Out of all the lecturers though there was only one …

Comment on LSU leaves out key facts by Carl.

Out of all the lecturers though there was only one that was sympathetic the Seventh-day Adventist position on creation. But even he admitted he couldn’t reconcile science and the Bible. This was Ben Clausen from GRI.

Now, isn’t that odd: A man from GRI whose job description is to inform the SDA position on creation (which he does well) and he was so honest that “he admitted he couldn’t reconcile science and the Bible.” Perhaps there are good reasons why he admitted such a thing.

As I’ve said elsewhere, if someone can present a workable short-history model for the earth and its life, the nature of this argument will change radically. Our problem is that we have no short-history model nor even a suggestion of how to develop one.

Sean Pittman has presented many criticisms of the standard model. but that does not make it wrong and it certainly does not constitute an alternative model. Just saying that some data fit into a short chronology does not fit all of the other data into the same chronology.

If anyone, Sean Pittman or anyone else, could present a short-history model, you would see a great response from SDA scientists including LSU science faculty members. That would be exciting and wonderful. I grew up hoping and believing that someone would do it.

Robert Brown (physicist, former GRI director and a hero of mine) couldn’t do it;
Robert Gentry couldn’t do it;
Ariel Roth (former GRI director) couldn’t do it;
James Gibson (present GRI director) hasn’t done it;
Richard Hammil said he found no one who could do it;
Ray Cottrell (Assoc Editor of the SDA Bible Commentary) said that he knew of no one who could do it;
Peter Edger Hare couldn’t do it.

In short, many have tried, but no one has succeeded in explaining either geology or biology within a short history (about 10,000 years). The basic nature of the problem has little to do with evolution. There are just many hundreds or thousands of scientific observations that are best explained by long periods of time. Of course there are major catastrophes that come along a do some things rapidly. But that doesn’t explain all of the other things that take time.

The ice cores reveal what are believed to be 800,000 successive annual layers. Suppose that the number is terribly wrong, maybe by a factor of 10. That’s still 80,000 annual layers. And, these are layers that were not covered by a flood about 4,000 years ago. Where is the record of the Flood in the ice layers? Where is the record of the Flood in the geologic column? It’s not there. For every suggestion, there are many objections. If those layers were formed quickly, why don’t they contain the expected distribution of pollen spores?

I’ve asked many SDA scientists, What positive evidence can you give that there was a world-wide flood within the last 10,000 years? There is usually a pause followed by, “I don’t know of any such evidence. There are reasons to doubt parts of the standard model, such as para-conformities, but there is no evidence for a flood that fits the Genesis description.”

But, there is scientific evidence for a local flood of the Black Sea at about the same time as Noah’s Flood. Read the book “Noah’s Flood,” by Ryan and Pitman, and see for yourself. Then ask yourself, “What should LSU be teaching about earth history?”

If you have a scientific model for a short chrnology, bring it on. I am one who would be excited to hear about it.

Carl Also Commented

LSU leaves out key facts

You evidently misunderstood Elaine’s position on the age of life on Earth. She strongly believes in a literal creation week. She writes:

Did I say something about her position on Creation Week?

LSU leaves out key facts

You are too impressed my mainstream scientists to grasp the model that is right before your eyes.

You are quite wrong in your evaluation of what impresses me. What most impresses me is that when I ask SDA scientists about a short-history model, no one has yet presented one or claimed to know someone who could present one. There are ideas, speculations and hopes floating around. Paleocurrents look intersting, but I haven’t heard how they might fit into a time sequence with all of the other things that must be accounted for: volcanic eruptions, contintntal movements, impact craters, etc.

I once heard Elaine Kennedy talk. She was very clearly a short chronologist, but to the best of my memory was also very clear that short did not mean about 10,000 years. I remember multiple tens of thousands of years, maybe as much as 100,000 years. At that point, I say, why bother? If it’s at least 30,000 years for human life (as the cave evidence indicates), then Genesis 1-11 should not be taken literally.

Until hearing from you, I have never known of anyone who had so many answers and was so sure that they were correct. However, since you also claim to know what I am thinking and are so clearly wrong, I do not find you to be credible. Your only contribution is to say that things can happen quickly, but that was never in doubt to begin with.

LSU leaves out key facts

Your mode of thinking reminds me of those who opposed J Harlen Bretz for so many decades in the interpretation of the formation of the Scablands as requiring many millions of years of time…

And, when did the Bretz floods occur? Yes, we got past the mistake of thinking the Scablands were really old. I think it’s pretty well agreed that they were formed by floods about 12,000 years ago. How does that fit into your short-history model? Must be after Noah’s Flood just like the Black Sea flood. So, how far back was Noah’s Flood?

Recent Comments by Carl

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’

These layers should have been washed away many times over by now. That’s the problem.

Well — maybe. I’d say the real problem for your position is that no one has proposed a comprehensive model that can explain the evidence of geology within about 10,000 years. That is such a huge problem that I don’t know why we are talking about anything else. The evidence for life beyond 10,000 years is massive as compared to the few objections that Sean has collected.

Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’

I understand better how you have reached your conclusions. You have a powerful bias that the Bible must be literal history, and that predisposition has driven much of your scientific thinking. What still mystifies me is that you attempt to take the open issues of science and use them as an argument that a short history is equally as believable (I think you claim more believable) as a long history. That is one huge leap.

I’ve read parts of your personal Web site, and it seems to me that you have failed to establish your points. In what you have written, I have found no compelling evidence to believe a short history. You do well in raising doubts about the standard model, but doubts on one side are not a convincing argument on the other side.

You do not have any detectable theory of how the earth could possibly come to be as it is within about 10,000 years. Your discussion above again misses the major issue. The evidence that is at odds with a short history is much greater than the evidence that is at odds with a long history. You have come nowhere close to showing otherwise. Ten thousand years is a very short period of time.

Report on LSU constituency meeting
Here’s a link for Hammill’s interesting report:


Report on LSU constituency meeting

Not found in Adventist literature.
Not found in Quiquinium voted documents.
So “general” as in you and a few of your closes friends?
How is that “general”?

The Consultant Committee on Geoscience Research was terminated and a new emphasis was instituted for staff activities. Research tended to concentrate on selected areas where the data were most supportive of the 6,000-year biblical chronology of Bishop Ussher. Before long, the tacit policy arrived at in the 1950s during the General Conference presidency of W. H. Branson (to the effect that the 6,000-year chronology need not be emphasized in Seventh-day Adventist publications) was abandoned. (Richard Hammill, AAF Spectrum, Vol 15, No. 2 p 41)

I did not know Dr Hammill personally, so, no, this wasn’t cooked up among my closest friends.

Report on LSU constituency meeting
@Art Chadwick:

The theology department has preceded the sciences by some year in losing confidence in the Scriptures and in promoting belief in naturalism.

Here again is the suggestion that we must interpret Scripture literally or else we are “losing confidence” in them. I think it often works the other way around. By insisting on literal details, we can miss the most important point and make it more difficult to believe.

The tragedy of this Web site is that it thwarts the creative thinking that we need for dealing with modern science issues. It’s not an easy problem, and the success of this site will drive many thinking people into seclusion. That’s where we’ve been for decades.

In the 1950s, there was a general understanding that Adventist literature would not emphasize a 6000 year history. President Robert Pierson brought that to an end and set us on a path to avoid any science that we did not like. The result is that many Adventists are very suspicious of science and scientists.

If truth has nothing to fear from examination, which sometimes seems to be a Adventist assumption, I say it’s time to stop trying to fix LSU. Students are pretty good at figuring out who to believe. So, if you’re afraid to think out of the box, go where you’ll be told what to think. If you want think it out for yourself, go where the box has been opened.

I have little doubt that Geanna, Adventist Student, and many others will figure things out with or without the “help” of the reformers sponsoring and speaking on this site.