Comment on Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’ by 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?
Sean Pitman Also Commented
One of these frequent posters claims to be a Young Earth Creationists, but believes in creation based on what he refers to as â€œfaith.â€ 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, â€œFaith is what you believe that you know ainâ€™t so.â€
This is not Biblical faith. Neither is it the faith of the Adventist pioneers. It certainly doesnâ€™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 â€œfaithâ€ on this site. Why wouldnâ€™t they agree with it. It doesnâ€™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…
Of course itâ€™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 Bibleâ€“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 â€œempirical evidenceâ€ 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?
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. â€” The rates vary greatly depending on the conditionsâ€¦ Your argument pre-supposes that the rate has not changed, and you have not demonstrated that it has. â€” And frankly, it doesnâ€™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.
â€” David E. Thomas says it much better than I ever could:
â€¦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 â€œcrudeâ€ dating method. Looks more related to â€œrelative dating,â€ not â€œabsolute dating.â€
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 yearsâ€¦ – Sean Pitman
And the paper I linked a while ago using the current rate gave the figure of 100 million years: (â€œAt a rate of 0.5 cm (.2 in)/1000 years, it takes only 100 million years to accumulate 500 m (1600 ft) of sediment,â€)
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…
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
After the Flood
Thank you Ariel. Hope you are doing well these days. Miss seeing you down at Loma Linda. Hope you had a Great Thanksgiving!
Thank you Colin. Just trying to save lives any way I can. Not everything that the government does or leaders do is “evil” BTW…
Only someone who knows the future can make such decisions without being a monster…
Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage?
Where did I “gloss over it”?
Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
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.
Yet, you say, “Who cares if it is written into law”? You should care. Everyone should care. It’s a very important law in this country. The idea that the organized church could have changed vaccine mandates simply isn’t true – particularly given the nature of certain types of jobs dealing with the most vulnerable in society (such as health care workers for example).
Beyond this, the GC Leadership did, in fact, write in support of personal religious convictions on this topic – and there are GC lawyers who have and continue to write personal letters in support of personal religious convictions (even if these personal convictions are at odds with the position of the church on a given topic). Just because the GC leadership also supports the advances of modern medicine doesn’t mean that the GC leadership cannot support individual convictions at the same time. Both are possible. This is not an inconsistency.