Comment on “Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU by BobRyan.
Ken you seem to have a skewed view of the state of things in the Adventist Church.
This site is NOT promoting some new agenda for the SDA church and its teaching institutions. In fact when LSU wants to melt into the background and look “like every body else” in the SDA family of Universities.
Notice the “details”
Larry Becker’s view:
This is an excerpt from a handout being passed out at the LSU booth at the GC Session:
“Our biology curriculum offers a selection of classes with both breadth and depth. It should be pointed out that the theory of evolution is discussed, but not promoted, at La Sierra University.
We believe that God the Creator is the source of all life. Students examine our denomination’s voted fundamental belief regarding creation and understand the data used to support our faith in creation. We believe that by providing a complete curriculum grounded in biological principles, paralleled and supported by a strong general education curriculum, students will be able to graduate with an integrated knowledge of their discipline as well as a stronger faith and understanding of God as their Creator and Saviour.
The scientific data are presented just as they are at most other Seventh-day Adventist institutions, often with the same textbook. We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that students receive a complete and comprehensive education as warranted by their given program of study.
The evolution “is not promoted” idea above is the effort to make LSU look like they are presenting the same “birds come from reptiles” evolution-is-not-correct model as “most other Seventh-day Adventist institutions”.
Your suggestion is that Sean go start such a university for SDAs. But even LSU is admitting above that that kind of university IS what you have at our other teaching institutions and LSU appears to want you to think that this is exactly what they offer as well.
The August GC session that met in Altanta strongly affirmed this position for our denomination including its institutions – which includes its schools.
This is not the Sean and Shane are out on a limb – offshoot that you are suggesting.
BobRyan Also Commented
“Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU
Ken – thank you for your reply that helps in understanding your POV.
However as I point out – even LSU recognized the real position of the rest of our Universities when they argued that they are not promoting evolution and that this makes them like the rest of the SDA universities.
In that quote we saw LSU claim that they are not promoting evolution. And though this may not be true – it does reveal that they know what they are supposed to be doing if they want to be in the mainstream of existing SDA universities.
And here again they emphasize that point.
The scientific data are presented just as they are at most other Seventh-day Adventist institutions, often with the same textbook. .
So the context that even LSU recognizes is that our own universities are “not promoting evolution” and if LSU wants to be in the mainstream it has to make that claim as well.
So – no need for Sean to start an SDA university that “in reality” is not promoting evolution – because as even LSU seems to know – we have a lot of those.
But as you say – will the AAA accreditation group from our church scheduled to review LSU this week – decide that the school needs a change?
That is the real question. And if the AAA group does insist on a change – will inside-LSU-sources appeal to WASC to issue some kind of sanctions against LSU? (As if cutting of your nose to spite your face is “progress”?)
I really don’t know what will happen – we can only pray that God will make a way for what is termed the “worst form of infidelity” in 3SG 90-91 to cease being promoted at LSU as if it were the right answer for the doctrine on origins “in nature” for all genomes on earth today.
The SDA position is that the real event that occured “in nature” and produced all the genomes seen today – is the 7 day creation week less than 10,000 years ago.
We expect that to be seen in nature – just as we expect to look up in the sky and see “Two great lights” (Day 4 of creation week) a greater one (the sun) and a lesser one (the moond) — instead of looking up and seeing 3 suns or 2 moons and 1 sun. We expect nature to reflect the real events that created it. (As shocking as that may be to some evolutionists. 😉
“Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU
It “seems” to me that WASC is not threatening LSU with anything. It appears that LSU and WASC are in close cooperation on this specific point.
I urge that the analysis of this report be more careful and detailed. Much more has been said here than some people may realize.
Given the WASC language and perspective LSU has got a lot of explaining to do in the upcoming Nov 14 AAA meetings for accreditation.
1. It is irrefutably obvious that WASC came away from their LSU evaluation “believing” that LSU teaches evolutionism as science fact and WASC states explicitly that what LSU is teaching is in fact contrary to the beliefs of the Adventist church.
WASC’s point is to suggest that LSU be permitted to continue down that course without any hinerance from the SDA organization that owns and operates it along the lines of proven science contradicts faith and “this fine – just as it should be”.
2. In the past LSU sources (students and others) have come here claiming that the EducateTruth claims that LSU teaches evolutionism as science fact in contradiction to the SDA position on origins, the flood and the diversity of life around us — is false, mean and horribly wrong.
Well now WASC is claiming that very same thing for LSU’s support of evolutionism as science fact taking the opposing view as already stated in the context of the 2003 faith and sciences meeting. And “yet” not a peep from LSU of the form “Hey wait a minute WASC. You are now accusing us of doing the very same thing that EducateTruth accused us of doing! How mean spirited of you!”. How odd.
3. Let us say for the sake of argument that BOTH WASC and EducateTruth are dead wrong to dare to suppose that LSU preaches the “birds come from reptiles” doctrine on origins that the 2004 conferences on faith and sciences found to be so opposed to our doctrinal statements.
How odd that LSU says nothing to correct WASC!
How odd that WASC visited LSU and came away “believing” that LSU preaches a “birds come from reptiles” doctrine on origins in their biology science courses in direct opposition to SDA doctrines EVEN by WASC’s standards – as stated in their own report!!
If in fact LSU merely misrepresented themselves to the WASC on that point – then at the very least they would be in the error of Hezekiah who when the Babylonians came to him seeking to see just what made him “tick” such that the sun went backwards to mark his healing, Hezekiah fumbled by showing them his wealth and misleading them into thinking it was his own natural greatness that produced those results. When the outsider comes in and you have the chance to witness for God – but instead you lead them to “believe” you preach the atheist-centric “birds come from reptiles” doctrine on origins in direct opposition to your own denomination’s beliefs!!!
Is there no limit!??
4. On the other hand if LSU is doing the very thing that they represented themselves as doing when visited by WASC. Then they are doing nothing more or less than the very same thing EducateTruth has been claiming they are doing this entire time and it is in the very blatant and glaring oppposition to the SDA doctrinal statements as EVEN WASC admits that it is!!
And in that case – what was all that “noise” about – “This is mean spirited” when EducateTruth dared to “notice” what apparently WASC is documenting for all the world to see in their own report??!!
The bottom line is that the WASC is now formally (and perhaps unwittingly) confirming/certifying that LSU is doing the very thing that EducateTruth has documented in that they are taking the evolutionism-is-science fact position IN the context of those 2003 faith and sciences discussions. Thus it is authentic “birds come from reptiles” brand of evolutionism and not merely a watered down “some kind of mutation happens” form of evolution.
WASC’s concern is that LSU should not be hindered in any way regarding their evolutionism-at-all-costs mission because in the view of WASC that is good science. In the WASC report it is clear that evolutionary science should not be mixed with religion no matter what that religious point of view might be on the subject of origins and the genome diversity of life etc.
The AAA acreditation process would do well to pay close attention to what the WASC has stated to be the facts at LSU! And so should we all!
“Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU
The WASC report states that they will judge LSU on “expectations of CFR 1.6—Does the University operate with appropriate autonomy from the Church?”
Indeed that is a good question to be addressed. Just how far from our Church did we intend our Universities to opperate?
Battle Creek at one point took a position that they needed to opperate at a significant distance.
The WASC report clearly identifies the tension between the Adventist Church and LSU –
WASC report –
The Seventh Day Adventist Church has a historic and current belief in the six-day creation of the world –
and La Sierra University places high value on critical evaluation and science education.
There has been considerable tension between these two principles, and since the spring of 2009
There is more than a little truth to that statement.
The WASC report states – this conflict as the conflict between what LSU and WASC consider to be evoltion as “The scientific position” vs the “Basic Adventist Belief that the earth was created in six days:
As evidence on evolution has accumulated, there has been periodic conflict between those who support the scientific position and those who support the basic Adventist belief that the earth was created in six days.
This is the classic “science tells us evolution is true” when it comes to an explanation of origins and the diversity of life we see around us – but Adventist beliefs believe something else. The WASC report appears to suggest that LSU is teaching science (ie evolution) in their biology courses – but is free to teach religion (ie 7 day creation week) if they wish, in the LSU religion department. (It is unclear whether the LSU religion department is inclined to take WASC up on that offer or not).
Realities for Adventist Theology in the 21st Century
Furthermore, the available empirical evidence regarding Earth’s own biological history is recognized as more compatible with a long scenario of gradual development than with a short scenario of sudden, recent appearance of present life forms.34 The accumulating evidence has come from various sources—radiometric dating, genetics, comparative anatomy, geology, and paleontology—and it “has convinced virtually all working biologists” that a “framework of variation and natural selection is unquestionably correct.”35
However WASC appears to imply that the LSU religion department is free to teach a belief in a real 7 day creation week if they wish. But the document appears to say that the church should not insist that the biology department stray from the mantra “evolution provides the most likely explanations for the functioning of the natural world” in true and classic “birds come from reptiles” fashion when it comes to the subject of the origins of genomes.
And clearly WASC does not think LSU is straying from that mantra presently but appears worred that somebody might post an opinion on a website that would suggest that LSU stray a bit from the hardline evolutionist position. Or that at the very least by posting opinions on this website in the past some evolutionists at LSU felt some anxiety about continuing their “evolution provides the most likely explanations for the functioning of the natural world” agenda at LSU.
As I said before – this is all out of character with the early complaints on EducateTruth arguing that no such promotion of “evolution as the right answer for the doctrine on origins of complex genomes” even existed at LSU and how dare EducateTruth suggest otherwise.
The WASC document is clear in its message that LSU should be allowed to continue to promote evolutionism in its science classes and that it would interfere with Academic Freedom and the appropriate autonomy for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to suggest otherwise.
As Seventh-day Adventists we do not believe this church or its institutions is merely the work of man – but the work of God. He alone is the one who has the ability to set things right.
As Christians – our appeal is to Him alone.
Recent Comments by BobRyan
Mack Ramsy:: : but the one thing we know for certain is that it was designed to change. There are so many back up and redundancies designed to make whatever changes that DNA faces to be profitable for the organism, or if their deleterious to ensure they don’t damage the subsequent generation (yes there are very complex methods for doing this) The immune system in fact does it intentionally.
Obviously the references above to “designed” and “intention” could not be overlooked by the objective unbiased reader applying a bit of critical thinking to the topic. And so my response below merely states the obvious point of agreement on a part of that post.
No wonder the application of a bit of critical thinking just then – demands that we conclude from your remarks above – that you are an example of an evolutionist that is strongly in favor of Intelligent Design. I too favor I.D.
Obviously the references abov
I don’t believe in ID as it’s traditionally defined. I believe that God created a system designed to evolve.
Obviously the references abov
In your earlier statement you claimed that system was designed with “redundancy and backup” features. That is not something rocks, gas and water could ever do – hence the term “Intelligent Design”.
But perhaps you have access to more highly advanced rocks, gas and water?
Also you mention “intention” as if the immune system was deliberately designed with an end goal in view.
As it turns out – it is those “intention” and “Intelligent Design” aspects (so key to your response above) that are at the very heart of I.D. enabled science were we have the freedom to “follow the data where it leads” even if it leads to a conclusion in favor of design that does not fit atheist dogma about there “being no god”.
how odd then that you seem to later back pedal on your prior observation.
Thus you seem to be in somewhat of a self-conflicted position at the moment.
At least given the content of your statements about “intent” and “backup systems” and “redundancy” designed into the systems themselves (even to the point of “error correction” as we see in the case of nucleic polypeptide amino acid chains and their chiral orientation).
Of course all that just gets us back here
Mack Ramsy: My language in this forum is not formal. Try not to get caught up in semantic issues.
Out of curiosity is that statement supposed to provide a solution to just how it is that something “not designed” is able to exhibit unique design characteristics such as “back up systems” – “redundancy” – error correcting mechanism and an “immune system with intention” regarding a specific outcome or goal?
No doubt the study of biology most definitely shows us that such things are present “in nature” based on “observations in nature” – and so you are right to state it as you did.
So if you are then going to double back and reject what you just affirmed – what do you have by way of “explanation” for such a self-conflicted course?
Reaching for a solution of the form – “Pay no attention to my actual words if they do not serve to deny I.D.” does not provide as satisfactory resolution to the problem as you may have at first supposed.
Erv Taylor is not “afraid” to post here – but he is “Afraid” to have well thought out views posted on AToday that do not flatter his agenda.
That was not news right?
John J.: The fact remains, any decision direction or policy made by a church, conference, union or GCEC can be reversed or changed by those they serve.
Agreed and the fact that the constituency are not voting to reverse it – is a sign that this is not merely the views of the Administration in Michigan.
As for hierarchy – there is no doctrinal authority in the administrators.
And as for administrative hierarchy – the GC leadership has no authority to dismiss rogue teachers which is one of the reasons that this particular meltdown at LSU seems to go on and on and on. It slows at times and it speeds up at other times – but the fire is not simply put out.
ken:: Let’s continue shall we. You posit that Adam and Eve were producing telomerase as adults as a result of eating fruit from the tree of life. Would you agree that the production of adult telomerase was a direct result of the environment or did the gene(s) affecting production of the a enzyme as adults mutate in their progeny?
1. I never stated whether the fruit from the Tree of Life provided the telemerase enzyme or simply provided a trigger enzyme/protein that caused Adam and Eve to produce Telemerase. Either way the end result was the same.
2. The salient point is that we have a known mechanism that affects the aging of cells starting with new borns.
This is simply “observation in nature” given in response to your question about an observed mechanism in humans for the 900 year life span the Bible mentions.
It is hard to “do the study” without having them under observation.
1. But it is not hard to see the gradual decline in ages over time.
2. It is not hard to see the Bible declare that access to the Tree of Life was the determining factor.
3. It is not hard to see that even in humans today – the ability remains for us to produce telemerase – but we quickly lose that ability.
4. It is not hard to see what effect that has on the telomeres of infants.
The list of knowns for this mechanism are far more impressive than the “I imagine a mechanism whereby static genomes acquire new coding genes not already present and functioning in nature and that this happens for billions of years”.
Ken: Hi BobWe are making good progress!Thanks for your admitting thaf we do not have Adam and Eve or their progeny under observation to do the study.
Let’s look at the empirical results of your observation. There is no physical evidence that the progeny or descendants lived to 900 years, right? Thus there is no physical evidence that the tree of life provided longevity through the increased production or activation of telermerase right?
There is evidence that a mechanism does exist whereby access to an enzyme would in fact affect the aging process of human cells.
That mechanism is observed in nature to be related to the enzyme Telemerase.
There is a ton of evidence that food contains enzymes and proteins and that the human body can produce enzymes in response to the presence of trigger proteins and enzymes.
It is irrefutably true that humans still today produce telemerase in the case of infants just before birth. Impossible to deny it – though you seem to want to go down that dead end road.
You asked about the “mechanism” that can be observed today that would account for long ages of life recorded in the Bible.
You now seem to be pulling the classic “bait and switch” asking for the video of the people living for long ages before the flood.
Nice try —
As I said before – your method is along the lines of grasping at straws in a true “any ol’ exuse will do” fashion.
SDA Darwinians compromise key church doctrines
Rev 21 does not say the planet has no light – it says the City has no NEED of light from the Sun.
The inconvenient deatils point to the fact that the New Earth will have a Sun and Moon but the New Jerusalem will have eternal day due to the light of God’s presence.
This is not the hard part.