@Professor Kent: Note that there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING, in …

Comment on “Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU by Sean Pitman.

@Professor Kent:

Note that there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING, in the WASC guidelines that prohibits the teaching of SDA beliefs. And the endorsement of LSU by WASC says nothing, absolutely NOTHING, about whether LSU teaches or does not teach LSU beliefs.

WASC’s emphasis on the academic freedom of professors comes at the expense of the freedom of the institution to remove professors from employment who are no longer representative of the Church’s clearly stated goals and ideals. WASC cites a need for the school to have “appropriate autonomy” or distance from the SDA Church – even though it is the Church that built, owns and operates the school. Where does WASC recognize the responsibility of professors toward their employer? the Church in this case?

This hiding behind the notion of “academic freedom” in order to continue to openly deride and undermine the Church’s most fundamental doctrinal positions in the classroom is sheer nonsense. After all, Catholic schools have recently fired teachers for undermining Catholic doctrine outside of the classroom (and a math teacher no less – see Link). Yet, no accrediting agency threatened the Catholic Church with loss of accreditation of its schools over such infringements of “academic freedom”? Why not?

To quote the reason for the Catholic school’s dismissal of this math teacher:

“When students in a Catholic school are running around the school with this survey and it says, ‘Do you believe in God?’ and it says, ‘No,’ well, that’s in conflict with what we are teaching.”

WASC would have a cow if LSU required its professors to answer “Yes” to questions regarding fundamental SDA beliefs on origins – like, “Do you believe in a literal 6-day creation week where God created all living things on this planet?” Or, “Do you believe in a literal worldwide Noachian Flood that destroyed all land animal life on this planet and formed much of the geologic column and fossil record?”

WASC is in fact threatening LSU, and essentially all of our schools in the western US, with loss of accreditation if the SDA Church insists that teachers actually support the Church’s doctrinal positions in their classrooms – to include their science classrooms. That’s a problem for the Church… a big problem…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

“Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU
What is interesting to me is WASC’s threat against one of our schools with the use of “academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and the role of the governing board”… independent of the Church’s entire purpose for creating a school in the first place. The Church isn’t asking that theories of evolution be removed from the curriculum of its schools. That’s not remotely true. The Church is arguing that these Darwinian and other mainstream evolutionary theories should be explained in great detail; but that our own professors should be able to go beyond the mere teaching of these theories to explain to their students how and why these theories are actually untenable given the overall weight of evidence in favor of the SDA perspective on origins – evidence which should also be presented in our schools in the most eloquent and attractive manner possible.

Yet, WASC goes on with its threat against our Church Schools with the following statement:

Realizing that this is a challenging denominational matter, the Commission is deeply concerned with this external threat to La Sierra’s institutional autonomy and to academic freedom. In your communications with the Commission, both in writing prior to meeting and at the Commission meeting, you expressed the commitment of the board and the president to resist efforts that would compromise academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

What? Is the Church supposed to support the “freedom” of a teacher to undermine the very purpose of the Church school to begin with? – the very reason why the SDA Church built it and supports it? Turning the tables around, “academic freedom” has not protected those who would think to question mainstream evolutionary thinking within public universities or institutions.

Just look at what happened to Dr. Richard Sternberg, the editor of the peer-reviewed mainstream scientific journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington when it published Stephen Meyer’s paper, “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories” which questioned mainstream evolutionary thinking. Sternberg’s “academic freedom” did not prevent him from loosing his academic rank and his job at the Smithsonian Institute.

http://www.educatetruth.com/featured/angry-scientists-publishing-on-intelligent-design/

What WASC is trying to do is to uphold a state-sponsored religious philosophy of science at the expense of opposing views being presented against the prevailing view. This is not what SDA education should be about. The Church should strongly resist the implications of this WASC review or end up loosing all benefit to the Church’s goals and ideals from owning and operating its own schools of higher learning…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?
I know that various European countries, including the Netherlands, Denmark, and Spain, have reported outbreaks of COVID-19 in mink pelt farms – leading to the culling of more than a million animals. From laboratory experiments, it’s also clear that ferrets (a relative of the mink) are also readily infected with the “novel coronavirus”. Aside from this, however, I’m not aware of any “issues” with animal experiments regarding COVID-19 in particular. However, in 2008 there was an interesting experiment involving ferrets that were given the flu vaccine against the H1N1 virus – who then became sicker once exposed to the live virus as compared to those ferrets that weren’t vaccinated. The reason for the effect was unclear, and Skowronski, the lead author, urged other research groups to take up the question.

“Skowronski likened the mechanism to what happens with dengue viruses. People who have been infected with one subtype of dengue don’t develop immunity to the other three. In fact, they are more at risk of developing a life-threatening form of dengue if they are infected with one of the other strains.”

Skowronski called the second theory the infection block hypothesis. Having a bout of the flu gives the infected person antibodies that may be able, for a time, to fend off other strains; flu shots only protect against the strains they contain. So under this theory, people who didn’t have flu in 2008 because they got a flu shot may have been less well armed against the pandemic virus.”

While interesting, such an effect has not been identified in the animal or human trials for the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. Also, subsequently updated flu vaccines to the H1N1 strain haven’t had this problem either (Link).


“For such a time as this”
Again, while a good diet and great health are important, this just isn’t enough to effectively prevent disease during a viral pandemic. As I’ve already explained, this is why Ellen White took the smallpox vaccine herself and advised the others who were with her to do the same. Such vaccines are, in fact, part of the most effective ways of “keeping well” rather than “curing disease” after the fact…


Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?
Regarding the recent situation where 23 nursing home patients died in Norway following vaccination the mRNA vaccines of Pfizer and/or Moderna (given to 30,000 people so far), these patients were all over the age of 80, were very frail. It is also somewhat difficult to determine a link in this particular population between the vaccine and any other potential cause of death – since around 400 nursing home patients die in Norway every week. However, at this point, it is not ruled out that adverse reactions occurring within the first days following vaccination (such as fever and nausea) may contribute to a more serious course and fatal outcome in patients with severe underlying disease and general frailty.

Steinar Madsen, medical director with the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said: “We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients.” (Link)

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said concluded that “for very frail patients and terminally ill patients, a careful balance of benefit versus disadvantage of vaccination is recommended.” (Link)

Consider this also in the light that more than 30% of nursing home residents are likely to die if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs. So, weighing the risks and benefits of taking the vaccine vs. being exposed to a potential COVID-19 outbreak seems to weigh heavily in favor of taking the vaccine – with the exception, perhaps, of those who are already very frail.


“For such a time as this”
It’s a serious mistake to compare the advances of modern medicine to the prophecies of Ellen White regarding the activity of Satan during the Last Days – where Satan appears as a powerful angel of light, even taking on the form, appearance, and attitude of Christ (making fire come down from the sky and healing the sick and speaking words of grace and comfort in order to deceive the world). Are you really suggesting that the modern mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are actually part of these final “benevolent” works of Satan? How is this anything but extremist nonsense? – a rejection of a gift of God to help humanity by claiming that it is actually the work of Satan himself? This sort of thing reminds me of this passage in Matthew:

But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” (Matthew 12:24)

You do realize, after all, that Ellen White took the smallpox vaccine herself during an outbreak? as did her son William White? and that she recommended that all of the others who were with her at the time take the vaccine as well? (Link) Contrary to some claims that I’ve heard regarding her actions here, it wasn’t that the vaccines in her day were less risky or more “pure” than they are today. They were actually riskier compared to modern vaccines, but still far far less risky compared to getting the actual infection itself. That’s why she took the vaccine. She also recommended that missionaries in areas infested with malaria take quinine – that we should, “do the best we can” in such situations (Link). When medications are beneficial and are appropriate, they may be used. When surgery is called for, it should be performed. In 1905 Ellen White wrote:

“Those who seek healing by prayer should not neglect to make use of the remedial agencies within their reach. It is not a denial of faith to use such remedies as God has provided to alleviate pain and to aid nature in her work of restoration…. God has put it in our power to obtain a knowledge of the laws of life. This knowledge has been placed within our reach for use. We should employ every facility for the restoration of health, taking every advantage possible, working in harmony with natural laws… It is our privilege to use every God-appointed means in correspondence with our faith, and then trust in God,… If there is need of a surgical operation, and the physician is willing to undertake the case, it is not a denial of faith to have the operation performed… Before major surgery, the entire body is saturated with a powerful and, in a sense, harmful drug [the anesthetic], to the point of complete unconsciousness and to complete insensibility. By the same token, after surgical procedures, the physician may find it necessary to administer medications that almost certainly include drugs to give relief and prevent the patient from lapsing, from sheer pain, into a state of surgical shock and, in some instances, possible death.” (Link)

Ellen White also recognized that blood transfusions could save lives. She herself had radiation therapy — X-ray treatments at Loma Linda for a skin problem. In short, she was not opposed to reasonable advances of modern medicine, accepting them as gifts of God, not sinister plots of Satan. We should remember her example in this regard and no turn away from the gifts of God that He has granted us through the advances of modern medicine.


Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?

As promised, I took a look at Sangers Sequencing and I found a 43 page PDF from the FDA who is complicit in the scam–it’s simply the entirety of the PCR test they all are using…

You don’t know the first thing about PCR or genetic sequencing. Did you even watch the video about Sanger Sequencing that I recommended?

Why would I need to study science for years to be able to break down all of these 43 pages of information, and critically analyze it?

Because, you don’t know the first thing about these scientific tests, not even the basics. Yet you feel yourself free to make claims about them that are absolutely false. You even claim that you’re guided by the Holy Spirit when you make these false claims – which is a very dangerous thing to do. You’re treading on holy ground with your presumptuous claims.

John_16:13 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

This doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit gives you knowledge about things that you are unwilling to seriously study or investigate or that He will guide you when you are unwilling and too arrogant to change when errors are revealed to you. You’re simply wrong with your understanding of PCR and how it is used. You don’t understand the first thing about genetic sequencing, and you’re even wrong about Mrs. White and her own use and recommendation of vaccines for others. Almost nothing you’ve said is true. Yet, you claim to be guided directly by God in this nonsense of yours? Please…

There’s simply no point in discussing these things further with you. It’s just no longer useful to me.