On the topic of debating the issues, it seems to …

Comment on Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’ by Ervin Taylor.

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.

Ervin Taylor Also Commented

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

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.

Recent Comments by Ervin Taylor

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
I just noticed Sean’s comment some time ago that “John’s “Revelation” has very little to do with the Roman Empire.”

Perhaps Sean was just trying to be funny or something. If he was serious, then I guess I will have to revise my assumption about his knowledge of the Bible. That was the entire context of the Book of Revelation. But I guess someone who rejects evolution must also have some problems with history.

La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist
LSU should be congratulated for standing-up against the reactionary forces who wants to turn it into a Bible College. May LSU live long and prosper — as it is doing now with enrollments continuing to increase and new buildings going up.

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
It would appear that Dr. Pitman aspires to be the modern Adventist version of Girolamo Aleandro.

For those a little hazy about the history of the Reformation, Girolamo was the individual appointed as papal nuncio by the Pope to be the theological point person opposing Martin Luther and his theology at the Diet of Worms. (The Diet of Worms was an assembly of churchmen and political elites of the Holy Roman Empire in Germany which met in 1521, not a list of things to eat to reduce your weight. And Worms was not an item on the menu, it was a town).

Girolamo argued that Luther had no right to challenge the church’s theology. That theology had been settled for hundreds of years and had been agreed upon by scores of theologians. It was the truth.

Girolamo wrote the denunciations of Luther that were embodied in the Edict of Worms which declared Luther to be a heretic.

After attending the Diet of Worms, Girolamo went to Brussels and was instrumental at having two monks who had adhered to the teachings of Luther burned at the stake.

Sean, like Girolamo, appears to view his role is to root our heresy where ever he finds it in the Adventist Church.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Sean,
unlike Girolamo, has no power to carry out what he would to see happened to those he denounces as Adventist heretics.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
I’m sure that the vast majority of scientifically-informed Adventists will thank Dr.Kent for his every effective and rational approaches to the views expressed by Dr. Pitman and others on this misnamed web site. There is little that needs to be added. Dr. Kent has done a masterful job of exposing the misunderstandings of scientific data dealing with geology and evolutionary biology that has been offered by Dr. Pitman on this and his own web site.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
I see that Professor Kent has been casting pearls of logic and reasonableness before certain types of individuals on the educate truth (sic) web site again. I share with him my amazement at the new insights about inspiration revealed here.