Comment on LSU Board committee reports on allegations by Eddie.
Ron Stone M.D.: the belief that some “survey” of students to see what they “thought” they heard is an idiotic, moronic way to find the truth!
I think you’re disrespecting the intelligence of both the commitee members and students.
Ron Stone M.D.: Trying to shift the blame to the students is totally pathetic
Nobody is shifting the blame to the students. Committee members knew all along that this controversy would never have blown up in the first place if there hadn’t been one or more professors who had promoted theistic evolution. Slander them if you wish, but I think they deserve your respect.
Eddie Also Commented
LSU Board committee reports on allegations
After reading every word of the report, I have a few observations:
1. I believe the readers of this website are much more interested in seeing progress on SDA beliefs supported in the classroom at LSU than reading Sean’s tireless crusade against blind faith. Can we please stay more focused on the subject?
2. I commend the steps taken by LSU’s board to understand the scope of the problem and to rectify it. I think we need to be more patient with the process rather than demanding immediate action (e.g., firing professors and administrators), publicly condemning individual professors and administrators, etc., without a fair and balanced inquiry into the nature of the problem, which cannot be resolved overnight. I believe our church leaders deserve our support and respect. There is a proper procedure for personnel changes within the church; the last time I checked it did not include cyberbullying.
3. I liked the survey, which served its purpose by identifying deficiencies in the teaching and support of SDA beliefs among biology faculty, so I am saddened that some have literally and disrespectfully dismissed as a “joke.” I see merit in repeating the survey in other SDA institutions to document the extent of the problem.
4. I think it would be beneficial if ALL of our biology professors, not just a few here and there, could gather together to discuss how they address the issue of origins in the classroom.
5. I’m wondering why this document was posted here. After all, it explicitly states “This memorandum is intended for internal campus distribution only.” Maybe I’m just old-fashioned when it comes to decorum in the new “information age,” but if a document is intended to be confidential, isn’t it unethical to publicly post it without the express written consent of its authors (committee members)?
Ron Stone M.D.: Taking student “surveys” on what they thought they were taught is “ridiculous” as the major means to find out “what” was actually taught, when the actual people involved are available to interview and speak with.
If so, why should a jury ever listen to the testimonies of witnesses to a crime when they could simply ask the alleged perpetrator?
And how certain are you that the committee didn’t interview the professors? Perhaps the committee members attempted to interview the biology professors but they were unwilling to cooperate or to be candid about they taught. I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened, which is why I’m not going to pass judgement on them.
I’m puzzled by why you are so upset at the survey when in fact it demonstrated exactly what Educate Truth had been alleging all along: that some biology professors were promoting theistic evolution in the classroom. The purpose of the committee was to investigate three specific allegations, all of which were confirmed to be true.
As far as I can tell the committee was not asked to identify and fire any professors who were found guilty of the allegations, or to close the university, which I suspect are the only solutions that will ever satisfy you that they are doing their job.
LSU Board committee reports on allegations
When an individual is publicly criticized on this forum, who rejoices more: God or Satan? “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
I have always believed that it is a sin to publicly criticize anybody, even leaders (including politicians). I regret and repent each time I have succumbed to the temptation. As far as I’m concerned, it is breaking the spirit of the 6th commandment. Consequently I cringe every time I see the character of a brother or sister in Christ impugned on this forum, which happens much too frequently. Nobody other than the Holy Spirit will ever convince me that God approves of any of it. And if I am right, who will ultimately be held accountable for what is happening on this forum?
Isn’t it enough to unambiguously state your position publicly on a subject without resorting to naming specific individuals and casting aspersions on their character? If it is necessary to mention a person’s name, isn’t it enough to simply say you respectfully disagree with the person’s view(s) without resorting to innuendo?
I am strongly opposed to the teaching of abiogenesis and megaevolution as the truth in any SDA institution. I believe that some employees who have done so should never have been hired in the first place and should no longer be employed by the church, even though some of them are my friends. I have written letters expressing my views to various church leaders, but have never mentioned specific names or criticized the leaders for their failures. I believe I have done my duty. Why should I go beyond this and publicly incriminate individuals by name?
Recent Comments by Eddie
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Stephen Ferguson: Sean, how did we get to this position? In particular, why after spending decades and millions of dollars has the official Church’s own pet organisation, the Geoscience Research Institute, done so little to disprove evolution?
Why if it is all hogwash has it been thoroughly not been disproved over the last 150 years? Why do some 99% of scientists across a multitude of different fields (e.g. paleontologists, physicists, archaeologists, anthropologists, biologists, chemists, cosmologists, historians, cosmologists and geologists etc) all consider evolution to be the most plausible model?
Maybe because the evidence for microevolution and speciation is overwhelming. And some evidence for megaevolution (e.g., sequence of fossils) and long geological ages can be perplexing to explain from the perspective of most (but not all) young life and young earth creationists.
Stephen Ferguson: Why, if it is all rubbish, is there Adventist scientists and theologians who believe in evolution? Why would they risk their careers and standing in the Church to promote something they consider truth, given the huge pressure to just shut up, if they didn’t believe there was something in it?
Maybe because they’re not as honest as some prominent supporters here. Or their faith is weaker. Or, perhaps, physicians and lawyers are simply better trained than scientists and theologians to evaluate scientific evidence.
Stephen Ferguson: I really, really hope Christian scientists, especially Adventist ones, will disprove evolution some day.
Stephen Ferguson: If the SDA hierarchy wants someone to blame for all this, they should blame themselves. It has been their pet organisations that have so spectacularly failed to offer scientific arguments in favour of YEC. Ted Wilson must accept some of the blame onto himself – if not personally then on behalf of the hierachy he leads.
I wouldn’t blame anybody. But if they were to fire the current GRI staff, hire certain supporters here, and then move GRI from LLU to SAU or SWAU, I suspect a certain faction of the church would be happier.
La Sierra University won’t neglect creation teaching, president, chairman vow
Sean, you have essentially written enough about this to publish a book, which you ought to do, exhorting SDAs to abandon Sola Scriptura and rely exclusively on empirical data, which surely will be a best seller among neoconservative SDAs.
Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Like Ken, I am puzzled by the lukewarm reception of his suggestion to establish an endowed chair for intelligent design at LSU. Perhaps there was confusion about his term “intelligent design.” I think he had in mind the kind of creationism that most SDAs believe in, specifically young earth creationism or young life creationism (I realize some of you view ID negatively). So it could be called an Endowed Chair of Young Life Creationism, or whatever term is preferred.
For what it’s worth, I like his idea for several reasons:
1) SDA professors in all our institutions with the exception of LLU have relatively heavy teaching loads and scant time available for research, which means they have little time to conduct and publish research on creationism (I’m quite certain Art Chadwick would concur). That’s why as a denomination we have no well published and respected researchers with expertise on the subject, with the sole exception of Leonard Brand at LLU–who ranks among the world’s most successful scientists whose research focuses on YLC (if you believe there are other SDA experts with more expertise, you might be disappointed if you conducted a search of their publication records).
2) Most students in our institutions are seeking a career in a health profession, therefore SDA professors by necessity focus mostly on subjects that prepare students for the biomedical fields. Few have time to keep up with issues related to creationism and evolution, let alone conduct original research on the subject. You can’t really expect all professors to be as well informed with the subject as Leonard Brand.
3) It would be fantastic for LSU to have a professor with the available time and resources to pursue high quality research on creationism, which I believe was the intent of Ken’s wish. We already have one such professor at LLU; why not another at LSU? I’m astonished that some here seem to think it is undesirable to have another expert SDA researcher on the subject. Perhaps some of you naively imagine that ALL professors have the unlimited time and resources to become world-class researchers on creationism–and are wasting the denomination’s money by not doing so.
4) SDA institutions struggle to meet their payroll obligations and can benefit by obtaining financial assistance from donors.
5) If the evidence overwhelmingly favors the traditional SDA position of origins, as some here claim, what harm is there in funding a professor with the time and resources to discover even more evidence? It’s pretty hard to convince the world that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly favors our position unless the evidence is published in respectable scientific journals–as Leonard Brand has done repeatedly. It won’t ever happen unless there are more full-time researchers who focus exclusively on issues related to creationism.
Sean Pitman: Most scientists who believe in the Biblical model of origins interpret Tertiary sediments as post-Flood sediments.
So if Noah’s flood ended at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, which coincides with a period of high global sea levels according to geologists, does that mean Noah’s flood is represented by the second of two worldwide floods in this graph?
How would you account for the geological evidence for a worldwide flood during the Paleozoic and the lack of geological evidence for high sea levels during the early Mesozoic?