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

By Sean Pitman

On a rather notorious pro-evolution website, “Panda’s Thumb”, there is an interesting blog presented by mainstream professors who were asked to speak at both La Sierra University and Pacific Union College. Here is what they had to say about their experience at our universities:

Seventh-Day Adventists Split Over Evolution?

Regarding La Sierra University:

Last fall I gave several guest lectures on evolution, geology, and magnetic stratigraphy to the LSU campus, and found that the biology faculty were all legitimate biologists who practiced normal science and rejected all vestiges of YEC in their teaching and research. Several were quite successful in getting NSF grants for their research, and had a good track record in legitimate peer-reviewed publications on herpetology, molecular biology, etc.

Dr. Prothero

They would teach classes which were completely in line with conventional evolutionary biology, always forced to introduce their material with nods to Church teaching but demanding that their students understand legitimate evolutionary biology and be able to show their understanding on exams and papers, even if they didn’t agree with it.

It’s scary to see these legitimate scientists now threatened by the Neanderthals in the LSU board who want to drag it back into the Middle Ages–something that none of them thought would happen when I met with them last fall…

Donald Prothero | November 18, 2009 | 9:47 PM

Dr. Prothero is a Professor of Geology at Occidental College and Lecturer in Geobiology at Caltech. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 21 books and almost 200 scientific papers, including five leading geology textbooks and three trade books. He has served as an associate or technical editor for Geology, Paleobiology, and Journal of Paleontology. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, and the Linnaean Society of London.

Regarding Pacific Union College:

Nick Matzke

In 2006, Wes Elsberry and I were invited to come to PUC and debate evolution for part of a student-organized speaker series. We were initially hesitant, since we are generally skeptical of debating creationists. However, after some discussion with the organizers, we grudgingly signed up, since it seemed like there was some chance for a reasonable discussion rather than just a Gish-gallop debate. Wes and I drove up to PUC – but, aware of the YECiness of Adventists, we went in as armed to the teeth as academics can be, with huge powerpoint files solely devoted to putting evidence for the age of the earth and common ancestry as bluntly and non-deniably as possible. When I spoke, I popped the slides up one-by-one and used the basic refrain, “Here are the hard facts. If this evidence has been hidden from you before now by your teachers and professors, you should ask yourself why.” It was pretty much a go-in-with-blazing-guns strategy.

Dr. Elsberry

However, as the discussion ensued, the students, and some of the professors, had some news for me. “You’ve got us all wrong,” they said. “We’re not all old-fashioned young-earth creationists and anti-evolutionists here, that’s an old stereotype about Adventists.” (Note: this is not a direct quote, rather it is just the gist of what I remember hearing.) Subsequent discussion indicated that many of the students & profs were reasonably well-informed about evolution and not really skeptical of it. After some interesting chats, Wes and I drove home, shaking our heads and commenting that if Seventh Day Adventists were becoming OK with evolution, we should keep our eyes open for flying pigs and freezing hells.

So, anyway, the point is: watch out Hilde & McPherson! It looks like Pacific Union College isn’t safe, either! Light the torches and sharpen the pitchforks!

Nick Matzke | November 18, 2009 | 2:09 AM

Nickolas Matzke is currently a doctoral student in evolutionary biology at the University of California, Berkeley.  He  is the former Public Information Project Director at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and served an instrumental role in NCSE’s preparation for the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial.

Dr. Wesley Royce Elsberry is a marine biologist with an interdisciplinary background in zoology, computer science, and wildlife and fisheries sciences. He has also become publicly involved in the creation-evolution controversy.

Note: For those who might be interested, I’ve personally debated Nick Matzke regarding his theories on bacterial flagellar evolution (see review).

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380 thoughts on “Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’

  1. @krissmith777:

    There is nothing in the context that even implies that the Nephilim that existed after were different from the ones who existed before. You’re reading that into the text despite it not even being there.

    The context is the worldwide Flood that the author of Genesis claims destroyed all land animal life save the lives on those on the Ark. The vast majority of Hebrew scholars (conservative and liberal) agree with me on this one – that the author of Genesis intended to convey a universal destruction of all human and land animal life on Earth… save that on the Ark.

    I’m sorry, but you are straining the obvious interpretation of the text far beyond what it actually says…

    Now, why would Moses (who lived between somewhere between 1500 and 1290 write about pre-flood people’s in the present?

    For a number of reasons. People often write historical accounts using present tense. The context is still quite clear that it is a historical account even those present tense words are used.

    It is true that fresh water can deposite organic material, but your claim that the there were no salt water bodies or great ocreans before the flood is contradicted by the Bible itself Genesis 1:10 implies otherwise. And since many Creationist simply that the land was what we now call pengea, that would imply that like today, there was more water covering most of the earth’s surface from the get-go.

    Genesis only mentions four great rivers existing before the Flood as well as small “seas”. Mrs. White mentions that small shallow seas also existed, but that there were no great oceans at all. John, in Revelation where he talks about the New Earth, also mentions that there will be “no more sea” – i.e., no more huge oceans covering the planet when it is remade into its original condition (Revelation 21:1 NIV). It also did not rain before the Flood. The Earth was watered by morning dew, not rain. If there had been large oceans before the Flood as exist today, rain could not have been avoided.

    In short, most of the surface of the Earth was originally covered by land, not water, before the Flood. The water before the Flood was largely subterranean and supplied the “fountains of the great deep”.

    This is like asking “Is water flow the result of rock erosion?” The molton liquid under the crust (like water) is just that: A liquid. The molton liquid is the remnant of what the earth was made of. The molton liquid is below the curst of the earth, and therefore it was there BEFORE the crust. As water naturally has currents, the molton liquid would also have currents…even before the crust formed. Therefore most liklely the currents are NOT the result of the plates moving, but the other way around.

    According to mainstream literature these currents are not powerful enough to drive continental drift and no one really knows what caused the currents – i.e., if they are really involved as a driving force in continental drift or are simply a result of continental drift. After all, as a paddle moves through the water with each stroke, it produces currents in the water. The currents are a result, not a cause, of the paddle being moved through the water.

    Considering that Young Earth Creationists (many at least) were the first to insist that Plate Tectonics began at a rapid pace during the flood and slowed since, it’s actually kind of funny that you’re saying this.

    There is very good evidence to support this hypothesis…

    Only about 2 billion metric tons of sediment are subducted or “recycled” each year leaving some 28 billion metric tons to build up on the ocean floor each year. This means that the current ocean sediment (~10^17 tons) would have been deposited in just ~15 million years. – Sean Pitman

    The present erosion rates are somewhat due to the present rate of mountains forming. The continents are much more dynamic than you give them credit for. And it isn’t just recycled matarial, but ALSO NEW material that gets introduced from the earth’s mantle that continually maintain the continents.

    Maintaining the continents doesn’t explain how the sedimentary layers are maintained on top of the cotinents. Also, the above listed argument has nothing to do with explaining how the continents are maintained. This argument has to do with the rate of sediment accumulation within the oceans. In other words, there isn’t nearly enough sediment in the oceans if the oceans really are hundreds of millions of years old as mainstream scientists believe.

    Saying the rate of erosion is much greater than the rate of recycled materials and the materials from the interior of the earth can replace them would also beg the question: If that is true, then how do volcanic islands (like Hawaii) manage to form and remain above the furface for more than a couple million years. The oldest inhabited Hawaiian Island is 3.3 million years old, and the Island of Maui (the youngest island) is 1.3 milion years old. Assuming that your figure is correct and considering that they are MUCH SMALLER than any continent, it’s unthinkable that they wouldn’t have have already have been submerged. — Lisianski Island is between 19.9 and 20.6 million years old. If the rate of erosion would have caused the continents to have been eroded away the continents in 15 million years, then why can’t it even completely erode a small island (much smaller than a continent) in 20 million years? By all rights, it should be long gone.

    If tens of millions of years have in fact transpired these islands (with inactive volcanos) should be eroded flat by now. The fact that they aren’t strongly suggests that they aren’t that old. The same is true for the continents themselves which all suffer significant coastal erosion.

    Beyond this, you completely missed the point of the original argument – the argument having to do with the lack of expected ocean sediment if the oceans really are hundreds of millions of years old. The oceans should be choked with sediment by now. Where did it all go? – since the current amount of sediment in the ocean basins can be easily explained within 15 million years?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  2. Kris quotes Gen 6 — Genesis 6:4 says they were on the earth AFTER as well!
    ———————- endquote

    Sean said —
    Indeed. There were giants before and after the Flood. Note also that the author of Genesis explains very clearly that all human and land animal life, save those on the Ark, was destroyed by the Flood. You’re trying to make the author seem inconsistent beyond the fact that you’re distorting the text beyond what it is really saying.
    ==============================================end quote

    BobRyan said –

    As has already been pointed out almost half-a-dozen times – by different posters so far. The text of Gen 6:4 does not say “and AFTER the flood” (though it is certainly true that they existed after the flood – since Noah was in fact pre-flood Nephilim). Rather the Gen 6:4 text says that BEFORE the “sons of God” descendants of Seth – married with the “daughters of men” descendants of Cain, there were Nephilim and also “AFTERward WHEN the sons of God came to the daughters of men” that there were also Nephilim.
    The Nephilim argument for the T.E. POV does not work.

    Kris said –
    There is nothing in the context that even implies that the Nephilim that existed after were different from the ones who existed before.

    Only if you “ignore the text” where we find that all life on land with the breath of life in it – died in the flood!

    There is so much “ignore the Bible” that is required in your “local mesopotamian” flood idea that it is truly amazing to the unbiased obective reader.

    Noah was Nephilim as were all who lived before the flood and as were all the immediate descendants of Noah.

    Amazing how the T.E. POV struggles with almost every detail in scripture.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  3. Now, why would Moses (who lived between somewhere between 1500 and 1290 write about pre-flood people’s in the present?

    Correction.

    Moses lived between 1560 – and 1440 B.C.

    Moses wrote about Creation week that happened around 4000 B.C not because he lived at that time – but because prophecy by definition is from God.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  4. @Sean Pitman,

    Genesis only mentions four great rivers existing before the Flood as well as small “seas”. Mrs. White mentions that small shallow seas also existed, but that there were no great oceans at all.

    As I’ve said in a former comment, I am skeptical of Ellen White.

    Interestingly enough, the four rivers are well accounted in modern geography/geology. In the middle east near the Persian Gulf, two fossil rivers have been found by satalites that match the description of the Gion and Pishon which happen to join the Tigris and the Euphrates where the Pursian Gilf is now. These rivers and fossil rivers match the Biblical description..What’s more, the Bible gives geographic locations for the rivers that were known in post-flood times by the near-easterners themselves…Together that indicates that the flood did not alter the geology/geography, not to mention it still supports a local flood. I know you could argue that it is not the same Tigris, Eupheates, Gihon and Pishon…but there is no reason to believe that, and it hardly accounts for the fact that the Bible itself says that the Gihon flowed in Cush (Persia), that the Tigris flows towards Assyria, etcetera, etcetera (Genesis 2: 10-14) To say othersise, that these rivers didn’t really flow in the areas that the ancient writters knew of in the post-flood world is the same as saying that the Genesis account is wrong…something I am not going to do.

    According to mainstream literature these currents are not powerful enough to drive continental drift and no one really knows what caused the currents – i.e., if they are really involved as a driving force in continental drift or are simply a result of continental drift.

    You are arguing from ignorance. Besides, nobody has ever said they are the only possible mechanisms for sea floor spreading. We may not fully understand the details, but the hardly represents support for your view.

    There is very good evidence to support this hypothesis…

    That “hypothesis” makes two notable predictions:

    1. What does this predict about volcanic island chains caused by “hot spots”? — Rapid “catastrophic” plate tectonics would move on a massive scale in year, as Noah’s Flood lasted for a year… If this is true, then there would be no underground mounds (which are the remains of former Islands) what have been caused by volcanic activity under the surface.

    2. What about the age of the sea beds? — The age of MOST of the ocean floor should be demonstrated to be approxamately the same age, within a year.

    The results come in negative:

    1. the remains of underwater island chains which were formed by “hot spot” volcanos are inconsistent with “catastrphic” plate tectonics. –The Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain itself indicates long, gradual plate tectonics. — The chain originates a bit south of the Bering Strait, and continues before taking an “L” shape to continue to where the Hawaiian Islands are now. They were all formed by the same “Hot Spot” volcanoe as the plates traveled on over it. — If this had happened within the space of a year, then that means that the plate was moving at a rate of 750 centimeters a minute!!!! That is the same as 25 feet a minute! With that in mind, the hot spot would never have had the time to create the ungerground mounds…even if it could have left a trail, it would not be what we see today. (A while ago, when I was considering and was opened to the idea of “Flood Geology,” I tried to harmonize this particular fact with a year flood…I couldn’t.)

    2. The second prediction of the age of the sea floors being almost consistently the same is also a failure. The closer to a mis-ocean ridge we get to, the younger the rocks get. The farther we get, the older the materials get. These ages are separated by long periods of time.

    Map of the ocean basins by age: http://www.uhh.hawaii.edu/~kenhon/GEOL205/Chain/ocean-crust-pacific-age.jpg

    Also, the above listed argument has nothing to do with explaining how the continents are maintained. This argument has to do with the rate of sediment accumulation within the oceans. In other words, there isn’t nearly enough sediment in the oceans if the oceans really are hundreds of millions of years old as mainstream scientists believe.

    Some parts of the sea basins are younger than others…. But this argument can be accounted for bt the fact that (as given in the map i linked above), A LOT of the ocean floors ARE NOT “hundreds of millions” of years old, as you put it. — A lot of it is between 0 to 40 million years old, some of it is between 70 to 100 million years old, hence MOST of it is relatively younger than what your argument assumes. The oldest parts of the sea floor are dated between 120 to 150 million years, but that is a minority of the sea floor. — Considerng this, and ASSUMING that the “sediment” thinckness is even representative for age, we would only expect the thickest sedements on a minority of the sea floor, not the majority. The sedimentation rate would vary from that.

    If tens of millions of years have in fact transpired these islands (with inactive volcanos) should be eroded flat by now. The fact that they aren’t strongly suggests that they aren’t that old.

    Sean…the fact that volcanic islands can form new land is enough to prove that the process for recycling and using new materials is greater than the erosion rate. Or else, no new island could form as the erosion would out do the land that DID manage to get formed fight after…It would ofset it before an island could even form.

    Where did it all go? – since the current amount of sediment in the ocean basins can be easily explained within 15 million years?

    Different Young Earth Creationists (like Kent Hovind) say 30 million years, and you say 15 million years. I don’t know which figure to trust. –Besides, you seem to not understand that Plate Tectonics has been going on since the first continents even formed, and these processes have a hand in dismantling parts of the sea floor and creating new sea floor. The sea floor from, for example, the Cambrian period is NO LONGER on the sea floor, and as a result, we have no sea floor that is 445 million years old because plate tectonics ran it’s course. (continents during the Cambrian: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~rcb7/540moll.jpg )

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  5. @ Bob Ryan

    How about the Church Manual – point #1 in the section on church discipline? “Reasons for .. Discipline” The first reason is “Denial of the faith in the fundamentals of the gospel and in the cardinal doctrines of the Church or teaching doctrines contrary to the same”.

    If we enforced this, we’d have to toss out Sean Pitman for placing his faith in modern-day science ahead of Scripture (which undermines FB#1). Is this necessary? I don’t think so. I think the Church is big enough for both you and Sean. We need to focus on expanding, rather than contracting, the fold of believers.

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  6. Kent — if that is your euphamism for saying that you do not agree with the Church manual – ok. I just wanted to if this was the route the T.E. argument inside the SDA church is willing to go.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  7. Moses lived within 1000 year of the flood – and Noah’s sons lived for about 500 years after the flood. Shem dies just before Jacob is born to Isaac.

    Amram – Noah’s father is alive while Levi is still living and Levi was alive at the same time as Isaac. So there is a living chain from Shem to Isaac to Levi to Amram. The history of the earth as revealed to Moses by God Himself is made all the more real by the fact that his own family line extends so near to the flood event itself. So no wonder Moses presents facts as if those of his generation are aware of the people and the places.

    But what is even more facinating is the fact that these Bible facts are so clear – that everyone agrees to them – at least to a point. The result is that we never hear of a story that goes like this “I used to believe in a real 7 day creation week – until I read the Bible”. No – not even our most diehard SDA T.E’s come here with such a story.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  8. @Sean Pitman,

    As a supliment on the identification of the rivers in my last.. The term “Cush” is an ambigous one. The Bible sometimes associates it with the any country south of Isreal, though somethimes south of Egypt, and sometimes even associates the term with modern Iran. (Link: http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/C/Cush/ ) –The reason it is assumed here that it is in modern Iran is because of the proximity that is implied with Assyria relative to the Tigris River.

    Another reason it is assumed to be in Modern Iran is because the other river (The Pishon) is said to have flown from Havilah which the Bible places “east of Egypt” (1 Samuel 15:7) and therefore in the Arabian Dessert.

    –Sorry, I should have put this in my former comment as well.

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  9. Sorry to disappoint you, Bob, but I have spent some time with the Church manual and greatly appreciate it. I have no disagreements with it.

    I know you so dearly want to believe I’m a lost evolutionist, to be cast aside at the curb, but you seem to struggle with certain concepts, particularly a simple “thus saith.” So once again, thus saith I, I am a Seventh-day Adventist creationist.

    For all you know, you will have to suffer with me sitting beside you in Church one day. Actually, I would enjoy the experience. Two souls who share the very same beliefs and passion, worshiping together with the other saints.

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  10. By the way, Bob, if you became convinced that the weight of the evidence did not support a short chronology, would you conclude the Bible was unreliable and walk away from the SDA Church, and from Christianity?

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  11. @ Sean Pitman

    You don’t seem to grasp the SDA concept of “Present Truth”. Our understanding of truth does in fact change over time as does our understanding of the weight of evidence in support of that “Present Truth”. The SDA Church recognizes the progressive nature of human understanding of truth. What did it for my grandfather may not be enough given the additional information that is known today…

    “Present Truth” has absolutely NO BEARING whatsoever on whether the Bible–the basis of our Christian faith–can be believed or not. Your continued insistence that modern science must verify the Bible to believe its claims is so very clearly undermining Fundamental Belief #1.

    How strange that dozens of people can visit this site, read the material, accuse anyone thought to be undermining SDA Fundamental Belief #6 of being a heretic, and then not offer so much as a whimper of protest that the chief accuser himself is SO OBVIOUSLY undermining Fundamental Belief #1. Some have even defended your views!

    Why don’t tell us you have changed your mind, Sean, and now recognize that THE BIBLE CAN BE BELIEVED REGARDLESS OF WHAT MODERN SCIENCE TELLS US, and that you would NEVER walk away from Adventism or Christianity if the physical evidence failed to support a young earth, a flood that covered every inch of land, or a virgin birth and bodily ascension of Jesus.

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  12. Oink, if you became convinced that the weight of the evidence did not support a short chronology, would you conclude the Bible was unreliable and walk away from the SDA Church, and from Christianity?

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  13. @Professor Kent,

    By the way, Bob, if you became convinced that the weight of the evidence did not support a short chronology, would you conclude the Bible was unreliable and walk away from the SDA Church, and from Christianity?  (Quote)

    I find it really sad and disheartening that there are those that would base their faith in Jesus Christ on whether or not the chronologies in the Bible are complete. The message of Jesus Christ is not either authenticated or disproven by any perception of how long out planet has been here; whether it has been 6,000 years of 4.5 billion years. I know there are some that will disagree with me on this, but that’s them.

    I would wonder…For someone to turn away from God over a matter such as chronology…how strong would their faith have been in the first place?

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  14. @Professor Kent:

    “Present Truth” has absolutely NO BEARING whatsoever on whether the Bible–the basis of our Christian faith–can be believed or not. Your continued insistence that modern science must verify the Bible to believe its claims is so very clearly undermining Fundamental Belief #1.

    If wishing were horses, beggars whould ride…

    The SDA Church’s position on “present truth” is not based on wishful thinking, but on the weight of evidence – i.e., the Church’s current understanding of the totality of the “weight of evidence”. In other words, the Church’s “present truth” position is claimed to be evidence-based where the Church follows what it percieves, as an organization, to be the weight of evidence.

    What this means then is that there is at least the potential, in theory, for change… even falsification of prior positions given “new light”. This means that the Church has taken on risk with regard to its opinions on what is and what is not “true”. It has admitted that there is the possiblity of error and modification.

    This means, of course, that an understanding of “present truth”, and the
    “weight of evidence” upon which it is based, does indeed have a bearing on if the Bible, specifically certain Biblical interpretations unique to the SDA Church, can be rationally believed at the present time – – or are we really just beggars wishing for horses?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  15. @ Sean Pitman

    This means, of course, that an understanding of “present truth”, and the “weight of evidence” upon which it is based, does indeed have a bearing on if the Bible, specifically certain Biblical interpretations unique to the SDA Church, can be rationally believed at the present time – – or are we really just beggars wishing for horses?

    So…if the Church decides that modern-day evidence favors an old-life chronology, it needs to abandon its young-life interpretation–regardless of what the Bible or Ellen White have said? And, in the meanwhile, those who are open to the possibility of abandoning it, or who see the evidence as weak or contradictory, are heretics deserving public flogging until the overall Church sees it the same way? They are heretics merely because they are seeking “present truth?” Surely you should extend them the same grace you give yourself for exploring “present truth.”

    Your views are very interesting, Sean. They are certainly very convoluted as well. To be frank, I think you are persecuting those who disagree with you merely because they disagree with you.

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  16. I wrote

    Why don’t you tell us you have changed your mind, Sean, and now recognize that THE BIBLE CAN BE BELIEVED REGARDLESS OF WHAT MODERN SCIENCE TELLS US, and that you would NEVER walk away from Adventism or Christianity if the physical evidence failed to support a young earth, a flood that covered every inch of land, or a virgin birth and bodily ascension of Jesus.

    Can’t muster yourself to do it?

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  17. @krissmith777:

    As I’ve said in a former comment, I am skeptical of Ellen White.

    That much is clear…

    Interestingly enough, the four rivers are well accounted in modern geography/geology. In the middle east near the Persian Gulf, two fossil rivers have been found by satalites that match the description of the Gion and Pishon which happen to join the Tigris and the Euphrates where the Pursian Gilf is now.

    It couldn’t be that rivers that were created after the Flood were given the same names as the major rivers that existed before the Flood? – even though they weren’t really the same rivers at all?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  18. @Sean Pitman,

    It couldn’t be that rivers that were created after the Flood were given the same names as the major rivers that existed before the Flood? –even though they weren’t really the same rivers at all?

    I don’t understand how anyone could argue that they are not the same rivers. The the descriptions of the rivers as given in Genesis of where they flowed matches the areas as indicated by the sattalite pictures.

    And here’s something that can fit into your theology: According to Professor Juris Zarins (who made the discovery) of Missouri State University, even though the four rivers don’t meet today, THEY DID 6,000 to 7,000 years ago when the sea levels were lower. At that time, they met from four separate directions and merged into one, just as the Bible says: “Now a river went out from Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four [river] heads.” (Genesis 2:10 Amplified Bible) As also said, since the Pishon is said to flow to Eden from the land of Havilah (Genesis 2:11) which is identified in the Bible as “east of Egypt” (1 Samuel 15:7) therefore flowing from the Arabian dessert…which is EXACTLY what the satalite pictures indicate…the thought that these rivers are not the same rivers really puts a massive strain on credulity.

    Suggesting that the rivers were “re-created” sounds dangerously close to arguements such as “God erased the evidence” as it would imply he similar imply similarities. Not to mention, it also begs the question: What about the countries that they are associated with in the text of the Bible? Assyria is associated with the Tigris in Genesis 2:14; was Assyria re-created too? What Havilah (in Saudi Arabia) re-created?

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  19. @krissmith777:

    Different Young Earth Creationists (like Kent Hovind) say 30 million years, and you say 15 million years. I don’t know which figure to trust.

    Do the math yourself. It’s relatively simple:

    We know how much sediment is being deposited in the oceans on a yearly basis (~30 billion metric tons). We know how much sediment is being removed from the oceans by subduction (~2 billion tons). This leaves ~28 billion tons to increase on the ocean floor every year.

    Right off the bat this presents a problem. After all, at the rate of 28 billion tons per year (~13 km^3 of sediment) all of the ocean basins (total volume of ~1550 million km^3) could be completely filled with sediment in just under 120 million years – completely filled!

    So, how much sediment is on the ocean floor right now?

    The average sediment thickness over the entire ocean (shallow and deep) is about 1.7 kilometers according to the following reference:

    http://www3.ncc.edu/faculty/bio/fanellis/biosci119/SEDIMENTS.htm

    Given this reference, one can calculate the volume of ocean sediments simply by multiplying the average thickness (~1.7 kilometers) by the area of the world ocean (335 million square kilometers). The calculation shows that ~570 million cubic kilometers of sediment are present on the ocean floor. Next, we can estimate the mass of ocean sediments by multiplying the volume of sediments (~570 million cubic kilometers) by the average sediment density (~2.2 billion tons/cubic kilometer) for a total mass of ocean sediments of ~1e18 tons.

    Given information on how much sediment is currently on the ocean floor (~1e18 tons), how much time would it have taken to deposit the current ocean sediments? If we have 28 billion tons per year building up without removal from the oceans (only ~2 tons of the 30 deposited are removed per year), we just take 1e18 / 28e9 = ~35 million years (in line with Hovind’s estimate)

    Now, my original estimate of ~15 million years to produce the current sediment load in the oceans is based on Khain et al (1971) who calculated a total ocean sediment load of 277 million cubic kilometers (~48% of the generous sediment load assumed by Hovind and others). This sediment load within the oceans could be explained in just 17 million years at current deposition rates. Note also that the average thickness of ocean sediment listed above at 1.7 kilometers is an unconsolidated thickness. Consolidation to rock (assumed by the rest of the calculation) would cut the average thickness, and therefore time to formation, in half (consistent with my original estimate quoted for you earlier in this thread of ~15 million years).

    If the current sediment load can be explain by ~15 million years of sediment deposition, what does that say about the mainstream argument that Pangea split up some 200 million years ago? – not to mention all the time since oceans supposedly first formed and continental drift started taking place (some 4 billion years plus years ago according to mainstream thinking).

    Now, the question I think you’re addressing, i.e., How long would it take to deliver the present continents to the ocean if the present rate of erosion continues? – is a different question.

    There are about 130 million km^3 of continental crust above sea level. As noted above, about 13.6 km^3 of solid material are carried by all the rivers of the Earth into the oceans every year (~31 billion metric tons/year). Dividing 130 million km^3 by 13.6 km^3 = ~9.5 million years to erode all the land that is currently above sea level.

    This has been well-known for some time. Back in 1971 Dott and Batten noted:

    “North America is being denuded at a rate that could level it in a mere 10 million years, or, to put it another way, at the same rate, ten North Americas could have been eroded since middle Cretaceous time 100 m.y. ago.”

    Dott, R. H. and R. L. Batten. 1971. Evolution of the earth. McGraw-Hill, New York.

    As far as I’m aware, this problem has yet to be adequately explained and is rarely addressed by mainstream scientists…

    –Besides, you seem to not understand that Plate Tectonics has been going on since the first continents even formed, and these processes have a hand in dismantling parts of the sea floor and creating new sea floor. The sea floor from, for example, the Cambrian period is NO LONGER on the sea floor, and as a result, we have no sea floor that is 445 million years old because plate tectonics ran it’s course.

    Again, as already noted, we do have sea floor that is supposed to be over 200 million years old by mainstream estimates. That’s simply not reasonable given known ocean sedimentation rates…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  20. @krissmith777:

    I don’t understand how anyone could argue that they are not the same rivers. The the descriptions of the rivers as given in Genesis of where they flowed matches the areas as indicated by the sattalite pictures.

    The huge worldwide nature of the Flood described in the Bible and in the writings of Mrs. White would have obliterated all traces of pre-Flood geography. The post-Flood world looked nothing like the pre-Flood world. As already noted, it is for this reason why it makes sense that it “did not rain before the Flood”… since there were no great oceans. Consider also the following thoughts:

    HIDDEKEL, Gen. 2:14. This name offers an illuminating lesson in ancient spelling among the ancient Middle East nations. The prefix Hid-, often dropped, means activity, rapidity, vehemence. Hence the word means the rapid Tigris. The consonants D-K-L in Hiddekel are the same as the T-G-R of Tigris. Among the various nations this river was the Digla, Diglat, Teger, Tegera, Dekel, Diglath, Diglit. The name now in use among the inhabitants of Mesopotamia is Dijleh. It is easy to see that all these variants come from the same root consonants.

    Since the root of the word, Dekel, by itself also means velocity, the prefix with the same meaning adds emphasis in the same way as we would use “very.” Hiddekel means to be sharp, hence to flow swiftly, arrow. The name was applied to the stream which fit the description before the Flood. After the Flood the name was applied to the stream we know today, but there is no geographical relationship between the two. In Genesis this stream is described as flowing eastward to Assyria.

    ASSYRIA, Gen. 2:14. It is tempting to identify the Tigris flowing eastward to Assyria as the same place names we now know in Mesopotamia. Most commentators do just that. This conclusion, however, simply does not follow. Long after the Flood event we find that Asshur, the second son of Shem, is the source of the name of both the land and the people of Assyria. If this is not sufficient, one can hardly argue that the river Tigris flows eastward to Assyria. The general flow of the river is from north to south. The root meaning of the word is obscure, but it may be associated with the boxwood, and hence refers to a region noted for a certain kind of vegetation associated with a stream. Analogies would be Pine River or Willow Creek today.

    EUPHRATES, Gen. 2:14. In Post-Flood times, the Euyphrates was generally known as “the river,” “the river of Asia,” or “the great river,” in sharp contrast to the many short-lived and less important streams known to the ancients. Euphrates is the Greek form of the Hebrew Phrath or Perath. We note again the durability of the basic consonant structure. The PH-R-T in Euphrates is also P-R-T or P-R-TH, also F-R-T as in Ufrutu or Frat. Among the meanings ascribed to the root are sweet waters, long river, fruitful, good to cross over, dispersion, flower, or the good and abounding river. By implication, it was the mightiest of the four. It follows reasonably that the largest, longest, and most important river in Western Asia after the Flood would be named Euphrates. No geographical connection with “the river” before the Flood need be inferred.

    http://www.creationism.org/vonfange/vonFangeSpadingChap02.htm

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  21. @Professor Kent:

    This means, of course, that an understanding of “present truth”, and the “weight of evidence” upon which it is based, does indeed have a bearing on if the Bible, specifically certain Biblical interpretations unique to the SDA Church, can be rationally believed at the present time – – or are we really just beggars wishing for horses? – Sean Pitman

    So…if the Church decides that modern-day evidence favors an old-life chronology, it needs to abandon its young-life interpretation–regardless of what the Bible or Ellen White have said?

    If the Church decides that the total weight of evidence suggests a misinterpretation of the Bible or Mrs. White or even the idea that neither are all that credible when it comes to determining certain truths which the Church previously held to be true, then yes, the Church has declared itself willing to follow the weight of evidence wherever the Church, as an organization, sees the evidence leading…

    And, in the meanwhile, those who are open to the possibility of abandoning it, or who see the evidence as weak or contradictory, are heretics deserving public flogging until the overall Church sees it the same way?

    Just because someone doesn’t agree with the Church’s current views doesn’t mean that person is wrong or evil or anything other than a good morally upright man or woman. It just means that such a person cannot effectively represent the SDA Church at the present time. And, it is morally wrong for a person who fundamentally disagrees, in a public way, with the current positions of the SDA Church to take money from the SDA Church while publicly teaching contrary to the current positions of the SDA Church. Such a person should not be surprised to be called out on such publicly subversive activity… in public if necessary.

    They are heretics merely because they are seeking “present truth?”

    Of course not. Everyone should be seeking for their own individual “present truth.” However, if your “present truth” doesn’t match the SDA Church’s “present truth”, don’t expect to get your paycheck from the SDA Church…

    Surely you should extend them the same grace you give yourself for exploring “present truth.”

    Absolutely… just not on the Church’s dime…

    Again, this isn’t inherently an issue of salvation. It is, however, inherently an issue of order, government and discipline.

    Your views are very interesting, Sean. They are certainly very convoluted as well. To be frank, I think you are persecuting those who disagree with you merely because they disagree with you.

    I don’t care if people agree or disagree with me as long as they don’t expect me to pay them for their ideas. And, you forget, this isn’t a disagreement with me we’re talking about here. This is about those who publicly disagree with the Church’s clearly stated goals and ideals on the Church’s dime…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  22. The flip

    Kent The “Believe such-an-such, or you aren’t one of us” position only works to divide Christians. (Quote)

    So I ask for clarification on that idea of the form “pay no attention to creationism vs evolutionism” when it comes to church discipline –

    BobRyan asks –
    So then … you have or have not read the book Questions on Doctrine?? (Pg 44)

    How about the Church Manual – point #1 in the section on church discipline? “Reasons for .. Discipline” The first reason is “Denial of the faith in the fundamentals of the gospel and in the cardinal doctrines of the Church or teaching doctrines contrary to the same”.

    OR are you saying that the church is in error in that regard?

    Obviously the point being that cause-for-church-discipline #1 is speaking to the subject of doctrine and very specifically to the subject of teaching false doctrine.

    So – next comes the “flop” from Kent

    Professor Kent says:
    December 16, 2010 Sorry to disappoint you, Bob, but I have spent some time with the Church manual and greatly appreciate it. I have no disagreements with it.

    Then we have this wild-shot going back to the “flip”.

    Kent
    Present Truth” has absolutely NO BEARING whatsoever on whether the Bible–the basis of our Christian faith–can be believed or not.

    Oh well..

    At least we get the now-standard “bend-and-wrench” of someone elses POV from Kent — so that much is consistent –

    How strange that dozens of people can visit this site, read the material, accuse anyone thought to be undermining SDA Fundamental Belief #6 of being a heretic, and then not offer so much as a whimper of protest that the chief accuser himself is SO OBVIOUSLY undermining Fundamental Belief #1.

    Belief #1 says that the Bible is a “trustworthy RECORD of God acts in history”

    The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)

    The substitute-light-for-darkness-and-darkness-for-light model might take that FB#1 and then “imagine” that anyone looking for evidence of “God’s Actions in history” (be that in the form of confirming discovery after confirming discovery in biblical archaeology or in some other field of science) — is undermining the statement that says the Bible account is an actual valid trustworthy record.

    I guess Kent is giving that idea a shot.

    FB#6 says God did the entire work of creation in six days. God chisles that one in stone “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth the seas and ALL that are in them”. And soon an even more concise FB#6 will be issued.

    6. Creation:
    God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)

    Glad that Kent is on record saying he is ok with item number one in the Church manual when it comes to Church order and those that teach contrary to the doctrines of the Adventist church.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  23. Kris has a point in saying that Moses writes about landmarks to his contemporary readers as if the references were something “less than ambiguous” to the reader.

    Kris suggests that the only reason for such knowledge is that the earth was not changed at all by the flood and because the flood was local.

    However – it has already been shown that Moses’ readers lived at a point within 4 generations of the flood. And as I already pointed out – underground water sources are more than likely for rivers in a pre-flood earth given the fact that “it did not rain” before the flood. [edit]

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  24. @Sean Pitman,

    I already explained to you that plate tectonics alters the age: Sea floors open up and then they shut with new sea beds being born. This is called the “Wilson Cycle.” — Also one other detail that you are not taking into account is that when the basins close, much of the sediment actually becomes part of the continent itself. For example, much of British Columbia used to be ocean floor sediment. There are also some sediments that then become compacted until it reaches a point that it’s actual volume is no longer reflective of it’s original volume. Also, during the subduction of certain plates, sediments get “recruited” the plates under which their original subducted plate is going and then actually becomes a part of the coastal rocks on the continents. The amount of sediment differs, as the youngest sections of the sea floor have zero sediment.

    Also, Sean, about your quote about the erosion of North America (that is assuming that the rate is and always remained constant)… You quoted a sorce from 1971… Remember when you criticized me for citing a source from 1983? Thank you. Though I would love to see the entire context (and page number) of the quote. — But here is a quote from a more recent source:

    Following a change in the rate of tectonic activity, such as a change in the rate of convergence in a continent-continent collision zone, the rate of rock uplift changes. Because the erosion rate varies directly with relief, this will result in a change in the rate of erosion. Eventually a new steady state is reached in which the rock-uplift rate equals the erosion rate. [Hooke, R.LeB., 2003, Time constant for equilibration of erosion with tectonic uplift: Geology, v 31(7), p. 621-624)]

    Again, as already noted, we do have sea floor that is supposed to be over 200 million years old by mainstream estimates. That’s simply not reasonable given known ocean sedimentation rates…

    You say this as if A LOT of the sea floor were that old. Let’s see what the mainstream says:

    Very little of the sea floor is older than 150 million years. This is because the oldest sea floor is subducted under other plates and replaces by new surfaces.

    Link: http://sos.noaa.gov/datasets/Land/sea_floor_age.html

    The geologic and topographic structures of the ocean floor primarily reflect plate tectonic activity that has occurred over the past 150 million years of the 4.5 billion year age of the Earth.

    Link: http://topex.ucsd.edu/marine_grav/explore_grav.html

    Sean, when you say that mainstream scientists say that the ocean basins are “over 200 million,” that just doesn’t ring true with what I learned in Geology and even afterwards. 200 million is a “maximum estimate” (notice I say “maximum”) for a really small amount of the sea floor…Most of the sea floor is far from being that old at all. I already linked you a map of the ocean floor according to age, but here you go: http://www.uhh.hawaii.edu/~kenhon/GEOL205/Chain/ocean-crust-pacific-age.jpg

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  25. @Sean Pitman,

    http://www.creationism.org/vonfange/vonFangeSpadingChap02.htm

    Sean Pitman

    As for this, I am willing to concede that, linguistically speaking, it has some good points. However, it fails to explain away why the two rivers we know today and the fossil rivers that have been found match so closely in the Genesis story…unless it is some incredibly, un-natural coincidence that they all met to form one river when the sea levels were lower which only happened to be 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, as I mentioned before.

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  26. I better understand Bob’s position now, which is apparently one and the same as Sean Pitman’s. Obviously. So what is worse?

    A – Believing that scripture is correct REGARDLESS of what modern science tells us. This is the position of Dr. Ben Clausen of GRI; we have been told that Dr. Clausen has undermined FB#6 on creation because he accepts it by faith rather than the evidence from modern science.

    B – Believing that scripture is correct ONLY IF modern science confirms it. This is the clearly stated position of Dr. Sean Pitman, and the now obvious position of Mr. Bob Ryan. Does this position undermine FB#1?

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  27. Amazingly, Sean Pitman and Bob Ryan have declared position A–that of Dr. Clausen–to be stealing from the Church. Although Dr. Clausen has very publicly proclaimed his loyalty to SDA Fundamental Belief #6, Sean Pitman and Bob Ryan insist he is undermining it because he accepts it on faith rather than modern scientific evidence. And for this reason, they justify holding Dr. Clausen up to public scorn.

    SDA Fundamental Belief #1 states that “The Holy Scriptures are the INFALLIBLE revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the AUTHORITATIVE revealer of doctrines, and the TRUSTWORTHY record of God’s acts in history.”

    Sean Pitman and Bob Ryan have made abundantly clear that the Bible cannot be believed or trusted unless modern science–as judged by them, presumably–validates it. In so doing, they have elevated modern science–and their own discernment–above the simple word of God. This is more than HERESY; it’s BLASPHEMY. Where is the outcry?

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  28. @ Oink,

    You turned my question back toward me: would I, like Dr. Pitman, conclude the Bible was unreliable and walk away from the SDA Church, and from Christianity, if the weight of the evidence did not support a short chronology?

    I most certainly have the courage to answer this question; why don’t you?

    My answer: it wouldn’t affect my faith whatsoever. I spend time daily with God and I KNOW that He can be trusted, regardless of what modern science has to say. I would remain a steadfast believer of scripture, a devoted Christian, and a proud Seventh-day Adventist.

    I can hardly believe that Seventh-day Adventists actually belittle the faith of other believers in the name of “present truth.” How very strange. I’m keenly disappointed that most individuals here, including you, condone rather than condemn Sean Pitman’s belief system and actions.

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  29. My answer: it wouldn’t affect my faith whatsoever. I spend time daily with God and I KNOW that He can be trusted, regardless of what modern science has to say. I would remain a steadfast believer of scripture, a devoted Christian, and a proud Seventh-day Adventist.
    I can hardly believe that Seventh-day Adventists actually belittle the faith of other believers in the name of “present truth.” How very strange. I’m keenly disappointed that most individuals here, including you, condone rather than condemn Sean Pitman’s belief system and actions.

    I haven;t been asked this question, but I agree 100% with the good Professor’s answer. The strongest evidence I have that my belief in God and the Bible is real is my own personal experience with God. He has answered prayers many a time and I have sensed His presence at many critical points in my life. If I were to discover that when the Genesis account says “the waters covered the whole earth” (my paraphrase) should be historically interpreted as a local event, that would not change my faith in God or His word one iota. Even if the literal nature of the creation story were to be proven to have been a series of events over thousands or millions of years, this would not change my faith in God or His word, or even my belief in the Sabbath. Were such things to change my faith I would have to turn my back on a lifetime of personal, relational evidence that God has been at work in my life.

    How many Fundamental Beliefs of the religious community of His day did Jesus violate? Just compare Jesus’ actions with the Levitical laws the Pharisees held so dearly, and He comes off pretty badly. In every case where Jesus appeared to have broken the law, it was because He valued the person and the relationship over the the man-made interpretations of the law.

    Would I rather have someone like Dr. Ness, whose students, both current and former, overwhelmingly supported him as a devoted and caring Christian teach my kids? Or would you rather have someone like Sean Pitman, who is adherent to the SDA fundamental beliefs to the nth degree (although there seems to be some question concerning FB#1) who frequently displays a judgmental and combative spirit teach my kids? How many of our young people would be able to stand up to the battering they might receive from some of the stronger personalities battling for the SDA fundamental beliefs in creation as they see them? I know enough of our SDA students to say that we might well lose many more were this the kind of teaching they were to receive.

    I’m sorry, but my faith is too important to be put in the hands of science.

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  30. Amazingly, Sean Pitman and Bob Ryan have declared position A–that of Dr. Clausen–to be stealing from the Church. Although Dr. Clausen has very publicly proclaimed his loyalty to SDA Fundamental Belief #6, Sean Pitman and Bob Ryan insist he is undermining it because he accepts it on faith rather than modern scientific evidence. And for this reason, they justify holding Dr. Clausen up to public scorn.

    And now for some fact to go with the spin doctoring efforts above.

    1. ALL of the by-faith-alone evangelists for evolutionism at LSU have claimed that FB#6 “Can be bent” to allow for long-ages “birds come from reptiles evolutionism. It is not clear that Clausen differs with them on that point.

    2. Clausen is very close to making the SAME argument that Darwin, Dawkins and Provine make when it comes to the idea that what we see in nature as confirmed proven fact – as real science not merely junk-science evolutionist-religion, is the confirmation of evolutionism.

    Ellen White says that doing that T.E. “dance” with the evolutionist POV is nothing less than “disguised infidelity”. You seem enamored with the “disguise” part of that statement.

    SDA Fundamental Belief #1 states that “The Holy Scriptures are the INFALLIBLE revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the AUTHORITATIVE revealer of doctrines, and the TRUSTWORTHY record of God’s acts in history.”

    Kent said
    Sean Pitman and Bob Ryan have made abundantly clear that the Bible cannot be believed or trusted…

    I beg to differ.

    My statement has been that finding evidence from observations in nature that does not refute the clear teaching of scripture – is not the bad thing you appear to imagine it to be. In fact it turns out to be “a good thing”.

    At no point have Sean and/or I or any other creationist on this board claimed that the argument for creationism has all answers to all evolutionism’s puzzlers.

    I have stated that both creationists AND evolutionists like Darwin agree that IF the evolutionist storytelling regarding “What happened in nature” is true – then the Bible is false.

    Hence Ellen White’s statement in 3SG 90-91 that those claims are directly opposed to the Bible and anyone claiming to belive them BOTH is really promoting disguised infidelity.

    These points could not be any easier to get.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  31. Kent said –

    I better understand Bob’s position now, which is apparently one and the same as Sean Pitman’s. Obviously. So what is worse?
    A – Believing that scripture is correct REGARDLESS of what modern science tells us. This is the position of Dr. Ben Clausen of GRI; we have been told that Dr. Clausen has undermined FB#6 on creation because he accepts it by faith rather than the evidence from modern science.

    B – Believing that scripture is correct ONLY IF modern science confirms it. This is the clearly stated position of Dr. Sean Pitman, and the now obvious position of Mr. Bob Ryan. Does this position undermine FB#1?

    1. The entire REASON that GRI was started, funded, invested in the first place was to address your option-A above. The “inconvenient detail” is that WE DO NOT NEED GRI if the only result is “all of science promotes evolutionism – if you want to believe the Bible even though science has a confirmed doctrine on orgins that is against it – go ahead my dear flat earther” – because we could easily achieve such a low standard WITHOUT GRI!

    Thus Clausen’s “Dear Creationist – get used to living with dissappointment” message is not the insightful visionary genius he seems to think it is. I prefer the approach that Ariel Roth and Walter Veith use on the subject of origins of all complex genomes, and the observations we find in nature.

    Again – this is not “the hard part”.

    2. There is no “believing the Bible is correct ONLY if all scientists today agree that is what they find to be true” idea is a straw man. What is more obvious and to the point is that Darwin and Dawkins are correct that the doctrines of evolutionism are totally opposed to the Bible. Ellen White makes that same case in 3SG 90-91.

    Impossible to ignore.

    Thus IF one comes to the point of being convinced that all the evolutionist arguments are factually correct – then infidelity is all that is left as an option. A point that Darwin, Dawkins, Provine and Meyers all admit to as well. What part of this difficult?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  32. @krissmith777:

    @Sean Pitman,

    I already explained to you that plate tectonics alters the age: Sea floors open up and then they shut with new sea beds being born. This is called the “Wilson Cycle.”

    And I already explained that, according to mainstream theories, Pangea split up 200 million years ago. That means that the current ocean basins have been opening up during this entire time. That means that sediment has been flowing downhill into these basins during this entire time. And, that means that these basins should have been overflowing with sediment during this entire time…

    — Also one other detail that you are not taking into account is that when the basins close, much of the sediment actually becomes part of the continent itself. For example, much of British Columbia used to be ocean floor sediment.

    There are several problems with this argument. The first is that there is far too much sediment load, per year, being taken to ocean basins to be explained by even the continental sediment mass. The second problem as already noted, is that the current ocean basins are supposed to have been basins for some 200 million years…

    There are also some sediments that then become compacted until it reaches a point that it’s actual volume is no longer reflective of it’s original volume.

    We are talking about mass here, not volume. We know how much mass is being deposited into the oceans per year. There isn’t removely enough compression to account for this mass…

    Also, during the subduction of certain plates, sediments get “recruited” the plates under which their original subducted plate is going and then actually becomes a part of the coastal rocks on the continents. The amount of sediment differs, as the youngest sections of the sea floor have zero sediment.

    Again, as already noted for you several times now, subduction only explains how 1-2 billion metric tons of sediment are removed from the ocean basins per year – out of some 30 billion tons that are deposited per year. That leaves 28 billion tons per year to accumulate on the ocean floor.

    It doesn’t matter if the youngest sections of the ocean floor have zero sediment. What matters is explaining what happened to the extra 29 billion tons of sediment that builds up every year?

    I really don’t think you’re reading the arguments presented for comprehension…

    Also, Sean, about your quote about the erosion of North America (that is assuming that the rate is and always remained constant)… You quoted a sorce from 1971… Remember when you criticized me for citing a source from 1983? Thank you. Though I would love to see the entire context (and page number) of the quote.

    There are several references to continental erosion rates in mainstream literature, but they are generally older references because, understandably, no one likes to talk about erosion rates lately since the implications are rather obvious.

    — But here is a quote from a more recent source:

    Following a change in the rate of tectonic activity, such as a change in the rate of convergence in a continent-continent collision zone, the rate of rock uplift changes. Because the erosion rate varies directly with relief, this will result in a change in the rate of erosion. Eventually a new steady state is reached in which the rock-uplift rate equals the erosion rate. [Hooke, R.LeB., 2003, Time constant for equilibration of erosion with tectonic uplift: Geology, v 31(7), p. 621-624)]

    Indeed. And, current mountain orogeny, and presumably erosion rates, have been taking place for at least 70 million years according to mainstream thinking – more then enough time to erode all the continental mass that is currently above sea level completely away 7 times over…

    You say this as if A LOT of the sea floor were that old. Let’s see what the mainstream says:

    Very little of the sea floor is older than 150 million years. This is because the oldest sea floor is subducted under other plates and replaces by new surfaces.

    Link: http://sos.noaa.gov/datasets/Land/sea_floor_age.html

    It doesn’t matter how old the actual sea floor is. What matters here is how old the ocean basins are. This is because subduction does not remove all the overlying sediment as the plates themselves are subducted. The sediment is largely scraped off and left in the ocean basins. It is partly for this reason that only ~2 billion tons of sediment are removed from the oceans each year while over 30 billion tons of sediment are deposited each year.

    Sean, when you say that mainstream scientists say that the ocean basins are “over 200 million,” that just doesn’t ring true with what I learned in Geology and even afterwards. 200 million is a “maximum estimate” (notice I say “maximum”) for a really small amount of the sea floor…Most of the sea floor is far from being that old at all.

    Again, it doesn’t matter how old the sea floor is. What matters is how old the basins are… how long sediment has been headed in a particular direction…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  33. @OTNT_Believer:

    My answer: it wouldn’t affect my faith whatsoever. I spend time daily with God and I KNOW that He can be trusted, regardless of what modern science has to say. I would remain a steadfast believer of scripture, a devoted Christian, and a proud Seventh-day Adventist.

    Even if God has directly appeared to you, visually, and audibly talked to you, such overwhelming empirical evidence would be great for you, personally, but what about when it comes to sharing your faith with someone else? You can’t transfer your own personal experience with God to someone else. What then can you do? You must appeal to something that both of you share – i.e., access to the same empirical evidence.

    You yourself appeal to empirical evidence to support the superiority of your own beliefs compared to those of others – like those of Hindus, Buddhists, Later-day Saints, etc. You do in fact believe that your own beliefs are superior based, not just on your own metaphysical experience with God, but on actual empirical evidence.

    This is the very same argument Jesus prefered to use in supporting the superiority of His own claims to be the Son of God. He referred to commonly known and appreciated empirical evidence to support a rational belief or faith in Him and His claims. He pointed to the miracles that He performed in God’s name. He also pointed to historically-fulfilled prophecy to support His claims. These are appeals to the weight of empirical evidence to support a rational faith that has general appeal to candid minds who are honestly searching for the truth…

    I can hardly believe that Seventh-day Adventists actually belittle the faith of other believers in the name of “present truth.” How very strange. I’m keenly disappointed that most individuals here, including you, condone rather than condemn Sean Pitman’s belief system and actions.

    Just because I think that my own faith position is more rational than that of other faiths doesn’t mean that I think any less of the people who don’t believe what I believe. Again, some of my best friends are agnostics and atheists. They just don’t claim to be SDAs at the same time nor do they expect a paycheck from the SDA Church to teach their own ideas contrary to the Church’s clearly stated fundamental ideals.

    I haven’t been asked this question, but I agree 100% with the good Professor’s answer. The strongest evidence I have that my belief in God and the Bible is real is my own personal experience with God. He has answered prayers many a time and I have sensed His presence at many critical points in my life. If I were to discover that when the Genesis account says “the waters covered the whole earth” (my paraphrase) should be historically interpreted as a local event, that would not change my faith in God or His word one iota.

    But it would change your faith in the SDA interpretation of God’s Word. And, after a point of continued falsification of those elements of “God’s Word” that can be tested, upon what would you base your faith in the Bible as really being God’s Word vs. any other self-proclaimed source of Divine Authority?

    You do realize that God most certainly answers prayers for Hindus, Muslims, Latter-day Saints, etc… right? An answer to prayer is not, however, evidence that the individual’s view on this or that Holy Book is really valid. Your answered prayers, and mine as well, seem to be very good evidence of the existence of a God or God-like presence in the universe. However, evidence for the existence of God, by itself, is not evidence for the Bible being the true Word of God, much less the SDA interpretation of the Bible being the most valid interpretation.

    You guys seem to be placing your own own internal feelings of reality above what your intelligent mind is telling you about reality. This is essentially no different than the basis of faith that my LDS friends have – a feelings-based faith.

    If that works for you, great. But, this isn’t what the SDA Church, as an organization, is based on and it is not what it has asked from its paid representatives. It has asked for a rigorous scientific defense of its position on origins for obvious reasons for most thinking people.

    I’m sorry, but my faith is too important to be put in the hands of science.

    Evidently your faith is too important to you to subject to any kind of rational test or empirical evaluation. This is the very definition of blind faith – empirically blind faith. Your faith is, in essence, a non-falsifiable position that is impervious to any additional information. Such a position is a conversation stopper… “Don’t confuse me with the facts. My mind’s made up.”

    Well, for those whose minds are not already made up, the “facts”, the empirical evidence, play a very important part in establishing the credibility of the Bible vs. all other claimed sources of Divine origin and authority…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  34. @Sean

    Even if God has directly appeared to you, visually, and audibly talked to you, such overwhelming empirical evidence would be great for you, personally, but what about when it comes to sharing your faith with someone else? You can’t transfer your own personal experience with God to someone else. What then can you do? You must appeal to something that both of you share – i.e., access to the same empirical evidence.

    Wow, Sean, I can’t even believe you would say this. All believers have access to this kind of evidence and my sharing my personal testimony is part of spreading the faith. This is so foundational to Christianity that I hardly feel it needs repeating! So what if I can tell someone, in detail, how the geologic and biological data all around us are in total harmony with the Bible, if I cannot point others to what Jesus has done in my own life. I don’t know what else to say.

    You seem to be caught up in the age old faith vs. reason debate, and you are coming down on the side of reason is of first importance, and without overwhelming empirical, science-based, physical evidence, faith is impossible. Wow! I am so glad you are so confident about the evidence, because that appears to be all you have.

    You do realize that God most certainly answers prayers for Hindus, Muslims, Latter-day Saints, etc… right? An answer to prayer is not, however, evidence that the individual’s view on this or that Holy Book is really valid. Your answered prayers, and mine as well, seem to be very good evidence of the existence of a God or God-like presence in the universe. However, evidence for the existence of God, by itself, is not evidence for the Bible being the true Word of God, much less the SDA interpretation of the Bible being the most valid interpretation.

    Really, now, God honors people of other religions, even non-Christian ones? The next thing you’re going to tell me is that people from these other religions are going to be saved too! I guess that shows how important it is to be right about which Holy book is the right one. I am reminded of a quote by Leonard Sweet, “It’s the same truth whether from the mouth of Jesus or the ass of Balaam.” What all this tells me is that God is overwhelmingly interested in having a relationship with me, even if I don’t quite have the exactly right picture of Him. And isn’t this the message we want our young people to hear?

    Just to be a bit outrageous for a moment, let me suggest that we leave the SDA FB#6 just as it currently is, or better, simply take the exact words as they appear in the Bible, without our interpretation of those words. Then, let all members interpret the exact meaning of those words for themselves. If a member chooses to believe that God created the world via some sort of directed evolutionary process, then fine, as long as they see Him as the creator, and as long as they continue to hold the Sabbath as sacred (It is in our name, don’t you know!)

    With that in mind, let’s now suggest that college professors, in the long tradition of academia, be required to cover all the facets of creation and evolution, including what evidence (or lack of) there is for these competing world views. In the tradition of academia, the professor is required to be as objective as possible in this process and should not unduly push her students to believe exactly as she does. This, of course, would mean that the professors at LSU may deserve some censure and redirecting, which I think has happened there, but would not require firing such individuals unless they continue to refuse to teach as required. Along with this, because we are talking about SDA schools, the professor must make the environment supportive for the most conservative interpretations of FB#6, but should also be supportive even of those students who may be atheists.

    I make this suggestion, as outrageous as it may sound, because I have been around the church enough to know 1) that there is a diversity of belief regarding creation among our members, 2) that the majority of members could care less exactly how FB#6 is interpreted by others in the church, and 3) that most members believe in the more conservative interpretation of FB#6 and will continue to do so regardless of what you or I or a college professor may say or not say. A college education is not so much for the indoctrination of our young people, as it is for an expanding of their vision of the world from the SDA perspective. part of that is realizing what a diverse church we are.

    I have known a few professors, not biology professors, at a few of our institutions which were overtly outspoken about their beliefs in theistic evolution. I have heard some complaints from students who were in these professors’ classes. For the most part those who knew them just tended to ignore their unorthodox views and let it be. I have been troubled in the past over some of these individuals, but as I saw the limited effects they had over the years, I have come to conclude that little damage was done. In fact, I believe more damage would have been done had these individuals been publicly confronted and fired.

    Believe it or not, Sean, there are people in our church who are very committed, vibrant, active members of the SDA church who are theistic evolutionists. I also believe that some of our young people fall into this category. If we weed out all our professors who just might believe a little differently than the party line, where will these students find leaders that can relate to them, that can be examples for them. Their faith could be much more easily shaken if we marginalize those, whether professors or students, who believe a little differently. Of course, you might say, such individuals would be better off in another church. How callous! What other church believes that the Sabbath is the Seventh Day and that the Lord is returning soon? Seventh-Day Baptists maybe? Don’t forget, there are social reasons to stay as an SDA too and these are totally valid. We worship as a community for a reason. We are social beings. Many who have grown up in the church would find their faith uprooted if they needed to leave the church.

    Let’s not forget the reason for this site in the first place, to bring the situation at LSU to the attention of the church and its leaders. That has been accomplished. The second reason for this site to continue to exist would seem to me to be a place to discuss the issues, which should avoid continuing to crucify those professors or leaders that, in your opinion, are teaching falsely. Paul wrote two letters to the church in Corinth and then let the leaders deal with it. I doubt they did a perfect job, but Paul did not continue to rail against them. Maybe ET should do the same.

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  35. Meanwhile true by-faith-alone believers in evolutionism show their methods every day –

    Astronomer Martin Gaskell quickly rose to the top of a list of applicants being considered by the university’s search committee. One member said he was “breathtakingly above the other applicants.”

    Others openly worried his Christian faith could conflict with his duties as a scientist, calling him “something close to a creationist” and “potentially evangelical.”

    Even though Gaskell says he is not a creationist, he claims he was passed over for the job at UK’s MacAdam Student Observatory three years ago because of his religion and statements that were perceived to be critical of the theory of evolution.

    “There is no dispute that based on his application, Gaskell was a leading candidate for the position,” U.S. District Judge Karl S. Forester wrote in the ruling.

    Gaskell later learned that professors had discussed his purported religious views during the search process. Gaskell told the AP in an e-mail that he didn’t grow frustrated, but felt “one should not allow universities to get away with religious discrimination.”

    University scientists wondered to each other in internal e-mails if Gaskell’s faith would interfere with the job, which included public outreach, according to court records.

    The topic became so heated behind the scenes that even university biologists, who believed Gaskell was a critic of evolution, weighed in by citing a controversial Bible-based museum in Kentucky that had just opened.

    “We might as well have the Creation Museum set up an outreach office in biology,” biology professor James Krupa wrote to a colleague in an October 2007 e-mail. The museum was making national headlines at the time for exhibits that assert the literal truth of the Bible’s creation story.

    Science professors cited a lecture Gaskell has given called “Modern Astronomy, the Bible and Creation,” which he developed for “Christians and others interested in Bible and science questions…,” according to an outline of the lecture. Gaskell told the AP he was invited to give the lecture at UK in 1997, and organizers had read his notes.

    The wide-ranging lecture outlines historical scientific figures who discuss God and interpretations of the creation story in the biblical chapter Genesis. Also in the notes, Gaskell mentions evolution, saying the theory has “significant scientific problems” and includes “unwarranted atheistic assumptions and extrapolations,” according to court records.

    And of course – at that point they burned him at the stake.

    But that was only in an attempt to keep in line with the Dover decision to “censor” the 3 minute statement that said basically “there exists a book in the library that you can read if you are interested in another scientific theory than evolution” as an explanation for all life that we see around us today.

    How sad that the evolutionist priests and prelates are so clear on their dark-ages mandate yet some Christians remain befuddled on the need to uphold the doctrines of the Bible.

    SDA students unwilling to stand up to the LSU faculty evangelizing for evolutionism – may find they have a much more difficult job ahead of them when they leave LSU.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  36. For goodness sakes, Sean, in all of your many thousands of repetitive, ceaseless, monotonous, continual, ad nauseum (did I already say ‘repetitive’?) posts on this site, I don’t believe you’ve ever even acknowledged the existence, let alone the essential role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

    It is NOT up to ANY of us to try and lead one single person to Christ though the superiority of our ‘rational’ arguments, on any subject whatsoever — the Holy Spirit is the One, and the only One, who can convict people of the truth of Christ’s love and the saving sacrifice He has made for all of us.

    Our sole value as believers is only realized when we fully submit ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to use us as He sees fit, and not as we see fit.

    Of course you are personally free to cling to your ‘superior’ rational arguments for your own particular creationist viewpoints, just as you graciously allow for others to hold their particular beliefs.

    But it is the height of arrogance (and yes, Prof. Kent had it right calling it ‘blasphemy’) for you to attempt to usurp the rightful role of the Holy Spirit, by continually arguing for the supposed superiority of your own particular viewpoints, like they might convict even one person of God’s incredible love and sacrifice.

    This Sabbath that is almost upon us might be an ideal time to spend reflecting on how much (or even if) we really allow the Holy Spirit to guide each of our lives.

    At least think about giving the ‘superior rational arguments’ cudgel a rest for 24 hours or so, please?

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  37. @OTNT_Believer:

    You do realize that God most certainly answers prayers for Hindus, Muslims, Latter-day Saints, etc… right? An answer to prayer is not, however, evidence that the individual’s view on this or that Holy Book is really valid. Your answered prayers, and mine as well, seem to be very good evidence of the existence of a God or God-like presence in the universe. However, evidence for the existence of God, by itself, is not evidence for the Bible being the true Word of God, much less the SDA interpretation of the Bible being the most valid interpretation. – Sean Pitman

    Really, now, God honors people of other religions, even non-Christian ones? The next thing you’re going to tell me is that people from these other religions are going to be saved too!

    Absolutely! I’ve been saying that all along. Knowledge, by itself, does not have the power to save. It is the love of the truth, not the actual finding of the truth, that saves. This doesn’t make knowledge unimportant however as true knowledge does have the power to provide a solid hope in the future and to make lives better here and now.

    I guess that shows how important it is to be right about which Holy book is the right one. I am reminded of a quote by Leonard Sweet, “It’s the same truth whether from the mouth of Jesus or the ass of Balaam.” What all this tells me is that God is overwhelmingly interested in having a relationship with me, even if I don’t quite have the exactly right picture of Him. And isn’t this the message we want our young people to hear?

    God can and will save the honestly and sincerely ignorant as well as the most informed who have a love of truth… who do not deliberately reject what little is consciously known to be true. However, this does not mean that we should take lightly the truth that God has revealed to us so far. Many people have died to preserve the truths found in the Bible so that we can have them today as a basis of hope. People can be and will be saved without ever having heard of the Bible or the Gospel message. Yet, how much better it would have been for them in this life if they had been given this information?

    So, again, while knowledge doesn’t save, it is still very important to God that we spread true information about Him throughout the world.

    A college education is not so much for the indoctrination of our young people, as it is for an expanding of their vision of the world from the SDA perspective. part of that is realizing what a diverse church we are.

    Those claiming to be SDA range from those who actually believe all of the SDA fundamentals to those who don’t believe any of them… who are just in the Church for social reasons and nothing more. Those who don’t actually believe in the Church ideals and goals simply would not serve the Church well in the capacity of official representatives. If you really want an education from the “SDA perspective” you have to hire those who actually believe in the SDA perspective – i.e., the perspective of the organized SDA Church as a body of believers.

    You forget that the Church is actually an organization with a unified set of doctrinal beliefs. If you are not in line with these clearly stated goals and ideals, how can you be an effective representative of such?

    Believe it or not, Sean, there are people in our church who are very committed, vibrant, active members of the SDA church who are theistic evolutionists.

    Such are not “committed” to certain clearly stated fundamental goals and ideals of the SDA Church. Claiming to be suportive of the Church is not the same thing as actually supporting what the Church is trying to accomplish as an organization.

    I also believe that some of our young people fall into this category. If we weed out all our professors who just might believe a little differently than the party line, where will these students find leaders that can relate to them, that can be examples for them. Their faith could be much more easily shaken if we marginalize those, whether professors or students, who believe a little differently.

    We aren’t talking about minor differences of opinion here. We are talking about those who are publicly attacking and otherwise undermining the clearly stated fundamental goals and ideals of the SDA Church as an organization.

    If these positions really aren’t “fundamental” to the SDA Church, the Church shouldn’t call them “fundamental”.

    Of course, you might say, such individuals would be better off in another church. How callous! What other church believes that the Sabbath is the Seventh Day and that the Lord is returning soon? Seventh-Day Baptists maybe?

    Quite a few organizations believe in the Seventh-day Sabbath and the soon comming of Jesus. However, even if there were no such organizations, this does not give someone a right to expect a paycheck from the SDA Church to go around publicly attacking the Church’s goals and ideals. If they don’t like these “fundamentals”, they should start their own organization and get people to support them who are actually willing to pay them to teach their non-SDA ideas…

    Don’t forget, there are social reasons to stay as an SDA too and these are totally valid. We worship as a community for a reason. We are social beings. Many who have grown up in the church would find their faith uprooted if they needed to leave the church.

    It is fine if a person likes hanging around with SDAs… for social reasons. It isn’t fine for a person who wants to publicly attack and undermine SDA goals and ideals to do so on the Church’s dime.

    Let’s not forget the reason for this site in the first place, to bring the situation at LSU to the attention of the church and its leaders. That has been accomplished. The second reason for this site to continue to exist would seem to me to be a place to discuss the issues, which should avoid continuing to crucify those professors or leaders that, in your opinion, are teaching falsely. Paul wrote two letters to the church in Corinth and then let the leaders deal with it. I doubt they did a perfect job, but Paul did not continue to rail against them. Maybe ET should do the same.

    I’m sure Paul would have spoken up whenever necessary and for as long as necessary to counter the insideous insinuation of doctrinal errors within the early Church. We are not called to sit back and do nothing as people attack the Church from within. This has been going on for decades now unchecked to any substantial degree. Things need to change…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  38. @Jim:

    For goodness sakes, Sean, in all of your many thousands of repetitive, ceaseless, monotonous, continual, ad nauseum (did I already say ‘repetitive’?) posts on this site, I don’t believe you’ve ever even acknowledged the existence, let alone the essential role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

    It is NOT up to ANY of us to try and lead one single person to Christ though the superiority of our ‘rational’ arguments, on any subject whatsoever — the Holy Spirit is the One, and the only One, who can convict people of the truth of Christ’s love and the saving sacrifice He has made for all of us.

    I’ve pointed out many times, in this forum, that it isn’t our job to convict or to judge the soul of another on a moral basis. I’ve said many times that even the honest “heathen” can be saved – even the honest atheist who listens to the Holy Spirit speaking to his/her heart as best as he/she can comprehend the “truth” can be saved. Raoul Wallenberg, who saved the lives of over 100,000 Jews during WWII, is an example of what I would call a “righteous atheist” as best as I am able to judge. I certainly wouldn’t mind living next to him in Heaven someday.

    It is our job, however, to give a rational reason for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15). God is able to use our own testimony as to why we believe like we do to instill confidence and faith in others. God wants people to have a correct knowledge of Him in this life. He wants people to see the evidences of His creative power in the works of his own hands… in nature. He wants people to recognize the Divine Signature behind the writings of the Biblical authors. He wants people to have their faith solidly established on the numerous empirical evidences he has provided to all who search with an open heart and a candid mind.

    It is not God’s plan to turn people’s minds off. As Galileo once said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.”

    In other words, I do not believe that it is in God’s plan to have the Holy Spirit reveal to us all truth outside of our own investigation and reasoning powers. The Holy Spirit may aid in our understanding and ability to grasp the truths revealed in nature and in the Scrpitures, but the Holy Spirit does not remove from us our own need for personal effort and higher cortical thinking and scientific investigation of the God-given empirical evidence that is before each one of us…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  39. @Sean Pitman

    And I already explained that, according to mainstream theories, Pangea split up 200 million years ago.

    Then you add,

    The second problem as already noted, is that the current ocean basins are supposed to have been basins for some 200 million years…

    First of all, the ocean basins as we know them DID NOT FORM at that point. Pengea did not directly form into the continents that we know today. They separated into the northern and southern hemisphere instead: The norfhern hemisphere formed into Laurasia which included Europe, Asia as well as North America. The northern most part of North America was connected to the northern most part of Europe. The southern hemisphere included Antartica, Australia, Africa and South America. (Link: http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/vwdocs/vwlessons/lessons/Pangea/Pangea5.html , and Map of the continents after Pengea broke up into Lurasia and Gondwana: http://www.ilustrados.com/publicaciones/multimedia/hu-63145.gif
    )

    But by 135 Million years ago, the atlantic was then <starting to take the form it has now AFTER Laurasia divided into North America and Europe:
    (Link: http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/vwdocs/vwlessons/lessons/Pangea/Pangea7.html )

    You said in your former response on this matter that subduction doesn't account for it all…Well, I never disagreed with that here. Tectonic uplift of areas formerly covered by the oceans to the surface is another.

    Another reason is that many sediments dissolve: Sediments left by biological organisms, Calcium Carbonate, etcetera.

    But here's a clencher: I found a paper online that talks about this matter, and it mentions the problem of sediment accuulation verses the time, and then it actually explains why a lot of the sediments are not there:

    The rates at which sediments accumulate vary enormously, owing to the natural variability of the processes that produce and transport sediments.[….] At a rate of 0.5 cm (.2 in)/1000 years, it takes only 100 million years to accumulate 500 m (1600 ft) of sediment, and the oldest sea-floor crustal rocks are known to have existed for twice as long, or 200 million years. Very small particles sink extremely slowly (for example, a particle 0.001 mm (.0004 in) in diameter will take about 100 years to sink 3000 m (10,000 ft)), and scientists have puzzled over the close correlation in distribution between the particle types found in the surface waters and those found on the sea floor. If particles sank at such slow rates, they would be carried very long distances from their source by ocean currents before reaching the bottom.

    Link: http://210.34.8.4/course/hykxdl/textbook/chap3.html#RD

    Notice the bold: Your argument doesn’t seem to take that of the sediments sinking at extremely slow rates, and that they travel before being deposited….NOT TO MENTIONS that the rates vary, they are NOT constant!! With that last detail in mind, the entire “uniformitarian” premise you have is wrong.

    Honestly, Sean, I have not the slightest idea why you would even want to use this argument against an old earth…especially since it can be so EASILY turned on you! — Let me phrase it: If the earth were really young, and if the plates separated 5,000 years ago during the flood, then we should expect the sedimate deposites on the ocean basins to be uniform. They aren’t. Also, even if you were correct that there is too little sediment in the ocean basins for them to be as old as you they should be,…there is still too much (I repeat TOO MUCH) sediment on the sea floor for the basins to only be 5,000 years old. From that stand point, the basins (as well as the earth) would still be much older than your literalistic reading of Genesis says!!

    There are several references to continental erosion rates in mainstream literature, but they are generally older references because, understandably, no one likes to talk about erosion rates lately since the implications are rather obvious.

    So geologists are involved in a mass conspiracy to cover it up?

    Indeed. And, current mountain orogeny, and presumably erosion rates, have been taking place for at least 70 million years according to mainstream thinking – more then enough time to erode all the continental mass that is currently above sea level completely away 7 times over…

    Sean, the continents are not dead pieces of rock. I know that about 3700 meters worth of sediment has been eroded off the continents, but even you you put the eroded sediment back into place, they would not make the continents 3700 meters higher. The mantle of the earth would simply absorb around 1200 meters worth, to cite Glenn Morton who is a former “Flood Geologist.” (See: http://home.entouch.net/dmd/erosion.htm ) — Also there is the detain that not everything that erodes on the continent leaves the continent, but gets deposited at another location. — And again, rates of erosion vary. There is NO RULE that says the rate of erosion does NOT change! There is no basis for that view. We have examples of the earth building the continents now, and the erosion rates are NOT stopping them. Erosion rates in the Hymalayas from being uplifted by tectonics. Another great example is in Hawaii…where lava from Kilawea has actually added (as of 1994) as MANY as 491 acres of land!!! (Link: http://www.nps.gov/havo/faqs.htm ) —- Obviously…OBVIOUSLY!!! The erosion rates you keep parroting ARE NOT constants!! They vary!!!!

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  40. @krissmith777:

    First of all, the ocean basins as we know them DID NOT FORM at that point. Pengea did not directly form into the continents that we know today. They separated into the northern and southern hemisphere instead: The norfhern hemisphere formed into Laurasia which included Europe, Asia as well as North America. The northern most part of North America was connected to the northern most part of Europe. The southern hemisphere included Antartica, Australia, Africa and South America. (But by 135 Million years ago, the atlantic was then starting to take the form it has now AFTER Laurasia divided into North America and Europe.

    And you’ve got your Panthalasia Ocean already in existence then? – over 200 million years ago? The start of the formation of the Atlantic Ocean some 135 million years ago hardly solves your problem as the current sediment load within all the ocean basins can be explained with just 15 million years at current sedimentation rates…

    You said in your former response on this matter that subduction doesn’t account for it all… Well, I never disagreed with that here. Tectonic uplift of areas formerly covered by the oceans to the surface is another.

    We are talking about 30 billion tones of sediment per year. Why do you bring up arguments that account for no more than 2 billion tons per year? Tectonic uplift doesn’t help solve this problem for you at all… not one little bit relative to the size of the problem itself.

    Another reason is that many sediments dissolve: Sediments left by biological organisms, Calcium Carbonate, etcetera.

    We aren’t talking about dissolvable sediments here (that’s a different problem entirely for the mainstream position).

    But here’s a clencher: I found a paper online that talks about this matter, and it mentions the problem of sediment accuulation verses the time, and then it actually explains why a lot of the sediments are not there.

    Your argument doesn’t seem to take that of the sediments sinking at extremely slow rates, and that they travel before being deposited….NOT TO MENTION that the rates vary, they are NOT constant!! With that last detail in mind, the entire “uniformitarian” premise you have is wrong.

    This paper doesn’t deal with the overall sediment load being delivered to the oceans at all. Arguing that small particles sink more slowly than large particules does not explain why there is so little sediment on the ocean floors given a delivery rate of 30 billion tons of sediment per year…

    The delivery rate of 30 billion tons per year does not vary significantly from year to year. The varying rates of sedimentation that your article mentions is a description of the varying rates of sediment build up on a various regions of the ocean floor. Not all regions have the same rate of sediment build up. Again, that is completely irrelevant to the point that the total amount of sediment, the total tonnage that is current in the oceans, irrespective of its location within the ocean basins, can be explained given just 15 million years…

    Honestly, Sean, I have not the slightest idea why you would even want to use this argument against an old earth… especially since it can be so EASILY turned on you! — Let me phrase it: If the earth were really young, and if the plates separated 5,000 years ago during the flood, then we should expect the sedimate deposites on the ocean basins to be uniform.

    If the majority of the sediment were deposited very rapidly via very high level water runoff after the Flood, the majority of the sediment would be deposited close to the continents and on the continental shelves. As the continents moved rapidly away from each other at first, the level of sedimentation would have declined to the current level rapidly over time leaving much less sediment for the mid regions of the oceans – as we see today. There is no inconsistency with the catastrohic Flood model here.

    They aren’t. Also, even if you were correct that there is too little sediment in the ocean basins for them to be as old as you they should be,…there is still too much (I repeat TOO MUCH) sediment on the sea floor for the basins to only be 5,000 years old. From that stand point, the basins (as well as the earth) would still be much older than your literalistic reading of Genesis says!!

    Again, you’re forgetting about the catastrophic nature of the Flood model and its aftermath. Sediment can be eroded very very quickly during and after a catastrophic Flooding and break-up of the continents…

    So geologists are involved in a mass conspiracy to cover it up?

    Obviously, geologists don’t like to talk about things that they can’t remotely explain with their preferred paradigm.

    Sean, the continents are not dead pieces of rock. I know that about 3700 meters worth of sediment has been eroded off the continents, but even you you put the eroded sediment back into place, they would not make the continents 3700 meters higher. The mantle of the earth would simply absorb around 1200 meters worth, to cite Glenn Morton who is a former “Flood Geologist.” (See: http://home.entouch.net/dmd/erosion.htm )

    As I’ve noted for you several times now, it isn’t the actual height of the continents above sea level that’s the problem for the mainstream theory. The problem is the preservation of very old sedimentary layers on the continental surfaces – especially the mountain ranges. These layers should have been washed away many times over by now. That’s the problem.

    — Also there is the detail that not everything that erodes on the continent leaves the continent, but gets deposited at another location. — And again, rates of erosion vary. There is NO RULE that says the rate of erosion does NOT change! There is no basis for that view. We have examples of the earth building the continents now, and the erosion rates are NOT stopping them. Erosion rates in the Hymalayas from being uplifted by tectonics. Another great example is in Hawaii…where lava from Kilawea has actually added (as of 1994) as MANY as 491 acres of land!!! —- Obviously…OBVIOUSLY!!! The erosion rates you keep parroting ARE NOT constants!! They vary!!!!

    Erosion rates do vary, but the overall global erosion rate is pretty constant. It is hard to imagine how it could have been dramatically lower than it is today throughout the past 15 million years, not to mention the past 200 million years or so. Also, you keep arguing for the ability to build mountains despite high erosion rates but forget that mountains are still eroding even while they are gaining altitude. It is just that they are being uplifted faster than they are being eroded. Again, this presents a problem as to why the sedimentary layers have not been washed off these uplifted surfaces many times over by now? – down to the underlying granite?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  41. Oh . . . you really don’t get it after all, Sean, do you — I all of the sudden feel very badly for you, and quite genuinely sorry for some of the things I may have said about you.

    I guess I kind of assumed that, with all your studies and research, you would have had a much better understanding of something as basic as the real role of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives . . .

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  42. A couple of the frequent posters on Educate Truth seem to hate everyone they think is not loving enough! But accusing God’s servants of being unloving is an old charge against the followers of God. These bloggers remind me of the German pacifist that visited our home years ago. He was ready to fight anyone who did not agree with pacifism!

    Certainly these self-appointed critics of the founders of this site seem to need to take out a big plank out of their eyes before they will be able to see clearly the speck of dust in others eyes. Since darkness hates light, it is no wonder that a few of these frequent posters hide behind pseudonyms, appearing to be fearful of any exposure—unwilling to courageously own their beliefs before the world.

    One of these frequent posters claims to be a Young Earth Creationists, but believes in creation based on what he refers to as “faith.” One could get the idea that he fears that anything scientifically shown to support creation is actually bad since it would then somehow require less faith to believe. His faith, however, is more akin to the Catholic student who is reported to have said, “Faith is what you believe that you know ain’t so.”

    This is not Biblical faith. Neither is it the faith of the Adventist pioneers. It certainly doesn’t build faith, it actually destroys genuine faith. This pseudofaith more closely resembles a mere superstitious belief. It is no surprise that agnostics, evolutionists, and other doubters have such an affinity for those who possess this kind of “faith” on this site. Why wouldn’t they agree with it. It doesn’t threaten them in any way. It bolsters their ranks. It confirms their unbelief since they already believe faith is unreasonable.

    But, belief in God’s word is the only reasonable belief that we can hold. Anything else is unreasonable. If I had all the facts, I would easily believe everything that God says. It should be easy to believe. But because believing in God’s word may be unpopular, may go against my feelings, and may even seem contrary to my limited understanding of some evidence, it is not always easy to have faith. God wants us to believe and provides us with such overwhelming evidence that His word is true, so despite popular opinion, despite changeable feelings, and despite data that at best can only be partial and tentative, only fools follow popularity, feelings, and science falsely so called, more than God’s word.

    Those who put any stock whatsoever on any “evidence” for long-age evolution are simply blind and/or gullible. There is no true evidence contrary to God’s word. Of course the world and everything in it was created only about 6,000 years ago by the word of the Lord over six days time. Those who can’t see the strength of the arguments in the world around for a Creator and a young earth and attack those who not only see the evidence but are looking to find even more evidence are indeed to be pitied. We are not surprised at their persecution of those with true faith. We expect the children of darkness to be like their father and hate the light. We would save them if we could. But unless they are willing to receive the love of the truth they cannot be saved.

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  43. 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.

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  44. @ Sean Pitman

    If that [faith] works for you, great. But, this isn’t what the SDA Church, as an organization, is based on and it is not what it has asked from its paid representatives. It has asked for a rigorous scientific defense of its position on origins for obvious reasons for most thinking people.

    Dude, this is total, utter, complete, unadulterated HOGWASH. You really are stuck on your science, to the point where you have forgetten what Adventism and Christian faith are all about. THE CHURCH HAS NEVER ASKED ITS PAID REPRESENTATIVES TO PORTRAY THE WEIGHT OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE AS FAVORING THE SDA INTERPRETATION OF ORIGINS, AND YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY DELUSIONAL TO INSIST THAT IT HAS. You need to step off your imaginary pedestal and come back down to earth.

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  45. @ Jim

    But it is the height of arrogance (and yes, Prof. Kent had it right calling it ‘blasphemy’) for you to attempt to usurp the rightful role of the Holy Spirit, by continually arguing for the supposed superiority of your own particular viewpoints, like they might convict even one person of God’s incredible love and sacrifice.

    Thank you SO MUCH for articulating the importance of the Holy Spirit for conviction. I actually was dwelling on this very topic while driving to work this morning, and was wondering how I wanted to phrase it in a post.

    As OTNT_Believer put it, our personal relationship with God, which includes the indwelling Holy Spirit, should provide an essential piece of evidence in our conviction of who God is, what His word tells us, and what his will for us is. I do not appreciate Pitman’s belittlement of the Holy Spirit’s work and the substitution of this important work by higher critical thinking.

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  46. Bob Ryan wrote

    Clausen is very close to making the SAME argument that Darwin, Dawkins and Provine make when it comes to the idea that what we see in nature as confirmed proven fact – as real science not merely junk-science evolutionist-religion, is the confirmation of evolutionism.

    This is utter, complete, unadulterated hogwash. Bob has deliberately mischaracterized Clausen’s position.

    Ellen White says that doing that T.E. “dance” with the evolutionist POV is nothing less than “disguised infidelity”. You seem enamored with the “disguise” part of that statement.

    What are you trying to say? Are you even trying to make a point?

    My statement has been that finding evidence from observations in nature that does not refute the clear teaching of scripture – is not the bad thing you appear to imagine it to be. In fact it turns out to be “a good thing”.

    Of course it’s a good thing; I never said it was bad. The problem is when you and Pitman maintain that empirical evidence from nature is essential to validate the Bible–and that is heresy and blasphemy.

    I have stated that both creationists AND evolutionists like Darwin agree that IF the evolutionist storytelling regarding “What happened in nature” is true – then the Bible is false.

    No kidding! Now there’s a profound conclusion to sink one’s teeth in.

    The “inconvenient detail” is that WE DO NOT NEED GRI if the only result is “all of science promotes evolutionism – if you want to believe the Bible even though science has a confirmed doctrine on orgins that is against it – go ahead my dear flat earther” – because we could easily achieve such a low standard WITHOUT GRI!

    This is nothing but trash talk from a street gutter. The “incovenient detail” overlooked by Bob is that no one at GRI has made any such a wild claim. No one! Just more happy fiction.

    There is no “believing the Bible is correct ONLY if all scientists today agree that is what they find to be true” idea is a straw man.

    No kidding. It’s a straw man of your own creation.

    What is more obvious and to the point is that Darwin and Dawkins are correct that the doctrines of evolutionism are totally opposed to the Bible. Ellen White makes that same case in 3SG 90-91. Impossible to ignore.

    Yes, impossible to ignore, and an obvious rabbit trail. You’re dodging the issue: is scripture or science your ultimate authority?

    Thus IF one comes to the point of being convinced that all the evolutionist arguments are factually correct – then infidelity is all that is left as an option. A point that Darwin, Dawkins, Provine and Meyers all admit to as well. What part of this difficult?

    Nothing is difficult about this. Are you suggesting that something you stated is difficult?

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  47. Note what Bob Ryan has failed to state. He did not say, “I believe scripture is the final authority and does not require validation by modern science.” Instead, he dodged the issue altogether and led us down a rabbit trail. How illustrative.

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  48. Amram – Noah’s (Make that Moses’) father is alive while Levi is still living and Levi was alive at the same time as Isaac. So there is a living chain from Shem to Isaac to Levi to Amram. The history of the earth as revealed to Moses by God Himself is made all the more real by the fact that his own family line extends so near to the flood event itself. So no wonder Moses presents facts as if those of his generation are aware of the people and the places.

    Ethan says:
    December 17, 2010 @BobRyan:
    Afraid Amran was the father of Moses as none of Noah’s ancestors survived the flood

    Good catch! Thanks for that edit.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  49. @Sean Pitman

    And you’ve got your Panthalasia Ocean already in existence then? – over 200 million years ago? The start of the formation of the Atlantic Ocean some 135 million years ago hardly solves your problem as the current sediment load within all the ocean basins can be explained with just 15 million years at current sedimentation rates…

    I never said “all.” You did. I’m not so presumtuous as to make such a foolish assumption.

    at current sedimentation rates

    Yeah…how young earthers always throw around the “current rate” argument… I’ll just tell you what I should have in the first place: It’s a strawman. I have already said that there is no rule saying that the rates of sedimentation and erosion are constant. Rates of sedimentation are not “fixed.” It’s not like radiometric dating methods that have a predictable rate of decay. It is much more possible for erosion and sedimentation rates to be changed, excelerated and even slowed down by the surrounding conditions than it is for the same to happen to radiometric decay.

    IT has not been demonstrated that the rate has remained static.

    This paper doesn’t deal with the overall sediment load being delivered to the oceans at all. Arguing that small particles sink more slowly than large particules does not explain why there is so little sediment on the ocean floors given a delivery rate of 30 billion tons of sediment per year…

    You missed my overall point. The first sentence I quoted from it was: The rates at which sediments accumulate vary enormously, owing to the natural variability of the processes that produce and transport sediments. — The rates vary greatly depending on the conditions… Your argument pre-supposes that the rate has not changed, and you have not demonstrated that it has. — And frankly, it doesn’t have to be. — David E. Thomas says it much better than I ever could:

    …much sediment never gets to the ocean floor, but is trapped instead on continental slopes and shelves, or in huge river deltas. Over the years, some of these continental slopes can accumulate several kilometers of sediment, while others can even become part of mountain ranges in continental plate-to-plate collisions. Neither erosion nor subduction are expected to be constant processes over millions of years, and they are simply not good clocks.

    I heard one geologist call it a “crude” dating method. Looks more related to “relative dating,” not “absolute dating.”

    Again, that is completely irrelevant to the point that the total amount of sediment, the total tonnage that is current in the oceans, irrespective of its location within the ocean basins, can be explained given just 15 million years…

    And the paper I linked a while ago using the current rate gave the figure of 100 million years: (“At a rate of 0.5 cm (.2 in)/1000 years, it takes only 100 million years to accumulate 500 m (1600 ft) of sediment,”)

    If the majority of the sediment were deposited very rapidly via very high level water runoff after the Flood, the majority of the sediment would be deposited close to the continents and on the continental shelves. As the continents moved rapidly away from each other at first, the level of sedimentation would have declined to the current level rapidly over time leaving much less sediment for the mid regions of the oceans – as we see today.

    This is an ad hoc explanation, and it cannot be falsified even if it were not true. This is why Geologists do not take “flood geology” seriously. Also, it begs the question why the sea floor doesn’t consistently show the same age.

    Again, you’re forgetting about the catastrophic nature of the Flood model and its aftermath. Sediment can be eroded very very quickly during and after a catastrophic Flooding and break-up of the continents…

    The flood models proposed by some creation scientists really bother me, and even assuming that the flood was a global event, it’s hard for me to reconcile EVEN THEM with the global flood itself… In particular, John Baumgrdner’s “Runaway Subduction” bothers me. The tectonic activity required by his model would have caused major earthquakes which, in tern, would have caused huge tsunamis. My problem with harmonizing this model with even a global flood is that the bible indicates that the storm was over 40 days after it started. But Noah would still have had massive tsunamis to deal with as the plates would still be moving extremely rapidly. I know it just says that the rain was what stopped, but it is hard to say the storm is over if that is ALL that ended.

    Besides, the energy that his model requires 10^28 joules..which is enough (actually, more than enough) to boil the oceans away…which makes me wonder how the water managed to stay on the surface for a year.

    Also, you keep arguing for the ability to build mountains despite high erosion rates but forget that mountains are still eroding even while they are gaining altitude. It is just that they are being uplifted faster than they are being eroded.

    –Uhhh, I never forgot that. In fact, I could have mentioned earlier that there is some evidence that even the erosion itself may be helping them grow. (Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030807075917.htm )

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  50. I am not a scientist and have no knowledge of how fast mountain ranges may have been raised out of the water after the Flood, nor how fast the continents have eroded since then. These up and down elevations may matter, but if God quickly rearranged things, pressing sediments into rock, collapsing ocean bottoms, raising the mighty Himalayas, I may wonder how all the fish survived these sudden and drastic changes, but these are not the main things that bother me.

    First is the question of biogeography. Even a layman like myself can understand the “kangaroo problem.” Of course it goes beyond just the kangaroos, involving a number of creatures, many of which probably did not have common ancestors. It has been suggested that all the many marsupial animals in Australia just all happened to die out everywhere else between Ararat and Australia. Or perhaps angels were told to herd them all to their destination. Or maybe Noah chose some of his grandchildren to take some animals here and some there, lemurs to Madagascar, for instance. But, it would seem to me that even if you can present a reasonable argument that one of these scenarios *could have* happened, the only reason one would present them would be to defend the Genesis account, rather than because there was some other scientific evidence. So, how many of our biology college professors finds one or more of these possibilities to be something he can back up with scientific evidence? If 90% or more of them can’t maintain one of these *possible scenarios,” do we fire them, and do we maybe tell the religion teachers to teach biology?

    I think we should respect Dr. Clausen for continuing to believe Genesis, even if he hasn’t found explanations for every question to be intellectually satisfying, although if the denomination finds Dr. Pitman’s scientific theories to be more helpful than Dr. Clausen’s, perhaps Pitman could be put in Clausen’s place. I think we should respect Dr. Pitman for believing that of course there are scientific explanations for every dilemma raised by thoughtful comparasons between the Genesis account and currently available research. I think that his stance is indicative of a faith that will always confidently affirm some possible explanation, both for his own soul and for his wavering brothers and sisters.

    I respect Ellen White for so earnestly upholding the truthfulness of Genesis. But, does that mean I have to respect every scientific explanation she ever put forward? Am I supposed to resort to the defense of “Well, you know, not everything was *verbally* inspired,” so that we can conscientiously discard her “amalgamation” statements, as perhaps being on the same level as the number of rooms in a building. But, given that we generallly maintain that she didn’t necessarily mean that any human beings were partially descended from apes, what did she mean? Do I need to respect the amalgamation statements, even though they have been used from time to time by some people to uphold racial superiority? I respect her earnest campaign for the souls and physical well-being of black people. But, why didn’t she ever tell us what she meant by this statement, instead of us having to try to explain it to each other nowadays? Does anybody know what point she was really trying to make? Is there any useful, helpful thing we can get from this statement, as it relates to the races of men?

    I have personally come up with various scientific dilemmas regarding Genesis that I haven’t read anywhere else. I want to respect my brothers and sisters enough to not broadcast them and shake someone’s faith. (I am presuming everybody knows about the kangaroo and amalgamation dilemmas.) I respect myself to the extent of not having tried to come up with “doubts.” They occur to me, whether I like them or not. But, perhaps there are spiritual things I could have done differently so that my mind would not have come up with them in the first place.

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  51. @krissmith777:

    You missed my overall point. The first sentence I quoted from it was: The rates at which sediments accumulate vary enormously, owing to the natural variability of the processes that produce and transport sediments. — The rates vary greatly depending on the conditions… Your argument pre-supposes that the rate has not changed, and you have not demonstrated that it has. — And frankly, it doesn’t have to be.

    You misunderstand the “rate” that the author is talking about here. This rate is not the overall rate of ocean sedimentation which is in fact fairly constant at ~30 billion tons per year. I’ve already tried to explain this to you, but the variability your reference is talking about is the local variability that is indeed due to many factors of sediment transport within the oceans themselves. This local variability does not affect the overall sediment load that is consistently delivered to the oceans.

    — David E. Thomas says it much better than I ever could:

    …much sediment never gets to the ocean floor, but is trapped instead on continental slopes and shelves, or in huge river deltas. Over the years, some of these continental slopes can accumulate several kilometers of sediment, while others can even become part of mountain ranges in continental plate-to-plate collisions. Neither erosion nor subduction are expected to be constant processes over millions of years, and they are simply not good clocks.

    Indeed, and my calculations take into account all the sediment currently in the oceans, to include the sediment on continental slopes and shelves and river deltas. The total amount of sediment, taking all of these factors into account, is only 10^17 tons. That tonnage can be explained in just 15 million years. That’s a huge problem for mainstream theories of plate tectonics and the proposed age of ocean basins. Your arguments about the variability of sedimentation for different parts of the ocean floor are completely irrelevant to explaining the total tonnage that is currently in the oceans regardless of its location.

    I heard one geologist call it a “crude” dating method. Looks more related to “relative dating,” not “absolute dating.”

    Again, you’re looking at local rates of accumulation over time, not the overall rate of accumulation over time. You’re confusing two separate concepts here. They aren’t the same thing.

    Again, that is completely irrelevant to the point that the total amount of sediment, the total tonnage that is current in the oceans, irrespective of its location within the ocean basins, can be explained given just 15 million years… – Sean Pitman

    And the paper I linked a while ago using the current rate gave the figure of 100 million years: (“At a rate of 0.5 cm (.2 in)/1000 years, it takes only 100 million years to accumulate 500 m (1600 ft) of sediment,”)

    Indeed – the local rate of sediment accumulation on some areas of the ocean floor may indeed be this slow. Again, however, this is completely irrelevant to the fact that the total sediment contained by all the oceans in the whole world, to include the sediment that is on or close to the continent shelves, is far far too low for them to be nearly as old as mainstream scientists propose…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  52. @Professor Kent:

    Of course it’s a good thing; I never said it was bad. The problem is when you and Pitman maintain that empirical evidence from nature is essential to validate the Bible–and that is heresy and blasphemy.

    You yourself made this “blasphemous” claim when you listed off several empirical evidences, like fulfilled prophecy (based on empirical investigation of real history), as reasons why you believe the Bible to be superior to other books claiming to be the true Word of God.

    Here is what you wrote:

    In short, there is ample evidence to support the Bible and Christianity, including fulfilled prophecy, the lives and testimony of the apostles, archeology, the impact of the Bible on personal lives, and so forth. All of this is “empirical evidence” that goes beyond what is needed to establish the validity of scripture. The other religions are confronted with serious shortcomings on these issues, in my opinion… – Professor Kent

    Now, if the Holy Spirit is enough, as the Latter-day Saints believe, to lead you into all truth without having to use your brain, why did you appeal to these empirical evidences to support your belief or faith in the superior credibility of the Bible vs. other competing options held in higher regard by other faiths? Why didn’t you just appeal to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking directly to you as evidence enough?

    So, the argument here isn’t really over the need for an empirical basis for one’s faith in the Bible before it can be considered rational. You yourself appeal to such. You admit to the need for an empirical argument as the basis for choosing the Bible over other competing options. You’ve made this argument several times now. Therefore, the real argument here is in regard to your notion that the empirical basis, or “weight of empirical evidence” for faith never changes or needs to be re-examined in any way over time – despite the discovery of new evidence and information?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  53. @Phil Mills:

    One of these frequent posters claims to be a Young Earth Creationists, but believes in creation based on what he refers to as “faith.” One could get the idea that he fears that anything scientifically shown to support creation is actually bad since it would then somehow require less faith to believe. His faith, however, is more akin to the Catholic student who is reported to have said, “Faith is what you believe that you know ain’t so.”

    This is not Biblical faith. Neither is it the faith of the Adventist pioneers. It certainly doesn’t build faith, it actually destroys genuine faith. This pseudofaith more closely resembles a mere superstitious belief. It is no surprise that agnostics, evolutionists, and other doubters have such an affinity for those who possess this kind of “faith” on this site. Why wouldn’t they agree with it. It doesn’t threaten them in any way. It bolsters their ranks. It confirms their unbelief since they already believe faith is unreasonable.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  54. Pingback: Educate Truth - Evolution vs Creation at La Sierra University

  55. @Sean Pitman

    That’s a huge problem for mainstream theories of plate tectonics and the proposed age of ocean basins. Your arguments about the variability of sedimentation for different parts of the ocean floor are completely irrelevant to explaining the total tonnage that is currently in the oceans regardless of its location.

    Actually, the argument cited IS talking about the rate through time…not local rates. You have no basis for assuming that the rate was the same for the last 200 million years. — To quote him again: “Neither erosion nor subduction are expected to be constant processes over millions of years, and they are simply not good clocks” — He’s talking about rates over time..NOT the local level.

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  56. @ Sean Pitman

    Now, if the Holy Spirit is enough, as the Latter-day Saints believe, to lead you into all truth without having to use your brain, why did you appeal to these empirical evidences to support your belief or faith in the superior credibility of the Bible vs. other competing options held in higher regard by other faiths? Why didn’t you just appeal to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking directly to you as evidence enough?

    It is the height of arrogance to accuse others of adhering to blind faith, without using their brains. This is the most rude, obnoxious, hideous, and uncharitable characterization that Dr. Pitman repeats over and over ad nauseum. I have known many Mormons and those of other faiths in my lifetime, and all of them would take great offense at Pitman’s cruel accusations.

    Apparently, many of Sean’s supporters find this to be examplary Christian behavior (including Phil Mills). I’m really tired of this Satanic crusade against the faith of anyone who disagrees with Dr. Pitman on scientific matters.

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  57. What a TOTAL SHOCKER that not one EducateTruther is willing to come forward and declare their belief in the superiority of Scripture over Science. Not Sean Pitman, not Bob Ryan, not Inge Anderson, not Oink, not Phil Mills.

    The UNFATHOMABLE uniform position seems to be this: you can only believe in the Bible if the weight of modern scientific evidence supports it, and if one thinks otherwise, they are a stupid fool who believes based on feelings only, and without using their brains.

    I can’t believe that the LEGACY of EducateTruth has deteriorated to this!

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  58. I have articulated repeatedly the reasons why I believe in God, the Bible, and creation. I have explained that I accept some evidence for a young earth, and have often expressed hope that more could be found. I have thrown unequivicol support to all of the SDA Fundamental Beliefs. I have cited Scripture and Ellen White’s statements on the authority of God’s word. I have quoted sources from the SDA Biblical SDA Research Institute that verify the SDA position that Scripture must NOT be subjected to external verification. And yet I am characterized by Phil Mills in the following terms:

    One of these frequent posters claims to be a Young Earth Creationists, but believes in creation based on what he refers to as “faith.” One could get the idea that he fears that anything scientifically shown to support creation is actually bad since it would then somehow require less faith to believe. His faith, however, is more akin to the Catholic student who is reported to have said, “Faith is what you believe that you know ain’t so.”
    This is not Biblical faith. Neither is it the faith of the Adventist pioneers. It certainly doesn’t build faith, it actually destroys genuine faith.

    Brother Mills, where DO you get your facts–to which Sean Pitman so heartily agrees? Do you actually read my posts? Do you think for yourself, or are you simply blind in your allegiance to Dr. Pitman and his views?

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  59. To those of you who choose to base your faith on modern science, on “testable potentially falisible evidence with predictive power,” and on higher reasoning, you have made God subservient to your demands for evidence. You have diminished the express Word of God. You have made yourselves vulnerable to Satan’s deceptions.

    If the Word of God is not good enough for you, you have given yourself to heresy and blasphemy. There is no gentle way to state this.

    As you continue your self-ordained work of belittling and tearing down the faith of other believers, in the name of “present truth,” you are demonstrating that you have walled off your heart from the work of the Holy Spirit. I implore you to reconsider your course of action.

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  60. @ Sean Pitman

    Therefore, the real argument here is in regard to your notion that the empirical basis, or “weight of empirical evidence” for faith never changes or needs to be re-examined in any way over time – despite the discovery of new evidence and information?

    No, no, no. You don’t get it. The “weight of empirical evidence” should have NO BEARING WHATSOEVER for the SDA Christian who accepts, on God’s Word, that an axe head can float on water, that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that Jesus bodily ascended to heaven. Likewise, it should have NO BEARING WHATSOEVER for the SDA Christian who accepts, on God’s Word, that He created the earth in 6 days.

    You are denying God’s word when you insist that the “weight of empirical evidence” allows SDAs to believe the Bible. THE BIBLE CAN BE BELIEVED WITHOUT ANY MODERN EVIDENCE FROM DNA OR FOSSILS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE EVIDECE CHANGES! Why is it so difficult for you to concede this? Surely you are posturing, and don’t truly believe that we require 21st century evidence to accept scripture as the reliable word of God. Surely you cannot be so devoted to and blinded by the superiority of human reason. Now is your chance. Tell the world that you believe scripture is sufficient and requires no external validation–which is exactly what the official SDA Church teaches!

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  61. @Sean Pitman,

    You said before that overall rate of erosion and and sedimentation world wide along with the replacement of the materials is constant… I know that. But you keep assuming that the rate of today is the same as 200 million years ago, and quite frankly, you have no basis for such an assumption…and really, there is reason to believe otherwise as well.

    Geologists point out that the landmasses of today are much more mountainous and more rugged than in the past….and the mountanous topography is a excelerator to the rates of erosion…Now, if this is true, then that would mean that today the overall rate of erosion (and the addition of sediments to the ocean basins) would right now be at an all time high…As such, the current rate of sedimentary deposition cannot be used as a reliable clock to date the ocean floor. (Davis Young, Christianity & The Age Of The Earth, pages 128-131)

    Reputable Creation Scientists give vastly different estimates of the sea floor accumulation. You give the estimate of 15 million years. — Henry Morris gives the estimate of 75 million years (Scientific Creationism, pages 155, 156) — Stewart E. Nevins gives the estimate of 30 million years (Link: http://www.icr.org/article/evolution-ocean-says-no/ ) — Russel Humphries’ estimate is 12 million years (Link: http://creation.com/evidence-for-a-young-world ) — With all these vastly differing estimates on the parts of creation scientists, it makes me wonder about the basis of their data…especially since it’s the same argument. It’s not as if we have numerous dating methods being used and all disagreeing…Rather, it’s that we seem to have the same method being used and still disagreeing.

    –But I think I’ve found the mentality behind your argument. Stewart Nevins, on his page about the sedimentation of the sea floor, says:

    In only 30 million years assuming constant rate of erosion all the ocean sediments could have accumulated. This age does not square with the over 1 billion year age assumed by evolutionary uniformitarian geologists. (Bold, his)

    So, his argument is that since today’s rate would have deposited more, that therefore the principal of uniformity is wrong.. I dare say anyone who claims that geologists think “rates” have always been the same for EVERYTHING doesn’t understand the principle…At least, not in it’s current form. The principle he is refering to is known as “Substantive Uniformitarianism,” and modern geology rejects that. — Geologists now use a different principle called “Methodological Uniformitarianism”; that is processes around today have happened in the past…whether it be a storm, a mudslide, a volcanic eruption, etcetera..They may happen at different rates, but the same phenomena that happen today leave a finger print, and we can identify a geologic formation from the past with a similar finger print. (For more reading on this: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1979/JASA9-79Young.html )

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  62. @Professor Kent:

    Our dear professor Kent, A question to you, sir, if we may.

    But first, what is not in question: that a 6-day creation is true and SDA institutions should still teach it, but there is not a shred of scientific evidence for it. It is to be defended on faith alone. On that you could not make your position clearer.

    So should creation be taught only in our Departments of Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics, and not in our Biology Departments?

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  63. Everybody on the planet agrees that the runnoff from a world wide flood would present an “erosion” rate that is the REAL “all time high” many orders of magnitude above what we have today during the year that followed the deluge. That is pretty hard to ignore.

    Clearly – In the flood model – the erosion rates of today are miniscule by comparison to the time of the flood.

    Again this is a no-brainer.

    It is also accepted that in both the ATlantic and the Pacific the youngest measurements are at the point of the rifts thus we have spreading in both the Atlantic and the Pacific at the point of the rifts — not necessarily at the point of continental runnoff.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  64. What a TOTAL SHOCKER that not one EducateTruther is willing to come forward and declare their belief in the superiority of Scripture over Science. Not Sean Pitman, not Bob Ryan, not Inge Anderson, not Oink, not

    Every time I check back on this thread Kent is trying out some new “Flat earther” model trying to argue that EducateTruth people need to be “Flat earth creationists” ignoring science because of course in Kent’s mind science is opposed to the Bible.

    I think Dawkins will clearly join him in that crusade – but what Christian would do it??

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  65. First is the question of biogeography. Even a layman like myself can understand the “kangaroo problem.” Of course it goes beyond just the kangaroos, involving a number of creatures, many of which probably did not have common ancestors. It has been suggested that all the many marsupial animals in Australia just all happened to die out everywhere else between Ararat and Australia. Or perhaps angels were told to herd them all to their destination. Or maybe Noah chose some of his grandchildren to take some animals here and some there, lemurs to Madagascar, for instance. But, it would seem to me that even if you can present a reasonable argument that one of these scenarios *could have* happened, the only reason one would present them would be to defend the Genesis account, rather than because there was some other scientific evidence. So, how many of our biology college professors finds one or more of these possibilities to be something he can back up with scientific evidence? If 90% or more of them can’t maintain one of these *possible scenarios,” do we fire them, and do we maybe tell the religion teachers to teach biology?

    This is the “classic” bait and switch claim that evolutionists may well believe in the myth that birds come from reptiles without actually showing that to be the case – but creationists “need a video” in hand for any solution relative to the flood or else they must leave science.

    The lopsided nature of that argument is fairly transparent to the unbiased objective reader.

    Alvin asks
    I respect Ellen White for so earnestly upholding the truthfulness of Genesis. But, does that mean I have to respect every scientific explanation she ever put forward? Am I supposed to resort to the defense of “Well, you know, not everything was *verbally* inspired,” so that we can conscientiously discard her “amalgamation” statements, as perhaps being on the same level as the number of rooms in a building. But, given that we generallly maintain that she didn’t necessarily mean that any human beings were partially descended from apes, what did she mean? Do I need to respect the amalgamation statements, even though they have been used from time to time by some people to uphold racial superiority? I respect her earnest campaign for the souls and physical well-being of black people. But, why didn’t she ever tell us what she meant by this statement, instead of us having to try to explain it to each other nowadays? Does anybody know what point she was really trying to make? Is there any useful, helpful thing we can get from this statement, as it relates to the races of men?

    I have addressed this point in several posts — and they mysteriously dissappear for some reason I am not clear about. Maybe my computer has a glitch when it comes to that subject.

    The bottom line is that Ellen White identified what science today calls a “hybrid” as the explanation for the wide diversity in animal genomes that we see today. She never said that humans are mixed with animals.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  66. @krissmith777said I do beg your pardon.I made that apparently unwarranted assumption because that is the most common way to explain Ellen White’s visions by those who do not recognize her to be inspired. Perhaps you have other ways of explaining her “non-inspired” status (in your eyes), or perhaps you even recognize her to be inspired?At any rate, I won’t quote her at length (Bob Ryan has likely done so already), but you probably know that Ellen White explained the Flood and accompanying geological activities in unequivocally global terms. If you do accept her writings as inspired, how do you harmonize your beliefs with her writings?If you don’t accept her writings as inspired, just saying so is sufficient explanation.

    Thanks much

    It should be “expected” that this is a pro-Seventh-day Adventist web site and that even LSU and PUC will claim to be pro-SDA and will claim to accept the prophetic ministry of Ellen White.

    I do not know why the idea of rejecting the ministry Ellen White would be “assumed” in this context OTHER than claims that “in practice” this or that institution is rejecting her ministry or rejecting Genesis 1 and 2 or rejecting the words in Ex 20:8-11 etc. But none of the SDA groups being discussed is on record as admitting that they reject Ellen White’s prophetic ministry.

    Erv Taylor may have a correction to this sweeping claim of mine. We will see.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  67. I wrote

    What a TOTAL SHOCKER that not one EducateTruther is willing to come forward and declare their belief in the superiority of Scripture over Science. Not Sean Pitman, not Bob Ryan, not Inge Anderson, not Oink, not Phil Mills.

    To which Bob Ryan wrote

    Every time I check back on this thread Kent is trying out some new “Flat earther” model trying to argue that EducateTruth people need to be “Flat earth creationists” ignoring science because of course in Kent’s mind science is opposed to the Bible. I think Dawkins will clearly join him in that crusade – but what Christian would do it??

    How bizarre that I argue for the superiority of the Bible, and Bob, rather than joining me, says that Richard Dawkins–of all people, being one of the most antagonistic toward the Bible–is on my side! WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE THAT CLAIM TO DEFEND SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM?

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  68. @ Professor Kent

    How bizarre that I argue for the superiority of the Bible, and Bob, rather than joining me, says that Richard Dawkins–of all people, being one of the most antagonistic toward the Bible–is on my side! WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE THAT CLAIM TO DEFEND SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM?

    The way some of out fellow christians associate others with positions they just do not like with “hard” atheists like Richard Dawkins is nothing more than an ad hominem. — In a different thread on a different website, one person I was talking to kept bringing up Richard Dawkins. It was “Richard Dawkins says..” “Richard Dawkins claims…” It was all a tactic to simply dismiss what I was saying simply because he thought Dawkins would agree with me…even slightly. But there are major problems with such tactics: 1) Richard Dawkins speaks for Richard Dawkins, not for me. 2) I don’t even care what Richard Dawkins says, and our fellow Christians who worry about what he says should have better things to worry about. There seems to be a mentality here that because Dawkins takes a certain position, that we should take the opposite extreme, but that doesn’t even follow.

    Let the hard atheists like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet and Christopher Hitchens say what they want…It makes no difference to me.

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  69. Krissmith wrote this very provocative tidbit:

    The remains of underwater island chains which were formed by “hot spot” volcanos are inconsistent with “catastrophic” plate tectonics. The Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain itself indicates long, gradual plate tectonics. The chain originates a bit south of the Bering Strait, and continues before taking an “L” shape to continue to where the Hawaiian Islands are now. They were all formed by the same “Hot Spot” volcanoe as the plates traveled on over it. If this had happened within the space of a year, then that means that the plate was moving at a rate of 750 centimeters a minute!!!! That is the same as 25 feet a minute! With that in mind, the hot spot would never have had the time to create the ungerground mounds…even if it could have left a trail, it would not be what we see today. (A while ago, when I was considering and was opened to the idea of “Flood Geology,” I tried to harmonize this particular fact with a year flood…I couldn’t.)

    These observations are very interesting. There is no doubt regarding the volcanic origin of the seamounts, which for Hawaii rise at least 15,000 feet above the seafloor to reach the ocean surface and another 13,000+ feet above sea level.

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that Dr. Pitman chose to ignore this problem. According to Pitman, plate tectonics moved very rapidly during the flood and then slowed down, which creates the dilemma Kris has spoken to. The massive ocean basin and its seamounts could not have existed prior to the flood, but how could they possibly have formed in such little time during the flood itself–or during the following year? I’m certain this issue will be dismissed summarily, but I will take interest in the explanation–particularly if accompanied by predictable hypotheses supported by modern data.

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  70. @Professor Kent,

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that Dr. Pitman chose to ignore this problem. According to Pitman, plate tectonics moved very rapidly during the flood and then slowed down, which creates the dilemma Kris has spoken to. The massive ocean basin and its seamounts could not have existed prior to the flood, but how could they possibly have formed in such little time during the flood itself–or during the following year?

    In my judgement, it was the strongest point I made in that comment.

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  71. Kris,

    Your assumption that all the plate motion had to occur in one year is not necessary. Both the Pacific plate and the two matching sides of the mid-Atlantic ridge give the impression of early faster movement with significant slowing. Given the fact that they are still moving now, why do you want to squeeze everything into an impossibly short interval?

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  72. As you know, Kris, I am totally open toward and sympathetic of a short-term chronology. Perhaps the ocean and the most or all of the seamounts existed before the flood; the Bible certainly is silent on this possibility.

    As scientists, you and I can remain open-minded on this. Neither of us requires an explanation, so we are not inclined to invent a highly detailed scenario of what happened when and where in relation to the flood. But I’m really curious to know how someone as dogmatic as Sean would interpret it. It’d be cool if he was right.

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