Shane, I don’t disagree with your position. I was only …

Comment on The Metamorphosis of La Sierra University: an eye-witness account by Professor Kent.

Shane, I don’t disagree with your position. I was only reacting to David Read’s use of the phrase “conspiracy theory,” and I was trying to do so respectfully.

I think that power struggles occur in every institution. Alliances inevitably form–for power or ideology, for self-preservation, for simple friendship, for myriad reasons good or bad. I think the more applicable term here would be an “alliance” rather than a “conspiracy.” We all recognize that the word “conspiracy” conveys a negative tone. Would we want to say that the GC “conspires” to maintain a core set of fundamental beliefs? I don’t think so.

Actually, I don’t think that policies enacted by alliances are necessarily difficult to break. And, as the survey underway may very well show, a change at LSU may already be underway. If, per chance, their data support this (I know my optimism is unpopular here), I hope that some will begin to offer praise rather than continuing criticism, and actually credit SDA and LSU leadership for effectiveness.

Professor Kent Also Commented

The Metamorphosis of La Sierra University: an eye-witness account
Bob Ryan wrote

Our SDA professors are being urged to get their doctorates from non-SDA all-evolution all-the-time universities as this helps with accreditation and ranking. They tend to get “first pick” if they do that – and they know it.

Really? Where do you get this factoid? (I’m not disputing you; I simply don’t know the facts…but I will ask my SDA biologist colleague about this.)

When I reviewed the SDA biology departments about a year ago, I recall seeing quite a few faculty having earned their doctorate from Loma Linda University, and it looked to me at the time that they had a pretty good program. If I recall correctly, LLU had the only doctoral program in biology, though other schools offered master’s degrees (I forget which ones).

I think the bigger program, which most everyone recognizes, is the utter lack of biology PhDs coming through the pipeline–whether trained at LLU or elsewhere. At one point, someone who went by Eddie urged discussion of options to help resolve this dilemma, but no one was interested in this. So many people here are eager to see the “errant” biologists resign, or be fired if need be, but for some odd reason no one seems concerned about who will replace them. Apparently, Eddie gave up. Similarly, the former president of PUC offered to nudge along a discussion of how to better retain our youth in the Church, but he was mistreated here and gave up as well.

I’m afraid that most EducateTruthers think only in terms of a top-down solution: let’s force administrators to get rid of the “offenders.” The reality is that the situation will only improve when bottom-up strategies are discussed with seriousness: how do we get some high-quality, faithful biologists back into our ranks?

The Metamorphosis of La Sierra University: an eye-witness account
So, Sean, if I understand you correctly, fulfilled prophecy is “science” (as you allude to in your response to Bill Sorensen) but observing a miracle by Jesus is not (as you allude to in your response to me). Am I right?

And then, I suppose, something “indisputable” can never be “proven” or shown absolutely to be “truth?”

The Metamorphosis of La Sierra University: an eye-witness account
Conspiracy theories will never fail to draw attention. Out of curiosity, do only the “bad” people “conspire?” Or do “good” people ever join hands and “conspire” as well–or do we apply a different term for this sort of thing?

Recent Comments by Professor Kent

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Nic&#032Samojluk: 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.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

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.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

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.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
@Sean Pitman:

So clearly you believe that science can explain supernatural events. Congratulations on that.