NAD President, Education Director Dialog with La Sierra Campus Community

Educate Truth shares the following article from La Sierra University as a service to readers.

NAD President, Education Director Dialog with La Sierra Campus Community
By Larry Becker
Executive Director, University Relations

-Dan Jackson

Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, and Larry Blackmer, division vice president for education, conducted a 90-minute town hall meeting followed by two hours of additional conversation with the La Sierra University faculty and staff on April 20. The two division leaders visited the campus to share their perspectives on a wide range of issues related to the lengthy biology controversy and the recent Adventist Accrediting Association board decision. Their visit also gave them an opportunity to hear the thoughts and concerns of campus faculty, staff, and administration.

Elder Jackson used his brief opening remarks to express his personal regret for what has been at times an excessively hostile tone of media and online comments directed at the university, a theme he returned to several times during the campus conversation. He also reminded the campus community of the importance of continuing to clearly affirm support for church doctrines throughout the curriculum.

During the lengthy dialogue session, many faculty members prefaced their remarks by expressing appreciation to both leaders for their presence on campus. The spirit of the discussion was respectful and heartfelt.

“I’m grateful for the willingness of both Elder Jackson and Elder Blackmer to dialogue candidly with our faculty and staff,” said University President Randal Wisbey. “I believe it was helpful for La Sierra University’s people to experience the pastoral care and concern expressed by both of these church leaders.”

PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University
Riverside, California
951.785.2460 (voice)

UPDATE 6/13/11: An LSU faculty or staff recorded the meeting with a cell phone. The audio clips were posted on Wikisend recently. A commenter at Spectrum posted a link to these clips; however, the files are no longer available at the link posted. The town hall meeting was closed to the public and only faculty and staff were invited.

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53 thoughts on “NAD President, Education Director Dialog with La Sierra Campus Community

  1. So only the faculty were invited? Why would an LSU faculty member leak an audio recording of this meeting to someone who then posts it on Spectrum?

    Perhaps some sort of political move?

    Seems strange.

    The meetings were obviously not intended for the public to hear. It would be one thing if I was there and recorded the meetings, but someone from LSU, a faculty member, leaked them.




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  2. Having a great deal of respect for both men from the GC (one of whom has been at the helm for much of the time that this crisis has been maturing)… we also have respect for the following statements that describe the opposition anyone will face who dares to address sin in the camp.

    ==========================

    “Ministers who are preaching present truth should not neglect the solemn message to the Laodiceans. The testimony of the True Witness is not a smooth message. The Lord does not say to them, You are about right; you have borne chastisement and reproof that you never deserved; you have been unnecessarily discouraged by severity; you are not guilty of the wrongs and sins for which you have been reproved.” {3T 257.2}

    “If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime, and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God” (3T 281

    “Those who have been nearly all their lives controlled by a spirit as foreign to the Spirit of God as was Achan’s will be very passive when the time comes for decided action on the part of all. They will not claim to be on either side. The power of Satan has so long held them that they seem blinded and have no inclination to stand in defense of right. If they do not take a determined course on the wrong side, it is not because they have a clear sense of the right, but because they dare not.” {3T 271.2}

    “Skepticism and unbelief are not humility. Implicit belief in Christ’s word is true humility, true self-surrender” (DA 535).

    “Elijah was declared to be a troubler of Israel, Jeremiah a traitor, Paul a polluter of the temple.

    From that day to this, those who would be loyal to truth have been denounced as seditious, heretical, or schismatic. Multitudes who are too unbelieving to accept the sure word of prophecy, will receive with unquestioning credulity an accusation against those who dare to reprove fashionable sins. This spirit will increase more and more. And the Bible plainly teaches that a time is approaching when the laws of the State shall so conflict with the law of God that whoever would obey all the divine precepts must brave reproach and punishment as an evil-doer.” {GC88 458.2}

    Those who stand firm against conformity to the world, discouraging pride, superfluity, and extravagance, and enjoining humility and self-denial, are looked upon as critical, peculiar, and severe. Some argue that by uniting with worldlings and conforming to their customs, Christians might exert a stronger influence in the world. But all who pursue this course thereby separate from the source of their strength. Becoming friends of the world, they are the enemies of God.” {ST, July 13, 1882 par. 20}

    ==========================

    Given this context in general we are not too surprised by some feeling among a few at LSU that EducateTruth should never have exposed the biology and religion dept practices to begin with.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  3. This is the first time, that I know of, that an LSU person has leaked something. At this point I can only assume this person or persons thought it would potentially beneficial to LSU’s to leak these recordings.

    If anything has changed at LSU, it’s the biology department ducking for cover and waiting for things to blow over, as Bradley so nicely put it. I’d be surprised if the way the curriculum is being taught has changed.

    If LSU faculty see some wiggle room out of this, they’ll take it. You don’t have a track record of hiding what has been taught and then all of a sudden have an ah-ha moment and completely change status quo. The only reason we’re seeing anything happening at LSU is because what they have been doing has seen the light of day.




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  4. As has been pointed out “a man convinced against his will – is of the same opinion still”.

    Nothing has been said by anone at LSU to the effect that the diehard TE spirit in the LSU religion and biology departments has lessened. The only statements that have been made is that they are crafting their presentation to be less exposed to direct criticism by SDA parents and students regarding the civility of their discourse with the students who insist on believing SDA views of origins over evolutionist views of origins.

    Hence – this is not the “fix” rather it is the “lull” in aggresive promotion of evolutionism at LSU.

    That LSU event with Walter Veith where only the Physics and Chemistry departments had the presence of mind, vision and insight to encourage open minded attendance at Veith’s lectures was indeed “instructive” for the unbiased objective observers.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  5. Obviously, the issue is being addressed. You folks whine and complain and gossip every time something appears to be getting done by the Church’s leadership–leadership which you folks disrespect. The gossip and allegations and innuendos are as endless as Bob repeating Bob.




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  6. Professor Kent:
    Obviously, the issue is being addressed. You folks whine and complain and gossip every time something appears to be getting done by the Church’s leadership–leadership which you folks disrespect. The gossip and allegations and innuendos are as endless as Bob repeating Bob.
    According to you, Prof, everything is A-OK and hunky-dorry at LSU. Looks like Jackson came to “congratulate” LSU for having such a great solution to this?!

    Is that what he spoke about?




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  7. Shane Hilde:
    This is the first time, that I know of, that an LSU person has leaked something. At this point I can only assume this person or persons thought it would potentially beneficial to LSU’s to leak these recordings.

    If anything has changed at LSU, it’s the biology department ducking for cover and waiting for things to blow over, as Bradley so nicely put it. I’d be surprised if the way the curriculum is being taught has changed.

    If LSU faculty see some wiggle room out of this, they’ll take it. You don’t have a track record of hiding what has been taught and then all of a sudden have an ah-ha moment and completely change status quo. The only reason we’re seeing anything happening at LSU is because what they have been doing has seen the light of day.

    I believe you’re right, Shane. I don’t see anything actually being done–just more talk and avoidance of any action!




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  8. Concern is one thing, but when such concerns are taken to the level in which they have been taken in this case, it is anything but Christian.




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  9. Odessa: Concern is one thing, but when such concerns are taken to the level in which they have been taken in this case, it is anything but Christian.

    Really? I find it very interesting that the guilty parties and their supporters find it “unChristian” that the general membership of the SDA church is told about the heresy going on in its own institution, but it is apparently not “unChristian” to teach heresy in our institution. What kind of logic is this? Give me a break. What has been going on for decades at LSU is extremely unChristian. They don’t need to be whining about the fact that it has all come to light and they are now being criticized for their sin. Exactly what did they expect to happen? People are not going to thank them for leading their sons and daughters out of the church when in most cases they sacrificed to send their kids to an SDA institution so they wouldn’t be taught this evolutionary drivel in the first place. They blatently and deliberately went against God, the church, and its teachings when they did this. Did they not expect some sort of backlash? Sin always carries a penalty and if faculty, administrators, and board members have to face the music, that is no more than can be expected.

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the faculty, administrators, and board members who were either actively or passively committing this sin. My sympathies go out far more to the parents and youth who have paid the consequences of this heresy for years–especially to those souls who may be forever lost as a consequence. I find it appalling that the perpetrators are in line for anyone’s sympathy while the victims are forgotten. In my opinion, some people need to shake their heads and get some perspective on this.




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  10. Faith: I find it very interesting that the guilty parties and their supporters find it “unChristian” that the general membership of the SDA church is told about the heresy going on in its own institution, but it is apparently not “unChristian” to teach heresy in our institution. What kind of logic is this? Give me a break

    A very good summary of the situation!

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  11. For those who are so eager to comment on the Town Hall meeting, I guess you find irresistable the need to gossip about something you know next to nothing about. If you weren’t there to hear the discussion, what do you really know?




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  12. Good morning everyone.

    Now that I have calmed down a bit, I think I may owe a bit of an apology for being a bit passionate about the subject. I am very passionate about the church and the truth and I tend to put things in a way that may not be as gentle as it should be.

    However, I must confess I don’t understand why this whole mess has been allowed to go on so long. I am the type of person who wants immediate action when I see something that needs correcting. I am especially concerned that the longer this is allowed to continue, the more young people are being led astray. Precious souls are being lost for all eternity due to this heresy being taught in a supposedly SDA institution. I think that calls for immediate action.

    If I had been the head of the GC, as soon as I heard about it, I would have been out there, suspended the departments involved while I investigated, and taken immediate and thorough action to cut off the heretical teachings. I bet I would have had it done in two weeks at the most…not two years…and I would have done what was right and let the chips fall where they may. As I see it, this is God’s institution and He can control circumstances in the way He sees fit.

    I also get very upset when people criticize Shane and Sean for using this site to expose the problem. We should be grateful for these two men who have bravely sounded the alarm. They are the watchmen on the walls and they have withstood the fiery darts that have been aimed at them for their services. It isn’t like they did this for 15 minutes of fame. They did this to help rectify a situation they had tried to fix privately but without success.

    Think about this, people…for several decades this has been going on, and as long as it was kept hushed, nothing was done to correct it, so it just silently grew worse and worse. I say, God bless Shane and Sean for their courage and grace under fire. The church owes them a debt of gratitude, not constant criticism.

    They followed the Biblical perscription…first going to the people directly and then taking it to the church. Far from doing anything wrong they did things right.

    I know that some of us have been very righteously indignant over this whole affair. But if you only knew it, some of the spicier comments were edited before many got to see them. (Many times, these were mine, so I know. ;-))

    So, gentlemen, I personally thank you for your faithful service here. And I am sure the Lord has been using Educate Truth to help to get this situation fixed.

    Have a great day everyone. I just realized I am going to be late for school! Yikes!




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  13. @Faith, The reason this thing has gone on so long is that the leadership out here in California allowed it to procede, continue, and escalate without doing anything. From Wisb

    Thus, you see how some “nobodies” like Shane, Sean, and the rest of us here (who are generally “nobodies” also!) had to bring this to the attention of the SDA Church and its worldwide leadership.

    Despite what Spectrum says, this website did not “witchhunt” or force anybody to do anything.

    But what exactly has been done? Nothing regarding the “evolution” problem. According to Graham, these guys were fired for something else. What else? We’ll have to wait and see!




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  14. Faith: Really? I find it very interesting that the guilty parties and their supporters find it “unChristian” that the general membership of the SDA church is told about the heresy going on in its own institution, but it is apparently not “unChristian” to teach heresy in our institution. What kind of logic is this? Give me a break.

    I find it interesting the conclusion you’ve jumped to over one statement I made. I’m not supporting any “guilty parties”. I’m simply sharing in President Dan Jackson’s regrets “for what has been at times an excessively hostile tone of media and online comments directed at the university”. And it’s still going on.




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  15. I’m simply sharing in President Dan Jackson’s regrets “for what has been at times an excessively hostile tone of media and online comments directed at the university”. And it’s still going on.

    Jackson is being a professional politician by making such a statement. I will ask Jackson personally–which comments are “excessively hostile?” Mine? Shane’s? Sean’s? Which ones?

    Does Jackson have the backbone to answer these questions? I doubt it.




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  16. Ron Stone M.D.: But what exactly has been done? Nothing regarding the “evolution” problem.

    How can you possibly know what has transpired behind the scenes? How can you know what has been taught at LSU the past year or more without being there yourself, or without hearing direct evidence of what is being taught or not taught?

    There is a fundamental assumption among many who support this website: all parties once found guilty by the court of public opinion will remain guilty henceforth and can only emerge from said guilt by public declaration at the website that found them guilty.

    This is not the way Christians should relate to “truth” and “sin.”




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  17. Odessa: So now our North American Division President is under criticism.

    Well, Odessa, so far Jackson has done nothing that I can see (as did Don Schneider before him) regarding this problem in his own backyard.

    Why is Wilson taking most of the “heat” regarding this matter on Spectrum, while Jackson seems immune? Because Jackson has relinquished his duties as a “watchman” and has taken up duties as a “facilitator” in this matter. Looks like he’s gonna “dialogue” himself through this.

    Sure, the problem started before he got to the NAD, but that’s a stronger reason for taking some steps to correct what Schneider didn’t care to tackle.




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  18. Professor Kent: How can you possibly know what has transpired behind the scenes? How can you know what has been taught at LSU the past year or more without being there yourself, or without hearing direct evidence of what is being taught or not taught?There is a fundamental assumption among many who support this website: all parties once found guilty by the court of public opinion will remain guilty henceforth and can only emerge from said guilt by public declaration at the website that found them guilty.This is not the way Christians should relate to “truth” and “sin.”

    Well, Prof, so far your reports have consisted of third and fourth generaions “so-and-so told so-and-so” that they heard from an “unimpeachable” source that all is well at LSU!




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  19. Faith: Think about this, people…for several decades this has been going on, and as long as it was kept hushed, nothing was done to correct it, so it just silently grew worse and worse.

    May I ask how you know this has been going on for several decades? Because someone said so? Or is there clear evidence of this?




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  20. Odessa: So now our North American Division President is under criticism.

    I’m a critic of Jackson for playing the “relativism” card. Nobody is “at fault.” Or, “Each side is at fault.” etc.

    This is a typical political move to avoid actually saying something of substance about what is going on.

    I had some hope for Jackson, but he seems way to much like Schneider to be of any use in upholding our SDA values in the NAD.




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  21. I have emailed Jackson at the GC website to ask which of my or anybody’s comments were “excessively hostile” towards LSU.

    I’ll let you know, when and if I get an answer!




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  22. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the faculty, administrators, and board members who were either actively or passively committing this sin.

    Not all the Board members have been involved in keeping this hidden. There are some who have tried to stop it, but to no avail, since the majority of the members of the Board are either too apathetic to act or actually support the “evolution as fact” doctrine, and don’t want to change anything.




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  23. Faith: If I had been the head of the GC, as soon as I heard about it, I would have been out there, suspended the departments involved while I investigated, and taken immediate and thorough action to cut off the heretical teachings.

    If it was me, I would first find out if evolution is being taught as a fact, or as a theory with holes in it. It makes a huge difference.




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  24. Here is publicly posted description from a La Sierra student who responded to a question whether LSU biology faculty have taught theistic evolution as fact this past year, or have belittled a literal creation week a relatively short time (thousands of years) ago:

    My experience has been that none of my professors teach any theories as fact. They teach that all theories are interpretations of observations and attempts to understand things. These understandings continually change. Some make better sense than others given the understandings at the moment. All acknowledge that the Bible says very little about any mechanisms of how things are or how they came to be. That isn’t the domain of the Bible and if we were to put all the scientific explanations from the Bible it would be a very small booklet indeed. That’s not the fault of the Bible because it never was meant to be a science textbook. It’s poor science to attempt to construe the evidence to fit a predetermined theory, whether that is of a creationist-theology kind, a theistic-evolution kind or a materialist-evolutionary kind. Do the science and do the theology. If and when they don’t align, that is a separate discussion to be had. But neither are served well by trying to force one to fit the other. Clear thinking it important for science and for theology. Adherence to a set form of belief in science or theology because that is what has been held in the past is not good science or good theology. I’ve learned and developed skills in healthy thinking through my studies and for that I am deeply grateful. Thank you La Sierra!”




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  25. Here is another public response from a former student who attended during an era when theistic evolution was supposedly taught as fact:

    Don’t know about this past year, but when I was at LSU in the 90’s I didn’t get the feeling of belittling the short week mythos, although I probably wasn’t paying attention, since it has always been my understanding that the Bible is not, and cannot honestly be, interpreted literally.




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  26. And here is one more public post by someone who apparently has not appreciated the change:

    As my time as a Biology major from 2007 and four years later till now, I can say that how creationism and evolution are taught has fundamentally changed.

    During freshman year, my 2nd quarter freshman Biology class was prefaced (By Dr. McCloskey) with the statement that what he was showing us was what the world believed. It does not undermine creationism etc etc. That’s pretty much all we got as far as hearing about creationism.

    Now, 3 years later, they dedicate a much larger amount of time towards explaining creationism/holding lectures for creationism.

    In my opinion, if people really did feel the need for hearing about creationism, there are a myriad of classes which focus on the old testament/genesis offered at LSU by the religion department.

    Now we are constantly reminded that this is “not fact, but it is supported by years and years of research etc. etc.” It’s very demeaning in a way, and I feel as if we, the students, are being treated like babies, just because some people took offense towards evolution being taught. Oh well, it will only be the students below my class reaping the “benefits” of this updated curriculum.

    Where is your evidence, Ron, that nothing has changed? I’ve asked you for this several times and you still cannot produce. You are making mean-spirited charges you cannot back up.




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  27. Well apparently there are students who say they didn’t and students who say they did. I’m a graduate who sat through one biology course and he did in fact teach the theory as if it was true/fact.

    Given that many of them are evolutionists, it’s not hard to imagine which side of the line they would fall when teaching. I’m sure they’ve clammed up in the last two years.




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  28. Shane, I’m not disputing your experience and that some disrespectful treatment was doled out in years past.

    What I am trying to say is that things have now changed, and I wish you folks would welcome that news rather than continue to deny it and maintain the ad hominen attacks not just on the biology faculty but on virtually all levels of Church administration.

    Can you please use your influence to stop the completely unnecessary accusations made by certain individuals here who feel they can make such statements without any foundation in fact?




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  29. Professor Kent: Shane, I’m not disputing your experience and that some disrespectful treatment was doled out in years past. What I am trying to say is that things have now changed, and I wish you folks would welcome that news rather than continue to deny it and maintain the ad hominen attacks not just on the biology faculty but on virtually all levels of Church administration.Can you please use your influence to stop the completely unnecessary accusations made by certain individuals here who feel they can make such statements without any foundation in fact?

    So, Prof, where is your “foundation in fact?” Oh, I forgot–you heard someone who told somone else, that had heard from an “unimpeachable” source that “things have changed.”




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  30. @ Kent, We gotta get a new “survey” Prof. That’s how LSU decides who is teaching what–not a few “cherry-picked” comments.




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  31. Shane Hilde: Well apparently there are students who say they didn’t and students who say they did. I’m a graduate who sat through one biology course and he did in fact teach the theory as if it was true/fact.

    …”as if it was true”…so what does that mean? Did he actually say it was a fact? And do we have anything to go by other than what is being claimed? Is there any evidence to back up said claims? How are we to know that statements haven’t been taken out of context, or misinterpreted?




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  32. Professor Kent: What I am trying to say is that things have now changed, and I wish you folks would welcome that news rather than continue to deny it and maintain the ad hominen attacks not just on the biology faculty but on virtually all levels of Church administration.

    We are seeing evidence of the results of that change in the “three stooges” event that Bradley mentioned earlier this week.

    The “change” came in the form of trying to present LSU TE professors as now being more presentable, more civil toward the students that are convinced “SDAS”.

    I think one LSU TE professor refers to that TE model as helping students “be conned into remaining SDA” even though biological science tells them that Genesis 1 is fluff and fiction.

    The point is that the leopard is well behaved – but still the same four leopards as it turns out.

    (Not at all suggesting that those four are the problem at LSU and that it is now fixed.)

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  33. Professor Kent: In my opinion, if people really did feel the need for hearing about creationism, there are a myriad of classes which focus on the old testament/genesis offered at LSU by the religion department.

    It is good news that some of the religion classes might actually be stepping up on this subject.

    My understanding is that Blackmer said — LSU cannot silo off religion out of the classroom. All classes need to incorporate SDA faith since that is why we have SDA schools. (- at 1:35:35 )

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  34. @Odessa: The evidence is in student testimony and class curriculum. One of the retired professors even put it in print in one of his lectures:

    There is nothing “theoretical” about the evidence supporting evolution. The research about evolution is ongoing and continues to support and refine Darwin’s original ideas. No data have been found to refute the idea. It is the single unifying explanation of the living world, and nothing makes much, if any, sense outside of this unifying theory. BIO 112

    We have lots of presentations from the biology department the present the evidence for evolution; however, we have yet to see anything supporting recent life on earth etc. This strong indicates that creationism is not be taught or even presented. They don’t have to be explicit. They’ve admitted to what they personally believe, and this ends up playing out in how the material is taught. If creationism isn’t even receiving notice other than “oh by the way the church believes God created things about 6,000 years ago”, then it’s safe to assume evolution is being presented as the best alternative.

    You’re welcome to browse what we have on hand.




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  35. Odessa: …”as if it was true”…so what does that mean? Did he actually say it was a fact? And do we have anything to go by other than what is being claimed? Is there any evidence to back up said claims? How are we to know that statements haven’t been taken out of context, or misinterpreted?

    Odessa, You need to do some “homework” and read what already has been published online here and other places to come “up to speed” on what’s going on.
    Once you do, come back and start making some statements that actually address what’s going on here in the real world.




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  36. Shane Hilde: One of the retired professors even put it in print in one of his lectures:

    Ok, but isn’t the following put into print in the syllabus?

    “It is vitally important for you to realize that this course—as a science course—is describing evidence from mainstream science, and is not dealing with beliefs. Some will decide they cannot “believe” the scientific evidence, and it is your right to decide. This is encouraged and supported. If you expect to be competitive in any modern science-based profession, and hope to perform well on standardized or pre-professional qualifying exams, you must simply know what the scientific evidence is, whether or not you ‘believe’ it.”

    This tells me students already have the understanding that they are being taught strictly mainstream science, which we may or may not consider the correct method of teaching it, but their reason for it is as stated above: “If you expect to be competitive in any modern science-based profession, and hope to perform well on standardized or pre-professional qualifying exams, you must simply know what the scientific evidence is, whether or not you ‘believe’ it.”




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  37. @Odessa: I’ve been at this for two years. If you’ve already decided they don’t do it it won’t matter what I show you. My own personal testimony won’t convince, nor will the experience of my friends. I’ve experienced, heard it, and seen it. There’s plenty of LSU presentations that just show evolution, not one cent of the evidence for creation.

    I don’t believe there is anything I can say that would change your mind.




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  38. The issue is not whether there is scientific data that evidences creation or the sudden emergence of life on earth in six literal days 6000 years ago. The issue is whether that evidentiary data has any probative value.

    There is a significant difference between data that constitutes evidence for something and evidentiary data that has probative value.

    If you do not understand this important distinction, then you risk falling into what I call the Holocaust Denier’s Trap. By way of illustration: There is a body of data that supports the assertion that the Holocaust never occurred, but that evidentiary data has no probative value. Accordingly, history teachers do not give equal time or any time at all to that viewpoint. This is an extreme analogy, but it makes the point well.

    There is absolutely no probative scientific data that evidences creation or the sudden emergence of life in six literal days 6000 years ago.

    I wish this were not the case. Perhaps in time, mainstream science will change. But right now, to present evidentiary scientific data for creation or sudden emergence, which is devoid of probative value, constitutes a perpetration of fraud upon the students and misconduct of the science teacher.

    I realize that there are people in the Church who want an “equal time or at least a little time” approach to all views in the science classroom. I sympathize. I urge these individuals to become students of history. They need to study why this proposed pedagogical approach has been repeatedly and overwhelmingly rejected in the courts, giving careful attention to the reasoning underlying the courts’ rulings.




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  39. Philip,

    A pastor at camp meeting with a background in science just told us that in 1987 the Supreme Court endorsed atheism as the only religious view of origins permitted in the classroom because of the separation of church and state.

    The pastor also stated that there was a dissenting opinion by Scalia who complained that the court was not addressing the merits of the science itself.

    That the court did not address the merits of the science itself is most unfortunate. It would seem that we are back in the Middle Ages in a way when non-scientists tell scientists what they can and cannot teach, despite what the truth may be.

    Regardless of what any earthly, fallible judge says, evolutionary theory has repeatedly been falsified by competent scientists. It is truly science fiction.




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  40. @Phillip Brantley: Could you please clarify?

    Are you saying that you think it is right for non-scientist judges to force public schools to only teach one view of religious-based origin theory, namely evolution? If so, on what logical basis are you taking that position?




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  41. Perhaps it helps to remember that while Aaron was a facilitator, Moses was a watchman. The latter are the sort of leaders God seeks in a time of crisis such as this.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  42. Mr. Pickle, this is my response to your question:

    1. It is irrelevant whether the presiding judge in a case possesses any expertise about the subject matter of the case. The judge does not decide the case based on his or her personal knowledge of the subject matter but on the evidence that is presented.

    2. In our constitutional form of government, federal judges force public schools and other state actors to do certain things, namely in this particular case to desist and refrain from violating the first amendment to the United States Constitution.

    3. Evolution is not a religious-based origin theory. It is mainstream science. Creationism is neither science, nor mainstream, and more problematically, a religious belief in which public school students have a right not to be indoctrinated.

    This jurisprudence is not unduly contentious or controversial. These are not difficult cases to decide. A long string of court opinions demonstrates that the law in this area is well-established.




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  43. Bob Pickle: Philip,
    A pastor at camp meeting with a background in science just told us that in 1987 the Supreme Court endorsed atheism as the only religious view of origins permitted in the classroom because of the separation of church and state.

    In 2Cor 4:4 we are told that the devil is the “god of this world”. It is any wonder then that “birds come from reptiles” fictions is foisted onto the public as “observed science” by people in both the judicial branch of government (as if that was ever their mandate) and those atheists that are managing the NAS?

    Surely we were not surprised by that?

    And surely a sacrifice-all for evolutionism style of secularism would vote for evolution as the “more popular” brand of origins.

    As for “What happened in nature” well we know that Genesis 1-2 has that covered.

    As for “What is observed in nature” well we know that nobody is “observing” that “birds come from reptiles”.

    But that does not stop those who are highly motivated to promote junk-science arguments on origins “As if they are science fact”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  44. To all participants in the present discussion:

    If we’re going to address the issue of how the origins debate should be handled in the public schools, I think we should recognize from the outset that this is most different from the basic question raised by this Web site, which of course is the question of whether theories of origins contrary to Scripture, the Spirit of Prophecy writings, and fundamental Adventist beliefs should be promoted in a Seventh-day Adventist classroom or pulpit.

    As a strong Biblical conservative, I am constrained both to support the Genesis creation account as well as the separation of church and state. Seventh-day Adventists have historically supported both on strict Bible grounds. As strongly as I oppose within the church the teaching of ideas and practices which contradict God’s written counsel, I oppose with equal strength the efforts of certain Christian to impose Christian teachings and personal values through civil law.

    With this in mind, I believe the best approach to origins in a public school classroom is a modified version of a proposal advanced by the late Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard, very much a devout evolutionist. Gould argued that the teaching of creationism did in fact belong in the teaching of science in public schools, but that it should be covered specifically when addressing the history of scientific thought. I would take this further than Gould and say evolution belongs in that section also.

    Technically, as I see this discussion, neither creation nor evolution constitutes strict science, as science requires both observation and experimentation, and no one was present when the natural world came into existence. Science can be summoned to support both theories, but at the bottom line, both concepts invariably lead away from science into the realm of philosophy and faith.

    As with other issues of theology and morality which at times enter the public square, it has long been my conviction that the objective evidence supporting the Biblical worldview is sufficiently decisive that the spurs of civil coercion need not be used to promote it to the larger society. The Christian community has sufficient resources and a massive popular presence in our culture, and these should be utilized to set before the public the evidence supporting the claims of the Bible and the Christian faith. Most of all, Christians need to focus less on impacting society through politics and more on impacting their neighbors and society in general through the power of a godly Christian example. From my experience, even the most secular minds have trouble gainsaying the power of the latter.

    Finally, I think Phil Brantley needs to define a bit more carefully what he means by “mainstream,” when he says creationism is not a “mainstream” view. Does he mean mainstream in terms of accepted scientific thought, or does he refer to popular opinion? If the latter is considered, it might help to note that every poll I have seen indicates a large percentage (often a majority) of the American public at least, holds to a view of origins closer to Genesis than to Darwin.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  45. I meant to state that creationism (which would include sudden emergence of life on earth in six literal days 6000 years ago) is a view that is not mainstream in terms of accepted scientific thought.




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