@pauluc: First off, Bob and I aren’t suggesting that the …

Comment on Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution? by Sean Pitman.


First off, Bob and I aren’t suggesting that the Flood and its effects were Supernaturally generated. We both believe that the Flood was largely if not entirely the result of natural “processes” that did not need intelligent design of any kind to explain. Most likely, it was a removal of God’s protection that allowed for the Earth to end up with such a catastrophic event. We are, of course, told that Noah was Divinely protected while in the ark (or the ark wouldn’t have survived such a catastrophe), but the direct cause and effects of the Flood were probably entirely natural. As previously explained, the Flood could have been naturally produced by the impacts of large meteors. The massive resulting Flooding of the entire planet with the building of the geologic column and the fossil record were all natural consequences of such a sudden catastrophe that broke up all the fountains of the great deep within a single day (Genesis 7:11).

As far as “taking the Bible seriously, but not literally”, isn’t that kinda like taking a moral fable, like Moby Dick, seriously but not literally? – as you’ve explained before? You see, it makes a world of difference, beyond what can be realized from a “cunningly devised fable”, if the story is actually true or not.

That is why we “worry about science” – because without science, without an ability to rationally study the empirical evidence, it would be impossible to rationally discover the Signature of God behind either the claims of the Bible or behind any artifact in the natural world. Without science or the ability to think scientifically, all you’d be left with is fideism (or “wishful thinking” about God).

Remember the story of John the Baptist trapped in prison all day long? One day he got so depressed that he sent word to Jesus asking Him, “Are you the Christ or should we look for another”? (Luke 7:20). What did Jesus say in response? Did He send a message back to John that He needed to have more faith? Nope. Surprisingly, Jesus didn’t say anything right away – nothing at all. Instead, He kept right on doing what He had been doing. He cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. In other words, He kept on providing empirical evidence of who He claimed to be. Then He said, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Luke 7:22-23)

This story should strike you with the weight that the Biblical authors themselves placed upon empirical evidence. Jesus didn’t ask for blind faith devoid of the support of the weight of empirical evidence. Rather, He expected people to make a rational leap of faith based upon the weight of empirical evidence that had been given to them.

Of course, you think you’re a scientist, but you’re “science” concerning origins is based more on philosophy than real scientific evidence. The available evidence actually strongly supports the empirical claims of the Bible regarding:

1) The intelligent origin of life on this planet – which cannot be explained by any mindless natural “process” of which your or anyone else is aware.

2) The recent origin of all life and its diversity on this planet in line with numerous evidences from biology, chemistry, geology, physics, etc. Certainly your Darwinian mechanism is clearly limited to the low levels of functional/informational complexity – which neither you nor anyone else can tenably counter.

3) A Noachian-style catastrophic Flood as being responsible for much of the fossil/geologic records with numerous features that are diametrically opposed to the gradual uniformitarian concept for the origin of these features.

In short, neo-Darwinism is based more on secular philosophy rather than real science.

Also, your notion that God cannot act within His creation in a detectably artifactual way (which clearly requires intelligent design to explain – something you like to call “magic”) is not at all in line with what is generally understood as “Christianity”. A God who cannot even act in a detectably intelligent manner that is no more “magical” compared to what you yourself can achieve, is no God at all. Any religion based on such a non-detectable God is powerless to provide a rational hope in the future or any solid comfort in this life.

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
I think she was most likely trying to address the idea that God couldn’t make something out of absolutely nothing… that God had to start with something. I don’t think she was addressing Wilcox’s ideas at all. I think she was simply explaining that God doesn’t have to start with anything – that He can and did in fact ultimately make everything out of absolutely nothing – by the speaking things into existence.

The entire universe seems to be, ultimately, based on information from the Mind of God – i.e., “The Word”. What we see, feel, touch, smell, and taste really has no independent existence outside of the Mind of God and His constant care so that everything exists and moves and has its being “in Him.” – like a mental projection.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
@Mike Manea:

It matters to me too, and I wish you all the best in your own efforts along these lines…

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
Because, “as they read” must be interpreted by all that the Bible has to say about creation week. It is never wise to take any Biblical statement out of context. And, in this case, I think the context clearly supports a pre-existing universe (despite the “stars” not being mentioned until Day 4 of creation) and does not clearly exclude the possibility of pre-existing basic material for the Earth. Even Peter appears to argue that water pre-existed the creation week since he says that the Earth was made or brought “out of water” (2 Peter 3:5). Taking everything into account, I just don’t think it possible to be dogmatic against the possibility of pre-exiting basic material prior to the creation week.

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Science and Methodological Naturalism
Very interesting passage. After all, if scientists are honest with themselves, scientific methodologies are well-able to detect the existence of intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. It’s just the personal philosophy of scientists that makes them put living things and the origin of the fine-tuned universe “out of bounds” when it comes to the detection of intelligent design. This conclusion simply isn’t dictated by science itself, but by a philosophical position, a type of religion actually, that strives to block the Divine Foot from getting into the door…

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull

Why is it that creationists are afraid to acknowledge the validity of Darwinism in these settings? I don’t see that these threaten a belief in God in any way whatsoever.

The threat is when you see no limitations to natural mindless mechanisms – where you attribute everything to the creative power of nature instead of to the God of nature.

God has created natural laws that can do some pretty amazing things. However, these natural laws are not infinite in creative potential. Their abilities are finite while only God is truly infinite.

The detection of these limitations allows us to recognize the need for the input of higher-level intelligence and creative power that goes well beyond what nature alone can achieve. It is here that the Signature of God is detectable.

For those who only hold a naturalistic view of the universe, everything is attributed to the mindless laws of nature… so that the Signature of God is obscured. Nothing is left that tells them, “Only God or some God-like intelligent mind could have done this.”

That’s the problem when you do not recognize any specific limitations to the tools that God has created – when you do not recognize the limits of nature and what natural laws can achieve all by themselves.

Sean Pitman

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
@Bill Sorensen:

Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.

God did not create the broken condition of any human baby – neither the physical or moral brokenness of any human being. God is responsible for every good thing, to include the spark or breath of life within each one of us. However, He did not and does not create those things within us that are broken or bad.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'” Matthew 13:27-28

Of course, all humans are indeed born broken and are in a natural state of rebellion against God. However, God is not the one who created this condition nor is God responsible for any baby being born with any kind of defect in character, personality, moral tendency, or physical or genetic abnormality. God did not create anyone with such brokenness. Such were the natural result of rebellion against God and heading the temptations of the “enemy”… the natural result of a separation from God with the inevitable decay in physical, mental, and moral strength.

Of course, the ones who are born broken are not responsible for their broken condition either. However, all of us are morally responsible for choosing to reject the gift of Divine Grace once it is appreciated… and for choosing to go against what we all have been given to know, internally, of moral truth. In other words, we are responsible for rebelling against the Royal Law written on the hearts of all mankind.

This is because God has maintained in us the power to be truly free moral agents in that we maintain the Power to choose, as a gift of God (Genesis 3:15). We can choose to accept or reject the call of the Royal Law, as the Holy Spirit speaks to all of our hearts…

Remember the statement by Mrs. White that God is in no wise responsible for sin in anyone at any time. God is working to fix our broken condition. He did not and does not create our broken condition. Just as He does not cause Babies to be born with painful and lethal genetic defects, such as those that result in childhood leukemia, He does not cause Babies to be born with defects of moral character either. God is only directly responsible for the good, never the evil, of this life.

Sean Pitman

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull

Again, your all-or-nothing approach to the claims of scientists isn’t very scientific. Even the best and most famous of scientists has had numerous hair-brained ideas that were completely off base. This fact does not undermine the good discoveries and inventions that were produced.

Scientific credibility isn’t based on the person making the argument, but upon the merits of the argument itself – the ability of the hypothesis to gain predictive value when tested. That’s it.

Sean Pitman

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Don’t be so obtuse here. We’re not talking about publishing just anything in mainstream journals. I’ve published several articles myself. We’re talking about publishing the conclusion that intelligent design was clearly involved with the origin of various artifactual features of living things on this planet. Try getting a paper that mentions such a conclusion published…

Sean Pitman