Comment on Why Orthodox Darwinism Demands Atheism by Sean Pitman.
I was a speaker at the Yes, Creation series at the GC (and manned the Geoscience Booth a few days), and have known Ben Clausen (casually) over the years. I think Ben has been affected by various creationist statements over the years that are weak scientifically, in his mind. He is rather rigorous in this, even combative on the idea that Genesis can be supported with a scientific model. I think he does believe Genesis, wishing to place it in a separate mental box, so to speak. Not science, but more personal faith. This is a common practice among some.
This is also my understanding of Clausen’s position. The problem I see with such a position is that it makes the SDA position on origins appear to have no more scientific or even rational validity than those who subscribe to the flat-Earth society. The notion that the SDA position on origins is only a matter of personal faith, despite all evidence to the contrary, is simply not a helpful position in my opinion. One might as well leave the SDA Church given this perspective. I certainly would if I thought the same way.
As for me, I prefer stating the obvious weaknesses scientifically of the evolutionary model for origins. They are numerous, easy to explain. And the idea that design is clear should also be easy. Good science is an ally here. But to go so far as to say we can build a â€œscientific modelâ€ for a six-day creationâ€¦well, Ben is correct on that. We canâ€™t! And here we do enter into the neighborhood of the brain called â€œreligious faith.â€ And FYI, that puts it next door to â€œscientific faith.â€
We might not be able to build a scientific model to specifically support a literal 6-day creation week, but we can build one to support a recent arrival of life on this planet as well as a recent and sudden catastrophic model to explain much of the geologic column and fossil record. While not all questions can be answered, of course, the weight of evidence in this regard appears to me to be overwhelmingly on the side of the Genesis account of origins. This adds weight to those aspects of the Genesis account that cannot be directly tested or evaluated in a scientific manner.
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Mark Houston was right in pointing out that the amazing camel is exceptionally well designed for life AFTER the flood, and not before it.
I actually agree with this point…
Clausen sees the Sabbath as symbolizing what Anselm said about â€œfaith seeking understanding.â€ In conclusion he urged us to place our faith in the Bible because there is not enough support from science.
I disagree with Ben Clausen. The clear weight of evidence, as far as I’ve been able to tell, is strongly supportive of the SDA position on origins. The genetic, geologic, and fossil evidence all speak to a recent formation of life on this planet and to a sudden worldwide watery catastrophe that produced much of both the geologic and fossil records in very short order.
Because of this weight of evidence, I think that Ben Clausen has done and is doing the Church a disservice in his employment with GRI. GRI isn’t supposed to be a place where one argues that the only thing we have is blind faith in the biblical statements. GRI is supposed to be a place where scientific evidence is used to back up the biblical statements. If Ben cannot recognize this evidence, then he should be asked to move on and get his paycheck from some organization that is more in line with his personal views and blind faith.
Ronny Nalin, who does sedimentological research in Italy, chose to address a similar theme: â€œDealing with Uncertainty.â€ He answered four key questions:
1. Have I found the synthesis between the Bible and geology? No, just more unresolved issues.
2. Should we downplay geology? No, the rocks have a story to tell.
3. Should we give up our faith when there is conflict? No, faith is not based on empirical evidence (Hebrews 11:1, 2 Corinthians 5:7).
4. Why is there a conflict? Incomplete understanding is part of the human condition; our God is bigger than we are. The answer lies in knowledge we do not see. Jacobâ€™s struggle and conflict is a good illustration. Genesis 32:31 (NIV) says: â€œThe sun rose above himâ€ even though he was limping. It was a sign of symbolic life after struggle.
Such arguments are like saying, “Well, there is overwhelming evidence that the Earth is spherical, but because our sacred text tells us that the Earth is flat, we believe that the Earth is flat in spite of all the overwhelming evidence that is against us.”
To suggest, therefore, that faith is not based on empirical evidence of any kind is to suggest that the Christian gospel is no more reasonable than believing in a flat Earth or Dawkins’ Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Santa Claus or garden fairies. This notion is completely ridiculous in my opinion – not at all helpful as a solid rational basis for actually believing in the reality of the Gospel’s message of hope.
If I actually believed like this, I’d have the intellectual honesty to leave the SDA Church and even Christianity behind and to admit that the Bible is really not any more reliable or useful than a collection of moral fables…
In response to the question, â€œPlease explain dating,â€ he said, â€œRadiometric dating is our only method; there is no alternative.â€ The follow up question was â€œThen explain six literal days.â€ His response, â€I feel comfortable because I have a larger world view though it cannot be reconciled with science. There is no shame in having problems.â€ Another question: â€œIs there room for believers who think differently in the church?â€ Response: â€œYes, how would you deal with someone who had a mythical experience? No, forget the word â€˜mythicalâ€™! The main point to realize is that you canâ€™t use Genesis to form a scientific model. If youâ€™re an advocate for other views, be humble, accept the fact that you may not have followers.â€ Last question: â€œAre there presuppositions in geology?â€ Answer: â€œYes, the assumptions are reasonable and intrinsically connected with the laws of nature. When it comes to things that are supernatural, you canâ€™t fully understand them, you can just speculate.â€
Radiometric dating methods are not all we have to estimate elapsed time. There are all kinds of other methods to evaluate the passage of time – to include erosion rates, molecular decay rates, sedimentation rates, real time mutation rates, bioturbation rates, etc.
Beyond this, if the overwhelming weight of evidence is against you, why on Earth do you believe like you do? What is your basis for belief beyond some emotional need for a particular story to be true? And, where is the confidence to be found in a blind-faith emotion-driven belief system?
The presentation by Jim Gibson, Director of GRI, responded to the question, â€œDo Millions of Years Solve the Problem?â€ In a nutshell, his answer was â€œno,â€ but he carefully spelled out the reasons as follows…
Faith has to be the key because â€œthere is not enough evidence to resolve the tension between science and the Bible; one has to believe the Bible without the support of science.â€ â€œScience works well when tests can be repeated; history is not testable in that way.â€ â€œScience is a closed system governed by physical laws so tension [with the Bible] has to be expected.â€
Gibson is mistaken to think that various views of history are not in any way testable in a falsifiable manner and are therefore not empirically based. There is plenty of physical empirical evidence to support the biblical model of origins which is both testable and potentially falsifiable and is therefore scientific.
The statement, yet again, that “faith” is all that we have is nonsense. Blind faith, devoid of any backing by empirical evidence, is completely worthless as a basis for a real solid hope in the future. Richard Dawkins, William Provine, and others like them, are correct to note that such appeals to “faith” are no more useful to the believer than is essential atheism when it comes to a rational understanding of reality.
As far as the details of why I belief that the significant weight of evidence found in geology, fossils and genetic clearly supports the SDA perspective on origins, please refer to my website and the many extensive comments I’ve made along these lines in this forum and in many others…
Get a grip and stop this insane witch hunt. Instead of focusing on that which is devisive, why not focus on what brings unity? There are plenty of theologians who think evolution is compatable with creation, and there are plenty of scientists who believe evolution is compatible with faith in God. Why donâ€™t you focus on them?
I dare say that there are very very few, if any, theologians or scientists who believe in evolution or naturalism in general who can point to any particular feature of nature and say, “This required the finger of God or a God-like intelligence”.
This is the whole point of those like Dawkins and Provine and others who note that Darwinism is only consistent with religion or various beliefs in God if such beliefs are effectively indistinguishable from atheism as far as their ability to produce any solid evidence or predictive value in their behalf. In other words, as Dawkins so eloquently put it, if your belief in God cannot be readily distinguished from a belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Santa Claus, or garden fairies, what good is your belief in God?
This is what is important about the SDA position on origins. The SDA position on a literal creation week and evidence for the literal interpretation of Genesis demands the existence of a God whose handiwork or Signature can be clearly seen in nature as requiring very high level deliberate intelligence.
Those who disagree are welcome to their opinions. However, they are not welcome to expect, much less demand, a paycheck from the SDA Church to promote their opinions on the Church’s dime. Such a position is not a “witch hunt”, as you put it. It is simply a matter of practicality for any viable organization. No organization can long afford to pay those who go about publicly undermining the primary goals and ideals of the organization…
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
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:
“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.
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.
Wow, I got this from you on this first day that I looked at your information on Dr. Wakefield–I had never heard of BrandNewTube until I saw this video. Watch out what you link to–now according to you, I’m into “conspiracy theories” because I got BrandNewTube from you.
I cited the Wakefield video as an example of a conspiracy theorist with ideas and claims that simply aren’t credible, even outlandishly wrong, given what we actually know about mRNA vaccines. And, this same website hosts many other conspiratorial videos as well. Christians should strive to avoid being associated with such conspiracies.
Then you proceed to shoot down the PCR inventor’s own testimony about his own test because he was into astrology. So what. Has Satan ever had any part into you? or me? Absolutely–and you dare to speak nonsense and garbage about someone who is dead and cannot defend themselves? Wow, Sean, how far will you go to defend your false science?
Showing that someone is “into” a whole lot of non-credible beliefs and conspiracies plays into that person’s overall credibility – especially given the very relevant nonsense claims of Mullis regarding HIV/AIDS. This is something to consider when someone is cited as an “authority” or “expert” to support this or that sensational claim that supposedly falsifies the vast majority of scientists and medical experts on a particular topic.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re wrong in your claim. In fact, your claim that PCR cannot, by itself, prove the existence of a new virus is absolutely true! I agree with you here! However, what you don’t understand is that, as I’ve explained in some detail already, PCR wasn’t used, by itself, to demonstrate the existence or genetic makeup of the COVID-19 virus. The genetic sequencing that was done to initially detect the COVID-19 virus and its genetic makeup is quite involved and very interesting (and goes well beyond PCR) – if you care to actually learn something. I recommend starting the “Sanger Sequencing” (watch the short video explaining it that I posted in my comment above).
I ask myself, is it reasonable? Can I analyze it properly? What real evidence is there? And last but not least–what does the Holy Spirit reveal to me?
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 (AKJV).
This tells me that “all truth” means exactly that, and not just Bible truth, or religious truth. This is why I know positively that this pandemic is a hoax–based upon the PCR test that cannot detect any virus–I’ve seen and heard the real science, and the motives behind it–Satan is at the root of it all. Of course he’s the author of real pandemics and epidemics too.
So, the Holy Spirit informs you regarding the “truth” of your medical opinions? That’s kind of a conversation stopper now isn’t it? Who can argue with someone who is informed directly by God?
In any case, as I’ve explained to you before, the process of detecting a new type of virus and determining its genetics isn’t based on PCR alone. It’s a more complex and interesting process. It was originally discovered by biochemist Fred Sanger (i.e., “Sanger Sequencing” – described in my comment above) and has been modified and improved since then with subsequent “generations” of genetic sequencing techniques. So, why not try to learn something about how it’s really done instead of repeating the same false claims?
Same with all vaccines, what a scam that is! Far too many injuries and deaths have been reported in the VAERS system over the years, and that my friend, is not any conspiracy theory. Even the Federal Vaccine Court is a joke–some cases like mine never even make it there–dropped by attorneys for money reasons–not a smoking gun or serious enough for them to make the fees they want.
VAERS takes all reports of anything that happens post-vaccine – regardless of any proof as to the actual cause of the event. It simply isn’t what the anti-vaxxers make it out to be. Sure, “since 1988, when the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) began, more than 16,000 claims have been considered and a whopping $3.18 billion have been awarded to families alleging some kind of harm from vaccines. That sounds awfully damning, and in this case, unlike in so many other cases, the anti-vaccine crowd isn’t just making stuff up. The numbers are real and the federal government is the first to admit it. But the anti-vaxxers are utterly wrong in their interpretation of what the numbers mean. And in fact, the numbers prove that vaccines are as safe as the medical community says they are. Understanding why that’s so means going beyond the tired alarmism and looking at the facts.”
The purpose of the court is to reckon with the reality that while vaccines are every bit as safe and life-saving as health authorities say they are, no drug or medical procedure is entirely without risks. Since many millions of children get vaccinated every year, even a few bad outcomes could subject the drug-makers to a storm of liability suits. Some claims might be legitimate, but far more could be frivolous or even fraudulent. Either way, the endless litigation could drive up the costs of vaccines… In 80% of all cases brought since 2006, the parties settle, meaning that the petitioner recovers an award with no determination being made about whether the vaccine even caused the claimed harm.
Even without blame being established, the billions the government has handed over in payouts since the VICP was created does seem to suggest that a whole lot of people are being harmed. But that is not the case. From 2006 to 2014, approximately 2.5 billion doses of vaccines were administered in the U.S. In that time, a total of just 2,976 claims were adjudicated by the special masters and only 1,876 of those received compensation. Divide that number by the vaccine dose total and you get less than a one in a million risk of harm. Going all the way back to 1988—before the flu vaccine became part of the recommended schedule of vaccines—a total of 16,038 claims have been adjudicated and 4,150 have been compensated, bringing the total payouts up to the $3.18 billion figure.
The article continues to explain why the claims of the anti-vaxx conspiracy theorists here are just out to lunch. While vaccines aren’t entirely risk free, they are a whole lot less risky compared to the diseases that they provide immunity against.
Lots of studies suggest or show how harmful vaccines are.
Actually, the very clear weight of good scientific studies that are available to us strongly supports the conclusion that vaccines are very safe and very effective. It simply isn’t true that there are a significant number of good scientific studies showing that vaccines are actually more harmful than they are beneficial. That conclusion simply isn’t supported by the empirical evidence that we have in hand – not even close.
The info below is backed by scientific studies–a day old baby is assaulted by a Hep B vaccine when it’s just coming alive and drawing it’s first breaths–many are vaccinated a short time later and die suddenly in their cribs, or beds–SIDS deaths. The vaccine industry makes money and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s depopulation plan claims another innocent victim–not conspiracy theory.
Since I’m a parent, I can tell you that SIDS is a real concern for most parents. And, if SIDS were related to vaccinations, I certainly would want to know about it. However, since I have performed autopsies on SIDS infants, the evidence is that SIDS is related to suffocation, with petechial hemorrhages on the surfaces of the lungs (as one sees in cases of known suffocation). Still, there was some initial concern about SIDS and vaccines, but after extensive study of this question, it is now known that there is no relationship between vaccines and SIDS. For example:
The ABC news program 20/20 aired a story in 1999 claiming that the hepatitis B vaccine caused sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The story included a picture of a 1-month-old girl who died of SIDS only 16 hours after receiving the second dose of hepatitis B vaccine.
At the time of introduction of the hepatitis B vaccine for routine use in all infants, about 5,000 children died every year from SIDS. Within 10 years of the introduction of the hepatitis B vaccine the use of the vaccine increased to about 90 percent of all infants and the incidence of SIDS in that group decreased dramatically to about 1,600 cases each year.
The cause of the decrease in SIDS cases was the introduction of the “Back to Sleep” program by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
However, since immunizations are given to about 90 percent of children less than 1 year of age, and about 1,600 cases of SIDS occur every year, it would be expected, statistically, that every year about 50 cases of SIDS will occur within 24 hours of receipt of a vaccine. However, because the incidence of SIDS is the same in children who do or do not receive vaccines, we know that SIDS is not caused by vaccines.
As for Dr. Wakefield the courageous CDC whistleblower–has my thanks for what he did–we need more doctors like him that denies the moneyed, evil influences of Big Pharma putting his own career in jeopardy because he really cares about others.
As for the 2 doctors you just linked to on youtube that promote the pandemic lies–I can find and link to just as many doctors who know and reveal the truth of this hoax.
I’m sorry, but the vast majority of scientists and medical doctors disagree with you here – especially those who see and treat the many who are dying of COVID every day in this country. Dr. Roger Seheult personally sees dozens of people die of COVID-19 on a weekly basis. You just don’t understand because you haven’t seen it. Contrary to your very confidently claims that these people are dying of something else, that’s just nonsense coming from someone who is far more arrogant than anything else – without any first-hand knowledge or experience. The vascular damage and thrombosis associated with those who die of COVID-19 is distinct. It’s unlike anything else.
The British doctor recommended 20,000 IU’s daily of vitamin D3–a bit high, I would say–I use 3— 5 thousand daily as recommended by Walt Cross, SDA Medical Missionary in Tennessee. It appears that too high a dose daily will negatively increase calcium in the body.
Watch the video again. Dr. Campbell did not recommend 20,000 IU’s of Vitamin D per day. Rather he said that he personally takes just 2,000 IUs of Vitamin D supplements per day – while Dr. Seheult takes about 4,000 units/day. Beyond this, it is very unlikely that anyone will experience significantly increased calcium blood levels if taking 10,000 units/day or less of Vitmain D.
He also said, “I’m happy with the vaccines.” Right, I hope they live through the vaccines that are useless and not needed. Too much propaganda for me–I prefer real doctors and not clones of the corrupted medical system.
Again, the doctors you’re listening to are in the extreme minority and generally aren’t directly involved in taking care of COVID-19 patients. Dr. Seheult is a pulmonologist who deals with these COVID-19 patients on a daily basis. He’s also a conservative Seventh-day Adventist who is doing his very best to help his patients physically, mentally, and spiritually. And you think you know better? Oh, I forget, the Holy Spirit tells you, so there’s really no point in further discussion because the Holy Spirit certainly hasn’t told me what He’s told you. You forget that you’re supposed to “test the spirits”. And, so far, almost everything that you’ve said regarding COVID-19 and vaccines is false and misleading. I’m sorry, but that’s not coming from the Holy Spirit my friend…