For Steve Billiter: Bias: Strong love is a bias upon the thoughts. …

Comment on CCC apprises leadership of LSU news by Sean Pitman, M.D..

For Steve Billiter:


Strong love is a bias upon the thoughts. –South. [1913 Webster]

“Strong love is a bias upon the thoughts; and for a man to love earnestly, and not think almost continually of what he loves, is as impossible as for him to live and not breathe.”

– Sermons Preached, by Robert South ( Link )

A leaning of the mind; propensity or prepossession toward an object or view, not leaving the mind indifferent; bent; inclination. [1913 Webster]

Morality influences men’s lives, and gives a bias to all their actions. –Locke. [1913 Webster]

His bias toward the Christian religion is evident… – PJC [1913 Webster]


Ok, one last time Steve:

Consider the sermon thought of Robert South noted above. Is it not possible and very clear in the context of this passage, to be able to place the name of Jesus in this text? to say,

“Strong love is a bias upon the thoughts; and for Jesus to love earnestly, and not think almost continually of what he loves, is as impossible as for him to live and not breathe (or to live and not be God).

Clearly then, the concept of bias can be used to work both ways – to describe the good and the bad predispositions of a person. This is part of the English understanding of and cultural background and boundaries surrounding this term. In context, the idea of a bias is not required to have a negative meaning in English. And, as I have used this term, my context has always been extremely clear.

The passages you quote from Ellen White use the term “bias” in a negative context that is made quite clear from the passage itself. It is quite clear then that the intended or evident meaning of a word must be considered in the context in which it is used.

You seem to have a marked difficulty judging context. Several times now you have taken my words out of their otherwise clear context and intended meaning. You seem to have tried, deliberately tried, to apply evil interpretations to statements of mine that are clear to the vast majority of people in the SDA Church as obvious statements for the good and in keeping with the fundamental ideals of the SDA Church. You also quote the Bible and Mrs. White against ideas with which they do not actually oppose. In other words, you take the words of Inspiration out of context as well in your attacks on those who are clearly innocent.

Sean Pitman

Sean Pitman, M.D. Also Commented

CCC apprises leadership of LSU news

Steve Billiter: The word ”biased’ should never be applied to the Saviour.

A child may receive sound religious instruction; but if parents, teachers, or guardians permit his character to be biased by a wrong habit, that habit, if not overcome, will become a predominant power, and the child is lost. {CG 201.2}


You evidently do not understand that words in the English language system can mean different things in different contexts. The word “biased” doesn’t necessarily have a “bad” meaning in English in certain contexts. One can be biased for the good…

Come on now… Do you really not understand that a person can be biased for the good? – in favor of the truth just as God is biased in favor of the Truth? Bias is not always a bad thing – as I already explained here in this thread. The definitions of “bias” include a “bent” or “tendency” or “an inclination of temperament or outlook.”

God most certainly has a very predictable inclination of temperament or outlook when it comes to standing for what is right… for Truth. In other words, God has a bias toward Truth. Contrary to the suggestion of some in this forum, God does not present all ideas with equal weight to leave it up to the individual to decide which ideas are true and which ones are false. God biases the individual toward what God knows is truth. In comparison, Satan has a bias toward evil, lies and deception.

Again, contrary to the advice of some in this forum, teachers and pastors who claim to represent and who take a paycheck from the SDA Church should not simply present a host of ideas to their students in a “unbiased manner” to leave it up to the students to decide, free of the biasing influence of the teacher, what is right and what is wrong. A bias for the right is a good thing!

You seem to have a very predictable bias toward deliberately trying to misquote people and take statements out of their obvious context. That is a form of lying Steve. That’s wrong. You need to apologize for this and repent of such activity…

Sean Pitman

CCC apprises leadership of LSU news

colin campbell: I think critical thinking is a lot about detecting bias and neutralizing, or a least minimizing it, so that one can make objective judgments.

The idea that “critical thinking” is useful or even possible is itself a form of bias. What is the “right” way to “think critically”? There are many different opinions on this you know…

It is simply impossible to avoid bias. Any time you have an opinion on any topic, you have a bias that is not known or knowable as being absolutely true or even objective. You can’t be “critical” of everything if you actually have opinions or beliefs which you believe to be “true”. Upon what basis did you decide what was or wasn’t “true”?

The SDA Church has a certain position on what is and isn’t true. It is the goal of the Church to present the reason for its position from both the pulpit and classroom. It is not the goal of the Church to present all opinions with equal weight, but to guide the world toward its own view of what is truly valuable.

The biblical authors, and even Jesus himself, did the same thing. They spoke with power and authority as to what was and was not true. They did not present the Gospel Message as simply one of many different options with equal weight to let their readers or listeners decide all by themselves as to what message, among many many options, was actually true. They gave the weight of their own influence for what they thought was right and their reasons for their personal bias for the truth…

Sean Pitman

CCC apprises leadership of LSU news

colin campbell: Teaching students to think critically might be an objective.

Yes, but you can’t do that without injecting bias… which isn’t necessarily bad. Bias can be a very good thing if it is the “right” kind of bias. So, how do you know if you have the “right” bias? Well, at least you can be aware that you are in fact biased. I think that’s the best anyone can do in an honest search for truth.

Sean Pitman

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman, M.D.

Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?

1. I assume some defective mRNA strands and lipid layers can be generated during the myriad of involved complex chemical processes. Do we understand percentage of defective nanoparticles / mRNA strands? Does process include QA that somehow reduces or eliminates potentially harmful defects. What is risk of defective mRNA strands that could encode for harmful proteins? Any other associated risks here that I am not addressing?

Given that the mRNA sequences in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are synthetically produced, I would say that there are very few defective mRNA sequences. And, when it comes to producing proteins based on these few defective sequences, the additional risk from such defective sequences for the human body would be, effectively, zero. In fact, a few slight variations in the protein sequence for the spike protein would only result in slight variations in the immune system response. And, producing such slight variations are already part of how our human immune system is programmed to work – automatically producing slight variations in the antibodies produced against a particular type of foreign antigen, for example.

2. How much independent review occurred with these vaccines? Is the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety the only body that reviewed. Do scientiests get hands-on and eyes-on access to the actual chemical processes to verify what is happening (in vitro and in vivo), or are they just provided with white papers and reports for review?

A great many scientists were involved in the production and review of the mRNA vaccines. These vaccines, how they work, and their effects on human biochemistry are very well known by a great many scientists who work in this field of immunochemistry. There are no fundamental secrets here.

3. Some papers and FAQs claim the generated viral “spike protein” is presented on the cell surface. Some of your dialogue here seems to indicate that this is not the case. Which is it? How is it presented? Is it presented in a variety of ways?

Here are a few diagrams that illustrate what’s happening within different cells of the body where the mRNA sequences are decoded and presented:

Mechanism of action of mRNA vaccines. 1. The mRNA is in vitro transcribed (IVT) from a DNA template in a cell-free system. 2. IVT mRNA is subsequently transfected into dendritic cells (DCs) via (3) endocytosis. 4. Entrapped mRNA undergoes endosomal escape and is released into the cytosol. 5. Using the translational machinery of host cells (ribosomes), the mRNA is translated into antigenic proteins. The translated antigenic protein undergoes post-translational modification and can act in the cell where it is generated. 6. Alternatively, the protein is secreted from the host cell. 7. Antigen protein is degraded by the proteasome in the cytoplasm. The generated antigenic peptide epitopes are transported into the endoplasmic reticulum and loaded onto major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules (MHC I). 8. The loaded MHC I-peptide epitope complexes are presented on the surface of cells, eventually leading to the induction of antigen-specific CD8 + T cell responses after T-cell receptor recognition and appropriate co-stimulation. 9. Exogenous proteins are taken up DCs. 10. They are degraded in endosomes and presented via the MHC II pathway. Moreover, to obtain cognate T-cell help in antigen-presenting cells, the protein should be routed through the MHC II pathway. 11. The generated antigenic peptide epitopes are subsequently loaded onto MHC II molecules. 12. The loaded MHC II-peptide epitope complexes are presented on the surface of cells, leading to the induction of the antigen-specific CD4 + T cell responses. Exogenous antigens can also be processed and loaded onto MHC class I molecules via a mechanism known as cross-presentation. (Link)

Now, The mRNA-1273-encoded prefusion stabilizes the S protein (Moderna Vaccine) consists of the SARS-CoV-2 glycoprotein with a transmembrane anchor and an intact S1–S2 cleavage site. The presence of the transmembrane anchor would seem to enable some of the spike proteins to remain attached to the surface of the cell that produced them, such as a muscle cell, but would still be recognized as “foreign” by the immune system. (Link)

See also: Link

Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?
The following commentary by organic chemist Derek Lowe is also helpful in understanding this question (December 4, 2020):

Bob Wachter of UCSF had a very good thread on Twitter about vaccine rollouts the other day, and one of the good points he made was this one. We’re talking about treating very, very large populations, which means that you’re going to see the usual run of mortality and morbidity that you see across large samples. Specifically, if you take 10 million people and just wave your hand back and forth over their upper arms, in the next two months you would expect to see about 4,000 heart attacks. About 4,000 strokes. Over 9,000 new diagnoses of cancer. And about 14,000 of that ten million will die, out of usual all-causes mortality. No one would notice. That’s how many people die and get sick anyway.

But if you took those ten million people and gave them a new vaccine instead, there’s a real danger that those heart attacks, cancer diagnoses, and deaths will be attributed to the vaccine. I mean, if you reach a large enough population, you are literally going to have cases where someone gets the vaccine and drops dead the next day (just as they would have if they *didn’t* get the vaccine). It could prove difficult to convince that person’s friends and relatives of that lack of connection, though. Post hoc ergo propter hoc is one of the most powerful fallacies of human logic, and we’re not going to get rid of it any time soon. Especially when it comes to vaccines. The best we can do, I think, is to try to get the word out in advance. Let people know that such things are going to happen, because people get sick and die constantly in this world. The key will be whether they are getting sick or dying at a noticeably higher rate once they have been vaccinated.

No such safety signals have appeared for the first vaccines to roll out (Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech). In fact, we should be seeing the exact opposite effects on mortality and morbidity as more and more people get vaccinated. The excess-death figures so far in the coronavirus pandemic have been appalling (well over 300,000 in the US), and I certainly think mass vaccination is the most powerful method we have to knock that back down to normal.

That’s going to be harder to do, though, if we get screaming headlines about people falling over due to heart attacks after getting their vaccine shots. Be braced.

Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?
I know that various European countries, including the Netherlands, Denmark, and Spain, have reported outbreaks of COVID-19 in mink pelt farms – leading to the culling of more than a million animals. From laboratory experiments, it’s also clear that ferrets (a relative of the mink) are also readily infected with the “novel coronavirus”. Aside from this, however, I’m not aware of any “issues” with animal experiments regarding COVID-19 in particular. However, in 2008 there was an interesting experiment involving ferrets that were given the flu vaccine against the H1N1 virus – who then became sicker once exposed to the live virus as compared to those ferrets that weren’t vaccinated. The reason for the effect was unclear, and Skowronski, the lead author, urged other research groups to take up the question.

“Skowronski likened the mechanism to what happens with dengue viruses. People who have been infected with one subtype of dengue don’t develop immunity to the other three. In fact, they are more at risk of developing a life-threatening form of dengue if they are infected with one of the other strains.”

Skowronski called the second theory the infection block hypothesis. Having a bout of the flu gives the infected person antibodies that may be able, for a time, to fend off other strains; flu shots only protect against the strains they contain. So under this theory, people who didn’t have flu in 2008 because they got a flu shot may have been less well armed against the pandemic virus.”

While interesting, such an effect has not been identified in the animal or human trials for the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. Also, subsequently updated flu vaccines to the H1N1 strain haven’t had this problem either (Link).

“For such a time as this”
Again, while a good diet and great health are important, this just isn’t enough to effectively prevent disease during a viral pandemic. As I’ve already explained, this is why Ellen White took the smallpox vaccine herself and advised the others who were with her to do the same. Such vaccines are, in fact, part of the most effective ways of “keeping well” rather than “curing disease” after the fact…

Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?
Regarding the recent situation where 23 nursing home patients died in Norway following vaccination the mRNA vaccines of Pfizer and/or Moderna (given to 30,000 people so far), these patients were all over the age of 80, were very frail. It is also somewhat difficult to determine a link in this particular population between the vaccine and any other potential cause of death – since around 400 nursing home patients die in Norway every week. However, at this point, it is not ruled out that adverse reactions occurring within the first days following vaccination (such as fever and nausea) may contribute to a more serious course and fatal outcome in patients with severe underlying disease and general frailty.

Steinar Madsen, medical director with the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said: “We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients.” (Link)

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said concluded that “for very frail patients and terminally ill patients, a careful balance of benefit versus disadvantage of vaccination is recommended.” (Link)

Consider this also in the light that more than 30% of nursing home residents are likely to die if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs. So, weighing the risks and benefits of taking the vaccine vs. being exposed to a potential COVID-19 outbreak seems to weigh heavily in favor of taking the vaccine – with the exception, perhaps, of those who are already very frail.