@Professor Kent: So here we have two versions of an …

Comment on Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’ by Sean Pitman.

@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If they can get this kind of concession, they know they’ve won the war for the minds of the next generation; and that “outdated” Church doctrines, like the SDA position on origins, will eventually collapse into irrelevance…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

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
@Phil Mills:

One of these frequent posters claims to be a Young Earth Creationists, but believes in creation based on what he refers to as “faith.” One could get the idea that he fears that anything scientifically shown to support creation is actually bad since it would then somehow require less faith to believe. His faith, however, is more akin to the Catholic student who is reported to have said, “Faith is what you believe that you know ain’t so.”

This is not Biblical faith. Neither is it the faith of the Adventist pioneers. It certainly doesn’t build faith, it actually destroys genuine faith. This pseudofaith more closely resembles a mere superstitious belief. It is no surprise that agnostics, evolutionists, and other doubters have such an affinity for those who possess this kind of “faith” on this site. Why wouldn’t they agree with it. It doesn’t threaten them in any way. It bolsters their ranks. It confirms their unbelief since they already believe faith is unreasonable.

I couldn’t have said it better myself…

Sean Pitman

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
@Professor Kent:

Of course it’s a good thing; I never said it was bad. The problem is when you and Pitman maintain that empirical evidence from nature is essential to validate the Bible–and that is heresy and blasphemy.

You yourself made this “blasphemous” claim when you listed off several empirical evidences, like fulfilled prophecy (based on empirical investigation of real history), as reasons why you believe the Bible to be superior to other books claiming to be the true Word of God.

Here is what you wrote:

In short, there is ample evidence to support the Bible and Christianity, including fulfilled prophecy, the lives and testimony of the apostles, archeology, the impact of the Bible on personal lives, and so forth. All of this is “empirical evidence” that goes beyond what is needed to establish the validity of scripture. The other religions are confronted with serious shortcomings on these issues, in my opinion… – Professor Kent

Now, if the Holy Spirit is enough, as the Latter-day Saints believe, to lead you into all truth without having to use your brain, why did you appeal to these empirical evidences to support your belief or faith in the superior credibility of the Bible vs. other competing options held in higher regard by other faiths? Why didn’t you just appeal to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking directly to you as evidence enough?

So, the argument here isn’t really over the need for an empirical basis for one’s faith in the Bible before it can be considered rational. You yourself appeal to such. You admit to the need for an empirical argument as the basis for choosing the Bible over other competing options. You’ve made this argument several times now. Therefore, the real argument here is in regard to your notion that the empirical basis, or “weight of empirical evidence” for faith never changes or needs to be re-examined in any way over time – despite the discovery of new evidence and information?

Sean Pitman

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

You missed my overall point. The first sentence I quoted from it was: The rates at which sediments accumulate vary enormously, owing to the natural variability of the processes that produce and transport sediments. — The rates vary greatly depending on the conditions… Your argument pre-supposes that the rate has not changed, and you have not demonstrated that it has. — And frankly, it doesn’t have to be.

You misunderstand the “rate” that the author is talking about here. This rate is not the overall rate of ocean sedimentation which is in fact fairly constant at ~30 billion tons per year. I’ve already tried to explain this to you, but the variability your reference is talking about is the local variability that is indeed due to many factors of sediment transport within the oceans themselves. This local variability does not affect the overall sediment load that is consistently delivered to the oceans.

— David E. Thomas says it much better than I ever could:

…much sediment never gets to the ocean floor, but is trapped instead on continental slopes and shelves, or in huge river deltas. Over the years, some of these continental slopes can accumulate several kilometers of sediment, while others can even become part of mountain ranges in continental plate-to-plate collisions. Neither erosion nor subduction are expected to be constant processes over millions of years, and they are simply not good clocks.

Indeed, and my calculations take into account all the sediment currently in the oceans, to include the sediment on continental slopes and shelves and river deltas. The total amount of sediment, taking all of these factors into account, is only 10^17 tons. That tonnage can be explained in just 15 million years. That’s a huge problem for mainstream theories of plate tectonics and the proposed age of ocean basins. Your arguments about the variability of sedimentation for different parts of the ocean floor are completely irrelevant to explaining the total tonnage that is currently in the oceans regardless of its location.

I heard one geologist call it a “crude” dating method. Looks more related to “relative dating,” not “absolute dating.”

Again, you’re looking at local rates of accumulation over time, not the overall rate of accumulation over time. You’re confusing two separate concepts here. They aren’t the same thing.

Again, that is completely irrelevant to the point that the total amount of sediment, the total tonnage that is current in the oceans, irrespective of its location within the ocean basins, can be explained given just 15 million years… – Sean Pitman

And the paper I linked a while ago using the current rate gave the figure of 100 million years: (“At a rate of 0.5 cm (.2 in)/1000 years, it takes only 100 million years to accumulate 500 m (1600 ft) of sediment,”)

Indeed – the local rate of sediment accumulation on some areas of the ocean floor may indeed be this slow. Again, however, this is completely irrelevant to the fact that the total sediment contained by all the oceans in the whole world, to include the sediment that is on or close to the continent shelves, is far far too low for them to be nearly as old as mainstream scientists propose…

Sean Pitman

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I fail to see where you have convincingly supported your claim that the GC leadership contributed to the harm of anyone’s personal religious liberties? – given that the GC leadership does not and could not override personal religious liberties in this country, nor substantively change the outcome of those who lost their jobs over various vaccine mandates. That’s just not how it works here in this country. Religious liberties are personally derived. Again, they simply are not based on a corporate or church position, but rely solely upon individual convictions – regardless of what the church may or may not say or do.

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