It seems to me that the scientific staff of the …

Comment on Silence of the Geoscience Research Institute by Ervin Taylor.

It seems to me that the scientific staff of the Geoscience Research Institute needs (GRI) our understanding, sympathy, and forbearance, not condemnation. They have been given a difficult, if not impossible, task by the leadership of Adventist Church who now gives them about $1 million a year. GRI scientists currently face the same problem that previously confronted scientists supported by the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) beginning in the 1950s.

Back then, if one wished to be supported with CTR funds for any length of time, one was required to come up with arguments and data that supported the view that tobacco smoking did not cause lung cancer. The intellectually honest CTR-supported scientists, like the GRI staff now, soon realized that, at some point, they would have to face the overwhelming weight of the evidence that smoking really does cause lung cancer and other serious health problems. These individuals who valued their integrity sought to get the CTR to admit what the rest of the scientific community not beholden to the powerful tobacco industry had rapidly determined. But the CTR had some scientists who would sell their souls for a salary, medical benefits, and a pension and they kept the fiction going for many years until it was revealed what they were really doing.

Current GRI scientists continue to be charged with the increasingly impossible task of maintaining the fiction that there is good scientific evidence that life on this planet is only six to ten thousand years old and that there has been a geologically recent world wide flood. I imagine those currently employed by the GRI who value their scientific and personal integrity are very frustrated We should all offer them our sympathy and support. How do you communicate to the leadership of the church, let alone the ordinary church member, that the Adventist Church has spent literally tens of millions of dollars of tithe and offering money over several decades to support a scientifically bankrupt view of earth history?

Perhaps one way is to get the GRI out of the apologetics business. The GRI was originally created to do honest research and not apologetics. The majority of the early GRI scientific staff were scientists who were dedicated to the well-being of the church but they were also intellectually honest. They quickly became aware that the evidence did not support classical Adventist theology about the age of life on planet earth. Regretfully, during the administration of Robert Pearson as GC President, they were replaced with those whose focus was on apologetics not science. David Read said it well on this thread: “science and apologetics are two very different enterprises.” His suggestion for the GRI is to “. . . split the research function from the apologetics functions.” Allow the newly organized Faith and Science Counsel to try to keep up the fiction of that Young Life Creationism can be supported by the weight of the scientific evidence. It appears that this is what is going to happen at the upcoming General Conference. Perhaps GRI can get back to what it was suppose to be do when it was created—good science without regard to what a misdirected theology dictates. But I wonder if the current leadership of the church wants good science when it conflicts with a fundamentalist theology?

Ervin Taylor Also Commented

Silence of the Geoscience Research Institute
I hope that “Martha Kay” has not gone away mad. We need her/him to post again so we all know that she/he actually exists. But perhaps the individual who suggested that “Martha” is really “Ron Stone, MD” in drag came too close to the truth.

Silence of the Geoscience Research Institute
I was quoting a “Martha Kay” posting on this thread. My error. Thank you for noting this mistyping.

Silence of the Geoscience Research Institute
A posting by one Martha Ray states that “. . . . I had no ideal that Billy Graham supports this ministry. If he believes in an old earth then he is not really believe in the Bible and he is nothing but a big fat LIAR!!! How can these people claim to be Christian? If there is anyone at La Sierra or Geoscience Research [Institute] that believes in an earth older than about 6,000 years, they must be fired IMMEDIATELY!!! We must cleanse our church of such infidelity and never let them back in again.”

I can not believe that any reasonable individual—even someone posting on the EducateTruth site—can be as insensitive and misguided as that represented by the words of a “Martha Ray.” Might she (or he?) be an extremist provocateur, using a pseudonym to discredit the position that this site is espousing.

I would very much like to quote Ms. Ray as an example of the intellectual irresponsibility of those who support the EducateTruth agenda. But, to be fair, those running this web site must be given an opportunity to distance themselves from these kinds of rants. I sure they do not want to be seen as supporting such views.

Recent Comments by Ervin Taylor

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
I just noticed Sean’s comment some time ago that “John’s “Revelation” has very little to do with the Roman Empire.”

Perhaps Sean was just trying to be funny or something. If he was serious, then I guess I will have to revise my assumption about his knowledge of the Bible. That was the entire context of the Book of Revelation. But I guess someone who rejects evolution must also have some problems with history.

La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist
LSU should be congratulated for standing-up against the reactionary forces who wants to turn it into a Bible College. May LSU live long and prosper — as it is doing now with enrollments continuing to increase and new buildings going up.

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
It would appear that Dr. Pitman aspires to be the modern Adventist version of Girolamo Aleandro.

For those a little hazy about the history of the Reformation, Girolamo was the individual appointed as papal nuncio by the Pope to be the theological point person opposing Martin Luther and his theology at the Diet of Worms. (The Diet of Worms was an assembly of churchmen and political elites of the Holy Roman Empire in Germany which met in 1521, not a list of things to eat to reduce your weight. And Worms was not an item on the menu, it was a town).

Girolamo argued that Luther had no right to challenge the church’s theology. That theology had been settled for hundreds of years and had been agreed upon by scores of theologians. It was the truth.

Girolamo wrote the denunciations of Luther that were embodied in the Edict of Worms which declared Luther to be a heretic.

After attending the Diet of Worms, Girolamo went to Brussels and was instrumental at having two monks who had adhered to the teachings of Luther burned at the stake.

Sean, like Girolamo, appears to view his role is to root our heresy where ever he finds it in the Adventist Church.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Sean,
unlike Girolamo, has no power to carry out what he would to see happened to those he denounces as Adventist heretics.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
I’m sure that the vast majority of scientifically-informed Adventists will thank Dr.Kent for his every effective and rational approaches to the views expressed by Dr. Pitman and others on this misnamed web site. There is little that needs to be added. Dr. Kent has done a masterful job of exposing the misunderstandings of scientific data dealing with geology and evolutionary biology that has been offered by Dr. Pitman on this and his own web site.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
I see that Professor Kent has been casting pearls of logic and reasonableness before certain types of individuals on the educate truth (sic) web site again. I share with him my amazement at the new insights about inspiration revealed here.