Sean&#032Pitman: Beyond this, Odom also argues very much as I …

Comment on Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution? by Bob Pickle.

Sean&#032Pitman: Beyond this, Odom also argues very much as I have regarding the “stars” mentioned in Genesis.

“There is the possibility that the rest of our solar system was brought into existence then [during the Creation Week of Genesis]. However, we would not speak dogmatically on that point. Other heavenly bodies were in existence before our world was created. We would not attempt to say how much older they are than the earth, because the Scriptures do not tell us specifically when they were created. Many of them may be millions of years older than the little planet we inhabit.” – Odom, 1959

This is exactly what I’ve been arguing – that here is the possibility that the rest of our solar system was brought into existence during Creation Week.

I must have misunderstood you. I apologize. I did not realize that you were arguing, like Odom, that the “stars” of Genesis 1 could be referring to our solar system. (Odom in that article never used the “stars” of Gen. 1:16 to refer to stars outside of our solar system, unless I missed something.)

Sean&#032Pitman: How old is your E-mail, because in the Collins’ paper I referenced he argues that the crystals can grow quite rapidly:

The emails are a bit older than his paper.

Note that his paper is posted on a pro-evolution special interest group’s website, not in a standard peer-reviewed journal. At the time of our communications, Collins told me that the standard journals refused to publish his theories on granite. What does that tell you? His peers generally didn’t feel his theories held water. Now perhaps since then his peers have “seen the light,” but we also have the possibility that this special interest group can’t find anything better to attack the evidence for creation with.

Yes, he does argue for rapid re-formation of granite crystals. That’s his hypothesis in that paper. Then he should test his hypothesis and see if he can rapidly grow such crystals in the presence of relatively immense amounts of Rn to see if he can create a crystal with a Po-218 halo inside. He doesn’t get a pass on testing his hypothesis. Mere plausibility arguments don’t cut it.

Re: Collins’ theory, you may not be aware of this fact of physics: A decay chain’s radioactive isotopes when in equilibrium will be present in amounts proportional to their half-lives. Since Rn-222 has a half-life of 3.8235 days and Po-218 a half-life of 3.098 min., there needs to be 1777 times more Rn atoms than the required number of Po atoms in the presence of the growing crystal, in order to have enough Po atoms available at any given point of time (after equilibrium is reached) to become emplaced in the growing crystal. Since Collins is here calling for the growth of large crystals in hours or less, we’re talking about the near instantaneous formation of the part that would encapsulate a single Po halo. (If a small 1 cm crystal grew in 10 hours, it would grow at the rate of 500 to 1,000 halo center diameters per hour: 1 cm = 10,000 microns growth per 10 hours = 1,000 microns growth per hour. A Po halo diameter would be 1 to 2 microns. This small crystal would be growing at roughly 10 to 20 such halo centers per minute.)

Note that Collins is trying to explain the presence of 20,000-30,000 Po-218 and Po-210 halos per cubic cm, as reported in Gentry’s 1968 paper which he cites. Questions I would have are: (a) What naturalistic mechanism does Collins propose whereby the Po-214 halos would be missing from that Norwegian sample? (b) What naturalistic mechanism does Collins propose separated the Po-218 from the Po-210 such that little or no Po-218 became emplaced in Po-210-halo centers, close by Po-218 halo centers in the same nearly instantaneously formed cubic cm of granite?

The more immediate question in my mind is where did all the radiogenic lead go? If there was 1777 times more Rn-222 atoms than Po-218 atoms present per Po-218 halo, then for every Po-218 halo there should be 1777 times as much Pb-206 lurking around somewhere than what is in each Po-218 halo center. Unless there is a relative abundance of radiogenic Pb nearby that could be explained as the remains of the required Rn, Collins theory appears to be a non-starter.

It’s really worse than that. From Collins’ paper:

Uranium is commonly found in scattered zircon crystals in granite (as noted above), but some uranium may also be concentrated in late stages of granite crystallization in pegmatites in the mineral uraninite because of its very large atomic size. Biotite and fluorite crystallizing near this uraninite could plausibly contain Pohalos because the concentrated uranium atoms in this uraninite and in fluids bringing this uranium to the pegmatites would be an abundant source of radon 222Rn and polonium isotopes.

Because U-238 has a half life of 4.5 billions years, then for every Rn-222 atom required, there should be 430 billion atoms of U-238 lurking around somewhere, assuming equilibrium. If he wasn’t proposing nearly instantaneous crystal formation, the numbers would be a little better. If you need 5 billion atoms to produce a single dark Po-218 halo, and you need 1777 times that much Rn-222, you then need 430 billion x 1777 x 5 billion atoms worth of U-238 per Po-218 halo, assuming that 100% of the Rn-222 gas produced by the U-238 deposit just happens to float over to near the vicinity of the future 1-micron diameter Po-218 halo center.

I suspect that the rapid removal of Po from availability due to emplacement in the nearly instantaneous growth of the crystal might mess up the above scenario. Will the cloud of Rn decay fast enough to replenish the Po lost, such that the crystal can continue its rapid growth, encapsulating more and more Po, to the tune of thousands of Po halo centers per cubic centimeter? Sounds like a miracle to me, the very thing that Collins, reportedly a devout Methodist, is trying to disprove ever happened.

Sean&#032Pitman: As I’ve mentioned several times already, I just don’t see that your ideas are required of the Biblical accounts nor are they fundamental to one’s reading or understanding of the key claims of the Bible or the Gospel message. That is why I don’t consider your ideas fundamental to Adventism ….

MH 414 and 8T 258 use the phrases “formation of our world” and “creation of the earth” when speaking of how God did not use pre-existing matter. I therefore looked up every reference this morning to creation or formation of the world or earth, and could not find one single statement that suggested a passive gap theory. To the contrary, Ellen White associated these phrases with the 6-days of creation, and the gift of the Sabbath, which does suggest that we are indeed talking about something that potentially affects the fundamentals of Adventism. One interesting example:

The creation of man in the beginning, the formation of the heavens and the earth, the beauty and glory with which the Creator had clothed all nature, had called forth the wonder and admiration of the universe of heaven, their reverence and love. (RH 7-15-09)

So the unfallen worlds and the angels watched as God formed the heavens and the earth. And that indicates that the formation of the heavens and the earth out of nothing occurred well after the unfallen worlds were created. We therefore can’t really use the fact that there already were unfallen worlds to argue that the formation of the world out of nothing could have happened a billion years before creation week.

By observing the memorial of the creation of the world in six days and the rest of the Creator on the seventh day, …. (3SM 256) (dated 1901)

The Sabbath was to stand representing God’s power in his creation of the world in six days, and his resting upon the seventh day. (GCB 3-4-1895)

Human Philosophy declares that an indefinite period of time was taken in the creation of the world. Does God state the matter thus? No; He says, “It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days [not six indefinite periods of time; for then there would be no possible way for man to observe the day specified in the fourth commandment] the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” (TM 135; PH086 33) (dated Jan. 12, 1898)

Consistently, she refers to the creation of the earth, which she elsewhere said was not out of pre-existing matter, as occurring during the 6 days, and of which the Sabbath is a memorial. The Sabbath is certainly not a memorial that God formed the earth billions of years ago.

The topic of intelligent design is a powerful tool to use to present the truth. I’m all for it. But in a meeting conducted by a representative from a major ID organization, it was surprising to hear him espouse an old earth/life view, and put down a young earth/life view, indicating that none of the scientists they had working with them held a young earth or young life view. The radiometric dating of dinosaur bones could help at a time like that, but I used the halo and retention rates evidence that evening and in correspondence to suggest to him that there was indeed an evidentiary basis for a young earth/life view, and he was open to the material and suggestions.

Bob Pickle Also Commented

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
@Sean Pitman: I have already cited DA 465 and Ed 14 where “stars” is limited to objects within our solar system. Therefore, I do not understand why you would base an argument on the “stars” of Day 4 without making some sort of effort to prove that “stars” on Day 4 cannot be limited to the “stars of our solar system.”

Showing that God formed woman from Adam’s rib does not address the point that Ellen White made: God formed our world and created the earth out of nothing. After He did that, then certainly He could have formed man and the animals from something. But thus far you have not given any reason for concluding that Ellen White was not referring to creation week when she said what she did in MH and 8T.

The available texts do not leave open the question of whether the sun and moon existed before Day 4. That is an idea that comes from outside the Bible. It isn’t in the text.

You assert that Gen. 1:1 can be interpreted to mean that the sun, moon, and Jupiter existed before creation week. How so? It uses the Hebrew word for heavens, but says nothing about the sun or moon or Jupiter. It is Day 4 that explicitly says that God created the sun and moon on that day. It is Gen. 2:1 that says that the heavens were finished after creation week. Gen. 1:1 says nothing about the heavens already being finished before creation week; the verse does not use the word “finished” at all.

Did the scholars you cite arrive at their views of Gen. 1:16 solely from reading the text? Or are they trying to get the text to accommodate the conclusions of scientists that believe differently than what the text states? Two sources tell me that “made” in vs. 16 is an imperfect, not a perfect. Why then does Grudem say that an imperfect should be taken as a perfect? Is his basis for thus amending the text solely the Bible, or is it something else?

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
@Sean Pitman: The post’s date isn’t important to me. I was just trying to understand what happened.

I don’t think you answered my question: “Do you think it possible that Ellen White’s 1897 statements were a rebuttal of Wilcox’s sentiments as he expressed them the following year?” She obviously was addressing some sort of ideas that had come into Adventism. If these ideas weren’t what Wilcox expressed, what were they?

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
@Sean Pitman: Please read MH 414 and 8T 258 again, and see if you think those particular quotes leave the question open.

We could come up with a long list of points that Ellen White, perhaps (since there might be an unpublished letter), never personally corrected this one or that one on, so we can only take that so far. For example, some held that an atonement was made at the cross, some held that no atonement was made until Christ ascended to heaven, and some held that no atonement was made until 1844. I do not recall Ellen White rebuking proponents of two of these three contradictory positions, even though she did support one of these positions in her writings.

Do MH 414 and 8T 258 really leave the question open?

Recent Comments by Bob Pickle

The End of “Junk DNA”?
Thanks, Sean, for this informative article!

Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’

While in Roosevelt, New York, August 3, 1861, different churches and families were presented before me. The different influences that have been exerted, and their discouraging results, were shown me. Satan has used as agents individuals professing to believe a part of present truth, while they were warring against a part. Such he can use more successfully than those who are at war with all our faith. His artful manner of bringing in error through partial believers in the truth, has deceived many, and distracted and scattered their faith. This is the cause of the divisions in northern Wisconsin. Some receive a part of the message, and reject another portion. Some accept the Sabbath and reject the third angel’s message; yet because they have received the Sabbath they claim the fellowship of those who believe all the present truth. Then they labor to bring others into the same dark position with themselves. They are not responsible to anyone. They have an independent faith of their own. Such are allowed to have influence, when no place should be given to them, notwithstanding their pretensions to honesty.

Erv has had decades to come into line. According to the above counsel from the Lord, “no place” should have been given him regardless of his pretensions. And it is far past time that place cease to be given him.

WASC Team Recommends Formal Notice of Concern Regarding LSU

Either I’m misunderstanding what is allegedly going on, or you are missing the point.

If a church educational institution, such as LSU, begins to promote evolution as the true story of origins (not just teaching about evolution with an emphasis on the evidence for Biblical creation), and if the church tries therefore to rein it in, and if the WASC says the church can’t do that, then the WASC is meddling with the church’s educational mission, and what the church’s educational institutions can and cannot teach.

“They do require that the institution makes education its primary function ….”

True education or false education? If true education, then the WASC should have no problem with the church requiring LSU to stick with true education principles, and to abandon false education principles. It’s fine to require a school to teach about evolution, but requiring a school to promote evolution over creation or intelligent design is a whole different matter.

By the way, a union president should have the institution’s conformity to true education principles as his primary objective, or else he shouldn’t be chairman of the board. But I think the WASC may be opposed to this, not in favor of it, based on what is being reported.

WASC Team Recommends Formal Notice of Concern Regarding LSU
If what you have reported is accurate, then WASC isn’t doing its job, since it isn’t holding LSU accountable to principles of true education.

If these non-Adventist accrediting bodies refuse to do their job, then we may just have to go some other route. They aren’t God, after all.

Of course, one might argue that WASC’s job is to hold institutions accountable to principles of false education, not principles of true education. But who would or did give it that kind of job? And there have been non-Adventist entities and individuals that have promoted true education.

Is La Sierra University Legally Distancing Itself from the Church?
@Chris Chan:

Note that on p. 1 under Article 4 “Pacific Union” is defined as “Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.” So every time you read “Pacific Union” thereafter, it means “Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.”

That’s the legalese way of simplifying a legal document when the same person or organization is referred to multiple times throughout the document. If the other conferences are only mentioned once, it wouldn’t make sense to define a shorter term for them too.