Adventists are virtually silent

Source: Adventist Review by Roy Adams

Excerpt

It was the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species, with all kinds of scientific presentations and celebrations by evolution proponents—even by some Christian churches. And the issue is why so many of those Adventists best qualified to respond to the avalanche of “scientific” propaganda choose to maintain the deafening silence that we heard?

But even worse than the silence were the muffled noises from some quarters actually in support of the prevailing scientific status quo, even questioning the fundamental biblical notion of a literal six-day Creation. The small effort made by Adventist Review to counteract the tidal wave might have been strengthened considerably had many of those best qualified to speak felt convicted along the lines we took.

Observers are bound to notice that in so many areas of current biblical, scientific, and moral concerns and conflicts, Adventists are virtually silent; and that it’s other folk, other Christians, who are carrying the ball, who are doing the heavy lifting, and who, as a consequence, are receiving the biting criticism and scorn.

But in all these areas we’re modeling. And people are taking notice—of our words, our actions, or our silence.

(Full Article)

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94 thoughts on “Adventists are virtually silent

  1. So true. In the last few months I contacted about 10 Science Professors at our various schools about the issue of 6 day literal creation and the ones that did respond asked me not to publish their responces. No one that has any real influence wants to put their reputations on the line. Of the many conference and GC leaders I also contacted, none felt that they had any responsibility to say anything. Most didn’t think this was a big issue or one that mattered. More than one didn’t believe that we even know if Genesis is literal. I was very disappointed in most all of them.
    One thing that was both troubling and encouraging was that many claimed to believe in the 6 day literal creation. If many of our leaders and professors do believe in 6 day literal creation yet say nothing, then something is very wrong with the quality of leaders we are putting in office.
    I’m very encouraged to read that Roy Adams sees something wrong with hiding during times when leadership is most needed.




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  2. …and it doesn’t give anyone here pause that almost all of the people in the church who actually understand the science choose to be quiet, modest, humble about their knowledge? The people who are in the best position to know what they’re talking about are leading: perhaps just not in the direction you’d like.




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  3. @Bravus:

    Oh, yeah, Bravus, the Darwinists at LaSierra are leading, if by leading you mean claiming copyright protection on class handouts/lecture materials and disciplining students who expose what they are doing. It’s a funny kind of leader who tries to cover up what he is doing. People try to hide when they know they’ve done wrong, the first example being Genesis 3:8.




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  4. @Doug Kendall:

    So true. In the last few months I contacted about 10 Science Professors at our various schools about the issue of 6 day literal creation and the ones that did respond asked me not to publish their responces. No one that has any real influence wants to put their reputations on the line. Of the many conference and GC leaders I also contacted, none felt that they had any responsibility to say anything. Most didn’t think this was a big issue or one that mattered. More than one didn’t believe that we even know if Genesis is literal. I was very disappointed in most all of them.
    One thing that was both troubling and encouraging was that many claimed to believe in the 6 day literal creation. If many of our leaders and professors do believe in 6 day literal creation yet say nothing, then something is very wrong with the quality of leaders we are putting in office.
    I’m very encouraged to read that Roy Adams sees something wrong with hiding during times when leadership is most needed.

    Thank you for sharing that. It exposes a key part of the problem that goes far beyond “LSU preaches evolutionism as the right answer for origins” – it gets to the fundamental lack of leadership that ENABLES that problem to have gone so far. It shows that at a time when we NEE leaders who are students of history and men of action – what we have is time servers, seeking to remain politically correct, well insulated, job secure.

    This gets back to the 3T 265-269 warning that if the leaders who are tasked as watchmen on the walls – charged with lifting their voice like a trumpet to declare to my people their sins — choose instead to ignore “the worst form of infidelity” they cause the entire camp of the saints to suffer and they are accounted by God as guilty of the very sins that they choose not to boldly address in their office in the church.

    What stronger statement could God have given to his people?

    Maybe the one on 3T 281 where God says that if there is one sin above another that God abhores – it is remaining neutral – doing nothing in a time of crisis. It is regarded by God as the worst form of hostility against God!

    We can pray that those leaders have remaining in them at least some vague sense of their role in the church. Enough to wake up and take action – (better late than never).

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  5. @Bravus:

    …and it doesn’t give anyone here pause that almost all of the people in the church who actually understand the science choose to be quiet, modest, humble about their knowledge? The people who are in the best position to know what they’re talking about are leading: perhaps just not in the direction you’d like.

    1. There is NO indication at aLL that any of our administrators that are not taking action – even have a clue about the “science”.

    2. The “stories easy enough to make up — but they are not science” problem is noted even by devout atheist evolutionists. Sadly we have some people within the Adventist church who embrace fully “the worst form of infidelity” that then find that their compromised position on origins also demands that they pretend to be more clueless than even an atheist evolutionist would be on the same subject.

    Just stating the obvious at that point.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  6. In reply to those who would have us mistake disbelief in God’s Word for “humility,” the servant of the Lord writes, “Skepticism and unbelief are not humility. Implicit belief in Christ’s word is true humility, true self-surrender” (DA 535).

    Those among us who relegate belief in absolute truth to “arrogance” and thus pride themselves on being “humble” because of their ambiguous convictions, are in reality guilty of the worst pride of all. Because, at the bottom line, if no transcendent standard of right and wrong is available to define truth or error, the final authority in matters spiritual becomes ourselves.

    And once again, the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  7. Teaching and believing evolution not only strikes at the very roots of Christianity but also strikes at the very existence of this nation, and the freedoms we have enjoyed!

    Creationism is based on “biblical myth” as cited in one high school text book
    http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/04/07/knoxville-father-wants-biology-book-banned/

    Calling the Bible a myth, the US Constitution must all have been based upon a myth? The founding fathers were duped, believing in myths?

    The belief and teaching of evolution is a child of the devil! This Great Nation, upon whose soil we stand, is being turned into a dragon! The Professors of evolutionary science are in the very forefront of this change of face! Soon, those who persist in standing upon the principles of the Constitution, all based upon principles found in the Bible, will soon feel the ire of the dragon and its hot breath breathing upon them! Bring it on!!, I say!!




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  8. …because those who failed to stand up in Salem and say that the witch trials were unjust and unBiblical were just cowards? Not, for example, scared that they would become victims of that very unjust and unBiblical process?

    I know if I worked for the church at the moment I would be voicing *no* opinion on this issue publicly: there are so many wonderful ways to lose your livelihood – and let’s not forget, vocation and divine calling – from attacks from partisans on all sides. I’d be keeping very quiet indeed.

    That’s not a matter of cowardice, it’s a matter of discretion in a needlessly hostile environment.




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  9. Bravus wrote:

    That’s not a matter of cowardice, it’s a matter of discretion in a needlessly hostile environment.

    Like a thief calling the police department needlessly hostile against those trying to make an honest living by taking stuff that isn’t theirs… forcing thieves to be more discrete in their efforts 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  10. @Bravus:

    Bravus, if these professors were saying publicly and openly, “look, the idea that life was created in six days just a few thousand years ago is scientifically untenable; we have to adjust our beliefs on origins to fit what science is teaching,” I would agree that they are showing leadership, however misguided. I’d disagree with them, of course, but I don’t think this website would be accusing them of theft.

    But that isn’t what they’re doing. They’re promoting Darwinism to their students, sotto voce, but they are also trying to give the impression to the larger church that they are upholding Adventist beliefs and supporting the mission of the church. They’re preaching and proselytizing for Charlie Darwin in the classroom, but they don’t want to publicly admit it, because they know perfectly well that it is not what LaSierra is supposed to stand for and not what parents who want their kids to have an Adventist education are paying for. And the lengths that they’re going to in order to try cover up what they are teaching in the classroom–claiming copyright protection for lecture materials, discipling students for speaking out–are in themselves shocking. The aggressive, bullying nature of the coverup is worse than the crime itself.




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  11. But that’s the point here. Adventists, except for a vocal minority represented here, are virtually silent on this issue. Those posting here tend to assume that they represent the views of the silent majority. But if the majority thought that this issue was important, they would cease to be silent. That says to me that they simply don’t think the issue is that crucial. They don’t subscribe to the common myth promulgated here that all of Adventism and all of Christianity stand or fall based on a certain specific view on origins. They are getting on with believing in Christ and ministering to their communities.




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  12. @Bravus:

    Bravus, if you’re right that this is not a big issue for most Adventists, then there’s no reason for LaSierra not to be open and honest. You’ve got to pick a lane: Is your position that if they were honest the Salem witch trials would fall on them, or is it your position that most Adventists don’t really care that much, and so nothing much would happen to them if they are honest? It’s one or the other, but not both.




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  13. Most people in Salem probably didn’t care that much about the witch trials either. It only takes a small but determined star chamber to make very serious trouble…




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  14. @Carol Daul: Could you please explain in detail which parts of the US constitution are based on what biblical texts?
    I’d be terribly interested!

    Mark

    P.S.: Though by no means an expert on history I’ve always believed that the majority of the founding fathers were not “too christian”.




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  15. If you happen to be in the Capitol building in Washington D.C and you just so happen to walk down the stairway between the house and the senate – you will find a 20 foot (as I recall) mural of the signing of the constitution and in the foreground you have 2 or 3 of the signers earnestly studying a very large family Bible opened to Matt 5.

    If you go to the Supreme Court Building you will find on the outer walls and on the doorway to the court and just above the justice’s chairs – the symbol for the Ten Commandments.

    If you go to the Senate gallery/balconey and look at the top of the room – ringing the room on 3 sides are frescos of famous law makers from various times in world history. Moses is placed in the center of the group with a full face portrait by contrast to the side-views for all other law makers. This was done to emphasize the fact that while all other law makers – made up law – Moses was given the Law by God.

    Then of course there is that whole “congress pays to have a pastor open up each session in prayer to God” thing.

    And finally – Ellen White herself argues that “Protestantism” is one of the two founding “lamb like horn” principles of this nation.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  16. Regarding Adventists “silent” — here is one that went “public”

    Gary Bradley

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/09/01/evolution

    And here is the “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” cover up from LSU

    http://www.educatetruth.com/articles/lsu-statement-regarding-inside-higher-ed-article/#comments

    Larry Becker said:

    Dr. Gary Bradley, semi-retired biology professor in the Department of Biology of La Sierra University, gave an interview to an internet-based higher education news service on August 31, in which he shared his perspectives on the discussion of how creation and evolution are taught in La Sierra University classrooms.

    Dr. Bradley does not speak on behalf of the university

    How amazing that Bradley’s testimony fits so perfectly with what Bible Believing Students at LSU say that LSU is doing in its class rooms.

    And yet we get this “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” statement from LSU – as if that is an antic that that GC administrators should “back”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  17. Question – does anyone really believe that anything like a majority of Adventists even want evolution taught in our schools as the “right answer for the doctrine of origins”? No.

    Does anyone think that most Adventist would even guess that such a thing as what we find going on at LSU is even happening? No – most Adventists do not even suspect such a thing is actually going on today.

    And among the few that are aware of the problem – most of them suppose that SDA Administrators will stop it immediately without their help or encouragement to take action.

    The efforts of this web site and now of some recent articles by the Review are designed to address that problem.

    Hence the “concern” being expressed by a few of the evolutionist supporters.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  18. The Lambs Follow the Sheep

    ‘Twas a sheep, not a lamb, that went astray
    In a parable Jesus told–
    A grown-up sheep that had gone astray
    From the ninety and nine in the fold.

    The Lambs will follow the sheep. you know,
    Wherever the sheep will stray,
    If the sheep go wrong, it will not be long
    ‘Till the Lambs are as wrong as they.

    And so with the sheep we earnestly plead.
    For the sake of the lambs today
    If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost
    Some sheep will have to pay!
    Unknown




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  19. Most people in Salem probably didn’t care that much about the witch trials either. It only takes a small but determined star chamber to make very serious trouble…  

    In the case of the witch trials, it all started with one 9 and one 11 year old girl who were either afflicted with hysteria, drug induced convulsions, bird-born encephalitis, sleep paralysis, or jealousy, spite and a need for attention. The hysteria spread to others, at which time the authorities became involved. Those who were eventually convicted and executed by the magistrates received these unjust verdicts based upon ‘spectral’ evidence (the one afflicted saw an apparition of the one afflicting them) – or, ‘touch’ evidence (the afflicted were blindfolded and relieved of there symptoms when touching the ‘witch’ who afflicted them). All of this happened within the highly superstitious and persecutorial/theocratic environment of 17th century New England.

    I used to live in New England. I have been to the old Salem cemetery (one of the oldest in the US). Even had an encounter with a black cat while there. My brother used to have fellowship with the modern Salem coven. They actually made it into National Geo with a picture of them surrounded by an aura of blue electric light.

    The Salem witch trials have absolutely nothing to do with this controversy Bravus. Unless you are comparing Educate Truth to drugged, deranged, hysterical, and superstitious young girls desiring attention. If that is the case, since you are an Adventist with a proclivity for Death Metal, Black Metal, Dark Metal and D&D – I hereby declare you to be a witch.




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  20. I think nearly 100 percent of SDAs I know personally are on the literal 6-week creation side, and that strongly. The reason they are not here arguing on the point on this website is at least twofold: (1) They are not the kind of people to argue theology and science on websites, and (2) If they know anything about it at all, they feel it is so outrageously left-field that our administrators will surely do something to stop if, if they haven’t already; or else, if not, it must be all wild rumor and untrue.

    Thankfully things like the recent Review article are bringing this topic more into the eye of the world church.




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  21. Michael, I think you’re exactly right. There’s such a huge reservoir of good faith, and the assumption of good faith in anyone or anything bearing the name Adventist, that it is just hard for the average Adventist in the pew to accept what is really, actually happening at LaSierra. The Review article is a good start, but it will take that times 10 before the average Adventist allows himself to accept that a major Adventist institution has been hijacked by Darwinists. And I totally understand that. It does seem surreal and impossible.




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  22. Like Michael said above, this situation is the result of a combination of long standing trends and the lack of leadership (and membership) on many issues.
    -“(2) If they know anything about it at all, they feel it is so outrageously left-field that our administrators will surely do something to stop if, if they haven’t already; or else, if not, it must be all wild rumor and untrue.”

    This is very true. Many people can’t understand how this situation could be possible. If it were true, surely our leaders would do something.
    Our church membership is very trusting and want to believe the best of people, especially our leaders. This is both good and bad. In this case it’s bad. Their blind trust has made our leaders soft and without any accountability for their actions or lack of action.

    In addition, LSU has done a very good job of hiding their true positon from the general membership (and leaders). If you read their advertizing and promotional material, you would think it’s a Good SDA school. You really have to do a bit of research to find the real truth. This site is about the only place that makes this information available.

    Bravas is also right to some degree. Many of our teachers have gone through our schools during the last 20 years. They were taught the liberal views of Biblical interpretation and many are a product of the bad teachers who were allowed to teach them. This problem has been going on for a while and it’s very possible that many of our teachers arn’t speaking out because they don’t believe in our stated beliefs either. That is their choice and they are free to find other jobs also. No one is forcing them to teach in our schools or be burned for their beliefs.
    This site is just asking them to be honest and teach what they are paid to teach or go elsewhere. If they are not honest enough to leave on thier own, our leaders need to have the courage to remove them. This is really for their own sakes as well as the students. They need to realize they are off cource.

    These are all reasons why it got to this point. God allows us to stray, but there are always consequences for not standing guard. Error has been with us so long now that to many it looks very much like truth.

    So we know why there has been silence and why many will continue to be silent.

    None of these are acceptable resons to God and he will ultimitaly judge those who have allowed this mockary of God to go on for so long. In the mean time we pray that as this situation becomes public, the truth will come out and some of those who have been silent will stand for God and return our schools back to the straight and narrow.




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  23. Michael, David and Doug, I think you have made a very good point–and one that I have mentioned several times–though perhaps in a somewhat different way

    When I was going through church school our Bible lessons were so different from the ones our children are getting today in probably the majority of our schools. An example of this–which I have mentioned several times on this web site–is that our Bible text books today are such that any “Christian” school could easily use them. I’ll admit I haven’t looked at our grade schools Bible books for several years–after all, my children and grandchildren are way beyond the church school age–but when I last looked I was very disturbed by the “pablum” they contained. And the results are shown in an incident I have also mentioned before.

    A girl that I am personally acquainted with–she has been a guest in our home several times–took a course in Daniel in her senior year in one of our academies and was “shocked” to learn that the story of Daniel in the lion’s den was a true story–and not a fairy tale like Cinderella! This girl was reared an SDA and had attended SDA a church schools all her life! When I showed her a very old copy of my 8th grade Bible book–“God’s Great Plan” she looked at me in utter amazement and said, “You took THAT in GRADE SCHOOL???” That book started with the fall of Lucifer and ended with the New Earth. My 7th grade Bible book was “Tell it to the world” and was definitely very “mission minded.” Those books produced men like H. M. S. Richards, George Vandeman and Joe Crews. (Has anybody notice that Doug Batchelor, Shawn Boonstra, and David Asscherick did NOT “grow up Adventists”? They are NOT “products of our current educational system!” That should tell us something.)

    It is not enough to raise “nice’’ children–children who are pleasant, friendly, well-mannered, carefully groomed (preferably conservatively dressed), person. We must prepare our children to “change their world”. And, as I see it, the only way to accomplish this is to thoroughly ground them in the real truths of the Bible at an early age. Do we realize that reliable studies show that the primary years are the years when this is best accomplished?

    We definitely need to trim out the bad “branches” from our educational system –and from our system as a whole–but.as I see it anyway, more importantly, we need to drastically change the “fertilizer” we are feeding the “roots” of that tree. How can we expect our young people to courageously carry the “torch of truth” if we adults have not given it to them in the first place?




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  24. I did not mean to imply (in my earlier post) for one minute that we do not have many wonderful teachers in our schools. I know some of them personally and many are struggling to teach the children and youth under their care true Adventism. But, unfortunately, some are “under the thumb” of some (not all, by any means) who are hard to deal with and determined to run things “their way” which, unfortunately, is not always “GOD’S way!” Our school teachers–from the grade school through college–are sometimes put in very difficult situations and try to do the very best they can under the circumstances. They need our prayers and encouragement!

    PS–If we really want the truth and strong support for our position on creation perhaps we should all sign up for course work at ICR–Institution for Creation Research–based in Dallas, Texas. Unfortunately. they aren’t Adventists (and they put us to shame) but they really have this issue “straight!”




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  25. PS–If we really want the truth and strong support for our position on creation perhaps we should all sign up for course work at ICR–Institution for Creation Research–based in Dallas, Texas.Unfortunately. they aren’t Adventists (and they put us to shame) but they really have this issue “straight!”  

    I get their free monthly magazine (Acts & Facts); it’s very good! I wish every Adventist university biology department had a subscription to it.




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  26. I get their magazine also. It is beyond excellent. I wish it was “required reading” for every student in every Bible and science class in every one of our Academies and Colleges and Universities! Grade school kids need the Bible books so many of us “oldies” grew up with many years ago. (My only problem with Acts and Facts is that I don’t really have a scientific background and at my age and stage in life–86 coming up very soon–I sometimes have a bit of a problem following their scientific reasoning.) But their conclusions are 100% biblical.

    I’ve just started having a discussion (by mail) with one of their scientists on the Sabbath. Just finished copping Elder George I. Butler‘s book, “The Change of the Sabbath” which I found on the new EGW DVD under “The Voice of the Pioneers.” That DVD is priceless in my opinion and every Adventist with a computer should buy one. The price is extremely reasonable –only $20.00– from any ABC Book Store. The only problem I have with it is that the more I read articles by her and the Adventist pioneers the more woefully ignorant of the Bible I feel!

    I am also including three articles I ran across (from a different location) by the Catholic Church on the same topic–which every SDA should memorize! They debunk the Protestant’s reasoning for Sunday keeping better than any SDA articles I’ve ever run across. I’m also sending him these articles. Plus a short article by Cliff Goldstein entitled “The Indestructible, Universal Sabbath.” I hope to get all of this in the mail Monday. (I hope I’m not overdoing it!) If thing look at all promising I want to send him the “Conflict” set later on. (I’m also corresponding with a Church of Christ minister I came in contact with some time ago and am sending him the same material. Please remember this feeble effort by a very old lady in your prayers!

    (Hey, we are supposed to be the head–not the tail–in all things biblical. Where in the world are OUR creation scientists hiding in all of this discussion???)

    For anyone who is interested in this issue and wants to have the “facts” here is their address:

    Acts and Facts
    Institute for Creation Research
    P. O. Box 59029
    Dallas, Texas 75229

    Their Phone Number is: 214-615-8300

    And their Web Site is:www.icr.org

    I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.




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  27. @Doug Kendall:

    Like Michael said above, this situation is the result of a combination of long standing trends and the lack of leadership (and membership) on many issues.
    -”(2) If they know anything about it at all, they feel it is so outrageously left-field that our administrators will surely do something to stop if, if they haven’t already; or else, if not, it must be all wild rumor and untrue.”

    This is very true. Many people can’t understand how this situation could be possible. If it were true, surely our leaders would do something.
    Our church membership is very trusting
    and want to believe the best of people, especially our leaders. This is both good and bad. In this case it’s bad. Their blind trust has made our leaders soft and without any accountability for their actions or lack of action.

    In addition, LSU has done a very good job of hiding their true positon from the general membership (and leaders). If you read their advertizing and promotional material, you would think it’s a Good SDA school. You really have to do a bit of research to find the real truth. This site is about the only place that makes this information available.

    Thus our leadership has been given a pass over the past 15-20 years. It is no wonder that now that some information is getting out – now that some Adventists are insisting “no more business as usual” in terms of simply passing the buck and letting this thing slide year after year – now that a site like EducateTruth surfaces — we have our top Administrator in charge of education complaining about Educate Truth – wanting to go gack to the way things used to be when closed door meetings decided the issues and everyone just assumed “nothing is going wrong” aside from the normal everyday “problems” that every University has now and then.

    But when dealing with “the worst kind of infidelity” (3SG 9-91) the problem does not melt into the background quite as one might like to imagine.

    But I too have an imagination – and my imagination tells me that there are a number of leaders and laity that hope this is all limited to LSU. There is a group that imagines that as soon as one or two or maybe 6 professors at LSU are brought under control or released to find an institution fuly married to evolutionism – this whole thing goes away. In truth – I join them in wishing that were true.

    But I am also practical enough to know that the 1994 survey and then the 2003 survey indicate a much broader issue within the church. Furthermore – everyone agrees that all solutions require that all schools continue to “teach evolution” for the sake of science students who will meet “true believers” in that fiction we call evolutionism, in their later work– in fact they will find whole instutions devoted to a kind of worhip of that form of myth – that junk-science religion we call evolutionism.

    So unlike the “Living Temple” where we could simply stop teaching it – get rid of a few teachers that promoted it and then “go on our happy way”, this thing has tentacles that remain in every single one of our institutions. At best this problem is merely kept at bay by hiring Creation science “informed” faculty that are fully capable of the critical thinking needed to make studenst aware of evolution and at the same time are able to make strides in exposing and debunking its never-ending twists and turns.

    (Notice that LSU does not propose to be that kind of school – it proposes that some other Adventist university come up with the solutions and that LSU then be placed on some kind of review board to validate/certify the efforts of those who try to actually come up with solutions.)

    The “solution oriented” paradigm is a comprehensive model that only the few will be willing to follow. A far more likely scenario for schools that choose not to embrace the errors of evolutionism – is that they will offer 1 or 2 seminars on evolution – say at the end “of course I don’t actually believe this stuff” and end the class without giving the students the tools needed to see the junk-science methods that go into making evolutionism what it is today.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  28. If there are readers of Educate Truth who are interested in moving beyond invective and dogmatic pronouncements and read about Creationism from a responsible evangelical Christian perspective, they might wish to visit http://www.answersincreation.org.

    Now if one already has his/her mind closed to approaches other than those taken by such organizations as Answers in Genesis, Institute for Creation Research, or Creation Ministries International, then one would not want to visit Answers In Creation. If you do, you might be influenced too much by well-founded data and evidence.




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  29. @Ervin Taylor: You’re letting your interpretation of the data influence your hermeneutic of the Genesis account. In other words, it wouldn’t matter how clearly stated Genesis 1 & 2 were, you’d still have to be dogmatic and invective about those who disagree with you.

    I don’t have a problem with being dogmatic about something when I think it’s true. And Erv, you’re being just as dogmatic. Keep in mind your worldview is what is driving your interpretation of the data.




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  30. To get back to the original post quoting Roy Adams, Roy has a point. But that point should not be overly emphasized. There are faculty who have been arguing vigorously for a conservative interpretation of scientific data, and even publishing some of their data and arguments in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Arthur Chadwick, Elaine Kennedy, and Leonard Brand come to mind (this list is by no means exhaustive). The journal Origins, put out by the Geoscience Research Institute, for many years edited by Ariel Roth, and now by Jim Gibson, has been recognized as setting a high standard in the creationist community.

    The church and its science teachers in general may very well have failed to live up to their responsibilities. But the characterization the the church’s scientists have been silent seems to me to be overstated. Some in the church have been quite vocal.




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  31. Erv Taylor wrote:

    If there are readers of Educate Truth who are interested in moving beyond invective and dogmatic pronouncements and read about Creationism from a responsible evangelical Christian perspective, they might wish to visit http://www.answersincreation.org.
    Now if one already has his/her mind closed to approaches other than those taken by such organizations as Answers in Genesis, Institute for Creation Research, or Creation Ministries International, then one would not want to visit Answers In Creation.If you do, you might be influenced too much by well-founded data and evidence.  

    I find it amazing that your comments are actually posted here by Educate Truth despite LSU’s PR man, Larry Becker, claiming that Educate Truth doesn’t allow opinions opposed to the position of the staff of Educate Truth to be posted…

    Looks like Atoday is the one blocking contrary posts these days… and publishing selective quotes from bloggers with the suggestion that some of the most extreme views posted on EdTruth’s open forums are actually representative of the views and goals of the staff of EdTruth… or is that just some sort of attempt at a “spoof”?

    The truth of the matter is that without any sort of response from those most opposed to our position (and willing to publish their comments in this forum and others, this issue would never have gotten off the ground. So, on behalf of Educate Truth I thank you… 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  32. If there are readers of Educate Truth who are interested in moving beyond invective and dogmatic pronouncements and read about Creationism from a responsible evangelical Christian perspective, they might wish to visit http://www.answersincreation.org.

    OK, I went there, and the first thing I see is that their whole reason for being hinges on one of several ways of interpreting the “days” in Genesis 1 as being something other than 24-hour days, or some variation of the gap theory. Unfortunately for them, these ideas have been thoroughly debunked.




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  33. @Michael Prewitt:

    Michael, how can you say there “are several ways of interpreting the ‘days’ in Genesis 1 as being something other than 24-hour days” when the passage plainly says, “the evening and the morning were the “first–second–third, etc. day.” Obviously you do not believe what God plainly states–obviously you don’t even believe that there is a God and that what He says is true. You also obviously do not believe the Bible is His inspired Word to mankind.

    My friend, with that mindset it is no wonder you see “several ways to interpret Genesis 1.” Those of us who believe the Bible to be the living Word of God simply cannot dialog intelligently with you on this topic because we are only ‘not on the same page’–we’re not even in the same book!” (And there are MANY good scientists–a lot of whom once believed as you apparently do but the more they studied into it with an open mind the more they became disillusioned with evolution and the more they turned to the Bible–and the God of the Bible–as being the only true explanation of how this world we–and all that live therein–came to be. I suggest you read some of their books with an open mind. Look up “Acts and Facts” at http://www.icr.org or call them at 214-615-8300. I’m sure they will be happy to work with you on this issue.

    Incidentally, please explain to me how you account for the seven-day week? The months and the years are determined by the sun and the moon but there is nothing in nature that determines the weekly cycle–God gave that to us when He created our world–and all that in it is. There is simply no other reason for the weekly cycle.




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  34. Obviously you do not believe what God plainly states–obviously you don’t even believe that there is a God and that what He says is true. You also obviously do not believe the Bible is His inspired Word to mankind.

    No, it’s not obvious. You’re jumping to conclusions with zero evidence. I believe the Bible is God’s Word and that Genesis plainly teaches a six-day creation; however, I do recognize that there are others who interpret things differently. They are wrong, but they do interpret things differently.

    Michael did not state his beliefs. He merely said there are a couple of ways to interpret things.




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  35. @Bravus:

    It is this “expertology” that has caused the strife we are seeing now. Adventist at one time were people of the book that meant that all could read, understand, and teach it. Now we like the Medieval Catholic Church have taken the light from the lay people telling them that they cannot read or understand the Bible without the languages–and the pastors who study them reinforce this myth, while not being able to use the languages themselves. On top of that we have become so bedazzled by Ph.D’s, M.D.’s and Ed.’s that we have been convinced that unless we are an expert we cannot understand or debate any serious issue, like science, like running the church, and medicine. Now the lay is regulated to sitting in the pews taking orders listening to rank apostasy while being assured they are in the hands of “experts.” It is high time we get back to the Bible and empower the lay people to resist the pretentious experts and reestablish the priesthood of all believers.




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  36. So, you can clearly explain how and why the chips in the computer you used to type your post work? At the quantum mechanical level? I suspect not: yet you’re happy to use the computer… For some forms of knowledge, expertise is required: it doesn’t make the expert any morally better or a better person, it just makes them a person who knows more. I tend to follow the experts’ recommendations about things like making sure computer chips have coolers on them before operating them, for example: because I know ignoring their recommendations doesn’t work very well.

    In terms of origins, I’m not at all saying that one must be an expert on all the relevant science to have an opinion. I was simply saying that there are people who do know a lot about the science. Their opinions are not absolutely definitive, but part of what we see in this discussion – and your post exemplifies it to some extent – is the rather crazy view that people should be disqualified from having an opinion on the issues because they know something about them. We see people’s opinions and views dismissed on the basis that they are scientists.

    I agree that empowering the lay people to make their own decisions through Bible study and faith is crucial. Empowering the laity through better education has also been a long-standing Adventist commitment: which now seems to be under threat in some quarters. (Not on the part of the Educate Truth staff, I hasten to add, just some commentators here and in other places.)

    As I said above, the views of Adventist scientists are not delivered from Mount Sinai on tables of stone. They are up for discussion and debate. But it’s just craziness for people to suggest that the views of Adventist scientists, on a(n at least partially) scientific issue ought to be ignored precisely because they have been given intellectual gifts and opportunities and have devoted their lives to studying the issues.




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  37. And if you take away the theories in evolution, which are the basis for volumes of other theories, you aren’t left with very much. Try it. You’re an intelligent person. Read the texts, and put a line through everything that is surmising, guesswork, and supposition. Then see what you can do with what remains. Lots of evolutionists who do this end up believing in creation.




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  38. Bravus,

    You make a good point, but like a lot of the good points made in such debates, from all sides, it is largely irrelevant.

    That fact is that certain teachers are taking money from the church, and from the students, and from the parents of students, and are not doing what those people have paid them to do.

    It is largely irrelevant who is right or wrong about origins in the ultimate sense, as far as that bears on this question of basic honesty.

    If the church does not address this fundamental question of honesty then it becomes a supporter and a perpetuator of dishonesty, of evil. It thus becomes evil itself.

    Time will tell who is right or wrong on any specific controversy, and there are always controversies raging amongst people of firm opinions on weighty matters affecting the eternal destiny of us all, but we dont need to wait to know that being dishonest or standing idly by while our employees are being dishonest, cannot be allowed to stand.

    It is wrong, and it must be stopped.

    Regards
    Denver




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  39. Bravus,

    I agree with your main point; expertise is not to downgraded automatically. But there are two problems you have not adequately dealt with here.

    First, you say,

    But it’s just craziness for people to suggest that the views of Adventist scientists, on a(n at least partially) scientific issue ought to be ignored precisely because they have been given intellectual gifts and opportunities and have devoted their lives to studying the issues.

    The problem is precisely this: Which Adventist scientists should I be paying attention to? Is it Grismer, Bradley, and Greer of La Sierra, or Brand, Chadwick, Spencer, Roth, etc.? Both have been given intellectual gifts and opportunities and have devoted their lives to studying the issues. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that except for possibly Greer, the second group understand their opponents’ arguments better. Isn’t it better to choose the group of experts who have a greater understanding of all the issues involved?

    Second, Dez Pain’s observation that “the people who were in the best position to know the facts about the expected Redeemer were the ones that crucified him” should give one pause. Apparently expertise that is decoupled from humility can be a detriment rather than an advantage. I am troubled by the fact that nobody in that camp, at least that I can see, has produced a coherent theological defense of long age that does not simultaneously trash Jesus’ recorded opinion on divorce, just to give one example. The response of long-agers to short-age arguments seems to be to try to exclude the arguments, rather than to meet them. That makes me reluctant to consider long-agers to be experts on the relationship between origins science and religion, or even, since the two definitely interact, on origins science itself. Perhaps you can show where I am incorrect on this. Otherwise, it seems to me that your argument has a problem.




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  40. @Paul Giem:

    The response of long-agers to short-age arguments seems to be to try to exclude the arguments, rather than to meet them. That makes me reluctant to consider long-agers to be experts on the relationship between origins science and religion, or even, since the two definitely interact, on origins science itself.

    I am reminded of a statement from well known atheist evolutionist, Colin Patterson, who stated that evolution appears to convey “antiknowledge” – the people who choose to “believe in it” as their new religion have even less objective ability to evaluate facts than those that do not.

    What is amazing – is that an atheist evolutionist “would even notice”.

    And as you point out above – the key to the evolutionist argument is to flee when the Biblical text is brought up. Imagine if we had some other doctrine – other than the doctrine on origins – where the best response to it by those who opposed it was to “flee the text of scripture”.

    (Actually I think there is an example of just such a situation but I will not go into it now).

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  41. @Dez Pain:

    And if you take away the theories in evolution, which are the basis for volumes of other theories, you aren’t left with very much. Try it. You’re an intelligent person. Read the texts, and put a line through everything that is surmising, guesswork, and supposition. Then see what you can do with what remains. Lots of evolutionists who do this end up believing in creation. Dez Pain(Quote)

    Atheist evolutionist Colin Patterson stated that sentiment this way –

    A 1981 lecture presented at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History

    Colin PATTERSON:

    “…I’m speaking on two subjects, evolutionism and creationism, and I believe it’s true to say that I know [u]nothing whatever about either[/u]…One of the reasons I started taking this anti-evolutionary view,well, let’s call it non-evolutionary , was last year I had a sudden realization.

    “For over twenty years I had thought that I was working on evolution in some way. One morning I woke up, and something had happened in the night, and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years, and there was not one thing I knew about it. “That was quite a shock that one could be misled for so long…

    It does seem that the level of knowledge about evolution is remarkably shallow. We know it ought not to be taught in high school, and perhaps that’s all we know about it…

    about eighteen months ago…I woke up and I realized that all my life I had been duped into taking evolutionism as revealed truth in some way.”

    Patterson – after quoting (antiChristian arguments by) Gillespie accusing that those “‘…holding creationist ideas could plead ignorance of the means and affirm only the fact,'”

    Patterson countere

    “That seems to summarize the feeling I get in talking to evolutionists today. They plead ignorance of the means of transformation, but affirm only the fact: ‘Yes it has…we know it has taken place.'”

    “…Now I think that many people in this room would acknowledge that during the last few years, if you had thought about it at all, you’ve experienced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith. I know that’s true of me, and I think it’s true of a good many of you in here…

    “…Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge , apparent knowledge which is actually harmful to systematics…”

    And let us not forget Patterson’s most direct comment on your point –

    Colin Patterson – 1981
    “Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing…that is true?

    I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural history and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said “I know one thing – it ought not to be taught in high school”

    Some evolutionists complain because I embrace the principles of objectivity and critical thinking such that I do not just limiting my points to quotes from Christian Creationists to make my point.

    But that just makes my prior point about evolutionism being a form of “antiknowledge”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  42. Bob,

    yes, antiknowledge indeed. That is because atheism is explicitly antiscience, and thus any “knowledge” based on it (as evolution is) must in reality be antiknowledge.

    Why do I say that atheism is antiscience?

    Because atheism is the positive assertion that “There is no God”. But to be scientific a proposition must be testable. It must be falsifiable. Unfortunately, for the atheists there is no possible way for us to test this statement and falsify it and thus it cannot be a scientific statement. Indeed, as others have observed, it is a religious statement, every bit as much as “There is a God” is a religious statement.

    Thus, since atheism is opposed to science (oh, the irony!) the theories of evolution based on atheism are opposed to knowledge.

    As for the so-called “theistic evolutionists”, well … their problem is that for centuries men understood God to have stated quite plainly, unambiguously, and repeatedly, that He made the earth in 6 days. Suddenly, when it becomes popular to adopt a positive disbelief in the very existence of God, and thus it becomes popular to believe in the “self organising properties of matter” – i.e. evolution – THEN it mysteriously becomes popular among certain Christians to believe that He meant something quite different.

    All the referrals to the alleged “authorities” on the age of the earth and biological adaptation and cosmology, and etc, they are ALL references to the POPULARITY of a particular doctrine. They are not arguments at all, they are not references to arguments, they are not resorts to facts, and they are not at all scientific. The “argument” presented by the theistic evolutionists is that “the world will laugh at you if you dont accept their explanation”.

    Well, yeah, so what?

    Am I supposed to care?

    We can have the respect of God, or we can have the respect of the world, but we cannot have both. I know which one means most to me.

    If it wasn’t all so tragic, so un-necessary, and so fatal to so many, you would have to laugh. However:

    “The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.” Psalm 37:13

    Regards
    Denver




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  43. Remember that satan’s mission in this world is to deceive the many not the few, and he is doing a mighty job by creating a counterfit of God’s true and singular creation which took place no more than Six thousand years ago, day by day Scientists are questioned,however they are unable to answer, rather than the Biblical truth which teaches and makes us believe in one God who created the heavens and the earth and that same God will come back for us. Satan has done a great Job on shaking up the faith of many but that has always been predicted, remember the only thing we are taking to heaven is our character and if we accept or not God’s creation should tell us where we stand.




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  44. Remember that satan’s mission in this world is to deceive the many not the few, and he is doing a mighty job by creating a counterfit of God’s true and singular creation which took place no more than Six thousand years ago, day by day Scientists are questioned,however they are unable to answer, rather than the Biblical truth which teaches and makes us believe in one God who created the heavens and the earth and that same God will come back for us. Satan has done a great Job on shaking up the faith of many but that has always been predicted, remember the only thing we are taking to heaven is our character and if we accept or not God’s creation should tell us where we stand.  (Quote)




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  45. T.R. “Expertology” is a great word to describe what goes on at LSU and LLU. Even LLBN shows, like the one Carolyn Thompson hosts, is based on this baloney. She plays the “community know-nothing” who can’t just read plainly what scriptures say. She can’t “interpret” scripture unless she has 3-4 “experts” that she practically drools over “explaining” what Paul or someone has said.




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  46. I have read many very good comments here. My question to all is, ‘since we are the PEOPLE of the book’, we either believe God’s Word in text (in it’s entirety) and made flesh in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, or we don’t, we cannot pick and choose.

    What is taught to our children/young people at all levels is paramount to what and who we are as a people, God’s remnant people. We MUST stand in the gap, for the salvation of all who believe in & seek Jesus. So many of our young people are leaving the fold, many due to inconsistancy from their parents/teachers/church family, etc. We have a duty to teach them truth, biblical truth.

    I was not raised an Adventist, I am amazed at what we as a church/family has, the present truth that we have been blessed with, is something worth standing up for, it is a blessing! Shame on us if we do not stand up for what is true and right.

    Make a call to the GC, I did, let them know that you are concerned in regards to this all important issue. Whether we realize it or not, it has an agenda to erode the very foundations of biblical truth. Share this issue with all your church family, that all will know and be able to stand with us, shoulder to shoulder to stand in the gap. We cannot let the devil take the upper hand any longer. God bless each of us as we put this issue to prayer & go to war with the apparent evils of darkness, WE are at war.

    Ephesians 6:12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    God bless us all with strength, wisdom to always stand for truth.

    Maranatha,
    Gwen




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  47. …Why do I say that atheism is antiscience?Because atheism is the positive assertion that “There is no God”. But to be scientific a proposition must be testable. It must be falsifiable. Unfortunately, for the atheists there is no possible way for us to test this statement and falsify it and thus it cannot be a scientific statement. Indeed, as others have observed, it is a religious statement, every bit as much as “There is a God” is a religious statement..

    Two quick points:

    1. Non-science is not at all the same thing as anti-science: it’s scientism to think it is. There are many, many domains of life that are not science and are valuable: and I say this as a scientist and science educator.

    2. As you’ve noted, theism is non-science in the same way as atheism, and if your logic is followed through it follows that theism is anti-science. This is not the case: most of the famous scientists on whose shoulders we stand were theists.




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  48. @Bravus:

    2. As you’ve noted, theism is non-science in the same way as atheism, and if your logic is followed through it follows that theism is anti-science. This is not the case: most of the famous scientists on whose shoulders we stand were theists.

    Essential atheism is potentially scientific since it can be tested and potentially falsified. In short, if anyone could produce any evidence that necessitated a God or a God-like entity that could not readily be distinguished from a real God, then essential atheism would be falsified.

    This is in fact the reason why Richard Dawkins has often said that,

    “…although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

    – Richard Dawkins, “The Blind Watchmaker,” [1986], Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.6.

    By implication then, if Darwinism is falsifiable, and it is (i.e., it is a potentially valid scientific theory), then so is intellectually tenable atheism…

    Think about it…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  49. @Bravus: Essential atheism is potentially scientific since it can be tested and potentially falsified. In short, if anyone could produce any evidence that necessitated a God or a God-like entity that could not readily be distinguished from a real God, then essential atheism would be falsified. This is in fact the reason why Richard Dawkins has often said that:

    “…although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

    – Richard Dawkins, “The Blind Watchmaker,” [1986], Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.6

    By implication then, if Darwinism is falsifiable, and it is (i.e., it is a potentially valid scientific theory), then so is intellectually tenable atheism… Think about it…

    If that’s the case, intellectually tenable theism must be falsifiable too, yes?




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  50. @Bravus:

    If that’s the case, intellectually tenable theism must be falsifiable too, yes?

    Yes, that is correct. If no evidence can be found which necessitates a creative power that is indistinguishable from a God-like power, intellectually tenable theism would effectively be falsified. Hence Dawkins’ argument that Darwinism does this very thing… a very rational argument as far as I can tell.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  51. David Read and Denver Fletcher,

    We’ve had a Sabbath School on origins for several years. For a little over a year we have had it videotaped and available on the web at http://www.secondlookseminar.blip.tv . You can also access it through a link at my website, http://www.scientifictheology.com (the link is 2 lines from the bottom). Right now we are going through a series on evidence for short age. Just before that we went through a series on the origin of life, following Steve Meyer’s book, Signature in the Cell. The Sabbath School was put on the web specifically because we wanted this material to be available to scientifically interested people who otherwise had limited access to creation science from an Adventist perspective.

    I hope you enjoy the site. And feel free to contact me regarding questions or future topics. There is an e-mail link at the bottom of the scientific theology webpage where you may contact me.




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  52. @Bravus:Yes, that is correct.If no evidence can be found which necessitates a creative power that is indistinguishable from a God-like power, intellectually tenable theism would effectively be falsified.Hence Dawkins’ argument that Darwinism does this very thing…a very rational argument as far as I can tell.Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com  

    Not really.

    It’s curious how the word theism gets used. In spite of how atheists like to frame this point, the famous giants of science were not merely theists, they were explicitly **Christians**. They did not believe merely in some amorphous generality, but in a personal Messiah. In other words, they made religious claims every bit as testable as their scientific propositions. I will go further and propose that, properly understood, there is no real distinction between the two, that science and religion are inextricable.

    God Himself says, “prove me now, and see”, because God was the very first scientist, was He not?

    It is not logically correct to insist that the two propositions must be logically equal in every sense: after all, one of them is necessarily false. We ought to expect the false one to exhibit the characteristics of falsehood, but not the true one, surely?

    Christianity, and in particular Adventist Christianity, has made concrete predictions based on our theory of God. If those predictions fail, so too does our entire religion. So far, biblical Christianity, which ought to be synonymous with Adventist Christianity, is batting a thousand.

    Evolution has made so many predictions that have turned out to be wrong that it would be a laughingstock if it weren’t emotionally necessary in order to provide a veneer of intellectual respectability for atheists. Some honest evolutionists, whom you’ve already quoted, have noticed this. Unfortunately, many have not.

    Just to provide one example, since I anticipate the demand: Darwin himself expected the fossils to show millions of “intermediate” forms showing the gradual transition of one species to another. That was a necessary consequence of his proposition used as the title of his book, “On the Origin of Species”.

    We are, of course, still looking for a single transitional form. The entire search for a “missing link” is a philosophical error, precisely because it assumes the truth of the proposition and lays blame on the evidence. It goes like this:

    “we *know* evolution is true, because it must be true in order for us to reject God, so if we can’t find the link it isn’t because there never was a link, but because the link is “missing”.”

    You know how many times those “links” have been invented since they do not exist.

    The reality is that every species, EVERY SINGLE ONE, that we find either alive or as fossils, appears fully formed, fully functional, with no “junk DNA”, no “vestigial organs”, and no transitional components, let alone entire transitional forms. From an evolutionary perspective, the fossil record is almost nothing but missing links.

    Stephen Jay Gould, a brilliant man, noticed this but, unwilling to abandon his atheism, proposed instead that evolution happens so fast that it leaves no evidence. He borrowed a concept from atheist cosmology and called this punctuated equilibrium. A neat sidestep but totally untestable. He thus leapt from the frying pan into the fire. But his argument about what the fossils actually show is incontrovertible. He was at least honest enough to acknowledge this publicly, for which honesty he was pilloried by his peers and mercilessly mocked.

    It is quite simple to test the proposition “There is a God”, and I expect everyone who claims to be a Christian to have already done so. Are we not instructed to do so? If they have not, then I cannot help but wonder from whence comes their conclusion that there is one?

    I also do not agree with Bravus at all that there is any area of life in which the philosophical disciplines of science can not or should not be applied. That is an appeal to a mysticism that is fatal to Christianity (and perhaps it explains to some degree why we are even having this debate at all, since so much of theistic evolution has a marked mystical aspect to it). God is so rigorously logical and consistent that we struggle to apprehend the extent to which that is true, but our struggle to apprehend does not invalidate that fact.

    In the sense that we cannot force God to perform in a controlled environment, as we can the elements of the material world, you do have a point. However, it is only in that sense that you have a point.

    On the personal level we are commanded to test Him, to prove not only His exisence but His character.

    As the song goes:

    “How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er”

    My Regards
    Denver




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  53. Newton was a Christian, of sorts, though he didn’t believe in the divinity of Christ, but also an occultist and alchemist…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton's_religious_views

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton's_occult_studies

    And, you’re saying that science can be used to, for example, explain the merit of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Denver? Or to prove that my wife loves me? Of course there are massive domains of life in which science is not the appropriate tool! As I posted above, it is scientism to believe otherwise.

    A complete caricature of ‘punctuated equilibrium’ – and the response to it – is not doing your valorisation of science a lot of good, either.




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  54. “science and religion are inextricable.”

    Denver, you and Sean Pitman are exactly on the same page. He thinks science and religion are so inextricable as to be essentially the same thing.

    I disagree. Your argument about missing links in the fossil record sounds compelling to me, but is easily overcome by the faith of the evolutionist. Likewise, my faith that the fossil record is largely the residue of the Genesis Flood is not at all shaken by the order of the fossils or the absence of human fossils in lower levels (or any fossils of the type of antediluvian Ellen White writes about). Both sides paper over the holes in their evidence with faith.

    It is all about faith. Not blind faith, because we all have objective facts, reasons, and arguments to support our faith. The Darwinist has his reasons and arguments, too, but ultimately he, like me, is exercising faith.




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  55. David,

    That’s interesting, especially your last line.

    Do you mind if I ask you; what then separates the atheist from the Christian?

    Has the God you worship (have faith in) created a world in which people are reduced to flipping a coin to decide what SORT of faith to have?

    I mean, I agree that atheism in general and evolution in particular are religious convictions, but so too are witchcraft and Hinduism. They’re also, from my perspective, not merely rational alternatives to Christian faith, but they’re categorically **wrong**. I dont “paper over” any holes in my faith, since I have no need to. My faith is empirical, I’ve proved it over and over.

    I am not sure how you could persuade anyone that they SHOULD be a Christian using your approach? If it is philosophically no different from being anything else then why bother to change?

    What then is the point of the gospel commission, for example?

    Do you have the same problem, with professors teaching evolution as if it were fact in an Adventist university, that I have?

    If so, why?

    I am afraid I dont get it at all …

    Regards
    Denver




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  56. @Denver Fletcher: (reposted because it got stuck in the moderation queue for a while and the discussion passed it by):

    Newton was a Christian, of sorts, though he didn’t believe in the divinity of Christ, but also an occultist and alchemist…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton's_religious_views

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton's_occult_studies

    And, you’re saying that science can be used to, for example, explain the merit of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Denver? Or to prove that my wife loves me? Of course there are massive domains of life in which science is not the appropriate tool! As I posted above, it is scientism to believe otherwise.

    A complete caricature of ‘punctuated equilibrium’ – and the response to it – is not doing your valorisation of science a lot of good, either.




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  57. And, you’re saying that science can be used to, for example, explain the merit of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Denver? Or to prove that my wife loves me? Of course there are massive domains of life in which science is not the appropriate tool! As I posted above, it is scientism to believe otherwise.

    @Bravus:

    Scientific reasoning can indeed be used to hypothesize that your wife does in fact love you. I call this the “Love Hypothesis”. This hypothesis is in fact testable and potentially falsifiable. There are certain predicted behaviors that I expect from my wife if she does in fact love me – behaviors which match what I would define, in my hypothesis, as loving actions. Let’s say, however, that one day I come home and she starts yelling at me, calling me all sorts of names for no apparent reason, and hits me on the head with a frying pan. Let’s also say that she tells me she doesn’t love me any more and is having an affair. If all these things happened, this would certainly cause me to seriously question the validity of my “Love Hypothesis”… 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  58. Bravus,

    Neither science nor religion rises or falls on one (normal) man. However, and whatever we think of his ideas today, Newton was a Christian and not only a theist. That was my point.

    Do Shakespeares sonnets not have forms and structures that can be analysed using scientific principles? How, for example, do you know that they are sonnets at all? Is there only one single way of evaluating or experiencing their brilliance, and it is confined to how they make one feel?

    I do not think so.

    I think Sean has already ably covered the love angle.

    I doubt we’ll ever agree on the wisdom or otherwise of S J Gould’s beliefs, but I was summarising and not caricaturing.

    My Regards
    Denver




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  59. “what then separates the atheist from the Christian?”

    The Christian by faith believes in God and Christ. The atheist has access to the same arguments for the existence of God as the believer, but rejects them; if he is a thinking man, he rejects them in favor of a self-created universe, i.e., mainstream science. Everyone makes a choice.

    “Has the God you worship (have faith in) created a world in which people are reduced to flipping a coin to decide what SORT of faith to have?”

    I don’t know how faith works, and why some believe in God and some do not. I don’t think it is only because the faithful have access to better arguments. As I said, the atheists have access to those same arguments and reject them. I do not believe in predestination, but Calvinism couldn’t very well have become so widespread if it were obvious and easily explainable why some choose God and some reject Him.

    “I am not sure how you could persuade anyone that they SHOULD be a Christian using your approach?”

    Using personal testimony and Christian apologetics, same way you would try to persuade them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    “I dont ‘paper over’ any holes in my faith,”

    I didn’t say “holes in faith.” I said we all paper over holes in the evidence with our faith. If the evidence were airtight, we wouldn’t need faith, faith wouldn’t even enter into it. We have to exercise a little faith because the evidence is often ambiguous or inconclusive.

    “Do you have the same problem, with professors teaching evolution as if it were fact in an Adventist university, that I have?”

    Yes, I do. Adventist colleges exist to promote the Adventist faith and mission, NOT to be an expensive duplication of the public school system. Since both Darwinism and creationism are at their core faith-based theories of origins, Adventist colleges should teach the one that is integral to the Adventist worldview and belief system, to wit, creationism. To teach Darwinism as truth undermines the whole structure of Adventist doctrine, and militates against the purpose of Adventist education.

    On the other hand, if our origins could be nailed down with certainty, if it isn’t even a matter of faith but of science, then we’d better withhold judgment until we get to the bottom of it. I’ve noticed that one of the favored arguments of the apologists for Darwinism at LaSierra is that Adventism is really about searching for and discovering the truth, wherever that search takes us, and what the Darwinists at LaSierra see in nature points to the truth of evolution as an explanation for origins. If the truth is out there waiting for science to discover it, who’s to say that argument is wrong?

    That argument is wrong because the truth is not out there, it is in the Bible, and we have to approach and interpret what is out there with an unshakable faith that what God is telling us in His Word is truth.

    “God has permitted a flood of light to be poured upon the world in both science and art; but when professedly scientific men treat upon these subjects from a merely human point of view, they will assuredly come to wrong conclusions. . . . those who leave the word of God, and seek to account for His created works upon scientific principles, are drifting without chart or compass upon an unknown ocean. The greatest minds, if not guided by the word of God in their research, become bewildered in their attempts to trace the relations of science and revelation.” PP 113




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  60. Dear David,

    That was an excellent response. Thank you. At least now I think I understand your point, although I do not agree with it.

    I think that even your last quote emphasises that true science and Christianity ARE in complete agreement. Surely they MUST be, since God IS the creator of both?

    But man’s **opinions** about science and religion are often in conflict, which again only emphasises that the problem is in man, just as biblical Christianity teaches.

    I do not agree that “the truth is not out there” because “the heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament showeth HIS handiwork”. All of creation is a testament to HIS character; it IS the truth, we just dont want to accept it because it deprives us of our illusions about independence.

    The problem is that the truth is not IN US!

    But thanks for some very interesting and thought-provoking insights.

    Regards
    Denver




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  61. @Denver Fletcher:

    Just to provide one example, since I anticipate the demand: Darwin himself expected the fossils to show millions of “intermediate” forms showing the gradual transition of one species to another. That was a necessary consequence of his proposition used as the title of his book, “On the Origin of Species”.

    We are, of course, still looking for a single transitional form.

    Good point!

    If they HAD found zillions of links (some successful and bazillions not successful long term) then what a parade of “our science predicted it” we would see them having today!

    And when the prediction fails? well then invent some other twist and turn (punctuated equilibrium) so that “evolutionism explains EVERY result” no matter what it is!!

    Hint – a theory that can be bent to explain everything – explains nothing.

    Another “inconvenient detail” that Christians are not supposed to “notice”??

    Denver Fletcher said:
    The entire search for a “missing link” is a philosophical error, precisely because it assumes the truth of the proposition and lays blame on the evidence. It goes like this:

    “we *know* evolution is true, because it must be true in order for us to reject God, so if we can’t find the link it isn’t because there never was a link, but because the link is “missing”.”

    Atheist evolutionist Colin Patterson appears to confirm your point –

    Patterson – quoting Gillespie’s attack on Christians accusing them of “…holding creationist ideas could plead ignorance of the means and affirm only the fact,”

    Patterson countered, “That seems to summarize the feeling I get in talking to evolutionists today. They plead ignorance of the means of transformation, but affirm only the fact: ‘Yes it has…we know it has taken place.'”

    “…Now I think that many people in this room would acknowledge that during the last few years, if you had thought about it at all, you’ve experienced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith. I know that’s true of me, and I think it’s true of a good many of you in here…

    “…Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge , apparent knowledge which is actually harmful to systematics…”

    “Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing…that is true?

    I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural history and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said “I know one thing – it ought not to be taught in high school”

    How sad that an atheist evolutionist can be so candid about these inconvenient details but some SDA theistic evolutionist among us cannot.

    Denver Fletcher

    You know how many times those “links” have been invented since they do not exist.

    indeed the hoax history for fossils is rich with decades long frauds used to prop up the myth of evolutionism “as if” it were not the junk-science that it is.

    The horse series “manufactured” by Othaniel Marsh is a good example of a “conveniently arranged” fossil “sequence” that even evolutionists admit “never happened in nature”. (And yet curiously – still on display in the Smithsonian). Apparently for evolutionists – some “good stories” are just too good for the telling to let inconvenient facts get in the way.

    Denver Fletcher said:
    The reality is that every species, EVERY SINGLE ONE, that we find either alive or as fossils, appears fully formed, fully functional, with no “junk DNA”, no “vestigial organs”, and no transitional components, let alone entire transitional forms. From an evolutionary perspective, the fossil record is almost nothing but missing links.

    Again – Colin Patterson seems to confirm the salient point above.

    Colin Patterson said:
    Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. As a palaeontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record.

    You say that I should at least show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organism was derived. I will lay it on the line- there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument. The reason is that statements about ancestry and descent are not applicable in the fossil record. Is Archaeopteryx the ancestor of all birds? Perhaps yes, perhaps no there is no way of answering the question. It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test. So, much as I should like to oblige you by jumping to the defence of gradualism, and fleshing out the transitions between the major types of animals and plants, I find myself a bit short of the intellectual justification necessary for the job “

    Denver Fletcher said:

    Stephen Jay Gould, a brilliant man, noticed this but, unwilling to abandon his atheism, proposed instead that evolution happens so fast that it leaves no evidence. He borrowed a concept from atheist cosmology and called this punctuated equilibrium. A neat sidestep but totally untestable. He thus leapt from the frying pan into the fire. But his argument about what the fossils actually show is incontrovertible. He was at least honest enough to acknowledge this publicly, for which honesty he was pilloried by his peers and mercilessly mocked.

    Yes – and now his view is the politically correct rock for evolutionists to hide their defects in evidence.

    Denver Fletcher said:

    It is quite simple to test the proposition “There is a God”, and I expect everyone who claims to be a Christian to have already done so. Are we not instructed to do so? If they have not, then I cannot help but wonder from whence comes their conclusion that there is one?

    For the longest time the atheists were stuck on that point because the Christians kept pointing out the “elephant in the Atheist living room” namely – the existence of life. Something that just can’t be “manufactured in the lab” nor is it seen to “happen on its own in nature”.

    Basically no amount of wishful imaginative thinking will enable science (real science) to show the tendency in nature for “birds coming from reptiles” or “abiogenesis”. It is not happening now, it never happened and it never will happen.

    The same could be said about monkeys compiling an updated version of the encyclopedia. (Hopefully some evolutionists will “notice” that detail)

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  62. “Observers are bound to notice that in so many areas of current biblical, scientific, and moral concerns and conflicts, Adventists are virtually silent; and that it’s other folk, other Christians, who are carrying the ball, who are doing the heavy lifting, and who, as a consequence, are receiving the biting criticism and scorn.

    But in all these areas we’re modeling. And people are taking notice—of our words, our actions, or our silence.”Adventist Review

    One wonders when should those who cradle truth jump into the fray of controversy, as against displaying restraint.
    Should Adventists speak out against, or in support of issues made popular for discussion in the public forum by the religious right?…issues like abortion, gay marriages,stem cells research, ordination of gay pastors etc.? or should they remain “silent”?

    One need only look on the example of Jesus for direction. When it came to the act of desecrating His Father’s house, Jesus spared no effort in chasing out the offenders. But when it came to the fact of exposing Tiberius Ceasar as the “Great and terrible dragon” of Daniel and the Revelation, who would “trample His saints underfoot”, Jesus was “silent”.

    I think, like Jesus, those who cradle truth must choose well when to join the fray and when to be “silent”. The professors at the “schools of the prophets” are making our ‘Father’s schools’, a den for the doctrine of demons[any false doctrine that includes God-is doctrine of demons…see Paul’s statement re “doctrine of devils”]and like the violators in the time of Christ, should be forced to flee the halls of spiritual truth. The theory of evolution being fought in the arena of demons, ought to be left for a discussion among demons. Those who know that “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God….and that all things were created by Him” need not to try to convince demons otherwise…demons already are familiar with the truth…and our effort to convert their devotees is to be met only with futility at best.

    Adventists’ responsibility is to be ready to give the ‘reason for the hope that we have’—a hope that speaks to the belief that God created the heavens and the earth–and a hope we articulate when called upon to do so. If the evolutionists choose to believe otherwise…he should be left to his own denial of eternal truth, as he will be left eventually to face Him who doesn’t share space with demons or doctrine of demons.

    Courtney  




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  63. Courtney, You’re absolutely correct in this matter. For example, during the Nov. 09 election here in California, the Mormons took as stand against “gay marriage” and were “crucified” by the worldly press, etc.

    The SDA Church actually had a Professor of Religion, at LLU, Juliua Nam, get on NPR and pronounce that he, as an SDA Religion Professor, was for “gay marriage!” This was broadcast worldwide, and is probably still on the Internet>

    When I questioned the Religion Dept. at LLU regarding this, Julius refused to answer my inquiry. He preferred to “closet” himself, instead. So, as I’ve stated before, teaching evolution as fact is just a small tip of the iceberg as far as problems go in our SDA Church. The root problem is MUCH DEEPER!




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  64. @Courtney Edwards:

    One wonders when should those who cradle truth jump into the fray of controversy, as against displaying restraint.
    Should Adventists speak out against, or in support of issues made popular for discussion in the public forum by the religious right?…issues like abortion, gay marriages,stem cells research, ordination of gay pastors etc.? or should they remain “silent”?

    One need only look on the example of Jesus for direction. When it came to the act of desecrating His Father’s house, Jesus spared no effort in chasing out the offenders. But when it came to the fact of exposing Tiberius Ceasar as the “Great and terrible dragon” of Daniel and the Revelation, who would “trample His saints underfoot”, Jesus was “silent”.

    In the 1800’s God directed Seventh-day Adventists to “be very active” on the subject of prohibition (Christian morals on alcohol vs the right to privacy) and slavery (related to Christian doctrine on the value of human life).

    Turns out we have the SAME issues today in the form of abortion (the value of human life) – and gay marriage (Christian morals vs the right to privacy).

    At this time in earth’s history four factors are driving earth to an end-time scenario – calling for an end to the restraint. The first two are mentioned in Lev 18 – where God declares that He will “end” a nation – even a pagan non-Bible aware nation for crossing these two lines.

    1. Gay agenda issues
    2. Abortion

    And two other items that both go directly after God – the Creator Himself – are covered in Rev 14:6-7.

    3. Evolution as the right answer for the doctrine on origins.
    4. Editing/deleting the 4 commandment Creation memorial Sabbath.

    3SG 90-91 makes it clear to Adventists just how God views this issue of sinful man going after the Creator directly in the form of the argument for evolutionism housed inside the Christian Church.

    This denomination above all others – has “no excuse” for engaging in such a thing. And so – having more light on that subject than most – we will also suffer more condmenation than most if we ignore what we have been told. With priviledge comes responsibility my friends.

    Thus it should not surprise us to be seeing signs in nature that the wrath of God is just around the corner.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  65. Perhaps Adventists don’t have anything to say about evolutionism, because they don’t take it seriously. If you reject an idea apriori, then there can be no foundation for a discussion. Since Adventitsts reject science, and don’t do science, they have no authority to address the questions of science. Their views have no legitimacy. Adventists don’t support creationism, they support ignorancre.




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  66. @Ron Nielsen:

    Adventists don’t support creationism, they support ignorancre.

    If you’re going to call someone “ignorant” at least make sure you spelled the word correctly ; )

    Also, Adventists, like me, don’t reject science, we reject just-so story telling as actual science. We actually want evidence (demonstration or relevant statistical analysis) that the mindless mechanisms proposed by evolutionists are remotely likely to be as creative as evolutionists claim, beyond very low levels of functional complexity, this side of a practical eternity of time (i.e., trillions upon trillions of years)…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  67. Adventitsts reject science, and don’t do science, they have no authority to address the questions of science.

    I attended the Creation Sabbath celebration Oct. 2009 at Loma Linda University Church. Many of the presenters were scientists from our universities and GRI. All of them are actively involved in their fields. I know a few of them personally.

    The Seventh-day Adventist Church embraces science. Entities and individuals within the organization use science daily. Your information is completely false. Perhaps you should be more careful in the future about what you say.




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  68. Sean Pitman wrote, “We actually want evidence (demonstration or relevant statistical analysis) that the mindless mechanisms proposed by evolutionists are remotely likely to be as creative as evolutionists claim, beyond very low levels of functional complexity, this side of a practical eternity of time (i.e., trillions upon trillions of years)…”

    Yeah, well some of us want “RELEVANT STATISTICAL ANALYSIS” that a pile of dirt or a single rib can instantly be transformed intoa living breathing talking sweating walking human being. STATISTICS. STATISTICS. STATISTICS. We’re waiting! And when you provide your calculations maybe we’ll provide an alternative set that has a higher probability of success. After all, evolution can only happen statistically based on choices. GIVE US YOUR STATISTICS and we can then devise an alternative model and see which is more likely. Show us the way!




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  69. Ron’s misspelling of the word “ignorance” was no doubt accidental. It was a good example of a mutation that purely by chance happened to his sentence, which, after millions of years, and more accidental mutations, would have improved the sentence to a new level of meaning. No doubt, the final sentence would have evolved to say, “Adventists support creationism, they don’t support ignorancre.”




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  70. But Ron’s statement is sad, because really it is by faith that we understand.
    “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3.
    Without faith, then, we are can’t understand the truth, and thus are ignorant of the truth. Satan deceives many with mis-interpreted facts that appear to have weight. He says you don’t need Bible faith to understand. But really it takes a faith, not of the Bible, to believe in evolution.
    The gospel and Creation go together. It takes the Word of God to create this world and it takes the Word of God to re-create us. “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17.
    Those who by faith have surrendered their lives to the Word of God, and received its living power to overcome sin, will understand and believe in Creation.




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  71. Patrick, I advise you not to bring up faith at this forum. Sean Pitcan will lecture you for dozens of posts- wwhatever it takes- in an effrot to persuade you that faith is as fleeting as tooth fairies and that a real christian must base their beliefs on evidence.

    And while he insists that statistics prove life cannot evolve on its own he remains completely silent about any statistics regarding how likely God could create life. I think he’s both hypercritical and hypocritical.




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  72. @Geanna Dane:

    Patrick, I advise you not to bring up faith at this forum. Sean Pitcan will lecture you for dozens of posts- wwhatever it takes- in an effrot to persuade you that faith is as fleeting as tooth fairies and that a real christian must base their beliefs on evidence.

    And while he insists that statistics prove life cannot evolve on its own he remains completely silent about any statistics regarding how likely God could create life. I think he’s both hypercritical and hypocritical.

    You can base your faith on whatever you want. I speak only for myself when I say that blind faith, or beliefs that are completely contrary to the overwhelming weight of available evidence, simply aren’t useful to me as a solid basis for any sort of real hope in the future – beyond a belief in garden fairies, the “Celestial Teapot”, Dawkin’s “Flying Spaghetti Monster”, or Santa Claus (take your pick). Why be a SDA Christian vs. a Buddhist or a Latter-day Saint or even an atheist? – outside of purely social reasons?

    Hey blind faith may work for you. You may have some sort of direct connection with God or something like that. I just don’t have what it takes I guess…

    If I didn’t see the overwhelming evidence supporting biblical account of creation, I’d leave not only the SDA Church, but Christianity behind as well…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  73. @Geanna Dane:

    Yeah, well some of us want “RELEVANT STATISTICAL ANALYSIS” that a pile of dirt or a single rib can instantly be transformed intoa living breathing talking sweating walking human being. STATISTICS. STATISTICS. STATISTICS. We’re waiting! And when you provide your calculations maybe we’ll provide an alternative set that has a higher probability of success. After all, evolution can only happen statistically based on choices. GIVE US YOUR STATISTICS and we can then devise an alternative model and see which is more likely. Show us the way!

    Say you’re really bored one night and decide to play poker with some of your friends who are into that sort of thing. Say one of your “friends” comes up with a royal flush. Could be dumb luck – right? But, say your friend does it again the very next hand, and then again and again… How many times will your friend have to come up with a royal flush before you begin to wonder about your dumb luck hypothesis and determine that the statistical odds for the deliberate cheating hypothesis are starting to become rather overwhelming?

    You see, the calculated odds for the ID-only hypothesis are based on past experience with the creative powers of intelligence to manipulate things in very creative ways which go far beyond what any known mindless process is remotely likely to achieve. This is the basis of SETI as well as other ID-based sciences: like forensics or anthropology. Even modern physicists are starting to use this very same argument to argue the need for a God, or at least a God-like intelligence behind the extreme fine tuning of the universe itself (just ask someone like Paul Davies or Freeman Dyson).

    You can laugh all you want about the science behind the detection of intelligent design, but such questions are well within the realm of scientific investigation and statistical analysis with regard to the likelihood of the hypothesis vs. the opposing null hypothesis.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  74. “such questions are well within the realm of scientific investigation and statistical analysis with regard to the likelihood of the hypothesis vs. the opposing null hypothesis.”

    So you understand poker, huh? I’m callling your bluff. Give me some statistics. What IS the probability of this very simple event: forming a human out of a pile of dirt. Prove your claims!




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  75. @Geanna Dane:

    “such questions are well within the realm of scientific investigation and statistical analysis with regard to the likelihood of the hypothesis vs. the opposing null hypothesis.”

    So you understand poker, huh? I’m callling your bluff. Give me some statistics. What IS the probability of this very simple event: forming a human out of a pile of dirt. Prove your claims!

    If you answer my poker question, I’ll answer your question…

    If someone draws aces on you 100 times in a row, what scientific hypothesis caries the greatest predictive value to explain this phenomenon? – deliberate design? or random chance?

    Please explain your answer…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  76. Sean, as an Adventist in good standing (I can assure you) I have absolutely no familiarity with poker. But I know a poker face and a bluff when I see one. I can even answer your question. Deliberate design. Fraud!

    You still won’t answer my question because you can’t and lack the humility to admit it. I’m still waiting! (yawn)

    Let me remind you of the question:

    PROBABILITY OF A LIVING BREATHING HUMAN ORIGINATING FROM A CLUMP OF DIRT IN TRILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF YEARS = NONE (YOUR CLEARLY STATED CLAIM)

    PROBABILITY OF A LIVING BREATHING HUMAN ORIGINATING FROM A CLUMP OF DIRT INSTANTANEOUSLY = ??? (and the answer is?)




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  77. @Geanna Dane:

    PROBABILITY OF A LIVING BREATHING HUMAN ORIGINATING FROM A CLUMP OF DIRT IN TRILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF YEARS = NONE (YOUR CLEARLY STATED CLAIM)

    PROBABILITY OF A LIVING BREATHING HUMAN ORIGINATING FROM A CLUMP OF DIRT INSTANTANEOUSLY = ??? (and the answer is?)

    Given that a human being did originate from a clump of dirt, the hypothesis with the greatest predictive value, by far, is the one that includes the involvement of very high level intelligent design. A being with access to extremely high levels of intelligence could easily produce all kinds of things that would appear to us to be miraculous.

    How do I know then that very high level ID was the most likely involved in the production of such high levels of functional complexity? It’s turtles all the way up…

    You’d say the same thing if I started pulling aces on you for every hand a few hundred times in a row. You’d intuitively know that such a thing could only happen by design with any reasonable degree of predictive value. In other words, I’d be right in my predictions of ID far far more often than anyone betting against me would be right in such a situation. The odds are strongly in my favor here. This is how Las Vegas casinos catch cheaters so effectively…

    Now, how is it that even you would be able to easily detect design in such a situation? Upon what basis is the conclusion of ID so obvious in such situations? Upon what is it’s predictive value established or calculated? Do you know? If so, please do explain it to me given that I’m so far off base here…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  78. “Now, how is it that even you would be able to easily detect design in such a situation? Upon what basis is the conclusion of ID so obvious in such situations? Upon what is it’s predictive value established or calculated? Do you know? If so, please do explain it to me given that I’m so far off base here…”

    I’ll accept it on faith.. I can’t prove it like you think you can (but still refuse to do).




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  79. @Geanna Dane:

    “Now, how is it that even you would be able to easily detect design in such a situation? Upon what basis is the conclusion of ID so obvious in such situations? Upon what is it’s predictive value established or calculated? Do you know? If so, please do explain it to me given that I’m so far off base here…” – Sean Pitman

    I’ll accept it on faith.. I can’t prove it like you think you can (but still refuse to do).

    You have no reason except for completely blind faith that someone drawing aces a few hundred times in a row is obvious doing so via deliberate design? Come on now. Do you think the Las Vegas casino managers are able to figure this sort of thing out, very consistently, based only on faith? Why then do they hire mathematicians and odds analyzers and pay them such large salaries? If all that is needed is blind faith to figure this sort of thing out why waste the money? ; )

    Remember now, science isn’t about demonstrating absolute proof. It is about demonstrating a useful degree of predictive value that never reaches the level of absolute perfection. Leaps of “faith” are always required – even in science, when determining what is and what is not most the most likely explanation.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  80. I was speaking of ID which I assumed in your question was Intelligent Design, the usual abbreviation. I’m into gambling, apparently thats your thing. I’m saying that I believe in creation because of faith and not your silly statistics. Your persistant arguments and hypotheses regarding functional complexity suffer from dysfunctional complexity.

    Funny that scientists and most people at this website exercise faith and you have no need for it.




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  81. @Geanna Dane: The conversation between you and Sean has digressed quite a bit. May I suggest that you correspond with him privately on the above issues as they do not pertain to the subject matter of this post or directly to the issue at hand–namely, employees undermining fundamental beliefs in the classroom of their employer.




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  82. PROBABILITY OF A LIVING BREATHING HUMAN ORIGINATING FROM A CLUMP OF DIRT IN TRILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF YEARS = NONE (YOUR CLEARLY STATED CLAIM)
    PROBABILITY OF A LIVING BREATHING HUMAN ORIGINATING FROM A CLUMP OF DIRT INSTANTANEOUSLY = ??? (and the answer is?)

    I guess I would add a mere thought to this to say: If you are strictly speaking of autogenesis, or the idea that life arose on its own instantaneously, then I’d have to say the probabilities of the two are the same: none.
    However, if an ‘All-Powerful’ being (i.e. Creator, God) were involved with the instantaneous origination of life, well, the odds would be pretty high: (i.e. it happened.)
    If one accepts scripture as the words of that ‘All-Powerful’ being, then creation happened as it states.
    Any person who denies the historicity of the statements of scripture also denies that their (the statements’) origins are from God.
    To deny creation is to deny scripture. It really is that simple.




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  83. This is in fact the reason why Richard Dawkins has often said that,

    “…although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

    – Richard Dawkins, “The Blind Watchmaker,” [1986], Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.6.

    By implication then, if Darwinism is falsifiable, and it is (i.e., it is a potentially valid scientific theory), then so is intellectually tenable atheism…

    Are you kidding me? So this has come down to proving Dawkins is right and Darwinism is scientifically factual? I don’t think so. I choose not to get off the Biblical track and engage in assumptions and falsehoods.

    Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.




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  84. @Geanna Dane:Say you’re really bored one night and decide to play poker with some of your friends who are into that sort of thing.Say one of your “friends” comes up with a royal flush.Could be dumb luck – right? But, say your friend does it again the very next hand, and then again and again… How many times will your friend have to come up with a royal flush before you begin to wonder about your dumb luck hypothesis and determine that the statistical odds for the deliberate cheating hypothesis are starting to become rather overwhelming?You see, the calculated odds for the ID-only hypothesis are based on past experience with the creative powers of intelligence to manipulate things in very creative ways which go far beyond what any known mindless process is remotely likely to achieve.This is the basis of SETI as well as other ID-based sciences: like forensics or anthropology.Even modern physicists are starting to use this very same argument to argue the need for a God, or at least a God-like intelligence behind the extreme fine tuning of the universe itself (just ask someone like Paul Davies or Freeman Dyson).You can laugh all you want about the science behind the detection of intelligent design, but such questions are well within the realm of scientific investigation and statistical analysis with regard to the likelihood of the hypothesis vs. the opposing null hypothesis.Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com  

    Well, maybe you have time to look into microscopes and test tubes to prove your God exists, but I just read this: Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth……..” and leave the scientific grunt work to those who like that. The last time I checked my Bible, it did not say, “Thou art sanctified by the perusal of multitudinous scientific journals and endless lab reports.” it actually says: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).

    This work of character change into the image of Christ is the work of a lifetime and certainly qualifies our entrance into heaven. So the more time that I spend peering into telescopes and microscopes and dissecting frogs, then thats much less time that I have to prioritize what’s really important.

    True education does not ignore the value of scientific knowledge or literary acquirements; but above information it values power; above power, goodness; above intellectual acquirements, character. The world does not so much need men of great intellect as of noble character. It needs men in whom ability is controlled by steadfast principle. 94 {CSA 65.1}




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  85. Insisting on a literal understading of Genesis 1 is both bad theology (Genesis 1 contradicts the second creation account in Genesis 2) and even worse science (we now knoe that both our planet and life on ot are billions of years old).

    If the fundametalist elements in Adventism prevail, it will become another obscurantist cult.




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  86. Saying it’s bad theology doesn’t make it bad theology. Why do you think so? The SDA church doesn’t see two creation accounts, so this is only a problem for people with this particular understanding.




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