@Ron: I agree with the quotes above. But there as …

Comment on Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs by Sean Pitman.

@Ron:

I agree with the quotes above. But there as nothing like that going on at La Sierra. There were no teachers who have “claimed that they were right, that God has especially taught, impressed, and led them.” or taught that they had “special light from God”. No one was trying to undermine the foundations of the church. No one was claiming to “have a stronger foundation than was laid”. These are simply Biology teachers trying to teach basic science the best they can with the best information they have. They weren’t even teaching anything new! They certainly weren’t trying to disrupt church organization.

So, telling one’s students that life has clearly existed and evolved, via Darwinian mechanisms, on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, that the concept of a literal 6-day creation week, not to mention a worldwide Noachian Flood, is logically and scientifically untenable, is not really an act of undermining any of the primary goals or ideals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Where have you been?

Did you miss the fact that the General Conference Executive Committee, at the 2004 Annual Council, asked all professors in SDA schools to also present the SDA perspective on origins in all classrooms?

“We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the church’s position on origins. We, along with Seventh-day Adventist parents, expect students to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world.” (Link)

How is LSU supporting this request of the Adventist Church? How is LSU not directly undermining the Church’s position on a literal 6-day creation week as the true story of the origin of life on this planet?

I could possibly credit your concerns if the church had a clear understanding and could reconcile the Bible with the Science, but the church doesn’t and can’t. No one can, and it seems unreasonable to expect a single biology teacher to be able to do what NO ONE has been able to do in the last 150 years.

Beyond the fact that this statement isn’t true on its face (there is in fact a great deal of scientific evidence in support of the Biblical claims on origins), it is irrelevant to the question of church order and government. The church has every right to expect that those who are hired to represent its interests will actually do so. It also has the right to release those from employment who cannot support the church’s goals and ideals from pulpit or classroom.

Sean Pitman: “This is not a moral issue.”

Actually this is a moral issue. It is categorically immoral for anyone, let alone the church to use coercion and persecution to enforce anyone’s belief against reason and conscience.

Of course you are right here, but only with regard to those who do not claim to be representatives of the church. Your problem is that you think it is the right of all people, regardless of one’s individual views or ideas, to become paid representatives of the Adventist Church. It is not a basic human right to be paid by the SDA Church for promoting one’s own individual views independent of the views of the church who employs you. To be hired by the Church as an official representative from pulpit or classroom is a privilege, not a right, for which not everyone qualifies. Therefore, it is not persecution, in any meaningful sense of the word, for the church to refuse to hire or continue to pay those who do not accurately reflect the goals and ideals of the church as an organization.

The church has not taken on civil authority here. You can do as you wish with respect to your own religious preferences in this free society of ours – thank God. You can leave or join any church at will without any fear of civil reprisals. And, that’s a very very good thing. However, the church, like all viable organizations, must also be free to hire only those who actually do represent the goals and ideals of the church.

How is this not common sense? What you are arguing for here is chaos and anarchy within the church, not order and government for the Church.

Is religious freedom within the church any less moral?

There should always be freedom of religion in society at large. However, for a particular organization to remain viable, there must be selectivity when it comes to hiring official paid representatives. Freedom of religion in society at large does not mean that you can expect payment from any particular organization within that society for doing whatever you want independent of the goals and ideals of the organization that you hope will support your efforts financially.

For example, if you like to wear Reebok shoes, you think they are the best, don’t expect to be hired by Nike for promoting the superiority of Reebok. In the same way, why should the SDA Church pay someone who thinks that Catholicism is better? – or who openly promotes anything that counters the basic goals and ideals of the SDA Church as an organization?

What you are suggesting here is, again, not “freedom”, but chaos and anarchy. It was tried in the early formation of the Adventist Church. It didn’t work then, for obvious reason detailed above, and it will not work now.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs
@Ron:

You are confused yet again. The ability to adapt to new environments beyond very low levels of functional complexity requries pre-programmed information to exist within the gene pool. Without such pre-programmed information, there is no ability for adaptation beyond very low levels of functional complexity.

Darwinian-style evolution is based on the notion that high level information can be created within that gene pool which was never there before. This isn’t the same thing as breeding or Mendelian variation – both of which are based on pre-existent genes or alleles which allow for such high-level variation in form and function.

In short, you don’t seem to appreciate the difference between something like Mendelian variation (based on pre-existent genetic information) and Darwinian-style evolution (based on the generation of novel genetic information). They really aren’t the same thing.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs
@Ron:

So, explain to me the difference in mechanism between Darwinian-style evolution and something that requires intelligent design to produce? In your opinion, is it possible to produce all things via truly mindless evolutionary mechanisms? How can I tell if something did or did not require the input of an intelligent designer?

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs
@Ron:

Again, there was no option during the Catholic Inquisitions of the Middle Ages since the Church controlled civil government as well its own internal government. No one was really free to leave the Catholic Church during this time without fear of severe civil penalties.

This is not the case today since there is still a separation between church and state in this country (thank God). All are free to leave the SDA Church at will – free of any civil reprisals of any kind.

However, this does not therefore mean that all are free to expect a paycheck from the SDA Church for teaching or preaching whatever they want. The Church is also free to hire only those whom it feels would most effectively represent its primary goals and ideals – to include its efforts to promote its most fundamental doctrinal ideas to the world…

In no meaningful sense of the word can this sort of expectation be called a “persecution” of those who cannot or will not represent the church as the church sees fit – on the church’s dime.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Dr. Peter McCullough’s COVID-19 and Anti-Vaccine Theories
The hospitalization/death rate is far less for the vaccinated vs. the unvaccinated (Link).

As far as natural immunity gain via a prior COVID-19 infection, it can actually be superior to the immunity gained via full vaccination. However, natural immunity is less predictable. Up to a third of people who were previously infected by COVID-19 don’t develop antibodies against it (Link). However, if one can demonstrate an adequate level of antibodies against COVID-19 it seems reasonable to me that such people should be considered to have adequate immunity.

As far as the immunity generated by vaccination, the type of immunity generated would not be so effective at preventing a mucosal nasopharyngeal infection since the types of antibodies produced (IgG and IgM) would preferentially be blood-based rather than tissue-based (IgA) type of immunity (Link). Because of this, naturally derived immunity might have an additional advantage in this regard as well.


Dr. Peter McCullough’s COVID-19 and Anti-Vaccine Theories
Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine have been studied via large RCTs with regard to early treatment and haven’t shown any detectable benefit. The meta-analysis studies were based on numerous low-quality and even a few fraudulent studies that really don’t show good support for any real benefit in light of the larger RCTs.

As far as using vitamins, like vitamin D for instance, you have to have already built up a useful level of vitamin D over the long-term before getting infected by COVID-19 in order to show an advantage. Sure, those with high-normal vitamin D levels do have a survival advantage over those who are vitamin D deficient, given vitamin D in the acute setting after a person is already sick has minimal benefits.


Dr. Peter McCullough’s COVID-19 and Anti-Vaccine Theories
When it comes to severe COVID-19, hospitalizations, and death, booster shots appear to be helpful for those who are over the age of 65 (Link). However, when it comes to those younger than the age of 50, the benefits are not so clear. It seems that for younger people the boosters reduce nasopharyngeal infections, but protection against hospitalizations/death for those who are vaccinated remains high since immune memory (i.e., memory B-cells) remains strong for those who were vaccinated many months ago.


Dr. Peter McCullough’s COVID-19 and Anti-Vaccine Theories
Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine against COVID is now being marketed under the name “Comirnaty” following FDA approval (Link). This isn’t a different vaccine. It’s the very same vaccine.

“The FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech product Comirnaty (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and the FDA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under EUA have the same formulation and can be used interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series without presenting any safety or effectiveness concerns. Therefore, providers can use doses distributed under EUA to administer the vaccination series as if the doses were the licensed vaccine. For purposes of administration, doses distributed under the EUA are interchangeable with the licensed doses.”

As far as liability is concerned, again, liability has been taken over by the government so that the vaccines can be made avaiable to everyone. Otherwise, only the rich would be able to afford vaccines.

Sure, this is the first time that mRNA technology has been used to produce a vaccine for the general public. However, it is not the first time that the mRNA technology itself has been successfully used.

Patisiran is based on the very same mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It uses lipid nanoparticles to deliver specially coded mRNA into human cells to produce the desire protein sequences to treat disease. About 1,000 people have been using Pitisiran since 2017. Now, the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 use two injects of 30μg (Pfizer) to 100μg (Moderna) of mRNA for each injection. In comparison, Patisiran uses around 100x this dose of mRNA, which gets injected intravenously every three months . . . indefinitely since 2017. And, this was done with good safety as well as efficacy results (Link).

So, it isn’t the mRNA technology that is a potential problem. This technology is demonstrably very safe and very effective indeed. The only real question, then, is in regard to the protein product of the vaccine – the “spike protein” in the case of the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. That’s really the only question here. And, the mRNA vaccines, producing the modified spike protein of COVID-19, have been extensively tested via large double-blinded placebo-controlled trials in both humans and animals – with amazing success regarding efficacy as well as safety. And, these results have continued on now that hundreds of millions of vaccines have been given worldwide. The fact of the matter is that hospital ICUs are currently filling up with those who are very sick and who are dying with COVID-19 (the Delta Variant right now). The significant majority of these people are unvaccinated. These ICUs are not filling up with the vaccinated at all. The vaccines are very clearly highly protective against serious COVID-19 infections. That’s the very clear weight of evidence that we have in hand.


Dr. Peter McCullough’s COVID-19 and Anti-Vaccine Theories
This presentation has so many sensational conspiracy theories in it that it’s hard to decide where to start. It’s all nonsense. The mRNA vaccines have nothing to do with CRSPR and cannot edit one’s DNA or epigenetics controls. Sure, CRSPR could be delivered via mRNA technology (Link), but this has nothing to do with the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.

“Last month, researchers used mRNA to deliver CRISPR gene-editing technology that could permanently treat a rare genetic disease in humans—an advance that experts say has implications far beyond the treatment of a single condition.” (Link)

There is also no “shedding” from the vaccinated person to any other person. And, “the Japanese study”, mentioned in the video by Dr. Fleming (hopefully no relation to you), deals only with the lipid nanoparticles, not the spike proteins, and only shows that a very tiny fraction of these lipid nanoparticles makes it beyond the injection site to travel to other parts of the body (Link). And, the antibodies produced in vaccinated people against the nucleocapsid as well as the spike protein is due to some vaccinated people having also been infected by the live COVID-19 virus (Link).

Also, this same Dr. Richard Fleming has a history of being convicted of health care, mail, and wire fraud (Link).

“A federal grand jury in Nebraska returned an indictment against Fleming on January 18, 2007, charging ten counts of health care fraud and three counts of mail and wire fraud. The health care fraud counts charged Fleming with submitting bills to insurance companies in 2002 for medical procedures, diagnostic heart tests, he had not actually performed. The mail and wire fraud counts charged Fleming with obtaining payment from a North Carolina soy food company in 2004 for product testing work he had not performed, and more specifically charged him with lying about whether he had performed the services he was paid for, and with creating and submitting false documents in order to cover up the fact that he had not done the work for which he had been paid. The case actually went to trial, which began on April 6, 2009, and the jury was deliberating on their verdict when Fleming pled guilty, admitting that he had committed both health care fraud and mail fraud.”

He’s just not a credible source on any of the claims he’s making – which are demonstrably false in any case.