Comment on What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist? by Professor Kent.
Sean Pitman: The ability to be rationally-minded, the ability to think in a scientific manner, is a gift of God.
Sean Pitman: Empirically-derived knowledge is the basis of rational faith and hope, but not of love or salvation.
Sean Pitman: We should not be telling people that God is unable or unwilling to provide them with any more evidence than what could support wishful thinking or belief in the reality of any fairytale story.
And a good year to all.
Professor Kent Also Commented
Neither Shirley nor I said anything about a paycheck, nor did we state that an organization has no right to defend itself. You’re like a record player stuck in a groove that can’t move to the next song.
What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
Let’s face it: evidence can be construed to support whatever one would like it to support. It’s all subject to personal interpretation, and one can “weigh” the evidence as one desires. And because science can’t falsify or prove a negative, it can be consistent with essentially anything one imagines, as Sean Pitman’s cleverly reasoned evidentiary basis for Christ’s resurrection makes clear. Thus, one can construct an elaborate rationalization for any belief by declaring that evidence supports it and/or does not refute it.
Accordingly, a faithful Adventist can “rationally” accept any claim that Ellen White, Sean Pitman, or Walter Veith puts forth as having a foundation in evidence rather than wishful thinking. We should be so proud!
Again, Ellen White makes this comment, which Sean Pitman deems inspired, literally correct, and unimpeachable: “Science is ever discovering new wonders; but she brings from her research nothing that, rightly understood, conflicts with divine revelation.”
If this statement is indeed correct, then there must be some scientific data “rightly understood” which indicates that a human body dead for three days can come back to life. I challenge Sean Pitman or anyone else to provide us this “rightly understood” empirical evidence.
Recent Comments by Professor Kent
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Nic Samojluk: No wonder most creationist writers do not even try to submit their papers to such organizations.
Who wants to waste his/her time trying to enter through a door that is closed to him/her a priori?
You have no idea what you’re writing about, Nic. As it turns out, there are in fact many of us Adventists who “waste” our time publishing articles through doors that open to us a priori. Even Leonard Brand at Loma Linda, a widely recognized creationist, has published in the top geology journals. I mean the top journals in the discipline.
The myth that creationists cannot publish in mainstream science is perpetuated by people who simply do not understand the culture of science–and will remain clueless that they do not understand it even when confronted with their misunderstandings. Such is human nature.
Your questions about conservation genetics are very insightful. I don’t understand how all these life forms were able to greatly increase in genetic diversity while simultaneously winding down and losing genetic information to mutations. Sean seems to insist that both processes happen simultaneously. I had the impression he has insisted all along that the former cannot overcome the latter. But I think you must be right: God had to intervene to alter the course of nature. However, we can probably test this empirically because there must be a signature of evidence available in the DNA. I’ll bet Sean can find the evidence for this.
I’m also glad the predators (just 2 of most such species) in the ark had enough clean animals (14 of each such species) to eat during the deluge and in the months and years after they emerged from the ark that they didn’t wipe out the vast majority of animal species through predation. Maybe they all consumed manna while in the ark and during the first few months or years afterward. Perhaps Sean can find in the literature a gene for a single digestive enzyme that is common to all predatory animals, from the lowest invertebrate to the highest vertebrate. Now that would be amazing.
Wait a minute–I remember once being told that SDA biologists like Art Chadwick believe that some animals survived on floating vegetation outside the ark. Now that would solve some of these very real problems! I wonder whether readers here would allow for this possibility. Multiple arks without walls, roof, and human caretakers.
Ellen White said, “In the days of Noah, men…many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians [presumably referring to humans] perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history…”
Sean Pitman said, “All human fossils discovered so far are Tertiary or post-Flood fossils. There are no known antediluvian human fossils.”
Ellen White tells us that humans and dinosaurs (presumably referred to in the statement, “a class of very large animals which perished at the flood… mammoth animals”) lived together before the flood. Evolutionary biologists tell us that dinosaurs and humans never lived together. You’re telling us, Sean, that the fossil record supports the conclusion of evolutionists rather than that of Ellen White and the SDA Church. Many of the “very large animals which perished at the flood” are found only in fossil deposits prior to or attributed to the flood, whereas hunans occur in fossil deposits only after the flood (when their numbers were most scarce).
Should the SDA biologists, who are supposed to teach “creation science,” be fired if they teach what you have just conceded?
La Sierra Univeristy Fires Dr. Lee Greer; Signs anti-Creation Bond
For those aghast about the LSU situation and wondering what other SDA institutions have taken out bonds, hold on to your britches. You’ll be stunned when you learn (soon) how many of our other schools, and which ones in particular, have taken out these bonds. You will be amazed to learn just how many other administrators have deliberately secularized their institutions besides Randal Wisbey, presumably because they too hate the SDA Church (as David Read has put it so tactfully).
Be sure to protest equally loudly.
So clearly you believe that science can explain supernatural events. Congratulations on that.