@Sean Pitman M.D.: And, by the way, I notice that …

Comment on LSU Board news release and actions by Bravus.

@Sean Pitman M.D.:

And, by the way, I notice that you claim the obvious truth of the ToE yourself, but don’t wish to defend your assertions? – your personal knowledge of the creative potential of RM/NS?

I’d be delighted to, but it’s very clear your mind is made up, so it’d be wasted effort.

Please note also that I wrote very carefully, not that evolution is ‘true’, but that, within the limited domain of science, it is the best available explanation. I think that statement is true: any other explanation requires miracles, which are outside the domain of science.

In short, my perspective is more sophisticated than you are representing it as being. You’re caricaturing it for your own rhetorical purposes – or else I just haven’t been writing as clearly as I thought and hoped.

Anyway, hope this clarification is helpful. You’ve shot down a number of straw men who were standing all around my actual position, but the position itself remains standing…

Bravus Also Commented

LSU Board news release and actions
Patterson has addressed this tape and this issue repeatedly. He was being deliberately provocative and using a conceit, a rhetorical device, to do so. Here is Patterson himself:

In November 1981, after an invitation from Donn Rosen [a fish systematist at the American Museum, now deceased], I gave a talk to the Systematics Discussion Group in the American Museum of Natural History. Donn asked me to talk on ‘Evolutionism and Creationism’, and it happened that just one week before my talk Ernst Mayr published a paper on systematics in Science (Mayr 1981). Mayr pointed out the deficiencies (in his view) of cladistics and phenetics, and noted that the ‘connection with evolutionary principles is exceedingly tenuous in many recent cladistic writings.’ For Mayr, classifications should incorporate such things as ‘inferences on selection pressures, shifts of adaptive zones, evolutionary rates, and rates of evolutionary divergence.’ Fired up by Mayr’s paper, I gave a fairly radical talk in New York, comparing the effect of evolutionary theory on systematics with Gillespie’s (1979, p. 8) characterization of pre-Darwinian creationism: ‘not a research govering theory (since its power to explain was only verbal) but an antitheory, a void that had the function of knowledge but, as naturalists increasingly came to feel, conveyed none.’ Unfortunately, and unknown to me, there was a creationist in my audience with a hidden tape recorder. A transcript of my talk was produced and circulated among creationists, and the talk has since been widely, and often inaccurately, quoted in creationist literature.

It’s clear, too, that far from extolling the virtues of creationism, Patterson was using it as an example of a very bad theory that tended to hinder the progress of science. He was making the rhetorical point that evolution was often unhelpful in his own field of systematics/cladistics, in a dramatic way, in response to a paper that had suggested systematics should make more use of evolution than it did.

Honesty includes not using someone’s words out of context to mean almost the opposite of what they were intended to mean…

LSU Board news release and actions
@Sean Pitman:

The “other explanation” requires the use of intelligent design. Last I checked, intelligent design isn’t catagorized as a “miracle”. And, there are many modern mainstream sciences that are devoted to the detection of artifacts or the requirement for intelligent design – to include forensic science, anthropology, and even SETI.

‘Intelligent design’, at least as it is practiced by Behe and most of its other major proponents, is a subset of evolution that requires long ages, and is utterly incompatible with 6 days/6000 years creationism.

My point was that 6 days/6000 years creationism requires miraculous events. That is not a problem, at all: I believe in miracles. But miracles are, by definition (see C.S. Lewis among others) outside the domain of science. Therefore, when teaching science, specifically, it is necessary to teach scientific theories that do not call on miracles to explain phenomena.

Now, good science teaching is always linked to social context and a wide variety of other things, including philosophy and theology. So teaching creationism at La Sierra is not any sort of problem and it happens. The GRI represents several times in each of the courses under discussion.

(I’m not going to be baited by sarcasm, or anything else, into doing the work of teaching an Evolution 101 course here, so you may as well stop trying. Go read something.)

LSU Board news release and actions
…and (newest post on this site about La Sierra PR) I’m not the one who is claiming someone is “bordering out right [sic] lies”.

Recent Comments by Bravus

Ted Wilson: “We will not flinch. We will not be deterred.”
Interesting that he says he is very proud of the GRI when they clearly said during the discussion that there is ‘no model’ of scientifically credible recent creationism that can be taught in our universities.

“Don’t go backwards to interpret Genesis as allegorical or symbolic”
My guess on the two-thirds thing is that what is actually being said is ‘more than two-thirds’. 99% is more than two-thirds… that specific number was chosen, not as the actual vote-count, but as a break-point: some motions need a simple majority, some need a two-thirds majority… and the vote well and truly delivered that, and more.

Just my interpretation.

GC Votes to Revise SDA Fundamental #6 on Creation
Excellent, excellent post above. J. Knight.

“Don’t go backwards to interpret Genesis as allegorical or symbolic”
(that should be ‘place in the church’)

“Don’t go backwards to interpret Genesis as allegorical or symbolic”
Bobbie Vedvick, the quote you asked about was a parody, penned by me.

Faith (and many others in this thread), the comments about those who will be driven out of SDAism by this push tend to assume that they are in disagreement with what has always been SDA belief. This is not the case: the very strong literalist recent creationist position is a relatively recent view. Note that what has happened at this GC is a vote for a *change* to Fundamental Belief 6. SDA beliefs are being *changed*, and those who won’t go along for the ride told they have no ce in the church.