I think Dr. Pitman has a valid starting point. …

Comment on Why those who hate the Bible love blind-faith Christians by Alvin.

I think Dr. Pitman has a valid starting point. There should be some understanding of the rational basis for creationism, or Christianity has no more basis than myth.

However, let us try to address some practical questions. If all biology professors in our colleges were to be asked for scientific basis for certain of our beliefs, or else resign, how many teachers would be left?

We are probably all familiar with the “kangaroo problem,” that is to say, “How did it happen that all the kangaroos get from Ararat to Australia (and surrounding areas), without any of them surviving anywhere else? What about lemurs, sloths, poison frogs, sequoia trees, etc., etc.” How many of our biology professors have a good answer for this one?

As far as how many animals will fit on the ark, how many would present lions, tigers, cheetahs, etc. as getting on the ark separately, how many would have all felines microevolve from two animals just 4,000 years ago, and how many would say they have no idea of how to fit them all on? Should we fire those who don’t know? How many people who don’t have a faith commitment to the Bible give any credence to any of the explanations that would accommodate all of the animals and care for their needs, including food, water, fresh air, waste removal and suitable habitat? Don’t we need faith on this one? Don’t we have to establish faith in the Bible from other standpoints and then say that we need to accept this story by faith? Would we perhaps suggest that a series of unmentioned miracles were responsible for taking care of the questions critics raise? Or, should we just not mention any of the scientific problems of the Flood story and hope the students don’t think of them on their own? From what I have seen, the GRI has quite a bit to say about ID, but little or nothing about the scientific defense of the Noachian flood. How many of our professors also have no idea how to buttress the beliefs of Adventist students, much less how to convince a skeptic about the Flood?

And what about Ellen White’s assertion that weeds were developed by Satan doing genetic engineering? Could we find even one professor who would postulate about demons transporting pollen to inappropriate female plants, or perhaps zapping plants or soil with harmful electricity to trigger the development of thistles or poison ivy? Wouldn’t even most Adventist students guffaw at such theories?

And what about the amalgamation remarks? Ellen White’s defenders point out that we don’t think that any humans descended from apes (although I personally knew of an Adventist elementary school teacher who taught racial superiority based on her remarks). However, nobody knows what she did mean when she said it. And, certainly, no one has proposed any scientific evidence or argument to back any beliefs in amalgamation.

It seems like Dr. Pitman is setting a high hurdle for our professors to vault over. There are some questions that seem to me to be much harder to answer than sedimentation rates, erosion rates, apparent age of mature created plants, and intelligent design. ID is as apparent as the sunshine in a blue sky. To me, sedimentation rates and such are believable. But, what about the animal problems on the ark, the survival of trees and the establishment of forests and the establishment of original spawning grounds for salmon after the Flood? Do our professors need to be able to defend these problems scientifically?

Recent Comments by Alvin

Former LSU student letter reveals professor’s agenda
I was going to post this as a response the discussion, but I lost what I had typed out a couple of times. So, I am simply going to share some thoughts on the general subjects, without trying to cut and paste their remarks around mine. My first point is that I have always given the Bible and Ellen White a high degree and credibility and authority.

I grudgingly have come to the conclusion that Ellen White made some unfortunate and significantly incorrect scientific statements. Her promoters trumpet her God-given ability to sort bad contemporary science out and retain only the good. However, there are some theories that I wish she had thrown out with the bad ones. Some of her intellectually indefensible statements are about the amalgamation of man and beast producing certain races of men. I have seen strange attempts to rescue that so it would make sense when laid beside intellectually sound theories. Her views on the causes of earthquake and volcanos are such as to be believed only by the scientifically ignorant or by those who choose to be loyal camp followers. It is appalling that she made the statements she did pointing to eating-meat as the major cause of cholera and when she unequivocally condemned quinine, and people died because of her counsel. There may have also been some who knew that they also needed to wash all food, monitor the quality of the tap water, and establish sanitation setups could have really helped against cholera much more effectively.

So, do I dare to say that if she got the first things wrong (amalgamation, cholera, and quinine), perhaps some of the other things she had to say about masturbation, marital excess and the inheritable nature of corset-constricted waists. [edit]

But, even if I can dismiss out of hand everything that is provably wrong scientifically, (you don’t think she actually made some scientific mistakes?) am I then still obligated to accept every detail in Patriarchs and Prophets about the Flood Event and its aftermath and implications? Do I need to pretend to believe things other than I do, spout off the party line, and then research every single dilemma that seems to contradict Patriarchs and Prophets? If I can no longer support the Patriarchs and Prophets story in all its detail, do I have to resign? One more question, How will you staff the college biology departments lose their jobs go, who will teach in their place?