By Sean Pitman, M.D.
While Larry Becker makes it appear that LSU is substantially addressing this issue and that the Adventist Review did not publish the whole story, Becker himself left out a few key details and misstated several facts.
1. While it is true LSU’s board of trustees has spent many hours considering and addressing this issue, to include the establishment of committees, a new freshman-level introduction to science/religion class, and various other recommendations, it is not true that anything substantive has changed at LSU regarding the actual promotion of theistic evolution and the direct undermining of the church’s clearly stated position on a literal six-day creation week. The new freshman class that was setup to supposedly help address the issue of science and religion is actually being taught by many of the same science professors who were actively promoting theistic evolutionary views to begin with. Most of the guest speakers asked to present in this new class are also theistic evolutionists who are questioning the literal interpretation of the Genesis account as interpreted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. If anything, this new class only makes things worse when it comes to the active undermining of the faith of students in the reality of a recent, literal creation week.
2. Becker makes it appear that LSU puts no pressure on, much less censures, any student who thinks to make public what is really taking place in the LSU classrooms. This is absolutely untrue.Â In fact, LSU has put extreme pressure on Louie Bishop and others to keep quiet about the theistic evolutionary ideas being promoted at LSU which actively undermine faith in a literal six-day creation week–a fundamental doctrinal position of the SDA Church. Why is it that LSU is so resistant to having what is actually being taught in their classrooms presented, even in part, to the church membership at large? If LSU wanted to be helpful in this regard, it should release relevant portions of lecture notes and even videos of lectures for open review. Instead, it puts its own students under academic probation for doing this very thing despite the student’s legal right to publish portions of such materials for academic review.
3. Although the reaction of the secular media to this particular issue at LSU has indeed been limited, it has been quite telling. The comments of Gary Bradley in the public press were dramatic examples of the view of many of science professors at LSU. Only the most mild of which were actually repeated by the Adventist Review. Such views have been presented to LSU students, not so subtly, for decades. This fact should be openly presented before the church membership at large since potential parents, students, and the church membership have a right to know what they are really obtaining with their hard-earned dollars for what is being advertised as real “SDA” education.
4. Regardless of the claims of Becker to the contrary, the comments of Dr. Larry Blackmer (GC Vice President of Education), were not taken out of context or presented other than they were received by Dr. Blackmer.Â As far as publishing only a portion of the comments Dr. Blackmer made before a large group of educators, this was done to protect Dr. Blackmer from his own mistaken comments. Â In fact, Dr. Blackmer, even though he made his own comments before a large public forum, did not wish these comments to be published, in full, or in part, by Educate Truth. Â So, we agreed to remove these comments at his request.
5. Educate Truth does edit extreme comments, for and against, the actions of LSU. However, it is not true that Educate Truth removes comments that are supportive of LSU just for that reason. Many such comments are commonly presented for review and response as are these particular comments by Larry Becker in support of LSU’s actions on this issue.
In short, the steps taken by LSU to respond to the concerns of many regarding the active promotion of theistic evolutionary ideas at LSU have done nothing to increase support of or faith in the church’s fundamental doctrines at LSU.Â If anything, the undermining of these fundamental ideas has increased at LSU over the past year.Â The reason for this seems rather obvious. How can those who do not really believe in the fundamental ideals of the church regarding a literal creation week actually “bring our students back home at the end of the day”? as GC President Jan Paulsen put it? Â
Even LSU’s current president, Randal Wisbey, has expressed doubt regarding the validity of the literal creation week suggesting, in public forum, that perhaps the SDA fundamental doctrine on creation should be re-evalutated. The same thing is true of past presidents of LSU, Lawrence Geraty and Fritz Guy, who have both expressed public support for theistic evolution occurring over the course of hundreds of millions of years on this planet while directly challenging the notion of a literal creation week as being an outdated or “fringe” notion. Is it any wonder theistic evolution is actually an issue at LSU?
For further information and references to the validity of these statements see:
30 thoughts on “LSU leaves out key facts”
Do you have a list of the lecturers for that class?
At what point will their local churches hold them accountable for their apostasy, if it really be true that they no longer believe that God created the world in 6 actual days just thousands of years ago?
Bob Pickle(Quote)View Comment
Yes, I have a list. I’m out of town for the weekend and the list is at home. Out of all the lecturers though there was only one that was sympathetic the Seventh-day Adventist position on creation. But even he admitted he couldn’t reconcile science and the Bible. This was Ben Clausen from GRI.
The class was absolutely stacked with professors who reject the church’s position. In fact the church’s position was never even promoted. The class is a complete sham. It only supports what is being promoted in the biology department.
Shane Hilde(Quote)View Comment
As I stated at the outset – the “distinctive” that a student gets from his LSU indoctrination into evolutionism that the student DOES NOT get from a public university – is that LSU professors can demonstrate how to compromise faith in the Bible for faith in evolutionism as an Adventist – by modeling that FOR the student.
“We are Adventists” follwed by – the Bible cannot be trusted or the Bible can be bent to fit the needs of evolutionism.
You can’t get that from just any old public university. For that special treat — you need something like LSU.
The LSU Board has just handed LSU biology professors the platform that they most desire. An entire class devoted to — how-to-compromise faith as an Adventist when you are looking at the junk-science doctrines of evolutionism.
Wisby has chosen to place the fox in charge of the hen house and call that “compliance” with the board directive.
His actions are far more transparent to the objective observer than he may have at first imagined.
Now, isn’t that odd: A man from GRI whose job description is to inform the SDA position on creation (which he does well) and he was so honest that “he admitted he couldn’t reconcile science and the Bible.” Perhaps there are good reasons why he admitted such a thing.
As I’ve said elsewhere, if someone can present a workable short-history model for the earth and its life, the nature of this argument will change radically. Our problem is that we have no short-history model nor even a suggestion of how to develop one.
Sean Pittman has presented many criticisms of the standard model. but that does not make it wrong and it certainly does not constitute an alternative model. Just saying that some data fit into a short chronology does not fit all of the other data into the same chronology.
If anyone, Sean Pittman or anyone else, could present a short-history model, you would see a great response from SDA scientists including LSU science faculty members. That would be exciting and wonderful. I grew up hoping and believing that someone would do it.
Robert Brown (physicist, former GRI director and a hero of mine) couldn’t do it;
Robert Gentry couldn’t do it;
Ariel Roth (former GRI director) couldn’t do it;
James Gibson (present GRI director) hasn’t done it;
Richard Hammil said he found no one who could do it;
Ray Cottrell (Assoc Editor of the SDA Bible Commentary) said that he knew of no one who could do it;
Peter Edger Hare couldn’t do it.
In short, many have tried, but no one has succeeded in explaining either geology or biology within a short history (about 10,000 years). The basic nature of the problem has little to do with evolution. There are just many hundreds or thousands of scientific observations that are best explained by long periods of time. Of course there are major catastrophes that come along a do some things rapidly. But that doesn’t explain all of the other things that take time.
The ice cores reveal what are believed to be 800,000 successive annual layers. Suppose that the number is terribly wrong, maybe by a factor of 10. That’s still 80,000 annual layers. And, these are layers that were not covered by a flood about 4,000 years ago. Where is the record of the Flood in the ice layers? Where is the record of the Flood in the geologic column? It’s not there. For every suggestion, there are many objections. If those layers were formed quickly, why don’t they contain the expected distribution of pollen spores?
I’ve asked many SDA scientists, What positive evidence can you give that there was a world-wide flood within the last 10,000 years? There is usually a pause followed by, “I don’t know of any such evidence. There are reasons to doubt parts of the standard model, such as para-conformities, but there is no evidence for a flood that fits the Genesis description.”
But, there is scientific evidence for a local flood of the Black Sea at about the same time as Noah’s Flood. Read the book “Noah’s Flood,” by Ryan and Pitman, and see for yourself. Then ask yourself, “What should LSU be teaching about earth history?”
If you have a scientific model for a short chrnology, bring it on. I am one who would be excited to hear about it.
There is lots of evidence for a short age earth. No need to write a book here, you know it as well as anyone. However
Bottom line: no one needs to prove Creationism. The Bible declares it to be true and the Bible is what the SDA church is based on. Period.
If your faith in the Bible is only tied to what you can see, you will have a very narrow view of God. Evolution is just a way of saying, I trust my own eyes more than the word of God.
We will be learning the details of creation throughout eternity, and we will learn some of it through science as time goes on. But our faith is not based on proving the Bible to be true through science. Science can not show the creators hand or the power of Gods word.
Doug Kendall(Quote)View Comment
Amen, Doug!! You have placed your finger precisely on the problem. Science is based on observation and experimentation, and the perceptions based on these will change with new discoveries. Our transcendent measure of right and wrong as Seventh-day Adventists, now and always, is the written counsel of God.
A number of the names listed by Carl as acknowledging a presumed lack of evidence for short-age creationism, do not inspire trust. (He has listed a number of scholars, by contrast, who if they could speak for themselves would likely challenge his claim that they couldn’t find such evidence!) But such persons as Richard Hammill and Ray Cottrell used so-called “scholarship” to dispute such key Adventist doctrines as the investigative judgment, etc. It has never ceased to amaze me how criticism of Adventism’s unique convictions invariably leads the so-called “progressives” among us to doubt the heart of Christianity as well. As is presently happening.
The expulsion of evolutionary science from Seventh-day Adventist ranks will obviously involve more than just one denominational institution. All among us must be held accountable for our faithfulness to the trascendent Word of God. Science is not our guide. Inspiration is.
Pastor Kevin Paulson
Kevin Paulson(Quote)View Comment
I have one… “In the beginning God Created the Heavens and the earth”.
You see it depends on what you mean by “science”. If by defintion “science is NOT whatever God did” then the self-conflicted argument above is “show me a way where God did NOT do — what God said HE DID… Show me that it just happens on it’s own in 6 literal days”.
If I show you a Picasso and I say “Picasso painted that in a day” you will respond “that is a workable model” — If I say “God painted it in 25 seconds” you will say “that is not a workable model”. Clearly “workable model” becomes a label for “shown to happen on its own” or “something we can reproduce”.
Here is some “science” for you –
Clearly nobody can make abiogenesis work and clearly no one is able to get birds from reptiles. So we know that “man cannot do it”. And we also know that we do not see it happening in nature.
Can God do it? Atheists claim that there is no “workable Science model” for God doing anything.
So be it. That is the essence of the atheist-centric claim that “There is no model showing a God-did-NOT-do solution (science alone) for what God says He DID do (God claims rocks cannot do this on their own)”
But what if we COULD show that all life can come about ON ITS OWN scientifically in 6 literal days? What if we could reproduce it? What if we could show every step? Well then we will have just disproven the Bible – again that would be a very satisfying conclusion for atheists.
So then if we CANNOT show it happens on its own (scientifically) in 6 literal days – then the atheist argument is “there is no science model for all life coming about in 6 literal days – you have given me no model”.
The entire thought exercise benefits only one group – as it turns out.
But if you want to make the wild claim that all life came about in 6 literal days – but that it happened 100,000 or 100 million or 3 billion years ago – then you have a self-conflicted argument that even atheists will not sign up for – because there is no fossil evidence of modern man 100 million years ago, not even in the atheist’s story.
Getting back to this “the Bible and science” idea —
Let’s say you lived before the flood and you wanted to look into the science of testing to see if God created the world. So you go ask Adam and Eve and they give you their eye witness account of the first Sabbath.
Then you go and see the angels standing at the entrance to the garden of Eden.
Got that – check.
Then maybe you do a DNA test on Adam and Eve vs Seth — and maybe you check to see if Adam has a navel 😉
Perhaps you even begin to test various species to see what the genetic mutational drift has been since the creation.
Lot’s o’ science things “to do” in that case.
But what if you live 4500 years after the flood and you cannot check into those artifacts from creation week?
After Einstein postulated his theory of general relativity (regarding the fabric of space-time and the idea that gravity warps that fabric) – Charles Davidson and Andrew Crommelin were able to test that theory by carefully observing a sola eclipse in 1919. Knowing what the answer “should be” according to the theory was a help in designing the experiment to test it, provided that the variables are “few” and the constraints are known of course.
As I’ve explained to you before, significant unanswerable challenges of the standard model not only suggest that this model is untenable, but, at the same time, support the short-chronology model.
You argue, of course, that there is no absolute proof against the standard model or in support of short chronology. That is correct. Science isn’t based on absolute proof, but on the weight of evidence which never reaches perfection. There is always a chance for falsifiability in science.
It is for this reason, as Kuhn put it, that there is always an element of subjectivity in science that cannot be avoided. Science is not, as many people imagine, a purely empirical enterprise. Subjective interpretations of the available data always come into play.
I have presented you ways in which all of your “evidence” for the standard model could much more easily fit into a short chronology model. You simply reject these arguments because you believe that the evidence cannot really be explained by a short chronology model. This doesn’t mean that there is no short chronology model or reasonable arguments in support of this model – – there are. Can everything be explained at the current time? No – just as not everything can be explained by the standard model (not even close).
All models are limited and have their problems. A problem with a model, as you yourself point out, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a model.
Peter Hare was convinced, primarily by his amino acid racemization dating model (AARD), that short chronology was untenable. Unfortunately, after his death, his AARD method has been falsified as anything other than a relative dating technique, not the independent dating method that he imagined. For further details see:
Richard Hammil and Ray Cottrell really had no background in the sciences with which they were so impressed. They simply went by the authoritative statements of others who claimed to be in the know regarding “real science”.
Robert Brown, Robert Gentry and Ariel Roth have all strongly supported a short chronology model in the writings and speaking appointments. They’ve presented much data in strong support of this model. Ariel Roth has also actively debunked several arguments which used to be strongly used in favor of the standard model, such as the notion of large termite nests within the geologic column (now known to be the product of inorganic chemical formation).
You seem to be very impressed by the standard model ice-core interpretations. However, there is very good evidence that the ice-core data is unreliable as interpreted and can in fact be much more easily explained by a rapid formation of the ice within recent history. The expected distribution of pollen spores given a catastrophic model of formation would be much different from the standard model – a model which also fails to take into account the hypsithermal period in recent history. The recent period of more mild global warming has produced changes in the Greenland and even the Antarctic ice that has shocked scientists whose models didn’t come remotely close to explaining the reality of the changes being currently observed. The melting of the ice sheets is far more rapid than any mainstream scientist thought possible.
Anyway, I could go on and on, but for further information see:
The world-wide sedimentary layers, with uniform paleo-currents, a lack of expected bioturbation and weathering, evidence of the sudden and catastrophic burial of billions of animals and massive pure uncontaminated coal seams, and the remains of significant amounts of radiocarbon in both coal and oil are just a few of the many “positive evidences” of a recent catastrophic world-wide watery catastrophe.
It is just that you are more impressed by the interpretations of mainstream scientists than with what would otherwise be the significant weight of evidence in line with the catastrophic model of the rapid formation of much of the geologic and fossil records.
Your mode of thinking reminds me of those who opposed J Harlen Bretz for so many decades in the interpretation of the formation of the Scablands as requiring many millions of years of time…
The Black Sea flood was a local flood that occurred after the world-wide Noachian catastrophe. There have been many such local floods evidences in Tertiary sedimentary layers… as would be expected.
Your timing, again, for such features is influenced by the mainstream model of radiometric dating methods, all of which have been calibrated according to the mainstream model and against each other. Yet, there are many inconsistencies and contradictions with your dating methods…
You are too impressed my mainstream scientists to grasp the model that is right before your eyes. And, you don’t seem to have the moral integrity to back up your convictions on the mainstream model with a move to be supported, financially, by those who agree with your convictions in this area. You take money from the SDA Church organization while actively going around undermining what that organization is paying you to support on a fundamental level. How can you justify such subversive activity on the Church’s dime?
Even if you steal money from a stupid person who is completely ignorant of the true reality of this or that scientific idea and use that money in a much more “beneficial” manner, it is you who is still guilty of theft. Stealing is still stealing no matter who you stole the money from…
Sean Pitman, M.D.(Quote)View Comment
You don’t know what I believe and, therefore, you don’t know how to judge my moral integrity. I think you ought to apologize.
If you can so thoroughly dispute the standard model, please let GRI know so they can change the statements that they make:
4. How can creationists explain radiometric dates of many millions of years?
Creationists do not have an adequate explanation. Some possibilities have been proposed,2 but they are not compelling because they do not explain why the lower layers generally give older dates than the upper layers.
I have not argued in favor of evolution – I don’t know how God brought life to the earth other than what Genesis says. I believe that Genesis is best understood as a non-literal presentation. It’s a powerful story which, for me, is greatly weakened by insisting that it is scientifically accurate.
Of course some of the people I listed believed and/or continue to believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis. My point is that, despite their beliefs, they also admitted that we did not have a satisfactory scientific alternative to the standard model.
What I have argued and will continue to argue is that you don’t have a short-history model that can possibly explain more than a fraction of what is quite well explained by the standard model. It’s not an issue of what I believe.
You just admitted above that the Black Sea flood occurred after Noah’s Flood. The Black Sea flood happened about 5500 BC as the ice melted after an ice age, so when did Noah’s Flood occur? During the ice age? Does it fit within the Genesis chronology?
Produce a model, a sequence of events and how they fit together and I’ll be ready to listen.
Carl, you sound like the disciple Thomas when he doubted Christ’s resurrection in John 20:25 and said “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
The book of John 20:27-29 Gives Christ’s response to Thomas:
“Then saith he (Christ) to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing… Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.”
Carl, you may never have an answer that will satisfy you on this earth in an adequate scientific way as to the origins question. However, does that mean it isn’t true, or rather that our knowledge is incomplete? There are times when we will only have the words of scripture, and there are times when that ALONE must be enough.
And, when did the Bretz floods occur? Yes, we got past the mistake of thinking the Scablands were really old. I think it’s pretty well agreed that they were formed by floods about 12,000 years ago. How does that fit into your short-history model? Must be after Noah’s Flood just like the Black Sea flood. So, how far back was Noah’s Flood?
I know what you say you believe and what you go around promoting… You say that you don’t believe in a literal creation week within recent history. I also know that you work for an SDA school. I also know that your claims directly undermine the clearly stated fundamental ideals and goals of your employer, the SDA Church. Therefore, you are undermining what your employer is paying you to do. How is that not a theft of your employer’s time and money?
I don’t care if you think the official position of the SDA Church is clearly mistaken or even insane. Is it not still wrong to take money from crazy people to do other than they are paying you to do? Is that not still called stealing in your book?
Sean Pitman, M.D.(Quote)View Comment
You are quite wrong in your evaluation of what impresses me. What most impresses me is that when I ask SDA scientists about a short-history model, no one has yet presented one or claimed to know someone who could present one. There are ideas, speculations and hopes floating around. Paleocurrents look intersting, but I haven’t heard how they might fit into a time sequence with all of the other things that must be accounted for: volcanic eruptions, contintntal movements, impact craters, etc.
I once heard Elaine Kennedy talk. She was very clearly a short chronologist, but to the best of my memory was also very clear that short did not mean about 10,000 years. I remember multiple tens of thousands of years, maybe as much as 100,000 years. At that point, I say, why bother? If it’s at least 30,000 years for human life (as the cave evidence indicates), then Genesis 1-11 should not be taken literally.
Until hearing from you, I have never known of anyone who had so many answers and was so sure that they were correct. However, since you also claim to know what I am thinking and are so clearly wrong, I do not find you to be credible. Your only contribution is to say that things can happen quickly, but that was never in doubt to begin with.
As I keep explaining to you, your dates of the Black Sea flood and other such events are based on a mainstream understanding of radiometric dating – a dating process that is flawed and inconsistent with other methods of estimating the passage of time.
In short, the Black Sea flood occurred much more recently than the standard model date of 7600 years before present (B.P.). The more ancient date for the Black Sea Flood, verses what would be expected by the Flood model, is because the standard model date of the Black Sea flood is based on radiocarbon (14C) analysis.
The problem is that the 14C dates have not been corrected for the dramatic increase in the atmospheric ratio of 14C/12C following the Flood. This dramatic and sudden change in ratio was produced by the sudden burial of masses of vegetation (and therefore massive amounts of 12C) at the time of the Flood. This changed the balance in the carbon reservoirs on the Earth (the equilibrium is still being approached today – i.e., the 14C/12C ratio is still increasing). Given the massive amounts of 12C that we know where buried at the time of the Flood, the corrected 14C dates would agree with the biblical date. Thus, the Black Sea flood is one of many post-Flood catastrophes that have occurred around the world (e.g. Siberian mammoths, Icelandâ€™s mega-floods, etc).
Rather than Noahâ€™s Flood, Ryan and Pitman have found evidence for a post-Flood catastrophe at the end of the Ice Age around 3,650 B.P.
Sean Pitman, M.D.(Quote)View Comment
Is what you’re saying not a true reflection of what you’re thinking? I would hope so, but perhaps not. I may not know what you’re really thinking, but I do know what you’re saying and that what you’re saying is directly contrary to what your employer is paying you to say. I don’t know about you, but it seems like you’re taking money from someone to do one thing while you’re really doing just the opposite. Please explain what word you would use to label such activity…
Sean Pitman, M.D.(Quote)View Comment
You evidently misunderstood Elaine’s position on the age of life on Earth. She strongly believes in a literal creation week. She writes:
Sean Pitman, M.D.(Quote)View Comment
Did I say something about her position on Creation Week?
LOL – A literal creation week of all life on Earth kinda messes up the whole notion of a need for long periods of time for the production of either the geologic column or the fossil record. It forces the idea of a catastrophic formation. You do understand this concept?
Also, I’m still waiting to hear how you can reconcile taking your paycheck from someone while going around doing the very opposite of what they are paying you to do…
Sean Pitman, M.D.(Quote)View Comment
To me, this all boils down to one simple questionâ€“which Master do we serve, on whose wisdom do we dependâ€“God, or other human beings? If we are not God-centered, we really end up being â€œarch deceiverâ€ centered. The one who snared our first parents and thus brought all of this misery into the world we now live in. There is no â€œmiddle groundâ€!!
â€œAnd if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15
My personal trust is in the God who made heaven and earthâ€“and everything contained thereinâ€“and His precious giftâ€“the Bible!.
Does this mean that God does not want us to study other thingsâ€“to broaden our minds and study nothing else but the Bible? Not at all!!! Nature is His â€œsecond bookâ€ and, rightly understood, will lead us back to Him. He wants us to grow intellectually as well as spirituallyâ€“but we need to be very careful that we do not put manâ€™s puny wisdom above His wisdom. â€œâ€œTo the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them!â€ Isaiah 8:20
This simple belief was what our church was founded on and this simple belief should be the main criteria when considering some one to teach in– or run–any and all of our institutions, OR fill any influential position in our church structure. I canâ€™t see that all this bickering back and forth about different studies by human beings is leading us anywhere. No matter what one says Satan makes sure there will always be someone there to bring in some man-made â€œstudyâ€ that SEEMINGLY refutes it and many, many mindsâ€“both inside our institutions and among the laity–will become more and more confused and many will be lost because of it.
I fear that too often people are hired to teachâ€“or voted into leadership positions–based on their â€œcredentialsâ€ or â€œeducational achievementsâ€ rather than their core belief in God and His Word. We are so anxious to be â€œrecognizedâ€ by the world as being â€œsomething importantâ€ rather than being important to God and following the instructions He has given us both in the Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy that we bring in unsanctified humans to educate our youth and run our institutions. This is wrongâ€“and it is the reason why we are in the mess we are in today.
God has promised that IF we follow HIS instructions we will be the headâ€“not the tailâ€“in all of our endeavors. We usually give lip-service to this ideal but in actual practice we all too often donâ€™t follow it. I truly believe that the â€œshaking timeâ€ Ellen White said would come is here and I fear for our beloved church. When that has done itâ€™s work we are told that our very worst enemies will be those who were once with us.
I have already seen one of the teachers at whose feet I sat in my college yearsâ€“and one I had a great deal of respect forâ€“turn his back on what he had taught me in college. He did not â€œleave the churchâ€ but his influence was deadly. This is going to be repeated over and over again in the coming days we have before probation closes and the results will be terrible for those who choose to serve God rather than the enemy of souls. We WILL face persecutionâ€“and, more often than notâ€“it will be at the hands of those we have loved and trusted as fellow believers. It is past time when we, as Godâ€™s remnant church,must wake up and decide whose side we are really on. Believe Godâ€“it is going to get MUCH worse before it gets better and we had better get our priorities straight before that time comes!
Lydian Belknap(Quote)View Comment
I’d first like to say that this problem – of teachers teaching what is completely opposed to the intentions of their employer – is a problem of employment law and policy. It is complicated by what seems a reluctance on the part of the administrators to openly admit that the employment contracts and conditions of teachers at LSU are insufficient to ensure that parents and students are not being defrauded in paying for an Adventist education at LSU, and further complicated by a reluctance on the part of those same administrators to openly declare their own position on the crucial issue at hand. My understanding of employment law in the US is limited, so I have nothing else to say on that question, except to echo the sentiments of other parents who will not continue to pay anyone to defraud us.
My other observation is that, in his debate with Sean, Carl has forgotten that science is merely a tool to explain what we see (or can perceive in other ways, directly or indirectly). It cannot ever explain – or even express an opinion – on that which is beyond our perceptions. Furthermore, it deliberately excludes, by definition, the possibility of supernatural explanations.
That doesn’t mean that science **demands** that everything we perceive has its origins in itself: many of the greatest scientists were not merely theists but Christians. It simply acknowledges that we do not learn anything if we continue to fill in blanks in our knowledge or understanding with “God did it” any more than we once wrote “Here be dragons” on blank parts of our maps of the earth. Doing this does not dispose us to go and look, which is what a scientist does. God was, of course, the very first scientist, which is why HE said “test Me, and see” (Malachi 3: 10).
Carl’s basic problem is that he thinks/believes that science produces objective, unbiased (i.e. not predisposed), conclusions. As a consequence of this basic problem, he suffers from several others, notably that he **believes** these conclusions produced by an explicitly atheistic culture of “science, so called” in preference to believing God.
But, as the first proposition is completely untrue, so too is the second erroneous.
Science ties axioms to conclusions by means of testable logic. These have a simple primary construction: “IF A, THEN B” (although there are many, more complex, iterations that are possible, they all proceed from this basic construction).
The element “A” in this debate is “There is no God”.
**IF** this statement is true, then B equals “all that we perceive came about by other means”. By purely naturalistic and material means. By the “self organising properties of matter”.
But, that little word “IF” is the key. IF the statement (A) that “There is no God” is NOT true, then nor is (B) true.
Carl believes that this argument is about conclusions, but it is not. It is about axioms. But it is axiomatic that our primary axioms cannot be proven as the conclusion of some earlier argument. At some point we are obliged to accept that some things simply are, and cannot be disproved scientifically. In other words, we are obliged to CHOOSE our axioms, since they cannot be tested. God cannot be reproduced in a laboratory, and nor can the putative cause of the “Big Bang”. Neither history, nor archaeology, can be re-produced. We do not have a “scientific” method for examining these things. What we have are statements from (biased, flawed) witnesses, leftover artefacts, and networks of arguments connecting these together.
We also have some ongoing processes that we can examine, and that may teach us useful things about the other elements of our science.
As Christians, SDA’s believe as our primary axiom that “There IS a God”. We have the statements of (equally flawed) eye witnesses, we have artefacts, and we have arguments connecting these together. We also have ongoing processes (the miraculous changes in the lives of former unbelievers, for example) that we can examine, and that may teach us useful things about the other elements of our faith.
That some people find these unconvincing is not surprising, nor that some of these should appear among us. Were we not warned that this would be so?
Finally, I am puzzled by the attitudes of some on this issue. Do these people think this hasn’t happened before? Do they really think they have anything NEW to offer? Do they really think that scholars and scientists and believers – intellectual giants, many of them – have not pondered these questions for many centuries? Do they really think that these “objections” are novel? That their claims to scientific integrity are new? That they haven’t been themselves disproven over and over again?
Such people appear to think that they can simultaneously believe that God exists while demanding that everything else is independent of Him. That He is not necessary for “life, the universe, everything”. But both science and history tell us that such people soon conclude that if God is not necessary then there is no necessity to believe in Him or to believe that He has said anything to us at all. The cognitive dissonance eventually overwhelms them, and Occam’s Razor does its work. They discard God as un-necessary to them. They cannot do otherwise, for their god, their science, demands it. That which is not necessary is redundant. Worse, it is “inelegant”. (Quelle horreur!)
Carl is, unfortunately, in the middle of a struggle to choose who he wants respect from: Man, or God.
He is vainly trying to maintain respectability in the eyes of both, by claiming to believe that there IS a God, while not believing what God has said, and preferring to believe what Man has said.
But since these cannot be reconciled, this effort must fail. His struggle must end, either with a return to God or a turning away from Him altogether. There is no middle path. Not according to our God, nor according to Man.
Give me an honest atheist any day.
Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. (The primary axiom of the atheist scientist: described by David over 3,000 years ago)
2 Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (Uniformitarian assumption – actually PREsumption – described by Peter, 2,000 years ago)
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (The inevitable departure from the faith, described by John nearly 2,000 years ago)
Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (God’s judgement on those who lack the courage of their professed convictions, described by John nearly 2,000 years ago).
There is a tragic inevitability to all of this. The only proper response for us is to pity such a lost and confused people.
Denver Fletcher(Quote)View Comment
I endorse this website’s aims to inform SDAs about the situation at LSU and to restore the teaching of biblical origins in the classroom, but I deplore the frequent condemnation in this website of specific individuals such as Carl, Bravus, Geanna, etc., plus various SDA officials. It’s Adventism with a sledge hammer, a brand of Adventism I want no part of.
Do not mistake vigorous disagreement or the rebuke of wrong with the “condemnation” of individuals or the use of a spiritual “sledgehammer.” Unless you define your terms carefully, these same dismissive observations could be applied to Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and our Lord Himself. Being a pastor, I fully understand the destructive nature of unjust criticism. But that is not the same as upholding the plain Word of God and seeking accountability for such faithfulness.
Pastor Kevin Paulson
Kevin Paulson(Quote)View Comment
Eddie, Since I have been one of the major critics of our so-called leaders, I will again invite them to come online and, in a public forum, defend their inaction, ineptitude, and avoidance of responsibility. Anyone available? I don’t think so. All we get are PR statements which avoid the real issues.
Ron Stone M.D.(Quote)View Comment
Educate Truth Blocks Posts Supportive of LSU?
I’ve discussed your particular case with Shane Hilde and he doesn’t remember specifically blocking your posts. He monitors the site by himself you know… a rather large job for one person who is working full time on top of it.
There was a time there toward the end of last year where EdTruth was being flooded by posters who had no affiliation with the SDA Church who were being directed to the site by the well-known and very outspoken atheist, PZ Meyers, in an effort to disrupt the operation of EdTruth with hundreds, even thousands, of nonsense posts. All of those were blocked as effectively as one person can monitor such things. Perhaps your posts were caught up in all of this during that time?
However, the posts that have been blocked have not been blocked simply because they were supportive of LSU. In fact, the individual with the most blocked posts has been Ron Stone – an individual who is strongly against LSU but is often guilty of fairly extreme personal attacks and outlandish or very off-topic comments.
Granted, while not all off-topic or extreme posts have effectively been blocked, it is good to remember that Shane is doing the job of moderator as effectively as he can with his limited time.
In any case, if you are SDA or affiliated with the SDA Church and wish to contribute to the discussion why not try posting your comments again? Or, send them to me and I’ll post them for you with my responses if you wish (as I will do with this particular post)…
I was initially invited, by a student group, to lecture at LSU in 2005. At that time I was informed of the theistic evolutionism being promoted by many of the teachers at LSU and even supported by then president Lawrence Geraty as well. In response, I wrote many letters and had many phone conversations with leaders at LSU and at various levels within the SDA Church structure. I also had personal discussions with many of the students and a few of the professors involved at the time. Usually I was told that the issue was indeed a serious one and would be investigated carefully. I was told to remember that the Church would go through to the end even though it might have a few problems – so hang in there.
After my first lecture, around 100 students signed a petition to have the SDA creation perspective presented in the science classrooms – to include upper division science classes.
Of course, nothing happened and the status quo remained and still remains in effect at LSU…
I don’t understand why an effort to increase transparency as to what is really being promoted behind closed doors at LSU is so horrible? Why should such efforts for increased transparency cause such a disturbance with LSU?
Is it not the truth that most LSU science professors are in fact promoting theistic evolution over hundreds of millions of years as the true story of origins? Of course it is. So, why is one accused of “attacking” LSU when one simply points out this obvious fact and provides videos and lecture materials and personal statements from the professors themselves supporting this fact? How is this a “throwing of stones?” or “not following the direction of Matthew 18?”
If LSU really thought it was in the right here, why would they be at all upset by the public presentation of such facts? Isn’t it only those who feel themselves guilty of some wrongdoing who attempt to hide the facts of what they are in fact doing? Why try to cover up or hide what you’re doing if you know you are doing right?
Sean Pitman(Quote)View Comment
Sean, Please explain what you mean by “outlandish” comments. I have plainly stated facts and named names, which is exactly what Shane and others have done on this site. I happen to “expand” the blame to others, as Shane does not appear to believe that the problem is more than a few Bio Profs at LSU.
The problem we have at LSU is a very SMALL tip of the iceberg in our SDA Church. I think you and Shane also know this. Maybe you just want to address the “small issue” here, but I believe we need to get to the real root problem, which is the taking over of our Church and SDA institutions by liberal humanists, as we have seen done at LSU, but by no means limited to LSU. The problem is mainly concentrate here in the Pacific Union Conference, but exists in other areas as well.
But, you are correct, Shane has deleted the majority of my comments.
Ron Stone M.D.(Quote)View Comment
Yet “another sign” that there is no “you must actually BE Adventist” message effectively coming across from the LSU Board of Trustees – to LSU management.
The constituents at the Pacific Union meeting coming up – need to be informed.
@Ron Stone M.D.:
Yes, you have been very plain indeed – very plain! – Sometimes too plain! 😉
I personally don’t think it would kill you or hurt your cause or ours much at all if you toned some of your posts down just a tad. I’m sure you know what I mean…
Also, don’t think that Shane is naive enough to think that the problems LSU is having are limited to LSU. They aren’t. They are simply most blatently demonstrated at LSU is all.
Sean Pitman(Quote)View Comment
Sean, Please explain how “plain” is “outlandish.” That was my question. The “toned down” posts are the only ones Shane allows to be kept, so I let him decide how “toned” I need to be. I feel that I’m actually being “too kind” to many of our leaders, since I’ve not posted (by their own requests!) many of the actual comments and statements sent to me by the individuals I’ve been criticizing. They, obviously, don’t want the real facts and their own words to be publicized. Why? I think all of us know why!
Ron Stone M.D.(Quote)View Comment
Here’s an interesting article:
Maybe this reporter should interview someone like Paul Davies?
Note that Paul Davies doesn’t agree with the reporter, arguing that the majority of physicists favor the idea that some sort of God is responsible for it all…
Sean Pitman, M.D.(Quote)View Comment