Comment on An apology to PUC by Sean Pitman.
I am disturbed by much of what I read here. According to Educate Truthâ€™s new policies, professors can no longer teach faith; they can only teach what the â€œevidenceâ€ allows. Professors can no longer teach both sides and allow the student to form their own opinion; they must believe and teach that the weight of evidence supports their views. Professors can no longer teach their conscience; fear of being subjected to public humiliation will hereafter dictate what they teach. Surely Ellen White would roll over in her grave if she learned of the new fear-based pedagogical approach that is slowly taking over our institutions. Good work, Educate Truth!
Have you not read about the time when Mrs. White publicly addressed the Church body telling everyone to avoid sending their children to Battle Creek College because of their promotion of ideas which were not in harmony with the goal and mission of the Church? â€œIn Godâ€™s word alone,â€ she wrote, â€œwe find an authentic account of creationâ€ (5 Test., 25). She displayed a willingness to both publicly rebuke the leadership of the college and to warn church members of the problems at the College. â€œWe can give,â€ she memorably warned, â€œno encouragement to parents to send their children to Battle Creek Collegeâ€ (5 Test., 21). She proposed that if the College was not returned to the Biblical-centered model, that the church should â€œsell it out to worldlingsâ€ and â€œestablish another schoolâ€ upon the â€œplan which God has specifiedâ€ (5 Test., 25-26). – Link
Also, have you not read the GCâ€™s request of educators when it comes to what the Church, as an organization, expects its teachers to actually teach? The following is from the 2004 Executive Committee of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists:
We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the churchâ€™s position on origins. We, along with Seventh-day Adventist parents, expect students to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world.
This sentiment and request was backed up at the most recent GC session in Atlanta. And, the Church has also decided to make more specific the wording of FB#6 on its creation doctrine – in order to make it very clear that the Church, as an organization, believes in a literal 6-day creation week and worldwide Noachian Flood.
Now, you can call such a position â€œextremeâ€ all you want, but the Church seems to know that hiring teachers to tell our young people that the weight of scientific evidence is against us is quite counterproductive to the Churchâ€™s goals and idealsâ€¦
Regardless, at the very least, people have a right to know and to choose if such an education is in fact what they want for their own childrenâ€¦
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Must you keep harping on the one statement on Darwinâ€™s finches that few other than yourself and maybe some other creationists disagree with?
I have yet to see you present one phenotypic or genetic difference between any of Darwin’s Finches and other members of the Dome-nest Clade which could not be rapidly realized in a few thousand years. Certainly a 0.3% difference in cytochrome b isn’t a significant problem. I’m not sure what else makes you think that Darwin’s Finches are no uniquely evolved that they could not be explained as originating from Noah’s Ark a few thousand years ago?
As far as your arguments for the date of the first Egyptian dynasty being preceded by over a thousand years of cultural development, it simply doesn’t take very long for groups of humans to develop complex cultures and governments. Also, there are those who argue that the date for the first dynasty is more likely to be less than 4,500 years ago. Either way, the dating of Egyptian dynasties is hardly a very solid basis for challenging the historical SDA position on origins…
The â€œstriking phenotypic differences, and even unique genetic differencesâ€ among different populations of humans and dogs are the results of random mutation, genetic drift, natural selection or (in the case of dogs) artificial selectionâ€“not â€œsome span of reproductive isolation.â€
It doesn’t matter how the reproductive isolation is achieved, be it “artificial” or “natural”. The resulting phenotypic differences are much more obvious between certain breeds of dogs or even various human ethnic groups than between certain “cryptic” species.
The reason why cryptic species are given taxonomic status while various breeds of dogs and human ethnic groups are not seems arbitrary to me. There really is no clear dividing line for taxonomic status on the one hand, but not on the other…
Humans donâ€™t depend on the color or texture of eyes, hair and skin to avoid mating with chimps or apes, or even different groups of humans.
Are you kidding me? Humans are indeed biased in the choice of a mate toward those of similar phenotypic appearance. While this is not a universal rule (as is also the case with many kinds of cryptic species who also experience the occasional hybrids), it is certainly a bias.
When a female poodle is in heat, it doesnâ€™t matter what â€œbreedâ€ a male dog belongs to, it is equally stimulated and could care less about the length, color or texture of eyes, hair, ears, snout, legs, tail, etc. The reproductive isolating method between dogs (genus Canis) and foxes (genus Vulpes) is likely based on olfaction rather than external morphology.
Have you considered the efforts of a Great Dane to mate with a chihuahua? Come on now, there are clear examples of not only artificial but natural reproductive isolate between various breeds of dogs and even between various human ethnic groups. Aborigines have arguably experienced some time of natural isolation, as have numerous other ethnic groups of modern and ancient humans. Unique phenotypic and even genotypic features were realized that are arguably more significant than the differences between the songs or nest structure of cryptic species of birds or the other very minor variations between cryptic species of frogs or giraffes, etc…
Again, don’t pretend like this is entirely objective science. It isn’t. There is a a fair amount of subjectivity in play here…
And the fact that taxonomists use a b it of subjectivity is a new revelation? Come on Sean, you are nitpicking. Of course there is some subjectivity.
Hey, I’m not the one who came out and said that the differences between Darwin Finches and all other birds were so dramatic and clear cut and objectively understood that they could not be reasonably explained in just a few thousand years… or that the Egyptian dynasties are definitively known to go back over 6,000 years (when they probably go back no more than 4,500 years)…
A “bit” of subjectivity involved here? – no?
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
After the Flood
Thank you Ariel. Hope you are doing well these days. Miss seeing you down at Loma Linda. Hope you had a Great Thanksgiving!
Thank you Colin. Just trying to save lives any way I can. Not everything that the government does or leaders do is “evil” BTW…
Only someone who knows the future can make such decisions without being a monster…
Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage?
Where did I “gloss over it”?
Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
I fail to see where you have convincingly supported your claim that the GC leadership contributed to the harm of anyone’s personal religious liberties? – given that the GC leadership does not and could not override personal religious liberties in this country, nor substantively change the outcome of those who lost their jobs over various vaccine mandates. That’s just not how it works here in this country. Religious liberties are personally derived. Again, they simply are not based on a corporate or church position, but rely solely upon individual convictions – regardless of what the church may or may not say or do.
Yet, you say, “Who cares if it is written into law”? You should care. Everyone should care. It’s a very important law in this country. The idea that the organized church could have changed vaccine mandates simply isn’t true – particularly given the nature of certain types of jobs dealing with the most vulnerable in society (such as health care workers for example).
Beyond this, the GC Leadership did, in fact, write in support of personal religious convictions on this topic – and there are GC lawyers who have and continue to write personal letters in support of personal religious convictions (even if these personal convictions are at odds with the position of the church on a given topic). Just because the GC leadership also supports the advances of modern medicine doesn’t mean that the GC leadership cannot support individual convictions at the same time. Both are possible. This is not an inconsistency.