Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’

By Sean Pitman

On a rather notorious pro-evolution website, “Panda’s Thumb”, there is an interesting blog presented by mainstream professors who were asked to speak at both La Sierra University and Pacific Union College. Here is what they had to say about their experience at our universities:

Seventh-Day Adventists Split Over Evolution?

Regarding La Sierra University:

Last fall I gave several guest lectures on evolution, geology, and magnetic stratigraphy to the LSU campus, and found that the biology faculty were all legitimate biologists who practiced normal science and rejected all vestiges of YEC in their teaching and research. Several were quite successful in getting NSF grants for their research, and had a good track record in legitimate peer-reviewed publications on herpetology, molecular biology, etc.

Dr. Prothero

They would teach classes which were completely in line with conventional evolutionary biology, always forced to introduce their material with nods to Church teaching but demanding that their students understand legitimate evolutionary biology and be able to show their understanding on exams and papers, even if they didn’t agree with it.

It’s scary to see these legitimate scientists now threatened by the Neanderthals in the LSU board who want to drag it back into the Middle Ages–something that none of them thought would happen when I met with them last fall…

Donald Prothero | November 18, 2009 | 9:47 PM

Dr. Prothero is a Professor of Geology at Occidental College and Lecturer in Geobiology at Caltech. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 21 books and almost 200 scientific papers, including five leading geology textbooks and three trade books. He has served as an associate or technical editor for Geology, Paleobiology, and Journal of Paleontology. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, and the Linnaean Society of London.

Regarding Pacific Union College:

Nick Matzke

In 2006, Wes Elsberry and I were invited to come to PUC and debate evolution for part of a student-organized speaker series. We were initially hesitant, since we are generally skeptical of debating creationists. However, after some discussion with the organizers, we grudgingly signed up, since it seemed like there was some chance for a reasonable discussion rather than just a Gish-gallop debate. Wes and I drove up to PUC – but, aware of the YECiness of Adventists, we went in as armed to the teeth as academics can be, with huge powerpoint files solely devoted to putting evidence for the age of the earth and common ancestry as bluntly and non-deniably as possible. When I spoke, I popped the slides up one-by-one and used the basic refrain, “Here are the hard facts. If this evidence has been hidden from you before now by your teachers and professors, you should ask yourself why.” It was pretty much a go-in-with-blazing-guns strategy.

Dr. Elsberry

However, as the discussion ensued, the students, and some of the professors, had some news for me. “You’ve got us all wrong,” they said. “We’re not all old-fashioned young-earth creationists and anti-evolutionists here, that’s an old stereotype about Adventists.” (Note: this is not a direct quote, rather it is just the gist of what I remember hearing.) Subsequent discussion indicated that many of the students & profs were reasonably well-informed about evolution and not really skeptical of it. After some interesting chats, Wes and I drove home, shaking our heads and commenting that if Seventh Day Adventists were becoming OK with evolution, we should keep our eyes open for flying pigs and freezing hells.

So, anyway, the point is: watch out Hilde & McPherson! It looks like Pacific Union College isn’t safe, either! Light the torches and sharpen the pitchforks!

Nick Matzke | November 18, 2009 | 2:09 AM

Nickolas Matzke is currently a doctoral student in evolutionary biology at the University of California, Berkeley.  He  is the former Public Information Project Director at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and served an instrumental role in NCSE’s preparation for the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial.

Dr. Wesley Royce Elsberry is a marine biologist with an interdisciplinary background in zoology, computer science, and wildlife and fisheries sciences. He has also become publicly involved in the creation-evolution controversy.

Note: For those who might be interested, I’ve personally debated Nick Matzke regarding his theories on bacterial flagellar evolution (see review).

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380 thoughts on “Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’

  1. There is a common misperception that evolutionary theory is not taught in the biology curriculum of Christian colleges and universities. That may be the case with some campuses, but I’m pretty certain it is taught–along with creationism, of course–in biology classes at all SDA colleges and universities. Surprise, surprise! The guest speakers were astonished to learn that evolutionary theory was actually being taught at two SDA campuses and that some aspects of evolutionary theory–such as natural selection, speciation and a long age of the earth (but not necessarily life)–were accepted by many SDAs as being true and not in conflict with what the Bible teaches. Simply teaching evolutionary theory does not necessarily mean that all aspects, including abiogenesis and megaevolution, are being endorsed.




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  2. @Eddie:

    Simply teaching evolutionary theory does not necessarily mean that all aspects, including abiogenesis and megaevolution, are being endorsed.

    You can’t be that blind. Our own professors have themselves testified to their belief and support and promotion of Darwinian-style evolution taking place on this planet over the course of hundreds of millions of years of time. This active support of the mainstream evolutionary perspective in our own classrooms is not lost on the guest lecturers who are invited to come and even more actively promote the mainstream perspective, without any substantive counter, in our own universities before our own young people…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  3. Having heard about the PUC meeting from some individuals who were there, I think I have a fairly good understanding of what happened. The guests focused mostly on evidence for the earth being billions of years old. They pulled up some lecture notes from a PUC biology professor defending creationism and a young age for life, which they managed to find on the professor’s website, and heaped scorn on the professor, who wasn’t there to defend himself. Ironically, for those familiar with recent threads on Educate truth, the maligned professor was none other than…Dr. Brian Ness!

    The guests ridiculed PUC biology professors for not teaching evolutionary theory and the students responded by saying that they learned a lot about evolutionary theory in their biology classes and were already familiar with the evidence for evolution and long ages for the earth. One PUC professor, who was not a biologist, stated that to be a Christian you must believe in a short earth and interpret the Bible literally. Another PUC professor, who was not a biologist, disagreed and said that many Christians accepted a long age for the earth and macroevolution.




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  4. @Sean:

    Our own professors have themselves testified to their belief and support and promotion of Darwinian-style evolution taking place on this planet over the course of hundreds of millions of years of time.

    Very few have. Don’t incriminate all.




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  5. @Eddie:

    Our own professors have themselves testified to their belief and support and promotion of Darwinian-style evolution taking place on this planet over the course of hundreds of millions of years of time. – Sean Pitman

    Very few have. Don’t incriminate all.

    When you’re talking about LSU, you’re talking about the significant majority of the science professors (save perhaps one) and even a majority of the theology professors as well. While not as blatant and overwhelming as what is happening at LSU as yet, PUC is not immune from the problem of professors openly and actively undermining several of the SDA Church’s most fundamental goals and ideals. Many other SDA schools are not immune from this problem either.

    And, in my book, not even one professor employed by the SDA Church should be allowed to continue to undermine the Church on the Church’s dime for even one school year… let alone for over three decades as has happened at LSU.

    This is not the minor problem you make it out to be…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  6. Applying evidence and not faith to the Panda wikileak, vida supra, we turn to basic forensic, hermeneutical, and higher-historical critical protocols of identity authentication, mainly contextual, stylistic, and vocabulary clues, whereby it has been determined, for example, that C.S. Lewis and Clive Hamilton were the same, that Daniel did not write Daniel but did write Ann Landers (or Ann Landers wrote Daniel, or according to some scholars Sean Pitman did), and that St. Paul did not write Hebrews but did write Pogo, and that OJ did not kill anybody, it emerges incontestably that LSU and PUC biology professors, Spectrum and AdvToda bloggers, and the Panda visiting professors are all the same guy. Next time go easier with the “Neanderthals.”

    P.S.: C.S. Lewis wrote as “Clive Hamilton” (when posting on EduTruth?) to avoid harming his reputation as a don at Oxford University. What better precedent for … why is everybody looking at us, professor?




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  7. This is almost funny. The world quite easily sees how evolution is being taught in our own universities, but a small, but quite vocal group, just doesn’t get it. It seems, more often than not, that those who just don’t seem to see things for the way they are at LSU tend to be more sympathetic toward a hermeneutic that is contrary to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.




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  8. This is old news. Note that the comments apply to presentations they made in 2008.

    There has been NO evidence presented by EducateTruth that LSU biologists last year or this year have been disrespectful of SDA beliefs and teaching theistic evolution as fact. There have been many claims of this, but no evidence. Of course, in the court of public opinion, evidence becomes unnecessary.




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  9. Nick Matzke said about his PUC visit –

    Subsequent discussion indicated that many of the students & profs were reasonably well-informed about evolution and not really skeptical of it.

    To which we get this innexplicable post from Eddie

    Surprise, surprise! The guest speakers were astonished to learn that evolutionary theory was actually being taught at two SDA campuses and that some aspects of evolutionary theory–such as natural selection, speciation and a long age of the earth (but not necessarily life)–were accepted by many SDAs

    Eddie asks us to believe that when diehard evolutionists come to debate YLC – where the YLC group insists on a literal 7 day week of creation – that the evolutionist are happy to learn that the Adventists reject evolution’s claim that “birds come from reptiles” – happy to learn that Adventists at PUC believe Dinosaurs are NOT 60 million years old, NOT 6 million years old NOT 600,000 years old – but a scant 4000 to 6000 years old!!

    The idea that these evolutionist would call this “not really skeptical” of their worn out “birds come from reptiles” and “dinsaurs lived 60 million years before man” stories – is more conflicted than the evolutionst stories themselves.

    What is up with that??

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  10. Another PUC professor, who was not a biologist, disagreed and said that many Christians accepted a long age for the earth and macroevolution.

    I don’t think the Panda’s Thumb guys had any agena going into this thing other than combating the YLC group PUC. Clearly having PUC professors and students supporting macroevolution over long ages of time for earth – was a shocking discovery.

    When Hezekiah misrepresented God to the Babylonians – God was not happy.

    Prior to these two evolutionists going to PUC they state that they viewed ADventism as the bedrock ground-zero for the arguments and defense of YLC and — they left with an entirely different view.

    How sad.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  11. “…small, but quite vocal group…” Alas, a little hypobole there. In the upscale-inner circles, SDA big-center circles, circles impinging upon circles like the Audi logo, that I’ve known personally over the past couple of decades, and I’m not making this up, poster-scoffers notwithstanding, it’s the majority. The majority. In private over a glass of chardonnay, in seminars, when teaching Sabbath Schools In contrast to video interviews and university catalogs, reticence and timidity is abandoned, no bones about it. (By the way, is it illegal, a violation of creative rights, as some herein have asserted, to report what happens behind such congenial but closed doors?) But vocal they are; they are vocal. As quite probably in the very next posting, vida infra.




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  12. @Professor Kent: “Old news” is a bit relative in this case. Yes, this occurred two years ago, but the professors haven’t changed nor has the way they teach evolution.

    Your last paragraph only proves my point. You make wild assertions about there being no evidence while ignoring the evidence being presented. For starters what do you say to the testimony of 70+ students in 2004? Or the testimony of three students in 2009? The statements from the professors themselves. The syllabi?

    You baffle me Kent, you really do.

    No evidence? Common on. I’d say I hope you’re joking, but you’re not. You really believe that.




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  13. It is just increasingly sad looking at this site. After revealing their shoddy journalist ethics and having to apologize to PUC, Educate Truth has been posting very old bits and pieces trying to keep this little witch hunt going.

    Now their dwindling readership is treated to year old comments regarding a visit to PUC that took place more than four years old. (That’s a president and an entire student body ago!) Next, will Educate Truth be alerting the denomination to the fact that a dangerous seducer of the brethren teaches at PUC and who goes by the name: Desmond Ford?

    The denominational accrediting body has completed its visit at LSU and approved the university for another 8 years. It’s time to face that facts that if Educate Truth cannot get the church laity (and denominational leaders) to join their tired crusade against La Sierra University. . .it won’t work anywhere.

    If only more people would show this much dedication imitating Christ. . .




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  14. @Alexander Carpenter: Great comment Alex! I’m trying to compare our journalism to an article you posted at Spectrum May 29, 2009, in which you, Bonnie Dwyer, and Jared Wright referred to David Asscherick as a “college dropout” twice in the same article (1). What was that all about? It was pretty obvious to your readership. A pathetic attempt to mislead and attack someone who actually supports and believes in the Seventh-day Adventist message. You then made the false assumption that he didn’t support Adventist higher education. I believe he took it upon himself to personally call you and point 10+ errors that were in the article. Do you remember that call Alex? Wow, that must have been embarrassing. Yes, we regret not contacting Dr. Ness before we posted his lecture, but at least we got the facts straight.

    You’re really reaching with the old article hyperbole. I was personally aware of the article last year and I believe a few other readers here were too, because I remember it being posted in the comments. It’s particularly relevant now in light of the claims coming from PUC. Raising the “we’re creationists” flag high and mighty, when in actuality the impression these evolutionists had was quite different.

    We average 32,000 hits per month. And that’s from this year. Sorry, people are still showing a very strong interest in this topic. Dwindling? Not by any amount worth clicking over here to leave a fish bowl comment. Come on Alex, you’re more connected to the church than this aren’t you? Your worldview in regard to origins is, aside from being unbiblical, a minority within the world church.

    What’s ironic about the situation with PUC is that you work there and you’re not exactly a creationist. I wouldn’t be surprised if inwardly you’re ashamed to hear PUC ranting and raving about what a creationist Dr. Ness is and the rest of the biology department.

    Sorry, you’re way off on this one. This issue is huge in the church and it’s not going away anytime soon. Chances are the underlying issues could cause a serious split, which is actually already occurring, in our church.

    1. http://www.spectrummagazine.org/blog/2009/05/29/unravaling_witch_hunt_la_sierra_under_seige




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  15. @Alexander Carpenter:
    Speaking of evidence for the validity of this thread, and viability of EduTruth, here he is, none other than Mr. A. “Spectral” Carpenter himself, on cue. EduTru’s readership apparently hasn’t dwindled to the point it isn’t worth real-time multi-screen monitoring, like the Western Defense bunkers used to monitor missiles, and scramble by reflex.

    Over there at Speculum there’s been a lot of whimsy and chuckling going on for the past 20 years, and it’s not disrespectful or illegal or unrighteous, somehow. But the funniest is unwitting, another irony from the wittiest site on the scene. Like, When you turn around suddenly and catch the kid clutching the “Kick me” sign, and he quick-like folds his hands behind his back and rolls his eyes up heavenward and smiles like a saint, that’s funny. Whadaya talkin’ about, nobody here but us chickens — always gets a laugh.

    And every time, bank on it, EduTruth publishes new evidence — hold on to your seats, folks — it’s an outrage, roar! roar!, for 24 hours; then it’s Old News, yawn yawn. If you want old stuff, this roar-yawn shtick is older than I am, and that’s old. I would like to think, admiring scholars as I do, you could do better. Alas for the old days when you did.

    But seriously, do you really know — you’ve got a mathematical model? you’ve managed to buy privacy data? (talk about illegal classroom filming) — that EduT’s readership is dwindling? Oh, that’s scary.




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  16. Bob Ryan wrote

    Eddie asks us to believe that when diehard evolutionists come to debate YLC – where the YLC group insists on a literal 7 day week of creation – that the evolutionist are happy to learn that the Adventists reject evolution’s claim that “birds come from reptiles” – happy to learn that Adventists at PUC believe Dinosaurs are NOT 60 million years old, NOT 6 million years old NOT 600,000 years old – but a scant 4000 to 6000 years old!!

    Eddie didn’t ask us to believe this at all. I am sick and tired of Bob Ryan’s dishonest and repeated mischaracterization of statements and positions of other people. Bob, you are a disgrace to Christianity when you embellish to impugn others.




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  17. I wrote

    There has been NO evidence presented by EducateTruth that LSU biologists last year or this year have been disrespectful of SDA beliefs and teaching theistic evolution as fact.

    Shane Hilde wrote

    Your last paragraph only proves my point. You make wild assertions about there being no evidence while ignoring the evidence being presented. For starters what do you say to the testimony of 70+ students in 2004? Or the testimony of three students in 2009? The statements from the professors themselves. The syllabi?

    I think there was a problem in 2004 through 2009. You didn’t counter my “wild assertions” about the lack of evidence in 2010 and now going into 2011. Is it absolutely inconceivable to you that a change in teaching has taken place? Is it truly “once guilty always guilty?”




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  18. @ Shane Hilde

    Chances are the underlying issues could cause a serious split, which is actually already occurring, in our church.

    Let’s see…who will be rejoicing to see the Church split: God, His angels, faithful Adventists. And who will be devastated: Satan, His angels. And who will be laughing at us: the world. Oh yeah…let’s do whatever it takes to split up the Church.




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  19. (So sorry, Oink, but it is great to see the nonsensical sort of comments this site is attracting now. BTW: Spectrum has been around for 41 year. Facts!)

    So, Share: Ah yes, that factual point about David Asscherick being a college dropout really stung. But you mischaracterize the intention. In academia, that sort of thing matters, in part because of the high specialization of knowledge required to really know at the level that actual research requires. The fact that someone who had not even finished college was attempting to tell Adventists with PhDs what they can and cannot teach is actually important, but that mostly makes sense in a scientific research setting.

    Yes, I remember that call – I also remember finding that he had exaggerated all but one of his points – if my memory serves me correctly, he tossed out several numbers of what he called errors, I’ve heard people report 2x what you just reported. But only one made seemed to concern actual facts and I updated the post to reflect his fair point – and we prayed together at the end of the call. So this is weird that you bring up some random number that AGAIN is not based in fact, nor were you a part of the call, but here you are opining publicly about it. Once AGAIN, you’re wrong. It’s just striking how much this site gets the basics of epistemology wrong, and peers around the church looking for the splinters in other members’ eyes.

    (You’re speculation about how I feel about Dr. Ness it totally wrong as well. I actually enjoy being around folks with beliefs that differ in a variety of ways from my own.)

    But more important than that weird personalization of this debate, I hope folks noted your final sentences. After paying attention to Adventist conversations online for almost six years now, it fits the classic pattern of someone who is using some controversy as a way to attack Adventist institutions. Shane writes: “Chances are the underlying issues could cause a serious split, which is actually already occurring, in our church.”

    The always, already looming split. It is the old perennial wish by those who feel disenfranchised by the church. (I’m going to take my toys and go home!, the cry). If one listens to folks who attack church institutions and people, more often than not they cite “splitting the church” as a very real possibility. (What lies behind it is the logic: if you don’t do what we say, we will destroy you, which they cannot.) And to them tearing up the church is a good thing, a sort of cleansing of the community. What’s particularly odd about this is that it is again absent of the facts. After a sustained attack on LSU, the denominational accrediting body, the people who define higher educational institutions as in-line or not with Adventist educational beliefs and educational philosophy sided with. . .LSU. The only split that’s really happening is between this site and the majority of Adventist educational leaders.




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  20. So, let me get this straight…God, the only *eye-witness* to creation is not to be believed, but some mere men who probably have a few initials behind their names can spout some theory and all the little “scientists” nod their heads and say, “It’s the truth and all you Creationists need to get into line” and we’re all supposed to abandon our Bibles and believe the lies written by the sciencists because they have a “higher education.” Foolish, foolish people. “Science” has taken the place of God in many lives from the professors on down the line. How sad. Souls are being lost and someone is going to pay big time on the judgment day.

    Apparently you think you are all so intellectually superior yet you are the ones who scorn the Truth and follow after a lie. Not a smart move at all.

    And if you are really SDAs and believe in the second coming of Christ, how do you think you will be saved after using the talents that God gave you to help students know the Truth–Creation, and you perverted those talents to try to convince students (His children) that Satan’s lie is the truth? How will you face Him? Are you going to accuse Him to His face of lying about our origins? Do you figure you will spend eternity telling Christ how He got it wrong and you can prove it with PowerPoint presentations? What is your goal anyway? It certainly can’t be heaven because sin will not exist there and you are steeped in it with this evolutionary trash.

    You think you can muddy the waters of the issue by trying to cast aspersions on the Educate Truth site but you can’t. The men behind Educate Truth are in the right and it will be shown–but will it be in time for you evolutionists, who flatter yourselves you can remain in the church while undercutting all its principles, to finally see the light and change before it is too late?

    Remember the higher you climb up the worldly ladder, the bigger the fall in the end. Turn ye, turn ye, from your sins for why will ye die? He who denies God and His Truth is the biggest fool in the world.

    Faith




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  21. Alexander Carpenter stated:

    “Next, will Educate Truth be alerting the denomination to the fact that a dangerous seducer of the brethren teaches at PUC and who goes by the name: Desmond Ford?”

    It just so happens that in one of Desmond Ford’s latest books, For the Sake of the Gospel (2008), he has something to say about his personal views in regard to this discussion. In chapter 22, The Unpaid Debts of the Church, Desmond and Gillian have this to say:

    “Most educated people in the Western countries regard Adventism as a nineteenth-century cult because of our promoting of Ussher’s six-thousand-year-old earth for most of our existence, and because we ignore the evidence furnished by the geological column, astronomy, continental drift and plate tectonics, radiometric radiocarbon, and amino acid dating, etc. Among Bible scholars who do accept an anachronism because of the way we interpret the early chapters of Genesis. Please not well that the issue here at stake is not the inspiration of Genesis but its interpretation. . . .

    For decades, Adventism has been defending a young earth. Yet, more than half of the scientists in our ranks repudiate that position. In the recent volume of Creation Reconsidered, some well-known Adventist scientists and theologians speak their minds regarding the impossibility of holding the young earth doctrine. I know many of the writers personally, and I could add to the list others who stand in the foremost ranks of Adventist scientists. These would agree with the writers of this book [Desmond and Gillian Ford], though originally all of them believed in a young earth and once explained the geological column by resorting to a worldwide flood in Noah’s day. All these men of science I greatly admire. . . .

    The problem facing the church is a very urgent one. Because we have dealt with science as an enemy, and because we have not been prepared to listen to the scientists amongst us, we have ill prepared the many thousands of our young people who go to universities and learn the sciences. Far more than half of them then lose their way, assuming that the church is not to be trusted in any of its teachings, seeing it is demonstrably wrong regarding its teachings on the very opening page of the Bible” (pp. 170-172).

    It appears to me, Alex, that Desmond Ford and many of his doctrines are a detriment to the church today and not just a historic fact of bygone days. How sad that AdvenistToday published and promotes a biography on Desmond that upholds him and his doctrines as that which will save the Adventist church from all its supposed follies, including I would guess, our view on Genesis and denial of modern evolutionary science.




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  22. Alex finally makes an interesting claim –

    The denominational accrediting body has completed its visit at LSU and approved the university for another 8 years. It’s time to face that facts that if Educate Truth cannot get the church laity (and denominational leaders) to join their tired crusade against La Sierra University. . .it won’t work anywhere.

    Where is the conclusion for the AAA report showing that their approval does not require that LSU stop promoting evolutionism as the right answer for origins?

    Everyone knew that the AAA review would “conclude”. And EU proposed that this would result in a requirement that LSU stop promoting evolutionism in its religion and biology dapartments. You have stated that LSU “can exist”. That was not the question.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  23. Panda’s Thumb article concludes with the idea that SDAs would not be allowed by God to go into such rank apostasy until “hell freezes over” — possibly this is what some are hoping has happened such that they are no longer “at risk” for cutting across that boundary and undermining the denominations mission and message in so doing.

    I find it interesting that PT makes that connection.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  24. @Alexander Carpenter:

    Now their dwindling readership is treated to year old comments regarding a visit to PUC that took place more than four years old. (That’s a president and an entire student body ago!) Next, will Educate Truth be alerting the denomination to the fact that a dangerous seducer of the brethren teaches at PUC and who goes by the name: Desmond Ford?

    Desmond Ford is now a saint or something? I’m sure you realize that Ford believes in and actively promotes, as do you, mainstream Darwinian-style evolution taking place on this planet for hundreds of millions of years? Of course, he does believe in the Divine origin of the Genesis “allegory”, but based on numerology – i.e., hidden mathematical patterns within the text itself. That’s right, Ford believes in hidden Bible-code theories. Talk about being completely duped – duped into accepting mainstream evolutionary theories and duped into believing that Bible code theories are remotely rational…

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/DesmondFord.html

    Desmond Ford is opposed to several fundamental goals and ideals of the SDA Church and has been for a very long time. For anyone in the employ of the SDA Church to support him and his work against the clearly stated fundamentals of the Church is unconscionable. The same is true of publishing his book within which he attacks several pillars of the SDA faith – to include the SDA understanding of origins.

    Also, for you to argue that professors who attack the SDA Church’s fundamental goals and ideals within our own classrooms should be given anonymity, that their words and actions within the classroom should not be made known to the Church at large without the express permission of the professor, is pretty lame. It is the professor who should answer to the Church body, to all the Church membership. A professor has no right to undermine the Church on the Church’s dime, in front of our young people, and yet claim that the Church has no right to know about it when it happens without his/her permission…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  25. Alex, The numbers of church members that have abandoned our fundamental beliefs are bigger than most think. You are a fine example of the typical liberal SDA who thinks that your intellect and science trump the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is simple and clear. It was written for the common person to understand. It causes honest, seeking individuals to put away sin and live holy lives. It causes humility and an acceptance one’s sinfulness, and then a putting away of that sin.

    This movement in the church to accept every political correctness in society, and abandon all of the beliefs that restrict people’s sin is not of God. We live in a perverse and sinful generation who has no interest in being humble and abandoning their sin for a holy life of service to God. The Bible has plenty of examples of people who stood in front of our Holy God with their defiant fist pointed at Him. Unfortunately, the end result was always their judgement and destruction. Just because something feels good, or right, or because society says it is politically correct does not mean that the church should accept it. The true message of the Bible was rarely the popular message.

    It is time for professed Adventists to get real. Are they going to follow God and put away the childish, defiant, unbelieving behavior? Our job is to give the message to the world of a soon coming Savior who convicts lives of sin, and rebuilds broken people to healthy, victorious Christians. The split in the church is now forming, it is clear to see. The shaking is happening right before our eyes. Which side are you going to be on?




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  26. @Professor Kent:

    I think there was a problem in 2004 through 2009. You didn’t counter my “wild assertions” about the lack of evidence in 2010 and now going into 2011. Is it absolutely inconceivable to you that a change in teaching has taken place? Is it truly “once guilty always guilty?”

    No one is really this naive… probably…

    The same teachers that have been promoting mainstream evolutionary ideas and actively undermining the SDA position on origins for many years, to include the years of 2004-2009 still teach at LSU. I know. I was there – I spoke there twice during this time. You think, because of the influence of our efforts on this issue, that these professors have suddenly changed their minds over the last year? If so, I have a famous bridge to sell you in Alaska at a great price 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  27. @Alexander Carpenter:

    So, Share: Ah yes, that factual point about David Asscherick being a college dropout really stung. But you mischaracterize the intention. In academia, that sort of thing matters, in part because of the high specialization of knowledge required to really know at the level that actual research requires. The fact that someone who had not even finished college was attempting to tell Adventists with PhDs what they can and cannot teach is actually important, but that mostly makes sense in a scientific research setting.

    And in what field of expertise did you get your Ph.D.?

    http://www.puc.edu/academics/departments/visual-arts/faculty/visual-arts/acarpenter

    Do you not find it more than a little strange that even a “college dropout” is able to notice when the SDA Church claims to uphold a fundamental ideal on the one hand while its own paid representatives are tearing it down on the other over decades of time? And yet you and your Ph.D. friends who are attacking the Church from within don’t see this as a moral problem? – a form of stealing from the Church?

    Sean Pitman M.D.
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  28. I have been reading and not intending to get caught up in the back and forth rants. I have my own questions. Is is true that most of the well known so called scientists are atheists? Have any of you seen Ben Stein’s movie: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed…? A most revealing documentary put out by a Jewish man who is at least honest in the debate and does point out significant issues with the current debate. Is it not true that evolution turns believers into atheists? Something tells me that there is something much deeper going on in this science debate and it is will soon be able to sponsor the billboard at Christmas…it is a myth, a season to have reason.

    There are so many things that are pure speculation and imagination, even according to Richard Dawkins… ( see Stein’s movie) It is time that the curtain be drawn back and the real truth about what is influencing science today come to the fore front. Atheists who refuse to be open to the possiblilty of a Master Designer. That idea is not allowed and once we establish that we can proceed with our intelligent imagination.[edit]

    It is time we acknowledge what is really behind science today, the people are becoming more aware and will cease to tolerate the “wall” built up that keeps open dialogue even possible. It is time that science opens itself up to real scrutiny and is allowed to be questioned for what it really is…atheism in disguise of so called facts and reason. The movie was a real eye opener for me and i have yet to meet anyone who can successfully refute it. If science is really interested in the facts then it will allow for the very reasonable possibility that my eyes can see and in color and my brain can interpret what it sees and that did not just happen no matter how many years you want to enlist as sheer ignorance and irrational thinking. I strongly recommend the film and then let’s open honest debate.




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  29. SDA’s are also comfortable with suing each other, in spite of I Cor 6. comfortable calling the Almighty by heathen names, in spite of Ex 23:13. Unclear about which special days YHVH set apart, in spite of Lev 23. Why are we surprised that they do not agree with the Genesis account???




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  30. @ Faith

    “Science” has taken the place of God in many lives from the professors on down the line. How sad. Souls are being lost and someone is going to pay big time on the judgment day. Apparently you think you are all so intellectually superior yet you are the ones who scorn the Truth and follow after a lie. Not a smart move at all.

    Faith, I would not have characterized Dr. Pitman this way, but I’m with you if your position is that “science” should never take precedence over faith. I think that’s a huge mistake.




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  31. From Desmond Ford

    The problem facing the church is a very urgent one. Because we have dealt with science as an enemy, and because we have not been prepared to listen to the scientists amongst us, we have ill prepared the many thousands of our young people who go to universities and learn the sciences.

    This is the crux of the problem that the Church really needs to face. Rather than put determined effort to address this–the need for training and retaining more scientists, and to instill faith and spirituality first and foremost in its membership–EducateTruthers are trying to bury the science, rid the Church of scientists, and destroy once and for all our reliance on faith.




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  32. Sean Pitman wrote

    No one is really this naive… probably… The same teachers that have been promoting mainstream evolutionary ideas and actively undermining the SDA position on origins for many years, to include the years of 2004-2009 still teach at LSU. I know… You think, because of the influence of our efforts on this issue, that these professors have suddenly changed their minds over the last year? If so, I have a famous bridge to sell you in Alaska at a great price

    And there it is: Sean tells us that these professor MUST be teaching the same because they are recalcitrant and will not change their approach to teaching no matter what administrators tell them or what the consequences will be. Sean’s apparent position is that they MUST resign or be fired because change cannot happen otherwise. I think Educate truth should be upfront about its position to FIRE these faculty.




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  33. @ Sean:

    The same teachers that have been promoting mainstream evolutionary ideas and actively undermining the SDA position on origins for many years, to include the years of 2004-2009 still teach at LSU.

    Be honest. Are Drs. Bradley and McCloskey still teaching there? Unless I am mistaken, both have retired. “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”




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  34. Again, Spectrum’s publishers want to blame EducateTruth for the fact that LSU’s long-standing problems have finally come to light. They would much rather that LSU’s teachings on evolution remain in the shadows. Surprising that such a strong advocate of open “journalism” such as Alexander Carpenter continues his frontal attacks on EducateTruth.

    This information is potentially the most damaging to La Sierra’s insistence that they are mainstream as far as Adventist teachings go.

    Let’s look at the evidence, shall we?

    1. Hundreds of students have signed petitions claiming that LSU is teaching evolution to the denigration of YLC.

    2. Video evidence

    3. Email evidence

    4. Testimony from non-LSU teachers who would support macroevolution claiming that LSU professors discourage students from believing in YLC.

    We are now at a crossroads that the Church and the University have REFUSED to acknowledge. How long will it continue like this? If the Denomination continues to sit on its hands and let this happen, how long until the very rocks will begin to cry out in favor of the God who created them, tells us the truth in His Word, and is Coming Soon?

    Those who support LSU in this have also done their best to tear down every other major distinctive belief of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Creation is only one of the pillars of truth that are under attack by these same people. They will laugh at those who believe in our church pillars including the Spirit of Prophecy, the Sabbath rest, marriage, the miracles of Christ, and the doctrine that Jesus is Coming Soon.

    How long will this continue? How long can this stand? Is there no one in church leadership who will come forward with the courage of conviction? Will this struggle die in committee? Who will declare the word of God fearlessly?

    For those students at La Sierra and our other institutions who are going through a crisis of their faith (we must not forget them in all of this), I would encourage them to do as Ephesians 6 says.

    10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

    19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.




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  35. @Eddie:

    The same teachers that have been promoting mainstream evolutionary ideas and actively undermining the SDA position on origins for many years, to include the years of 2004-2009 still teach at LSU. – Sean Pitman

    Be honest. Are Drs. Bradley and McCloskey still teaching there? Unless I am mistaken, both have retired.

    If I’m not mistaken, professors Lee Grismer and Lee Greer still teach at LSU and Gary Bradley and Larry McCloskey still give guest lectures on a regular basis at LSU (Bradley is still on the list of faculty of the biology department of LSU as a part time lecturer; just like former LSU president Fritz Guy who is also strongly opposed to several SDA fundamentals) – not to mention all of the other ardent evolutionists and secular scientists who are also asked to lecture at LSU and, evidently, PUC as well – men and women who are among the most fundamentally opposed to the teachings of the SDA Church. And, these men and women are actually invited to attack our Church by our own schools? without any opposition?

    http://www.lasierra.edu/index.php?id=795

    “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

    Exactly… let’s at least be honest about what is really going on in some of our schools…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  36. I think there needs to be clarification between evolutionary teaching of creation and the teaching of natural selection as the two are not the same. Natural selection is in harmony with the literal biblical creation account. For example: From one pair of humans come all humans, and modern science as well as the creation account in Genesis support this. From one pair of canines come all canines and modern science as well as the creation account in genesis support this. Reference recent DNA studies. They prove the biblical account, at least as far back as the world wide flood. From all the diversity of life today, we could trace each species back to a single pair of ancestors, regardless of their diversity caused by a natural selection process.

    What is not compatible with Genesis or modern science is the evolutionary teaching of creation. Life beginning as an accident and after extremely long epochs of time, this life moving from the most simple forms to the most complex forms as they exist today. It is here that the evolutionist inserts the use of natural selection, which then conveys to natural selection the the black cloud of evolutionary theory, thereby causing both to be viewed as the same thing when in fact they are distinct and separate and not compatible.

    When we view the creation/evolution dialogs we need to be aware of what is actually being discussed and debated; the evolutionary teaching of creation which is unprovable and antagonistic to the Word of God or simple natural selection which can be proved and which is in harmony with a literal biblical creation account as recorded in Genesis.

    Regards,
    Mike H.




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  37. Let me add that natural selection refutes the evoluntary theory of creation. If all cannines can be traced back to one cannine as modern DNA studies have already accomplished and proved, then were did that first cannine come from?

    Mike H.




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  38. And, these men and women are actually invited to attack our Church by our own schools?

    Sean, what are you suggesting here? Are you proposing that students must be protected from hearing opposing opinions? That our colleges should never bring in evolutionary biologists to speak? That students cannot safely be exposed to real world people who teach about the real world outside an SDA campus? That students are somehow better off entering the real world only after being told about the real world by those who “know” all about it and can reassure them that the real world they are about to enter is totally unreal? If you were the academic dean, what would you allow?




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  39. Sean Pitman wrote:

    If I’m not mistaken, professors Lee Grismer and Lee Greer still teach at LSU

    According to their website, LSU Biology has 11 faculty and staff listed. If Gary Bradley, who is listed, is part-time, perhaps one or several others are part-time as well. Larry McCloskey is not listed, and I was told by someone in-the-know that he left there several years ago and steers clear of the place. I’m told that some faculty are recent hirees, so I’m highly doubtful Shane or Sean (or Bob, or D, or Johnathan, or Johnny, or Oinky) have met them and have any basis for judging their beliefs, much less their teaching.

    To impugn the “majority” of the department based on the actions of a few seems uncharitable, reckless, and unChristlike to me. I think you guys overstate your case.




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  40. My comments are short and sweet. Genesis states that God created the heavens and the earth; not made it through
    evolution. An evening and a morning were the first day and thereon. In the genetic codes and chains, God has put not only the formulas but the instructions of how things are to work. That doesn’t make it evolutionary. He has created all of the processes of astronomy, physics, and mathematics and has placed these laws in process. Evolution is a poor coverup for the processes that God has put in place. Think about this if you can. Why is it that monkeys evolutionized to being humans over millions of years and yet I can go to a zoo and still see them as God created them to be: monkeys and only monkeys. Christ did not give his life on the cross to save a monkey who cannot make rational decisions. Think about this one unless you mind is too intelligent in the sciences ; how does God raise up His people from the graves in the twinkling of an eye [instantaneously] to take them to heaven? Do you honestly believe in such stupidity that God would have to sit up there on the clouds of heaven waiting a few million years to complete the process? How stupid and idiotic can we become when we think that our high ranking education with an IQ of 160, if we are lucky ,can outdo our Creator whose IQ is absolutely eternally unlimited. Higher elevated thinking started in the garden of eden with a lie of the imaginations. You can become as gods knowing both good and evil. The power of the possibilities. Give me a
    break!!!




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  41. “The only split that’s really happening is between this site and the majority of Adventist educational leaders.”

    Can you give us a little more detail, Alex? Or is it just a conjecture with no basis? Name a few educational leaders who are Adventist Darwinians, please. Please, Alex,try to avoid intellectual superiority.




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  42. From what I understand the meeting at PUC was organized by the Student Association to discuss how science should be taught in the classroom. The format was to be a panel discussion among the two guests, two PUC math professors and one PUC biology professor. The visitors were invited by the students, not by any professor or administrator. The meeting was never intended to be a debate on the evidence for creation vs evolution. Apparently the visitors misunderstood the purpose of the meeting and tried to turn it into a debate armed with data in their PowerPoint presentations. However, nobody at PUC was asked to debate the visitors on the evidence of evolution vs creation, or to be prepared to provide evidence in a PowerPoint presentation supporting SDA views of origins. The meeting took place in a classroom with only a few dozen students and a handful of professors, including only two of the six biology professors. Now maybe I’m mistaken about some of the details, but that’s how it was related to me.

    So once again Educate Truthers are judging an entire institution and its science professors without knowing the context of the situtation. And in this case your scanty information comes from an outsider who was surprised to learn that: (1) evolutionary theory was being taught at PUC (which Educate Truth apparently endorses) and (2) not all SDAs are YECs (nothing new, not even Sean Pitman is a YEC). Furthermore, the report at Panda’s Thumb was clearly intended to stir up division among SDAs, as evidenced by the concluding statement: “So, anyway, the point is: watch out Hilde [owner of Educate Truth] & McPherson [parent of a student]! It looks like Pacific Union College isn’t safe, either! Light the torches and sharpen the pitchforks!” The Devil and Nick Matzke must be laughing about all of this.

    I have previously stated (in a much earlier thread) that I happen to know all six biology professors at PUC. All strive to inform students of the evidence for both evolution and creation, to present creation in the most positive light possible, and to let the students decide for themselves what they believe. Students have never complained to me about any of the biology professors undermining any SDA belief. Now then, if some of you believe I am lying because you know more than I do about what is being taught in biology classes at PUC, which is that megaevolution over billions of years is being promoted, don’t let me impede your inquisition. I’m not a know-it-all. I’m just telling you what I do know.




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  43. @Bob Ryan:

    Prior to these two evolutionists going to PUC they state that they viewed ADventism as the bedrock ground-zero for the arguments and defense of YLC and — they left with an entirely different view.

    You have deliberately misconstrued Nick Matzke’s reference to the “YECiness of Adventists” (YEC = young earth creationism) by substituting “YLC” (young life creationism). Nick Matzke’s lecture focused on evidence for the long age of the earth–so he was suprised to learn that many SDAs believe that Earth is much older than the creation week. He would probably be shocked to learn that many Educate Truthers, including Sean Pitman and quite possibly Shane Hilde and yourself, are not YECs.




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  44. Whether or not a professor teaches Long-age Darwinian evolution or whether or not a professor believes Long-age Darwinian evolution is totally immaterial as I see it. I see the problem as one of “INTEGRITY”. If they teach and or believe Long-age Darwinian evolution they should have enough integrity to publicly disavow any relation to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and cease at once to accept even one dime of salary from it. The problem is that when one believes error it is a very little step to become totally dishonest whatsoever. Scripture clearly speaks of false techers of doctrines of devils.




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  45. I am a Young Earth Creationist, not because I have scientific proof for it but because I choose to trust the Word of God, Jesus Christ Himself, the Word that became flesh, who was, is and will be.
    The evolution theory teaches that all living creatures “evolved” from simpler organisms and these simple organism “evolved” from organic molecules (ARN) which just “appeared” from simpler organic molecules which resulted from reactions of inorganic elements. And if you ask these “scientists” that promote this “scientific consensus” where the inorganic elements come from they’ll probably talk about the “Big Bang” theory,… another theory.
    God’s fourth commandment states:”Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy…for in six days The Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day…” God’s next commandment states:”Honor your father and your mother”.
    I belong to a church that honors our Heavenly Father by keeping His holy Sabbath as a remembrance of His act of creation. And that church is staying pure till His advent. Let us pray for His cleansing fire, He is faithful.”The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire” Isa 4:4.
    “Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant? The master will put that person in charge of giving the other servants their food at the right time.” Mat 24:45.




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  46. @Eddie:

    You have deliberately misconstrued Nick Matzke’s reference to the “YECiness of Adventists” (YEC = young earth creationism) by substituting “YLC” (young life creationism). Nick Matzke’s lecture focused on evidence for the long age of the earth–so he was suprised to learn that many SDAs believe that Earth is much older than the creation week. He would probably be shocked to learn that many Educate Truthers, including Sean Pitman and quite possibly Shane Hilde and yourself, are not YECs.

    You’re quite mistaken. I’ve personally debated Matzke. He is well aware of the arguments for young-life creation. His arguments for an “old Earth” are the very same arguments that he and other mainstream scientists use for “old life” evolving on Earth over hundreds of millions of years.

    In arguing for young life on this planet, one is, in fact, arguing against the primary basis of the mainstream position when it come to the reliability of various dating methods – especially radiometric dating.

    In short, Matzke would not have been surprised in the least to find arguments for YLC at an SDA institution. The fact that he was not confronted with such arguments to any serious extent when he presented his own arguments for the long ages of evolutionary history on this planet is what shocked him and Dr. Elsberry. They never expected that their ideas and arguments for the mainstream perspective of the origin and diversity of life on this planet would be so favorably received at any SDA school. The same is true for Dr. Prothero’s experience at LSU…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  47. @Professor Kent:

    To impugn the “majority” of the department based on the actions of a few seems uncharitable, reckless, and unChristlike to me. I think you guys overstate your case.

    If you think so, perhaps you can present evidence to the contrary? Please reference how the “majority” of science professors at LSU are now promoting the SDA perspective on origins over the mainstream perspective. I’d immediately post such information! As far as I know, LSU is nothing like SAU and SWAU, for example, where there truly are a majority of science professors who are willing to actually promote the SDA position on origins.

    We’ve presented abundant evidence that LSU has had a significant problem when it comes to professors undermining the SDA Church for decades. A problem that was so severe that it was reported by dozens of students that no one in any upper division science class was actively supporting the SDA position on origins. Several of the professors themselves (to include the director of the biology department) have admitted in very public, even secular, forums and media to opposing the SDA view on origins. Now, in a year or so, you actually think that the school has significantly reformed because of our efforts? to include the likes of Greer, Grismer, and Bradley? – the ringleaders who are still leading out and/or lecturing at LSU? Remember, it was Lee Grismer who told Louie Bishop (when Louie challenged him on his evolutionary views) that, “It’s people who believe like you do who drive airplanes into buildings.”

    Now that’s reform! 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  48. You’re quite mistaken

    I’m mistaken about a lot of things, as you are fond of pointing out.

    I’ve personally debated Matzke.

    You must have really enjoyed that!!! But remember, SDA science professors are teachers, not debaters. Unlike you, few if any care to engage in a public debate.




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  49. It’s scary to see these legitimate scientists now threatened by the Neanderthals in the LSU board who want to drag it back into the Middle Ages ….

    Donald Prothero’s statement smacks of bigotry. I have a real hard time with evolutionists who want to deny that creation scientists can be legitimate scientists. It was totally uncalled for for Prothero to use such demeaning language, and an apology is warranted.

    He also is a bit ignorant about church and world history if he thinks that believing what the Bible says somehow takes us back to the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages was when people didn’t have Bibles, and when if they did they could be burned at the stake.

    Out on the street in the Dark Ages you might have someone’s chamber pot’s contents come down on your head because people weren’t following the Bible’s instruction to bury it.

    I think it would be good if our public education system did more sensitivity training for the extremists among the believers in evolutionism to help them get over their bigotry. Perhaps there should even be a campaign to purge our public educational institutions, not of evolutionists, but of the extremists among them.




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  50. @ FaithFaith, I would not have characterized Dr. Pitman this way, but I’m with you if your position is that “science” should never take precedence over faith. I think that’s a huge mistake.  (Quote)

    Prof Kent: Neither would I characterize Dr. Pitman as such…I was referring to the evolutionists and you know it.

    However, I agree with you about the science never taking precedence over faith in the Bible Truth.

    Faith




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  51. @Alexander Carpenter:

    So, Share: Ah yes, that factual point about David Asscherick being a college dropout really stung. But you mischaracterize the intention. In academia, that sort of thing matters, in part because of the high specialization of knowledge required to really know at the level that actual research requires. The fact that someone who had not even finished college was attempting to tell Adventists with PhDs what they can and cannot teach is actually important, but that mostly makes sense in a scientific research setting.

    Brother Carpenter, may I point out that you’re using the exact same tactic that the Pharisees used to question Jesus’ authority to teach? By their fruits you shall know them, not by their academic degrees. The pharisees were full of degrees and titles, but that didn’t keep them from hating and murdering the King of Kings.

    I’d also like to advise you for your own credibility to not use apostates to support your claims. Desmond Ford has long been an arch-enemy to our distinctive Biblical beliefs, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be associated with somebody who advocates against the distinctive Theological traits of the Seventh-day Adventist church, right? Take this counsel at your own discretion.

    I’d also love to know (out of sincere curiosity) what ever brought you to trust in human intellect over the plain teachings of “Thus saith the Lord”? I pray that it’s not too late for you to put your trust in God instead of man. May the Lord bless you with His presence and conviction, and likewise for myself.




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  52. @ Bob Pickle:

    I think it would be good if our public education system did more sensitivity training for the extremists among the believers in evolutionism to help them get over their bigotry.

    Only evolutionists are bigoted?




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  53. It is just increasingly sad looking at this site. After revealing their shoddy journalist ethics and having to apologize to PUC, Educate Truth has been posting very old bits and pieces trying to keep this little witch hunt going. Now their dwindling readership is treated to year old comments regarding a visit to PUC that took place more than four years old. (That’s a president and an entire student body ago!) Next, will Educate Truth be alerting the denomination to the fact that a dangerous seducer of the brethren teaches at PUC and who goes by the name: Desmond Ford?The denominational accrediting body has completed its visit at LSU and approved the university for another 8 years. It’s time to face that facts that if Educate Truth cannot get the church laity (and denominational leaders) to join their tired crusade against La Sierra University. . .it won’t work anywhere. If only more people would show this much dedication imitating Christ. . .  (Quote)

    In living a life imitating Jesus one would have to both follow that life in acts of kindness AND in theological belief. Anything less would be imitating the life of someone else, not Jesus. Maybe Jesus was a fool? After all, He believed in both the literal creation and the great Flood.
    And if I remember correctly, Christianity is the name of a faith that is centered in following Jesus- the Christ. I’m not sure what some are advocating here. It certainly looks to me like they have a new messiah that is fossil based and not Bible based. I do know its a Something-anity that isn’t Christian, its not bibilical, and it will not save a person in sin from sin.

    As Jesus believed and taught, so do I.

    Pastor Doug Carlson
    Associate Pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle
    Battle, Creek, Michigan
    Michigan Conference




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  54. @Professor Kent:

    It is my opinion, that if one teacher on staff held to a non-biblical view of origins, that would be too many on that staff. I have seen young minds rally around the outcast rebel teacher. Such will always have a following; that following should not be from SDA youth at our colleges/universities. Let the rebel teach elsewhere- he has a world ready to embrace him as he strengthens its reasons for rejecting the Savvoir of the world who preached boldly, “Repent, for the kingdom of God ia at hand.” A sin-loving world is working hard to get out from under that commanding voice of Jesus. We as SDAs should not make it easier for the world to quiet that only voice that can save them from real sin.

    Pastor Doug Carlson
    Associate pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle
    Battle Creek, Michigan
    Michigan Confernce of Seventh-day Adventists




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  55. @Eddie:
    re.: “Few if any [SDA scientists] care to engage in a public debate.”

    Eddie, Eddie, Eddie! Where have you been! Where have you been! All those Taylor seminars, over the years. The books (Bull, Guy, et al). The Spectrum editorials and articles, going back long before witch hunts were even gleams in EduT’s eye, debating everything, not just Genesis 1. And check Adventist Today archives. Don’t forget Adventist Perspective. And how could you not notice all the Professors taking happy issue with EduTruth, right here, within 3 inches of us?

    If there’s one thing all our progressive media and professors have always demanded it is DEBATE! Out-in-the-open debate! “Debate! We must have it!” And if there’s one place where they’ve put their feet and not just their mouth, it’s debate. If there’s one thing they’re good for, it’s debate. They have delivered, and delivered, and delivered. Spectrum Blog Editor wants you to know it’s been going on for 40 years. You do all these scholars a sorry injustice, presenting them as not debating.

    Dr. Pitman is a johnny-come-lately to the debate scene.

    But, hmmmm, you said “SDA science professors.” Taken literally (rather than allegorically), that could, yes, disqualify a lot of our debate-happy scholars, even scientists. Like, Dr. Taylor, an SDA scientist (anthropology, radiometric dating) if there ever was one, and a debater if there ever was one, but you’re not talking about him. You’re excluding him on a technicality. He’s not employed by any SDA university, just a sought-after visiting professor and adviser there. So you’re excluding him, of all people? He does post here ever so often but that doesn’t count as debate, granted. He just drops by to rib and rail, not debate. But he gives a mean seminar, frequently in our churches, plus all those visiting-professor lectures, and his Adventist Today, which he founded just for debate. Knowing Erv, I suspect it would irk him to deny he debates. But if you must.

    And, yes, it is true that many of the SDA PhDs demanding debate, and debating full decibels ahead and debating their heads off, aren’t scientists at all (philosophy, communication, political science, history, ethics, education, etc.), but they sure talk like scientists, and seem to have assumed honorary science degrees, which it would be wrong-headed to contest. Don’t they count?

    Which raises the old debate, speaking of debates, about whether an MD can ever really be a “scientist.” If he isn’t (as I, an old MD research fellow, have heard PhDs in the same university insist), you can rightly exclude from your list of debating SDA scientists an especially prominent LLU MD, author of a very effective, frankly disputative anti-Genesis 1 book, with another coming up. But, then, you’ll have to exclude S. Pitman, MD, himself.

    But you do have a point: our tenured and hired LSU professors have indeed shown disinclination to debate students in class or Dr. Pitman in person, on campus. So little do they relish going public that they cringe when they are filmed in the act. Alas, you’re right after all.




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  56. Dear All

    I’m very sad to see the level of animosity being displayed between Adventists on this site over the last couple of days.

    As an agnostic, and a frequent contributor to the site, I am well aware of the ideological battle being waged for the Adventist ‘soul’. But, with the greatest respect, the manner in which it is being waged is disconcerting.

    I’ve been treated with great courtesy and civility on this forum, notwithstanding my non Adventist opinions. If anyone deserves strong censure for infidel beliefs it’s me, not you who may vary in doctrinal interpretation of your Christian faith.

    I hope in the coming days you can treat each other with more kindness.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  57. BobRyan said –
    Prior to these two evolutionists going to PUC they state that they viewed ADventism as the bedrock ground-zero for the arguments and defense of YLC and — they left with an entirely different view.

    Eddie said

    You have deliberately misconstrued Nick Matzke’s reference to the “YECiness of Adventists” (YEC = young earth creationism) by substituting “YLC” (young life creationism). Nick Matzke’s lecture focused on evidence for the long age of the earth–so he was suprised to learn that many SDAs believe that Earth is much older than the creation week. He would probably be shocked to learn that many Educate Truthers, including Sean Pitman and quite possibly Shane Hilde and yourself, are not YECs

    It is unclear whether your comment shows that you have not been reading what our own Theist evolutionist have been saying on this point – or whether you simply are not understanding their position.

    When the subject of ABIOGENESIS and “origins of the first living cell” comes up on this board and at Spectrum (and at a number of other places) the SDA T.E’s all wail and whine that “EVOLUTION” STARTS with living cells ALREADy on the earth – and does not get to the problem of how they go here or anything that happened prior to that time.

    Now in your argument above you want to pretend that the Panda’s Thumb guys restrict all of evolution to the earth geologic column where there are NO FOSSILS – no indication of life of any kind when you claim that the following statement about EVOLUTION accepted at PUC is only refering to PRE-life pre-biology earth!!

    Nick said –
    Subsequent discussion indicated that many of the students & profs were reasonably well-informed about evolution and not really skeptical of it. After some interesting chats, Wes and I drove home, shaking our heads and commenting that if Seventh Day Adventists were becoming OK with evolution, we should keep our eyes open for flying pigs and freezing hells.

    The Creationists have been getting pounded by the SDA T.Es supporting LSU and PUC for daring to Start with the abiogenesis aspect of evolution (and then of course all susbequent events to the present) in with the term “Evolution”. You on the other hand propose that “Not being sceptical of evolution” is a reference to abiotic earth – totally excluding all of biological history!!

    What tangled webs they weave.

    Nick said in the article

    huge powerpoint files solely devoted to putting evidence for the age of the earth AND common ancestry as bluntly and non-deniably as possible

    Nick claims that BIOLOGICAL evolution including descent of modern complex genomes from simple genome ancestors in long-ages past WAS in fact the main point of his presentation.

    You are trying to spin this as if Nick had said “we went to PUC ready to prove that the earth existed for long ages BEFORE the first cell appeared”. As if the presentation was just looking at the physics of prebiology rock strata and nothing more.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  58. Praise the Lord for the level of high level of Creationist intelligence I am finding in this website.

    Thanks Shane for your email with a great quote from Mrs White. It seems Biblical to censor those teaching errors, just like Jesus and the Apostles did (even Apostle Paul did his share of refuting errors). But it amazes me that some SDA church leaders preach “kindness and love” to professors who push falsehood (evolution). Mrs White’s words are clear – swift action needs to be taken to protect our youth; we must avoid pussyfooting around what needs to be done. It’s times like these that I appreciate The Lord’s gift of the Spirit of Prophecy’s “Thus saith the Lord… They are to be met and opposed”. Here are rest of quote:
    “False teachers may appear to be very zealous for the work of God, and may expend means to bring their theories before the world and the church; but as they mingle error with truth, their message is one of deception, and will lead souls into false paths. They are to be met and opposed, not because they are bad men, but because they are teachers of falsehood and are endeavoring to put upon falsehood the stamp of truth.”




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  59. @ Sean Pitman

    Please reference how the “majority” of science professors at LSU are now promoting the SDA perspective on origins over the mainstream perspective.

    Okay, Sean, rather than concede my point you insist that the burden of proof is on me, or others, to show that any LSU biologists support the SDA position on origins. I appreciate you making clear how you and Educate Truth operate: guilty ’til proven innocent. Your charges are reckless, unethical, unChristlike, unAdventist, and disgusting. You and your followers deserve the scorn you’ve created for yourself.

    Several of the professors themselves (to include the director of the biology department) have admitted in very public, even secular, forums and media to opposing the SDA view on origins.

    So, you’re calling the chairman, Dr. Wilson, a theistic evolutionist–and therefore a liar and a thief to remain employed by the Church? And you have proof of this?




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  60. @ Oink

    If there’s one thing all our progressive media and professors have always demanded it is DEBATE!

    It was nice to see a few names put forward to back this claim, but the very few names of SDA scientists who I’ve seen tossed out represent a small fraction of those within the Church. I live in southern California and have some familiarity with Loma Linda University (more so the medical center, where I go to on occasion and have some physicians I count as friends). I understand there may be several hundred or more publishing scientists at LLU alone, so a half-dozen outspoken individuals can hardly be interpreted as a debate-thriving bunch.

    More relevant, I’ve taught at a handful of private and public institutions in my lifetime, and can say with 100% confidence that the vast majority of my colleagues (and we are talking a LOT of good biologists) had ZERO interest in debating. Arguing with students over points on exams is a pain enough as it is, so who needs the nonsense of debating the essentially indefensible positions on origins? Sorry, but many of us don’t give a rat’s behind what the masses believe. So, dude, I think you need to treat Eddie’s comments, based on his experience and familiarity with PUC faculty, with a little more respect.




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  61. So here we have two versions of an event at PUC. We have Eddie, a faithful SDA professor apparently at PUC, explaining his understanding from first-hand sources of what transpired, and an evolutionist guest speaker giving his take on what happened. And clearly the evolutionist was making every effort in his description of events to create further schism in the SDA Church (“watch out Hilde [owner of Educate Truth] & McPherson [parent of a student]! It looks like Pacific Union College isn’t safe, either! Light the torches and sharpen the pitchforks!”). So who should we believe?

    Basically, we have Sean Pitman, Oinky, and Bob Ryan saying, “Come on, Eddie, we know you’re telling us a lie to lead us down a rabbit trail.” They actually believe what the evolutionist has told us (the guest speaker at PUC) rather than what the SDA creationist says (Eddie)!!! Unfathomable!!! SDA is full of theistic evolutionists!!!

    Ken, as you can tell, extreme prejudice resides very comfortably in the SDA Church–much to my chagrine. The objective, unbiased reader will readily recognize this.




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  62. @Professor Kent:

    So here we have two versions of an event at PUC. We have Eddie, a faithful SDA professor apparently at PUC, explaining his understanding from first-hand sources of what transpired, and an evolutionist guest speaker giving his take on what happened.

    Eddie is hardly the bastion of support for the SDA position on origins within our science classrooms. From what he has posted here he seems to believe, as do you and Matzke, Elsberry, and Prothero, that the weight of scientific evidence that is currently available strongly counters the SDA perspective on origins.

    You are fairly unique in that you claim that the weight of empirical evidence does not and should not matter – that one can still believe in the SDA fundamentals on origins despite seemingly overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Yet, strangely, you agree with those who suggest that those science professors who tell their students that the clear weight of scientific evidence is in fact contrary to the Church’s position on origins, and that the Church’s position is in fact scientifically untenable, should be disciplined or removed from their positions if they do not heed the discipline.

    I’m not sure how you can agree with any kind of discipline of science teachers who are simply telling their students “the truth” as you yourself see it?

    I’m sorry, but you and Eddie would not well represent the SDA Church in the science classroom. You both would be a very pleasant surprise to those mainstream evolutionists like Matzke, Elsberry and Prothero. These secular scientists have absolutely no problem with arguments for religious ideas that are based only on “faith” – as long as those with “faith” admit that the science says something completely different. That’s all they want. If they can get this kind of concession, they know they’ve won the war for the minds of the next generation; and that “outdated” Church doctrines, like the SDA position on origins, will eventually collapse into irrelevance…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  63. On the topic of debating the issues, it seems to me that Oink is correct. Adventist progressives are eager to have public discussions of the substantive issues in the interest of foster greater understanding among Adventist laity.

    I recently had a very enjoyable discussion in a SDA Church with an extremely knowledgeable SDA scientist who happens to be employed by the Adventist church. There were no angry words, no invectives, no Pitman- or BobRyan- or Pickle-type statements, just a calm and respectful exchange of views that presented alternative perspectives before a group of SDA church members.

    However, most SDA scientists who are currently employed by the church know that it will not be wise to let Pitman-types know their true opinions, because they know what he and fellow members of the Adventist Inquisition will do with it.

    You will notice that Dr. Pitman has never offered to have a public debate with someone who has expertise in evolutionary biology. He knows that he would be outclassed and made to look foolish in public. So very wisely, he has not done that. He only talks in front of people he knows already agree with him.

    Actually, because there are actually two quite separate topics involved in this subject, it would need two individuals on each side—one with an expertise in evolutionary biology and one with an expertise on the geochronology side. Of course, Dr. Pitman thinks of himself as an expert in both areas. However, in the interest of fairness, he would want to have a second with him. There would, of course, have to be clear ground rules of how such a debate would be conducted so that both sides feel they can clearly express their views on a level playing field.

    But I am sure that Dr. Pitman would never agree to any of this because he knows what would happen.




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  64. @ Sean Pitman

    Eddie is hardly the bastion of support for the SDA position on origins within our science classrooms…I’m sorry, but you and Eddie would not well represent the SDA Church in the science classroom…These secular scientists have absolutely no problem with arguments for religious ideas that are based only on “faith” – as long as those with “faith” admit that the science says something completely different.

    This is where you show your real colors. You despise those who disagree with your INTERPRETATION OF “EVIDENCE” even if they agree with your INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE. You are a threat to the Seventh-day Adventist Church because you judge others by YOUR standards, and not God’s. And therefore you employ YOUR means of excoriating faithful believers. God never demanded that his people test him by examining rocks and DNA; he asks us to come to him on bended knee before the cross.

    You misjudge your captive audience, which is more sophisticated than you recognize. They want to believe, as you do, that the weight of “evidence” trashes evolution and supports the SDA interpretation. However, your supporters are completely baffled by your continuing attacks on simple, honest, Biblical faith. And they are becoming increasingly disenchanted with the way you choose to stab in the back those who put faith–your faith!–ahead of science.




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  65. To those who do not like me:

    It’s obvious to even the cursory reader here that I do not like this website and oppose the approach used to villify SDA faculty and leadership. Many of you assume, therefore, that I’m an evolutionist and anti-Seventh-day Adventist. I will vow, with Bible in hand, that I am neither.

    Many of you want to believe everything you hear from Dr. Pitman. Somehow, you think you need the rocks and DNA to declare, “MADE IN HEAVEN.” But God, obviously, has left much room for doubt, and he has allowed Satan to manipulate evidence as he has seen fit. The SDA Church has NEVER taught, and NEVER will teach, that to be a faithful, non-lying, non-stealing member or employee, you must declare, “THE ROCKS AND THE DNA PROVE THAT GOD IS GOD.” That’s Pitmanism, not Adventism! We are in the business of saving sinners, not proving creation!

    Sean Pitman is not pushing Seventh-day Adventist views; he is pushing his own private interpretations, and accusing anyone who disagrees with Him (yes, Him) as being an unfaithful and unfit SDA. I beg you folks to see the Satanic zeal on his part and the damage he is currently inflicting to the Church. A schizm can be avoided. Please put a stop to his reckless, arrogant attacks on faithful Christians–many of whom, like Eddie, Ben Clausen, Gordon Bietz, Bryan Ness, and myself, love Jesus, love the SDA Church, and fully embrace its fundamental beliefs, just as you do. Prayerfully consider this plea.




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  66. Personally, I’m glad that we did not have Sean Pitman as a science crusader in the early Church. Where would our Church be today if, in 1890, Sean Pitman was purging our ranks of those who did not teach that the weight of evidence proved that smoking caused cancer–because He (yes, He) interpreted the evidence that way.

    Until the whole world hears,
    PK
    “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”




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  67. Sean Pitman has said,

    “You must also see physical evidence and have an empirical argument that can only be rationally explained by a God or a God-like power before you will in fact gain a solid faith or hope in the future that is substantively superior from a belief in Dawkins’ Flying Spaghetti Monster or a child’s faith in Santa Claus.”

    So, to gain this evidence, Sean insists we must dig, dig, dig in the quarries to find this evidence so that…we can actually believe God is of more substance than the tooth fairy!

    But the Lord has said,

    “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you” (Luke 17:6). “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:30).

    So, how does a “little faith” stack up with Sean’s insistence on the priority of “evidence?” What do you think the Church should be teaching? What would Jesus say to Eddie, Ben Clausen, Bryan Ness, Gordon Bietz, and others who believe and teach that our faith does not hinge on what the fossils declare?

    Until the whole world hears,
    PK
    “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”




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  68. Dr. Ervin Taylor’s Challenge to Public Debate

    @Ervin Taylor:

    However, most SDA scientists who are currently employed by the church know that it will not be wise to let Pitman-types know their true opinions, because they know what he and fellow members of the Adventist Inquisition will do with it.

    What? Suggest that those who are directly attacking the fundamental goals and ideals of the SDA Church on the Church’s dime be asked to find employment elsewhere? You think it is better to suggest that those who disagree with the Church do their subversive work more discretely? How honest is that?

    You will notice that Dr. Pitman has never offered to have a public debate with someone who has expertise in evolutionary biology. He knows that he would be outclassed and made to look foolish in public. So very wisely, he has not done that. He only talks in front of people he knows already agree with him.

    But I have debated many evolutionary biologists in public forum. I’ve even debated Nick Matzke (one of the evolutionists invited to speak, unchallenged, at PUC). I’ve also presented the case for a very limited evolutionary mechanism (limited to very very low levels of functional complexity) and the implications of such for intelligent design in front of evolutionary biologists in a university setting this past year. I’ve even offered to debate LSU biology professors, back in 2004, who declined my offer and refused the request of numerous students for me to present the evidence for intelligent design in their own classrooms. This is why the LSU students had to rent out a hall themselves for me to come and present the case for the SDA position on origins. When I did come, there were biologists in the audience who strongly disagreed with me, but said nothing during the 90 minutes of Q&A that took place. They were free to challenge me to my face and humiliate me in front of their students if they could. Yet, they preferred to wait until they could have their students to themselves…

    So, you see, I have been involved in such public debates and I’d be willing to do so again with anyone of your own choosing before any public forum of your own choosing… especially when it comes to the topic of evolutionary biology in particular.

    But I am sure that Dr. Pitman would never agree to any of this because he knows what would happen.

    Really? What would happen?

    In any case, I accept your challenge. Go ahead. Set it up for sometime next year. Give me a few months heads up so I can work out my schedule, and I’ll be there. Maybe you could even get someone like Richard Dawkins or Kenneth Miller? Now that would be something else!

    Really Erv. Don’t make claims which you yourself aren’t willing to back up. Perhaps you are nervous as to what would really happen in such a public debate between myself and an evolutionary biologist? 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  69. The problem with a debate is that Pitman vs. Anyone Who Dares To Disagree With Him will be seen as Creationist vs. Evolutionist. As we have seen here at this website, anyone who disagrees with Pitman–no matter how faithful that individual is to the SDA fundamental beliefs–is immediately labeled a liar, a thief, and a threat to the Church.

    I don’t see what a debate will accomplish other than to further the Late Great Adventist Inquisition.




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  70. Really Erv. Don’t make claims which you yourself aren’t willing to back up. Perhaps you are nervous as to what would really happen in such a public debate between myself and an evolutionary biologist?

    Humility…that’s what makes this website so appealing.




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  71. @Sean Pitman:

    Jason Shives (LSU pre-med student and student body president in 2004) responds to Dr. Talor’s challenge for a debate (by E-mail):

    You will notice that Dr. Pitman has never offered to have a public debate with someone who has expertise in evolutionary biology. He knows that he would be outclassed and made to look foolish in public. So very wisely, he has not done that. He only talks in front of people he knows already agree with him. – Dr. Ervin Taylor

    That’s funny. At La Sierra, Janelle was trying to get Dr. Lee Grismer
    or another professor to debate you there, but they would not do it
    because they said that the other side may win on the basis of their
    debating skills, not on the content, since content is “obviously” on
    the side of “evolution.”

    Also, I remember Dr. Grismer NO SHOWING at Restoration’s Friday night
    service at the LL Filipino church when Dr. Grismer was suppose to
    debate the issue with David Asscherick… seems like we finally might
    get a debate with a La Sierra faculty/ex-faculty…

    I would like to see it, can you record it?

    Jason [Shives]




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  72. @Professor Kent:

    As we have seen here at this website, anyone who disagrees with Pitman–no matter how faithful that individual is to the SDA fundamental beliefs–is immediately labeled a liar, a thief, and a threat to the Church.

    Rather, a person who believes that the significant weight of evidence counters the SDA position on origins, who honestly believes that the SDA position is scientifically untenable, cannot be an effective representative of fundamental SDA goals and ideals. It doesn’t matter how honest and sincere the person might otherwise be – and there are many such people.

    This isn’t about the righteousness of a person. A person can be ever so righteous and generous and in every other way a very good person, and yet not be an effective representative of SDA Church goals and ideals regarding doctrines of fundamental importance which need to be shared with the world as a message hope – as a key part of the Gospel message in these last days…

    It’s as Mrs. White explains in the following passage:

    “False teachers may appear to be very zealous for the work of God, and may expend means to bring their theories before the world and the church; but as they mingle error with truth, their message is one of deception, and will lead souls into false paths. They are to be met and opposed, not because they are bad men, but because they are teachers of falsehood and are endeavoring to put upon falsehood the stamp of truth.”

    Ellen White, Testimonies to Ministers, page 55:

    It is for this reason that visiting secular mainstream professors would have nothing negative to say about your views or those of Eddie or, evidently, very many of the professors at LSU or PUC. After all, pretty much all of them agree that the “science” they understand is in essential agreement with mainstream evolutionists.

    This is also your argument as well. You only add that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if one argues that the SDA position is clearly untenable from the scientific perspective. That person should still be able to teach our students that even though the SDA position is scientifically untenable that they can still believe anyway based on empirically-blind faith. That may work for you, but, let me tell you, it will not work for the vast majority of thinking students… or most other thinking people for that matter…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  73. “We are in the business of saving sinners, not proving creation!”

    Professor Kent – The entire plan of salvation revolves around the concept of a paradise lost, with God redeeming His Creation. If He is not all powerful, then how does God have the power to save?

    I fear that at the root of this Creation question is the question of who God in fact is. Does God have the power to save? Does God have the power to create a New Earth? Is Jesus coming again? Is the resurrection really possible? (Try proving resurrection from scientific literature – it’s not possible!)

    I have yet to hear an Adventist evolutionist proclaim the mighty power of God, practice evangelism, or talk with conviction about the miracles of God. I have yet to hear them speak of the soon coming of Christ. Instead they speak in vague generalities about being “good people” who are “godly” but speak with very little conviction of any Biblical truths.

    Those who promote evolution in our schools may be “good people” but they have little regard for assertions of Biblical truth. They cringe at the phrase, “Thus saith the Lord.” They call themselves “emergent” and want to be “relevant” but God has not called us to relevance – He called us to preach the Gospel.

    We are a church that is based on the Three Angels Messages, and those who insist that our institutions preach contrary to these messages are ultimately going to be on the wrong side of history. They will either have to be shaken out or leave of their own accord.

    Revelation 14:7 – Angel 1
    “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

    Angel 2 –
    “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”

    Angel 3 – If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” 12This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.”

    It’s not “relevant” to most of the world, but it’s the truth.

    Stand firm!!!!! Don’t give up the fight!!!!!




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  74. The following is from the book Christian Education. It is long so I’ve shortened it a bit but you can find the entire article at http://www.ellenwhite.org

    I’ve posted this not for the purpose of trying to convince skeptics of literal creation for they will never be convinced unless the Holy Spirit works upon their hearts, but rather for the purpose of encouraging those who are on the narrow path to remain true to their faith and to their God.

    ——

    God has permitted a flood of light to be poured upon the world, in both science and art; but when professedly scientific men treat upon these subjects from a merely human point of view, they will assuredly come to wrong conclusions. It may be innocent to speculate beyond what God’s word has revealed, if our theories do not contradict facts found in the Scriptures; but those who leave the word of God, and seek to account for his created works upon scientific principles, are drifting, without chart or compass, upon an unknown ocean. The greatest minds, if not guided by the word of God in their research, become bewildered in their attempts to trace the relations of science and revelation. Because the Creator and his works are so far beyond their comprehension that they are unable to explain them by natural laws, they regard Bible history as unreliable. Those who doubt the reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments, will be led to go a step farther, and doubt the existence of God; and then, having lost their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity. {CE 193.2}

    These persons have lost the simplicity of faith. There should be a settled belief in the divine authority of God’s holy word. The Bible is not to be tested by men’s ideas of science. Human knowledge is an unreliable guide. Skeptics who read the Bible for the sake of caviling, may, through an imperfect comprehension of either science or revelation, claim to find contradictions between them; but rightly understood, they are in perfect harmony. Moses wrote under the guidance of the Spirit of God; and a correct theory of geology will never claim discoveries that cannot be reconciled with his statements. All truth, whether in nature or in revelation, is consistent with itself in all its manifestations. {CE 193.3}

    [edited for length of quotes]




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  75. I find this whole “contoversy” about whether Evolution at LSU really irnonic. That is to say: Whenever a federal judge or a school board votes against teaching “creationism” in a classroom, the Creationists, the Intelligent Designers, the Young Earthers, etetera all cry “Foul!!” “Descrimination,” as well as “Censurship.” Then they go into a rant on how about they feel that students should then be taught “both sides” of the issue, rather than just one. “Teach both Evolution and Creationism,” they say, “and then let out children make up their own minds.”

    Do the Creationists really mean that they want their children to “make up their own minds?” Frankly, the answer is “no.” They cannot stand the thought of the next generation making a decision that they personally disapprove of, and this circus at La Sierra only proves that.

    In the public schools, when the Creationists are NOT in control, they say they want both sides taught, BUT in La Sierra (where THEY ARE in control), the attitude about being unbiased goes out the window, and they reverse the wheels and censure and persecute anyone who dares go against their grain. It all goes to prove that the “teach the controversy” slogan is nothing more than a farce.

    If Creationists were not the hypocrits that they are, then they would have allowed the teachers there to just do their jobs… But since LSU is a school owned by the church, they could also have offered alternatives to evolutionary biology and conventional geology in different classes… Now, if they were intrested in teaching both sides, that is exactly what they would have done.

    But, oh well, the Creationists apparently think they have to shield their children’s “delicate ears” from hearing anything they think will make them think outside of their little creationist bubble. That will only make the students all the more vulnerable when they FINALLY DO confront the evidence for evolution on their own.. They may likely have the same struggle I went through after being indoctrinated with Creationist nonesence all my life, until I realized evolution was the fact that it is… Many of them will remain Christians (as I have), but unfortunately, many will also become Atheists since they will have been taught that “Either God did it THIS WAY, or he doesn’t exist at all.” Unfortanate. This is why I say Creationism is more dangerous than Darwin.




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  76. “But God, obviously, has left much room for doubt…”

    I really don’t think that God has “left room for doubt” when He clearly and unequivocally declares that He created the earth and all that is in it in *six days*. It is Satan that is creating the doubt. And all evolutionists–Yes, even those who claim to be in the SDA church–are denying God and His power when they refuse to take Him at His Word that He did create the earth in six literal days and are instead giving glory to Satan and *his* doctrine.

    “The SDA Church has NEVER taught, and NEVER will teach, that to be a faithful, non-lying, non-stealing member or employee, you must declare, “THE ROCKS AND THE DNA PROVE THAT GOD IS GOD.””

    Not exactly so, PK. God doesn’t ask us to look for a literal stamp as you state, but He does expect us to give the glory to Him for *His* marvelous work of Creation. I refer to the angel in Revelation that declares God to be the creator of the earth. Remember that one?

    “That’s Pitmanism, not Adventism!”

    Wrong again, PK. It definitely is Adventism that embraces the six-day Creation doctrine. It you think otherwise you are deceived.

    “I beg you folks to see the Satanic zeal on his part and the damage he is currently inflicting to the Church. A schizm can be avoided.”

    And wrong one more time, PK. I see the Satanic zeal coming from the evolutionists rather than from Dr. Pitman. And a schizm cannot be avoided when truth is up against falsehood. To avoid such a schizm we would have to compromise the truth and, in my book, that will never happen.

    By the way, I never got an answer to my previous question–what do the evolutionists think they will do when Jesus comes? Do they think that they will set Jesus and His people straight about creation? Give me a break! They will be calling on the very rocks they used to “prove” the evolutionary lie to fall on them.

    Sin cannot exist with Truth. Evolution is sin. Creation is the truth. I feel sorry for all of you who have been led astray in the name of “higher education”. I pray you will see the error before it is too late. Instead of villifying those who are trying to straighten this mess out, you need to come to grips with the truth.

    I pray you and all your companions will. I want to see all of you in heaven.

    Faith




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  77. That person should still be able to teach our students that even though the SDA position is scientifically untenable that they can still believe anyway based on empirically-blind faith. That may work for you, but, let me tell you, it will not work for the vast majority of thinking students… or most other thinking people for that matter…

    Richard Dawkins argues that Creationism is the totally nonsense of claiming to believe somthing that you know not to be true “in real life”. The idea of a spaghetti monster for example.

    Of course most Christians flatly reject Dawkins’ proposal – but there are a few – who constantly whine about any effort to show that science supports the Bible on one point or another – who also like to argue along with Dawkins that belief in the Bible is nonsense in that it goes against what we observe to be true.

    How odd then that those who hold to such positions do not claim to believe in a flat earth!

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  78. However, most SDA scientists who are currently employed by the church know
    Erv Taylor said —

    Erv Taylor
    that it will not be wise to let Pitman-types know their true opinions, because they know what he and fellow members of the Adventist Inquisition will do with it.

    First of all – it is more than a little obvious that the strategy Erv suggests above is EXACTLY the strategy that was inititally used at LSU (and possibly now at PUC) when the evolution train first came to town in the La Sierra campus. When Geraty and Guy were in full control – they probably tried to keep a low profile for a few years. As far as I can tell – Geraty is still trying to go with that model now and then. Though Fritz Guy is clearly much more forthcoming these days than when he was president of LSU.

    But it is still “instructive” that they actually view the strategy that Erv gives as a good one – until conditions are ripe for evolutionism to be outed at a given institution — kinda the way Bradley did it.

    Next point —

    Evolutionist live in a world of fiction – fiction about “vast decreases in entropy over billions of years of time” that are only “solved” by “appealing to the sun god”. Fiction about “birds coming from reptiles”. Fictions so baseless that they have to “imagine” an almost infinite number of other UNIVERSES trying to make all the storytelling “appear” reasonable.

    No wonder then THEY tried to the fiction in early 2010 that the it is the “FRINGE” in adventism that believes in a literal 7 creation week less than 10,000 years ago. Only to see that evolutionist bubble of fiction burst at the GC session in Atlanta – something like 2000 to 20.

    Then we have the fiction about SDA professors teaching in our own schools not being willing to debate evolutionists — or in this case fiction about other SDAs who promote creationism – not being willing to debate SDA evolutionists.

    Erv Taylor said –
    You will notice that Dr. Pitman has never offered to have a public debate with someone who has expertise in evolutionary biology. He knows that he would be outclassed and made to look foolish in public. So very wisely, he has not done that. He only talks in front of people he knows already agree with him.

    And then we have this response —

    That’s funny. At La Sierra, Janelle was trying to get Dr. Lee Grismer
    or another professor to debate you there, but they would not do it
    because they said that the other side may win on the basis of their
    debating skills, not on the content, since content is “obviously” on
    the side of “evolution.”

    Also, I remember Dr. Grismer NO SHOWING at Restoration’s Friday night
    service at the LL Filipino church when Dr. Grismer was suppose to
    debate the issue with David Asscherick… seems like we finally might
    get a debate with a La Sierra faculty/ex-faculty…

    I would like to see it, can you record it?




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  79. So here we have two versions of an event at PUC. We have Eddie, a faithful SDA professor apparently at PUC, explaining his understanding from first-hand sources of what transpired, and an evolutionist guest speaker giving his take on what happened. And clearly the evolutionist was making every effort in his description of events to create further schism in the SDA Church

    The lack of critical thinking in that post is astounding. Kent actually proposes that the readers “imagine” that instead of atheist evolutionists wanting to promote evolution over creation – what they REALLY want to promote is the idea of creationists group-A being inconvenienced by fellow creationists group-B over the idea that the the creationist views of Group-A might include evolution from common ancestors.

    Turns out – no atheist evolutionists are doing that – not even Dawkins. Rather the atheist evolutionist agenda is totally UNLIKE the Erv Taylor model of keeping your real beliefs disguised so you can spring them on students in a manner where you cannot be held accountable. (Bradley called that “ducking under the table” when people started asking if someone was promoting evolutionism at LSU). The up-front evolutionist looks for a place to show of his or her PPT slides making the case for an old earth “AND for descent from a common ancestor”!!

    As difficult as it is for Kent to believe that these evolutionists are trying to do what they SAY they are trying to do – the rest of us “get the point”.

    On the other hand – As Erv has already pointed out in the case of evolutionism in its early stages at a given University – the stated “plan” is to try and disguise it while promoting and teaching it if you can.

    Here again – Kent wants the reader NOT to believe that the strategy that Erv has outlined for us – is the exact strategy that would be used when a Panda’s Thumb report surfaces about finding evolutionism accepted by certain elements within an Adventist college.

    No matter how these evolutionists plainly state their agendas, plans and practices – Kent demands that we “not notice” anything out of order until we have a full blown out-of-control LSU level crisis.

    I read about that in 3T. Seems like there is nothing new under the sun.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  80. Sean Pitman wrote

    Rather, a person who believes that the significant weight of evidence counters the SDA position on origins, who honestly believes that the SDA position is scientifically untenable, cannot be an effective representative of fundamental SDA goals and ideals. It doesn’t matter how honest and sincere the person might otherwise be – and there are many such people.

    Clearly, Dr. Pitman believes that the weight of scientific evidence favors the SDA position. And that is perfectly fine. However, it’s NOT OKAY when he insists that one is unfaithful and unfit for employment if they disagree with HIS personal view. It’s HIS personal view, and NOT that of the Church body. My SDA biologist friend, who knows most of the biologists in the Church, reassures me that the vast majority are comfortable with YEC/YLC, but disagree wholeheartedly with Sean on the issue of “weight of evidence.” They, like me, believe there is SOME evidence to support YEC or YLF, but acknowledge there are many very prickly problems that we lack good answers for. And Sean insists that the vast majority of the Church’s biologists, therefore, need to be dismissed…not because of Church policy, or lack of support for the fundamental beliefs, but simply because they disagree with Him!

    So the question becomes this: WHO IS THE ONE TO DECIDE WHO IS ACCEPTABLE TO BE AN EMPLOYED BIOLOGIST IN THE CHURCH? Pitman has the temerity to DEMAND that HIS philosphy be accepted by all SDA scientists, and he continues to denounce anyone who disagrees with him. What makes his interpretation the only valid, righteous one?

    I am appalled that so many supporters of this website are willing to accept Dr. Pitman as the single arbiter of science truth in the Church and denounce anyone who disagrees with Him as a liar and thief. Can’t you people see the danger in this? You’ve got your faith placed in the wrong Man.




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  81. @ Jonathan Taylor

    Professor Kent – The entire plan of salvation revolves around the concept of a paradise lost, with God redeeming His Creation. If He is not all powerful, then how does God have the power to save?

    I totally agree with you, brother Taylor. But pay attention to what you are supporting here. Pitman is not limiting his attacks to theistic evolutionists in the Church. He is attacking faithful creationists who teach creationism exactly as you would have them, but disagree on his position that the “weight” of evidence favors the Church position. Pitman is saying over and over and over and over that it’s HIS way or the Highway. As if His way can only be God’s way. Do you not get it?




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  82. Clearly, Dr. Pitman believes that the weight of scientific evidence favors the SDA position. And that is perfectly fine. However, it’s NOT OKAY when he insists that one is unfaithful and unfit for employment if they disagree with HIS personal view. It’s HIS personal view, and NOT that of the Church body. My SDA biologist friend, who knows most of the biologists in the Church, reassures me that the vast majority are comfortable with YEC/YLC, but disagree wholeheartedly with Sean on the issue of “weight of evidence.” They, like me, believe there is SOME evidence to support YEC or YLF, but acknowledge there are many very prickly problems that we lack good answers for. And Sean insists that the vast majority of the Church’s biologists, therefore, need to be dismissed…not because of Church policy, or lack of support for the fundamental beliefs, but simply because they disagree with Him!

    This exactly the impression I have gotten from those biologists within the church that I know personally, and this includes a majority of the biologists I know at ALL of our colleges and universities. On the other hand, I know a variety of non-biology professors and other church members (including a few pastors and a number of students) who espouse some form of theistic evolution. In fact, because our biology professors are more in the spotlight on these very issues, they seem to be more supportive of SDA crationism as a group than many others in the church. Of course, they are engaged in a dangerous business. Any time they teach the evolution side of the story they run the risk of being misunderstood and being labeled evolutionists. I know of no better way to drive these people from the church than the approach being taken here at ET. Especially given that as soon as “evidence” surfaces, at least in the eyes of the attackers at ET, the said professor should either honorably resign his position, or he should be fired. Oh, or she could try to defend herself by sending in videos of all her lectures, copies of all powerpoint presentations and complete syllabi. As far as I can tell from what I have seen here thus far, such materials would just end up being kindling with which to start their funeral pyre.




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  83. I would like to hear a statement of faith in the second coming from one Adventist evolutionist.

    So far it seems that they are cultural Christians who are actually agnostic or atheistic.

    I get what Pitman is saying, and it’s not “Pitman’s Way or the Highway.” It’s what God has revealed through the Bible that Pitman supports. Do you believe that God can create something out of nothing and will do so in the future? Do you believe that God did create with the power of His Word?

    If not, I respect your right to believe as you do, but do not see significant value to your theological positions.




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  84. I would like to hear a statement of faith in the second coming from one Adventist evolutionist.So far it seems that they are cultural Christians who are actually agnostic or atheistic. I get what Pitman is saying, and it’s not “Pitman’s Way or the Highway.” It’s what God has revealed through the Bible that Pitman supports. Do you believe that God can create something out of nothing and will do so in the future? Do you believe that God did create with the power of His Word?If not, I respect your right to believe as you do, but do not see significant value to your theological positions.  (Quote)

    First of all, I reject the term “Evolutionist” since it’s nothing more than a title that Creationists invented.

    Second, you want to here a statement of faith, then:

    1. I believe in the trinity, the father son and holy spirit, that they are three persons, but one God.

    2. I believe in the virgin birth, and that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected.

    3. That we are saved through Grace alone through faith, not by works.

    4. That God created us, whether through natural forces that were created by him in the beginning or even if he were to have created us in our current form.

    Your statement that Adventists “Evolutionists” are really agnostics or atheits is nothing more than a statement of dogmatism. An agnostic is someone who doesn’t have a position on whether or not God exists. An Atheist is someone who doesn’t believe any God exists whatsoever! A Christian who accepts evolution is still a Theist. Not accepting your position is not a disqualifier from being a Theist. This is similar to statements made in Ancient Rome about Christians being Atheists since they did not believe in the Roman gods. Now, obviously both the Romans and Christians were both Theists since they believed that Gods existed…but they had differing ideas. Neither group would qualify as being an Atheist ot an agnostic.

    About it being what God put in the Bible: What makes you so sure that your interpretation is what is correct. The fact is that literal six day creationism is a relatively new movement. 2,000 years ago, opinions of both Jews and Christians about what a “Creation Day” actually was differed greatly from one another. One of my favorite examples is from Philo of Alexandria who said “When, therefore, Moses says, “God completed his works on the sixth day,” we must understand that he is speaking not of a number of days, but that he takes six as a perfect number. Since it is the first number which is equal in its parts, in the half, and the third and sixth parts, and since it is produced by the multiplication of two unequal factors, two and three.”(Treatise 1:2) — Another good example is Cyprian who descriped the creation week as containing 1,000 years per day: “The first seven days in the divine arrangement contain seven thousand years” (Treatises 11:11) Then there is Augustine of Hipo who thought that the “creation days” were not days at all, or even years, but rather that they were one event; a single moment. — Now, the point I’m trying to make is this: If the early Christians and Jews had greatly differing view points about what “creation days” were, and since many did see them as not being literal days, then this proves that reading Genesis as non-literal is not a new thing; It was done for millenia. Now, what makes your interpretation of Genesis superior to theirs? And if you have no reason other than “the position of the church,” or “Ellen White,” then frankly you have no reason other than pre-conceived bias. This is not about what the Bible actually says, but interpretation of it.

    You asked Do you believe that God can create something out of nothing and will do so in the future? Do you believe that God did create with the power of His Word? — Yes I do. In fact, I don’t even think God needs his word to creat. I think he is more powerful than that.

    But as for the question about believing that God created from nothing, though I do not disbelieve that he can so such a thing, it really gives me an urge to ask a Creationist a question that has been bothering me; That is: “Creationists often ridicule ‘evolutionists’ for believing everything came from nothing. I must ask: God created from nothing, right? If God created from nothing, then science should detect the ‘from nothingness,’ and nothing more; It cannot detect God. How is “everything comming from nothing’ inconsistent with ‘God creating from nothing’? After all, this would still be fiat creation.”




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  85. Dear Editors

    Has Ted Wilson been invited to comment on the debate on this site. It would seem to be that his leadership and guidance are required.

    Regards
    Ken




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  86. Here again – Kent wants the reader NOT to believe that the strategy that Erv has outlined for us – is the exact strategy that would be used when a Panda’s Thumb report surfaces about finding evolutionism accepted by certain elements within an Adventist college. No matter how these evolutionists plainly state their agendas, plans and practices – Kent demands that we “not notice” anything out of order until we have a full blown out-of-control LSU level crisis.

    Bob, are you brainless, clueless, or simply spitting in a spittoon? Which is it? While you’re making stuff up, why don’t you just tell the readers I had a frontal lobotomy in 1957 at four years of age.




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  87. @ Johnathon Taylor

    I get what Pitman is saying, and it’s not “Pitman’s Way or the Highway.” It’s what God has revealed through the Bible that Pitman supports. Do you believe that God can create something out of nothing and will do so in the future? Do you believe that God did create with the power of His Word?

    Okay, Johnathan.

    Pitman has declared any faithful creationist SDA biologist a corrupt employee unless he also believes the “weight” of evidence favors creationism. To accept creationism largely by faith makes one unsuitable for church employment.

    God has revealed in the Bible that Jesus was born the son of a virgin; that Jesus lived a sinless life; and that Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection. Should Pitman declare GC President Ted Wilson unfit if He believes these three facts when there is NO empirical evidence to support them? After all, in your words, “it’s what God has revealed in the Bible.”




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  88. krisssmith777 wrote

    Creationists often ridicule ‘evolutionists’ for believing everything came from nothing. I must ask: God created from nothing, right? If God created from nothing, then science should detect the ‘from nothingness,’ and nothing more; It cannot detect God. How is “everything comming from nothing’ inconsistent with ‘God creating from nothing’? After all, this would still be fiat creation.

    Indeed, the irony is that evolutionists are not the only ones who insist everything came from nothing.

    Creationists are quick to point out the research shortcomings on abiogenesis, which actually become a greater empirical problem for them! The evolutionist seeks evidence that a small cluster of dirt can self-organize into a replicating entity. The creationist seeks evidence that a pile of dirt can instantaneously become a living, breathing human body, or that a herd of bleating, gas-passing sheep can instantaneously appear on a mountain. And the “weight” of empirical evidence, we are repeatedly assured, supports the latter?




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  89. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has long believed in a literal creation week as a fundamental belief. Ellen White discussed this extensively. It is supported throughout the Bible. While there is certainly room for freedom of belief in this arena, the church also has the freedom to make sure that those in its employ do not undermine this belief.

    Why those who would seek to do so continue to insist on working within the Adventist Church is a mystery. Even if the belief is not supported, etc., it is the belief of the church. So why not go teach somewhere else?

    There is a strange habit of those who lose their interest in the beliefs of the Adventist Church to hang around as detractors. Whereas in other churches, those who no longer practice the belief find more amicable climes.

    If you do not like the teachings of the church, and the church remains unyielding to your protestations, then your alternative is to leave the church.




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  90. @Professor Kent:

    Creationists are quick to point out the research shortcomings on abiogenesis, which actually become a greater empirical problem for them! The evolutionist seeks evidence that a small cluster of dirt can self-organize into a replicating entity. The creationist seeks evidence that a pile of dirt can instantaneously become a living, breathing human body, or that a herd of bleating, gas-passing sheep can instantaneously appear on a mountain. And the “weight” of empirical evidence, we are repeatedly assured, supports the latter?

    Creationists believe in informational entropy (related to but distinct from thermodynamic entropy)… the idea that higher levels of functional complexity only come from even higher levels of functional complexity which were pre-existent. In other words, the stream of information doesn’t flow uphill over time. It flow downhill in quality, quite rapidly in fact, over time.

    So, even though no one can explain the totality of God or who God could be infinite, one can very rationally explain the need for a God or at least an infinite God-like creator with the use of this “Turtles All the Way Down” concept of informational entropy.

    It is just that the concept of an eternally existing Creator God, who is certainly a mystery, is far more consistent with what we do understand that is the mystery of how everything could come from absolutely nothing via mindless natural laws… a concept which defies everything we do understand about the universe in which we live…

    This is why the mystery of an intelligent eternal God makes much more scientific/rational sense than the mystery of mindless nature when it comes to explaining us and the universe in which we live.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  91. Sean Pitman says,

    Creationists believe in informational entropy (related to but distinct from thermodynamic entropy)… the idea that higher levels of functional complexity only come from even higher levels of functional complexity which were pre-existent. In other words, the stream of information doesn’t flow uphill over time. It flow downhill in quality, quite rapidly in fact, over time.

    I presume you are talking about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The second law says that the differences in temperature, preasure tends to equilibriate in a CLOSED, isolated systems. The roof of your car would be an isolated system, as an example. Living things, however, are not closed systems.

    Another thing: Evolutionary theory doesn’t dictate that everything absolutely must go uphill. Evolution is not a ladder of progress; It is a branching bush. Species may become less complex than their ancestors; Their decendants may remain equally complext to, and yet different, from their ancestors. You know the saying “sometimes less is more.”

    Perhaps I misunderstood your comment. If I did, I apologize.




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  92. Jonathan Taylor,

    While there is certainly room for freedom of belief in this arena, the church also has the freedom to make sure that those in its employ do not undermine this belief.

    Nobody is denying that; much like how the Mormon Church went after Thomas Murphy (a Mormon anthropologist) when he wrote an essay undermining the Book of Mormon. Even as an outsider in that reguard; though I am not a Mormon, I still saw their treatment as nothing more than persecution. It may be “within” the church’s right to make sure it’s employess do not “undermind” a certain teaching, but that hardly means that it is the right thing to do.

    Why those who would seek to do so continue to insist on working within the Adventist Church is a mystery. Even if the belief is not supported, etc., it is the belief of the church. So why not go teach somewhere else?

    Why don’t they teach somewhere else? Perhaps it’s not so simple. I’m guessing budget ptoblems? The non-SDA schools in California are largely public schools; and due to state budget problems, it would logically be difficult for them to find a job elsewhere.

    If you do not like the teachings of the church, and the church remains unyielding to your protestations, then your alternative is to leave the church.

    What would be the point of that? What would that accomplish other than our own excommunication of ourselves? Personally, I do not find the SDA church any better or worse than any other Christian denomination; That being the case, there is no piont in leaving.




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  93. @ Johnathan Taylor

    The Seventh-day Adventist Church has long believed in a literal creation week as a fundamental belief. Ellen White discussed this extensively. It is supported throughout the Bible. While there is certainly room for freedom of belief in this arena, the church also has the freedom to make sure that those in its employ do not undermine this belief.

    Either you’re not paying attention or you are deliberating changing the focus. I’m talking about SDA biologists who SUPPORT rather than UNDERMINE the SDA beliefs. Yet Sean is still calling for these individuals to resign or be fired!!! You state that “there is certainly room for freedom of belief in this arena,” but this is NOT Sean Pitman’s position.

    Pitman is saying, very clearly: Either teach that the WEIGHT of evidence favors the SDA position, or you are unfit to be an employee. You do NOT have the right to suggest anything different. And you agree with him?




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  94. Sean:

    I’m very pleased that you have accepted an invitation to enter into serious dialogue with knowledgeable individuals in a public forum. I’m really not sure what you meant when you said that I should not “make claims which [I am not] willing to back up” so I will just let that strange comment pass.

    Unless you have some objection, I would propose that, early in January 2011, we come to an agreement on exactly how the specific topic(s) of the dialogue will be framed including what question(s) will be addressed, how many on each side will participate, a place and date and a brief set of ground rules to make sure that all will feel that, in the exchange of views, both sides have equal time to make their views fully known, and that there will be ample opportunity given for questions and responses.

    I assume that you would have no objection to having the dialogue recorded and copies made available to anyone who wishes a copy.

    This exchange of views should prove to be very interesting and illuminating.




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  95. @krissmith777:

    I presume you are talking about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The second law says that the differences in temperature, preasure tends to equilibriate in a CLOSED, isolated systems. The roof of your car would be an isolated system, as an example. Living things, however, are not closed systems.

    If you had read what I actually wrote you wouldn’t have made this error of presumption. I’m not talking about the 2nd Law. I’m talking about informational entropy – not the same thing as thermodynamic entropy.

    As it turns out, the informational quality of a system tends to decline over time. In order for it to be maintained or increase in its level of informational quality/functional complexity, that information must be inserted from outside of the system itself from a source of pre-existing higher level informational complexity. The system itself cannot generate this information using any known mindless force of nature – regardless of the thermodynamic potential available to the system to do “useful work”.

    It seems to me like you don’t quite understand the difference between the thermodynamic potential to do useful work and the informational complexity of a system needed to take advantage of that thermodynamic potential before useful work can actually be achieved. Just because the thermodynamic potential is there doesn’t mean the system is informationally rich enough to take advantage and actually do “useful work”. If the fan blades are broken between the “two boxes” it doesn’t matter if fan would have turned if it were properly set up and placed in the right position. Without this necessary information, all that thermodynamic potential simply goes to waste.

    Another thing: Evolutionary theory doesn’t dictate that everything absolutely must go uphill. Evolution is not a ladder of progress; It is a branching bush. Species may become less complex than their ancestors; Their decendants may remain equally complext to, and yet different, from their ancestors. You know the saying “sometimes less is more.”

    It’s easy to explain evolution that goes downhill as far as informational complexity is concerned. It is quite another thing to explain the origin of novel systems of function beyond very low levels of functional complexity. That’s the big problem for mainstream theories based on the creative potential of mindless evolutionary mechanisms like RM/NS…

    Perhaps I misunderstood your comment. If I did, I apologize.

    You did, but no need to apologize. Just consider the actual problem with which mainstream evolutionary models really have to deal. The problem is over the origin of functional information. That’s the big issue in play here…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  96. @Professor Kent:

    Pitman is saying, very clearly: Either teach that the WEIGHT of evidence favors the SDA position, or you are unfit to be an employee. You do NOT have the right to suggest anything different. And you agree with him?

    You have the right to believe anything you want. This is a free country after all. You just don’t have the right to demand payment for teaching your beliefs from those who don’t agree with you… like me.

    The SDA Church has taken on a very specific fundamental stand on the issue of origins. Many people don’t agree. That’s perfectly Ok – as long as they don’t expect to get a paycheck from the SDA Church. If the Church wants its position to be effectively represented, it must hire only those who actually believe in and will actively promote its position in public forum.

    Hiring science professors who teach their students that the SDA position is scientifically untenable is not beneficial to the Church’s primary goals and ideals. Surely it doesn’t take a genius to recognize this as an obvious truism…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  97. @Ervin Taylor:

    Sean:

    I’m very pleased that you have accepted an invitation to enter into serious dialogue with knowledgeable individuals in a public forum. I’m really not sure what you meant when you said that I should not “make claims which [I am not] willing to back up” so I will just let that strange comment pass.

    Unless you have some objection, I would propose that, early in January 2011, we come to an agreement on exactly how the specific topic(s) of the dialogue will be framed including what question(s) will be addressed, how many on each side will participate, a place and date and a brief set of ground rules to make sure that all will feel that, in the exchange of views, both sides have equal time to make their views fully known, and that there will be ample opportunity given for questions and responses.

    I assume that you would have no objection to having the dialogue recorded and copies made available to anyone who wishes a copy.

    This exchange of views should prove to be very interesting and illuminating.

    Sounds good to me. I probably will not be free to come to the Loma Linda area until some time in March – possibly during APC. I’m actually not a little surprised that you seem to actually want to follow up with this offer as prior efforts to set up something like this on our part have consistently fallen through. All the best with getting someone lined up for such an exchange…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  98. @ Sean Pitman,

    You say:

    It is quite another thing to explain the origin of novel systems of function beyond very low levels of functional complexity. That’s the big problem for mainstream theories based on the creative potential of mindless evolutionary mechanisms like RM/NS…

    And:

    Just consider the actual problem with which mainstream evolutionary models really have to deal. The problem is over the origin of functional information. That’s the big issue in play here…

    Thought I misunderstod you earlier. I usually have a good reading comprehension, but it tends to go south on me when I read off a computer/tv screen, so I’ll leave it there.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears to me that you are saying that not being able to explain how new, novel function from “random mutation” is a problem, and therefore a short coming, of conventional evolutionary theory.

    If that is what you mean, then perhaps you’re right; As far as explaining how it all happens, that is. But even if explaining how the novel function occures is a problem by itself, it doesn’t discount the apparent new function that seems to have been observed. An example of that would be the c-kit gene in gastrointestinal stromal tumors:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9797363

    But I am pretty sure that one of the usual proposed mechanisms for the origin of SOME novel function is Gene Duplication; A gene getting duplicated, it doesn’t have selectional preasures on it leaving it free to develope on it’s own, yada yada.

    http://www.umich.edu/~zhanglab/publications/2003/Zhang_2003_TIG_18_292.pdf

    But then, I am not a geneticist, so I can hardly speak with authority on the subject. *Shrugs*




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  99. Dr. Pitman has utmost respect for the science which only he insists offers overwhelming support for YEC. As new developments accrue in molecular biology and information theory, he just might be shocked to learn one day that some of his ironclad ideas on informational complexity are not so ironclad after all. I’m sure he can prophecy where the literature will be 20 years from now, but the remainder of us do not know the extent to which we will learn more about how informational complexity can evolve. Current developments do offer some insight:

    MIKHAIL PROKOPENKO, FABIO BOSCHETTI, AND ALEX J. RYAN. 2008. An information-theoretic primer on complexity, self-organization, and emergence. Complexity 15:11-26. Available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cplx.20249/pdf

    One statement: “complexity and self-organization are ubiquitous and apparently increasing in the biosphere.”

    LARRY S. YAEGER. 2009. How evolution guides complexity. HFSP Journal. Available here:
    http://www.beanblossom.in.us/larryy/Yaeger2009_HowEvolutionGuidesComplexity_HFSP.pdf

    From the abstract: “Using an evolutionary model—a computational ecosystem subjected to natural selection—we investigate evolutionary trends in an information-theoretic measure of the complexity of the neural dynamics of artificial agents inhabiting the model. Our results suggest that evolution always guides complexity change, just not in a single direction. We also demonstrate that neural complexity correlates well with behavioral adaptation but only when complexity increases are achieved through natural selection, as opposed to increases generated randomly or optimized via a genetic algorithm.”




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