Comment on Adventist Education–at the crossroads? by Sean Pitman.
My point in quoting Davies’ review of Polkinghorne was to show that they base their ideas on God’s existence on evidence, on certain features within the universe, which they think can only be explained by deliberate intelligent design on the level of God-like intelligence. That is an intelligent design hypothesis on at least some level.
Just because those who appeal to intelligent design theories on at least some level may also believe in various aspects of the modern theory of evolution doesn’t mean that an ID theory hasn’t been invoked on at least some level. It has.
After all, even I believe in evolution via RM/NS as being responsible for many features of living things. Many features of living things are very well explained by neutral evolution or by low-level functional evolution. This doesn’t mean that all features of living things can be therefore be explained by RM/NS. It is this leap of logic or extrapolation of low-level evolution to much higher levels of evolution, within mainstream science, which isn’t scientific. Many features of living things go well beyond the creative potential of any known mindless mechanism while being well within the realm of ID. This is the very same argument used by Davies to support his belief in a God as the designer behind certain features of the anthropic universe.
By the way, I do know Norman McNulty. I’m just not familiar with his views on perfectionism – which is, in any case, irrelevant to this purposes of this particular website. Also, my transitional internship was completed at Eisenhower Army Medical Center (not an SDA institution) and my hemepath fellowship was completed at the City of Hope under the world-renown Lawrence Weiss (not SDA either).
I remain as perplexed as ever how you can hold views on the the nature of intelligent design as a natural phenomena and the requirement for faith to be subservient to reason and evidence but deny anyone in church employ any leeway to explore or articulate anything beyond what you consider truth.
It isn’t what I consider truth. It is what the Church as an organization considers to be fundamental “present truth”. All are free to join or to leave the Church at will. This is a free civil society in which we live – thank God. However, the Church, as with any viable organization, must maintain a certain degree of order and discipline within its own organizational structure if it is to survive. The Church simply cannot afford to hire those who are ardently opposed to the basic fundamental goals and ideals of the Church as an organization and who go around teaching and preaching against the fundamental positions of the organized Church.
You may not consider the organization of the Church to be all that important. I think that without organization, and the order and control that goes along with maintaining any organization, that the Church would quickly fragment into a meaningless hodgepodge of isolated groups with widely divergent ideas. The organizational aspect of the Church is what gives it its power to spread a unified Gospel message more effectively.
I appreciate your responses to my questions and the glimpses I have gained into the mind of a person who seems to discern truth and sees the justice in imposing it on others.
What employer doesn’t impose various rules and restrictions on its paid employees? – rules that are known upfront before the employee agrees to take the job? You very well know that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t be paid by an organization for doing whatever you want. You are paid to do what the organization wants you to do. If you don’t like what the organization wants you to do, you don’t have to take the job. Again, it’s as simple as that. This isn’t some deep philosophical mystery here.
It is self-evident, is it not, that when one takes on employment in an organization of one’s own free will, one is obliged to take on the restriction, the rules, of that organization. Is it wrong of Reebok to require its own employees to only promote and even wear Reebok shoes? Would it be wrong of Reebok to fire and employee for publicly promoting Nike as making a superior product?
Come now. If you really believe that Nike makes the better shoe, and you are bound and determined to be honest to yourself and tell everyone about the superiority of Nike, why on Earth would you expect to be paid by Reebok to promote Nike? You’re simply making no sense here. You’re basically an anarchist who thinks you deserve to be paid simply for your honesty. I’m sorry, but no viable organization works that way. An honest Catholic should work for the Catholic organization. An honest Baptist should work for the Baptist organization. And an honest evolutionary scientist should work for those numerous organizations who would be more than glad to pay such an individual for their efforts. Why should the SDA Church pay anyone who doesn’t actually want to promote what the SDA Church, as an organization, wishes to promote?
God bless and give you as much insight into his Grace.
Likewise. God is a God of order and disciplined government – not anarchy. All are free to come and enjoy the gifts of God as given through the inspired organization of the SDA Church. However, not all are free to expect payment from the SDA Church for their services since not all are well suited to be official representatives of the Church as an organization.
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Adventist Education–at the crossroads?
I’m a partner in an independent pathology practice. We do some contract work for a Catholic hospital, but I have not been hired by the Catholic Church to be a representative of the Catholic Church or to promote Catholic doctrinal positions.
Teachers in our SDA schools, on the other hand, are specifically hired by the SDA Church to actively promote SDA goals and ideals within the classroom – specifically with regard to the topic of origins. This has been made very clear, in no uncertain terms, by the General Conference Executive Committee:
We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the church’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.
Science teachers, in particular, are not hired to actively undermine the SDA position on origins in our classrooms. Clearly, such activity is counterproductive to the stated goals and ideals of the Church. Why would the Church wish to hire anyone to go around and tell people that the Church’s position is irrational and part of the “lunatic fringe”? – as so eloquently put by LSU science professor Gary Bradley? – in an interview with a secular journal?
Adventist Education–at the crossroads?
J H Kellogg’s ideas were pantheistic – i.e., God actually within everything. This is not quite like suggesting that various features of the universe in which we live can only be rationally explained by invoking intelligent design on at least the human level of intelligence or beyond. Quite a number of old world and even modern physicists have come to this same conclusion as well. My position is more along the lines of Sir Isaac Newton or of the well-known Australian astrophysicist, Paul Davies, who writes:
The temptation to believe that the Universe is the product of some sort of design, a manifestation of subtle aesthetic and mathematical judgment, is overwhelming. The belief that there is “something behind it all” is one that I personally share with, I suspect, a majority of physicists…
The equations of physics have in them incredible simplicity, elegance and beauty. That in itself is sufficient to prove to me that there must be a God who is responsible for these laws and responsible for the universe.
* Davies, Paul C.W. [Physicist and Professor of Natural Philosophy, University of Adelaide],”The Christian perspective of a scientist,” Review of “The way the world is,” by John Polkinghorne, New Scientist, Vol. 98, No. 1354, pp.638-639, 2 June 1983, p.638
You don’t seem to grasp my argument that the term “natural” is a relative term. What seems “natural” to you may seem supernatural to someone else with less knowledge than you have. If God does in fact exist, his own intelligence and power would seem perfectly “natural” to him.
In short, the term “natural” is meaningless without a much more specific definition as to what you’re talking about when you use this word. Simply saying that science is restricted to examining “natural” phenomena does not mean that science cannot therefore detect an intelligent origin behind certain types of phenomena… even if that intelligent origin just so happens to be God. While a God could certainly hide himself from us quite easily. It is most certainly within God’s power to reveal himself to us in a manner that we can in fact detect as requiring a very high level of deliberate intelligence. Certainly you can recognize this as at least a possibility given the hypothesis of God’s actual existence – can you not?
You seem to be able to do this, on at least some level, for you write:
I do agree with you that nature is not enough and is an insufficient explanation of the universe. There is an intelligibility to the Universe and that things like Love, suffering and beauty call out for higher level explanations. But in this I agree with theologians such as Haught, McGrath and Polkinghorne who see the intelligibility of the universe and the anthropic principle as well as those higher functions as supporting a notion of the divine but do not simplistically restrict the divine to [plugs] for the holes in our knowledge or immediate explanations for origins.
Scientific theories are the plugs for the holes in our knowledge. We have limited knowledge. If we had perfect or absolute knowledge, science would no longer be needed. It is because we have limited knowledge that scientific methodologies become helpful to bridge the gaps or “holes” in our knowledge. The ID hypothesis is often a valid scientific bridge for certain types of holes in our knowledge. The notion that intelligent design cannot be invoked by science is simply mistaken.
Did you leave the armed forces when the government became Democrat rather than Republican? (I am of course assuming you are republican in political persuasion but given the statistics I have a high probability of being right). Do you agree in every point with your current employer? Will you resign when they express for example a view on abortion with which you disagree? Like the pharisees of old you are placing on church employees a burden much more than I suspect you would be prepared to bear.
If I felt I had to publicly counter my employer on some issue considered “fundamental” by my employer, and I was originally hired to promote this particular position of my employer, I would most certainly resign. If an employer hires me to do a particular job, and that job is made quite clear when I am hired, it would be morally wrong of me to undermine the clearly stated fundamental purpose of the job for which I was hired. That would be, in effect, stealing money and time from my employer. I would have misrepresented myself to my employer to get paid for something I never intended to deliver to my employer. Such activity is very deceptive and underhanded. It is a lie calculated to rob the employer of what the employer hired me to do – no bones about it. And that, I’m afraid, is a moral problem in anyone’s book.
If you think the SDA Church was somehow unclear about what it expects from its science professors regarding the topic of origins, think again. The following statement of the SDA General Conference Executive Committee is very clear in this regard:
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.
Regarding Brinsmead’s teachings, and their dramatic evolution over time, I’m sure I’m not aware of all of the subtleties of his numerous theological positions as they changed over time, but I think I’m well enough informed.
Also, Des Ford (since you brought him up) was not simply let go from Church employment for some minor issue. He was attacking clearly stated fundamental pillars of the SDA Church – to include the Church’s position on origins. Ford believes in and strongly supports theistic evolutionary ideas where life has existed and evolved on this planet over hundreds of millions of years of time. Ford does believe in the Divine inspiration of Genesis, but not based on the straight forward reading of the text so much as on a hidden mathematical code similar to the “Bible Code” of Michael Drosnin – on the same level as astrology if you ask me.
It is for such reasons that the likes of Ford and Brinsmead cannot represent the SDA Church in any sort of official capacity.
Really though, I do not want to get off on a debate on perfectionism. I do not agree with Brinsmead, and am not familiar with the views of Normal McNulty on this issue, but that isn’t the purpose of this particular website.
The purpose of this website is to inform members of the SDA Church as to what is really being taught in some of our schools on the issue of origins… a fundamental issue for the SDA Church.
Adventist Education–at the crossroads?
I have assumed all along that when you were talking of intellegent design you were lifting the code from DI in its commonly accepted sense and were talking of divine intervention. That you were using the code in the DI sense of direct divine intervention as an acceptable explanation for origins that must be introduced into science. I now find that you are implying in your model of origins there is no divine intervention and no miracles. Intelligent design is natural.
The origin of intelligence, or high levels of functional information, cannot be explained by science using mindless mechanisms. Yet, we know that intelligence and functional information exist – at various levels and degrees. The real question in Origins, then, is how to explain the origin of various levels of functional complexity? If that can be done using mindless mechanisms of any kind, then the solution to everything, ultimately, is “Turtles all the way down.” In other words, if higher and higher levels of functional information can actually be explained via mindless mechanism of nature, then everything can reasonably be explained via mindless mechanisms. The detection of a requirement for an ultimate intelligent origin of anything would be impossible.
However, if it can be shown that functional information only comes from higher levels of functional information, then the coin is flipped. It’s now “Turtles all the way up.” – not down. In short, if it is really Turtles all the way up, then, ultimately, one must rationally conclude that everything came from a pre-existing intelligence that is effectively indistinguishable by us from a God or God-like intelligence.
This does not mean, however, that all that we see that demands an intelligent origin in nature demands a God-like intelligence. It doesn’t. Some stuff in nature can easily be explained by a far lower level of intelligence. And much in nature can easily be explained by various mindless mechanisms.
There is a range, you see. Just because many things in nature can easily be explained by mindless mechanisms doesn’t mean that everything can be so easily explained by mindless mechanisms.
It is the common extrapolation by mainstream scientists that just because many things have an apparently mindless origin that therefore everything in nature is likely to have an ultimately mindless origin. That leap of logic simply isn’t logical since there are basic laws of informational complexity that defy this logic.
You seem to have missed my point. The point that I was trying to make albeit badly was that I doubt that in your medical practice you use the word â€œmiraclesâ€, that you rarely say that â€œdivine being unkownâ€ were responsible for some observed action and instead would use the term â€œpersons unkownâ€. I doubt that you use angels, demons, satan or God frequently as diagnostic terms or would treat psychosis with cloves of garlic around the neck or that you would use prayer and fasting as the primary or only treatment for epilepsy or that you have written in your medical notes demon possession as a diagnosis with any explanatory value. But I may be mistaken.
The same is true for crop circles in England. When they first started to appear in the 80’s many people thought that extraterrestrial alien’s were visiting our planet and sending us messages in these intricate geometric crop circles. While such thinking seems humerus to us today (myself included), what is even more humerus to me is that fact that several scientist actually proposed various mindless mechanisms (like unusual weather patterns or magnetic fluxes within the Earth’s crust) to explain these intricate crop circles. While alien visitors were quite an unlikely source for this intricate geometric crop circles, it is even more unlikely that any non-deliberate force of nature would have been responsible. At least those who proposed alien visitors were closer to the truth – i.e., that some intelligence was involved. Of course they eventually found the human culprits via hidden camera, but you get my point.
Now, let me post another scenario to you. Let’s say that one of our Mars rovers came across a highly symmetrical polished granite cube measuring 1.1242 meters on each side on the surface of Mars. Clearly such a phenomenon would have been of non-human or “alien” origin. And, just as clearly, such a find would bespeak the need for a fairly high level of intelligence or functional informational complexity.
In this same line, I think all would agree, that the origin of life was clearly of a non-human origin. There was an alien intelligence of some kind involved with the origin of life and its diversity beyond very low levels of functional complexity.
In contrast on questions of origins you say the likelihood that the current diversity of life on this planet is statistically so improbable and shows feature of design in the genetic code, the complexity of the biochemistry of life and the phenomena of human intelligence and self awareness that it could not arise by mechanisms that exist on this planet without intellegent design by which I have always assumed you meant forces from outside this world. What most people would consider divine or miraculous.
Just because the intelligence was not of human origin or seemed to come from outside of this world doesn’t mean that intelligence was somehow magical or supernatural. It may be at such a high level that it may appear to us feeble minded humans as being God-like. However, from the perspective of the owner of such a high level of intelligence, his/her/its activities would seem perfectly “natural” – as your own activities seem perfectly natural to you yet may seem quite “magical” from the perspective of a worm or cockroach…
It seems you have a much more creative and expansive view of intelligent design that would make it natural and therefore clearly scientific
That is a fascinating take but I am not sure it is what Ted Wilson had in mind when he asked for the church to move forward.
I think it is very much in line with what Ted Wilson had in mind (and I know this through a very reliable source). While we humans cannot prove the supernatural nature of God (only someone on an equal level with God could prove that), we can demonstrate that certain phenomena in nature require such a high level of creative intelligence as to be indistinguishable by us as originating from a God or a God-like source of intelligence.
2] No I dont and have never and will never actually teach in an SDA school. I have the utmost respect for those who sacrifice themselves and would do so. They subject themselves to the whims of theological fashion, the vagaries of lobby groups and concerned brethren. I have lived on research grants for most of my working life but the uncertainty of research grant funding is nothing compared to the political landscape of church employment where you risk not only unemployment but the shunning and stripping of self worth, and of social structure associated with accusations of heresy.
That’s great. I much more admire a person who cannot honestly represent a Church, or any other organization for that matter, who goes and works for an organization that he/she can in fact honestly represent.
It is OK your children are safe. I know that this is always a parental concern that their children understand the truth as their parents do and avoid the pitfalls parents see. I certainly do not try to make anyone least of all my children a clone of me. I do have a daughter who has been educated in an adventist institution, teaches at an Adventist school and whose current ambition is to attend the next GYC. As a parent I can only hope and pray that she continues to see the Grace of God as the central theme of the Gospel and negotiates the path of faith through the destructive forces of recycled Brinsmead perfectionsism that is last generation theology. We lived through the 1980s and have seen a purge up close.
I remember the Brinsmead ordeal very well myself – as my father is a pastor. I also don’t think the issue of origins is salvational. The motive of love, as you point out, is the basis of salvation and all goodness. However, doctrinal positions, like the doctrine on origins, is the basis of the Gospel message of hope in a bright literal future. One can be saved without a current hope in the future, but how much better it would be to have the Gospel hope here and now…
In any case, we all wish the best for our children. And, at the very least, we deserve to known what we are paying for and have at least some choice and transparency, when it comes to their education.
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
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.
Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
Thank you for this update. I really appreciate it and the courage it took to post this…
Dr. John Campbell: mRNA Vaccines Cause Lethal Encephalitis?
Dr. Roger Seheult does make some money from his YouTube Videos, but not nearly what Campbell makes. The fact of the matter is, Campbell started making much more money once he switched from presenting mainstream medical science to promoting conspiracy theories. Promoting conspiracy theories is far more profitable it seems… unfortunately.
As far as your posts, I haven’t blocked any of them thus far. I do find it interesting, however, that you don’t address any of the counterarguments forwarded by Dr. Seheult. Why do you choose to believe a retired nurse, like Campbell, over a practicing pulmonologist who was fighting on the front lines during the height of COVID-19, like Seheult?
Dr. John Campbell: mRNA Vaccines Cause Lethal Encephalitis?
Two brains, locked in on the official narrative. Please look outside of the box. Jesus walked and talked and cared for people outside the box. Follow your leader who warned about deceptions by big pharma and big business as the beast the harlot church rides — Revelation 18:23
“… all nations were deceived by your sorcery (pharmakeia)!
You do realize that Ellen White herself promoted various medications and medical therapies of her day that she considered to be helpful in various situations? – to include the use of what was generally regarded as a “poison”, quinine, to prevent malarial infections for missionaries who worked in malaria-infested regions of the world? She wrote, “If quinine will save a life, use quinine.” (Link) She also supported the vaccination of her son William, both as a child and as an adult (despite William having had an adverse reaction to vaccination as a child) (Link). She supported blood transfusion when necessary, despite their risks (Link). And, she even supported using radiation therapy when appropriate, despite its risks (Link). Beyond this, she recognized the advantages of anesthesia during surgery and the use of medicines to relieve the intense pain and suffering of the injured or sick (Link).
Regarding Revelation 18:23, in particular, the term “pharmakeia” is best translated as “sorcery” here. There is no intended advice at all against modern medicine in this passage. What, are you suggesting that medications like antibiotics to treat bacterial infections or insulin to treat diabetes are evil “sorceries”? Again, such arguments only make the Christians who say such things look sensational and irrational – which puts the Gospel Message itself into a bad light for those who are considering following Christ. (Link, Link)
Jesus reached out asking to “let us reason together.”
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out” (Matthew 12:20).
There is a spirit in the SDA Church that is breaking reeds and putting out wicks.
Not an example of who we say is our leader.
Again, the delegates simply were not so uninformed as you and Pastor Vine are claiming here. They had already heard enough reasons and arguments regarding vaccines to make an intelligent informed decision on this particular topic…
Wilson/ADCOM/Hart disowns members who dare want to “let us reason together” about the Vaccine Statement. Attorney Zirkle’s request stomped by Wilsons command to delegates to vote NO, and by a mal-functioning electronic voting system that would not even register the seconds to Zirkle’s motion. Request to check the electronic voting system was rejected by GC. Not something Jesus would reject.
As already discussed, this isn’t true. Elder Wilson simply doesn’t have the power to command the delegates to do anything. And Zirkle’s motion did in fact receive “seconds” since the internet connection issue was fixed. The electronic voting system simply wasn’t an issue at this GC session as it had been back at the 2015 GC session. You’re simply repeating claims here that aren’t true.
You say without compassion:
Really? Why then haven’t the sudden death rates for adults or young healthy athletes increased since the mRNA vaccines became available?
Why are you accusing me of having no compassion when I simply point out the fact that the actual sudden death rate for adults and young healthy athletes has not increased since the mRNA vaccines became available? – that the rate of these tragic events has not changed? – that, despite these events being true tragedies that are horrible indeed, they are are not being cause by the mRNA vaccines?
You say the vaccine is a risk-benefit decision. I say that each “risk” dying or harmed is a human person, not a throw-away statistic. Where is the informed consent, and information on vaccine adverse affects within the vaccine medicine box? Do you have a copy of what information about the vaccine is provided to patients and doctors?
Everything you do is a risk/reward decision. Even drinking pure clean water can kill you, since water can be toxic if taken into the body beyond its level of toxicity. And, the risks of the mRNA vaccines are well known and have been well-publicized. It’s just that, for most people, the risks of getting infected by the COVID-19 virus was much much greater than getting vaccinated ahead of time.
Athlete deaths are 1700% higher since Covid 19 vaccine began.
Study finds Athlete Deaths are 1700% higher than expected since Covid-19 Vaccination began
Book: Sudden Deaths in 2020-2021
Children’s Defense Fund, Edward Dowd, Robert Kennedy
Names of athletes who died after vaccine began:
Tucker Carlson interview:
This is all based on false or misleading information, some of which has been completely fabricated (Link). You’re taking lies for truth and truth for lies here. I’m really sorry that you’ve been do deceived, but that’s the reality of the situation. The voices that you’ve chosen to listen to are, in fact, not telling you the actual truth. And, just a little bit of even-hand investigation would demonstrate this to the candid observer. The claim that young healthy athletes have started dying at much higher rates since the mRNA vaccines became available just isn’t true. This conspiracy theory is flat out wrong, without any basis in actual generally-available empirical data. Here’s a little history behind this particular conspiracy theory:
Ben Swann, who has spread misinformation about the pandemic since 2020, posted on Facebook on Jan. 3 an old video promoting the unsupported theory that there’s a recent surge in athlete deaths. The same day, conservative commentator Liz Wheeler and Dr. Simone Gold — who has peddled dubious cures for COVID-19, anti-vaccination messages and politicized medical misinformation — posted similar claims… Both Wheeler and Gold cited a letter to the editor published in the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology that was co-authored by Dr. Peter McCullough, another prominent purveyor of COVID-19 misinformation. Although its publication may give the letter a veneer of legitimacy, the letter did not include any original research, as suggested by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson. Rather, it relied upon an arbitrary list of athlete deaths maintained on an anonymous website that we wrote about shortly after it appeared online in late 2021.
As we explained before, the list includes students, professionals, amateurs, coaches and retirees. It includes people who died by suicide, car crash and drug overdose. The list does not — in nearly all cases — include the vaccination status of the deceased, let alone prove any causal relationship between vaccines and the deaths. In fact, as we’ve previously reported, some of the deaths initially listed happened before the vaccines had even become available to the age category for the person listed.
Wheeler and Gold, though, each shared an image that highlighted a portion of the letter comparing the number of deaths listed on the anonymous website with the number of sudden cardiac deaths among athletes that had appeared in academic literature over a 38-year period as compiled in a 2006 paper. The two figures reflect different criteria. One number is very broad and includes anyone with a passing relationship to sports who died for any reason since 2021, while the other is conspicuously narrow and includes only the deaths of athletes that were analyzed in English-language academic research papers.
Although the comparison they make is meaningless, Wheeler and Gold leave the false impression that there’s been a surge in deaths and further the baseless narrative that there’s been an increase in athlete injuries and deaths since the COVID-19 vaccines became available.
But the surge is fiction. It doesn’t exist.
“There is no uptick in sudden cardiac arrest or death in athletes due to COVID-19 or from COVID vaccinations. This is total misinformation,” Dr. Jonathan Drezner told us in an emailed statement. Drezner is the director of the UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology at the University of Washington, editor in chief of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, and a team physician for the Seattle Seahawks, the OL Reign soccer team and the University of Washington Huskies.
More than 2,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. die from sudden cardiac arrest every year, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and two-thirds of the deaths “occur during exercise or activity.” Among young athletes, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death, according to CHOP.
Drezner said his center monitors “all cases and all causes” of sudden cardiac arrest or death in athletes by working with the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “[T]here is no change,” he said.
The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research catalogs injuries for high school and college athletes, and its most recent report covers the 2020-21 school year. It shows that 21 athletes died while playing their sport that year.
COVID-19 vaccines were available to everyone 16 and over in the U.S. by April 2021, so the overlap between the period covered by the report and the period in which vaccines were widely available to young people was relatively small. We reached out to the center to find out if the data collected for the 2021-2022 school year has indicated any increase in deaths.
The center’s director, Dr. Kristen Kucera, told us that so far, “the numbers are the same and it’s actually fewer than we captured in 2018-19.”
For context, the center reported 19 deaths in 2019-20, 25 deaths in 2018-19 and 21 deaths in 2017-18.
Similarly, Dr. Robert Cantu, the center’s medical director, told us in an emailed statement that he’s seen no increase in athlete deaths and called the claims “misinformation.”
“The statistics don’t bear out that there’s been an increase in events among athletes,” Dr. Curt Daniels, professor of cardiovascular medicine and director of the sports cardiology program at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, told us in a phone interview.
The field of sports cardiologists who oversee the health of athletes is relatively small, Daniels said. “We talk and communicate all the time,” he said, and none of his colleagues has flagged a rise in sudden cardiac arrest.
“There’s been no increase,” he said.
Also, Daniels noted, there’s a high vaccination rate among athletes in part because many organizations require vaccination to participate. He noted that a rare side effect of the mRNA vaccines is heart inflammation, or myocarditis, which has primarily affected young men between 12 and 24 years old after a second dose, as we’ve explained before. The risk is highest for males ages 16 to 17, at 106 cases per million doses after the second dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those cases have appeared to resolve faster and have better clinical outcomes when compared with the more common cases of myocarditis caused by viral infection, including from the virus that causes COVID-19. Despite that, anti-vaccine campaigners have distorted the rare vaccine side effect as being more common than it is, using that misrepresentation in claims about increases in athlete deaths.
For those who develop myocarditis, stressing the heart with intense physical activity could create an arrhythmia resulting in a cardiac event, Daniels said.
“And, in fact,” Daniels said, “we have not seen an increase in events.”
So, he said, if the vaccines were causing an increase in sudden deaths, “we would be seeing it here and we’re not.” (Link)
Yet, you don’t accept any data that is contrary to your position. Why not? Upon what basis do you believe the claims of known conspiracy theorists over the observation of the vast majority of experts in this particular field of study? I mean, how credible are those that you’re referencing here?
Tucker Carlson, in particular, admits that he lies on his program for entertainment purposes (Link, Link). Robert Kennedy consistently makes completely false and outrageous claims and promotes innumerable conspiracy theories – most of which are completely ludicrous. Drs. Peter McCullough and Robert Malone aren’t much better, spouting off endless tin-hat just-so conspiracy theories and misinformation about COVID-19 and the mRNA viruses. Yet, these are the types of people that you are citing to support your positions here? Can’t you do any better than this?
I know you will say that all the above are non-worthy opinions compared to the experts’ opinions in the above article. Every opinion that differs is immediately discarded.
It’s not that these differing opinions haven’t been very carefully and thouroughly considered. It’s just that they’ve all turned out to be wrong. The actual data that is currently in hand very clearly falsifies the claims that you’ve been forwarding – all of them. How then, do you explain away what seems to be the very strong weight evidence that I’ve provided to you that appears to effectively falsify your positions here?
Dealing with narcissists who think they are empathic:
Again, you accuse me of narcissism and lack of empathy with great confidence – without actually knowing me or my true heart or motivations. What makes you so confident that I care not about reducing serious injuries or saving lives? How could you possibly think yourself clear to make such God-like accusations? Are such moral judgments and accusations really Christlike? I mean, even though I think that what you’re promoting is actually hurting people and putting their very lives at risk, I don’t accuse you of evil motives. I think that you honestly and sincerely believe what you believe – that you are honestly trying to help people. Why can’t you offer me the same benefit of the doubt here? – at least with regard to my own motivations and personal morality?
Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
Again, it wasn’t Ted Wilson nor the members of ADCOM who voted down Zirkle’s motion – nor did they force or unduly coerce the vote of the delegates in Session. Also, it isn’t true that the vaccine issue hadn’t been adequately discussed for the benefit of the delegates – or that the delegates didn’t have already enough information to make an informed decision. I’d say that they were much more informed on this topic than Pastor Vine gives them credit for.
Now, I’ve very sorry you feel like you do and I can understand your honest confusion since what you’re hearing from anti-vax conspiracy theorists is truly scary stuff. However, the voices that you’re referencing truly are misleading you – telling you things that simply aren’t true. Your latest example of this, from Dr. James L. Marcum, is no better than Dr. Peter McCullough. He makes many claims that are simply false or misleading. Now, Dr. Marcum certainly comes across as very caring and kind, and I’m sure that he is. The only problem here is that he’s wrong – flat out wrong in what he’s telling you. And, this has resulted, no doubt, in a great many long-term injuries and deaths that could have been avoided. Kindness and sincerity isn’t enough here. True kindness will take the time to carefully investigate the actual weight of currently available scientific evidence and present it in an honest even-handed manner. That’s not what Drs. McCullough and Marcum have been doing – not at all.
In short, when your health and life are on the line, would you rather have a doctor with a wonderful bedside manner who isn’t giving you the best available information, or a doctor who may not be as smooth or delicate with his/her words, but who is actually giving you the best available information?
You see, I’m not trying to be mean or harsh here. I’m just truly trying to save lives and prevent long-term injuries. That’s what I’m trying to do. And, I’m sure you’re trying to do the same thing, and I appreciate that. It’s just that you don’t have good scientific evidence to back up your position…