Jordan Blackwelder wrote: By not allowing students to ask questions and …

Comment on La Sierra Academy students weigh in on creation/evolution debate by Sean Pitman, M.D..

Jordan Blackwelder wrote:

By not allowing students to ask questions and search for truth themselves how does one gain knowledge and grow as an individual?

Who is suggesting that students shouldn’t be allowed to ask questions and search for truth? Certainly not Shane. Where did you get such a notion?

Of course students should be allowed to ask questions and search for truth as best as they can. However, the whole point of having a Church school is so that the Church’s perspective can be provided in answer to any and all sincere questions. If we as Church members consider that the Church’s perspective is important to share with the world, then why should we hire those persons to teach our children who do not subscribe to this perspective? – who go about actively undermining that which we consider to be so important?

Your argument is like someone suggesting that medical students should be exposed to those who subscribe to all sorts of ideas on the practice of medicine, even to those persons who hold ideas about medical practice that are known to be harmful to patients. In other words, our medical schools should hire witch doctors, New Agers, and snake-oil peddlers to teach in the medical school classroom just so that students can better make up their own minds as to how best to practice medicine? Please…

If you really believe in something enough to develop a school to teach your children, you want the beneficial bias of your belief to be presented in your school. This isn’t a matter of suppressing questions. This is a matter of providing thoughtful and well-reasoned SDA-based answers to those questions. The student can still be taught how to think for his or herself at the same time, but bias cannot be avoided and is not necessarily bad. Presenting the student with a bias in a good direction is a very beneficial thing.

I for one believe that the bias that the SDA perspective has to offer, even in science, is an excellent bias for our young people – a bias to which they should be consistently exposed if it is to be effective in influencing their lives for the good…

Sean Pitman

Sean Pitman, M.D. Also Commented

La Sierra Academy students weigh in on creation/evolution debate
By the way, Eugene, I must say that I do agree with you when it comes to your views and many of your comments regarding A. Graham Maxwell’s Moral Influence Theory of Christ’s Atonement. Good work there on a very subtle and difficult problem for the SDA Church today…

Sean Pitman

La Sierra Academy students weigh in on creation/evolution debate

Eugene Shubert: I see the merit of their scientific philosophies and reject your ultra-fundamentalism. Instead of defining science with the certainty of irrefutable and unambiguous ideas, you want to reduce scientific creationism to what the Bible says. I simply can’t imagine well-informed Adventist scientists accepting your point of view.

Nothing in science is absolutely certain or irrefutable. The same is true of useful religious ideas. If anything were “irrefutable”, you wouldn’t need science to support it. Science is only needed when the data set that is available is limited and the prediction deduced from the limited data set less than certain. This is why a leap of faith is needed when it comes to arriving at conclusions in both science and religion. This is the reason why both science and useful forms of religion are in fact one in the same.

If you actually read the information on my website and knew me just a bit better, you’d know that I do not reduce creationism simply to “what the Bible says”. Creationism is based on empirical evidence that supports what the Bible says. This is the scientific basis for believing in the reliability of the biblical texts – testable empirical evidence that is potentially falsifiable.

Let me ask you, upon what basis do you believe in the existence of God? – or the reliability of the Bible as a Divinely inspired source of information? – warm fuzzy feelings? or empirical evidence of some sort? What is your “reason” for the “hope that is in you”? – upon what basis do you believe the dreams of your “prophet” are anything more than wild fantasy? – that they are in fact derived from God himself? Hopefully you have something more than warm fuzzy feelings – some actual scientific empirical testable potentially falsifiable evidence…

Sean Pitman

La Sierra Academy students weigh in on creation/evolution debate

Eugene Shubert: Sean,

It’s good that you believe the Bible but what evidence demonstrates that most believing Seventh-day Adventist scientists agree with your definition of a scientific theory?

A scientific theory is, by most definitions anyway, a process of inductive and/or deductive reasoning whereby a limited set of data is used to predict the future or the past with a measurable degree of predictive value in a potentially falsifiable manner.

Determining the reliability or dependability of a witness (which includes written texts) falls into the realm of science. Such a determination can be shown to carry a useful degree of predictive value and is therefore a form of science.

Sean Pitman

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman, M.D.

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
Yeah, well, it might help to actually understand the primary data one is looking at before one makes up his/her mind… which Dr. McCullough clearly doesn’t understand – particularly when it comes to the meaning of the VAERS data.

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
If you’re going to just present one side of an issue, just do that. Don’t bother citing your “academic” credentials and history of “always” trying to present a balanced perspective. And, don’t complain about others, like the mainstream media, doing the very same thing that you’re doing – presenting only one side of an issue.

Beyond this minor point, have you nothing of real substance or interest to say about the actual primary claims being made? about all the scientific data that appears to strongly counter the sensational claims that Dr. McCullough’s presented in this video?

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
Then don’t complain about others doing exactly what you’re doing…

Anyway, the real issue with the video is that the main claims are almost all completely false and those that are true are presented in a very misleading manner – which has the potential to harm or even kill people. That’s the real problem.

Now, I know that you’re a registered nurse and lifestyle director of the Eden Valley Institute of Wellness in Loveland, Colorado. And, that’s great! I would suggest to you, however, that excellent health would also help someone do very well with the mRNA vaccines. But why not just rely on excellent health alone? Doesn’t the Adventist Health Message completely negate the need for vaccines? Well, no, it doesn’t. I know of several very healthy vegans who have been seriously sicked by COVID-19 with some having sustained permanent and progressive injuries – and some have even died. So, I would suggest to do both – to follow the Health Message as carefully as possible and to take the mRNA vaccines. This will provide the greatest level of protection possible to our Adventist brothers and sisters. It’s certainly what Mrs. White advocated in her own day when smallpox was killing many people. She certainly wasn’t opposed to the smallpox vaccine and supported her own son William White getting vaccinated, along with his staff and associates (Link). And, her own secretary (D. E. Robinson) wrote that Mrs. White was also vaccinated for smallpox (Link).

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
That’s just it. Scott didn’t claim to “be providing a neutral platform”. He just complained about others not doing so, and then didn’t do so himself. He said that,

“I believe that everybody needs to hear both sides. My background in academics was in history, I was a history teacher. I got into ministry later in life… but I come from that academic background of dialogue and inquiry. And, as a history teacher, whenever I notice that maybe one side was getting a little more play and imbalance, and the other side had some valid and interesting things to bring to the table, whether I agreed with them or not, I would always want to give air to that other side – to let people think and evaluate for themselves and grant people that they are capable, that they are individuals with a mind, and can evaluate the evidence for themselves.”

Yet, immediately after saying all this about being all even-handed with presenting a topic, he immediately says that in this particular video, he’s “Looking forward to hearing another side of this discussion” – without actually evenhandedly presenting and/or discussing both sides for his audience to “evaluate the evidence for themselves”.

Again, I don’t mind if someone wants to present one particular side of a discussion. However, when someone states, upfront, that they are an “academic” who is all into presenting data on both sides of an issue so that people can make up their own minds, it comes across as a bit non-academic when only one side is then presented without any time given for anyone on the other side to address and give their own take on the claims being made.

COVID-19 and Vaccines – Update
As I’ve asked others, why do you think that the overall “all-cause” death rate in the United States, and around the world, suddenly spiked in March of 2020 if this pandemic we’re in is really no big deal? – if the death rates have been so exaggerated as you claim? If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, what else has killed off more than 600,000 people so far in this country alone (3.9 million worldwide)? – beyond what would usually be expected? (Link)

I’m sorry, but Dr. McCullough is basing his position off of a false interpretation of the VAERS data (maintained by the FDA and CDC by the way) and false interpretations of a few other papers as well, which he evidently doesn’t understand.