La Sierra University debate over creationism continues

The Press Enterprise

DebateSupporters of an effort to require Riverside’s La Sierra University to teach Biblical creationism alongside evolution in biology classes say the university’s vow to promote creationist beliefs does not go far enough in addressing their concerns.

More than 6,300 people from across the country have signed an online petition expressing concern that evolution is presented as fact at La Sierra and other Seventh-day Adventist universities.

La Sierra’s board of trustees last week unanimously voted to endorse Adventist beliefs that the world was created in six 24-hour days and said the teaching of evolution must be “within the context of the Adventist belief regarding creation.” (Full Article)

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6 thoughts on “La Sierra University debate over creationism continues

  1. While I have difficulty with some of the assumed conclusions of general evolution, all of us believe in evolution to some degree. My children were once small, but they have evolved into responsible adults. The real question is just how far one goes with the idea

    As a physicist (Ph.D, Baylor University, 1971) I cannot support the idea of a relatively short creation. Whether of not you have thought about it, the laws of physics are really God’s rules for running the universe. He decided, as would any architect, just what these rules would be before there was any other creation activity. These rules have never changed. The physics for a long age is really quite solid. Here are just a few of the reasons:

    1. Tree rings are reliably used to date back 12,000 years.

    2. Corrected Carbon 14 is useful for dates of 20,000 years.

    3. Lake varves date in excess of 20,000 years, and have reasonable agreement with corrected Carbon 14 dates.

    4. Ice cores in Greenland show snowfall results in excess of 100,000 years,
    and cores in Antarctica show dates in excess of 300,000 years, and possibly as much as 500,000 years.

    5. The complete lack of short lived radioactive elements in nature. The only naturally occurring radioactive elements are the long lived radioactive elements, and their daughter elements. There is substantial evidence that the short lived radioactive elements occurred at one time since the daughter elements are present.

    6. There is a complete absence of Neptunium 237 and its daughter elements except for Bismuth 209. There is an abundance of Bismuth 209 which is the final decay result of Neptunium 237. The half life of Np 237 is about 2.25 million years. The other radioactive chains still exist, but the half lives of the parent element is in the billions of years. Neptunium 237 once existed, but it has completely decayed to Bismuth. This decay process took about 50 million years.

    There are numerous other reasons, but because of these reasons, I cannot support a short creation. The physics laws governing these reasons are designed and implemented by God. Does that fact mean anything?

    I do believe in creation, and that God really did create the universe out of nothing. It just took a lot longer than we originally thought.

    By the way, the book, The Lost World of Genesis One by John Walton, a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, gives an alternative look at Genesis One. It should give comfort to anyone who believes that they must make a choice between believing the first chapter of the Bible, or believing the physics that they have demonstrated as truth.

    George Saxon

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  2. If one would only let the Holy Spirit guide them in the truth one would quickly realize the follies of men. When one reads Genesis 1:5 God’s Word clearly states a “day” as the measure of time as He (God) created. He established this before He created anything else so that we may know that when He created it was all accomplished in 6 literal 24-hour day periods. Furthermore we also know that He ended creation when He rested on the seventh day… “because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.” Genesis 2:2

    By proposing and accepting any other belief is contradicting God’s Word and if you can’t accept one part of His Word you may as well reject it all completely. If God did take years if not thousands of years to create, why does the Bible state otherwise that it was done in 6 “days”? It doesn’t say “years” or “thousands of years”. Let’s just suppose that He did create in years instead of days? That would mean He rested for years or thousands of years or millions of years? Does that make any sense? Are we then to work 6 years, 6 thousand years, or 6 million years and then rest on the 7th year, 7th thousandth year, 7th millionth year? That would be great! I could take a very long vacation from my work!

    Science is not the ruler of God. Instead God is the ruler of not only science, but of everything! Science cannot accept the idea that something can come from nothing! Hence, out their own creative minds and their laws of physics that they “create” men try to explain not only God’s creation but God Himself! I believe they are barking up the wrong tree. There are some things man will never explain about God and I guess that irks some scientists that they cannot know everything! Jesus Himself observed the seventh day Sabbath! Was He wrong for observing His own day that He Himself sanctified and made holy? To propose that evolution is a better explanation as opposed to creation is to suggest that Jesus Himself was a heretic and a false Christ through his creation and observation of the Sabbath. Man’s “theory” of evolution undermines God’s very essence. He is a powerful and creative and loving God that formed everything by His uttered word!

    I pray that our faith remains ulfaltering to the popular worldly notions and that our church holds steadfast to its “Bibilical” teachings and beliefs. If not, the faith of many will be weakened as the enemy attacks from within! If our church does not deal with this issue quickly and decisively, I fear we will lose many to other false doctrines when they do arise within our church community. It makes one wonder whether we truly are the “remnant” church or is there another church that will form after this one crumbles from within? Perhaps. I hope not. Time will only tell if this is to be. Does “come out of her my people” also apply to the Adventist Church? Hmm. I wonder…God will purify His church one way or another!

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  3. No, Brother Frank, “come out of her my people” does not apply to God’s church. We are the last church and God will sprinkle water upon us and cleanse us. He is breathing out His Holy Spirit upon millions of dry bones. Can they live, dear brother? His Word says they will! Not all, but enough that the world will see the glory of God in His church! It is a promise!

    George, or anyone else who understands his argument, have you seen trees that you believe are 12,000 years old? They would be pre-flood. And to still exist they would have to be petrified? Assuming you are looking at the ring count, can you explain how tree rings developed when there were no seasons, before there was rain and snow? In an environment like that, would tree rings grow at a faster rate?

    To question Scripture with the wisdom of man is not only futile, but very dangerous. One’s eternal future is at risk by doing so. And not only yours, dear brother, but you mislead multitudes of others. Satan uses the wisdom of highly educated men to further his effort to lead men away from God and His truth. Our only hope is found in Christ. The Word was made flesh. The Bible is a revelation of God.

    Are you a Seventh-day Adventist? If not, then I will give you a little more room than those of our faith who are without any excuse for not supporting a six day creation. But, even so, the Bible is clear that in six days God created the earth. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is…” Exodus 20:11.

    True science does not contradict the Bible. As man discovers more and more, he has to continue to come more into harmony with Scripture, for both science and Scripture testify of God. May God bless your study of Him and His Word, that you may harmonize your work with Him.

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  4. @George Saxon:
    I have so much respect and admiration for the intellect of anyone who can grasp and master the mysteries of physics and other sciences. However, no matter how smart one may be, there is still the fundamental choice to be made regarding your a piori. Schooled to make assumptions about science and the laws of faith that require that God Himself must be bound by them, and that {all things must continue as they have from the beginning”. you will naturally reject as simplistic the confidence we have in the plain prose sense of the Genesis account of creation. You have at least this faith George, that you believe that the laws of physics are God’s laws. However Biblical faith gives us different assumptions than does human wisdom. In the Bible we learn of a Go exists and functions outside of and superior to the physical laws that govern our existence. What for us is “miraculous” is for Him commonplace. A man of faith who is a scientific observer asks, “Given the established fact of a week of creation, comprised of a mere six days, how do we explain what we see in our physical world.” And there are indeed gifted and highly qualified scientists who see all that you see and are finding satisfying answers that do not contradict scripture, but that rather confirm faith in that divinely provided record of beginnings. My prayer for you is that you will yield your intellect to the superior intelligence of the Creator Jesus Christ, and in so doing you will have true wisdom, rather than having your great mind highjacked for the service of human foolishness.

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  5. Dear George Saxon,

    One wonders at the definition of “evolution” that it encompasses the maturity of your children alongside the alleged origin of species (and indeed of abiogenesis itself).

    One ponders the notion that the theory that answers everything answers nothing (ironically, one of the primary objections of atheists to Christian thinking; that the answer “God did it” is unsatisfactory both theologically and intellectually).

    Years ago a friend of mine made a similar analogy to your own; he looked at the ‘486’ model of computer on my desk and said “last year it was a ‘386’, and etc”

    I pointed out to him that this “evolution” is nothing like that posited by materialists as a theory of the origins of everything, since it occurred as the visibly purposeful result of intelligently directed effort, whereas materialism posits evolution as being undirected, unintelligent, and purposeless.

    I put it to you that holding up the character of your own children as being the results of unintelligent behaviour on your part is not an argument likely to win thinking people to your cause.

    Something to think about, anyway.

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  6. I believe when God created Adam and Eve, they were created as adults. I don’t think they were created as babies or children. Even when they were only one day old, an observer could say they look like they were at least 20 years or maybe older … Could it be that God created everything fully mature so it seems older than it really is? Does God have to create everything in the same way we understand it?

    A tall tree in the Garden of Eden on the first week of creation would be less than a week old but if you cut it down, it will probably have many rings and might seem to be 100s of years old.

    That’s the way I can believe in both the 6 literal days of creation and the scientific methods to be true.

    Paul Chung, MD

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