Wisbey talks about LSU and what he wants you to know

Randal Wisbey is interviewed by Chris Oberg at the GC Session. These are two of many recordings called Viewpoints made by the Southeastern California Conference.

Southeastern California Conference delegate, Donna Richards, is interviewed by pastor of LSU Church, Chris Oberg.

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

70 thoughts on “Wisbey talks about LSU and what he wants you to know

  1. I like the story of the Dutch delegate who told Randal Wisbey that she would love to pick up the entire university and move it to Holland.

    That makes two of us.




    0
    View Comment
  2. Wisbey says that, “The focus is all on this word open. We are committed to be a place where we have open minds, open hands, and open hearts.”

    Openness is the motto and spirit of liberalism and the post-modern age. Committed liberals are open to just about anything. Some influential educated liberal Adventists – particularly in (Southern and southeastern California conferences) are “open” to theistic evolution as a reasonable explanation of origins, open to higher-criticism as a valid way of interpreting the scriptures, open to homosexuality as a reasonable expression of human sexuality, and on and on.
    This is mostly an Anglo-American/European phenomenon. No wonder the delegate from Netherlands (one of the most liberal nations on earth) would want to move LSU to their land. The ravages of secular-humanistic liberalism among the churches of the Anglo-American/European world are plain for all to see. Within a relatively short time England would become Islamic – a partial response to the degeneracy and religious hypocrisy that extreme ‘christian’ liberalism has produced.

    The constant cry from this ilk is that Adventists should be more open-minded, not so closed-minded and bigoted. We should be open to allowing others the freedom to express and explore unorthodox explanations. We should be open to non-traditional ways of viewing religious belief and practice – even beliefs and practices that seem radically opposed to what we are accustomed to.

    The problem with this approach is that we are a Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy based movement. We are a movement based upon inspiration. This means that we believe that God has spoken to the human race in a definitive way such that His Word can be understood and followed implicitly. We believe that by its very nature such a revelation contains certain non-negotiables and that the revelation of God to the human race is not meant to be forever open-ended and malleable. The very nature of Christianity and the Adventist movement contain clear elements of exclusivity. To maintain the level of openness that post-modern, liberal Adventists envision – the exclusive nature of inspiration must be reinterpreted. The authority of inspiration must be questioned and challenged. The exclusive truths of inspiration must be reduced to an open-ended denominator.

    Finally, isn’t it interesting that Donna Richards (two time delegate from SECC) would say that, ‘We have experienced quite a bit of consternation about that belief (#6) in the recent past and present.’ And that she was very glad to see Ted Wilson reaffirm our position on this belief.

    LSU is the source of her consternation of course. Contrary to Wisbey’s statement that, ‘La Sierra is a place of great faithfulness.’ there has been much unfaithfulness there when it comes to many of our foundational beliefs – resulting in much consternation among the faithful.




    0
    View Comment
  3. You’re so correct, Victor. The worship of the idol “open” “inclusiveness” and other such tripe is the mantra of most liberals.

    Was Jesus “open” to worldly philosophies? Was Paul? Although they certainly knew about them, they did not seem to “open” to accepting them, as Wisbey does.




    0
    View Comment
  4. Um, many conservatives–myself included–appreciate the concepts of openness and inclusiveness. I thought the lack of “openness” was a huge complaint about LSU. And now it is the “mantra of most liberals”?




    0
    View Comment
  5. @Geanna Dane:

    Um, many conservatives–myself included–appreciate the concepts of openness and inclusiveness. I thought the lack of “openness” was a huge complaint about LSU. And now it is the “mantra of most liberals”?

    The lack of openness with regard to what is really being promoted at LSU, the continued deception, deliberate deception, being practice by LSU with regard to what its science professors really do believe and promote in their classrooms, is the problem here. In other words, there is lack of open and honest transparency.

    The SDA Church need not be “open” to those who actively and deliberately go about attacking the Pillars of SDA Faith from within… on the dime of the SDA Church no less!

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  6. No thanks for the kind of openness that means wind whistling through the ears. The kind of “openness” that IS needed is transparency. What about open constituency meetings for example, or board members “allowed” to talk to GC officials?! Transparency, please! Then everyone can make informed decisions about where to enroll, send tuition, send donations, etc.




    0
    View Comment
  7. In the second video – the first SECC delegate to speak (Donna?) said that the highlight for her was the affirmation of Creation vote in favor of Creation and the leadership role that Elder Wilson took in introducing that key motion.

    In Caleb’s talk at the end of that video he mentioned “spiritual formation” and the importance of spiritual formation over doctrine. I am unclear where he ever got that idea from the GC session since one of the key highlights was the Sabbath Sermon where Elder Wilson condemned the spiritual directors, spiritual formation, centering prayer (etc) movement.

    He may have been using the term “spiritual formation” without knowing what it is. (Kind of like using the term “Church of God” or “Latter Day Saint” in the generic sense and not trying to apply it to the common usage today)

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  8. Couple of comments on the first video.

    1. At the 1:36 mark you can see some interesting GC staff working the LSU booth.
    2. At Randal says that the enrollment scenario at LSU shows that God is really blessing LSU. Clearly Randal Wisbey appears to view LSU’s continued popularity as proof that God is not endorsing Creation anymore, but has switched sides to evlution. That is a rather bold position on his part.
    3. The call for openness as someone has already noted here – should have included open constituency meetings for LSU.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  9. @Geanna Dane:

    Um, many conservatives–myself included–appreciate the concepts of openness and inclusiveness. I thought the lack of “openness” was a huge complaint about LSU. And now it is the “mantra of most liberals”?  

    I don’t know of any so-called ‘conservative’ Adventists who would countenance, or entertain the arguments in favor of theistic evolution, for a nano-second – something that you have done here consistently.

    God is indeed open and inclusive when it comes to the invitation for salvation:

    “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” – Rev.22:17

    He is not so open and inclusive when specifying many categories and criteria that could exclusively disqualify a person from receiving this offered salvation – as evidenced in this very same chapter of Revelation:

    “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, AND WHOEVER LOVES AND MAKES A LIE.”

    You are misusing the term ‘conservative’ – as well as mixing the different meanings of the word, ‘open.’ For instance: Being ‘open’ to every wind of doctrine, is considerably different than refusing to be open (or honest and transparent) about believing in every wind of doctrine.

    Being ‘open’ to the lie of theistic evolution, is considerably different from not being ‘open’ or transparent about believing in said lie.

    Lying about how one stands with the lie of evolution, while at the same time promoting the lie of evolution (in a lying way), would certainly seem to meet God’s exclusionary category above.




    0
    View Comment
  10. Um, many conservatives–myself included–appreciate the concepts of openness and inclusiveness. I thought the lack of “openness” was a huge complaint about LSU. And now it is the “mantra of most liberals”?  

    Geanna, “Openness” to liberals, means open to any humanistic ideology that comes along. We all gotta be open-minded regarding them and study them to see if we “like” the idea, instead of comparing the idea to God’s Word, as the bible teaches.

    “Openness” to liberals, does not mean transparency, truthfulness, or honesty. We see the results of this “double standard” easily at LSU.




    0
    View Comment
  11. There’s only one thing to say about this open mind business: “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” G K Chesterton

    When you find the truth,you stop searching for it. Then you start digging deep in the truth to find out more truth.




    0
    View Comment
  12. This is mostly an Anglo-American/European phenomenon. No wonder the delegate from Netherlands (one of the most liberal nations on earth) would want to move LSU to their land. The ravages of secular-humanistic liberalism among the churches of the Anglo-American/European world are plain for all to see.

    Unfortunately this is not just an Anglo-American phenomenon as anyone who has visited blacksda can attest.




    0
    View Comment
  13. There’s only one thing to say about this open mind business: “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” G K ChestertonWhen you find the truth,you stop searching for it. Then you start digging deep in the truth to find out more truth.  

    Great quote Leo. Chesterton does have some doozies!




    0
    View Comment
  14. For anyone wanting to see how “open” liberals are, please go to Adventist Spectrum, under the article, “Unity in Diversity” and see how Pastor Kevin Paulsen is being criticized, vilified, and crucified by the liberal “pundits” on that website.

    Why? Well, he simply supports the GYC! Yeh, he supports an organization that encourages our young people to follow God’s Word. An organization that has the support of many of our denominational leaders.

    Thank you Pastor Paulsen for having the courage to take [a stand].




    0
    View Comment
  15. I don’t know of any so-called ‘conservative’ Adventists who would countenance, or entertain the arguments in favor of theistic evolution, for a nano-second – something that you have done here consistently.

    I have NEVER advocated theistic evolution because I don’t believe in it. What is your problem, Sir? Why is it that anyone who says very plainly, over and over, I agree with the general message but detest the methods is labeled an evolutionist? Where is the honesty and integrity?

    I am faulted continually for pointing out that you people frequently use the word “evolution” with complete ignorance. I am faulted continually for pointing out that people push literalism too far. I am faulted continually for pointing out that you guys are cyberbullies and lack Christian charity. I am faulted continually for pointing out Sean Pitman’s exaggerated claims of knowledge. And these make me a theistic evolutionist?

    What is it with you older men that provokes you to go after a college girl and “put her in her place”? Male pastors especially (I won’t list names).




    0
    View Comment
  16. The second clip is almost pure self-promotion by the SECC. I say almost because the first lady applauded Ted Wilson and also upholding and strengthening #6, which, if you look at John Brunt’s demeanor closely, did not sit well with at least him.

    The rest was promotion of the SECC and womens ordination, which we would expect from those involved.




    0
    View Comment
  17. I have NEVER advocated theistic evolution because I don’t believe in it. What is your problem, Sir? Why is it that anyone who says very plainly, over and over, I agree with the general message but detest the methods is labeled an evolutionist? Where is the honesty and integrity?I am faulted continually for pointing out that you people frequently use the word “evolution” with complete ignorance. I am faulted continually for pointing out that people push literalism too far. I am faulted continually for pointing out that you guys are cyberbullies and lack Christian charity. I am faulted continually for pointing out Sean Pitman’s exaggerated claims of knowledge. And these make me a theistic evolutionist?What is it with you older men that provokes you to go after a college girl and “put her in her place”? Male pastors especially (I won’t list names).  

    Geanna! I want to speak to you as a teacher and as a mother.I’m not trying to attack you. I’m honestly trying to be helpful to you. I’ve been watching you interact on the forum for a while. I wanted to be sure my gut feeling was correct before posting, so I spent some time today collecting some of your posts. I don’t want to embarrass you by listing proof of the observations I am making. I might do that if I could email you privately, but this forum doesn’t have that option.

    I will address the important principles though. At first you felt attacked and said you will leave the church because of the treatment you received here. I prayed for you and hoped you would not do that.

    I think after that, some people encouraged you and you returned here. You are an intelligent young person and you are thinking and posting your thoughts. That’s what forums are all about.

    People don’t have to agree with each other. We might learn something from each other.

    Once in a while, a person might get a little carried away and get sarcastic or offensive. Sometimes I see that someone is not behaving in a Christlike manner. But for the most part, this is a volatile issue and people have strong opinions on both sides. They will be expressing these things in a strong way. (That doesn’t mean they are attacking. That’s just the nature of debate.)

    Anyone who posts here needs to be aware of that volatile aspect.

    But since you’ve returned, your posts have been mostly sarcastic. You often begin with, “Oh really?” or “Are you saying…!” Or you name call (cyberbully, literalists, etc.) No one is bullying you here. People try to explain what they are trying to say to you, but you respond sarcastically. You also do veiled “name calling” such as saying Sean’s claims of knowledge are exaggerated. I’ve also noticed quite a bit of this attitude in your posts as well– “I’m superior to all of you ignoramus people here since I understand such and such and you obviously don’t.”

    This particular post that you made implies that older male pastors attack young college girls. (This is a seriously out of line generalization and you can’t find the data for this–not trying to be snarky. Just wanting to make you aware.) It reminds me of the little girl whose mother has told her not to rough house with the big boys but she does so just the same. Mother says, “okay, but remember if you get hurt by accident don’t come complaining to me!” What I’m trying to say is that the “male pastors” here are treating you like an equal but you continually rail against them.

    Also, how do any of us know the ages of the other people on the forum? We don’t use avatars? Maybe you’re snooping about on the net? Unless my husband has made a post with his age? And how does anyone know you are a young college student? I just graduated with a second masters in 2009 at 53. If I only said I was a college student in 2008, would others assume I’m “young?”

    I’ve looked at your posts in context and sometimes when you say you’ve been attacked, there’s nothing in the post attacking you. (And in the particular post you refer to here, you’ve not been attacked. If you look carefully, the statements are generalized and not against you. They are simply addressing your comments.)

    Sometimes things might get confused because communicating on forums is one dimensional. To get around that, some people use emoticons. When those things are not available like on this forum, we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. For example, if you think you are being attacked, don’t attack back. Simply ask without sarcasm. Ex.: “I’m not trying to be snarky, I honestly want to know this. It seemed you might be implying such and such. Is that true?”

    In one dimensional conversations, questions and clarifications have a very important place. You can also choose to ignore what you think might be an attack and simply talk facts. God can help us to do this so we don’t say or write things we’ll regret later. If someone truly does attack you, you can either ignore that post or comment only on the factual content of the post. I know there have been many times on other forums where I thought someone was saying one thing, but later realized that wasn’t it at all. I’ve been thankful so many times I didn’t respond the way I felt at those moments!

    There’s another factor you need to consider. These days employers google prospective employees’ names. They will easily find your posts and perhaps fear that you might be hard to get along with. Something to think about. The saying about spoken words being like the toothpaste in the toothpaste tube–that you can’t put it back in–has become magnified by the internet. The written word can go viral overnight!

    Geanna, Why don’t you collect some of your posts and see what I’m talking about?

    And here’s a challenge for you. As an intelligent college student, I’m sure you’re capable of accomplishing this if you want to. Can you try to express yourself without sarcasm or name-calling? As a teacher, I would suggest that you write it out the way you want first. Then look at what you’ve written and find a way to say it by editing out the sarcasm and name calling.

    Forgive constantly. Cease fighting. God asks us to “Be still, and know that I am God.”




    0
    View Comment
  18. Geanna Dane

    for my clearity…do you agree with the following statement:

    The earth was created in 6 literal 24 hour days about 6000 years ago.

    If not why?

    If so – why are people pinning you wrong.




    0
    View Comment
  19. Once in a while, a person might get a little carried away and get sarcastic or offensive.

    Guilty as charged.

    You often begin with, “Oh really?” or “Are you saying…!”

    I learned this from Sean Pitman.

    Or you name call (cyberbully, literalists, etc.)

    The National Crime Prevention Council’s definition of cyber-bullying is “when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.” Actually, cyberbullying is illegal for students to engage in within the state of California, but adults for the most part can act childlike without fear of prosecution. Most contributors here are keenly intent on hurting and embarrassing other persons and by definition are unequivocally “cyberbullies”. Maybe “literalists” is inappropriate, sorry about that. But who here repeatedly calls others liars, thieves and the like? Who has advocated cartoon caricatures of specific individuals? The term “Seventh-day Gluttons” is a play off Clifford Goldstein’s much-praised name-calling, “Seventh-day Darwinists”. I don’t remember you or anyone else sharing the dominant view here speaking out against Goldstein’s name-calling. Sometimes people need a dose of their own medicine.

    No one is bullying you here.

    Are you kidding? (I also learned this from Sean Pitman.) I think the unbiased, objective reader can form their own opinion. (I learned this from Bob Ryan)

    You also do veiled “name calling” such as saying Sean’s claims of knowledge are exaggerated. I’ve also noticed quite a bit of this attitude in your posts as well– “I’m superior to all of you ignoramus people here since I understand such and such and you obviously don’t.”

    There are many, including those who do not post here, who disagree vehemently with Sean’s opinions. I can’t the names of a few personal acquaintances who have heard him speak or read his stuff, but you can readily read the opinions of others by conducting a simple Google search. In may ways I wish that every thing Sean says is accurate, but I don’t and I’m entitled to point out my differences. I am not superior to anyone and apologize if I come across that way. I often imitate the tone of other posters deliberately so that they will see how it is they actually come across (not that I’ve changed anyone’s tone). If I come across as irritating and disrespectful, well….

    “This particular post that you made implies that older male pastors attack young college girls.”

    Just an observation restricted solely to my treatment here. You’re the first women, I believe, who has addressed me.

    in the particular post you refer to here, you’ve not been attacked. If you look carefully, the statements are generalized and not against you. They are simply addressing your comments.)

    Agreed. Sorry about that. Actually, I was generalizing about those who have criticized me, not your husband specifically. By the way, you and your husband post some things that I really like.

    These days employers google prospective employees’ names. They will easily find your posts and perhaps fear that you might be hard to get along with.

    Oh yes. I’m keenly aware of this! The one potential employer I would fear the most in this regard would be the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I have much less to worry about than others who post here, particularly certain MDs and pastors.

    Thank you, Christiane.




    0
    View Comment
  20. Geanna Dane
    for my clearity…do you agree with the following statement:
    The earth was created in 6 literal 24 hour days about 6000 years ago.
    If not why?

    Yes, probably so (but not 100% conviction because the Bible does not say this explicitly, and you know it like every single person here knows it).

    If so – why are people pinning you wrong.

    Like Dr. Osborn pointed out, anyone who disagrees with the majority view here is subject to immediate misinterpretation and character assasination–and are pretty much always assumed to be an evolutionist. I’ve said this many times, as have others including my new friend Professor Kent: it’s not the message I object to but the method (I think this was his phrase to give credit where credit is due). I think most of what gets posted here (including my posts, which I have the integrity to admit) is highly unChristian and represents an enormous embarassment for not just the Seventh-day Adventist Church but the Christian church at large. How disgusting that Christians resort to public name-calling and attacks on other people AND justify doing so by quoting Jesus, Bible authors, Ellen White, Richard Dawkins, Madonna, and anyone else that conveniently comes to mind. That’s my opinion.




    0
    View Comment
  21. You’re welcome Geanna. I have a question on an answer to Roger Seheult’s question. Wondered if you can clarify:

    You answered, “Yes, probably so (but not 100% conviction because the Bible does not say this explicitly, and you know it like every single person here knows it).”

    I’m curious if you mean the 6,000 years aspect or if you mean the six literal 24 hour period aspect — or both?

    Thanks!




    0
    View Comment
  22. Christiane, I’m being honest with you. I personally believe the 6 days were literal 24-hour periods, especially because of the 4th commandment, but I concede there are difficulties here and there in Genesis when every single thing is taken literally. As to the age, the chronologies in the Bible clearly suggest a short time but there are many skipped generations, rounding to the nearest 5 or 10 years, and some disagreement among parallel passages. Could there have been a LOT of skipped generations? No one knows with certainty. The derivation of 6,000 years is nothing more than that–an inexact derivation.

    My biggest issue, which I have thought much about, is how to repopulate the diversity of life in 4,000 years after a global flood. There are huge problems with this that I don’t know how to solve unless some diversity survived the flood outside the ark. I have been told by a few trustworthy sources that some of the most conservative and trusted creationists in our church very quietly concede this problem and that many life forms had to have survived the flood outside the ark. Finally, Ellen White made a lot of statements about the creation, how long ago it happened, and the extent of the flood. She was a human who, I’m certain, God allowed to make up her own mind and share her own personal thoughts on many issues. I don’t think he forced her to write only what he wanted her to write. So I remain open to the possibility she had incomplete or even flawed understanding on many things. She was not the only inspired writer with misunderstandings–the disciples themselves clearly misunderstood how long it would take before Jesus would return.

    Now I’ve told you what I think of four big issues and I will add that I don’t need to believe any of these to be saved. I don’t believe my salvation is based on my convictions on these issues. I know many of you disagree with me and I expected to be lectured again (“you are mistaken,” “you do not understand,” etc.), but when I put myself in the arms of Jesus and say, “I give up, make what you want of me,” I am allowing him to do for me what I cannot do for myself. My salvation is my decision to give my heart to God.

    I recognize that some of what I write suggests convictions different than what I’ve shared here, but I am human and I get angry at some of the things written here by others. I am quick to defend those who I think are attacked. That’s my sensitive side. And I am prone to play devil’s advocate. Sometimes I laugh at myself for what I write. I am not and never will be “anything goes” with Christianity.

    I’m sorry I upset so many people but I’m not so far off as many might think. I am appalled by so many things that happen here. I mostly write to say “wait a minute, think what you guys are saying and doing and how damaging it could be at so many levels.” Most of you don’t appreciate that at all. Oh well.




    0
    View Comment
  23. Geanna, Thanks for clarifying! In my opinion, of all the issues you mention, the six 24 hour days are probably the most crucial. Of course they won’t guarantee salvation, but not believing in the creative power of God could easily lead one away from Christ.

    We all grow up immersed in an evolution world view. It is so hard to shake sometimes, even when we believe God created the world! We don’t really need to figure everything out though. It just uses up energy we could be using to witness to people who need Christ.

    I believe God wants us to use our intellect, but I don’t think He wants it to be our focus in life to the point of draining our mental energies. Asking questions, seeking answers, figuring things out, etc. are all part of what makes us human — it’s how He made us. And He wants to be part of helping us find answers.

    As a teacher, my best moments are watching the expressions of my students when the light goes off. I’m sure that God is like that too, delighting in our discoveries! And even smiling when we don’t get it yet, just like we do when children don’t understand simple things like conservation. We just know they will understand soon enough.

    (Just a thought — maybe when you play devil’s advocate you might add a line to let others know — or at least let the more alert aware of it! LOL!)

    If God could create the world in six days, why can’t he create special animals to carry the diversity within themselves to go onto the ark? Believing in the creative power of God solves everything.

    And I know His power to create and re-create. I’ve seen almost hopeless people become transformed. Victor works as a prison chaplain and has witnessed this more often than I have. Those stories are to me more difficult to believe or even understand than any scientific puzzle I can think of!




    0
    View Comment
  24. Geanna, the chrono-genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 (A lived X years, then gave birth to B, then lived another Y years, for a total of Z years) seem to rule out skipped generations. Your best tactic for lengthening the chronology is go with Septuagint numbers, but even with those, you absolutely cannot get a world older than 10,000 years.

    There is one huge alteration to your world view that will solve all of your problems: The clock is running down. Everything, all life, was better, more fine, fertile, fecund, flexible, and fruitful in the beginning. With this in mind, the creationist short chronology makes sense. The problem you are having is because you are trying to plug the mainstream scientific hypothesis for explaining genetic change in to the short chronology, and it doesn’t make any sense. Obviously, the improbable, and certainly slow and painful, hunt and peck method of natural selection acting on random DNA copying errors cannot possibly explain the extremely rapid post-Flood speciation and diversification. But I wouldn’t suggest anyone try to make it do that job. There are other, as yet unknown, methods of genetic change. But the main point is that genetic potential, the potential for multiple phenotypes, was much greater at the beginning than it is today.




    0
    View Comment
  25. I heard recently that the problem of genetic mutation argues for young life on earth because the harmful mutation rate is much faster than previously supposed. In each generation Children have something like 100 mutations not found in their parents.




    0
    View Comment
  26. @David Read:

    There are other, as yet unknown, methods of genetic change. But the main point is that genetic potential, the potential for multiple phenotypes, was much greater at the beginning than it is today.

    The problem with appealing to “unknown” methods of genetic change is that it isn’t scientific since it isn’t testable or potentially falsifiable.

    The fact of the matter is that there are known methods for changes in phenotypic expression based on pre-loaded information of an essentially unchanging gene pool of original options. These original options, as you mentioned, were superior in pretty much every way. Also, a very large variety of phenotypic or physical expressions of the same basic gene pool can be realized extremely rapidly.

    It seems to me like part of Geanna’s problem with trying to incorporate mainstream scientific assertions with her stated belief in a literal six-day creation week may be solved, to a large degree anyway, by a better understanding of the potential of Mendelian variation and other methods of expressing different phenotypic aspects of the same gene pool with regard to functional/phenotypic potential. It would also help to realize that the true genetic mutation rate is much higher than is generally published or mentioned in mainstream literature. Likewise, it would help to understand that essentially neutral or non-functional differences between functionally identical gene pools can be produced extremely rapidly over a very short period of time because of high mutation rates.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  27. @BobRyan:

    I heard recently that the problem of genetic mutation argues for young life on earth because the harmful mutation rate is much faster than previously supposed. In each generation Children have something like 100 mutations not found in their parents.

    The mutation rate is more like 200-300 per person per generation. This mutation rate is far too high to avoid eventual extinction through the inevitable build up of detrimental mutations within the gene pool. For a detailed discussion of this problem see:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/dnamutationrates.html

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  28. Geanna Dane. I see nothing wrong with the current tone of the debate. It is intersting to study debates between denominations 100-200 years ago. For instance between protestants and catholics and different protestant churches. This happened all the time. And the funny thing was that no one took the debate personally but understood it as an exchange of ideas. Much like today when two lawyers go to court to battle each other in the worst terms only to go after to a bar and talk like old friends. If you want to exchange ideas in the court of public opinion especially when the stakes are as high as the future of the church you had better expect people with definiet ideas and not take there view points personally. I’ve be called all sorts of things on other web sites – this site is pretty benign (could it be that this is the first site that you have exchanged in???). Go to talk origins or others for a more pernicious discussion.

    To qoute from a Catholic website regarding an old article discussed therin:
    “Keep in mind that in 1893, political correctness had not been invented yet. Some readers may whince at the tone of the article. It would do well to note that having principles and the convictions to articulate them was a more admired characteristic in those days,”

    I wish we had more of that today.




    0
    View Comment
  29. @ Geanna

    I’m sorry I upset so many people but I’m not so far off as many might think. I am appalled by so many things that happen here. I mostly write to say “wait a minute, think what you guys are saying and doing and how damaging it could be at so many levels.” Most of you don’t appreciate that at all.

    Geanna, you would do well to re-read Christiane’s counsel to you again and to take it more seriously. You don’t seem to realize how you have come across – kind of like an attack dog with biting sarcasm.

    I don’t see you “upsetting” people so much as showing yourself in a very negative light. If I were an employer and saw your postings here, I would be very hesitant to employ you. You are clearly intelligent and verbal, but that is not an asset when combined with a combative personality intent on pointing out the faults of others. Yet that is the picture your posts paint of you. (I realize that this picture may be far from the reality.)

    The post from which I took the quote above is one of the few exceptions.

    I am sometimes embarrassed by the comments others on “my side” (supportive of a recent creation by divine fiat) post on this site, but they start looking almost reasonable when compared with your posts – particularly your attacks on Sean Pitman. And now you admit to tending to believe in a recent creation – making another embarrassing addition to “my side.” 😉

    Your description of Sean and Shane as “cyber bullies” is unjustified by the definition. Both Sean and Shane have consistently called for transparency: If La Sierra is proud of teaching the process of evolution as the truth of our origins, then let them be plain about it, rather than obfuscating and letting people believe that they really support a recent creation, as has been a fundamental belief of Adventism since its inception.
    I believe it’s also fair to suggest that integrity demands that teachers who are paid by a church entity should not undermine the very foundation of the church’s teachings.

    By now, you should also know that this internet call for transparency and integrity comes after decades of trying to get the same results behind the scenes. There comes a time to follow the biblical admonition, to “Cry aloud” and “spare not.” It is apparent that many folks believe this time has come.

    I have some experience teaching in a Protestant school that is not Adventist. My beliefs differ significantly from those taught at that church – not on the issue of origins, but on such topics as spiritual gifts, state of the dead and day of worship. But integrity demanded that I do my best not to undermine the teachings of the church directly, while upholding the beliefs we hold in common. Once I found myself responding to a creative writing assignment by a student with a bit of an essay of my own. I had second thoughts about my response (involving state of the dead), but I had written it on the back of the student paper. So, in the interest of transparency, I showed it to the head pastor and told him why I had written it. We had a good conversation, and he allowed that “some” texts supported my view, and others his. So he was okay with what I had written. (I believe the Holy Spirit was at work in the situation. I then gave him a small booklet I had written to address the subject of the state of the dead.)

    I believe that the information on this site demonstrates reasonable commentary/criticism/freedom of speech on Shane’s and Sean’s part. Their judgment may not always have been faultless (they aren’t translated yet, either), but the general tone has not been of the “bullying” sort. I believe you diminish the seriousness of real “cyber bullying” by attaching the label to these men.

    Just for future reference — your avowed purpose of fighting fire with fire does not usually work in verbal exchanges, even if it does work in forest fire situations with “back fires.” Those setting back fires have to be very careful to do things just right, noting the direction of the wind, the weather, etc., so as not to make the situation worse. Your method has been more akin to what used to be called “flaming” in the early days of the internet. That sort of thing usually escalates until there’s little real conversation taking place. A lot of moderators would have banned you. The fact that things have not escalated on this site, demonstrates that others have not responded to you “in kind.”

    I do remember seeing a couple recent posts in which you sounded genuinely apologetic and reasonable. Perhaps you have already turned over a new leaf?

    Heaps of blessings on you
    from another sister in the Lord 🙂




    0
    View Comment
  30. If God could create the world in six days, why can’t he create special animals to carry the diversity within themselves to go onto the ark? Believing in the creative power of God solves everything.

    Christiane, this is okay but it destroys Sean Pitman’s claim that the Seventh-day Adventist faith is the only one that offers predictive value and can therefore be tested by science (a claim most Adventists would reject, I believe). There is no scientific way to test any kind of supernatural intervention in the biological evidence we have today. Sean himself has proposed this answer, but he can’t have it both ways.

    So if we use our science to investigate natural phenomenon (which is all it can do) and it leads to a conclusion that differs from our interpretation of scripture (because of supernatural intervention), then what becomes of the claim that true science is defined only by inspiration (which I think is a completely flawed claim).




    0
    View Comment
  31. There is one huge alteration to your world view that will solve all of your problems: The clock is running down. Everything, all life, was better, more fine, fertile, fecund, flexible, and fruitful in the beginning. With this in mind, the creationist short chronology makes sense.

    To my knowledge, only creationists believe this and they have not published any evidence that I’m aware of to support this extraordinary claim. Phylogenetic reconstructions certainly do not support this. And I see no reason why creationists must require this.

    But the main point is that genetic potential, the potential for multiple phenotypes, was much greater at the beginning than it is today.

    I don’t believe there is any evidence to support this claim that is growing in popularity. Pauluc proposed a clever test of this hypothesis and encouraged Sean Pitman to undertake it (I don’t recall a response by Sean), but I predict that no creationist will stick their neck out to test this notion. And if they do so, I’d bet they will not stick with the interpretation provided by the results.




    0
    View Comment
  32. And now you admit to tending to believe in a recent creation – making another embarrassing addition to “my side.”

    Inge, I’ve probably stated my belief in a recent creation at least a dozen times. That’s one of the issues I have with people who comment at this website. Anyone who disagrees in any way with the main message is immediately assumed to be an evolutionist (and often worse).




    0
    View Comment
  33. Your description of Sean and Shane as “cyber bullies” is unjustified by the definition.

    Apparently we will have to disagree. The definitions commonly used for cyberbullying are explicit (such as “intended to hurt or embarrass another person”) and I think that most honest readers recognize this to be the intent of this website. I believe the Church Manual revision will almost surely address the issue of internet use to intimidate church administrators and individuals and enforce behavior regulation.

    There are three principles at stake.

    First, the Bible makes clear that Christians should not sue each other in court, the principle being that it brings public reproach upon our cause. When church squabbles spill over into the public arena, as has happened with this particular quarrel, Adventists appear to others to be anything but Christian and it embarasses the church.

    Second, there is a “do no harm” principle that the Western World has championed (and in many ways failed) in its practice of law. Many of our laws (federal and state) protect citizens from acts that are deemed harmful. Anti-cyberbullying and anti-cyberharrassment laws have been passed in this spirit, but primarily in the context of protecting children (the most vulnerable group) from each other. Adults are given more freedom of speech, but laws are increasingly being proposed and enacted to change this situation. Christians should be at the forefront of “do no harm,” but this website has already smeared more than a dozen church leaders, school administrators and university faculty. Gleefully, I might add.

    Third, the church is compelled to maintain internal order. There is a due process for dealing with complaints about individuals and the elected leardership is charged with this responsibility. This website undermines the authority of the church to conduct its own governance. If Adventists the world over formed multiple special interest groups intent on “exposing” individuals and institutions for every perceived wrong by publicizing them on the internet and in the secular media (and there are MANY issues ripe for attack), church leadership would be controlled by fear and church order would break down altogether. This website has become a model for circumventing internal discipline and order, which most of you take great pride in.

    I don’t expect you people to agree with these issues.




    0
    View Comment
  34. Comments that are directed toward the percieved personal “faults” of a particular person posting in this forum or his/her debating style, which have nothing to pertain to the topic at hand, will be edited after this point. Such suggestions, while perhaps helpful in some contexts, are best done in a private manner.

    – EdTruth




    0
    View Comment
  35. Sean, I wonder if this website can institute some type of sign in and private messaging system. That might help people clarify among each other rather than find this forum the only place to communicate. I’ve often wished I could just message someone. Christiane

    [We’re working on it but haven’t come up with a good solution yet. Let me know if you think of anything along these lines. – sp]




    0
    View Comment
  36. [We’re working on it but haven’t come up with a good solution yet.Let me know if you think of anything along these lines. – sp]  

    Sean, Aren’t there plugins for that? I’m just beginning to learn how to use WordPress, but maybe someone who has experience can help.




    0
    View Comment
  37. @Geanna Dane:

    Geanna, regarding the clock running down, it is an inference that can be made based upon what is known. One thing Sean mentioned is that given the rate of mutation observed today, the human race should be extinct if it is really around two hundred thousand years old. A reasonable inference is that in past, the rate of harmful mutations was lower and has increased as time has gone on.

    I’m not an expert in the molecular genetics, but the genome of humans and most species contains a very high percentage of non-coding DNA once termed “junk DNA.” Much of this code may have been functional in the past, but no longer is. For example, pseudogenes appear to be genes that were once functional but became non-functional as a result of mutations. Another example is the abundance of mobile genetic elements like transposons and retroviruses, which hint that, in a period in the past, the genome was far more flexible and amenable to useful and rapid change and modification. If the genome were studied with the assumption that “the clock is running down” rather than with the assumption that functionality and complexity are increasing through random replication errors, it would be much easier to understand and make sense of.




    0
    View Comment
  38. @Geanna Dane

    First, the Bible makes clear that Christians should not sue each other in court, the principle being that it brings public reproach upon our cause. When church squabbles spill over into the public arena, as has happened with this particular quarrel, Adventists appear to others to be anything but Christian and it embarasses the church.

    That’s a legitimate point. But then we have the uncomfortable stories in the Bible that demonstrate that God sometimes calls people to do things that do not “appear Christian” to the world. Even God Himself did stuff like that, if you believe the biblical record of God’s various judgments. Sometimes in order for a larger good to be gained, the usual rules do not work.

    Second, there is a “do no harm” principle that the Western World has championed (and in many ways failed) in its practice of law. … this website has already smeared more than a dozen church leaders, school administrators and university faculty. Gleefully, I might add.

    “Do no harm” is also a principle to which physicians subscribe. Yet they perform operations, sometimes amputating whole limbs. You could say that this is doing great harm. But it saves the life of the patient.

    It seems to me that the intent on this site is to save the patient.

    I wonder how you can know that posters feel “gleeful” when they post. Could it be that you are projecting feelings that are not theirs. (That’s a type of “smearing.”)

    Furthermore, I believe I missed the “smearing” of “more than a dozen” individuals. “Smearing” conveys the thought that bad behavior/motives are falsely ascribed to individuals. What I have seen on this site, by contrast, is hard evidence of what has been going on in classrooms at LSU.

    Could it be that you are indulging in gross hyperbole?

    Third, the church is compelled to maintain internal order. There is a due process for dealing with complaints about individuals and the elected leardership is charged with this responsibility. This website undermines the authority of the church to conduct its own governance.

    You have a point here. However, you seem to surmise that “proper channels” were not followed previous to going public with this site. Are you sure your surmising is correct?

    If Adventists the world over formed multiple special interest groups intent on “exposing” individuals and institutions for every perceived wrong by publicizing them on the internet and in the secular media (and there are MANY issues ripe for attack), church leadership would be controlled by fear and church order would break down altogether. This website has become a model for circumventing internal discipline and order, which most of you take great pride in.

    Parents and constituents of the LSU have been deceived regarding what has been going on in the classrooms. This site is informational, functioning like a news source. Facts are reported.

    If the facts were in harmony with what is advertised to the constituency, there would be no problem. So the fault seems to lie with the discrepancy between the promotional materials of LSU and the actual facts, not with the reporting of the facts. (If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, smashing the mirror isn’t all that helpful.)

    If professors are doing their job with integrity, they should not feel “smeared” by having this truth publicized. Ditto for the administrators.

    This website does not undermine the authority of the church to do its own governance. It has no power to discipline or do “governance.” Only church members and their elected representatives can do that. Rather, this site informs members and elected representatives of problems that need to be addressed at a major institution. Admittedly, it seems as though this site has given those in charge of “governance” a little prod to do the job they were elected to do.

    That’s not a bad thing at all, in my opinion.

    Nor is it a bad thing for leaders to “fear” exposure of behavior that is inappropriate for the positions they hold. It is far better, in my opinion, to fear to do wrong than to walk confidently down a deadly path.

    What is being addressed here is something that is contrary to church order. It is disingenuous to suggest that if people should fear to go contrary to church order, church order would break down!




    0
    View Comment
  39. @David Read:

    Geanna, regarding the clock running down, it is an inference that can be made based upon what is known. One thing Sean mentioned is that given the rate of mutation observed today, the human race should be extinct if it is really around two hundred thousand years old. A reasonable inference is that in past, the rate of harmful mutations was lower and has increased as time has gone on.

    There really isn’t any known “reasonable” way to hypothesize a significantly reduced mutation rate in the past compared to today (i.e., around 200-300 mutations per individual per generation). The reason for this is because the basis of most mutations is known. The error rate of DNA transcription is known as well as the repair rate. The combination of these two rates produces a final mutation rate. This final mutation rate would be very difficult to significantly reduce given the nature of the transcription and repair proteins. There would have to have been some other mechanism of error detection and/or repair in order to significantly reduce the mutation rate in the past.

    I’m not an expert in the molecular genetics, but the genome of humans and most species contains a very high percentage of non-coding DNA once termed “junk DNA.” Much of this code may have been functional in the past, but no longer is.

    This is no longer true. The assumption that non-coding DNA is truly non-functional or “junk” is an evolutionary assumption that has recently proven false.

    It is actually a creationist prediction that non-coding DNA would be found to be functional. It is very interesting, therefore, that non-coding DNA, to include many “pseudogenes”, pyknons, repetitive sequences, and the like, have proven not only to be functional, but vitally functional – even more functional that the genes or “coding” sequences themselves. The genes are like the basic bricks and mortar of a house while the blueprint as to how the bricks and mortar are arranged, as to what type of house is built, is within the non-coding DNA.

    For example, pseudogenes appear to be genes that were once functional but became non-functional as a result of mutations. Another example is the abundance of mobile genetic elements like transposons and retroviruses, which hint that, in a period in the past, the genome was far more flexible and amenable to useful and rapid change and modification. If the genome were studied with the assumption that “the clock is running down” rather than with the assumption that functionality and complexity are increasing through random replication errors, it would be much easier to understand and make sense of.

    Again, many pseudogenes, mobile genetic elements and even retroviral sequences are being found to have beneficial functionality within the genome. While I agree with your conclusion that the original gene pool very likely had greater functional potential regarding quality and potential for diversification, your contention that much of the genome is non-functional evolutionary garbage doesn’t seem to be true.

    Consider the following recent discoveries along this line:

    No one knows yet just what the big picture of genetics will look like once this hidden layer of information is made visible. “Indeed, what was damned as junk because it was not understood may, in fact, turn out to be the very basis of human complexity,” Mattick suggests. Pseudogenes, riboswitches and all the rest aside, there is a good reason to suspect that is true. Active RNA, it is now coming out, helps to control the large-scale structure of the chromosomes and some crucial chemical modifications to them—an entirely different, epigenetic layer of information in the genome.
    In fact, the most detailed probe yet into the workings of the human genome has led scientists to conclude [as of June 14, 2007] that a cornerstone concept about the chemical code for life is badly flawed. Reporting in the British journal Nature and the US journal Genome Research on Thursday [June 14, 2007], they suggest that an established theory about the genome should be consigned to history.
    In between the genes and the sequences known to regulate their activity are long, tedious stretches that appear to do nothing. The term for them is “junk” DNA, reflecting the presumption that they are merely driftwood from our evolutionary past and have no biological function. But the work by the ENCODE (ENCyclopaedia of DNA Elements) consortium implies that this nuggets-and-dross concept of DNA should be, well, junked.

    The genome turns out to a highly complex, interwoven machine with very few inactive stretches, the researchers report. Genes, it transpires, are just one of many types of DNA sequences that have a functional role. And “junk” DNA turns out to have an essential role in regulating the protein-making business. Previously written off as silent, it emerges as a singer with its own discreet voice, part of a vast, interacting molecular choir.
    “The majority of the genome is copied, or transcribed, into RNA, which is the active molecule in our cells, relaying information from the archival DNA to the cellular machinery,” said Tim Hubbard of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, a British research group that was part of the team. “This is a remarkable finding, since most prior research suggested only a fraction of the genome was transcribed.”
    Francis Collins, director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), which coralled 35 scientific groups from around the world into the ENCODE project, said the scientific community “will need to rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do.”

    ENCORE Project Consortium et al., Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project, Nature 447, 799-816 (14 June 2007); Richard Ingham, Landmark study prompts rethink of genetic code, Yahoo News, accessed June 15, 2007

    “We fooled ourselves into thinking the genome was going to be a transparent blueprint, but it’s not,” says Mel Greaves, a cell biologist at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, UK. Instead, as sequencing and other new technologies spew forth data, the complexity of biology has seemed to grow by orders of magnitude. Delving into it has been like zooming into a Mandelbrot set — a space that is determined by a simple equation, but that reveals ever more intricate patterns as one peers closer at its boundary….
    “It seems like we’re climbing a mountain that keeps getting higher and higher,” says Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley. “The more we know, the more we realize there is to know.”…
    Researchers from an international collaborative project called the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) showed that in a selected portion of the genome containing just a few per cent of protein-coding sequence, between 74% and 93% of DNA was transcribed into RNA. Much non-coding DNA has a regulatory role; small RNAs of different varieties seem to control gene expression at the level of both DNA and RNA transcripts in ways that are still only beginning to become clear. “Just the sheer existence of these exotic regulators suggests that our understanding about the most basic things — such as how a cell turns on and off — is incredibly naive,” says Joshua Plotkin, a mathematical biologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

    Erika Check Hayden, Human genome at ten: Life is complicated, Nature 464, 664-667, Published online 31 March 2010

    For a more detailed discussion of “pseudogenes” and “non-coding” DNA, see the following essay on my website:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/pseudogenes.html

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  40. What is being addressed here is something that is contrary to church order. It is disingenuous to suggest that if people should fear to go contrary to church order, church order would break down!

    You got me there. I can’t argue against this.




    0
    View Comment
  41. Inge, Thank you for your biblically based points. As we are seeing, God is working through our membership and leaders. I’m very impatient as all can tell, but I do see progress slowly happening. But, we should not become too complacent–we’ve got a long way to go!




    0
    View Comment
  42. While I agree with your conclusion that the original gene pool very likely had greater functional potential regarding quality and potential for diversification, your contention that much of the genome is non-functional evolutionary garbage doesn’t seem to be true.

    Sean, given your understanding of changes in what we view to be functional DNA, perhaps you would find agreement with the following statement from Armin Moczek (Current Topics in Developmental Biology 86:135-162, 2009): “novel traits do not require new genes or developmental pathways to come into being, but instead may arise from co-option of pre-existing developmental machinery into new contexts”.

    Evolutionists have long been open to the likelihood that microevolutionary mechanisms may not be responsible for macroevolutionary change, and that a substantial disjunct (i.e. no continuum) exists between microevolution and macroevolution. Many of the mechanisms proposed for macroevolutionary change are derived from, and will continue to come from, comparative developmental biology, but they are not limited to this. As Reznick and Ricklefs point out, basic processes of diversification and extinction may be more relevant than appreciated by many (Nature 457:837-842, 2009). There is a lot we don’t know but much will be learned.

    To say that macroevolutionary changes are impossible is a claim that exceeds what is known and relies strictly on faith. And that’s okay so long as one does not use science, which is far from complete on the topic, to back this claim. However tempting the argument from ignorance may be, it is simply inappropriate. Of course, to say that macroevolutionary changes are possible also represents an assumption that cannot be validated by science and requires faith, but it leaves open possibilities that can be studied by science–which contrasts sharply with the position of the macroevolution denier.

    Personally, I don’t believe we will have good answers until we learn while sitting at the knee of Jesus. I can live by faith until then.




    0
    View Comment
  43. @myself: Of course, to say that macroevolutionary changes are possible also represents an assumption that cannot be validated by science and requires faith, but it leaves open possibilities that can be studied by science–which contrasts sharply with the position of the macroevolution denier.

    Before dissecting this statement, please bear in mind that one cannot prove a negative (other than things like a mathematical term or a chemical charge). One cannot prove that a volcano never erupted at the present-day site of the U.S. capital. One cannot prove that bigfoot (the big hairy ape of North America) does not exist today. One cannot prove that Abe Lincoln never told a lie.




    0
    View Comment
  44. @Geanna Dane:

    Sean, given your understanding of changes in what we view to be functional DNA, perhaps you would find agreement with the following statement from Armin Moczek (Current Topics in Developmental Biology 86:135-162, 2009):

    “Novel traits do not require new genes or developmental pathways to come into being, but instead may arise from co-option of pre-existing developmental machinery into new contexts”.

    This is the party line, but it just doesn’t happen beyond very low levels of functional complexity and statistically it is extremely unlikely to happen this side of a practical eternity of time. What is known about the nature of sequence/structure space, and the exponential decline of potentially beneficial vs. non-beneficial, removes the scientific tenability from such assertions…

    To say that macroevolutionary changes are impossible is a claim that exceeds what is known and relies strictly on faith. And that’s okay so long as one does not use science, which is far from complete on the topic, to back this claim. However tempting the argument from ignorance may be, it is simply inappropriate. Of course, to say that macroevolutionary changes are possible also represents an assumption that cannot be validated by science and requires faith, but it leaves open possibilities that can be studied by science–which contrasts sharply with the position of the macroevolution denier.

    Science is all about what is “most likely” given what is known right now – not what might be known in the future. And, given what is known right now, functional evolution beyond very very low levels of qualitatively novel functional complexity (systems that require a minimum of more than 1000 specifically arranged residues) doesn’t happen and is in fact statistically unlikely to happen this side of trillions upon trillions of years of time.

    To suggest that this information is not actually available shows an ignorance of the available information regarding the nature of sequence/structure space at various levels of functional complexity.

    Before dissecting this statement, please bear in mind that one cannot prove a negative (other than things like a mathematical term or a chemical charge). One cannot prove that a volcano never erupted at the present-day site of the U.S. capital. One cannot prove that bigfoot (the big hairy ape of North America) does not exist today. One cannot prove that Abe Lincoln never told a lie.

    And one cannot absolutely prove that Stonehenge isn’t really just a natural rock formation, or that sickness isn’t really the result of voodoo. No one can prove that garden fairies, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Santa Claus don’t really exist. Yet, no one (but children perhaps) believes that they do. Why not?

    This is the argument of those like Dawkins and Provine who argue against the practicality of believing in a God that offers no positive evidence of His existence. Are they right to suggest that such a “faith” is equivalent to believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

    The same thing is true of the faith of scientists in the creative potential of RM/NS beyond very low levels of functional complexity. There is no positive evidence for such faith regarding the creative potential of this particular mechanism beyond very very low levels of functional complexity. Nothing along these lines is observable or even statistically tenable. Where then is the “science” behind such assertions? Where is the calculable predictive value? Where is even the potential for testable falsification?

    What does have predictive value is that such evidence is very unlikely to be discovered given our past history of experience with the available data. The positive evidence describing the nature of sequence space should be overwhelming to the candid mind regarding the likelihood of discovering something equivalent to garden fairies.

    Therefore, the “proof of a negative” is the lack of evidence to the contrary – after extensive investigation.

    Can I absolutely prove that someone winning the California Lottery 100 times in a row didn’t do so by pure chance? that no deliberate design or cheating was involved? No. I cannot absolutely prove a negative as you point out. However, does this then mean that chance is the best scientific explanation for such a series of events? – that there is no reliably determinable scientific alternative explanation?

    You’ve just illustrated a basic limitation of science – that nothing is absolutely provable by science. There are only degrees of certainty in science. Nothing is absolute. There isn’t even absolute positive evidence in science since everything must be subjectively interpreted with potentially falsifiable theories…

    Personally, I don’t believe we will have good answers until we learn while sitting at the knee of Jesus. I can live by faith until then.

    There are many things we won’t know till then. However, this does not mean that God hasn’t given us abundant evidence right now – scientifically viable evidence of His existence and the reliability of His Word, revealed will for our lives, and a solid scientific basis for a bright future that He has promised.

    Without this evidence I don’t see your faith as being more attractive to me, if I had no other information, than a faith in Santa Claus or garden fairies or Dawkins’ Flying Spaghetti Monster. I’m sorry, but blind faith based on warm fuzzy feelings and nothing more just doesn’t do it for me when it comes to thinking that I will ever actually sit at the real physical feet of Jesus someday…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  45. Wow, Sean, I didn’t intend to provoke you. Sorry about that. I did find your response insightful nevertheless.

    This is the argument of those like Dawkins and Provine who argue against the practicality of believing in a God that offers no positive evidence of His existence. They rightly suggest that such a “faith” is equivalent to believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    [and…]

    You’ve just illustrated a basic limitation of science – that nothing is absolutely provable by science. There are only degrees of certainty in science. Nothing is absolute. There isn’t even absolute positive evidence in science since everything must be subjectively interpreted with potentially falsifiable theories…

    But of course…

    this does not mean that God hasn’t given us abundant evidence right now – scientifically viable evidence of His existence and the reliability of His Word, revealed will for our lives, and a solid scientific basis for a bright future that He has promised.

    Thank you for sharing.




    0
    View Comment
  46. It is our opinion that we are allowing one person to be the main focus of these conversations. Frankly, we are avoiding what that person is saying because of the way it is said and believe that it would be more constructive for all involved to now head in a direction that focuses on what we believe is the desire and purpose of this website, that is, to hold our pastors, our leaders, our…..institutions …accountable (to paraphrase our new GC president). As we learn to do that in a firm yet merciful way, (as Jesus did in the cleansing of the temple, where those that were guilty fled but those who were not (even the children) remained) God will work mightily to open the way so that those who choose to follow Him can go forward. Time is short and I hope and pray we do not waste time being sidetracked, even in this forum. We can disagree without being disagreeable and/or sarcastic. Thank for giving all of us the opportunity to voice our concerns. May God continue to bless and strengthen the hands of those who have lead in this courageous endeavour. His mighty arm is over His church even when we face seemingly insurmountable challenges!




    0
    View Comment
  47. Sean, I didn’t say that “much of the genome is non-functional evolutionary garbage.” Sometimes it is hard for me to believe you’re not actually a lawyer.

    When you get to pages 459-460 of my book, you will read a story of how introns made a gene more functional. I write, “This story illustrates that although we may not understand the role ‘junk DNA’ plays in regulating organic processes, it is becoming very clear that non-coding DNA has a role, and that it is not ‘junk.'”

    At pages 525 to 529 I discuss a theory that the rapid post-Flood speciation and diversification that is a feature of most creationist models was aided by mobile genetic elements and horizontal gene transfer, as suggested by Todd Wood, a protege of Kurt Wise. His article is here:

    http://www.grisda.org/origins/54005.pdf.

    I see that Wood has a more recent article in “Origins” that I will have to peruse.

    I do believe that there were genetic mechanisms that aided rapid post-Flood speciation, but since we now see greater species stability, it is a reasonable inference the mechanism(s) “turned off” somehow. Thus, I would not be surprised to find that the genome gives evidence of past functionality that is no longer functioning. That isn’t inconsistent with a creationist position. There is much we do not know about how life works, and dogmatic certainty is premature.




    0
    View Comment
  48. I think most people have made up their minds about what’s going on a LSU. The ones that have not probably have not seen nor heard the lectures. This will only be a matter of time. Unfortunetly, as time progresses more and more students will go on to doubt the Inspired Word as a result of the teaching going on in the class called Bio 111A. This class, in my opinion, is more dangerous than any Evolution class I ever took at UCR. It is a class where a non literal reading of the Bible is advanced – where open interpretation is the rule so that difficulties can be explained away. It is more threatening because the only thing more dangerous than a wolf to a herd is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    This is the precise reason why I would never send my children to such a school. It is one thing to openly attack the standard of my beliefs (Bible)as is done every day in the public school system. It is quite another to systematically erode that standard from within by religating the interpretation of the Holy scriptures to the whim of a few professors with an agenda.




    0
    View Comment
  49. I am troubled when I hear the new president of the General Conference repeatedly affirm Ellen White and her writings and then call the Adventist Information Ministry and be told by a master of divinity student(Thet are refered to as chaplains)that belief in Ellen G. White and her writings is not a test of fellowship in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.Thatgives the appearance of talking differently from the right andthe left side of our mouths.




    0
    View Comment
  50. Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (read verse 23) King James——Living Bible—-Claiming themselves to be wise without God, they became utter fools instead. This is not a judgement on any of the participants in this discussion only a suggestion that each determine their motivation to continue to respond.




    0
    View Comment
  51. I am a Seventh-day Adventist! I love my God who was wise enough to provide His last day church with the writings of His last day messenger, Ellen White. He did that for a reason-to shed more light on His Holy Word.

    There is no doubt in my mind that he “spoke and it was so”. Our world was created in 6 literal, solar days, the Bible says it, and I believe it. I really think the problem here is do we believe the Bible? If we have any doubts then we open the way for Satan to insinuate his lies. The debate really comes down to this, it’s really simple-if we don’t believe in the Biblical Creation, then the Sabbath of the Lord our God becomes valueless. What is the last events of this worlds history going to revolve around? The Sabbath. What is the mark of the beast going to revolve around? The Sabbath.So really what we are looking at here, in my humble opinion,is the “Shaking” that the church must go through at the end of time. So, where do you and I stand? Are we ready for Jesus to come?

    To those folks at LSU, you are without a doubt trampling on God’s Word. Please put away this unbelief. Satan has you right where he wants you. Your souls are at risk, and you will be held accountable for the young lives you are destroying.

    For those of us who believe in Bible truth and because we love Jesus without question, we must defend the faith. If this means firing the staff at LSU or any other SDA institution, then that is what we need to do, not because we are unfeeling or militant, but because we have our children to think about and our God to defend. Not a pleasant task,indeed, but one that we are obligated to do as stewards of God’s church.

    Creationism isn’t the only thing we need to look at either. Have you heard the so called “Christian Rock” that is invading our church? For every truth of God, Satan has a counterfeit. Christian Rock is the counterfeit.

    Lack of belief in God’s messenger, Ellen White.

    The signs are all here of the “shaking”. Where are we in our spiritual lives, my self also? We need, more than ever, to seek Christ, His love, His guidance, and His Holy Spirit. Then we need to show Him our love by keeping His commandments. Love has everything to do with this! But not at the expense of truth. If this were possible, Jesus would not have had to die on the cross for you and me, He could have changed the truth. But the fact of the matter is He couldn’t change truth, even to save Himself, and neither can we.

    Pray for one another, love one another as God has loved us. Upholding the standards is love, because our salvation depends upon our love to God and our fellow man.




    0
    View Comment
  52. C. Dobbin, Your points are well spoken. However, liberals do not believe you have to actually “believe” the bible, at least as far as creation goes, since it is simply an “allegory” and not really true.

    It seems that Jesus as well as all bible writers who mention creation actually believed it happened just as the bible says. Was Jesus “fooled” by the ancient biblical writers? Or was He just humoring us because we’re so dumb?

    Also liberals say one doesn’t have to believe in biblical creation in order to believe the Sabbath. Who cares that the “days” were actually millions of years. God did rest at the end, and that’s all that counts.

    And what about all this talk about Jesus having to die for us? Hey, millions of “humanoids” died on their way to becoming “human.” This guy named “Adam” was also “allegorical.” He just represented all humans and human-like creatures.

    I say again–Is Jesus a liar? Was he fooled by the Old Testament writers? Was he just fooling around with us?




    0
    View Comment
  53. What about all those vegetarians too Ron, Is unclean a code for something else in the Bible ? I wonder how many of the theistic evolutionists in our chruch are vegetarians and more importantly why? Ellen G. White? Perhaps they would say that science backs them up. Really? Has it always? Will it in the future?

    It’s intersting that the health message was correct at a time when the science didn’t agree with it as well. That didn’t stop us as a church from going along. Aren’t we glad that we believed the word on that?




    0
    View Comment
  54. For anyone wanting to see how “open” liberals are, please go to Adventist Spectrum, under the article, “Unity in Diversity” and see how Pastor Kevin Paulsen is being criticized, vilified, and crucified by the liberal “pundits” on that website.Why? Well, he simply supports the GYC! Yeh, he supports an organization that encourages our young people to follow God’s Word. An organization that has the support of many of our denominational leaders.Thank you Pastor Paulsen for having the courage to take [a stand].  (Quote)

    Amen to that !!! i have been encouraged By The young ones from GYC, Praise God for them … i have just been to nth qld camp in Australia &PR Peter Gregory was the speaker that is why i went…… i heard him on GYC ..




    0
    View Comment
  55. Carol, As anyone can verify, the liberals in our church, represented well by AT and Spectrum constantly criticizing, vilifying, and condemning virtually any promotion of actual biblical belief.

    Read it for yourself. Criticism of our mainline church members, leaders, structure, and organization. In favor of what? Humanistic philosophy!

    Dump the “ancient” ideas if favor of their more modern, sophisticated, and “progressive” ideas.




    0
    View Comment
  56. @Daniel Urrutia, M.D.:

    “Dr. Daniel Urrutia,M.D. says: (July 14, 2010)

    “It is our opinion that we are allowing one person to be the main focus of these conversations. Frankly, we are avoiding what that person is saying because of the way it is said and believe that it would be more constructive for all involved to now head in a direction that focuses on what we believe is the desire and purpose of this website, that is, to hold our pastors, our leaders, our…..institutions …accountable (to paraphrase our new GC president)….”

    ……….

    Thank you so much for this comment, Dr. Urrutia. I have felt this same way for quite some time but did not want to voice my opinion for fear I would come across as “negative and fault finding.”

    I am very encouraged by the stand Elder Wilson has taken. Frankly, I have been very concerned by the apparent LACK of genuine concern on the part of many of those in the chain of command for so many years. To me, the real battle has just begun and we can be sure Satan will marshal every demon at his command if need be to defeat any real change in the situation. Elder Wilson will need all the help and support he can get. God is still in control and I have no doubt but what the victory will be eventually won but I fear it will come at a terrible price.

    Thanks again for your comments!

    Sincerely,

    Lydian Belknap




    0
    View Comment
  57. I have been following this subject for quite awhile, however, I have yet to see something change. It appears that our church leaders are not acting fast enough. Here we are almost at the beginning of another school year and the SAME faculty members are STILL in place!!!! This a shame…. If they are going to be drawing a salary from an Adventist university, they had better be promoting our traditional Adventist understanding of the creation account.

    Why isn’t the chairman of the board, Elder Graham, taking a more assertive stand in this matter? It is a well-known fact that a number of LSU board members do not support the President’s position. What is being done by the church to support them?

    My hope is that our new GC President will not flinch in the face of opposition to the position he so clearly stated during his address at the GC session.

    Maybe more needs to written in the Adventist Reviw to keep this matter before the laity till a significant change takes place.




    0
    View Comment
  58. My hope is that our new GC President will not flinch in the face of opposition to the position he so clearly stated during his address at the GC session.

    A somewhat tangential question: does anyone here want a GC President who has the power to fire any Church employee at his or her personal whim?




    0
    View Comment
  59. It is likely nothing of final significance will happen until the political situation in the world demands a more definitive explanation of what a SDA is and what we believe and stand for.

    Until then, we can only talk to each other in the church and wait until “unbelievers” decide to abandon the church and go their own way.

    It would seem the name “Seventh-day Adventist” will carry its own final meaning and by the name itself, will seperate unbelievers from the ranks of those who hold the traditional views of historic Adventism.

    So, I suppose we must tolerate those who “play spiritual games” in the church and wait for them to abandon ship.

    None the less, we need not be silent nor cease to oppose these false teachers who advocate views contrary to the true faith. Some have already left like Dale Ratzlaff and others. We will yet see a church “exodus” that will no doubt surprise many but not all. Far more than we realize will no doubt go out when the situation becomes more difficult.

    Neither can we know at this time just who they might be, neither can we lump people into liberal and/or conservative and judge their ultimate stand in the future. We may be shocked to find that many so-called conservatives will be some of the most antagonistic individuals to the true bible faith. And others who we may have considered liberal will be very firm in standing for the truth.

    Only in the future will it be clearly revealed who is truly biblical and who is not. Much of the conflict today is unknown by church members who have no idea of what the implications are on both sides. And even some involved are not as clear on biblical issues as they should be.

    The shaking must intensify to a higher level and issues become clearer and clearer until it is obvious to all what the real issue are. This is how it was in heaven in Lucifer’s rebellion and many did not preceive his intent until is came to maturity. God could only wait and we are in the same dilemma. Truth must necessarily speak for itself.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  60. A somewhat tangential question: does anyone here want a GC President who has the power to fire any Church employee at his or her personal whim?  

    Nice attempt at a straw-man argument, Prof. Who stated they even believe Wilson has or would have that power? Looks like you just don’t like what Wilson actually said!




    0
    View Comment
  61. @A. C. Koppel:

    I am troubled when I hear the new president of the GeneralConference repeatedly affirm Ellen White and her writings and then call the Adventist Information Ministry and be told by a master of divinity student(Thet are refered to as chaplains)that belief in Ellen G. White and her writings is not a test of fellowship in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.Thatgives the appearance of talking differently from the right andthe left side of our mouths.  

    Actually, I am very insistent upon both of those being true. It is important that we do not insist on a belief in Ellen White’s writings as a test of church fellowship. Firstly, her name is not in the Bible. Secondly, our founders themselves did not make that belief a requirement, but instead gave people an opportunity to see the evidence for themselves. At the same time, we must make it clear that the Spirit of Prophecy is a sign of the Remnant church of Bible prophecy (Revelation 12:17, 19:10), and that the gift of prophecy was to remain in the church to the end. We must insist that we “…despise not prophesying. Prove all things. Hold fast to that which is good…”

    At the same time, I am glad to have leadership that is not ashamed to proclaim the blessing of reading and following the council we have been blessed with through the ministry of Ellen White. I can personally testify to the blessing it has been in my life, for devotional, encouragement, as well as encouraging deeper study of the word and trusting God to overcome sin in my life.

    God bless as we seek to be transparent (not deceptive) in unashamedly sharing the blessing of Ellen White with others, but holding all things to the standard of the Word of God as revealed in Scripture.




    0
    View Comment
  62. Nice attempt at a straw-man argument, Prof. Who stated they even believe Wilson has or would have that power? Looks like you just don’t like what Wilson actually said!  (Quote)

    Strawman or otherwise, I’m glad we’re in agreement, Ron. No one wants a GC president who can unilaterally decide to fire others.




    0
    View Comment

Comments are closed.