….. sorry, accidentally sent the last post before I was …

Comment on Don’t Change Our Belief on Creation, the Words of Scripture Suffice by Ken.

….. sorry, accidentally sent the last post before I was finished, as I was saying……

But it will take action and leadership to seperate that remnant, not just blog bombs. I can’t see current church leadership doing it as to maintain power they must appeal to the broad diversity of Adventist thought. All churches go through this evolution and often schism or bifurcate as a result. That is real politik.

Time, as it always does, will tell.

Your agnostic friend

Ken Also Commented

Don’t Change Our Belief on Creation, the Words of Scripture Suffice
Dear Shane and Faith

Thanks for your comments.

Can we ever know reality, the truth, by avoiding empirical reality and just relying on words? Is this not what Dr. Pitman and Dr. Kime are trying to overcome to demonstrate that belief in Scripture is not just based on ‘blind faith’ but in evidence? Is that not why the G.R.I. and a multitude of creation museums were set up?

As an agnostic I have no problem with Adventists belief based on sola scriptura. That’s faith, not science. But if Adventists choose to prove creation and a worldwide flood by science to place their faith on a higher shelf, then such faith must endure the rigours of objective, scientific enquiry. That is what the courageous Dr. Pitman is trying to do. That is what our brilliant Dr. Kime is advocating. That is what Prof Kent is so worried about as he understands the sheer magnitude of the evidence of evolution that must be overcome. That is the dilemma that Dr. Londis understands and the consequences if FB# 6 gets defined too narrowly.

Now it may be that eventually there will be a remnant branch of adventism that will be based soley on sola scriptura and not on objective science

Don’t Change Our Belief on Creation, the Words of Scripture Suffice
Re Movie recommendation: The Tree of Life

I highly recommend the above movie as a thought provoking experience regarding the quest for God. It deals with important topics including theodicy and the wonder of nature.

It has a haunting, spiritual beauty that leaves one in awe of the incomprehensible.

I hope you can watch and enjoy it.

Your agnostic friend

Don’t Change Our Belief on Creation, the Words of Scripture Suffice
Hi Shane

Thanks for your advice. I had read it before but it was good to read it again to refresh my memory and give context to the debate.

I certainly appreciate the Adventist theological consequences of YEC or YLC. Actually, as an agnostic, I have no qualms whatsoever with FB #6 as a statement of Adventist faith. I respect the right of individuals to practice the faith of their choice. The problem of course in your faith is how Adventists interpret their faith in light of scientific findings. As I have often said I think what Dr.Pitman and Dr Kime are trying to do is noble. If they can accomplish it they will have done a great service for Adventism and mankind.

However, as I have often opined, I think it is an error to use science for a faith or non faith agenda. Rather, I think it should be a non biased, objective tool to examine reality to the greatest extent possible. Is this possible? As an agnostic, without  a bias against or for God, I think it is. What science may be doing is disabusing us of primitive notions of God and demonstrating how natural events can be explained. That may or may not include the creation of our observable universe. But science seems to have limits. I have never seen it explain First Cause or infinite regression. These concepts seems to fall in the realm of philosophy, or religion, as the case may be.  If there was no time before the creation of our universe was there no infinity as well?

What I do think is we can all learn to treat each other with love and respect notwithstanding our viewpoints. In that respect perhaps the greatest concept this site has espoused is Dr. Pitman’s Royal  Law of Love.

Your agnostic friend

Recent Comments by Ken

God and Granite Cubes
@ Sean

I enjoyed your article. As I’ve stated before, I think Intelligent Design is a more modern form of Deism and do not think it is irrational. However, as science on an ongoing basis shows what matters are explainable by cause and effect, less is attributable to conscious design. The question of course is what are the limits of science in this regard? For example, will it ever be able to explain First Cause/

Below is a more fulsome quote of Professor Townes, an self acknowledged Protestant Christian. Please note what he has to say about literal creation and evolution. Do you think he is being more reasonable than you on the nature of design?

“I do believe in both a creation and a continuous effect on this universe and our lives, that God has a continuing influence – certainly his laws guide how the universe was built. But the Bible’s description of creation occurring over a week’s time is just an analogy, as I see it. The Jews couldn’t know very much at that time about the lifetime of the universe or how old it was. They were visualizing it as best they could and I think they did remarkably well, but it’s just an analogy.

Should intelligent design be taught alongside Darwinian evolution in schools as religious legislators have decided in Pennsylvania and Kansas?

I think it’s very unfortunate that this kind of discussion has come up. People are misusing the term intelligent design to think that everything is frozen by that one act of creation and that there’s no evolution, no changes. It’s totally illogical in my view. Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here.
Charles Townes
‘Faith is necessary for the scientist even to get started, and deep faith is necessary for him to carry out his tougher tasks. Why? Because he must have confidence that there is order in the universe and that the human mind – in fact his own mind – has a good chance of understanding this order.’
-Charles Townes, writing in “The Convergence of Science and Religion,” IBM’s Think magazine, March-April 1966
Some scientists argue that “well, there’s an enormous number of universes and each one is a little different. This one just happened to turn out right.” Well, that’s a postulate, and it’s a pretty fantastic postulate – it assumes there really are an enormous number of universes and that the laws could be different for each of them. The other possibility is that ours was planned, and that’s why it has come out so specially. Now, that design could include evolution perfectly well. It’s very clear that there is evolution, and it’s important. Evolution is here, and intelligent design is here, and they’re both consistent.

They don’t have to negate each other, you’re saying. God could have created the universe, set the parameters for the laws of physics and chemistry and biology, and set the evolutionary process in motion, But that’s not what the Christian fundamentalists are arguing should be taught in Kansas.

People who want to exclude evolution on the basis of intelligent design, I guess they’re saying, “Everything is made at once and then nothing can change.” But there’s no reason the universe can’t allow for changes and plan for them, too. People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one. Maybe that’s a bad word to use in public, but it’s just a shame that the argument is coming up that way, because it’s very misleading. “

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Sean’s Quote

“Yes, I am suggesting that our scientists should also be theologians to some degree. I’m also suggesting that our theologians be scientists to some degree as well. There should be no distinct dividing line between the two disciplines…”

Hello Sean

First of all, thank you Holly for your comments. You have always treated me with civility and charity for which I am most grateful.

Secondly, on reflection, I do hope I was not strident or offensive in my recent remarks. I am a guest here and should behave with the utmost respect regarding my Adventist hosts. After all I was proposing the Chair of ID at an ‘Adventist’ institution! What gall and temerity from an agnostic!

However something Dr. Kime said struck a very strange chord in me: that a Chair in ID at Harvard would be a quantum leap ( forward – my edit) while such a Chair would be a step backward at LSU. I’ m very sorry Wes, but for me to honestly investigate reality such double standard is not acceptable.

I am sad today, because I think I’m coming to the end of my Adventist journey. I really did see ID as a sort of bridge between your faith and objective inquiry about a ‘Grand’ Design. (apologies Mr. Hawkings). Oh Wes , perhaps I am ontological Don Quixote after all, comically tilting towards immovable Adventist windmills. 🙁 .

However all is not forlorn because I’ve made excellent friends of the heart here. ;). I won’t forget you.

Good luck in your pursuit of God.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Wes’s Quote

“. But for a Christian, a great devolution, a great recidivation, a tragic forfeiture, foreclosure, worse. If I were to use the vocabulary of some of our recent posters, I’d not put it as delicately.”

Hi Wes and Sean

I just read again portions on ID from Sean’s website Detecting Design. I am very confused by both of your responses. Why the heck is Sean promoting ID as a scientific theory if this is such a Christian retreat? Perhaps you two differ here? I apologize if I am missing the obvious but I see a tremendous disconnect between what Sean is saying about ID and what he is prepared to do to promote it within the subset of Adventist education.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Sean’s Quote

“Public association is one thing. Private association is another. While many do not feel at liberty to publicly associate themselves with our work here (for obvious reasons), most who still believe in SDA fundamentals (and who are aware of the longstanding situation at LSU and other places) feel that our work in providing enhanced transparency for what is being taught to our young people in our schools was/is necessary on some level.”

Hi Sean

The irony here is that those that are supporting institutional enhanced transparency are hiding behind cloaks of anonymity. That’s not how you, I, Wes, Bob Ryan, Wes, Bill Sorenson and many others here behave. Imagine if Jesus hid behind a cloak and didn’t proclaim his nature. What legacy of respect would he have left?

Conviction requires courage period.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Intelligent Design

Gentleman, thanks to all for your fulsome replies.

Yes Wes, I remember your cogent analysis of November 14/11. I appreciared it then and its reiteration now. indeed I was waiting to hear from others especially Sean whose site is named Detecting Design. And, here I agree with Bob, ID
does not necessarily rule out any particular design i. e. fiat
creation ot theistic evolution.

But quite frankly I am disaapointed with Sean’s response, not Sean himself for whom I have deep admiration, because I see this as a step backward. Why? Because if you burn the bridge between science and biblical faith it will not be science that suffers.

Ironically Sean makes many fine, cogent arguments for design in nature so I find his reluctance to promote it formally in Adventist education troubling. Respectfully, I don’t think serious enquiry about reality can creep around the periphery or sneak in through the back door. I’m afraid I see a double standard here.

Yes Wes, I understand why Adventists are nervous on this issue. But if one is seeking the truth about reality one can’t wall it in or burn bridges of enquiry. Wes, perhaps the Hellenic maxim should have not so much: Know thyself, but rather Think for thyself. My park bench in Pugwash is a welcome one but does not feature ontological dividers. It is well designed for truth seekers.

Your agnostic friend