@Professor Kent: Personally, I would have liked to see Adventist …

Comment on La Sierra University won’t neglect creation teaching, president, chairman vow by Sean Pitman.

@Professor Kent:


Personally, I would have liked to see Adventist in High School attend La Sierra, where s/he would have rubbed shoulders with truly spiritual people who might have had a more positive experience on him/her than what s/he is getting here, or would get a public university.

Personally I would like to see anyone who actually wants to attend and learn of the Biblical world view in one of our SDA churches or schools to do so – by all means. However, if one does not wish to learn of the Biblical perspective or the Gospel message as seen through the eyes of the SDA Church, if all one wants to do is to hear more of the secular story of origins or learn more of secular goals and ideals, then why go to an SDA church or school? There are plenty of secular universities (and even other churches and church schools) that will give such a person exactly what he/she wants along these lines.

Our Church and church schools should be different from the rest. We should not be like these secular institutions or even other types of church schools that have already bought into the secular mindset on origins and other such popular ideas with the secular community…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

La Sierra University won’t neglect creation teaching, president, chairman vow
@Professor Kent:

God has given us the ability to put our emotions under the control of our minds. Emotions are not to govern the mind. Rather, the mind is to govern the emotions. We therefore need not and should not let our higher reasoning abilities be “hijacked” by our emotions.

There was no valid reason for Eve to have been tricked into sin. If there was, she would not have been guilty of sin. She had the clear weight of empirical evidence favoring the reliability of God’s love and His word.

For Eve to then act contrary to this weight of evidence because she personally desired for the words of the serpent to be true was therefore an act of selfishness – an act contrary to the love of what she knew to be true.

That, by definition, is sin – a deliberate rebellion against the Royal Law of Love. No one is really truly tricked into sin. Sin must be a deliberate rebellion against what is known to be true in order for the act to be sinful. After all, wasn’t it Jesus who said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin”? (John 9:41 NIV)

Professor Kent: “>You wrote in another post:

Oh really? How was the empirical evidence available to Noah any different than what we have today?

When was the last time you talked directly with God? When was the last time you went to the Garden of Eden and saw, with your own eyes, an angel with a flashing sword guarding the way? Have you lived several hundred years and experienced innumerable answers to prayer that could only have been the result of the miraculous hand of God? Noah could say yes to all of these questions. This is why Noah, even without the Bible, could rationally believe the Word of God as actually coming from a God who would bring to pass what he had promised – as He had done for Noah so many times before.

God knows that He must provide evidence of who He is before He can be rationally believed and trusted. God does not expect us to blindly follow all voices (or texts) claiming to be from God. He provides actual evidence that appeals to the candid mind. It is only in the rejection of such evidence that we fall into sin for deliberately rejecting what we rationally know to be true.

Let the reader compare Sean’s claims to the statement of Ellen White:

“BY FAITH Noah, being warned of God OF THINGS NOT SEEN AS YET [therefore lacking empirical evidence of validity], moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7. While Noah was giving his warning message to the world, his works testified of his sincerity. It was thus that his faith was perfected and made evident. HE GAVE THE WORLD AN EXAMPLE OF BELIEVING JUST WHAT GOD SAYS.(emphasis supplied) – EGW, PP chptr 7

Indeed. But, he believed based on the evidence, the empirical evidence, that he had experienced with God prior to building the Ark. He wasn’t following the direction of some strange voice coming to him out of nowhere. He had extensive experience with God that included abundant empirical evidence that God was someone who could be trusted and who was immensely powerful.

Sean, what would you advise Elder Neil Wilson if he announced that the SDA Church was going to engage in a massive fund-raising campaign and construction program to erect a massive dam around the entirety of Greenland’s coast, because, he claimed, God had appeared to him personally and instructed him to do this to save the planet from global warming, which the glacier ice melt would facilitate? Would you tell him to stick with trust in God’s word, or would you tell him to use his reason and all available empirical evidence to recognize the sheer absurdity of God’s instruction?

I would hope that he had been given a clear sign that what he heard was in fact the voice of God. Again, many voices falsely claim to be the Word of God. You have to be able to tell the true from the false. How is this done? Via the establishment of empirical evidence that appeals to the rational higher mind. Otherwise, you have no real basis for accepting one voice that claims to be the voice of God over any other voice claiming to be the voice of God.

And one more question: what would YOU have done if you were an antedulivian and heard Noah’s urging to join him and his family in the ark? Would you have listened to Noah (God’s word), or relied on your reason, your knowledge of scientifically based empirical evidence? After all, the world had never seen rain or a flood, much less a massive boat built far from the coast.

The entire world had seen an angel guarding the Garden entrance. Also, the entire world was show the miraculous sign of the animals going into the Ark via an unseen hand that should have been clear evidence of Noah’s connection with the Divine. Also, the entire world was well aware of the evil state of the world and that the words of Noah in this regard were empirically true. Because of this, the citizens of Nineveh who repented at the preaching of Jonah will stand up in the final judgment and condemn the antediluvian world who refused to repent at the preaching of Noah…

You seen the Antediluvian people were not destroyed so much because they didn’t get on the Ark. They were destroyed because their thoughts had become evil continually and they refused to repent of what they knew were their evil ways at the preaching of Noah.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


La Sierra University won’t neglect creation teaching, president, chairman vow
@Professor Kent:

Interpreting the meaning of Scripture is not the same thing as determining the credibility or reliability of what Scripture is saying. A novel or a fairytale can be internally consistent and its meaning clearly understood. A very well written internally consistent text claiming to be the Word of God doesn’t mean it actually is the Word of God. Bald claims simply aren’t enough to establish reliability because many falsely make such claims. Therefore, one must be able to make a determination between the false and the true based on some external reference – i.e., some actual external evidence that verifies the claim of a given individual or text.

Your argument that one must simply trust God doesn’t explain how one determines who, among many claimed representatives of God, is actually the true representative (such as the case of Elijah on Mt. Carmel). Upon what basis does one decide to trust one and not another? You have yet to seriously address this question.

Satan’s appeal to Eve was not based on the weight of empirical evidence. The weight of empirical evidence available to Eve was strongly in support of what she had been told by God. It was God, not the serpent, who had given abundant empirical evidence of his love, care, and creative power to both Adam and Eve. Eve wasn’t tricked for a lack of the clear weight of empirical evidence. She was tricked because she let her emotions overcome her higher reasoning capabilities. Satan appealed, not so much to her mind, but to her emotions.

In fact, it would have been wrong for God to punish Eve had He not already provided her with the abundant weight of evidence with regard to his own character and nature. The sin of Eve was in knowing who God was and His love for her, yet rejecting His love in an effort to selfishly try to acquire something that was not hers. In other words, she tried to steal from God in the full light of the empirical knowledge of God. She deliberately broke the Royal Law of Love.

She could not plead innocence due to ignorance or she would have done so. If she had truly been ignorant of the Royal Law, of having acted contrary to love for the One who had demonstrated overwhelming empirical evidence of His love for her, she would not have felt shame nor would she, together with Adam, have tried to hide from the face of God…

This is the danger of empirically-blind faith in anything. Such faith is emotion-driven. It isn’t based on God-given reasoning abilities to discern truth based on the weight of empirical evidence that he has provided to appeal to the candid mind.

“God gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence. God gives sufficient evidence for the candid mind to believe; but he who turns from the weight of evidence because there are a few things which he cannot make plain to his finite understanding, will be left in the cold, chilling atmosphere of unbelief and questioning doubts, and will make shipwreck of faith.”

– Ellen White, Testimonies Ibid., vol 3, p. 255; Ibid., vol. 5, p. 675., vol. 4, pp. 232, 233; Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 675, 676.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


La Sierra University won’t neglect creation teaching, president, chairman vow

Professor Kent:

I love empirical data myself, and engage in collecting or analyzing it on a regular basis. I think it can illuminate much about scripture. However, it cannot be put on equal footing or higher than God’s word. If scripture and empirical evidence conflict, the faithful SDA is going to choose God’s word regardless.

One cannot determine if Scripture is in fact likely to be God’s Word vs. other options without rational thought – rational thought that takes into account the overall weight of available evidence. Emotion-driven religion need not be based on rational thoughts or arguments or evidence of any kind; but emotions are also not a very reliable basis for much of anything.

For example, the founding fathers (and mother) of the SDA Church believed at one point that the Bible clearly said that Jesus would come in 1844. Well, Jesus did not come on 1844. The empirical evidence overwhelmingly falsified their Biblical interpretation.

The only reason why they did not give up on the Bible entirely is because the clear reading and interpretation of the Bible had proved so reliable in so many other instances where it could be tested against empirical reality. If all or even most other Biblical interpretations concerning empirical reality had failed just as miserably, no rational person would long be able to take it at face value as being the Word of God with any kind of reliability or predictive value with regard to any kind of truth whatsoever.


Unfortunately, there are certain SDA university faculty we’ve read much about here, and at least one SDA physician, who prioritize science and empirical data ahead of a simple “Thus saith the Lord.”

Anyone can say, “Thus saith the Lord” all day long. That phrase doesn’t mean anything by itself. It isn’t some magical chant. Prophets and all kinds of “Scriptures” claim to be from God. Yet, there are false prophets and false Scriptures and even false interpretations of true Scripture. How does one tell the true from the false? How is the Bible detected as being the one true ultimate revelation of God’s will? by which all other “revelations” can then be tested?

If one wishes to have a rational religion that is based on something more than wishful thinking and warm fuzzy feelings inside, one is forced to use one’s brain at least a little bit – i.e., to actually evaluate and test the Bible to “see if it is good” – to see if it is in fact what it claims to be. The Bible itself invites such empirical tests. It actually challenges its readers to put its own claims to the test and see if they are not true. The Bible bases its own claims on testable empirical realities that are open for all to investigate.

The truth really has nothing to fear from being put to the test. If God is the Truth, then He has nothing to fear from being put to the test either…

God knows and understands our subjective nature. That is why He does not judge us for being confused or making honest mistakes at times. We are only judged for making deliberate decisions against what we know to be true…

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.