There is a nice gesture in the first paragraph. It …

Comment on An apology to PUC by Alexander Carpenter.

There is a nice gesture in the first paragraph. It should have stopped there. The bulk of this clause-cluttered letter contains some odd elements.

First, they should also be apologizing to Professor Bryan Ness, Ph.D. It’s strange that they attack individuals and apologize to institutions.

Second, it is odd that Shane and Sean don’t put their names on their own apology. This, after going after so many Adventist academics by name, and repeatedly using their own names when posting and commenting. Why are their names good for a comment, but not an apology?

Third, in poor taste, under the guise of apology, most of this letter focuses on making demands of PUC. It’s a telling rhetorical tic to see the phrase “which we would expect” repeated several times. Huh? On what grounds do they give PUC “the opportunity” to give them course documents for their review. Hubris? Is educate truth a new accrediting body? They’re getting their 15 minutes of fame, but I don’t recall Warhol prophesying that we’d all get to be external evaluators of higher education.

It’s unfortunate that Educate Truth really embarrassed itself with this attack on an Adventist professor. It’s clear that these two non-academics really don’t understand how academia works. In multiple comments, they just don’t seem to get that Adventist students can handle an whole fifty minute lecture on science without a Bible study tacked on at the end.

Christian education, like sanctification, is the work of a lifetime, and good courses that educate toward lasting truth are structured to unfold over weeks, not minutes.

As it becomes clear that their crusade against La Sierra University is going nowhere, they hamhandedly tried to attack another school. It failed.

They have lost a lot of credibility – and it raises some serious questions about their epistemological skills. If they cannot get the facts about videos right, how can they get complex scientific research correct?

I have had multiple people mention to me that they increasingly feel like this site is becoming more about “the team” getting attention. I don’t know.

This episode has taught me something.

The kids are all right! PUC students and alumni poured out amazing support for professor Ness, and articulated very acute summaries of how Adventist education can build faith and hone critical thinking skills. One student created site puts it well – an “educated truth.”

Recent Comments by Alexander Carpenter

LSU-3 Case Moves Forward in Riverside Court
Just a note about how Educate Truth operates. They currently have posted a photo from another site (Spectrum) without attribution to the photographer/author. I believe that’s called stealing.

[Relax Alex. The article on Spectrum that contains the photo was originally referenced and the specific photo credit has been added. – sp]

Former board member never talked with biology faculty
I wonder if this also had something to do with the sense that these former board members were more sympathetic to Educate Truth’s views than the other trustees.

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
(So sorry, Oink, but it is great to see the nonsensical sort of comments this site is attracting now. BTW: Spectrum has been around for 41 year. Facts!)

So, Share: Ah yes, that factual point about David Asscherick being a college dropout really stung. But you mischaracterize the intention. In academia, that sort of thing matters, in part because of the high specialization of knowledge required to really know at the level that actual research requires. The fact that someone who had not even finished college was attempting to tell Adventists with PhDs what they can and cannot teach is actually important, but that mostly makes sense in a scientific research setting.

Yes, I remember that call – I also remember finding that he had exaggerated all but one of his points – if my memory serves me correctly, he tossed out several numbers of what he called errors, I’ve heard people report 2x what you just reported. But only one made seemed to concern actual facts and I updated the post to reflect his fair point – and we prayed together at the end of the call. So this is weird that you bring up some random number that AGAIN is not based in fact, nor were you a part of the call, but here you are opining publicly about it. Once AGAIN, you’re wrong. It’s just striking how much this site gets the basics of epistemology wrong, and peers around the church looking for the splinters in other members’ eyes.

(You’re speculation about how I feel about Dr. Ness it totally wrong as well. I actually enjoy being around folks with beliefs that differ in a variety of ways from my own.)

But more important than that weird personalization of this debate, I hope folks noted your final sentences. After paying attention to Adventist conversations online for almost six years now, it fits the classic pattern of someone who is using some controversy as a way to attack Adventist institutions. Shane writes: “Chances are the underlying issues could cause a serious split, which is actually already occurring, in our church.”

The always, already looming split. It is the old perennial wish by those who feel disenfranchised by the church. (I’m going to take my toys and go home!, the cry). If one listens to folks who attack church institutions and people, more often than not they cite “splitting the church” as a very real possibility. (What lies behind it is the logic: if you don’t do what we say, we will destroy you, which they cannot.) And to them tearing up the church is a good thing, a sort of cleansing of the community. What’s particularly odd about this is that it is again absent of the facts. After a sustained attack on LSU, the denominational accrediting body, the people who define higher educational institutions as in-line or not with Adventist educational beliefs and educational philosophy sided with. . .LSU. The only split that’s really happening is between this site and the majority of Adventist educational leaders.

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
It is just increasingly sad looking at this site. After revealing their shoddy journalist ethics and having to apologize to PUC, Educate Truth has been posting very old bits and pieces trying to keep this little witch hunt going.

Now their dwindling readership is treated to year old comments regarding a visit to PUC that took place more than four years old. (That’s a president and an entire student body ago!) Next, will Educate Truth be alerting the denomination to the fact that a dangerous seducer of the brethren teaches at PUC and who goes by the name: Desmond Ford?

The denominational accrediting body has completed its visit at LSU and approved the university for another 8 years. It’s time to face that facts that if Educate Truth cannot get the church laity (and denominational leaders) to join their tired crusade against La Sierra University. . .it won’t work anywhere.

If only more people would show this much dedication imitating Christ. . .

PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood?
It’s clear that Shane is missing the point about the contextual truth of this video. As the statement by PUC makes clear, what’s missing from the video is precisely the introduction where a religion professor explains that the point of this talk was to present one side – the scientific challenges. Whomever created this video acted in poor faith by leaving that out.

As a professor who teaches classes on Christianity and media, omitting the beginning, or not including a written note about the context, was a dishonest act. It is a significant sign of clear editorial control that the video starts right when Educate Truth is mentioned.

As they fail to marshal the evidence, we’re seeing more and more of these sorts of desperate and sloppy moves by the Educate Truth crowd where apparently the end justifies the means, and fellow Adventists are mere collateral damage.

It is pretty odd to see folks who don’t teach at the college level telling others who do how to do their job. That Shane and Sean both keep flogging the corporate analogy that Pepsi workers don’t promote Coke shows how little they understand academia, and other professions. Next will we see Shane demanding that judges are illegal for issuing dissenting opinions from the bench? The Educate Truth crowd is trying to impose a radical shift in Adventist academia. Instead of publishing articles in scientific circles, they are acting politically, trying to attack actual people, and intimidate professors into bending to their radical notion of learning, where students are too stupid to make up their own minds and need to be told what to believe.

Adventist academics shouldn’t misled about what Adventist beliefs are. But Educate Truth wants to redefine that role radically. In fact, it’s strange because while telling professors how to do their job, they seem to be mixing the job of pastors and evangelists with that of professors. If these guys really want to Educate Truth, they need to get off their ‘puters and into the laboratory and Adventist classroom themselves.

This is a classic witch hunt slipping into excess as they turn on Bryan Ness, an avowedly creationist professor who is not afraid to ask difficult questions. These are classic Christian discussions about origins that have been debated in theological classrooms for hundreds of years. But Shane and Sean have decided that we don’t get to seek truth, only educate it, because they have, without earning doctorate degrees in science, figured it out. And those who continue to ask questions will be surveilled.