Sean Pitman wrote No one is really this naive… probably… The …

Comment on Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’ by Professor Kent.

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.

Professor Kent Also Commented

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
As you know, Kris, I am totally open toward and sympathetic of a short-term chronology. Perhaps the ocean and the most or all of the seamounts existed before the flood; the Bible certainly is silent on this possibility.

As scientists, you and I can remain open-minded on this. Neither of us requires an explanation, so we are not inclined to invent a highly detailed scenario of what happened when and where in relation to the flood. But I’m really curious to know how someone as dogmatic as Sean would interpret it. It’d be cool if he was right.

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
Krissmith wrote this very provocative tidbit:

The remains of underwater island chains which were formed by “hot spot” volcanos are inconsistent with “catastrophic” plate tectonics. The Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain itself indicates long, gradual plate tectonics. The chain originates a bit south of the Bering Strait, and continues before taking an “L” shape to continue to where the Hawaiian Islands are now. They were all formed by the same “Hot Spot” volcanoe as the plates traveled on over it. If this had happened within the space of a year, then that means that the plate was moving at a rate of 750 centimeters a minute!!!! That is the same as 25 feet a minute! With that in mind, the hot spot would never have had the time to create the ungerground mounds…even if it could have left a trail, it would not be what we see today. (A while ago, when I was considering and was opened to the idea of “Flood Geology,” I tried to harmonize this particular fact with a year flood…I couldn’t.)

These observations are very interesting. There is no doubt regarding the volcanic origin of the seamounts, which for Hawaii rise at least 15,000 feet above the seafloor to reach the ocean surface and another 13,000+ feet above sea level.

I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that Dr. Pitman chose to ignore this problem. According to Pitman, plate tectonics moved very rapidly during the flood and then slowed down, which creates the dilemma Kris has spoken to. The massive ocean basin and its seamounts could not have existed prior to the flood, but how could they possibly have formed in such little time during the flood itself–or during the following year? I’m certain this issue will be dismissed summarily, but I will take interest in the explanation–particularly if accompanied by predictable hypotheses supported by modern data.

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

What a TOTAL SHOCKER that not one EducateTruther is willing to come forward and declare their belief in the superiority of Scripture over Science. Not Sean Pitman, not Bob Ryan, not Inge Anderson, not Oink, not Phil Mills.

To which Bob Ryan wrote

Every time I check back on this thread Kent is trying out some new “Flat earther” model trying to argue that EducateTruth people need to be “Flat earth creationists” ignoring science because of course in Kent’s mind science is opposed to the Bible. I think Dawkins will clearly join him in that crusade – but what Christian would do it??

How bizarre that I argue for the superiority of the Bible, and Bob, rather than joining me, says that Richard Dawkins–of all people, being one of the most antagonistic toward the Bible–is on my side! WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE THAT CLAIM TO DEFEND SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM?

Recent Comments by Professor Kent

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes

Sean Pitman: Science isn’t about “cold hard facts.” Science is about interpreting the “facts” as best as one can given limited background experiences and information. Such interpretations can be wrong and when shown to be wrong, the honest will in fact change to follow where the “weight of evidence” seems to be leading.

Much of science is based on highly technical data that few other than those who generate it can understand. For most questions, science yields data insufficient to support a single interpretation. And much of science leads to contradictory interpretations. Honest individuals will admit that they have a limited understanding of the science, and base their opinions on an extremely limited subset of information which they happen to find compelling whether or not the overall body of science backs it up.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes

Sean Pitman: The process of detecting artefacts as true artefacts is a real science based on prior experience, experimentation, and testing with the potential of future falsification. Oh, and I do happen to own a bona fide polished granite cube.

Not from Mars. Finding the cube on Mars is the basis of your cubical caricature of science, not some artefact under your roof.

Sean Pitman:
Professor Kent: If you think my brother-in-law who loves to fish in the Sea of Cortez is a scientist because he is trying to catch a wee little fish in a big vast sea, then I guess I need to view fishermen in a different light. I thought they were hobbyists.

The question is not if one will catch a fish, but if one will recognize a fish as a fish if one ever did catch a fish. That’s the scientific question here. And, yet again, the clear answer to this question is – Yes.

I think I’m going to spend the afternoon with my favorite scientist–my 8-year-old nephew. We’re going to go fishing at Lake Elsinore. He wants to know if we might catch a shark there. Brilliant scientist, that lad. He already grasps the importance of potentially falsifiable empirical evidence. I’m doubtful we’ll catch a fish, but I think he’ll recognize a fish if we do catch one.

While fishing, we’ll be scanning the skies to catch a glimpse of archaeopteryx flying by. He believes they might exist, and why not? Like the SETI scientist, he’s doing science to find the elusive evidence.

He scratched himself with a fish hook the other day and asked whether he was going to bleed. A few moments later, some blood emerged from the scratched. Talk about potentilly falsifiable data derived from a brilliant experiment. I’m telling you, the kid’s a brilliant scientist.

What’s really cool about science is that he doesn’t have to publish his observations (or lack thereof) to be doing very meaningful science. He doesn’t even need formal training or a brilliant mind. Did I mention he’s the only autistic scientist I’ve ever met?

As most everyone here knows, I have a poor understanding of science. But I’m pretty sure this nephew of mine will never lecture me or Pauluc on what constitutes science. He’s the most humble, polite, and soft-spoken scientist I’ve ever met.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes

Sean Pitman: I don’t think you understand the science or rational arguments behind the detection of an artefact as a true artefact. In fact, I don’t think you understand the basis of science in general.

I’m amused by this response. I don’t think you understand the limits of a philosophical argument based on a hypothetical situation, which is all that your convoluted cube story comprises, and nothing more. Whether the artefact is an artefact is immaterial to an argument that is philosophical and does not even consider an actual, bona fide artefact.

Sean Pitman: You argue that such conclusions aren’t “scientific”. If true, you’ve just removed forensic science, anthropology, history in general, and even SETI science from the realm of true fields of scientific study and investigation.

Forensic science, anthropology, and history in general all assume that humans exist and are responsible for the phenomenon examined. Authorities in these disciplines can devise hypotheses to explain the phenomenon they observe and can test them.

SETI assumes there might be non-human life elsewhere in the universe and is nothing more than an expensive fishing expedition. If you think my brother-in-law who loves to fish in the Sea of Cortez is a scientist because he is trying to catch a wee little fish in a big vast sea, then I guess I need to view fishermen in a different light. I thought they were hobbyists.

The search for a granite cube on Mars is nothing more than an exercise in hypotheticals. Call it science if you insist; I don’t see how it is different than a child waiting breathlessly all night beside the fireplace hoping to find Santa coming down the chimney.

I guess the number of science colleagues I acknowledge needs to grow exponentially. I apologize to those I have failed to recognize before as scientists.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes

Sean Pitman: The observation alone, of the granite cube on an alien planet, informs us that the creator of the cube was intelligent on at least the human level of intelligence – that’s it. You are correct that this observation, alone, would not inform us as to the identity or anything else about the creator beyond the fact that the creator of this particular granite cube was intelligent and deliberate in the creation of the cube.

Your frank admission concedes that the creator of the cube could itself be an evolved being, and therefore you’re back to square one. Thus, your hypothetical argument offers no support for either evolutionism or creationism, and cannot distinguish between them.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
I have taken much abuse by pointing out the simple fact that SDAs have specific interpretations of origins that originate from scripture and cannot be supported by science (if science is “potentially falsifiable empirical evidence”). The beliefs include:

o fiat creation by voice command from a supernatural being
o all major life forms created in a 6-day period
o original creation of major life forms approximately 6,000 years ago

None of these can be falsified by experimental evidence, and therefore are accepted on faith.

Sean Pitman’s responses to this are predictably all over the place. They include:

[This] is a request for absolute demonstration. That’s not what science does.” [totally agreed; science can’t examine these beliefs]

The Biblical account of origins can in fact be supported by strong empirical evidence.” [not any of these three major interpretations of Genesis 1]

Does real science require leaps of faith? Absolutely!

I think it’s fair to say from Pitman’s perspective that faith derived from science is laudable, whereas faith derived from scripture–God’s word–is useless.

Don’t fret, Dr. Pitman. I won’t lure you into further pointless discussion. While I am greatly amused by all of this nonsense and deliberation (hardly angry, as you often suggest) for a small handful of largely disinterested readers, I am finished. I won’t be responding to any further remarks or questions.