference to enshrine 6 day 6000 year creationism as the only possible position for SDAs. Same goal, slightly different approaches and intentions.

    (And I’m not a TE, no matter what your voices are telling you)

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  30. Seeking openly and honestly to change the church’s position, where I believe that position to be flawed, is the honorable way to approach the issue. I agree with Shane Hilde and many on this site that teaching contrary to the church’s position in church-run institutions (if that is happening) is *not* the appropriate way to address the issue.

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  31. @Bravus: I’m surprised to hear you think Educate Truth has an “avowed goal” to change the church’s position. You couldn’t be more wrong Bravus. What on earth gave you that impression? We uphold the church’s position. It has always been the position of the church that God created the heaven and earth in 6 days in the very recent past (about 6,000 years ago).

    We’re attempting to shed light on how LSU is not upholding the church’s position.

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  32. John Howard: I find it somewhat amusing that you would think to “talk down” at me as though I didn’t understand the English language. I’ve spoken, read, and written it for around a half-century now, and your patronizing attitude hardly does anything to support your argument.

    Hi John.

    You know, because of my upbringing, I have a tendency to be very direct at time. This is evident in many of my posts. I do apologize that my tone seemed patronizing. However, it is a misunderstanding. Let me explain. When I said that you should check with your nearest English grammar teacher, I meant for verification. If you re-read it, you can see that it is possible that I was not “talking down” to you. Perhaps insensitive to how I might have been perceived, granted.

    However, I stand behind my interpretation of the passage quoted, which is the common interpretation of the text.

    Let me remind your prior tone could also be interpreted as condescending also, when in fact, my interpretation was not erroneous.

    Sincerely,
    Stephen

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  33. Choose ye this day who you will worship:

    1. “Worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
    “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and
    all that is in them,…”

    OR

    2. Worship a God who is unable to convey an accurate
    description of the creation of the world when using His own finger.
    (carpal tunnel?)

    Worship a God who should be willing to apologize to us for expressing
    Himself in a way that so dramatically contradicts what we know about
    scientific fact.

    Worship a God who portrayed Himself as a Young Earth Creationist; when
    what He really meant to say was that He is an Old Earth Theistic
    Evolutionist.

    Worship a God who allowed Moses to forge His signature on some pieces
    of stone with myths and legends he stole from the Sumerians who were
    ignorant of evolution.

    Worship a God who tried to write things down for us so that we would
    get it straight about long ages of evolution – but instead accidentally
    wrote down what happened on another world.

    Worship a God who seems to say that what we believe about creation is
    important (so He wrote it in stone), but what He really thinks is that
    we humans shouldn’t make such a big deal about it; everybody will
    have their own opinion, and we may never really know anyway.

    Worship a God who made fallen nature a more reliable source of
    information than what He Himself wrote in stone.

    Worship a God who has trouble with human language. When He said
    the earth and everything in it was made in six days – He really meant
    certain one celled life forms that gave birth to all life through
    evolution were brought forth on an earth that had already been created
    billions of years previously

    As you can now see. The 4th commandment is the one which has been peculiarly controverted.

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  34. @Shane Hilde said:

    I’m surprised to hear you think Educate Truth has an “avowed goal” to change the church’s position. You couldn’t be more wrong Bravus. What on earth gave you that impression?

    G’day Shane

    I could well be wrong on that point. I was taking it from the ‘Story about Belief 6’ post, which says it is written by ‘Educate Truth Staff’, and says in its introduction:

    Belief 6 needs to be amended in General Conference Session as soon as possible to reflect the four historic Adventist landmarks on creation which are recently affirmed in “A Response to an Affirmation of Creation.”

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  35. @Bravus: I think in light of the current controversy this isn’t a bad idea. While it may be missing “literal” or “recent past”, the meaning is implied. Some differ, but for me there is no debate on the meaning of belief six, but due to the confusion others are causing by the absence of certain clarifiers I think it’s a great idea to have a changed.

    Keep in mind though that this change, were it to occur, would not be changing the position of the church. It would be making it more clear.

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  36. John Howard: Consequently there’s not a great need for me to be consulting with an English teacher right now, especially not at the prompting of someone who evidently isn’t familiar with the proper spelling of the word “grammar,” or the rules governing the correct capitalization of words like “English”! (See the blockquote above, from your previous post.) That old saying about rocks and glass houses comes to mind…

    By the way, John, if you are going to criticize someone for condescension, you should avoid it also. In your own words, “your patronizing attitude hardly does anything to support your argument.” I was not bragging on MY [capitalized for emphasis] “English (I capitalized it this time) grammar” (corrected my spelling too), but referring you to find someone whom (or is it “who?”) you considered reputable to verify my parsing.

    I am sorry that I wounded your pride. I will try to be more sensitive from now on so as not to provoke you to defense.

    However, I think that you have allowed yourself to become distracted from our original disagreement, with all due respect professor. We were discussing the interpretation of Hebrews 11:1. In the apparent absence of visual, physical, testable, provable substance or evidence to support believing something, faith is our substance and evidence. That may have been a run-on sentence, though not uncommon in the Apostle Paul’s writings, of which we are discussing. And, there is no glass house here.

    *Please pardon any grammar or spelling errors in this or any future statement, which the writer may be prone to.

    See ya(you).

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  37. @Bravus: God did speak to them in a language they could understand, and it’s a language we can understand too. Besides, Moses was a very educated man. There is no textual evidence to support the idea that the story of creation that Moses recorded differs from what Adam would have most likely known. The facts of the creation week are set in pretty clear language. There is nothing ambiguous about it other than our lack of knowledge of how it all worked.

    But we do know for certain that certain things were created on each day, and that there were six days and that God rested on the seventh day. These are core truths of the genesis account. We’ll have to speculate on the rest for God did not relate the rest.

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  38. To me, ‘clarifying’ that one specific possible interpretation of a text is the only possible correct one is changing that text, but I guess that’s a bit of a semantic distinction. Anyway, people know what I meant and why I said it, so that’s OK.

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  39. Could Moses understand the concept of a billion? It’s important to understand what ‘highly educated’ meant at that moment in history, rather than to read Bronze Age texts with literalistic Information Age minds. How could God explain microscopic organisms when people did not understand them for nearly another 3 millennia? And so on. It is a thoughtless literalism that does not recognise that texts need to be interpreted in light of the culture and times in which they were written that does violence to the intent of Scripture.

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  40. John Howard: So contrary to what you’re saying here, I still think you’re misconstruing the plain meaning of what Paul wrote in Heb. 11:1, and misconstruing it pretty badly.

    Absolutely not! See other verses in the immediate context: Hebrews 11:3 and Hebrews 11:6. Again, Hebrews 11:1 reads, “Now faith is the…evidence of things NOT SEEN [emphasis mine]. There is no visual, physical evidence. Faith is the evidence. I believe it because God told me it is so, even if I cannot see it or prove it.

    Please, don’t just say that I am wrong. Make your case. Explain how I am wrong, and what you think the correct interpretation is.

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  41. Bravus: This web site also has as an avowed goal ‘changing the church’s position’ – tightening the Fundamental Beliefs at the next General Conference to enshrine 6 day 6000 year creationism as the only possible position for SDAs. Same goal, slightly different approaches and intentions.

    Bravus.

    If you are not a TE, then please state in a clear, precise statement what your position is on origins so that I can know how to comment on your posts.

    Sincerely,
    Stephen

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  42. OK: my clear position is that I have no position.

    As I’ve repeatedly said. There is a minimum of 6 possible positions available, and the full set of available evidence for each one is simply not convincing enough to allow me to confidently adopt it. It’s why I’m still seeking.

    I’m not sure why people find it so difficult to understand this clear and simple statement in clear and simple English.

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  43. Edit: here’s that list, Stephen. It’s not exhaustive but it’s a start:

    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

    Within that, the evidence for 6000 years is particularly shaky (particularly since the Bible does not mention it or require it). I fully accept that God could have created the world 6000 years ago and made it look much older but am mystified by his reasons for doing so. So of the positions I don’t have, recent creationism that specifically uses the 6000 year age is the one that seems most problematic to me. Recent creationism that allows for something in the 20,000 year range is much less so.

    So I guess, if I wanted to, I could assign rough degrees of probability to the 6 possible positions. I reject atheistic evolutionism, as a matter of faith, so I guess really we’re down to 5. And panspermia just puts off the problem to another world, so we’re down to 4.

    OK, so I guess my position is that I find it difficult or impossible, looking at both the scientific and the Biblical evidence, to absolutely accept recent creationism, ancient creationism, theistic evolutionism or deism. I believe God is the Creator, but that the Biblical account is concerned with the who and why of Creation more than the when and how. (And see below.)

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  44. A thought that came to me while I was out riding my motorbike this afternoon (it won’t be popular, and it’s just an idle musing rather than a serious policy position, but I thought I’d share anyway).

    A large part of the concern from SDAs about moving away from a literal 6-day creation is that they believe that doing so undermines the rationale for Sabbath-keeping, with Sabbath being described in the Bible as a memorial of Creation (among other things).

    But what if you guys have the logic backward? What if, rather than the 7-day week being a memorial of a literal Creation Week, God told the story of Creation (being concerned with who and why more than when and how) in the way He did in order to establish the Sabbath. He designed us, he knows we need a weekly (not millennial, yes, you’re right) rest and chance to reconnect with Him in a special way. He knew all the scientific detail of the when and how of Creation, but His purpose in telling the story was to establish relationship with us, so the story was given to Moses in the form it was.

    I’m sure it’s a completely unacceptable concept to most here, but I thought it was an interesting exercise at least.

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  45. Shane Hilde: But we do know for certain that certain things were created on each day, and that there were six days and that God rested on the seventh day. These are core truths of the genesis account. We’ll have to speculate on the rest for God did not relate the rest.

    That is an interpretation of Genesis, but certainly not what the language requires. The purpose of Genesis 1 and 2 is far more grand than to give a historical recitation of events. Have you never read beyond the plain text?

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  46. Carl:
    That is an interpretation of Genesis, but certainly not what the language requires. The purpose of Genesis 1 and 2 is far more grand than to give a historical recitation of events. Have you never read beyond the plain text?  

    You appear to admit that the plain text calls for creation occurring in 6 days, which of course is true.

    I for one have read beyond the plain text things written by both sides of the question. One of the writers I have read is named Ellen White, and she explicitly wrote that the idea that the 6 days of creation were not 6 days is a most dangerous form of infidelity.

    Since Seventh-day Adventists believe that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy, then what Jesus testified by His Spirit through His prophet must carry more weight than the assertions of infidels and skeptics. Certainly you would agree that Jesus is more knowledgeable on this issue than an infidel like Charles Darwin.

    But back to your assertion that the language of Genesis does not require the interpretation that the 6 days be 6 days. In what way is taking the words as they read an interpretation? It seems to me that evolutionists make that assertion just to muddy the waters.

    We’re not talking about one group interpreting the beast of Rev. 13 to be a computer and another group interpreting it to be a kingdom. We’re talking about one group taking the 6 days statement as it reads, and another group interpreting it to mean something other than what it says.

    It has been stated that no Hebrew scholar in any world class university anywhere in the world believes that the author of Genesis intended the 6 days to be understood as anything other than 6 days.

    Thus, proposing that Gen. 1 and 2 has some sort of grand purpose built into a bogus story raises questions as to why God, who presumably had that grand purpose, allowed Moses to record a bogus story. It also raises questions as to what sort of grand purpose a super-distant deity might really have when he is so far removed from us as to take millions of years to make life on earth, and as to never having been able to straighten Moses out about how the world was created.

    Really, if one thinks through all of this to its natural conclusion, one is left without faith in the Bible, without faith in God, and without the Adventist message. And that leads me to conclude that the grand purpose behind such reasonings is the purpose of a mad “man,” the arch rebel, a genius gone awry, who gives fair speeches promising enlightenment and wealth and fame, all the while waiting like some gangster the right moment to blow us away.

    Therefore, I applaud every effort by the LSU board to address and rectify the problem of evolution over millions of years being taught as fact at La Sierra.

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  47. @Bravus:

    A thought that came to me while I was out riding my motorbike this afternoon (it won’t be popular, and it’s just an idle musing rather than a serious policy position, but I thought I’d share anyway).

    A large part of the concern from SDAs about moving away from a literal 6-day creation is that they believe that doing so undermines the rationale for Sabbath-keeping, with Sabbath being described in the Bible as a memorial of Creation (among other things).

    Good observation. Kinda like we see being argued in 3SG 90-91 as part of special divine revelation confirming that point of the implications of dumping the Bible teaching on origins.

    @Bravus:

    But what if you guys have the logic backward? What if, rather than the 7-day week being a memorial of a literal Creation Week, God told the story of Creation (being concerned with who and why more than when and how) in the way He did in order to establish the Sabbath.

    The problelm with what-if scenarios is that everybody has one – and they are not divinely authorized like scripture. So for now we are kinda stuck with scripture as our foundation rather than imaginative stories – as much fun as they are – admittedly.

    But IF God had said “I am giving you a 7 day week because I like it – and sometimes I like to imagine that I was able to create all of life on earth in 6 literal days. So in keeping with my imagination in that regard I would ask that each of you join me in resting on the 7th day AS IF I had actually done something like that in a real 7 day creation week. After all – I AM God and I can make stuff up for you to do for silly reaons such as imagining history was different than it actually was”.

    Then we would have the evolutionist-god that engages in revisionist history arguments just like the arguments for evolution itself.

    And while that would be a good form of “anti-knowledge” (to borrow a concept from Colin Patterson) it would not make for good Bible study or history or science. It would leave us with “the fiction God” – not unlike Dawkins imagines him to be.

    He designed us, he knows we need a weekly (not millennial, yes, you’re right) rest and chance to reconnect with Him in a special way. He knew all the scientific detail of the when and how of Creation, but His purpose in telling the story was to establish relationship with us, so the story was given to Moses in the form it was.

    I’m sure it’s a completely unacceptable concept to most here, but I thought it was an interesting exercise at least.

    Indeed an “interesting” and to some degree “instructive” exercise if one wants to peer deeper into the foundations of evolutionism because imagining things different than they are actually seen to be (in the lab or in the Bible take your pick) is the heart and soul of evolutionism.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  48. @Bravus:

    OK: my clear position is that I have no position.

    As I’ve repeatedly said. There is a minimum of 6 possible positions available, and the full set of available evidence for each one is simply not convincing enough to allow me to confidently adopt it. It’s why I’m still seeking.

    I’m not sure why people find it so difficult to understand this clear and simple statement in clear and simple English.

    1. Because “A” you argue emphatically that when Ellen White says “I was SHOWN” and then brings up the literal 6 day creation week — she was dead wrong.

    2. Because “B” all of your posts are “evolution-only” arguments. To the point at times of being offended that the Creationist argument does not just go away.

    3. Because “C” you have published both a Web site AND booklets for children promoting evolutionism as fact. (Science Ways 2 – Chapter 7 comes to mind)

    4. Because “D” you have repeatedly argued for long ages life and evolving genomes as being science fact.

    5. Because “E” you have made attempts to cast about you for a Bible solution embracing evolutionism – but you never comment favorably on Bible evidence in favor of Creation Or on science evidence in favor of it.

    so – other than that – well yeah you are right it is mystifying that anyone might think you are something other than “not decided”.

    😉

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  49. Bravus: Could Moses understand the concept of a billion? It’s important to understand what ‘highly educated’ meant at that moment in history, rather than to read Bronze Age texts with literalistic Information Age minds.

    Moses could indeed understand the concept that creation took much longer than six literal days if in fact that was the case. Arguing that God misled him regarding what actually happened because Moses couldn’t understand anything else is nonsense – completely opposed to God’s usual dealings with us and a suggestion that we cannot really trust anything God tells us to actually be true as stated in language that we can actually understand.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  50. @Bravus:

    I believe God is the Creator, but that the Biblical account is concerned with the who and why of Creation more than the when and how. (And see below.)

    Which is true of all Theistic Evolutionists – including those at LSU — in the past when this obvious point was raised – you pretended to be offended. But this simple observation is nothing less than factual “still”.

    However I think you can do better in stating what you DO belief.

    1. you do believe that higher genomes evolved from lower ones over time.

    2. you do NOT believe in a literal 6 day creation week where all genomes suddenly appear and remain as such (apart from variation within genomes) for 6000 years, not for 10,000 years and no – not even for 20,000 years.

    Given your history of arguing non-stop for a skewing of Genesis 1-2 trying to get “day” to not mean “day” and trying to get “evening and morning” not to mean “evening and morning” – and given your immediate negative reacion to the “literal 6 day” affirming vision given by God Himself to Ellen White
    — it would be hard to imagine that you have “no belief” on that subject.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  51. BobRyan: Mixing subject “A” with subject “B” does not work for Martin Luther, or John Calvin or Walter Veith. Each of the topics has to stand on their own.

    No Mixing Martin Luther’s correction of abuses in Catholicism – with areas where he failed to continue uncovering the need for correction.
    Same with John Calvin.

    And in Walter Veith’s case – no mixing his views on science with his views on politics or world events as if a bad political idea would destroy NaCl precipitant in your test tube.

    Bob,

    Does this mean we should not allow Bravus’ self-proclaimed personal pursuits, color our view of his scientific and theological acumen?

    If for instance we now know from his web site that he spends a good deal of his time listening to and playing, Death Metal, Dark Metal, and Black Metal. That he deeply involves himself in a role playing game whose logo is a red-eyed skull. And, that he voraciously reads mostly science fiction novels – including sci-fi horror filled with ‘lots of explicit sex and violence.'(activities that I shunned even when I was taking acid and up to my neck in the New Age movement and having close encounters with demons).
    Should we allow this to inform our understanding of his scientific and theological expertise?

    Apparently some people that are raised Adventist never leave the rebellion stage.

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  52. @Bravus:

    Could Moses understand the concept of a billion?

    You realize of course you are asking “could Moses look down at his feet and notice billions of grains of sand?” do you not? And when he did that what he would have seen is what HE called “thousands of millions” (Gen 24:60 kjv)

    In Daniel 7 we have myriads and myriads and 10,000 times 10,000.

    In Ex 38:26 Moses mentions 603,550 men in Israel above the age of 19.

    Recently you “claimed” to believe that in fact life has only been on earth for the past 20,000 years. So then if we pretend to believe this is actually the “reality” of what you really think God did — Did you mean to say “Moses could not understand the concept of 20,000 so he made chronologies that only went back 2,500 years from his day”? Or are you really trying to say that Moses could not count to 8 so he had a 7 day week?

    Which is it? Inquiring minds want to know. 😉

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  53. @Victor Marshall:

    Does this mean we should not allow Bravus’ self-proclaimed personal pursuits, color our view of his scientific and theological acumen?

    If for instance we now know from his web site that he spends a good deal of his time listening to and playing, Death Metal, Dark Metal, and Black Metal. That he deeply involves himself in a role playing game whose logo is a red-eyed skull. And, that he voraciously reads mostly science fiction novels – including sci-fi horror filled with …

    Well I agree with you that those things are not good. However if Bravus were teaching a Calculus course or a basic chemistry class I would not tell his students to ignore him as if those outside activities were stopping him from knowing that the derivative of Cos(x) is -Sin(x) etc.

    I think that basic science facts can still be known by someone who has otherwise questionable political/moral views or tastes.

    Of course you are probably going to note that evolutionism is religion and not basic science anything – and that belief in a false religious view could in fact be colored by some of those outside tastes. And there you have me.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  54. @BobRyan:

    Good points Bob,

    The principles and practice of Mathematics is of course well established and there is not a whole lot you can do to foul that up. The scientific method and laboratory procedure are also something you can’t mess with too much.

    When you get into the philosophical/religious presuppositions behind how we interpret data – now our personal belief system can have a profound effect (either negatively or positively). The Darwinist view of life is an entire belief system that has no Biblical foundation.

    Jamming to devil rock, immersing oneself in devilish fantasies, exposing oneself to graphic literary depictions of immorality and violence may not necessarily make you an evolutionist – however, it certainly would seem to indicate that a person has very little spiritual discernment or respect for Biblical truth. To believe Darwinism you have to disrespect the Bible and the gospel.

    An ‘anything goes’ approach to life is incompatible with a Biblical understanding of origins. If someone really understands the foundation of our origins (and our destiny), then ‘anything goes’ would not be an option.

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  55. Hey guys, Bravus is a member of our community of faith and he says he is still searching for truth. I, too, am searching for truth. But sledgehammering “truth” into people–which I see happening here–isn’t a very effective means of witnessing. If you’re genuinely concerned about Bravus, why not simply kneel down and pray for him? I’m sure he will welcome your prayers. And so would I. Bravus, I just prayed for you. And I prayed for the rest of you here.

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  56. @Victor Marshall: Who is respectable, and by what standards (and am I entitled to judge – no!!)? Each on my (purely subjective and not exhausting) list has publicly endorsed points of view that can only be considered “hokey”.
    To answer a question you didn’t even ask – why can’t Clifford Goldstein be found on my list: I hardly ever agree on anything he says or writes, *but* I respect his “Evolution is so contrary to everything I understand about the bible – it must be wrong” point of view.
    Those on my list mixed (pseudo-)science and faith on some way or other, some more, some less – which angers me as a trained scientist (and former “victim” of just such sabbath school teachers).
    Why did I not mention Sean Pitman? Maybe I should have, but
    1) he patiently answered all my questions directed at him personally without unprovoked “counterattack”,
    2) generally seems to honor science and to understand it’s basic concepts,
    3) at least as far as can be judged from his forum-postings, does not put forth this annoying know-it-all attitude I too often encountered with strict young earth creationists.

    Mark

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  57. Ah well, a quick response to the overnight, then perhaps it’s time for another hiatus.

    1. Oh noes, rock music and D&D and fiction, oh my! Not hidden, not secret, nothing I’m ashamed of, but clearly sufficient to invalidate my views on all topics among some SDAs.

    2. a. It’s rather pathetic that Bob feels he needs to diminish my science achievements by calling a series of major textbooks by a major publisher, the most-used series in Queensland schools, by calling them ‘booklets’. But b. I am a co-author on the series and the other author wrote the chapter Bob referred to.

    3. Bob *still* apparently can’t get his head around my ‘I just don’t know’, and still can’t understand the distinction between *explaining* evolution and *advocating* it.

    4. It’s encouraging to me that these guys feel they need to go ad hominem and start digging into my personal life to try to discredit me. Means they don’t think they can actually take on my arguments on their merits.

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  58. @Mark Houston:

    Good answer Mark.
    I was only being sarcastic about Sean. I certainly consider him a far more respectable Creationist than myself. I would probably fall more into the Goldstein type category. I have no formal training in science, and I believe ‘Evolution is so contrary to everything I understand about the Bible – it must be wrong.’ I can also be fairly opinionated.

    I’m still not quite sure what the RATE scientists have to do with ‘hokey’.
    Do you think their research is invalid, unprofessional, or falsified? Please tell me how? Is it because they have an a priori conclusion that the earth is young, rather than old?

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  59. Bravus,
    Please forgive me for my ad hominem. I’m a chaplain/pastor. One of my jobs in prison is to confront men’s denial systems head on. I often can’t leave my work at the time clock. ‘Just praying’ for people is something I don’t always do well. I am concerned about your welfare. Death metal in excess of 100 miles an hour is not too safe.

    Eddie says you are searching for truth. Bravus, (I suspect you already know this) truth is not ordinarily found in the most extreme form of Rock and Fiction (not just garden variety Rock and Fiction) and a wide variety of state of the art D&D.

    You make your personal life public for a reason. I’m sure it is not because you want to win and influence SDA’s. On the contrary I suspect you might get a kick out of seeing legalists freak out. I like to see them flip out occasionally too. I’m sure many of your students think you are cool.

    Are you a Christian? How can you recommend this stuff to anyone? Do you really not know how bad that stuff is? You’ve been around enough to know what’s up. I don’t think I need to witness to you.

    Bravus, stop ‘playing church’ and get with the program (Phil.4:8). None of us can have it both ways.

    If your going to do this stuff at least don’t advertise it and recommend it for others too. And, if you are going to continue in this vein – why not just throw the whole church thing down the proverbial tube. Seriously, let it all hang out. Really immerse yourself in fantasy. Enough of this Mickey Mouse stuff. Track down Owsley in the Queensland outback and talk him into giving you a tab of the really pure stuff – then go watch Avatar in 3D before it closes. Enough of listening to half-baked Goths scream about demons. Meet one in person. Draw yourself a pentagram, call on Adramelech. I guarantee you somebody will show up. You might even get some perks out of the deal like bi-location, the ability to levitate or transmogrify. Why settle for walking next to the precipice – take the dive. At least you will have some real fun before the blaze at the end.

    I will go and pray for you now man.

    Victor

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  60. Thanks for your prayers, but I do what I do for my own reasons, and care not a whit for the reactions of ‘legalists’. I share what I enjoy because I enjoy it and think others might too. You’re in the same old game of condemning without understanding, which was dull (and occasionally amusing) back in the 80s but which I was completely over by the 90s and haven’t even really thought about in 20 years.

    And now, that restful hiatus.Have fun, all, in fighting among yourselves again…

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  61. Oh well – getting back to the question that I was actually asking

    @Bravus:

    Could Moses understand the concept of a billion?

    @BobRyan:

    You realize of course you are asking “could Moses look down at his feet and notice billions of grains of sand?” do you not? And when he did that what he would have seen is what HE called “thousands of millions” (Gen 24:60 kjv)

    In Daniel 7 we have myriads and myriads and 10,000 times 10,000.

    In Ex 38:26 Moses mentions 603,550 men in Israel above the age of 19.

    Recently you “claimed” to believe that in fact life has only been on earth for the past 20,000 years. So then if we pretend to believe this is actually the “reality” of what you really think God did — Did you mean to say “Moses could not understand the concept of 20,000 so he made chronologies that only went back 2,500 years from his day”? Or are you really trying to say that Moses could not count to 8 so he had a 7 day week?

    Which is it? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Perhaps Bravus has checked out before answering the point.

    In any case – I think the details above do address the issue of whether Moses was able to grasp of the concept of “large numbers”.

    But it leaves one wondering why Bravus thinks ” a billion” is of relevance if it is true that he thinks that God actually did everything (regarding all genomes we see today on earth) inside of 20,000 years.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  62. In the “News update” section I notice that the accreditation board told LSU if they messed with the way teachers taught in their classrooms they could lose their accreditation. I tried to find the information itself but somehow lost the connection. When I tried to find it again there was nothing listed under the “News Updates”. I would appreciate someone showing me how I can see the article itself or at least tell all of us what is going on. Thanks.

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  63. Maybe, then, someone should pull the WASC’s accreditation if they really made such a statement. In my opinion, the WASC is without authority to forbid a church-run institution to maintain its faith and religious mission.

    Does the WASC have any creationists involved in its decision making processes? Any science teachers who believe that the scientific evidence supports life on earth being created in six actual days just thousands of years ago, and later being destroyed by a global flood?

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  64. @Lydian Belknap:

    In the “News update” section I notice that the accreditation board told LSU if they messed with the way teachers taught in their classrooms they could lose their accreditation. I tried to find the information itself but somehow lost the connection. When I tried to find it again there was nothing listed under the “News Updates”. I would appreciate someone showing me how I can see the article itself or at least tell all of us what is going on. Thanks

    Well it is a PRIVATE school not a public school so the whole point is NOT to have things going on the classroom that go on in public universities.

    Still – it would be nice to know the source of that tweet. Is it true life or is it memorex?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  65. “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. “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created.” God gives us the productions of his work at the close of each literal day. Each day was accounted of him a generation, because every day he generated or produced some new portion of his work. On the seventh day of the first week God rested from his work, and then blessed the day of his rest, and set it apart for the use of man. 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.” EGW, The Spirit of Prophecy, Volume One, pages 86-87

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  66. @Victor Marshall: The RATE-team:
    I first became aware of them through Lubenow’s “Bones of Contention”. There already, sensational revelations were announced for the immediate future. Did Einstein do so in late 1904, did Feynman, Curie, Maxwell, Newton,… ever in advance? No – So one might expect the RATE team to be better than any of them.
    Hey, with that amount of self-confidence you could become everything you want.
    Then I investigated further, looking for papers by individual RATE members and found that at least some of them aren’t even aware about the technical basics of writing a scientific publication.
    Honestly, I did not press this further and just might have missed some sensational result that came later on, only because the first findings were so disappointing – if so, please point me to such results.

    I do enjoy increasing my own knowledge and understanding, even if it comes at the cost of being proven wrong.

    Mark

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  67. Mark,

    When Creationists first came into vogue, the constant refrain was, ‘They don’t have degrees’ Hence some Creationists (Like a friend of mine in Ohio) even got multiple degrees. Then the refrain was, ‘Well there are only a handful of these persons.’ Now we know there are 1,000’s.
    Now you often hear, ‘Well even though they have a degree, they are still incompetent and don’t even know how to conduct good science.’
    I’m really not sure how someone gets a PhD from these Universities and cannot even write a decent paper. (RATE team degrees)

    PhD in Geology from University of Sydney Australia
    or a
    PhD in Physics from Louisiana State University
    or a
    PhD in Geophysics and Space Science from the University of California
    or a
    PhD Geology from Pennsylvania State University
    or a
    PhD Physics Iowa State University
    or a
    PhD in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University

    Employment at etc.:
    Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Sandia National Laboratories

    The final RATE study can be downloaded here for free – http://www.icr.org/rate/

    The findings dealt with 3 major areas:

    1. amount of helium in the zircons:

    http://creation.com/helium-evidence-for-a-young-world-continues-to-confound-critics

    2. detection of 14C in coal and in diamonds:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v2/n1/radiocarbon-in-diamonds

    3. radiohalos and fission tracks.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v2/n1/radiohalos-in-yosemite-granites

    I’m not a scientist. When it gets really technical my brain shuts down.
    Looks like Sean Pittman has quite a grasp on the issues:

    http://educatetruth.com/science/?p=86

    Of course, all of the RATE findings have been challenged by old earth scientists. That is to be expected. Frankly, I’m not smart enough to judge (I do understand the Bible pretty well – especially the plain parts like Exodus 20:11). Maybe you are smart enough to understand the technical stuff. Let me know what you think.

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  68. @Victor Marshall: “This and other exciting new developments in RATE projects are confirming our basic hypothesis: that God drastically speeded up decay rates of long half-life nuclei during the Genesis Flood and other brief periods in the earth’s short history. Such accelerated nuclear decay collapses the uniformitarian “ages” down to the Scriptural timescale of thousands of years.” (from http://www.icr.org/article/new-rate-data-support-young-world/)
    …this is an extremely outlandish claim for anyone trained in physics (except the RATE guys). I guess I’m not the only one uncomfortable with an outlandish claim as basic hypothesis. Also note there’s a huge difference between choosing a belief (“e.g. the earth is 6000 years old”) as basic hypothesis and starting from a claim that raises the hair on the neck of 99.98% of the world’s physicists (and I deem that a conservative guess).

    Mark

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  69. @Mark Houston:
    You are right, a very outlandish claim.
    Of course most scientists would view the claim that the earth and life were created virtually ex nihilo, or that our ancestors were not apes, or that the fossil record chronicles the Biblical flood – as totally unscientific and preposterous too.
    The real question I still have is, ‘Does the RATE research in any way support their preopsterous claims?’
    Does helium rapidly diffuse from zircons? Is there also a ton of helium in zircons?
    Is there 14C in diamonds etc.?

    Have they in any way demonstrated these claims? Have they insured that their research is safeguarded from tampering and dishonesty? Have they brought disinterested third parties into the process as observers or participants? Have they taken sufficient precautions to prevent contamination or erroneous readings? If so, what justification do we have for throwing out their outlandish conclusions other than the fact they defy presently accepted physics?

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  70. (popping back in because I can’t resist ;-))

    We’ve discussed this ‘speeded-up decay’ argument here on this site before. A speeded-up decay rate (by the required amount) would lead to massive amounts of heat and radiation, sufficient to kill all life on earth. Of course, it’s then possible to say ‘well, God shielded living things from the effects’. But that’s just piling ad hockery on ad hockery. God intentionally speeded up the rate of decay, but intentionally shielded the whole world from the effects of that speeded-up decay, except the atoms inside zircons… or radioisotopes generally. Why? What’s the purpose? To deceive us?

    God has the power to do absolutely anything. That’s not the question. But (1) he is not capricious – he doesn’t do things, especially major things like this, for no reason and (2) the claim made here repeatedly is that he told us everything he did in the Bible… and there is no mention there of any event like this, or even a hint.

    If they can establish a nuclear mechanism for changed decay rates, then they ought to publish it – they’d be well on the way to the Nobel Prize. As it is, they have no mechanism, they simply claim ‘God did it’, but with zero Biblical evidence.

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  71. @Bravus:

    God has the power to do absolutely anything. That’s not the question. But (1) he is not capricious – he doesn’t do things, especially major things like this, for no reason and (2) the claim made here repeatedly is that he told us everything he did in the Bible… and there is no mention there of any event like this, or even a hint.

    Where did you come up with THAT straw man???

    The only claim that is repeatedly made here is that of the LITTLE God told us about creation week – the details He did give slam the door shut on the atheist-centric doctrine on origins found in evolutionism. The SEVEN DAY fact is one of the few things we ARE given for dead sure.

    It is not the Creationists – but rather the Evolutionists that then want to make the wild claim that IF we are to believe God on the 7day fact that He keeps insisting on – THEN God has to first “TELL US ALL” about how He created a world in 7 days then 1600 years later – destroyed it in single year with a flood.

    BTW – you never did answer the question of why you think Moses would be confronted with a “Billion year” problem — when you claim to believe that life on earth has only been here for 20,000 years.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  72. @Bravus:

    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

    …So of the positions I don’t have, recent creationism that specifically uses the 6000 year age is the one that seems most problematic to me. Recent creationism that allows for something in the 20,000 year range is much less so.

    Almost leads you to believe that Bravus is behind that 20,000 year idea.

    Oh but WAIT!

    OK, so I guess my position is that I find it difficult or impossible,, looking at both the scientific and the Biblical evidence, to absolutely accept recent creationism, ancient creationism, theistic evolutionism or deism.

    Leaving us with TWO of the 6 that Bravus has not ruled out.

    So in the ever twisting story behind Bravus’ oft repeated SIX — I guess we are down to two kinds of evolutionism.

    (Unless Bravus wants to spin one of them as having a real 7 day week of Creation where all genomes appear)

    @Bravus:

    Could Moses understand the concept of a billion? It’s important to understand what ‘highly educated’ meant at that moment in history, rather than to read Bronze Age texts with literalistic Information Age minds.

    Thus the recent creation 20,000 years ago idea is clearly being ruled out as yet another red herring?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  73. @Victor Marshall: Bravus is right, the accelerated-decay claim has been discussed before and I don’t want to hijack this discussion. The claim is not only outlandish (ask your favorite nuclear physicist or astrophysicist just how outlandish), but put forth without necessity. Some observations about ancient rocks have been made which neither the RATE team (nor perhaps anyone else right now) can explain. This is nice since that’s just the stuff that secures scientists’ jobs.
    To claim right away that this can best be explained by accelerated nuclear decay seems a bit strange.

    Mark

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