Your response again illustrates my point: Robert Leo Odom was …

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

Your response again illustrates my point: Robert Leo Odom was arguing in favor of that possibility, and you summarize what he said as “it didn’t seem to make sense” to him. There is no possible way to accurately summarize his statements in that way, even if he is dead wrong. Accuracy and fairness is my concern here.

I’m sorry. In my comment I meant to talk about your reference to John Gill’s commentary where he argued that the phrase, “the stars also” in Genesis refers to the planets as well as all of the rest of the stars in the sky – despite the fact that some would limit the term “stars” to the planets. Gill clearly doesn’t agree with limiting the term “stars” to the planets of the solar system.

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. However, we should not speak dogmatically on this point. The same is true for the origin of the basic material of the Earth. Such questions simply aren’t fundamental to Adventism.

I have an email from Collins in which he agrees with me that his theory posted on his website probably cannot account for the existence of Po halos. This is because if the crystal grows too slowly, the resulting halos will be more exposed on one side than the other, darker in color on side than the other, and no such lopsided halos have been found. If one instead proposes rapid growth of the crystal, then one should be able to produce granite in the laboratory, and you end up with problems re: the accumulation of enough isotopes during the proposed timespan. When faced with these considerations, I told Collins my gut feeling was that it couldn’t happened, and he concurred. I will have to read his article to see if he has come up with anything new since then, but a cursory scan indicates that he is still using the same arguments.

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

The rate at which silicate crystals grow in granite pegmatites (where large crystals several centimeters wide may form) can be rapid because of the local great abundance of water (steam). The abundant water occurs because water tends to concentrate in localized volumes in late stages of crystallization of magma because most minerals crystallizing in granite lack any water in their lattices, and it is where abundant water is present that pegmatites form. Crystals in pegmatites can grow to large sizes in a matter of a few days or weeks (London 2008; Nabelek and others 2009; Sirbescu and others 2008; Webber and others 1999).

The rate of growth of calcite and biotite in fluids where calcite vein-dikes form must be even faster than the rate of growth for silicate minerals crystallizing in pegmatites in a granite body. The fluids that produce the calcite vein-dikes would have a high water content and notably low silica so they would have low viscosity. The growth of large crystals of biotite (and fluorite) crystals could, perhaps, be in a matter of hours or less, and, therefore, the growth of superposed lattice layers would also surround nucleating polonium ions on the faces of the growing crystals. Thus, thousands of polonium halos per cubic centimeter in crystals of biotite and fluorite are possible lacking any evidence for microfractures.

Collins, 2010

And, finally, regarding your last comment:

I’m interested in any evidence supportive of the biblical accounts. I do not understand why you would say you are uninterested in evidence for a young earth, especially since you have already said multiple times that you are open to the idea.

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 and why I really am not all that interested in using a great deal of my time reviewing these perhaps interesting but non-fundamental concepts… with you or anyone else. I find it far more conclusive and profitable and fundamental to Adventism to talk about the origin of life on this planet. So, that’s where I’m going to concentrate my study and time. I hope you don’t mind.

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