Self-Contradictory Postmodernism Yes, I’d say the spirit of Rome like the …

Comment on Schneider talks about La Sierra by Sean Pitman, M.D..

Self-Contradictory Postmodernism

Yes, I’d say the spirit of Rome like the Pharisees before them is alive and well in the church. However, like both groups before you, historic Adventism refuses to see that it is THEY and not progressive SDAism that harbors the spirit.

Posted by: Darrell (not verified) | 12 April 2010 at 8:04


You have to know that you are being just as judgmental against those who disagree with you as is anyone in this forum. You just said that certain people disagreeing with you harbor the spirit of Romanish suppression, persecution, and Phariseism. Is this not a judgment on your part? – suggesting your willingness to suppress what you consider to be evil from your perspective?

You see, you can’t get away from making judgments if you have any sort of opinion on any topic. You are making judgments on who is right and who is wrong and what kind of government should be in place within the Church.

Hopefully, however, we will all refrain from making moral judgments as to the motives of one another as this type of judgment is the prerogative of God alone.

Also, we should not think to appeal to the Church to take on civil authority. All should be free to leave any Church or religious organization at will, free of any civil repercussions or moral recriminations regarding these particular points of doctrinal disagreement. It always turns out badly, always, when any church thinks to take on the powers of civil government. God does not appeal to the force of civil power to convert, but to the force of the appeal itself and the drawing of the Holy Spirit upon the heart.

This is not to say, however, that God does not expect the Church to establish internal government and order. God is a God of order and expects his Church to display internal government and order over those who think to freely take on the name of His organization. Remember, Heaven is a place of order. Even Lucifer and his angels were kindly asked to leave Heaven (more like forced out) when they openly rebelled against the order and government of Heaven and tried to take over…

Sean Pitman

Sean Pitman, M.D. Also Commented

Schneider talks about La Sierra
@Geanna Dane:

Sean, you might want too check out Professor Kent’s replies at Spectrum.  

Prof. Kent seems to me to want his cake and eat it too. He claims that he understands and believes in the need for clearly established internal order and government within the Church. Yet, Prof. Kent seems to get very upset every time anyone suggests that the Church actually back up what it says it stands for on a fundamental basis. I don’t know about you, but I see that sort of thing as being inconsistent… At least I don’t have any good idea as to where Kent would draw the line… aside from with the issue of women’s ordination that is. Anything beyond this is unclear as far as I can tell…

Sean Pitman

Schneider talks about La Sierra
Intolerance of Intolerance?

If there’s one thing I can’t tolerate it’s intolerance.

Sean, the story you shared (…) provided a rather extreme case that hardly evolved around a single fundamental catholic belief. Questioning the virginity of Mary appeared to be a rather small issue. I seriously doubt your claims.

Posted by: Professor Kent (not verified) | 13 April 2010 at 12:22

Everyone is intolerant at some point – hopefully. Even God kicked Lucifer out of Heaven when he rebelled against the order and government of Heaven and tried to take over. What about civil crimes? Are you tolerant of child rapists living in your neighborhood? – or would you throw them in prison?

Oh, but you’re not talking about civil crimes. You’re talking about tolerance for religious ideas – right? And, I agree. Civil society should be tolerant of a very wide range of religious ideas and practices – as long as those ideas and practices do not counter civil law (like laws against child molesters, etc).

No religious society should ever be allowed to enforce their particular religious views and observances on civil society at large – period. However, it is perfectly fine, and even necessary, for a religious organization to be able to only hire those individuals who actually represent the goals and ideals of that particular organization. It would be silly to expect that all organizations would go no farther than basic civil law in what they stood for within society at large. Otherwise, there’d be no point in having different church organizations since there would be no differences.

As far as your notion that the Catholic Church would never fire a representative for publicly undermining the stated ideals and goals of the Church, you’re quite mistaken. Although “Father Kennedy” was not fired for just one infraction (few people who strongly oppose any church organization are only opposed to just one issue), all the infractions listed were doctrinal differences of opinion.

“Father Kennedy, of St Mary’s in South Brisbane, allows women to preach, blesses gay couples, denies the Virgin birth and claims the Church is dysfunctional.”…

Many who frequent this particular forum would be fully in support of all of Kennedy’s opinions here – and therefore would clearly not be employed by the Catholic Church. Go figure…

Yet, if the Catholic Church did not stand for anything unique, if it hired those who did not support these same unique beliefs, what would be the point of having a “Catholic” perspective? The term “Catholic” would be meaningless after a while if nothing unique was really represented by the term “Catholic”.

The same thing is true of the SDA Church. If the term “SDA” really doesn’t mean anything unique from anything else, what’s the point in having an “SDA” church? The term would soon be meaningless as far as giving anyone any sort of idea as to what sets the SDA Church apart from any other group of people…

What you’re arguing for is a lack of identity – eventual irrelevance that is not distinguishable from what already exists in civil society at large. You are actually the one who is intolerant of any organization that doesn’t agree with you and your view of what all should believe and stand for within their own organizations…

Sean Pitman

Schneider talks about La Sierra
Prof. Kent wrote (Spectrum Blog):


Your analogy to Catholocism fails on another obvious front. To believe that a Church which does not fire–and even shelters–pedophilic priests (who have broken both God’s law and U.S. law) would readily fire an employee who merely questions the virginity of Mary totally stretches credulity.

Oh really? Check out the following report of just such a situation where a priest was in fact let go for just such infractions:…

You see, pedophile-priests aren’t public in their attack on the standards of the Catholic Church. If they were, the Church would no doubt have not shielded them as it did (to its own shame). Those who publicly teach directly contrary to the Catholic Church’s stated ideals and fundamentals are let go if they cannot be convinced to change their course.

I’m afraid that your myopic zeal toward persecuting theistic evolutionists within the Church, including those both real and imagined, has blinded you to the point you have lost touch with reality. I think you need a soul conversion much like Saul, who regained his sight only when he conceded he had been pursuing his own mission rather than the Lord’s.

Posted by: Professor Kent (not verified) | 12 April 2010 at 7:10

Interesting that you think yourself clear to judge the state of my very soul before God. Getting kinda personal aren’t you? – judging morality and motive?

You do realize that this issue isn’t a moral issue? – right? What one does or does not believe regarding the doctrine of creation isn’t going to save anyone or get anyone lost. It just isn’t a moral issue. It is an issue of Church government and order, however. It is also a basis of a solid hope in a bright literal future. You just don’t seem to understand what you’re attacking. Someday you will, but it would be far better for you now if you understood it now.

Regardless though, if you think you’re right, and those supporting you’re perspective think they are so clearly in the right, why not advertise it with pride? Why not present the clear rights of LSU science professors and other paid representatives of the Church and all other organizations to say and do whatever they please on the dime of their employers? LSU should be proud of its “academic freedom” – and advertise this freedom in a very clear and decided manner so that no one will have any doubt as to what LSU stands for. LSU should make it very clear to parents what its teachers stand for and promote, as the gospel truth, in their classrooms. Why even try to hide what’s going on if it is so right and so beneficial? Why all these efforts to sequester information and put students on academic probation for presenting what is really taking place in LSU classrooms?

Who is on the attack here? LSU’s professors can attack the pillars of the SDA faith for decades and put students on academic probation who are attempting to defend that faith… and LSU is somehow the “victim” of attack when someone simply points out what LSU is doing in public? – and asks for increased transparency? Please…

Sean Pitman

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman, M.D.

Complex Organisms are Degenerating – Rapidly
As far as the current article is concerned, I know of no “outdated” information. The information is current as far as I’m aware. The detrimental mutation rate is far too high for complex organisms to avoid an inevitable downhill devolutionary path. There is simply no way to rationally avoid this conclusion as far as I’m aware.

So, perhaps your friend could be more specific regarding his particular objections to the information presented?

Complex Organisms are Degenerating – Rapidly
Look again. I did reference the 2018 paper of Basener and Sanford (which was the motivation for me writing this particular article). Of course, as you’ve mentioned, Sanford has also written an interesting book on this topic entitled, “Genetic Entropy” – which I’ve previously referenced before in this blog (along with a YouTube video of a lecture he gave on the topic at Loma Linda University: (Link). For those who haven’t read it or seen Sanford’s lecture on this topic, it’s certainly worth your time…

Evolution from Space?
I will try to do it someday, but lately I’ve been swamped by speaking appointments, my real job, and my two young boys 😉

However, 300-400 people do visit and read articles on my websites per day – which isn’t bad for now. I also get very encouraging E-mails on a regular basis from those who have been helped by these postings. Some of these are teachers and professors who use this information in their own classrooms throughout the country – but often without giving the source for their material in order to avoid the automatic bias that comes with it.

Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species
You wrote:

The reason that no competent scientist will date the “soft tissue” of dinosaur bones is probably because the techniques used to extract that material seriously contaminate the extract from a 14C perspective. I am checking on that with several biochemists, but I suspect that this is true.

If that’s the case, then how can radiocarbon dating be relied upon to date the remains of mammoths or other late Pleistocene animals? How can you have your cake and eat it too?

Beyond this, aren’t there supposed to be ways to detect and eliminate contamination and to harvest material without causing significant 14C contamination? – especially when it comes to very well preserved collagen and other original soft tissues (as well as bioapatite)? After all, we’re talking about a lot of contamination here – up to 10% of the total carbon within the dinosaur bone. What kind of source could explain such a high degree of contamination? Also, as an expert in radiocarbon dating, isn’t it basic procedure for those in your profession to be able to detect if not remove 14C contamination from specimens? – as part of the AMS testing process?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if collagen and bioapatite fractions show concordant radiocarbon dating, then isn’t this taken as a valid radiocarbon date? free of significant contamination?

If so, this is what was done with the dating of some dinosaur bone specimens as well: “Collagen and bone bioapatite and/or total bone organics gave concordant C-14 dates after careful extraction and purification of those fractions.” (Link)

Is this not the proper procedure? Is this not what is also done when dating ice-age megafauna such as Siberian mammoths, saber tooth tigers, sloth dung, and giant bison?

All of the evidence presented by you and those who agree with you have been dealt with so many times by so many competent scientists that a reasonable individual would almost certainly say something like: Well, anyone who continues to dispute the scientific evidence on this point apparently just can’t bring themselves to admit the truth of the matter for some religious reason.

An argument from authority already? That’s the best you have? As long as it’s popular among the experts in a given field of science, even if one doesn’t personally understand it and suspects that something isn’t quite right, you’d recommend just going with the flow without question? – trusting that someone else must know the answers?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d be the first to admit that the popular opinion of experts in a particular field of study should be taken into careful consideration. However, such “expert opinion” isn’t the end-all of science and has often turned out to not only to be wrong, but painfully wrong. I guess it’s Ok if I’m too lazy or don’t care enough about a particular topic to investigate it for myself to simply trust in the expert opinion of the day. However, let’s not confuse that with conclusive “science” or a valid scientific explanation. Such blind appeals to the authority of “experts” or the status quo within the scientific community, by themselves, are not at all helpful when it comes to answering valid questions in that they have no explanatory power in a discussion like this one. After all, don’t you realize that this is the very same tactic often used by those promoting some religious agenda? – who don’t have anything else beyond an appeal to authority to fall back on? – no reasonably understandable argument besides, “My holy book says so”? – or “most theologians agree”? I believe it was Carl Sagan who once said:

One of the great commandments of science is, “Mistrust arguments from authority.” … Too many such arguments have proved too painfully wrong. Authorities must prove their contentions like everybody else. – Sagan (July 6, 2011)

Consider also this humerus exchange between Socrates and Meno:

    Meno: Is this true about yourself, Socrates, that you don’t even know what virtue is? Is this the report that we are to take home about you?

    Socrates: Not only that, you may also say that, to the best of my belief, I have never met anyone else who did know.

    Meno: What! Didn’t you meet Gorgias when he was here?

    Socrates: Yes.

    Meno: And you still didn’t think he knew?

    Socrates: I’m a forgetful sort of person, and I can’t say just now what I thought at the time. Probably he did know, and I expect you know what he used to say about it. So remind me what it was, or tell me yourself if you will. No doubt you agree with him.

    Meno: Yes, I do.

    Socrates: Then let’s leave him out of it, since after all he isn’t here. What do you yourself say virtue is?

      – Plato, Meno, 71c, W. Guthrie, trans., Collected Dialogs (1961), p. 354

So, I ask you again: In your own words, please do explain to me where, exactly, mainstream scientists have so clearly and reasonably dealt with some of the fundamental problems of Darwinian-style evolution that seem so difficult to me? You don’t even appear to understand the difference between Mendelian variation and the mechanism of Darwinian evolution (random mutations in the underlying gene pool combined with natural selection). You don’t seem to understand that animal breeding is based on phenotypic selection alone, as is natural selection, or that Darwin himself used animal breeding as an illustration of how natural selection is supposed to work. Where can any reasonable explanation be found as to how novel genetic information can enter a given gene pool, via the Darwinian mechanism, beyond the very lowest levels of functional complexity this side of a practical eternity of time? Also, where has any scientist produced a reasonable explanation as to how very well-preserved soft tissues, proteins, and antigenic fragments of DNA can be preserved for even 100k years? – at ambient temperatures? These are honest and sincere questions for which I have found no reasonable answers from anyone – scientists or otherwise. If you know the answers, if they are so obvious to you, why not share them with me here?

I’m sorry, but it seems to me, at this point in my own search, that you, and scientists in general, are not immune from personal bias or from philosophical/religious motivations – or from peer pressure (the fear of being unpopular in your community). In short, you’re human just like the rest of us. 😉

One more thing, your notion that religion and science do not and cannot mix is fundamentally at odds with the existence of a personal God who created the universe and died on the cross for the salvation of humanity. If such a God actually exists, He is the Creator of science and scientific thinking as well as everything else and His Signature can therefore be rationally detected in the things that He has made (Psalms 19:1-3). If this cannot be achieved, then your notion of “God” is essentially the same as atheism – for all practical purposes.

I’m sorry, but William Provine, late professor of biological sciences at Cornell University, makes much more sense here (in a speech he gave for a 1998 Darwin Day keynote address):

Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly.

    No gods worth having exist;
    No life after death exists;
    No ultimate foundation for ethics exists;
    No ultimate meaning in life exists; and
    Human free will is nonexistent.

Provine, William B. [Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University], “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life”, Abstract of Will Provine’s 1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address.

Provine also wrote, “In other words, religion is compatible with modern evolutionary biology (and indeed all of modern science) if the religion is effectively indistinguishable from atheism.” – Academe January 1987, pp.51-52

It seems to me that Provine was right and was most consistent with the implications of accepting neo-Darwinian claims. Darwinian-style evolution is just one more argument for the philosophical position of “Philosophical Naturalism” – a position that suggests that everything within the physical world, everything that we can see, touch, hear, taste, or smell, is ultimately the result of non-deliberate mindless forces of nature. And, you yourself can’t tell the difference since, as you once said, you wouldn’t be able to give your own granddaughter any good evidence for the existence of God if she were to ask you for such evidence. Why then do you even pretend? – why even give lip service to Christianity?

Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species

I have checked with the director of the lab which was supposed to have dated a “soft tissue” extract and he wrote back almost immediately that what they had been given was a whole bone, not a “soft tissue” extract and the bone was badly degraded from the point of view of any organic carbon. The date they obtained was obviously contamination and they reported that fact to the submitter.

That’s hard to believe given that many dates on many different specimens where reported by The Center for Applied Isotope Studies at the University of Georgia, and others, without any mention of contamination – using the same procedures that they would for a portion of mammoth or mastodon bone (and no one claimed here to have submitted a “soft tissue extract”). After all, the youngest radiocarbon date for a mammoth fossil (3685 ± 60 yr BP) comes from the remains of one discovered on Wrangel Island off the north-eastern Siberian coast (Vartanyan et al. 2008). Yet, no one cites “contamination” when discussing such dates for mammoths. Also, great care was taken to prevent contamination when obtaining the dinosaur bone specimens that were dated. It’s hard to imagine, then, how these dinosaur bones could have been contaminated to the degree that you suggest – which would have had to be between from 1% (40kyr BP) to up to 10% (20kyr BP) of the total carbon within the bone (Plaisted, 2017).

AMS labs know this. You see, it wasn’t until the AMS lab at the University of Georgia discovered that the bone specimens they were analyzing were actually dinosaur bones that they recanted their own results and refused to do any additional 14C testing. Up until this point, they never suspected such a degree of contamination… a mechanism for which is quite difficult to imagine.

Note that both the whole bone and bioapatite in the dinosaur bone was dated. The bioapatite was C14 dated at 41,010 ± 220 years BP, having 0.61 ± 0.02 pMC (percent modern carbon). No mention of “contamination” is listed here. The very fact that they separated out the whole bone date from the bioapatite date is what makes me think they really thought they had original bioapatite from the bone sample.

A couple years later this was followed by:

Consider also that the triceratops horn was well preserved and had well preserved soft tissue within it, to include blood vessels and cellular structures (Link). The fossil’s bioapatite was dated (not the well-preserved soft tissue, which is interesting). According to a 2009 report in the journal Radiocarbon, bioapatite is actually preferable to soft tissue in many cases. Yet, it was also 14C dated by AMS at 33,570 ± 120 years. How is that explained?

Then, there is this report from John Fischer (2014):

Triceratops and Hadrosaur femur bones in excellent condition were discovered in Glendive Montana, and our group received permission to saw them in half and collect samples for Carbon-14 testing. Both bones were tested by a licensed lab for presence of collagen. Both bones did in fact contain some collagen. The best process (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) was used to date them. Total organic carbon and dinosaur bioapatite was extracted and pretreated to remove potential contaminants, and concordant radiocarbon dates were obtained. They were similar to radiocarbon dates for ice-age megafauna such as Siberian mammoths, saber tooth tigers of the Los Angeles LaBrea Tarpits, sloth dung, and giant bison. (Link)

Notice here that both the bioapatite and the collagen within the bone was 14C dated by AMS with resulting “concordant radiocarbon dates” – which is usually used to support the argument that the dates obtained where not the result of contamination.

Now, is this conclusive evidence that dinosaur remains are not millions of years old? I wouldn’t say that this data is conclusive in and of itself – taken one test at a time. After all, a particular lab might not have been able to completely isolate a particular fossil’s original bioapatite – so a particular result may have contamination in it as you suggest. However, I do think that after a certain point of consistent results from multiple tests by multiple labs the weight of evidence starts to add up – adding credibility to the idea that perhaps dinosaurs are not millions of years old after all. When you also consider the fact that pretty much all dinosaur bones with residual organic material in them (and other things that are supposed to be millions of years old – like coal and oil and other “ancient” organic remains) have been consistently dated as only being 15k-40k years old, you have to at least conclude that there is something wrong somewhere. Either the 14C dating system is not as robust as some want to believe, or the fossils are not as old as some want to believe. This is particularly relevant given the existence of very finely preserved original dinosaur soft tissues, proteins, and DNA fragments that simply shouldn’t be there according to all known data on the decay rates of such things.

Here’s an interesting presentation 15-minute presentation (Link) that was given by Dr. Thomas Seiler, a German physicist. In it, he reports on the carbon dating of dinosaur bones, other megafauna (such as mammoths), and plants. In all cases, these materials are supposed to be millions of years old, but they all have detectable levels of carbon-14 in them. Of course, one possible explanation for these results is, yet again, contamination. It is possible that “modern” carbon has infiltrated into all these samples, and that’s what is being detected. However, Dr. Seiler presents several arguments that tend to cast doubt on the contamination explanation. First, all the standard treatment used to make a fossil ready for carbon dating was done, which is supposed to get rid of contamination. Second, in some cases, they were examining actual proteins, such as collagen. If “modern” carbon contaminated these fossils, how did it become incorporated into the original collagen? Third, there are some chemicals (like humic acid) that are common contaminants, and it was confirmed that the treatment done on the samples removed those contaminants. Fourth, the amount of carbon in the vicinity of the fossil decreased as you moved away from the fossil. This indicates carbon was “leaking out” of the fossil, not moving into it.

Here’s another interesting article on this topic written by Dr. Jay Wile (2012): Link

So anyway, again I ask you, why not run your own tests? Or why doesn’t Jack Horner or Mary Schweitzer do it with pure finely-preserved dinosaur soft tissues?


As far as breeding vs. natural selection, what’s the real difference if both select based on phenotype alone? You wrote:

It was clear to Alfred Russell Wallace, who, with Darwin, first came up with the idea of natural selection, that you could not use animal breeding experiments to simulate natural evolution.

Please do explain this to me. After all, as far as I can tell, there’s nothing special about the selective breeding of animals in this regard. Even a human breeder could never get one “kind” of animal to evolve into another “kind” of animal (where novel functional genetic options are produced within the gene pool) using breeding techniques with very high selection pressures alone. Why not? Because, selective animal breeding produces no novel information within the gene pool of the animal population in question. Breeding is based on a simple selection of pre-existing information as it is expressed in the various phenotypes of the offspring over time. Exactly the same thing is true of natural selection – which can also produce very rapid phenotypic changes, in the wild, in response to rapidly changing environments or the sudden realization of entirely new environments based on the very same underlying static gene pool of options (no genetic mutations required).

By the way, it was Darwin himself who coined the term ‘selective breeding’; he was interested in the process as an illustration of his proposed wider process of natural selection. Charles Darwin discussed how selective breeding had been successful in producing change over time in his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species. Its first chapter he actually discusses selective breeding and domestication of such animals as pigeons, cats, cattle, and dogs. (Link)

Wallace, on the other hand, argued that the development of the human mind and some bodily attributes were guided by spiritual beings rather than natural selection… (Link)

But please, do explain my mistake here regarding the fundamental differences between the selective breeding of animals vs. natural selection. I’d be most interested, because this concept is fundamental to my own understanding of the clear limits of Darwinian-style evolution via random mutations and natural selection.