@Ervin Taylor: And what happens when you and your students …

Comment on The Reptile King by Sean Pitman.

@Ervin Taylor:

And what happens when you and your students one day find out that you’ve fallen for one of the biggest hoaxes in history? – that intelligent design and the Adventist view of creation isn’t just religion for dummies, but is in fact the empirical truth? – and that there was a great deal of evidence supporting this truth all along which you and the professors at LSU hid from your students in order to promote your own personal erroneous philosophies and beliefs under the assumed cloak of Adventist membership and support of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? What happens then?

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

The Reptile King
Hermeneutics vs. Epistemology

The problem with Phil Brantley’s views is that he really doesn’t deal with epistemology – i.e., how he knows that the Bible is really the Word of God to begin with. Until he does that, there really is no rational basis to blindly accept the Bible as the Word of God over and above the claims of any other religious text – like the Qur’an or the Book of Mormon.

Hermeneutics, the science of determining what an author was trying to say, is not the same thing as epistemology – the science of determining that what the author was trying to say is actually true. Hermeneutics and epistemology go hand-in-hand, but they are not the same thing. Brantely consistently confuses these concepts.

In short, one is forced to make critical choices when one is deciding between competing options. I feel that Brantley has chosen the Bible largely because he was born into Christianity rather than because he has spent much time critically thinking about why he believes what he believes or how he is able to know what he thinks he knows.

It is also for this reason, or so it seems to me, that Brantley fails to understand basic scientific methodology and how it can be universally applied. He is inconsistent in his views and applications of the methods of science and philosophy – and therefore of religion as well. He really doesn’t know why he believes anything. He doesn’t understand the methodology or the logical basis for his epistemology in any realm of thought – except to follow the conclusions of those he considers to be authorities in various disciplines without any real personal understanding of his own that he can put into his own words.

As far as Professor Kent, he is simply trying to have his cake and eat it too. He is only consistent in speaking out of both sides of his mouth…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


The Reptile King
@Wesley Kime:

Anyway, some of us (I am a distant relative of the accused) are more confirmed in the church than ever precisely as a result of not only Dr. Pitman’s attitude, and that of this site, but the facts and evidence he perseveres in presenting.

I really appreciate being part of your family too. Thanks Wes. Hope to see you next week if you’re around…

Sean


The Reptile King
@Ron:

You overestimate my influence with cousins, uncles, and aunts! Besides, some of them left, because of what seemed to them the science against the Biblical model of origins, before I was born. It seems kinda hard, therefore, to pin it on my attitude – though some do say I was a pretty ornery baby 😉

Sean


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
First off, it’s Dr. Marcum, not “Marcus”. Secondly, the “natural immunity” he speaks of was the result of getting infected by the COVID-19 virus. Sure, the antibodies against COVID-19 that his immune system produced after his infection are helpful in preventing future infections with the alpha variant, but, unfortunately, not so much when it comes to the delta variant (Link). The fact of the matter is that the best and safest way to educate the human immune system to effectively resist the delta variant is via the mRNA vaccines. Why on Earth people believe that getting infected by the COVID-19 virus is somehow safer than exposing one’s immune system to a tiny inactive part of the virus is beyond me. Upon what rational basis do you believe this? Where is your scientific evidence or medical mechanism for this notion of yours?

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m at all opposed to the Adventist Health Message. Since the very beginning of this pandemic I’ve promoted good health, diet, exercise, vitamin D, etc as a great place to start to improve one’s immune system (Link). Unfortunately, however, for many this just isn’t enough. I have very good SDA friends who live very strictly according to the Adventist Health Message, yet they still got very sick and many died. Even some young SDA friends of mine in their 30s and 40s who didn’t die almost did die and some have permanent injuries from their COVID-19 infections.

The problem is that the COVID-19 virus attacks the lining of blood vessels throughout the body, even for many very good and very healthy SDAs. This results in long-term injuries and organ damage – to include damage to the lungs, heart, and even the brain. It can even permanently reduce your IQ (Link).

Regarding Revelation 18:23, in particular, the term “pharmakeia” is best translated as “sorcery” here. There is no intended advice at all against modern medicine in this passage. What, are you suggesting that medications like antibiotics to treat bacterial infections or insulin to treat diabetes are evil “sorceries”? Again, such arguments only make the Christians who say such things look sensational and irrational – which puts the Gospel Message itself into a bad light for those who are considering following Christ. (Link)

This isn’t to say that vaccines are without risks. As with pretty much everything in life, the mRNA vaccines have various known risks, including a very very small risk of death. Of course, these risks are all very minimal compared to the very same risks for getting infected by COVID-19 – which are much much MUCH greater with the COVID-19 infection than with the vaccines. The odds of dying due to an mRNA vaccine are less than the odds of getting hit by lightning! The same cannot be said for the odds of dying and/or getting permanent serious injuries from a COVID-19 infection. The odds of death from COVID-19 double for every seven years one is older than the age of 20. By the time you’re over the age of 75, your odds of death are 32 times greater than someone in their 20s. I have spoken to the various relative risks of the vaccines in this forum many times. It’s not like I’m trying to hide anything. I want all the cards to be on the table. Why would I want to hide anything? The unvarnished truth is, again, that even though there are real risks to vaccines, these risks are minimal compared to the much MUCH greater risks of getting infected with the actual COVID-19 virus – when it comes to every single type of risk one can imagine (Link, Link). You mention “heart inflammation” in young men, for an example. And, that’s indeed a real risk of the vaccines. However, this risk is minimal at around 1 in 200,000 – with no deaths or evidence of long-term injury resulting from this particular type of risk (Link). Compare this with the risk of myocarditis from getting infected by the actual COVID-19 virus at around 30%. That’s right, around a third of otherwise healthy young people who get infected by COVID-19 will get heart inflammation (Link). Again, the risk of COVID-19 infection far FAR outweighs the very same risk for the vaccine. This is true for every other valid risk that you or anyone else can list.

Why then would you choose to expose yourself and those close to you with the much riskier option that is available to you?

Regarding censorship, I’m not a fan of government censorship of free speech. While I do agree that misinformation on this topic is, in fact, killing people, I also believe that free speech is fundamental to this country and to the very fabric of our society. That doesn’t mean that I have to provide a platform, however, for speech that I consider to be dangerous. The same is true for others who provide platforms for various forms of conversation. They are also free to promote whatever they want on the platforms that they own.

In any case, I have yet to see a medical or scientific argument coming from you that I can actually understand as offering some reasonable support for your claims or that effectively undermines anything that I’ve said in favor of the mRNA vaccines. Really then, what do you have as a solid empirical basis for your position? – beyond your personal feelings? – or your appeals to various authority figures who are making claims that you personally haven’t investigated as to their actual scientific basis? Do you have any scientific background or medical training or understanding at all? Where is your weight of empirical evidence that might help a pathologist like me actually understand the validity of your position?


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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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