Adventism, from it’s origin in the mid-19th century, has always been, for a religion, uniquely heavy into science, particularly medical science, with a respected medical school and schools of related science, now called Loma Linda University. One of the earliest medical schools in California, recently celebrating its centennial, LLU has always taught and researched cutting-edge medicine, right along with religion courses (in my day, Pauline epistles). I’m a graduate, an MD, class of ’53.
That has been the pattern for all our educational institutions. At La Sierra College (now university), I took a BA in biology, which included the study in detail of Darwinian Evolution as well as Creation Science, with proofs and disproofs, and, of course, due reproofs of the former and honest promotion of the latter. Science and theology students may have tended to go their own ways, subject, alas, to the sin of pride of status, but without talk of fundamental incompatibility.
Thus Adventist science, supported by data and evidence, and Adventist theology, sustained by faith, coexisted together without gratuitous conflict, undue quibble or niggle, or inordinate compartmentalization. Science and religion were married and enjoyed a little frisson but got along fine.
That was 70 years ago. Back then our preachers and pastors thought well of scientists (if not the moneyed lifestyle of doctors, but that’s another story), and we all were Bible students of greater or lesser seriousness, and not embarrassed about it. Meanwhile, Darwinian Evolution was, even in the non-Adventist world, a theory, the parochially favored theory to be sure, but still a theory, not the law. It was the Golden age of science, Adventist and non-Adventist.
Since then things have changed, drastically, and have gotten downright weird, I’d say kinky, may I say scary.
Evolution has evolved, breathtakingly, and evolved in unexpected directions and dimensions. In the court and from the lectern more than in the field or the lab, Evo has evolved from theory to doctrine to law and beyond. No longer a tool of science, it is science itself. Once Evo was taught; now it’s mandated, in court and classroom. Who could have known?
And suddenly we are scholars, embarrassed that once we were Bible students, and abounding with doctorates and degrees in every traditional and pop field, preponderantly in sociology and philosophy and culture which know science better than science itself does, from the best universities, where we learned that prayer is less reliable than humanism, higher hermeneutics, and culture, knowledge not learned from Adventism but academia, wherewith the Bible itself must be judged, and usually found wanting, starting at the beginning, Genesis 1, Creation.
Our updated peer-reviewed scientists now know, therefore, that there is no evidence for Creation as the Bible presents it, not a shred. There isn’t, and there can’t be.
By academic peer review and court order, evidence used either to disprove Evolution or prove Creation has been declared invalid hokum, not admissible in court, and furthermore illegal, evidence being Evolution’s patented private creative property, and any unauthorized use is piracy and subject to penalty, loss of tenure and disbarment for professors and lawyers respectively, loss of accreditation, investigation by the FBI, court actions, and flaming blogs, and lampooning in collegiate humor magazines.
The evidence is all for Evolution. Creation has been disproven.
But – I’m not making this up — being as rigid cultural Adventists as once we were doctrinal, our resident scientists feel obliged to make Creationism fit into our culture, somehow. But how in God’s name can scientists, Adventist scientists, do that, believe the disproven!
They cannot. But they do, they somehow must.
How in God’s name!
By faith, is how.
Ah, faith. Heretofore persona non grata anathema in the lab, and stoned and beheaded by scientists, faith, unsupported and even belied by authorized evidence, has evolved headlong into witless, autistic, blinkered, fideistic ex cathedra credulity, freestanding faith divorced from the Bible or reality and flitting dreamily somewhere parallel to God, validated only by a sort of burning within the breast, orphaned, a free-floating whatever; faith which actually feels more at home deep in nirvana or chanted at a monastery than at a seminar or seminary or church, much less the lab. We don’t believe it, we just have faith in it. Now faith, nirvanic faith, is exercised more absolutely in our labs than in our pews. To hell with Galileo, heretofore our scientists’ patron saint.
So changed and overridingly powerful has our scientific faith become that anyone who still values evidence and cites it in behalf of Creation, is branded an atheist. I’m not making this up.
But even if it wanted to, which it doesn’t, academically virtuous faith cannot reconcile God speaking and it happening, in six days, with the mandated randomness and eons. So Adventist scientists, again following higher protocol, go theistic and allow God into creation after all, but only as an accessory after the fact, only after Darwin has rested from his work.
And having thus treated Genesis 1, this kind of transforming faith proceeds to send the rest of the Bible, even Jesus’s nature, mission, and resurrection, into the swamp up from which Evoean fishy creatures once crawled. I’m not making this up either.
Thus this new faith, espoused with casuistic justification for the nonce, ostensibly intended to accredit factually discredited Creation, demolishes the whole Bible – taking with it the need of bothering with faith in the Bible at all, in either lab or pew.
Becoming suddenly serious, actually dead serious all along, our scientists agree that such a faith-adulterated science is more appropriately taught, must be taught, as religion, not science, in separate buildings, under separately endowed professorships, holding their own galas and eligible for separate awards.
I’m so glad I’m not taking pre-med now. I would find myself majoring in theology, not biology.
_________________________________Re-posted with permission from Dr. Kime’s Blog: I Say There