Re Sean’s Quote “The Bible’s credibility can be, and I believe …

Comment on PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood? by Ken.

Re Sean’s Quote

“The Bible’s credibility can be, and I believe must be, based on the weight of empirical evidence. Otherwise, our belief in the Bible is no more rational or credible than the faith of other beleivers in their particular Holy Books – like those who believe in the superiority of the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an…”

“In short, if I ever became convinced that the theory of evolution was actually tenable, that the fossil record really does represent hundreds of millions of years of suffering and death for sentient creatures, I’d leave not only the SDA Church behind, but Christianity as well.”

This is courageous. This is also why Prof. Kent is, rightfully I might add, concerned about Sean’s position. If one’s science is faith driven and ultimately the vast preponderance of science cannot objectively support that position what happens to one’s faith?

Can one person be the objective barometer of all of science? I can’t. It has to be tested by the collective objectivity of many over the course of time. But one can use rational discernment to comprehend that.

Sean, if after sober reflection I ever come to the conclusion that the overwhelming evidence supports that all life, baring a bit of sea life, came off the Ark about 4000 years ago I’ll gladly join you at Sabbath service.


Ken Also Commented

PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood?
Re OTNT’s Quote

“That is a key thing. Indoctrination is out of place in the college classroom.”



That is why I don’t think the notion of creation science should ever be ridiculed.

Evolution, which I think gives the most rational, science supported theory or origins, is not some sort of secular, sacred cow. I’m fine with it being scrutinized, examined and attacked. Lots to learn yet about it, and lots being learned.

Creationists, like Sean, do a service to the SDA and mainstream science by doing so. Why to mainstream science? Because, if Sean’s science does not stand up to rigorous examination from many disciplines it will inversely reinforce evolution. But if Sean finds convincing evidence to support a young earth he may turn some heads in mainstream science.

For example he has raised many interesting questions about erosion and the age of the earth that in my mind I don’t know if mainstream science has answered yet. I don’t think this answers my questions about what caused the tectonic plated to move rapidly or whether the Tibetan Plateau is eroding. That’s OK, it doesn’t detract from his legitimate questions.

What Sean should do, in my humble estimation, is concede his faith bias when it operates to fill in the gaps of a young earth model. Science cannot be biased and objective. When Sean conjectures on things like the rapid movement of tectonic plates at the time of a world wide flood, with out knowing what caused it, that bias is transparent. Better to say you don’t know or, heaven forbid, that old age science in certain areas might offer the better explanation, rather than take a non empirical ‘leap of faith’.

By the way, I see the exact same bias raising its head in Dawkins work. I don’t trust his objectivity as a result.

Hope that helps the debate
Agnostic Ken

PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood?
Re Sean’s Quote

“So, beyond simply being informative, this is a forum that allows people from both sides of this issue to express their personal thoughts and feelings. Otherwise, we’d not have a comment section. Allowing people to comment comes with its own risks. We do not endorse or even agree with the majority of the comments made – even from those who are actually sympathetic to “our side” of this issue.

Yet, after much discussion and concern over allowing comments, even those with which we do not agree (like yours), we feel it important enough that people have some sort of forum to express their thoughts on this important topic to allow comments to be made – especially comments from those who most strongly disagree with us.”

Dear All

Even though I come for the opposite end of the spectrum I support and endorse Dr.Pitman and Educate Truth 100% on this philosophy. Educate Truth is providing a great forum and service to the SDA church, and may I venture to the wider community as well, by allowing all ‘voices’ to be cyber heard. Once editors start censoring remarks because they don’t like the message, forums become self serving and subjective. I think Sean, Shane and the rest of editorial staff have shown courage, compassion and a thick skin to allow a broad diversity of opinion to abound.

And remember, this comes from a guy with no religious faith who thinks evolution is the most rational explanation for origins!

Take care
your agnostic friend

PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood?
Re Sean’s Quote

“That’s a problem, in my book, because the author(s) of the Genesis account were so specific about what was seen. From the author’s perspective, the Earth was in fact created in just six literal days, each of which certainly seemed to have been divided by “evenings and mornings”. Now, it would be very hard to misinterpret “evenings and mornings”. Even a little child could get that much right. It just doesn’t take too much intelligence or experience to correctly report such an empirical observation.”

Dear Sean

What am I missing or not understanding here? Who made the empirical observation of the earth being created in six days divided by evenings and mornings?

Does it matter if the author of Genesis was specific if he (Moses?) is reporting after the fact? In law that is called heresay, versus direct evidence, which is usually not admitted to its unreliability.

Are you perhaps confusing testimony for empirical observation?


Recent Comments by Ken

God and Granite Cubes
@ Sean

I enjoyed your article. As I’ve stated before, I think Intelligent Design is a more modern form of Deism and do not think it is irrational. However, as science on an ongoing basis shows what matters are explainable by cause and effect, less is attributable to conscious design. The question of course is what are the limits of science in this regard? For example, will it ever be able to explain First Cause/

Below is a more fulsome quote of Professor Townes, an self acknowledged Protestant Christian. Please note what he has to say about literal creation and evolution. Do you think he is being more reasonable than you on the nature of design?

“I do believe in both a creation and a continuous effect on this universe and our lives, that God has a continuing influence – certainly his laws guide how the universe was built. But the Bible’s description of creation occurring over a week’s time is just an analogy, as I see it. The Jews couldn’t know very much at that time about the lifetime of the universe or how old it was. They were visualizing it as best they could and I think they did remarkably well, but it’s just an analogy.

Should intelligent design be taught alongside Darwinian evolution in schools as religious legislators have decided in Pennsylvania and Kansas?

I think it’s very unfortunate that this kind of discussion has come up. People are misusing the term intelligent design to think that everything is frozen by that one act of creation and that there’s no evolution, no changes. It’s totally illogical in my view. Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here.
Charles Townes
‘Faith is necessary for the scientist even to get started, and deep faith is necessary for him to carry out his tougher tasks. Why? Because he must have confidence that there is order in the universe and that the human mind – in fact his own mind – has a good chance of understanding this order.’
-Charles Townes, writing in “The Convergence of Science and Religion,” IBM’s Think magazine, March-April 1966
Some scientists argue that “well, there’s an enormous number of universes and each one is a little different. This one just happened to turn out right.” Well, that’s a postulate, and it’s a pretty fantastic postulate – it assumes there really are an enormous number of universes and that the laws could be different for each of them. The other possibility is that ours was planned, and that’s why it has come out so specially. Now, that design could include evolution perfectly well. It’s very clear that there is evolution, and it’s important. Evolution is here, and intelligent design is here, and they’re both consistent.

They don’t have to negate each other, you’re saying. God could have created the universe, set the parameters for the laws of physics and chemistry and biology, and set the evolutionary process in motion, But that’s not what the Christian fundamentalists are arguing should be taught in Kansas.

People who want to exclude evolution on the basis of intelligent design, I guess they’re saying, “Everything is made at once and then nothing can change.” But there’s no reason the universe can’t allow for changes and plan for them, too. People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it. I think that whole argument is a stupid one. Maybe that’s a bad word to use in public, but it’s just a shame that the argument is coming up that way, because it’s very misleading. “

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Sean’s Quote

“Yes, I am suggesting that our scientists should also be theologians to some degree. I’m also suggesting that our theologians be scientists to some degree as well. There should be no distinct dividing line between the two disciplines…”

Hello Sean

First of all, thank you Holly for your comments. You have always treated me with civility and charity for which I am most grateful.

Secondly, on reflection, I do hope I was not strident or offensive in my recent remarks. I am a guest here and should behave with the utmost respect regarding my Adventist hosts. After all I was proposing the Chair of ID at an ‘Adventist’ institution! What gall and temerity from an agnostic!

However something Dr. Kime said struck a very strange chord in me: that a Chair in ID at Harvard would be a quantum leap ( forward – my edit) while such a Chair would be a step backward at LSU. I’ m very sorry Wes, but for me to honestly investigate reality such double standard is not acceptable.

I am sad today, because I think I’m coming to the end of my Adventist journey. I really did see ID as a sort of bridge between your faith and objective inquiry about a ‘Grand’ Design. (apologies Mr. Hawkings). Oh Wes , perhaps I am ontological Don Quixote after all, comically tilting towards immovable Adventist windmills. 🙁 .

However all is not forlorn because I’ve made excellent friends of the heart here. ;). I won’t forget you.

Good luck in your pursuit of God.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Wes’s Quote

“. But for a Christian, a great devolution, a great recidivation, a tragic forfeiture, foreclosure, worse. If I were to use the vocabulary of some of our recent posters, I’d not put it as delicately.”

Hi Wes and Sean

I just read again portions on ID from Sean’s website Detecting Design. I am very confused by both of your responses. Why the heck is Sean promoting ID as a scientific theory if this is such a Christian retreat? Perhaps you two differ here? I apologize if I am missing the obvious but I see a tremendous disconnect between what Sean is saying about ID and what he is prepared to do to promote it within the subset of Adventist education.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Sean’s Quote

“Public association is one thing. Private association is another. While many do not feel at liberty to publicly associate themselves with our work here (for obvious reasons), most who still believe in SDA fundamentals (and who are aware of the longstanding situation at LSU and other places) feel that our work in providing enhanced transparency for what is being taught to our young people in our schools was/is necessary on some level.”

Hi Sean

The irony here is that those that are supporting institutional enhanced transparency are hiding behind cloaks of anonymity. That’s not how you, I, Wes, Bob Ryan, Wes, Bill Sorenson and many others here behave. Imagine if Jesus hid behind a cloak and didn’t proclaim his nature. What legacy of respect would he have left?

Conviction requires courage period.

Your agnostic friend

Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Re Intelligent Design

Gentleman, thanks to all for your fulsome replies.

Yes Wes, I remember your cogent analysis of November 14/11. I appreciared it then and its reiteration now. indeed I was waiting to hear from others especially Sean whose site is named Detecting Design. And, here I agree with Bob, ID
does not necessarily rule out any particular design i. e. fiat
creation ot theistic evolution.

But quite frankly I am disaapointed with Sean’s response, not Sean himself for whom I have deep admiration, because I see this as a step backward. Why? Because if you burn the bridge between science and biblical faith it will not be science that suffers.

Ironically Sean makes many fine, cogent arguments for design in nature so I find his reluctance to promote it formally in Adventist education troubling. Respectfully, I don’t think serious enquiry about reality can creep around the periphery or sneak in through the back door. I’m afraid I see a double standard here.

Yes Wes, I understand why Adventists are nervous on this issue. But if one is seeking the truth about reality one can’t wall it in or burn bridges of enquiry. Wes, perhaps the Hellenic maxim should have not so much: Know thyself, but rather Think for thyself. My park bench in Pugwash is a welcome one but does not feature ontological dividers. It is well designed for truth seekers.

Your agnostic friend