Sean Pitman: Please, don’t just site hundreds of irrelevant papers …

Comment on The Basis of Biblical Credibility by pauluc.

Sean Pitman: Please, don’t just site hundreds of irrelevant papers which you yourself haven’t read (aka: reference mining). Simply list off your actual argument to counter my position and the supporting evidence which effectively falsifies my claims.

Do you know enough to dismiss expertise in biology geology or any other field of research or not? An honest scientist would have sufficient respect for the process to be intimately familiar with the original data and literature in that field before dismissing the prevailing paradigms by those that are.

I am expert in only a small area of science and would accept in good faith consensus conclusions in others as closer to the truth than my facile understanding. This I have consistently done. If I want to disagree I would become familiar with the scientific literature clearly defined as the peer reviewed literature and that is what I expect of you. You claim the experts are wrong and I point you to what you have to address. It is totally irrelevant whether I am familiar with every piece of data since I am a very conventional scientist and physician who accepts both the accepted method and the canonical literature of medicine and science. I have never claimed to have sufficient expertise to discount these observations and conclusions. You do. It is not incumbent on me to compensate for your lack of intellectual rigour by thinking for you. I unfortunately cannot make you honestly address that data or the accepted methodology of science.

I am clearly wasting my time and too much red ink here.
I continue to pray for you and that your designs on honest scientists at Adventist Universities will indeed be thwarted.


pauluc Also Commented

The Basis of Biblical Credibility

Sean Pitman: As I’ve explained to you before, there do seem to be such differences on a macro scale – to include structural brain differences that result in higher-level functional differences that require, not just specific 1000aa structures, but entire cellular structures that enable humans to do things that chimps cannot do – things like write books and speak in complex sentences, etc.


Hand waving is not science. What exactly are the “entire cellular structures” that make the brain difference you are talking about. I have suggested this is all about quantitative difference not qualitative. I have said the primary candidates such as DUF1220 and Microencephalin are quantitatively different. And of course non-coding changes are all about regulation of the structural genes during development not the construction of some magical “entire cellular structures”. No 1000FSAAR here unless as you did before say that it applies to everything within any multi-molecular structure.

The Basis of Biblical Credibility
@Bob Helm:
And if you look at the good peer reviewed paper published in Palaios by David Loope in 2005

you will see an alternative view.
It seems the geological survey sides with the eolian origin rather than the flood version but maybe they dont suffer from the same level of confirmation bias.

What do I believe? I am happy to say I dont know. For me there are much more interesting questions than the eolian or non-eolian origin of the Coconino sandstone.

The Basis of Biblical Credibility

Sean Pitman: I’m talking about a gain of a qualitatively novel protein-based function that requires a minimum of more than 1000 specifically arranged residues. Do you know of such a novel system or not?

just checked again. No. Pubmed still does not have any reference to novel structure composed of 1000 amino acid residues. But indeed there is refence to uinicorns so your 100FSAAR is rarer than unicorns in the biomedical literature. Perhaps you should publish your obvservations.

Actually the paper on how the unicorn got its horn is relevant to your ideas and you should perhaps read and comment on it. And I do mean read beyond the abstract which is all you seem to do as far as I can see from what you have written.

“The discovery of the Cit + mutants in Lenski’s experiment has been a mote in the eye for those suggesting that major phenotypic innovations cannot be explained by micro-evolutionary (gradual) processes. Indeed, for anti-evolutionists, lack of mechanistic detail has even allowed room for divine intervention. After several attempts to politely address the concerns of one critic, Lenski responded publicly in what has proven to be one of the most competent and direct defences of science versus dogma for some time. It includes the memorable phrase, “In other words, it’s not that we claim to have glimpsed ‘a unicorn in the garden’ — we have a whole population of them living in my lab!”.”

Recent Comments by pauluc

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Bob Helm: With that said, I find your views to be spiritually dangerous and often scientifically weak. I detect a lot of smoke in your posts, but very little light. I hope you will continue to ponder these issues and try to have an open mind.

You are most welcome to your opinion and I know you would like nothing better than that anyone who takes Christianity and the Bible seriously but not literally to just go away. It is much better not to know of any possible problems with one current views. It very hard to get to the science when we cannot even agree on what is science. What passes as science on this site is so completely dismissive of its methodological basis and history and is entrained in a specific supernatural world view that allows arbitrary acceptance of any observation as miraculous. I think Roger’s paper may well be relevant to Adventist that believe that Christianity has and must respond to a careful study of physical reality by reconsidering its interpretations of the word of the Lord, but as Sean has indicated you are exception to that characterization. I still do not really understand why you should be interested at all in any science. It seems a bit messy to worry about facts. It really seems an unnecessary bother to argue whether the precambrian/cambrian boundary or the upper cenzoic (is that really what you meant?) as the evidence of a divine intervention.

Dont worry I do have an open mind which is why I still peruse this site to see how more knowledgable fundamentalist Adventists think. I wont worry you further.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: So, you do see the need for a police force and a military to maintain civil society, but somehow Christians should not provide what is an otherwise necessary part of that civil society? I’m with Abraham Lincoln on this one when he noted the inconsistency of such a position – like Orthodox Jews paying others to turn their lights on for them on Sabbath

On that logic you should not have any issue with working on Sabbath in any profession serving 24/7. Be that computer support, utilities firefighters. Those giving up those jobs because of inability to have sabbath observance were all deluded. They as Christians should be prepared to “provide what is otherwise a necessary part of civil society”

You cant have it both ways. You cant because of a moral postion claim that Adventists should have exception from working on Sabbath and at the same time deny me the right to consider immoral some occupations that may be very utilitarian in a world full of selfishness and the human acts of evil that comes from that.

Lets for a moment step back from lala land. Where are we and where did we come from on this thread?

1] You posted a rehash of all your usual arguments in response to an article about the more mainstream Adventist positions that may impact the way Adventism reacts to conventional science. All very straight forward.
2] The contention was that Adventism has accepted process for the orgin and evolution of the inanimate world. The birth and death of galaxys and stars and planets in black holes supernova and impacts of spiralling planets. This is where it gets really strange.
3] You contend that Adventism has always accepted the conclusions of that process but then expand on your view of the process which involves a little bit of order and natural law but large amounts of magic. God waited a few billions years until the interstellar material generated by the big band condensed into planets onto which God created life mature and complete. This included Heaven the place of his throne-room which he populated with physical being angels which it is implied have both mass and composition and metabolism.
4] When it was suggested that the same processes and natural law resulted in life on this planet this was claimed inconceivable and would never be done by any process involving life and death. Instead the life we see now is in reality designed to live for ever and has be chemically changed because it is deprived of a particular form of nutrient from a tree that existed on the Earth some 6000 years ago.
5] The inconguity of practicing medicine by the principles of process of natural law and the technology resulting from both the processes of the innanimate and the animate world rather than accepting the much more important process of divine intervention seems to be completely obsure.
6] When someone says that the process of life and death that gave us the physical substance of our universe is also the basis of the creation of life here he must be animal hating sadistic psychopath who cannot belieive in a God of love and grace and is lying when he says that non-violence characterizes the children of the heavenly father for one must always recognize that peace and freedom are only obtained over the bodies of 1/3 of the angels of heaven and the eternal physical and violent struggle against those who would practice violence.

I really cannot understand you Sean. Your ways are way beyond me. I am just sorry that Bob seems to be drawn into your twighlight zone.


Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
@Sean Pitman: sorry but your curious amalgam of magic and biology is not really comprehensible to me as a biologist or as a Christian . it. is neither logical or biologically feasible

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: However, according to the Bible and Ellen White, before the Fall God specifically directed nature so that all sentient life was protected in a manner that there was no suffering or death. By eating from the “Tree of Life” God provided constant renewal and regeneration that worked against what would otherwise be inevitable entropic changes, decay, and death. It was by deliberately stepping away from the true Source of eternal life that mankind stepped away from God and into the full workings of mindless natural law alone – which does in fact inevitably lead to suffering and death.

And this interpretation is precisely why you need a theodicy. Where is the justice in killing all for the sake of the sins of one woman+man? It makes no sense logically. If they were conditionally immortal because of eating of the tree of life then did all the animals in all the world congregate around this tree like beasts around a water hole on the serengeti. how exactly do you as you are wont to do translate the account into a literal reality. And which beast had to come and eat. Or was it symbolic? Oh now that’s a thought.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: Come on now. Even I can imagine limitations to reproduction or the turnover of sentient carbon-based life. Surely you can at least imagine something similar? I know God can since such a world is described in the Bible and in the writings of Ellen White. Think about it…

Of course I have. This is not simply about reproduction. That is trivial. This is about metabolic process. Show me a carbon based life form that does not grow or metabolize anything and I will show you an organism in stasis as a spore “living” millions of year in amber. That is; effectively dead.

Real life cannot exist without metabolic process in a carbon based world and God has sanctified all this by a process of making good out of evil from the death of one comes life for others. Just as in the biological world so in the spiritual. By his death we have life. Just as God sanctified the practice of sacrifice of appeasement practiced by most cultures for thousands of years before and showed that in the Judeo-Christian tradition these same acts of sacrifice were emblematic of a monotheistic God that would become incarnate and bring life from death. So also he took the preceding accounts of creation derived as they were of the mesopotamian valley and recast it as an account of the monotheistic God who is above all but comes and dwells among us to become one of us. Participating in our life and death but showing us the importance of the transcendent life of the spirit that supercedes carbon based life and its inherent death. It is no fairy tale of 6 impossible things before breakfast. It is not pie in the sky by and by. It is rooted in a real world and it is about the transcendence of love and grace that is acted out in a real physical world by the incarnate God and us as we follow as His disciples.

That is the message I get from the images and visions of the Canon and EG White. But of course I read it for the message that it conveys not as a scientific text. That is where we fundamentally differ.