Re Bob’s Quote “Ken – I attended all the GRI sessions …

Comment on The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist by Ken.

Re Bob’s Quote

“Ken – I attended all the GRI sessions at the GC in their “Yes Creation!” seminar and I can tell you that all the GRI scientists and speakers were NOT claiming that observations in science are not congruent with the Bible.”

Hi Bob

Thanks for your comments.

Just wondering if you spoke to Ben Clausen, Jim Gibson, Tim Standish and Ronny Nalin of the GRI at the GC?

As far as I can tell, none of these scientists propose the evidence supports a recent 6 day creation.(FB#6). Please see the following quotes:

“Ronny Nalin, who does sedimentological research in Italy, chose to address a similar theme: “Dealing with Uncertainty.” He answered four key questions:

1. Have I found the synthesis between the Bible and geology? No, just more unresolved issues. ”

“The presentation by Jim Gibson, Director of GRI, responded to the question, “Do Millions of Years Solve the Problem?” In a nutshell, his answer was “no,” but he carefully spelled out the reasons as follows.

1. When looking at the fossil record one realizes that Genesis cannot be a condensed version of time.
2. How about the suggestion that the fossil record could precede the “special creation” of Genesis? This so-called “gap theory” of the Scofield Bible does not work because there is no point in the fossil record where living organisms appear together.
3. What about putting the six literal days of creation millions of years ago? This won’t work because of the way the fossils are “sorted” in the record. Faith has to be the key because “there is not enough evidence to resolve the tension between science and the Bible; one has to believe the Bible without the support of science.” “Science works well when tests can be repeated; history is not testable in that way.” “Science is a closed system governed by physical laws so tension [with the Bible] has to be expected.”
4. Could we consider a fourth way for long ages? Maybe God guided the process of theistic evolution. This view was unacceptable to Darwin himself. Otherwise you would have God guiding in birth defects, etc., so “a God of the gaps” approach does not seem helpful.”

“Most of the presentations by the four GRI staff scientists were thoughtful and helpful. Ben Clausen, in “Belief in Spite of Uncertainty: The Ongoing Faith Journey of a Scientist,” shared first his life experiences – Revelation in stories and texts; Nature; Relating Revelation and Science, “there are no short chronology scientific models;”

Ron, are these observations congruent with the Bible in your opinion?

Your agnostic friend

Ken Also Commented

The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist
Re spelling errors

Sorry about those in the previous passage. I wasn’t drinking…really, just using an iPhone with a small screen. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

Your agnostic friend

The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist
Dear Wes

That’s right Wes, when it comes to investigations of reality all questions should have a point. Although we may seem playful there is some serious business at hand here isn’t there?

Why people believe what they believe is insightful to the advance of human knowledge. Conclusions, and most certainly those of science , are mere fence posts along the infinite road to better understanding. What does it mean if everyone’s faith is at least slightly different, or some are guided more by their sympathetic nervous systems. Are laws of gravity fueled by adrenalin? Would those laws be different if Newton had been an Adventist? Probably not if gravity wasn’t part of the current FB#28.

So when it comes to dramatis personae in our Adventist play our very good Dr. Pitman plays a great heroic, or quixotic role. Time will tell prioviding there is enough time. And that to all us should be of profound interest because often dramatic turns in the advance of human knowledge come through iconic individuals.

The rest of us have our roles as well and yours, at least partially, is to call out the friendly neughbourhoid agnostic into the Adventist lion’s den. And you do it well Dr. Kime, no ironic flattery intended. Nothing like a challenge to bring out the best, or the worst, in a man/woman.

And my role. That of the dialectic foil in the great play, or maybe … more like Touchstone, or perhaps more liklly the muschevious Puck! Every fool has his role.

Alas Dr. Kime I don’t think the something something big is about the salvation of this fool’s soul. Can’t that cloud the agnostic gameplan, the pointed questions.

I hope that assists you and our Adventust friends in bringing me further out if the agnostic closet. You all deserved the honest explanation lest I be mistaken for a devil in a blue dress. Just an agnostic Puck I’m afraid.

Ontological cheers!
Your agnostic friend

The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist
Re Wes’s Quote

“You are on to something big, Ken, our good friend; something big and exciting, a helluva lot more exciting than even blog quibbling, by far.”

Dear Wes

I hope you are right! Perhaps you see that far clearer than I can.

Guilty as charged on the use of the rhetorical arsenal. Answer a question with a question – Socrates best dialectical tool. Not done in a mean spirit though, my cross examining friend.

Ever take things on faith? Hard to predict the future unless one is Dr Camping. I do however watch for classic, Adventist, eschatological markers which may yet provide the support for the bridge between faith and empirical reality.

Your agnostic friend

Recent Comments by Ken

God and Granite Cubes
@ Sean

I enjoyed your article. As I’ve stated before, I think Intelligent Design is a more modern form of Deism and do not think it is irrational. However, as science on an ongoing basis shows what matters are explainable by cause and effect, less is attributable to conscious design. The question of course is what are the limits of science in this regard? For example, will it ever be able to explain First Cause/

Below is a more fulsome quote of Professor Townes, an self acknowledged Protestant Christian. Please note what he has to say about literal creation and evolution. Do you think he is being more reasonable than you on the nature of design?

“I do believe in both a creation and a continuous effect on this universe and our lives, that God has a continuing influence – certainly his laws guide how the universe was built. But the Bible’s description of creation occurring over a week’s time is just an analogy, as I see it. The Jews couldn’t know very much at that time about the lifetime of the universe or how old it was. They were visualizing it as best they could and I think they did remarkably well, but it’s just an analogy.

Should intelligent design be taught alongside Darwinian evolution in schools as religious legislators have decided in Pennsylvania and Kansas?

I think it’s very unfortunate that this kind of discussion has come up. People are misusing the term intelligent design to think that everything is frozen by that one act of creation and that there’s no evolution, no changes. It’s totally illogical in my view. Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here.
Charles Townes
‘Faith is necessary for the scientist even to get started, and deep faith is necessary for him to carry out his tougher tasks. Why? Because he must have confidence that there is order in the universe and that the human mind – in fact his own mind – has a good chance of understanding this order.’
-Charles Townes, writing in “The Convergence of Science and Religion,” IBM’s Think magazine, March-April 1966
Some scientists argue that “well, there’s an enormous number of universes and each one is a little different. This one just happened to turn out right.” Well, that’s a postulate, and it’s a pretty fantastic postulate – it assumes there really are an enormous number of universes and that the laws could be different for each of them. The other possibility is that ours was planned, and that’s why it has come out so specially. Now, that design could include evolution perfectly well. It’s very clear that there is evolution, and it’s important. Evolution is here, and intelligent design is here, and they’re both consistent.

They don’t have to negate each other, you’re saying. God could have created the universe, set the parameters for the laws of physics and chemistry and biology, and set the evolutionary process in motion, But that’s not what the Christian fundamentalists are arguing should be taught in Kansas.

People who want to exclude evolution on the basis of intelligent design, I guess they’re saying, “Everything is made at once and then nothing can change.” But there’s no reason the universe can’t allow for changes and plan for them, too. People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one. Maybe that’s a bad word to use in public, but it’s just a shame that the argument is coming up that way, because it’s very misleading. “

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Sean’s Quote

“Yes, I am suggesting that our scientists should also be theologians to some degree. I’m also suggesting that our theologians be scientists to some degree as well. There should be no distinct dividing line between the two disciplines…”

Hello Sean

First of all, thank you Holly for your comments. You have always treated me with civility and charity for which I am most grateful.

Secondly, on reflection, I do hope I was not strident or offensive in my recent remarks. I am a guest here and should behave with the utmost respect regarding my Adventist hosts. After all I was proposing the Chair of ID at an ‘Adventist’ institution! What gall and temerity from an agnostic!

However something Dr. Kime said struck a very strange chord in me: that a Chair in ID at Harvard would be a quantum leap ( forward – my edit) while such a Chair would be a step backward at LSU. I’ m very sorry Wes, but for me to honestly investigate reality such double standard is not acceptable.

I am sad today, because I think I’m coming to the end of my Adventist journey. I really did see ID as a sort of bridge between your faith and objective inquiry about a ‘Grand’ Design. (apologies Mr. Hawkings). Oh Wes , perhaps I am ontological Don Quixote after all, comically tilting towards immovable Adventist windmills. 🙁 .

However all is not forlorn because I’ve made excellent friends of the heart here. ;). I won’t forget you.

Good luck in your pursuit of God.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Wes’s Quote

“. But for a Christian, a great devolution, a great recidivation, a tragic forfeiture, foreclosure, worse. If I were to use the vocabulary of some of our recent posters, I’d not put it as delicately.”

Hi Wes and Sean

I just read again portions on ID from Sean’s website Detecting Design. I am very confused by both of your responses. Why the heck is Sean promoting ID as a scientific theory if this is such a Christian retreat? Perhaps you two differ here? I apologize if I am missing the obvious but I see a tremendous disconnect between what Sean is saying about ID and what he is prepared to do to promote it within the subset of Adventist education.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Sean’s Quote

“Public association is one thing. Private association is another. While many do not feel at liberty to publicly associate themselves with our work here (for obvious reasons), most who still believe in SDA fundamentals (and who are aware of the longstanding situation at LSU and other places) feel that our work in providing enhanced transparency for what is being taught to our young people in our schools was/is necessary on some level.”

Hi Sean

The irony here is that those that are supporting institutional enhanced transparency are hiding behind cloaks of anonymity. That’s not how you, I, Wes, Bob Ryan, Wes, Bill Sorenson and many others here behave. Imagine if Jesus hid behind a cloak and didn’t proclaim his nature. What legacy of respect would he have left?

Conviction requires courage period.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Intelligent Design

Gentleman, thanks to all for your fulsome replies.

Yes Wes, I remember your cogent analysis of November 14/11. I appreciared it then and its reiteration now. indeed I was waiting to hear from others especially Sean whose site is named Detecting Design. And, here I agree with Bob, ID
does not necessarily rule out any particular design i. e. fiat
creation ot theistic evolution.

But quite frankly I am disaapointed with Sean’s response, not Sean himself for whom I have deep admiration, because I see this as a step backward. Why? Because if you burn the bridge between science and biblical faith it will not be science that suffers.

Ironically Sean makes many fine, cogent arguments for design in nature so I find his reluctance to promote it formally in Adventist education troubling. Respectfully, I don’t think serious enquiry about reality can creep around the periphery or sneak in through the back door. I’m afraid I see a double standard here.

Yes Wes, I understand why Adventists are nervous on this issue. But if one is seeking the truth about reality one can’t wall it in or burn bridges of enquiry. Wes, perhaps the Hellenic maxim should have not so much: Know thyself, but rather Think for thyself. My park bench in Pugwash is a welcome one but does not feature ontological dividers. It is well designed for truth seekers.

Your agnostic friend