Nearly two weeks have transpired, Sean, since I asked whether …

Comment on LSU memorandum confirms Educate Truth’s allegations by Professor Kent.

Nearly two weeks have transpired, Sean, since I asked whether the molecular methods used by epidemiologists to study disease are any more reliable than the exact same methods used by systematists to examine evolutionary relationships–whether within a single species (as is the case for many studies) or across multiple species or taxonomic groups. Are you having trouble getting a grip on this issue? Surely you have considerable expertise (perhaps even training) in phylogenetics and phylodynamics.

Since science is your ultimate source of authority, as opposed to scripture, I’d like to better understand your basis for disputing the methods and conclusions of molecular systematists. I believe you reject them for one simple reason: their conclusions go against your a priori beliefs, and therefore their methods must be flawed.

Professor Kent Also Commented

LSU memorandum confirms Educate Truth’s allegations
Eddie wrote, “Whenever a vacancy occurs in a SDA college or university, there are very few applicants and often the only applicants are fringe SDAs who superficially support the church’s mission. Can leaders be blamed for not hiring conservative SDAs when none apply? Why is it that so few conservative SDAs seek a career as a professor? If you don’t believe me, simply ask any biology professor at Educate Truth’s two favorite universities why they can’t find suitable candidates for their vacancies, which they continue to advertise for year after year.

Anyone have an update on what’s going on at Southern and Southwestern this year? Are they having better success at finding “creationist” biologists than they did last year? Did Sean Pitman apply for either position?

Why isn’t the Church doing more to address this issue which Eddie keeps pointing out and everyone here seems to ignore?

LSU memorandum confirms Educate Truth’s allegations

BobRyan: I am all for what “can be observed”.

No, you’re all for that which “cannot be observed:” a literal creation that took place 6,000+ years ago. I’m all for that as well.

You and Sean need to stop pretending you believe because you can observe incontrovertible “evidence” for it. You accept on faith that a human can be manufactured from dust and that a herd of sheep can appear instantaneously on a verdent mountain pasture. You accept on faith that God can do in six days what evolution cannot do in 600 million years.

LSU memorandum confirms Educate Truth’s allegations

Sean&#032Pitman: Such evidence calls into serious question the validity of these just-so stories of mainstream scientists when it comes to their explanation of the nested hierarchical patterns that they find in various genomes.

Sean, you’ve made it clear in the past, and again here, that you despise phylogeographic and taxonomic methodology based on sequence data. Perhaps you could take a look at the following paper on the spread of HIV using the same approach many systematists use. Do you think the story told by sequence data in this case is a “just-so” story as well?

Gray, R. R., et al. 2009. Spatial phylodynamics of HIV-1 epidemic emergence in east Africa. AIDS 23(14):F9–F17. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32832faf61.

And here, Sean, is another study based on sequence data that examines whether a viral component to lymphomagenesis exists. Again, the same general methodology is used by other scientists whose conclusions you are quick to dismiss. Is this another “just so” story?

Salemi M, et al. 2009. Distinct Patterns of HIV-1 Evolution within Metastatic Tissues in Patients with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8153. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008153

Recent Comments by Professor Kent

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Nic&#032Samojluk: No wonder most creationist writers do not even try to submit their papers to such organizations.
Who wants to waste his/her time trying to enter through a door that is closed to him/her a priori?

You have no idea what you’re writing about, Nic. As it turns out, there are in fact many of us Adventists who “waste” our time publishing articles through doors that open to us a priori. Even Leonard Brand at Loma Linda, a widely recognized creationist, has published in the top geology journals. I mean the top journals in the discipline.

The myth that creationists cannot publish in mainstream science is perpetuated by people who simply do not understand the culture of science–and will remain clueless that they do not understand it even when confronted with their misunderstandings. Such is human nature.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

Your questions about conservation genetics are very insightful. I don’t understand how all these life forms were able to greatly increase in genetic diversity while simultaneously winding down and losing genetic information to mutations. Sean seems to insist that both processes happen simultaneously. I had the impression he has insisted all along that the former cannot overcome the latter. But I think you must be right: God had to intervene to alter the course of nature. However, we can probably test this empirically because there must be a signature of evidence available in the DNA. I’ll bet Sean can find the evidence for this.

I’m also glad the predators (just 2 of most such species) in the ark had enough clean animals (14 of each such species) to eat during the deluge and in the months and years after they emerged from the ark that they didn’t wipe out the vast majority of animal species through predation. Maybe they all consumed manna while in the ark and during the first few months or years afterward. Perhaps Sean can find in the literature a gene for a single digestive enzyme that is common to all predatory animals, from the lowest invertebrate to the highest vertebrate. Now that would be amazing.

Wait a minute–I remember once being told that SDA biologists like Art Chadwick believe that some animals survived on floating vegetation outside the ark. Now that would solve some of these very real problems! I wonder whether readers here would allow for this possibility. Multiple arks without walls, roof, and human caretakers.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

Ellen White said, “In the days of Noah, men…many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians [presumably referring to humans] perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history…”

Sean Pitman said, “All human fossils discovered so far are Tertiary or post-Flood fossils. There are no known antediluvian human fossils.”

Ellen White tells us that humans and dinosaurs (presumably referred to in the statement, “a class of very large animals which perished at the flood… mammoth animals”) lived together before the flood. Evolutionary biologists tell us that dinosaurs and humans never lived together. You’re telling us, Sean, that the fossil record supports the conclusion of evolutionists rather than that of Ellen White and the SDA Church. Many of the “very large animals which perished at the flood” are found only in fossil deposits prior to or attributed to the flood, whereas hunans occur in fossil deposits only after the flood (when their numbers were most scarce).

Should the SDA biologists, who are supposed to teach “creation science,” be fired if they teach what you have just conceded?

La Sierra Univeristy Fires Dr. Lee Greer; Signs anti-Creation Bond
For those aghast about the LSU situation and wondering what other SDA institutions have taken out bonds, hold on to your britches. You’ll be stunned when you learn (soon) how many of our other schools, and which ones in particular, have taken out these bonds. You will be amazed to learn just how many other administrators have deliberately secularized their institutions besides Randal Wisbey, presumably because they too hate the SDA Church (as David Read has put it so tactfully).

Be sure to protest equally loudly.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
@Sean Pitman:

So clearly you believe that science can explain supernatural events. Congratulations on that.