Comment on Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers by Sean Pitman.
I agree with these points. It would be great if our schools would finance researchers who support a Biblical model of creationism and are active in trying to publish papers in science journals… such as Leonard Brand or Arthur Chadwick. Unfortunately, I’ve recently heard that Leonard Brand, in particular, is struggling to find funding to support active creation research. I’m sure he would appreciate any financial support he can get.
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Dr. Roth is not as far above the “fracas” here as you might imagine. 😉
I am sad today, because I think I’m coming to the end of my Adventist journey. I really did see ID as a sort of bridge between your faith and objective inquiry about a ‘Grand’ Design.
The science behind ID is indeed a very important bridge for a form of objective inquiry as an initial step toward finding God. After all, one must first believe that an intelligent designer of some kind must be responsible for various features of the universe before one can consider that perhaps a God or God-like being might have been responsible. And, one must then recognize that God actually exists before one can strive to have a personal relationship with God. It’s a stepwise process for many people.
Now, consider carefully what our friend Wes Kime is suggesting before you dismiss Adventism in general. Dr. Kime is suggesting that the objective evidence does not end with the discovery that ID is rationally required to explain certain features of the universe. There is also objective evidence to suggest the actual identity of the Designer – that the Designer of the universe and of life on this planet is in fact an omnipotent God who is personally interested in you and me.
It is in this sense that Adventist education should be in advance of secular education which has yet to even make the first rational step toward God by recognizing the need for any kind of designer behind any aspect of the universe in which we live. Harvard science professors are still struggling with the notion that mindless naturalistic mechanisms can explain it all. Adventist professors should not only have taken this step already, but should be well beyond the first few steps in finding God and in their ability to present evidence for His existence, identity, and character to their students… to include credible evidences for the Biblical perspective of origins.
The fact is that some of the most prominent academics in our church who still support the SDA position on origins not only support our efforts here at EducateTruth, but have contributed articles using their real name (like Dr. Arthur Chadwick) or under various pseudonyms.
Public association is one thing. Private association is another. While many do not feel at liberty to publicly associate themselves with our work here (for obvious reasons), most who still believe in SDA fundamentals (and who are aware of the longstanding situation at LSU and other places) feel that our work in providing enhanced transparency for what is being taught to our young people in our schools was/is necessary on some level.
I would also like to say that the work of Leonard Brand, Ariel Roth, Arthur Chadwick, Tim Standish, and the like, is extremely important to our Church. We are all deeply indebted to men like these who are actively striving to uphold the faith of our young people, and the church membership at large, with the use of rational empirically-based apologetic arguments…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…