Adventist Review examines LSU conflict

Source: Adventist Review

To a visitor, the 100-acre campus of La Sierra University, an 88-year-old Seventh-day Adventist tertiary institution, seems a tranquil retreat amidst the gritty hustle of southern California’s “Inland Empire,” a place where local commerce intersects with trucks headed from the ports of Long Beach and San Diego to Las Vegas and beyond. In January 2010, a banner proclaimed “Peace Week” at the school, which serves approximately 1,850 undergraduate and graduate students.

But beneath that calm exterior, contention is brewing over how La Sierra, owned by the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, presents its students with information on how the Earth, and life on the planet, came into existence. The stark question being asked by some alumni, parents, and church leaders: Is the Adventist Church’s fundamental belief—“God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity”—what is being taught, or are some of La Sierra’s biology instructors presenting evolution as the explanation of origins?

In a letter to trustees and the university community last May, La Sierra president Randal Wisbey refuted the charge: “Every one of our science faculty share the goal of students experiencing a vibrant Adventist Christian faith while pursuing their education in the sciences. … At La Sierra University, we take seriously the challenge of how to best integrate science education and faith development. Ultimately, our goal is to help students develop a personal relationship with their Creator.” (Read Article)

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62 thoughts on “Adventist Review examines LSU conflict

  1. Another area of concern I have is in regards to dancing. We were counseled that we should not do it, but we as a church have become very good at it. We dance around facts, we dance around truth and we dance with the Devil when we allow evolution to be taught as fact and truth. May the Adventist Review have the courage to be an advocate for stopping the dance.




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  2. This is not meant in any derogatory way, but I am genuinely surprised to see the Adventist Review touch something so controversial. It seemed to be a fairly even-handed article. Good for them!




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  3. Richard Sherwin says:
    March 31, 2010
    Another area of concern I have is in regards to dancing. We were counseled that we should not do it, but we as a church have become very good at it. We dance around facts, we dance around truth and we dance with the Devil when we allow evolution to be taught as fact and truth. May the Adventist Review have the courage to be an advocate for stopping the dance.  

    It looked more like M. Kellner was just reporting the news to me.




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  4. Steve, at least they are reporting it, and there is not a cover up. Bringing the issue to the people is a step in the right direction. So many do not know of the conflict between good and evil within our very church. They think it’s between our church and those on the outside. At this point it’s between Bible believing SDA’s and non Bible believing SDA’s.




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  5. Michael Prewitt says:
    March 31, 2010

    This is not meant in any derogatory way, but I am genuinely surprised to see the Adventist Review touch something so controversial. It seemed to be a fairly even-handed article. Good for them!

    I agree. I was also surprised to see this article published by the Adventist Review. This is a step in the right direction for the AR – addressing a heated topic in the SDA Church that is actually important and will result in wider awareness…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  6. Yes, I think it is wonderful that they have given this very important issue wide exposure. The church needs to know the problems that it faces within its ranks. I hope and pray that those that have the authority to change the course of LSU (and other SDA institutions) will have the courage to do so knowing that God will honor those who honor Him. What a wonderful example of courage Louie Bishop has been! May other young people follow his example and stand for the right though the heavens fall!




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  7. I hope they continue reporting the news. However in the future a more comprehensive and direct manner will be needed as compared to the stepping-on-eggshells approach taken in this article. For example notice how they carefully sifted through Bradley’s public statement to the press – omitting the most objectionable and transparently revealing segments of his disclosure to the press?

    There was no mention of agreement between the biology department and the published statements of the religion department leadership.

    There was no mention of the openly pro-evolutionist outside speakers such as Erv Taylor in the 404 class-

    There was no mention of the 2002-2004 faith and sciences conference results or the surveys that were done in 1994 and 2003.

    They also do not say how many officers are up for re-election in the upcoming Mat 12 meeting of the board of trustees. The reporter never actually surveys Wisbey or any of the PUC LSU board members asking them “So do you believe that evolution is the right answer for origins” – the reader is simply left to “assume” that there is no one on the LSU board nor in LSU administrative leadership that actually believes evolution is “the right answer” for origins. And yet we know that such an assumption on the part of the reader would be totally false.

    There was no mention of the fact that Paulsen has had to step up his level of interest and participation in this divisive issue – trying to get control of the origins debate.

    But at least there was some mention of something.

    Better late than never.

    What the church leadership may be missing is that some strong statements about the problems with evolutionism gaining a foothold inside the Church, will be needed if we are ever to do anthing like “meet it” head on. Hoping that strong statements from Pastor Asscherick or pastor Doug Batchelor will solve the problem for the denomination is wishful thinking on the part of those Church leaders who are coming in late.

    This Omega problem is far more devastating to the church and far more difficult to deal with than the issues with Kellogg’s “Living Temple”. Kellogg’s notions were not “the law of the land”. His teaching was not the mandate of every public school system and almost every private Christian school system, and of the government.

    We recently had a presidental election in which ONE party’s candidates were asked – in public debates “Do you believe in the theory of evolutionism”. When only two candidates out of over 20 were found brave enough to publically state that they did not believe in the doctrines of evolutionism (Huckabee being one of those candidates that did not believe in evolutionism) the reaction of the press was “you realize then that you cannot be president of the United States”.

    No such nation-wide support for “the Living Temple” existed at the time the SDA church was dealing with Kellogg at Battle Creek.

    If our Adventist administration thinks this thing is going to go away by itself – or with some quiet hints to that effect – they are not the students of history and men of action that such a crisis demands of our leaders.

    Time will tell.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  8. So what else is new. When the SDA educational system is under government control, like all the other colleges and university’s in this country. How can we, as Seventh-day Adventist be a peculiar people. In fact we are the TAIL instead of the HEAD.




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  9. This is huge. To paraphrase Joe Biden, this is a really big deal. Bob Ryan is right that the article gives LaSierra and particularly Randal Wisbey more credit than they deserve, but on the other hand, they fearlessly reported LaSierra’s retaliation against Louis Bishop for exposing what is going on in their classrooms.

    This is absolutely huge! For years, this problem has been simmering under the surface, with everyone being frightened to publicly address it, and now the cat is out of the bag. It is going to be more and more difficult for leadership to duck this issue.




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  10. I agree David, this site is serving it’s purpose and many leaders now realizing that this issue is a growing concern that can’t be ignored much longer. Praise God the Review has some editors who are willing to stand up for truth. For those not getting the Review they have has a whole series of articals on Creation recently. There is still a lot of work to do however. Keep the great posts coming! There are a lot of people reading them and gaining confidence in Creationism and the Bible.




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  11. I was actually taken back a little bit when I read this last night. I didnt think one of our publishing magazines had it in them to do some honest investigative journalism! I am extremely happy with the context it was written in and that it shows the emphasis of this kid getting censured if you will and unjustly at that. My Prayer is that people begin to see the action that needs to be taken on a much larger scale.

    ———————————————————
    http://www.ellenwhitestudybible.com the ultimate study bible and how to study blog
    http://www.biblehighlighter.org whats the best bible highlighter? Find out here




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  12. This is a simple problem, with a simple solution.
    If you are not teaching what the your employer (rather private or public system) tell you to teach, tender or not you are fired!

    The church (the employer)says to teach creation, end of commit.

    If you teach creation in public school you are fired.

    Credidation has become an issue so go to a diffent credidation.

    We teach truth in our school not made up assumtion that can not be provide with science itself.

    Our truth is based on FAITH IN GOD not in man. And our God is more creative than we can imiagen. Look up LAMININ on Google and see how what hold everthing together is the cross.

    If you cann’t teach Gods as creater which is the center point of the Three Angle’s Message “Fear God and give glory to the Creator of heaven and earth” Go somewhere you will fill more at home.




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  13. Ron Osborn Wrote:

    Hi Sean. Similar to my question to Shane, it would be helpful to us if you can clarify what exactly you mean by “go after”. I certainly felt like you were “going after” me in a way that was dishonest if not malicious when you started posting my private correspondence to you on Educate Truth last year without informing me you were doing so and quoting me selectively and out of context after I had explicitly informed you I was writing to you personally and not for internet debate.

    http://spectrummagazine.org/blog/2010/03/31/adventist_review_reports_educate_truth_and_la_sierra_university#comment-48490

    Hi Ron,

    As I explained to you at the time, I didn’t realize at first that you intended your letters to me to be private and they were very quickly removed from EdTruth as soon as this was made clear.

    Also, I never took anything you said out of context nor did I maliciously “go after” you in any sort of personal way. I simply disagreed with your ideas – big difference.

    This is not the case with Louie Bishop vs. LSU. LSU is actually threatening Louie with many different things – to include expulsion from LSU, permanent negative comments on his transcript, negative comments on letters of recommendation, etc.

    These very same threats have been made against many other students over the years at LSU. I’ve personally spoken with many of them. Now, I’m sure there are many students who feel very at home at LSU because their personal liberal philosophies are very much in line with that of LSU. However, for those students who actually believe in the stated SDA doctrinal positions of the Church organization, LSU can be a very difficult place to be – rather like a hostile mission field.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m incredulous that any school that thinks to take on the name “SDA” can be so strongly opposed to SDA doctrinal positions while at the same time acting like it is in full support – and intimidate any student who thinks to work toward increased transparency as to what is really taking place behind closed doors in the classrooms.

    Why this need to suppress what is truly happening at LSU? Why all this secrecy and attempts to cover up the truth of the fact that most LSU science professors, and even religion professors, support a theistic evolutionary view on origins? If it is so obviously true and necessary, why not be proud of it and present what is really going on in public LSU advertisements and PR campaigns?

    Surely parents and SDA Church members at large deserve to know the unvarnished truth as to what is really being taught at our own schools and universities. It is time for full transparency. Anything less is robbery of both parents and students . . . and the Church.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  14. I am grateful for the candor of this article, and I pray more candor will be forthcoming from church leaders as to the utter incompatibility of Darwinism with Adventist education. The cleansing of our ranks in earnest must begin. To say it is long overdue is an incredible understatement.

    I will, however, respond to one red herring in this discussion, and that is claim that our educational centers are in trouble because they are under “government control.” Much as I support greater care in keeping our schools unencumbered by any ties which might weaken the clarity of our message, it is wrong to allege that any strings attached by the state are responsibile for the problems we are now encountering. I am not aware of any government agency which has ever complained when an Adventist institution has fired a professor for denying one or another aspect of our faith. Religious institutions throughout our land have maintained such standards as they have seen fit, often at the espense of workers’ jobs.

    The problem in Adventist schools is not government control. Rather, the problem is not enough control by faithful leaders, pastors, and laity.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  15. The AR article is a joke. I understand most of us think it is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t. The article was balanced, fair to both sides, meaning both sides has a legitimate argument, which is not the case. There is nothing to debate or talk about. Why would we call ourselves 7th-Day if we question the 7 day creation. LSU biology department is a growing tumor, that needs to be cut out before it spreads to other parts of our Church.

    How many Adventists students went to LSU and has accepted satan’s lie. Those students are a part of our Church and as a Church we failed them. It isn’t just the biology department; the whole school has become a den of demons. The lack of action by the board shows how deep satan’s claws go.

    Again, I plead with you that LSU needs to be closed, and sold. We can’t allow this to go on any longer.




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  16. I am grateful for students and alumni who have courageously taken a stand on this issue. And I’m also grateful that the Adventist Review has published an article addressing it. The instruction that Jesus gave in Matthew 18:15-17 is what has been implemented, and it is time for the Church at large to know.

    Coercion or intimidation is not in the language of Heaven. Professors at La Sierra University who do not believe the Biblical account of Creation will never be coerced into going against their conscience, and La Sierra University (as a Seventh-day Adventist Institution of higher learning) is very much expected to allow them to believe and teach as they please . . . SOMEWHERE ELSE.

    As an alumna of La Sierra, it is my prayer that the La Sierra University Administration, as well as our Seventh-day Adventist Church Leadership will be as decidedly courageous to honor Him whom we profess to proclaim as Creator, Savior, Lord, and soon coming King.

    Olga




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  17. If macro evolution is being taught as fact at LSU, it would not surprise me. I have witnessed, and I don’t think I am alone, an “evolution” in the church’s teachings and practices since the middle of the last century. I’ve often wondered if the “shaking” of God’s last day church will be one similar to that which befell the Worldwide Church of God; a split between the conservatives and the progressives.




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  18. I am surprised and quite frankly dismayed about the “citizenship” action by LSU. Louie Bishop served me as a “bible worker” with evangelist Jack Pefly in Hayfork and Weaverville two years ago. This is a young man who already has a Bachelors degree in Business from UC Davis. His return to our schools for a pre-med and that was his reason for not continuing as a bible worker. In everything, and in all his work with me as a pastor I found his intregrity to be stellar. His family are not members of the church, and yet this young man attended AFCOE “Amazing Facts College of Evangelism” in order to share his faith. It seems that LSU doesn’t like its dirty secret being displayed to the world. Well shame on them. In observation I have seen that whatever the organization can’t control it will endeavor to distroy. Sometimes the only way accountability is forthcoming is to blow the whistle which doesn’t make anybody especially a student popular. Louie is a devout Seventh-day Adventist who is very familiar with the scientific teachings of secular institutions, having graduated from The University of California at Davis and when he found the same or similar teachings being taught at LSU as the preferred world view he was justifiably concerned. What wasn’t mentioned in the Review, was that there are current professors one of whom graduated as recently as 1994 from Southwestern Adventist University that is also teaching this material, not just a retired teacher who still has emeritis status. Louie’s concern is from direct interaction with that professor in his class, and he personally confronted him about his concerns with regards to a paper of another student that was rejected. The University acted in a punative way by putting him on “citizenship probation” how sad.




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  19. I think for too long we have had Darwin teachings creeping into Adventism, I for one have been told by pastors that seminars were held here in Australia testing the waters to see if the clergy were happy with teaching both creation and Darwinism to “give equal sides to the question” so our people could make an informed decision. The ministers that spoke with me said that they walked out but many stayed. What a sad situation when we cannot trust our pastors to tell us the truth. We all laughed when the Pope announced that he accepted Darwin and the evolution theory when we read it in the papers two years ago, I haven’t even smiled at the absurdity of it being considered in the Remnant Church!




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  20. I believe Ryan has put his finger on some items that were omitted as well as others who do not see total clarity in the Review article.

    Having said that it is a step in the right direction for the Review to make SDAS aware of what is going on in a University that may be SDA in name only. It’s imperative that the La Sierra clean up its act sooner than later. If it is wary of legal action should it dismiss those who are not true to SDA doctrine so be it. It has taken far too long for La Sierra to come to grips with the mess. Frankly, I believe a new President is needed who is committed SDA and will take the bull by the horns.




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  21. If LSU is not committed soley to teaching in conformity to the holy scriptures, they have no right to be called a Seventh-day Adventist institution. Our faith is founded only on the scripture as total truth and that is the only acceptable course of teaching to be allowed.




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  22. BobRyan said:

    They also do not say how many officers are up for re-election in the upcoming Mat 12 meeting of the board of trustees.

    Bob Pickle said:

    Who are the constituents? Is there a list? 

    I was wondering the same things.

    Thanks, BobRyan for pointing out what was not said in the article.




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  23. @George:

    It seems LSU doesn’t think the article is fair and balanced.

    http://www.lasierra.edu/index.php?id=2784

    George – thank you for sharing that link where LSU’s Larry Becker, gives his spin on the situation.

    Apparently Larry believes that critical thinking skills have all but died within the Adventist church.

    1. Larry presents a reponse that tells the reader that anyone who publicly admits that LSU is wrong to teach evolutionism as the right answer for origins “is not supporting LSU”.

    2. Larry has spun the “support statements” as if the AACU and NADCCC are all in favor of what LSU is doing – and possibly in favor of other Adventist institutions choosing to also teach evolutionism as the right answer for origins.

    3. Larry’s evidence in favor of LSU is that there are people in the NADCCC who think that LSU adminstration are “Adventists”. But not once does he say that the NADCCC members agree witih teaching evolution as the right answer for origins – or that doing such is a good way to affirm Adventist doctrines on origins.

    4. Larry admits that the AR article is about the problem of evolution (taught as the right answer for origins) – but then Larry never actually says “LSU biology and religion departments do not support evolution as the right answer of origins”!! Nor does he argue “the good reason for teaching evolution as the right answer for origins by LSU biology and religion department faculty is…”. Hmmm how “odd” that the salient point in this issue never even gets mentioned in his response!

    Larry appears to hope that all the smoke-and-mirrors misdirection in his article will cause “the reader not to notice” that elephant in his living room.

    He also appears to “hope” that no one in the NADCCC or the AACU will come out and say in public “I do not support the idea of ANY SDA university teaching evolution as the right answer for origins – in fact I would strongly condemn such an action. The statements of the AACU and NADCCC should not be construed as supporting the teaching of evolution as the right answers for origins at LSU”.

    I think Larry just opened a door that someone at the AACU and NADCCC is in fact likely to walk through in their efforts to “stand and be counted”.

    Time will tell.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  24. Personally, I think it is both amazing and encouraging that the Review had the courage to say anything! At least they made a lot more folks aware of what is going on and “in unity there is strength!” The more folks that know about it the more pressure will be applied to the leadership to quit “dancing” around the problem and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Iniquity thrives in darkness and hates the light. The Review’s action was both timely and courageous as far as I am concerned.

    No, they didn’t address every issue but I’m reasonably sure what they DID say will have a huge impact on the situation–and that is good. My guess would be that a lot of familiar faces will no longer be around this summer after GC session and other meetings are finished. (Hopefully!!!)

    We are plainly told that there will be a severe “shaking” among us and that “many will leave us and join the enemy” just before Jesus comes and this may well be the beginning of this. We are also told that those who have left will be among our worst enemies but to take courage because God is still in this great Advent movement and, though battered and shaken the “ship” WILL arrive safely in the harbor

    I have a great deal of admiration for Sean Pitman, Louie Bishop, Shane Hilde, David Asscherick and many others I could name for what they have done and are still doing. Apparently we do have our “Daniels and his three friends” among us and I am grateful for that. Keep up your courage friends for “those that be for us are mightier that those that be against us” altho it might not seem that way at times.

    By the way, can anyone tell me how I can get a copy of the article Louie Bishop posted on the internet? I think it should be made available to us so we can see for ourselves just what is going on at LSU. Thanks.




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  25. As a former teacher in our schools and daughter of a pastor & teacher, I cannot believe that we are even conversing about teaching something in our schools that is contra to our basic belief. We spend a lot of money establishing private schools to train our young people in our basic Christian belief. If we are not going to teach those basic beliefs, then why not send our young people to public schools–they are much cheaper. If we have faculty that choose not to teach these beliefs, then they should be asked to leave and continue their teaching in a public university that believe as they do.




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  26. @Norma Jean Erenius:

    If we are not going to teach those basic beliefs, then why not send our young people to public schools–they are much cheaper

    Bingo! The day our universities fall in line with LSU’s goal of being the best public university that Adventist tuition, offering and tithe dollars can buy – is the day they all go out of business.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  27. Are we not living in the time of the Laodicean church, as spoken of in Revelations?
    Do we not read that we must arm ourselves against that evil “serpent?”
    It seems that the “serpent’s” teachings have found its way into our church, basically because the teachers are not spending enough quality time studing their scriptures.

    This is obviously another step in the time of the end, that we read about in Revelations. If we do not arm ourselves with the knowledge that God gave us, through the Bible, we will easily be deceived, as it seems the professors teaching this “garbage” have been.

    As my father (a SDA minster) used to say, “you will not be able to stand the temptations that arise near the end of time, without having armed yourself with the daily prayerful study of God’s Word and communication with the God of Heaven and Earth.”




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  28. William Jeffreys, Sr.: “you will not be able to stand the temptations that arise near the end of time, without having armed yourself with the daily prayerful study of God’s Word and communication with the God of Heaven and Earth.”  

    Very true and right. Thank you.
    God bless,

    Rich




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  29. Nothing definitive is stated in the article. Why would that be? Apparently all of the professors have been in-line all along so what is the tempest about? Are we to believe that no professor actually said the earth was older than 6000 years? That no professor ever said macro evolution is true? No professor ever said Genesis creation of 7 days (creation of the Sabbath on day 7) was not literal 24 hour days just like we have today? Wow. Guess I just misunderstood. I must have been mis led and mis informed. Every thing was always okay and every thing now is okay. It was all just a misunderstanding. No correction needed as there never was any real problem. We are all saints and ready for translation. We are all going to heaven after all. We have all accomplished Dan 9:24. Just ask the Review editorial staff. Or did I miss something in the Review article?




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  30. RE: “Richard Sherwin says:
    March 31, 2010 Another area of concern I have is in regards to dancing. We were counseled that we should not do it, but we as a church have become very good at it. We dance around facts, we dance around truth and we dance with the Devil when we allow evolution to be taught as fact and truth. May the Adventist Review have the courage to be an advocate for stopping the dance.” & Sean Pitman’s “. . . LSU is actually threatening Louie with many different things – to include expulsion from LSU, permanent negative comments on his transcript, negative comments on letters of recommendation, etc. . .”
    I am delighted that Louie Bishop and David Ascherick care enough about their own eternal salvation, and that of their readers and audiences to confront in love. But at least the Review has said something. Anyone who thinks that the only problem is La Sierra University has their head in the proverbial sand.
    Sad to say, there is not only figurative dancing going on in our church. I had no ride to church on 03-13-2010, and I invited a non-baptized friend over to watch Doug Batchelor, Kenneth Cox, Dale Leaman, Lyle Albrecht and Stephen Bohr I believe on 3ABN. At 9:30 AM a live special: “A Place of Healing” by the Central American Division of SDA interrupted with live dancing by middle-aged men and women on the platform, and what looked like some of them bowing down to an idol of an angel! My guest left in horror. I would like to know how this blasphemy is being handled by the GC, the Interamerican Division and 3ABN, etc. (I e-mailed 3ABN, who probably did not know what was planned, but could have had a mechanism to take it off the air, and a way to counter it, as they have done with the Evolution problem with several great programs and Stan Hudson’s reasoned series In the Beginning. I hope they will have more insights. If they have had new programs on true and false manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and idolatry, I have missed them. Hal Steenson’s fine on-going Heaven’s Point of View is peripheral, but not really on this new target.)




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  31. I saw this controversy about teaching of evolution at LSU. This is not a good time for Adventist higher education. I’m a former faculty member at Pacific Union College and a former SDA. (Yes, you may delete this posting if you believe that the opinion of former SDAs like me should not be heard, but I think I do have something constructive to add.)

    Back around 1970 the issue of the implications of the fossil forest at Specimen Ridge on the western edge of Yellowstone National Park came up. In short, this is an area of repeated volcanic eruption. Each eruption kills the forest and many layers have been fossilized. After some time, new trees appear and grow. Some trees are upright, some are down, and there are upright stumps with the tops broken off. It is easy to find fossilized stumps where it is easy to count the rings. There are about 40 layers and the largest trees have about 700 rings. You can easily see that this implies a time span of over 28000 years. While very short by the time frames envisioned by evolutionists, this is still a big problem for the 6000 year age of the earth position.

    Ervil Clark (of the biology department) claimed that these trees were floating during the flood (of Noah), became water logged, and settled down in the upright position. He said that they may have had rocks lodged in the roots that made the root-end sink first. The many layers came about because changing winds or whatever brought the trees in in batches.

    Dowell Martz of the PUC Physics Department said, “We can test this hypothesis. If the they were broken away from where they originally grew, there should be broken roots. If the grew there, there, there should be fine root structure.

    He organized a trip to Specimen Ridge. We got about a dozen SDA scientists, educators, and even a college president to come along. (But Ervil declined the invitation.) I was one of those on that trip.

    We climbed up Specimen Ridge and looked at what we found. I was amazed at how well preserved some of the broken off stumps were. You could clearly count every ring. I measured the radius of one stump and the number of rings per inch. It multiplied out to about 700. We looked at the roots. There was plenty of fine root structure. It went out to finer and finer down to little things the size of a piece of string.

    There was no way these stumps floated in. After you seen it with your own eyes, you just can’t believe anything but that they grew there.

    Everyone on the trip seemed to agree that there was no way this could mean anything other then the obvious. Although some in high places (particularly the college president) were very guarded in what they would actually say.

    One person who spoke in guarded remarks said, “I used to have some faith. Now it is all faith.”

    This was one of the most important events of my life. I had to choose between honesty and the things I had been raised to believe. Honesty won. And I feel I did the right thing.

    So, let anyone who is thinking of calling for a purge of the SDA educational system, first study the evidence carefully, and even try to take a look first hand. (Specimen Ridge is on public land.) I think you will come to appreciate that there can be good people, even devout people, who conclude that to be honest, they have to accept that the age of the earth must be greater than 6000 years.

    — David Jacobson




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  32. Transparency would be somewhat of a blessing if the actual teaching transcript by the biology teachers would be made available for all to see
    there is never a need…. for a cover-up… if things are on the level.

    The confusion and problems come in when honesty is lacking. A biology teacher should have the right to teach whatever he believes,but not withhin a context of the bi-laws established by a particular set of beliefs(SDA creation,in this instance)Don’t join the girl scouts and teach boys only.




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  33. David Jacobson, your story reminds me of Ronald Numbers’, who also claims to have been convinced by the fossil forest interpretation. But it is a wrong, outdated interpretation, totally destroyed by the Mt. St. Helens event:

    http://www.icr.org/article/mt-st-helens-catastrophism/.

    http://www.creationism.org/sthelens/MSH1b_7wonders.htm.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polystrate_fossil.

    http://origins.swau.edu/papers/dinos/yellowstone/default.html.

    There’s a good article about Ronald Numbers and Yellowstone here (but you have to scroll about 60% of the way down a long page):

    http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev200701.htm. Among the highlights:

    “In the 1970s, geologists taught that what looked like 30 separate forests had grown on top of each other, one at a time, only to be buried by periodic volcanic eruptions. A sign at Specimen Ridge in the park explained this as a matter of fact. Estimates ranged from 20,000 years minimum to 30,000, or 50,000 years or more were required – in any case, far more than a conservative Genesis timeframe could allow.”
    “On May 18, 1980, an explosive event with profound repercussions for geological science took place. Mt. St. Helens erupted. In one day, this event literally overturned the long-age interpretation of Specimen Ridge. In the Roadside Geology book about Yellowstone sold in the park, geologist William Fritz described his reaction to mudflows he witnessed along the Toutle River in Washington. ‘It was just like Yellowstone!’ he exclaimed. Since that widely-observed natural experiment in catastrophic geology, the work of volcanic mudflows has become the leading explanation for how the Yellowstone fossil forests were emplaced, layers and all. The old sign that explained the old theory to millions of park visitors is long gone.”




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  34. I do not have the answer for this, but I bet that Robert Gentry or Jim Burr do. But there is nothing wrong with “all faith” when it is directly from God’s Word.




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  35. Even though I am a college graduate I am not a scientist–my interests were in foods and nutrition and early childhood training. However, I am following each new development in this discussion with a great deal of interest.

    I was reared as a Seventh Day Adventist and am still one today. One thing that was drilled into my head and heart was that the Bible was the Word of GOD and the ONLY source of true wisdom. I was taught that the nearer we came to the end of all things God would let Satan bring out all kinds of “lying wonders” that, if possible, would deceive even the “very elect.” I still believe that today. My Bible, the divinely given Word of God, is still the Volume I bring “every wind of doctrine” up to and if it contradicts that Word then it is false–regardless of where it comes from or how logical it may sound.

    I, personally, cannot bring forth any evidence to contradict that which David Jacobson has presented–and I do appreciate the kind, gentlemanly way in which he presented it. It is certainly something we need to deal with–and deal with it in a way that will show where it’s “flaw” is. And that is something I am going to spend a lot of time looking into. It will take some time (remember, I am NOT a scientist so don’t expect to hear anything more on this topic until I settle it in my own mind–and also remember–I will soon be 86 years old and “my steps ARE growing a bit slow” so bear with me! (I’m in good health but one never knows when their “time will come” but hopefully I will be able to get this settled in a way that will bring honor and glory to Him before that “time” comes to me.)

    Meanwhile, I have no question but that God has the answer and my faith in His Word hasn’t wavered one bit! Remember, the closer we come to the end of time the more strongly we need to put our trust in HIM and HIS WORD–no matter how strong the “evidence” seems to be that points in a different direction. Finite man never has had–and never will have–the wisdom of our Creator and we must learn to “walk by faith and not by sight” if we ever hope to be ready for that‘golden moment’ which, I firmly believe, is a lot closer than any of us realize!

    Meanwhile, HANG ON TO YOUR FAITH, it is the only sure thing we can depend on in this world!




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  36. The flood was a much different event than any scientists have witnessed today. However, there are periods of intense rains, such as have occurred in Taiwan and the Philippines within the last year, which have literally buried villages in mudslides after just a day or two of rain. (In Taiwan, Typhoon Morakot brought more than 3 meters of rainfall in about two days’ time, and several villages were wiped out. A similar event occurred in the Philippines.)

    The flood brought the heaviest rainfall in the history of this planet–40 days of it, not merely two or three. It would be a rather simple thing to find layer upon layer of buried trees, many with the small roots still intact, for the trees were not ripped out of their places so much as they were slid down, mud, roots, and all, when the soil gave way under the rain.

    While the following statement by Mrs. White does not recount every detail, it does provide a glimpse into some of the woes caused by that rainfall.

    At the end of seven days clouds began to gather. This was a new sight, for the people had never seen clouds. . . . Thicker and thicker gathered the clouds, and soon rain began to fall. Still the people tried to think that this was nothing very alarming. But soon it seemed as if the windows of heaven had been opened, for the rain poured down in torrents. For a time the ground drank up the rain; but soon the water began to rise, and day by day it rose higher and higher. Each morning as the people found the rain still falling they looked at one another in despair, and each night they repeated the words “Raining still!” Thus it was, morning and evening. {CTr 61.3}
    For forty days and forty nights the rain poured down. The water entered the houses and drove the people to the temples that they had erected for their idolatrous worship. But the temples were swept away. The crust of the earth was broken, and the water that had been concealed in its bowels burst forth. Large stones were thrown into the air. {CTr 61.4}
    Everywhere could be seen human beings fleeing in search of a refuge. The time had come when they would have been only too glad to accept an invitation to enter the ark. Filled with anguish, they cried, “Oh, for a place of safety!” Some shrieked to Noah, pleading for admission into the ark. But amid the furious blast of the tempest their voices were unheard. Some clung to the ark till they were washed away by the dashing waves. God had shut in those who believed His word, and no others could enter. {CTr 61.5}
    Parents with their children sought the highest branches of the trees yet standing; but no sooner had they reached this refuge than the wind flung tree and people into the foaming, seething water. . . . {CTr 61.6}

    This shows that the rains came down steadily, and with ever-increasing flood-waters. As the waters reached higher and the soils were saturated, the trees would have progressively stacked upon each other as landslide after landslide took place, with more and more of the hills and mountains being undermined in the waters’ surge.

    Erik




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  37. @David Jacobson:

    David Jacobson says:
    April 3, 2010 I saw this controversy about teaching of evolution at LSU. This is not a good time for Adventist higher education. I’m a former faculty member at Pacific Union College and a former SDA. (Yes, you may delete this posting if you believe that the opinion of former SDAs like me should not be heard, but I think I do have something constructive to add.)

    Back around 1970 the issue of the implications of the fossil forest at Specimen Ridge on the western edge of Yellowstone National Park came up. In short, this is an area of repeated volcanic eruption. Each eruption kills the forest and many layers have been fossilized. After some time, new trees appear and grow. Some trees are upright, some are down, and there are upright stumps with the tops broken off. It is easy to find fossilized stumps where it is easy to count the rings. There are about 40 layers and the largest trees have about 700 rings. You can easily see that this implies a time span of over 28000 years. While very short by the time frames envisioned by evolutionists, this is still a big problem for the 6000 year age of the earth position.

    Ervil Clark (of the biology department) claimed that these trees were floating during the flood (of Noah), became water logged, and settled down in the upright position.

    Just like we saw in the case at Spirit Lake – Mt St. Helens. No more need to guess.

    The bare logs sink upright to the bottom of the lake due to the higher density of the root end, and land on layers of volcanic ash sediment. The high mineral content of the water rapidly petrifies the logs in upright position as transplanted stumps. Spirit Lake is the first location where this process was observed; the process was predicted by scientists shortly before the 1980 eruption

    So all old news now.

    I was amazed at how well preserved some of the broken off stumps were. You could clearly count every ring.

    Yep. Just like Spirit Lake.

    This was one of the most important events of my life. I had to choose between honesty and the things I had been raised to believe. Honesty won. And I feel I did the right thing.

    That is exactly what Darwin said and did.

    He found no good marriage between the doctrine on origins preached in evolutionism – vs the doctrine on origins that you find in the Bible.

    He too said he simply had to make a choice – and chose belief in evolutionism over the Bible.

    I think we all agree that people have to make that basic choice – and not everyone will choose the Bible.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  38. Pastor Randy Brehms says:
    April 1, 2010

    Louie is a devout Seventh-day Adventist who is very familiar with the scientific teachings of secular institutions…

    To back up your support of Louie’s character and motivation, I just received the following E-mail in regard to your comments from Prof. Arthur Chadwick of Southwestern Adventist University, seconding your support of Louie Bishop:

    Art Chadwick
    12:36 PM (9 minutes ago)

    I also know Louie Bishop through my brother-in law who was one of his golf coaches at UC Davis. My brother in law is not an Adventist , but on numerous occasions shared with me the remarkable faith and consistency in the life of Louie Bishop. In no way would this gentleman do anything that was inconsistent with his faith. That is the testimony of one who does not share our faith, but admired Louie’s faith.

    It is interesting in all of this that LSU does not wish to submit to the authority of the Church on clearly stated fundamental goals and ideals in all of its classrooms, but is perfectly willing to force the submission of students to its own goals and ideals with very heavy handed tactics – even if the student happens to be trying to support the Church organization that LSU supposedly represents…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  39. So, let anyone who is thinking of calling for a purge of the SDA educational system, first study the evidence carefully, and even try to take a look first hand. (Specimen Ridge is on public land.) I think you will come to appreciate that there can be good people, even devout people, who conclude that to be honest, they have to accept that the age of the earth must be greater than 6000 years.

    — David Jacobson

    Hi David,

    I think your information on Specimen Ridge is just a bit outdated. What might seem obvious at first approximation, even after what seems to be careful investigation, often turns out later to be mistaken.

    There are many problems with the in situ hypothesis, or the notion that the trees in the layers at Specimen Ridge actually grew there over generations of forests one on top of the other.

    1. Many of the layers of “soil” are not at the base of the trees, but are often half-way up the trees.

    2. The “soil” shows no sign of decay from top to bottom as would be expected in a normal forest setting. Also, the soil is water sorted, course to fine.

    3. Tree-ring analysis of trees in different layers match – indicating that they grew at or near the same time.

    4. Chemical analysis of the volcanic sedimentary material in the different levels indicates that this material was produced, in all of the levels, with in a 3-month period of time.

    5. No remains of animal bones, skins, eggs, trackways, burrows, or other trace fossils have been identified in any of the layers.

    6. The tops of the trees are cleanly cut off by the next layer, showing no evidence of decay or bioturbation and degeneration as would be expected if a new forest actually required extensive periods of time to produce the next higher layer.

    7. The pine needs and leaves do not consistently match the trees which are associated with them. In other words, mats of leaves will be found associated with pine trees and mats of pine needs are found in association with deciduous trees.

    8. While intact roots do remain, these largely consist of smaller roots. The larger roots, along with the branches and bark of these trees, have been broken off.

    These features and others discussed on my website, are far more consistent with a sudden catastrophic formation of these layers and transport of the vertical trees within them…

    For further information on this topic see:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html#Stacked_Forrests

    I’ll give you one thing though… At least you’re not claiming to be something you’re not. You’re not taking money from an organization while directly undermining what that organization is paying you to do at the same time. This is admirable. LSU should follow your example and have those teachers who believe like you do to go and teach elsewhere for those of like mind who are more than willing to pay them for their views…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  40. It looks as though a lot of folks much more scientifically smarter than me already have the answers to David’s email–and I’m sure there are a lot of others who will comment further. That’s fine with me because, as I said, that’s not an area I know very much about. (Nobody can know everything–esp. me!) So, while I may look into it more for my own satisfaction I probably will refrain from making any more comments on the subject.

    But I will ALWAYS take the Bible’s word for my personal beliefs regardless of what science (so called) comes up with that disagrees with God–and regardless of how many degrees the writer or writers may have following their names. “The wisdom of the world is foolishness with God.”




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  41. I was taught about the problem with the fossil forests at Yellowstone in 1981 at Southern College. So the information on that one is pretty old: It has been known for at least that long that those stacked fossil forests did not grow in place, but were transported and then buried.




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  42. That’s the primary way evolutionists are able to keep their theory alive: continue to promote their fabrications even long after they’ve been disproven. Haeckel’s embryos, the pepper moths, and many similar hoaxes and fabrications have been used and still continue to be used when they have been proven to be lies. After awhile, they have so much “evidence” that people think it must be true. I’ll bet some of today’s textbooks still teach the old theory on those fossil forests.

    Erik




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  43. I’ll word it better:

    In 1981 at Southern College, I was taught about the problem of supporting evolution using the fossil forests at Yellowstone. So the information on that one is pretty old: It has been known for at least that long that those stacked fossil forests did not grow in place, but were transported and then buried. Sounds like a catastrophe is what caused the formation of those fossil forests.




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  44. you may delete this posting if you believe that the opinion of former SDAs like me should not be heard, but I think I do have something constructive to add.— David Jacobson  (Quote)




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  45. Sean,

    I greatly appreciate the time you have taken to answer point by point the objections presented by David Jacobson. Your answers make a lot of sense. They do build my trust in the historicity of Noah’s Flood story as recorded in the Bible.

    As I read the comments which are posted above, I have been wondering. How come none of the LSU science and theology teachers step up to defend what the university has been doing on this issue.

    How should we interpret this deafening silence on their part? I wish someone would organize a public debate over this issue with these science teachers having an opportunity to present a defense of what they are doing. It would be akin to what Elijah did with those who were oppossed to the prophet’s strong held beliefs.




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  46. you may delete this posting if you believe that the opinion of former SDAs like me should not be heard, but I think I do have something constructive to add.— David Jacobson  (Quote)

    Well done David Jacodson, you changed the whole topic of this thread. It was pretty easy to do, mouth off a fact or two mixed in with a huge lie, and the topic does an a-bout-face.

    Read the posts after his, its all off topic. What does an outsider have to say about intrenal matters of the church is not needed here on this forum. Webmaster next time please follow the rules of this forum: •Must be a Seventh-day Adventist to comment. Nothing he said added anything to the topic.




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  47. @thomas: Thomas, I think you are downright rude! I can’t imagine Jesus responding to anyone in this manner! I don’t agree with his views but he has a right to express them–and he did it in a very nice way. I just checked the dislike button on your comment.




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  48. Nic Samojluk says:
    April 3, 2010

    Sean,

    I greatly appreciate the time you have taken to answer point by point the objections presented by David Jacobson. Your answers make a lot of sense. They do build my trust in the historicity of Noah’s Flood story as recorded in the Bible.

    As I read the comments which are posted above, I have been wondering. How come none of the LSU science and theology teachers step up to defend what the university has been doing on this issue.

    How should we interpret this deafening silence on their part? I wish someone would organize a public debate over this issue with these science teachers having an opportunity to present a defense of what they are doing. It would be akin to what Elijah did with those who were opposed to the prophet’s strong held beliefs.

    Hi Nic,

    Very few, even among young-life creationists, want to get involved in a public debate on this issue because it would threaten those theistic evolutionists at LSU and at other schools and cause an even bigger ruckus within the SDA Church. This is why not too many want to be publicly associated with efforts like EducateTruth.com. They don’t want to be that politically incorrect in their associations…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  49. David J said –
    There are about 40 layers and the largest trees have about 700 rings. You can easily see that this implies a time span of over 28000 years. While very short by the time frames envisioned by evolutionists, this is still a big problem for the 6000 year age of the earth position.

    And of course the Spirit Lake example provides a demonstration in real life as to how that happens very quickly.

    Sean said
    There are many problems with the in situ hypothesis, or the notion that the trees in the layers at Specimen Ridge actually grew there over generations of forests one on top of the other.

    1. Many of the layers of “soil” are not at the base of the trees, but are often half-way up the trees.

    2. The “soil” shows no sign of decay from top to bottom as would be expected in a normal forest setting. Also, the soil is water sorted, course to fine.

    3. Tree-ring analysis of trees in different layers match – indicating that they grew at or near the same time.

    4. Chemical analysis of the volcanic sedimentary material in the different levels indicates that this material was produced, in all of the levels, with in a 3-month period of time.

    5. No remains of animal bones, skins, eggs, trackways, burrows, or other trace fossils have been identified in any of the layers.

    6. The tops of the trees are cleanly cut off by the next layer, showing no evidence of decay or bioturbation and degeneration as would be expected if a new forest actually required extensive periods of time to produce the next higher layer.

    7. The pine needs and leaves do not consistently match the trees which are associated with them. In other words, mats of leaves will be found associated with pine trees and mats of pine needs are found in association with deciduous trees.

    8. While intact roots do remain, these largely consist of smaller roots. The larger roots, along with the branches and bark of these trees, have been broken off.

    These features and others discussed on my website, are far more consistent with a sudden catastrophic formation of these layers and transport of the vertical trees within them…

    Thank you for sharing that.

    But this gives one pause for reflection. If the trees being killed are all pre-flood trees – then we should see a large group that are over 1600 years old at the time that they are uprooted. The fact that the 700 year number shows up layer after layer – implies that the catestrophic event happened after the world wide flood killed the pre-flood trees.

    That means these are very likely post-flood 700 year old trees being wiped out by a sequence of catestrophic events. So it is likely a localized (North America only) event that happens 700 years after the flood.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  50. Bob,

    I don’t think so. Remember, people knew how to cut down trees, start fires, build houses, clear farm land, and many other like activities which might have impacted the pre-flood forests. Surely you do not believe the entire pre-flood world was blanketed in forest, do you? That the trees had 700 rings may indicate that the particular area where they were had been clear-cut 700 years prior, and allowed to grow again.

    On the other hand, how do we know how many rings per year the pre-flood trees would have put on? They did not have the same seasons then as now. Perhaps they put on MORE rings per year, grew faster, and had only been clear-cut about 300 years prior. Or, perhaps they grew slower, and put on one ring every three or four years. We simply do not know, considering the environment was much different then.

    Of course, volcanic activity would certainly have been more frequent in the several centuries and more after the flood. So it is possible. But 40 layers? I think only the Great Flood could be responsible for that.

    Erik




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  51. But this gives one pause for reflection. If the trees being killed are all pre-flood trees – then we should see a large group that are over 1600 years old at the time that they are uprooted. The fact that the 700 year number shows up layer after layer – implies that the catestrophic event happened after the world wide flood killed the pre-flood trees.
    That means these are very likely post-flood 700 year old trees being wiped out by a sequence of catestrophic events. So it is likely a localized (North America only) event that happens 700 years after the flood.
    in Christ,
    Bob

    This is correct. Speciment Ridge is made up of Tertiary sediments and is therefore a post-Flood formation.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  52. @wesley kime:

    If the 6-day Creation is not to be taken literally, how can the 7th-day Sabbath be taken seriously?

    That is exactly the argument you find in 3SG 90-91 where we are told that theistic evolutionism is the “worst kind of infidelity”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  53. @Erik:

    I don’t think so. Remember, people knew how to cut down trees, start fires, build houses, clear farm land, and many other like activities which might have impacted the pre-flood forests. Surely you do not believe the entire pre-flood world was blanketed in forest, do you? That the trees had 700 rings may indicate that the particular area where they were had been clear-cut 700 years prior, and allowed to grow again.

    Certainly it is “possible” – no question that they could cut down a tree.

    on day 3 God makes all plant life – in a mature form on the entire planet. (recall that the land animals made on day 6 were vegetarian). So from creation week on – the entire earth had mature trees. And certainly each season brought more young trees. But it is unlikely that the humans of preflodd days — starting off with just Adam and Eve – were able to “pave the earth” (clear cut the other) within a short 1600 year span of time.

    Thus a random sampling of trees at any given location should have come up with a high likelihood of having some of those 1600 year old trees. Even cow pastures today are often designed to retain a few old trees for shade.

    Thus in a random sampling such as this collection event is likely to be – one would expect a few (if not a large percentage) of 1600 year old trees.

    On the other hand, how do we know how many rings per year the pre-flood trees would have put on? They did not have the same seasons then as now. Perhaps they put on MORE rings per year, grew faster, and had only been clear-cut about 300 years prior. Or, perhaps they grew slower, and put on one ring every three or four years.

    I agree that is is possible that they had a longer growing season and possibly fewer rings per year than we have today. But Ellen White mentioned the dying of the leaves seen by Adam – so the implication is that they had a yearly cyce that included leaves falling.

    Of course, volcanic activity would certainly have been more frequent in the several centuries and more after the flood. So it is possible. But 40 layers? I think only the Great Flood could be responsible for that.

    This is what I was getting at – if this is really taking place 700 years after the flood – then we have evidence that the post-flood age included periods of high instability in parts of the American continent long after the flood.

    @Sean Pitman, M.D.:

    This is correct. Speciment Ridge is made up of Tertiary sediments and is therefore a post-Flood formation.

    Sean – thanks for sharing that. It gives one pause for reflection when considering evidence of large scale fossilized remains. Instead of trying to calibrate them all back to a 4500 year old date – it would mean that we have a scale – a gradient timeline possibly lasting 2000 years after the flood or more.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  54. Just keeping the seventh day Sabbath is not all there is to the 4th commandment. The day itself has no meaning without the reason for it. And the reason is the creation week exactly as outlined in the Bible. anyone who holds any aspect of evolution theories is not keeping the fourth commandment. Don DeCamp




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  55. I posted this in another tread(no one responded), but I’ll post it here and see if anyone wants to respond. As you mentioned the plants including tree’s were created Mature. Thus with apparent age. What about some of the rocks. Of course the rocks with fossils have to be recent formation at or after the flood,but some of the others could have been created Mature and appear very old?




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  56. Doug – when the statement is made that “rocks appear old” what you are talking about is radiometrics and asking if the creation of a perfect boisphere on planet earth would mean that as the crust formed higher density and ratio of radioactive artifacts would be produce than when the earth’s crust is not forming – but is merely sustaining life as it is today.

    For example – K-Ar ratios “assume” that argon is not present at the starting event. It also assumes that decay from Potassium is the only source for Argon. It does not look at the possibility that our Creator God would have created Argon as if it was actually “needed” in the starting conditions for some reason. Just as mature plants were “needed” in the starting conditions.

    Whether we are talking about fission track measurements or electron spin resonance or Thermoluminescence, assumptions regarding starting conditions have to be made.

    Clearly it would be a giant leap of logic to assume that the starting conditions in a “7 day create the world” scenario are no different than what we see around us today. Yet many people are willing to leap off that cliff for reasons that are not entirely logical.

    Which gets us back to your question – what do we really know about the starting conditions in a 7-day-create-the-world scenario when it comes to dating the ages of basement rocks – etc.

    But one thing is for sure – for atheists – there is no other choice but to make assumptions favorable to not-the-Bible conclusions.

    Why the rest choose to join them is anyone’s guess.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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