WASC Reviews LSU’s Accreditation

On July 19, 2011 La Sierra University issued a press release regarding an “action letter” from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in which WASC noted several points of concern over LSU’s handling of the recent resignation of four members of LSU’s board ( Link ).  WASC was especially concerned over the “divisions on the board concerning the controversy over the teaching of science” and the actions of the board chair (Elder Ricardo Graham) that were largely independent of the board.  WASC suggested that Graham “acted in his capacity as a church leader” rather than as part of an independent board – undermining “institutional autonomy.”  Therefore, WASC issued a “Formal Notice of Concern” to LSU with a scheduled visit to LSU in the Spring of 2012 to evaluate the steps taken by LSU to address the concerns raised by WASC.

The following is an excerpt from the WASC letter:

Based on the bylaws and the statements of the board chair himself, it appears that he did not have independent authority as La Sierra’s board chair to take these actions and was not acting at the instruction of the board. The board chair reported that he consulted only with a few of the Church-designated trustees, members of national Church leadership, and university counsel before asking for the resignations of the four individuals involved. The Commission could infer from these facts that the board chair acted in his capacity as a Church leader, which would be a clear violation of WASC standards on institutional autonomy.

Here is La Sierra’s response to the WASC letter:

Though the University’s eight-year regional accreditation is not affected, WASC has identified concerns regarding the role and composition of the La Sierra University Board of Trustees and issues related to institutional autonomy. Those findings have led WASC to issue a Notice of Concern.

The WASC Commission has requested a meeting between WASC leadership and the university president, provost, and full governing board within the coming 90 days to offer further information as to the reasons for their actions and to discuss the University’s response plan.  WASC has also indicated that they will return for a follow-up visit to La Sierra in Spring 2012 to determine whether appropriate progress is being made in addressing their concerns.

The La Sierra Board of Trustees, which met on July 18 to review the letter, stated that it “takes WASC’s findings seriously,” has reconvened the Articles and Bylaws Committee “in response to concerns noted by WASC”, and plans to meet again in August.

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576 thoughts on “WASC Reviews LSU’s Accreditation

  1. Adventist kid: Let’s remember that La Sierra is first, and foremost, an accredited university. The church chose to take this route. As such, the standards that are expected of accredited schools are the primary standards the school should seek to uphold.

    Let us “wildly imagine” for a sec that the Adventist denomination decide to cut loose LSU from its role in owning and operating LSU and set it adrift to be the best possible pubulic university that Adventist tuition, tithe, offering and gift dollars could buy. No more worries about the school actually training for and representing the SDA world view.

    Now LSU’s new “masters” are the public university overlords, public opinion polls, whatever the latest storytelling is among evolutionists – et al to use and do with as they please.

    Suppose our ownly goal was to provide those entities with the best possible university campus to do with as they pleased.

    Well then EducateTruth would be focussing all of its time on the SDA adminstrators that blindly chose such a path and not only the school that would now be cut loose from SDA management and oversight.

    And while that alternate reality came may be fun for some people to buy (those who wish to see our schools divorced from the church that created them) not everyone here is going to enjoy or buy that form of alternate reality.

    Revisionist histories being what they are.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  2. Adventist Kid: “Let’s remember that La Sierra is first, and foremost, an accredited university. The church chose to take this route. As such, the standards that are expected of accredited schools are the primary standards the school should seek to uphold.”

    Yet another fairy tale. La Sierra is supposed to be first and foremost an SDA institution. A place where SDA youth can go to be educated without being pumped full of evolution. You can argue all this stuff till the cows come home, but where it counts is in heaven. There La Sierra, its administrators, board members, and professors are going to be held to account. There they will fool no one with their slick jargon and ridiculous “scientific” arguments.

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  3. pauluc: 4] You say “Anyone who believes in evolution in any form is greatly deceived”. This conclusion I presume is based on deep understanding of the science in this field or are you merely a reflector of other men’s thoughts? It is very easy to dismiss something of which you have no knowledge. If you do want to understand for yourself I would suggest you start by reading a book by a fine Christian gentleman David Young called “Discovering evolution” that gives the historical context for the study of the origin of species in the early 19th century.

    Why not just go to the source? Why dance around like that if you want the history?

    What did DARWIN say about evolution?

    But I had gradually come by this time, i.e. 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindus….

    By further reflecting… that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracle become, – that the men of the time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible to us,- that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events,- that they differ in many important details…

    I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation…. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans… which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels. But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct.


    Darwin (1887) I p. 308 & [Barlow (1958)].

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  4. pauluc: 5] I do not fault you in wanting to limit academic freedom in Adventist schools but I do ask you to recognize that you cannot have an accredited university and so do.

    We should allow the accademic freedom to engage in actual science – but forbid the storytelling and junk-religion that goes into the junk-science called evolution.

    Collin Patterson – Paleontologist British Museum of Natural history – said:

    Patterson – quotes Gillespie’s arguing that Christians
    “‘…holding creationist ideas could plead ignorance of the means and affirm only the fact,'”

    Patterson countered, “That seems to summarize the feeling I get in talking to evolutionists today. They plead ignorance of the means of transformation, but affirm only the fact: ‘Yes it has…we know it has taken place.'”

    “…Now I think that many people in this room would acknowledge that during the last few years, if you had thought about it at all, you’ve experienced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith. I know that’s true of me, and I think it’s true of a good many of you in here…

    “…,strong>Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge , apparent knowledge which is actually harmful to systematics…”

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  5. There is a storyline being fabricated here promoting the idea that our colleges were never accredited. The story seems to demand that we imagine that only our Universities are accredited. We are told that once we submit to accreditation – then we must renounce the mission that we gave the colleges to start with – cutting them loose to serve at the dictates of popular worldly opinion regarding birds coming from reptiles and who knows what else.

    Question: – who is really buying their line of storytelling on those points?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  6. I think most of us understand the final goal of Satan is to discredit the bible. He can no longer take it away physically. There are too many in print for that.

    Thus, his alternate plan is to undermine its teaching and authority by denying its validity.

    One of his most effective ploys is to claim it is too ambiguous and non-definable to conclude non-negotiable facts. So everything is subject to some new understanding that is superior to any historical conclusions.

    What the liberals would call “new light”. And/or progressive enlightenment. While we as bible believing Christians are aware of “new light” being possible and even likely, we are also convinced that any “new light” will not attack and/or contradict basic bible truth that has been clearly established by the bible itself.

    Any “new light” must necessarily fit the flow of the whole biblical revelation.

    As the first coming of Jesus was eventually understood by His followers in a scriptural context, and proved and supported by the same, even so, any “new light” about the second coming must follow this same norm.

    We are also aware that Satan will impersonate Jesus and His second coming before the true and real event. With the purpose of creating a “new world order” that fits his own kingdom principles in opposition to God’s kingdom.

    This he can not do without first undermining the bible and placing its teaching and influence in a vague and obscure light. Evolution has worked well to help him in his final goal.

    But we must be aware that his final thrust is even more subtle than a blatant attack on creation. He is master of creating a diversionary problem and then solving it by his own false spiritual principles that are more subtle.

    In this way, the true antichrist (Satan) supposedly exposes the false antichrist and the people readily follow him as some spiritually mature “savior” who has saved them from a delusion and a deception.

    His final goal is to overthrow and undermine the bible Sabbath. We have yet to see his final principles put in place, but we have clearly seen how easily many have already been deceived, even in the SDA church. If God cleanses the church, then we should be prepared for a mass exodus with no surprise that so many would leave the SDA faith.

    And if you don’t see the very spirit of the celebration movement is a godless antichrist movement, embraced and endorsed by modern Adventism, it is not likely you will see it in the future.

    Ultimately, what are they celebrating? They are celebrating the idea that the law was done away at the cross. Do you see that? If not, you would do well to carefully consider the implications of what is being taught and said. Hopefully, more church members in the near future will see this reality and demand a more dynamic accountability of themselves individually, and the church corporately.

    If not, as I have said many times, the final result is a failure of the SDA church to fulfill God’s message and mission for the church.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen

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  7. @David Read:
    Thank you for your articulate response to my post.

    On many things I think we agree entirely. If as it appears the GC wish to be consistent with their current theological views then it has little option but to remove its educational medical institutions from the influence of modern evidence based medicine and external academic accreditation.

    This is the only position that is consistent with an understanding of the inerrancy of both EG White and the Bible that underpins the world view of historical Adventism, a position that seems to be accepted by you and people like Faith.

    Your minimalist solution seems to be to try to keep the University and the external academic accreditation and carefully and surgically remove any dissident voices from the university, muffled though they may be.

    Though I agree this is a laudable goal I am much less sanguine and accept that such measures cut to the core of the idea of a university and will be viewed with cynicism by external accreditation bodies. But you are a lawyer and know the difference between what is legally possible compared to what is sincere.

    As you appreciate LLU and medical schools are now hotbeds of “liberal” thought and this I believe is absolutely related to the scientific world view that has given us the cargo of modern society and modern medicine, but this is a faustian bargain and asks us in return to live by evidence not by tradition. I think this cannot help but erode the idea that we must accept “God said it I believe it without”without in some way scrutinizing the basis for this as Sean has repeatedly asserted in his polemic against blind faith. I think you only have to look back at the history of Creation science since the time of Darwin and Wallace as chronicled by the books of Ron Numbers [The Creationists, see particularly the history of the ASA] to see that education is mostly the enemy rather than the ally of fundamentalism. Even EGW was stung by this in the person of JHK. What happened to the GRI under Ritland? On the evidence it is clearly better not to encourage young men and women into science or academic enquiry for there lies great risks as Faith has correctly articulated above. The church fundamental would clearly be better off without modern institutions of higher learning.

    I think you vastly overestimate the cogency of creation science as hypothesis driven science. The basic premise or origin of species by divine fiat was discarded some 150 years ago with natural explanations of natural selection. But I do suggest that as Leonard Brand et al have done you can as a creationist publish in the scientific literature on issues directly related to origins but the expectation is that you will try to provide an explanation without invoking miracles to hide a lack of explanation. The absence of evidence for an hypothesis however is not evidence for the alternative which is unfortunately the way creation science is mostly practiced.

    I have never argued that you must be forced to tolerate “Darwinist” biology departments, whatever that may be, because of a need to teach modern medicine. What I am arguing that if you want to allow teaching of conventional science in any form which is predicated on explanations of physical reality without resort to the supernatural then you have to allow for the possibility that there will also be natural explanations of origins. There is no free lunch. You cannot dictate truth and allow search for knowledge in an accredited University. You are welcome to remove all science from Adventist colleges but I do think it is capricious to exclude scientific explanations of origins without at the same time excluding scientific explanations for mechanics, planetary motion, quantum physics,astronomy and cosmology all of which have historically enjoyed supernatural explanation.

    I do think your classification of Christians into believing or cultural based only on whether their views agree with yours lacks objectivity and rigour. Can you really know the heart and the commitment to God? Who really believes? Those will a simple understanding and no knowledge of the problems and counter arguments to their belief or the one who in the face of vast knowledge of the deficiencies in their understanding and the strength of the arguments against their position nonetheless accept the Grace of God and claims the name of Christian?

    In summary I agree that a sectarian church does not benefit from wider understanding or expanding knowledge and that it should jettison the dangerous baggage of modern naturalistic medicine and the science that goes with it. The blueprint articulated in the 19th century writing of EG White is more than adequate [And I would concur has substantial benefit as Fraser and other have shown] and if perchance we suffer an acute coronary event we can simply benefit from the drug eluting stent generated by the infidels without muddying our hands with the details.
    We could of course be consistent with the 1864 vision and practice the water treatment when we get community pneumonia with MRSA. Accepting our fate like Esther we could say if I perish, I but in my experience fear of premature death trumps religious principle every time and we readily accommodate ICU admission, ventilators and Tigecycline therapy without considering it a denial of faith. Only then are we grateful for those who question and search for the new and better, people who we might denigrate as cultural Adventists.

    When I read of EG White burying her own children who died of treatable infectious diseases I cannot help but think she would be proud of an LSU and LLU that seeks to practice the love of God in a practical way and accepting with equanimity the collateral of the difficult questions associated with naturalistic explanation of origins.
    I do not at see her viewing with approbation the sentiment of Arnaud Amalric that would accept the collateral damage to the innocent inherent in out practice of Truth at all cost.

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  8. I believe that based on all the evidence actually available in nature – the storytelling about birds come from reptiles is total fiction and so we need not worry about running away from “evidence based medicine”.

    It is only in the myth and fiction ladened mind of evoluitonists that “evidence based medicine” is hog tied to fiction about “birds coming from reptiles” so only in their minds would you have to give up medicine if you thought birds actually come from birds.

    Oh well free will being what it is – we see the T.E.s making choices and the dark and can only offer them the hints and clues they will accept of their own free will.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  9. Bill Sorensen: I think most of us understand the final goal of Satan is to discredit the bible. He can no longer take it away physically. There are too many in print for that.
    Thus, his alternate plan is to undermine its teaching and authority by denying its validity.

    That is true – since the end of the dark ages that has been his new strategy.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  10. @pauluc: pauluc, your sarcasm and unsubtle attempts to attribute to me what I did not say diminish the joy of dialoging with you.

    I do not think there is anything inconsistent with plenary biblical belief in the teaching, studying or practicing of medicine. The incredible design of the human body testify that its designer possessed a genius far beyond mere human capacity. And the plethora of diseases and injuries that the body is subject to testify that an enemy has also been at work in the creation.

    In general, Western science has largely been the product of Christian men, who were typically also creationists. They had faith that the universe would be intelligible and work according to logical, understandable laws and principles, because such qualities were associated with the Creator-God they knew from the Bible. Now science seeks to separate nature from nature’s Creator, but the very principles that ensured that the creation would be intelligible and work according to ascertainable laws also demand that it had a creator. There is no free lunch.

    I think you vastly underestimate the extent to which mainstream origins science is warped by its rigid adherence to naturalism. The basic premise of abiogenesis, or life from non-life, was discarded some 150 years ago after conclusive experimentation and observation by Pasteur and several others; as the decades have passed, and we have learned more about the complexity and genius of life at the cellular level, the hypothesis of accidental self-organization has become even more absurd and anti-rational. It remains part of mainstream origins science only because of the warping effect of the rigid control of philosophical naturalism over origins science (yes, I know the difference between methodological and philosophical naturalism, and there is no difference when it comes to origins).

    To the extent that “education” is a threat to the church, it is only because modern origins science insists on telling only one side of the story, and effectively indoctrinating Darwinism, which is the new orthodoxy from which no deviation is permitted. This merely highlights the need to make Adventist colleges become centers for creation science and Christian origins apologetics. Having an “Adventist” college where the professors indoctrinate Darwinism is simply corporate suicide on the part of the SDA Church. It is saying, “hurry up and kill me, already!”

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  11. @Faith: With more hope than expectation I will try to respond.
    1] Do you believe that God is physically moving the electrons in your computer as you write your response. Do you think the behaviour of the semiconductors and electronic components in your computer and the channels that are modern telecommunications are explicable by natural law? Do you believe in atomic physics and quantum theory as adequate explanations of the reality that underlies these physical structures.

    2] I would answer yes to the last question because I believe as John Lennox,Alistair McGrath, John Haught and other modern critics of the new atheists have well articulated that we live in an intelligible universe subject to nature law. A universe that shows features consistent with the anthropic principle. At this point my faith in God does give the basis for my science.

    3] I do accept that God is constrained by this ordered universe in the same way as he is constrained to act by the principles of his Kingdom as an incarnate God. A God that as described in Phillipians 2:1-11 made himself a suffering servant. In accepting the kenosis of God in the person of Jesus Christ I can see a new perspective on Gods creative act.

    4] I believe as the 28 fundamentals indicate that the bible is inspired and authoritative for instruction in righteousness but is not verbally inspired. I do not accept the peculiar perspective articulated in the “Fundamentals” published from the 1920s that the bible is verbally inspired and infallible in all areas of life history and science. I do not accept this of the writings of EG White though I consider her inspired of God.

    5] I believe that the process of open inquiry and peer review that is the basis of science is God given and that we can understand much of the physical universe by this process but this is not at all the basis of knowledge of God. I reject Sean Pitmans scientific evidences for God and like Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer I think natural theology is largely a senseless exercise. The revelation of God is Jesus Christ and is just that a revelation and comes through the account of His life in the Bible and through the witness of the community of faith.

    You can believe this is joyless existence but I have not found it so during these last 40 years as a disciple of Christ. Whatever the new and exciting observations or discovery I may make I remain secure in my life in Christ. I do not foolishly brag that I will reject the Adventist tradition if it is found that there is overwhelming evidence of antiquity of life or of direct genetic relationships between man and higher apes is found. Nor do I suggest that I can comprehend the breadth of all science so that I can confidently reject the work of thousand of honest scientists that may conflict with my prejudices or presuppositions.

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  12. Calvin, our prophetic movement was started by God. He led our pioneers to Bible truths that had been hidden for a long time or undiscovered. Our spiritual forefathers (and mothers) studied and prayed to bring those truths to us. There was much sacrifice. The Fundamental Beliefs that we have today are the end result of those long hours of study and prayer. These beliefs were given to us as a gift from God to help us have healthy, happy lives and relationships. We are supposed to use these beliefs to evangelize the world.

    This site exists because church employees in our universities (yes, plural) are undermining our Fundamental Beliefs, teaching error, and causing young people to lose their faith, all the while they are being paid with our church’s hard earned money.

    No, there is not a better way to deal with this. We have spineless administrators who are afraid to stand up against wrong, and who white wash problems or sweep things under the rug. Or they are sympathetic and are helping to tear down our beliefs. Yes, there are a few Daniels, but not enough.

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  13. @David Read: Sorry if I have imputed to you views that you do not hold.

    I have only one major question. Please give me one area of science in which methodological naturalism is not accepted as normative.

    Why do you want an exception for origins? I am not sure that you fully appreciate the sentiment of the 19th century natural scientist and the attraction of natural selection as a mechanism that would finally place biology on a similar footing to all other areas of science with reliance on natural explanation and lack of recourse to the miraculous.

    I am surprised that you cannot see that modern evidence based medicine does not resort at all to miraculous explanations and that in this it is reflective of the nature of all science including the study of the origins of species. It is quite arbitrary to accept wholesale natural explanation in medicine but not in speciation and certainly makes a mockery of presumed similar standards of exegesis for genesis 1 and Matt 17.

    As a Christian I reject entirely the premise of philosophical naturalism but I hold as a foundation of science methodological naturalism.

    Argument about abiogenesis is moot as no-one has any explanation. But as I said before no evidence for abiogensis does not provides any evidence for miraculous creation of life.

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  14. pauluc: I have only one major question. Please give me one area of science in which methodological naturalism is not accepted as normative.
    Why do you want an exception for origins?

    Hint: Romans 1 –

    “They are without excuse” who “pretend” not to see the I.D. Element in “the things that have been made” to the extent of even “the invisible attributes of God”.

    Your less-than-insightful question above is “why can we not look at creation the same way an atheist would?” — as if that question even makes sense to a Seventh-day Adventist.

    How do you expect to be taken seriously at that point?

    Hint 2: At this point your suggestion does not even pass the snicker test when it comes to obvious elements of I.D. totally inconsistent with your “lets all see nature as if we were atheists” argument.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa563MdIiXE&feature=related

    Hint 3: In your efforts to appeal to “ad populum” instead of reason – consider this

    Here the entire nation is basically in awe of the I.D. element so inconsistent with the atheist “there is no Creator God” model you are promoting.

    ABC news reports on – shows – BioVisions Inner Life of Cell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVqJdAqTD4Q&feature=related

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  15. pauluc: 3] I do accept that God is constrained by this ordered universe in the same way as he is constrained to act by the principles of his Kingdom as an incarnate God.

    You just killed your own argument.

    God is in fact most directly constrained by His own Word declaring what He has done and what He will do. Which totally kills your “no miracles – all things happen as the atheist would expect” solution as a replacement for the Bible account of the creation of all complex life forms on planet earth.

    After killing your own argument in that reference to the principle of God being constrained by something – at what point then did you expect to be taken seriously?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  16. pauluc: 4] I believe as the 28 fundamentals indicate that the bible is inspired and authoritative for instruction in righteousness but is not verbally inspired. I do not accept the peculiar perspective articulated in the “Fundamentals” published from the 1920s that the bible is verbally inspired and infallible in all areas of life history and science. I do not accept this of the writings of EG White though I consider her inspired of God.

    Here again is a nonsensical argument.

    The idea that the thoughts and opinions one expresses are infallible and accurate when they come from God (under inspiration) even if their very sentence structure is not passive dictation – in no way diminishes the trust in the words of the author.

    You imply that if the very sentence is not pure dictation then the trusted thoughts and teachings conveyed are not to be trusted either and that you are free to “make stuff up” when it pleases you instead of paying attention to the text.

    Again that is total nonsense. If I hand you a one page letter on the magnetosphere and declare that the teaching there has been declared infalliblly correct via a rigorous peer reviewed process… do you then “insert whatever you like” just because it is not passive dictation in its every sentence from some other author??

    What extreme in rationalization do you adopt to arrive at such wild conclusions?

    It is more than a little apparent you are using an extreme form of “anything but the Bible” eisgesis when it comes to areas where the thoughts, teaching and words of the Bible message conflict with the atheist centric doctrines of evolutionism which you apparently have adopted “by faith alone” over the Bible.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  17. Jesus said that He is the Way to eternal life, to God, to redemption and also that He is Truth itself – indeed He adds that Life comes from Him for He IS “the Life”.

    There is an example of a message that “is true” even though it is not strict passive dictation of John 14:8. You are not free to say “oh no He is no” or “Well not really” or “well since it is not strict dictation – we are free to change the apparent meaning in the text”.

    Obviously.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  18. Pauluc: “Nor do I suggest that I can comprehend the breadth of all science so that I can confidently reject the work of thousand of honest scientists that may conflict with my prejudices or presuppositions.”

    Translation: I put the work of scientists above the Word of God because I keep my science apart from my religion.

    Yet you seem to think you are a good SDA…how do you figure that? Whenever you put anything or anyone over God or His word, you place yourself outside of the SDA faith. As I said before, we are the people of the Book because we base all our beliefs on the Bible. The problem with you scientists, is that you don’t realize that our beliefs permeate our entire lives with no exceptions. We don’t separate anything out like you do your science. (Which really blows me away–how can intelligent, educated people be so blind!)
    God is in control of all aspects of life. Your scientific philosophy is so contradictory it is pitiful. If you can’t make God part of your science as well as every other aspect of life, you haven’t given God your entire heart. And as I pointed out before, God does not accept a divided heart. No matter how honest you see the scientists that contradict what God says, they are WRONG, and personally I would have no problem in contradicting them. You see, I have full confidence in God as my Redeemer and my Creator. I know that He knows vastly more about science than the brightest, most intelligent person on earth. I put my faith in Him, you put your faith in mere men. How sad for you.

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  19. @Faith: I am now most curious. Have you even been to a medical doctor for advice or treatment? Do you feel that is somehow a denial of the word of God as revealed explicitly in Matt 17? How do you read that part of Gods word?

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  20. Pauluc:

    I have, of course, been to a medical doctor at times. I have also been through nursing school at Portland Ad. I have long ago left the nursing profession as it is not in accordance with the principles taught us by the Lord through the SOP. Our medical field has also fashioned itself to be like the world. I saw you made a disparaging remark about water treatments in one of your other posts. You will note that the Battle Creek Sanitarium was a world-renowned institution that often cured the cases that the Drs gave up–and they used water treatments, sunshine, exercise, good nutrition, etc.–the very things that people who care about their bodies are starting to turn to now.

    Of course it is a lot easier to pop a pill to feel better, but EGW makes it plain that the drug medications, while they bring relief, will come back on the patient with a more serious disease. If you have ever looked at a PDR you will see how many of the drugs there have serious side effects–some even cancer-causing.

    So if you are laying the foundation to come at me regarding the medical profession, you can just save it…I know where the bodies are buried.

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  21. pauluc: @Faith: I am now most curious. Have you even been to a medical doctor for advice or treatment? Do you feel that is somehow a denial of the word of God as revealed explicitly in Matt 17?

    This is the logical fallacy of blind equivocation being employed by pauluc in an effort to pretend that we see birds coming from reptiles today – just like we see people catching a cold or getting a fever.

    How sad that evolutionists have to resort to logical fallacy after logical fallacy in order to make it appear that their storytelling has some kind of representation in real life.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  22. @Faith: I am not preparing to attack you on anything, I am simply trying to determine if you have the same disdain for all areas of human knowledge as you have for science. Or is it reserved only for the life sciences.

    I am pleased to see you do have a degree of consistency between your profession and action that escapes some who claim to take the bible literally.

    I am sorry if you think I was making fun of the water treatment that was not my intention. It certainly does have value but I do think it is limited compared to the armamentarium of more modern medicine as I understand even EG White herself recognized in later life.

    You did not give me your interpretation of miraculous healing as portrayed in Matt 17 and tell me if it is normative today.

    I do agree with you that He does know vastly more than any living person but the question is how does he impart it to us. Blasphemous though you may think it I happen to believe that science is one of those ways in which He does communicate it to us. Some scientists recognize this; Francis Collins – the language of God, Johann Kepler; thinking Gods thoughts after Him.

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  23. Now LSU’s new “masters” are the public university overlords, public opinion polls, whatever the latest storytelling is among evolutionists – et al to use and do with as they please.in Christ,Bob

    Your are so right, Bob. Just getting the correct number of students from each race would be a nightmare for the La Sierra administration!

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  24. Ron: Maybe that isn’t such a bad idea, maybe all of our universities should separate from the church.

    Ron, Which of the other adventist schools do you think should be separated from our denomination. I can’t think of any except La Sierra, if it refused to change.

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  25. Faith: Of course it is a lot easier to pop a pill to feel better, but EGW makes it plain that the drug medications, while they bring relief, will come back on the patient with a more serious disease. If you have ever looked at a PDR you will see how many of the drugs there have serious side effects–some even cancer-causing.

    I can appreciate your vigorous defense of our SDA beliefs, Faith, but now I have lost all respect for you. You remarks I’ve cited here clearly reflect sheer ignorance. You have crossed a line.

    I know many people who have benefitted from medications. I myself, and my uncle, are good examples. We have bipolar disorder and without our medications we would be disfunctional in the extreme. Yet we can live fairly normal lives today. Ellen White in no way suggests that we would be better off without our medications. The benefits greatly exceed the side effects and you are simply deluded if you think cancer is a likely result. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    I think you need to get a grip on what modern science has to offer. Your total ignorance is no excuse for the way you judge other people. I don’t understand why you are so hard on Pauluc who is expressing legitimate concerns about your attitudes toward natural science.

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  26. Really, Greg. It might interest you to know that when doing a drug study for one of my patients I found that the medication he was on for hardening of the arteries had the side effect of brain cancer. As I said, look in the PDR (Physician’s Desk Reference–the book they use to decide what medications to give you) you will find many medications with a little box that says: “Warning: causes cancer in rats and mice.” and other jolly little warnings. Oh, yea, I know what modern science has to offer.

    Deluded, am I? You are the one who is deluded. Ellen White clearly speaks against drug medications and advises us to instead use herbs, charcoal, and water treatments etc. to treat our illnesses. Unfortunately our medical profession has steered away from the natural treatments because it takes time to do them and that costs money.

    Personally, I don’t give a hoot if you have lost all respect for me. I speak the truth, whether it is to your liking or not.

    Pauluc and his cronies have sold out to the scientific community and put them above God. That is the bone of contention I have with him. Sorry if that isn’t to your taste either.

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  27. I was wondering if any of the right wing uber-conservatives that post so much on this web site are noticing that the Like or Dislike opinions are starting to be running against them.

    Could it be that the reasonable folk that are coming to this site are understanding more and more the lack of logic and sound reasoning which is typically manifested in so much of the right wing expressions of opinion?

    pauluc is only the most recent of those reasonable people who are speaking out.

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  28. Pauluc: “I happen to believe that science is one of those ways in which He does communicate it to us.”

    If that were true, why would He contradict Himself and say He didn’t create the earth just when He is speaking through scientists?

    Another instance of swiss-cheese logic.

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  29. Erv:
    “…the Like or Dislike opinions are starting to be running against them.”

    And that brings me to a confession you now force on me. I have a number of times managed to hit the opposite button that I intended to–the finger is quicker than the mouse.

    Besides, Erv, truth is not judged by popularity–you should know that. The truth is based on God and His Word–something you have apparently ceased to use as your guide.

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  30. Pauluc:

    ah…no!

    What’s to understand? If He says He created the earth in six days when you are reading the Bible for religious reasons, then He is still saying the same thing when it comes to science. He is the God of science–unlike the scientific community who just think they are gods.

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  31. Ervin Taylor: I was wondering if any of the right wing uber-conservatives that post so much on this web site are noticing that the Like or Dislike opinions are starting to be running against them. Could it be that the reasonable folk that are coming to this site are understanding more and more the lack of logic and sound reasoning which is typically manifested in so much of the right wing expressions of opinion? pauluc is only the most recent of those reasonable people who are speaking out.

    Dr. Taylor, I have reviewed most of your posts, and I have come to the conclusion that virtually all are not only in the negative, but most overwhelmingly disliked.

    I noticed also that you predicted that this site would be kaput about a year or more ago, on the adventist today website. This doesn’t bode well for your becoming the new provider of Present Truth for our denomination.

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  32. Faith: Pauluc and his cronies have sold out to the scientific community and put them above God. That is the bone of contention I have with him. Sorry if that isn’t to your taste either.

    Look, Faith, I agree with you that Pauluc has gone too far if he has rejected six days in six thousand years, and I do object to that. But you simply cannot dismiss all of science. Your hero, Sean Pitman, for example, has utmost respect for science. Has he sold out to the scientific community as well?

    Again, you are the one, not me, who is deluded to insist that science and modern medicine have nothing to offer. After all, you throw about the term “science”, quoting Ellen White, as something that supports a recent creation. You and I agree on that, so why would you be so dismissive of how science relates to medicine? Are you suggesting I put my medicine aside and trust in YOU and YOUR interpretation of Ellen White and see what comes with my bipolar disorder?

    Get a grip.

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  33. Let me make something clear. Sean Pitman deserves nothing but praise for bringing this website to us. I did’nt mean to dis him. As a scientist and medical practictioner he has won my respect. I’m just shocked that Faith, who until this point was very reasonable, has shown disrespect toward the medical profession. I’m a product of Southern’s biology program and they teach with utmost respect for science and medicine (though the teaching itself isn’t very good). If Faith is saying that LSU should discard evidence based medicine from their teachings then she is clearly delusional.

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  34. Greg: Ervin Taylor, I don’t think you have any business commenting on things here. No one pays much attention to your mini rants.

    Greg, I agree. But I think Dr. Taylor believes that he is gaining some ground by the few who support theistic evolution on this website, and they may someday take control over this website and have more likes than those who oppose evolution as fact.

    He could, for example, ask those over on adventist today website to barrage our site to show how his progressive thinking is really the mainstream and the traditional and conservatives are simply extemists. They would give all the people like Bob Ryan, David Read, Shane, Sean, etc. lots of dislikes and Shane and Sean would thus be embarrassed by the apparent lack of support.

    Dr. Taylor also has some support on Spectrum, and they could try to gather some others to dislike the above posters.

    Is that your plan or tactic or wish Dr. Taylor? It appears to be.

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  35. Steve Shedell: To rephrase the above quote and apply it to the present situation:
    “The time is not far distant when the test will come to every SDA Institution. The observance of the false sabbath will be urged upon our schools as condition for continued accreditation.”

    There are really only two reasons to want accreditation: (a) so SDA students can get government financial assistance; and (b) so SDA students can go on to other accredited schools. Maybe it’s time to urge that all our academies and colleges withdraw from accreditation and go back to the model originally used when the schools were formed. The cost to parents and students would be great, but the sacrifice would enable our schools to avoid compromising on these issues.

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  36. I hope everyone here will go to the Spectrum blog by Carpenter and his comments on “Is the killer a Christian.”

    Read the various comments by David Read and Cliff Goldstein and the responses made by the liberals who oppose fundamental Adventism.

    By the way, Spectrum’s ministry is endorsed by the official SDA church as they are freely allowed to spread their anti-SDA teaching at every general conference convention. Along with A-today and a host of other ministries who attack the SDA faith.

    So we must ask, “Who is more culpable for what is happening in the church? Liberal ministries who hate and attack EGW and the church, or church leadership that is too sissy to accept accountability and responsibility to make sure they do not have a clear voice that is approved and condoned by our church leaders?”

    What you refuse to oppose, you support.

    Bill Sorensen

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  37. And who doesn’t know that Fritz Guy has always been a part of AAF and Spectrum for decades? As well as many other liberal thought leaders who had tremendous influence in our higher schools of learning.

    Now, all the sudden, “What a tragic development in our colleges and universities that evolution should be so highly respected and even advocated and taught?”

    And who is responsible? A lame leadership that has for years been far more interested in unity and politics than truth and righteousness.

    If Cliff Goldstein wants to make a statement, let him stand up and put everything on the line for Jesus. His job, his reputation, and his influence in the church. Let him point his finger the true cause of the evils in the church today.

    Remember his book, “False Balances”? Lost in the shuffle somewhere, eh?

    And by the way, I respect Cliff’s theological positions on many levels. But “theology” is worthless without a dynamic application.

    What good would Luther be if he only pointed out church errors but did nothing dynamic to implement his findings? More than a few agreed with Luther who were not about to put anything on the line to support him.

    Erasmus made it clear to Luther that he agreed, but was quick to say, “Don’t compromise me in any way with your teaching and theology.”

    That is, he valued his sweet position in the church above truth and righteousness. And Father Staupitz manifested the same attitude when Luther urged him to make a decision and support the truth. He responded, “I can not choose to destroy my church.”

    It was always, “Church above Christ.” And it can only be interpreted, “Me above Jesus.”

    True believers understand the words of EGW, “Truth is more precious than all besides.”

    The teaching of evolution and every other false doctrine is a certainty. When those in responsible positions refuse to “do their job” for the sake of comfort, ease and political expediency.

    “The curse causeless shall not come.”
    Solomon

    Bill Sorensen

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  38. By the way, Spectrum’s ministry is endorsed by the official SDA church as they are freely allowed to spread their anti-SDA teaching at every general conference convention. Along with A-today and a host of other ministries who attack the SDA faith.Bill Sorensen

    Mr. Sorensen, Are you saying that the General Conference endorses Adventist Today and Adventist Spectrum? Both of these sites constantly attack both our adventist beliefs and church.

    Which other false ministries is the General Conference endorsing and supporting?

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  39. Bill, you go too far when you say that the official church endorses Spectrum Magazine or its website. It doesn’t, and I imagine that Clifford Goldstein isn’t the only one at GC headquarters who is horrified by some of the things Spectrum publishes.

    It is true that Spectrum and AToday are allowed to have booths in the exhibit area of General Conference sessions, but many independent, unaffiliated organizations and ministries are afforded the same courtesy. It goes too far beyond the evidence to say that allowing them booth space constitutes an “endorsement.”

    I also do not appreciate your critique of Clifford Goldstein for supposed passivity. Cliff puts his faith into practice in editing the Sabbath School quarterly; why do you think that publication continues to stand firm for creationism and other Adventist doctrines? He also visits the Spectrum website and fights the good fight there. He has dynamically applied his faith, more than I and many others of us have.

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  40. @David Read:

    It is true that Spectrum and AToday are allowed to have booths in the exhibit area of General Conference sessions, but many independent, unaffiliated organizations and ministries are afforded the same courtesy. It goes too far beyond the evidence to say that allowing them booth space constitutes an “endorsement.”

    Giving a booth to any group or organization at our own GC sessions is certainly viewed as a form of endorsement by most people. I personally have to agree that it is very unwise of the GC to give valuable space at our own GC sessions to organizations that are most active in undermining the fundamentals of the SDA Church (while not giving space to supportive groups like ARISE). Why not give our own booth space to the Catholic Church or even to Richard Dawkins for that matter?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  41. Ervin Taylor: I was wondering if any of the right wing uber-conservatives that post so much on this web site are noticing that the Like or Dislike opinions are starting to be running against them.
    Could it be that the reasonable folk that are coming to this site are understanding more and more the lack of logic and sound reasoning which is typically manifested in so much of the right wing expressions of opinion?
    pauluc is only the most recent of those reasonable people who are speaking out.

    Evolutionists “believe” that birds come from reptiles and now we see (from Erv’s post above) that they also “beleive” that Educate Truth is part of the big-left-tent.

    Well I am not one to oppose your free will to believe such things – though I do not choose to join you in those happy fictions.

    You can lead a horse to water…

    How nice it is that the conservatives are the ones “not banning” opposing thought on websites such as this – and the libs are “still stuck” hitting the “ban” button over and over again, in their efforts to create a “big left tent”.

    And notice that on this not-ban conservative site – the libs do not fare quite so well — (though at times they may wish to imagine otherwise).

    There is a huge difference between the trend of posts on this site — and those over at the big-left-tent zones.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  42. Sean Pitman: @David Read: Giving a booth to any group or organization at our own GC sessions is certainly viewed as a form of endorsement by most people. I personally have to agree that it is very unwise of the GC to give valuable space at our own GC sessions to organizations that are most active in undermining the fundamentals of the SDA Church (while not giving space to supportive groups like ARISE). Why not give our own booth space to the Catholic Church or even to Richard Dawkins for that matter? Sean Pitmanhttp://www.DetectingDesign.com

    Sean, I also agree with you and Bob. Didn’t Adventist Kinship once get a booth at the Toronto general conference session under another name–“Someone to talk to?”

    I read this somewhere. And what happened to them? Did they have a booth at the Atlanta meeting? Were they banned?

    And why wasn’t Arise allowed to have a booth? Their group is one of the most bible-based organizations we have out here in California.

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  43. David Read: Bill, you go too far when you say that the official church endorses Spectrum Magazine or its website. It doesn’t, and I imagine that Clifford Goldstein isn’t the only one at GC headquarters who is horrified by some of the things Spectrum publishes.

    David, If the general conference is horrified at Spectrum, why do they allow them to have a booth to continue to damage our church? I think Mr. Sorensen is correct in his statement.

    Cliff Goldstein may want to say more, but is being held back by those above him. I do believe he has been a great defender of adventism, as you say, over on Spectrum and on his TV show.

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  44. “You can fool some of the people some of the time. You can fool all the people some of the time. But you can not fool all the people, all the time.”

    Politics, money, Pluralism, and duplicity has been church policy for the last few decades.

    Theological ignorance has played a significant role in what has developed and manifested itself by the church endorsing the celebration movement, women’s ordination, music, dress and the whole nine yards.

    Anybody knows that what you allow, is what you endorse when you do not raise a protest and use your authority and influence to stop it.

    Can the church be saved to do what God originally intended? I don’t know. I do know it can’t and won’t be saved unless enough authoritive and influencial people do something besides “cry and sigh”.

    It is a “God size problem”, but He has never “forced” any instrumentality to do His will. If He could or would, there never would have been a rebellion in heaven.

    Free will carries a heavy responsibility. And this is what the great controversy is all about. So I say to our leaders, if you don’t want to do the job, don’t take it.

    Have you never read of the terrible retribution of God on the false leaders who lead people astray? Do you not fear God? Or do you, like the liberal forums, give each other massive doses of affirmation of “I’m OK, you’re OK?”

    Like many of you, I personally work to build up the SDA faith in the world and in the church. But I am not persuaded of the subtle “unconditional election” of the church that some of you seem to endorse.

    This attitude has destroyed God’s people again and again in the past. Why do we think we are immune? It creates a carnal attitude of indifference that is clearly reflected in the church community today.

    Jewelry was a sin in the past. But the church has spoken. How we dress in church was related to sin in the past. Not today.

    You know and I know many simply say, “Well, the church has decided.” As though this lets them off the hook to make a moral decision on their own.

    As may discern, I am not “the favorite son of the church” where I attend. Maybe they tolerate me because I support it financially.

    And let me conclude by saying, I am a happy Christian. I love Jesus and for the most part, I am often “about my Father’s business.”

    I hope you are too.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen

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  45. calvin: Hello,I am a Seventy-day Adventist who happened to stumble over this site a couple months ago. I have one question. Really, what are you fighting over?Isn’t there a better way to deal with the issues that you (all) seem so torn over?

    Calvin, Please tell us how you would deal with the problems at La Sierra. Shane and Sean are doing a great job, but maybe you can tell us how to do better?

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  46. Bob Pickle: LSU stated:So what does that mean? That means that the WASC wants LSU to operate independently of the denomination. “Institutional autonomy.” And the WASC is concerned about how many church leaders and/or members are on the board, it appears.

    Does anyone know of any documented examples of a Christian College that has actually been de-certified because they defended their Christian beliefs by firing someone?

    There seems to be a lot of concern about this, but is it really something that has happened before. There a lots of Christian colleges.

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  47. Holly Pham: Can someone explain something to me? Did President Graham act independently, on his own, or with the Board’s permission, when he fired the individuals?

    I asked this question last week. Doesn’t anyone know? I’m confused by the reports on this matter. It seems important to the matter regarding the WASC debate.

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  48. Faith: When I referred to the scientific community, it was in response to the fact that people like Pauluc have been stating that the scientific community–their peers– have judged that Creation is not scientific and therefore Pauluc and his cronies reject the science of Creation based on this judgement. Do you understand what I am getting at? They are taking the opinions of mere men over the “thus saith the Lord” in the Bible and SOP. That is my objection to the “scientific community” argument.

    Fair enough. I can agree with you on this. I definately think “thus saith the Lord” comes ahead of science. If Pauluc rejects creationism, then that is unfortunate.

    I take it you are opposed to the Adventist Health System and our medical school at Loma Linda. I learned the other day that Loma Linda has a pharmacy program now. I suppose Ellen White said that there would never be legitimate medications that could treat organic disease?

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  49. David Read said….

    “Bill, you go too far when you say that the official church endorses Spectrum Magazine or its website.”

    I never said on the SDA website.

    It is endorsed by allowing it to have a booth at the GC sessions.

    The SDA church is not supposed to be a clearing house for every Tom, Dick and Harry to express their opinion and challenge basic fundamental SDA teaching.

    Our pioneers gave us well defined bible truth and carefully articulated by EGW.

    Did EGW say about Kellogg’s book, Living Temple, “Well, let’s just spread it all over the church and let the people figure it out for themselves?”

    She seemed to be shocked and amazed that our leaders at that time didn’t know the difference between solid biblical exhortation and spiritualistic sentiments by Kellogg that denied a personal God.

    At any rate, personal accountability is at an all time low in the SDA church. And corporate accountability seems non existent.

    To tell people “you don’t have to keep the law to be saved”, you have just destroyed any identifying base to define the Christian community.

    It is true, we can’t keep the law before we come to Jesus. The purpose of coming to Jesus is so we can keep the law and be saved. So we sing “Jesus saves.”

    And this comprehends two things, not just one. He paid for our redemption, and now His love motivates the believer by His atonement to keep the law and be saved.

    What did EGW say…..

    ” When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death.” {1SM 225.2}

    Notice especially…..
    “Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God.”

    The church does not teach this anymore. It is called legalism. EGW does not teach that we only keep the law because we are already saved. We keep the law to be saved. Our salvation is dependent on whether we keep the law or not.

    Her teaching of grace never undermines this truth. She follows the biblical norm on this point. Even Paul says, “The doers of the law shall be justified.” Rom. 2:13

    The function of the law is to justify or condemn. Paul says, “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

    He obviously means, no one without Christ can be justified by the law. “Flesh” means carnal man without God and His spirit.

    To use this scripure to claim a believer is not justified by the law is blatantly false.

    And we wonder why the church is moving farther and farther from bible truth.

    Bill Sorensen

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  50. David Read said….

    “Bill, you go too far when you say that the official church endorses Spectrum Magazine or its website.”

    I never said on the SDA website.

    It is endorsed by allowing it to have a booth at the GC sessions.

    The SDA church is supposed to be a clearing house for every Tom, Dick and Harry to express their opinion and challenge basic fundamental SDA teaching.

    Our pioneers gave us well defined bible truth and carefully articulated by EGW.

    Did EGW say about Kellogg’s book, Living Temple, “Well, let’s just spread it all over the church and let the people figure it out for themselves?”

    She seemed to be shocked and amazed that our leaders at that time didn’t know the difference between solid biblical exhortation and spiritualistic sentiments by Kellogg that denied a personal God.

    At any rate, personal accountability is at an all time low in the SDA church. And corporate accountability seems non existent.

    To tell people “you don’t have to keep the law to be saved”, you have just destroyed any identifying base to define the Christian community.

    It is true, we can’t keep the law before we come to Jesus. The purpose of coming to Jesus is so we can keep the law and be saved. So we sing “Jesus saves.”

    And this comprehends two things, not just one. He paid for our redemption, and now His love motivates the believer by His atonement to keep the law and be saved.

    What did EGW say…..

    ” When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death.” {1SM 225.2}

    Notice especially…..
    “Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God.”

    The church does not teach this anymore. It is called legalism. EGW does not teach that we only keep the law because we are already saved. We keep the law to be saved. Our salvation is dependent on whether we keep the law or not.

    Her teaching of grace never undermines this truth. She follows the biblical norm on this point. Even Paul says, “The doers of the law shall be justified.” Rom. 2:13

    The function of the law is to justify or condemn. Paul says, “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

    He obviously means, no one without Christ can be justified by the law. “Flesh” means carnal man without God and His spirit.

    To use this scripure to claim a believer is not justified by the law is blatantly false.

    And we wonder why the church is moving farther and farther from bible truth.

    Bill Sorensen

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  51. @Greg:

    Greg: Whoa, back the truck up, buddy. I didn’t say anything about your medication. That is entirely your business, not mine.

    When I referred to the scientific community, it was in response to the fact that people like Pauluc have been stating that the scientific community–their peers– have judged that Creation is not scientific and therefore Pauluc and his cronies reject the science of Creation based on this judgement. Do you understand what I am getting at? They are taking the opinions of mere men over the “thus saith the Lord” in the Bible and SOP. That is my objection to the “scientific community” argument. By and large they are evolutionists–or at least they are the ones the TEs quote as their highest authority. I wan’t even referring to the medical community.

    As far as my interpretation of what Ellen White says about medicine goes, I think we could have a more intelligent conversation about it if you actually studied what she said on the subject. I have studied it for a long, long time. I would recommend to you a little book by EGW called, “The Uses of Herbs in Rational Therapy,” among others.

    I’m too tired to answer all your other posts right now. Later.

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  52. Faith: When I referred to the scientific community, it was in response to the fact that people like Pauluc have been stating that the scientific community–their peers– have judged that Creation is not scientific and therefore Pauluc and his cronies reject the science of Creation based on this judgement. Do you understand what I am getting at? They are taking the opinions of mere men over the “thus saith the Lord” in the Bible and SOP. That is my objection to the “scientific community” argument.

    Fair enough. I can agree with you on this. I definately think “thus saith the Lord” comes ahead of science. If Pauluc rejects creationism, then that is unfortunate.

    I take it you are opposed to the Adventist Health System and our medical school at Loma Linda. I learned the other day that Loma Linda has a pharmacy program now. I suppose Ellen White said that there would never be legitimate medications that could treat organic disease?

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  53. Sometimes I get a little weary of the “sniping” between many of the folks who post here. While I wholeheartedly agree with those who believe in Creation just as to Bible says, I can’t see that they are making any real impress what so ever on those who believe in evolution. After all, “a person convinced against his (her) will is of the same opinion still!”
    We can’t scientifically “prove” creation? (I’m not perfectly sure about that.) But to be 100% positive that they can “prove” evolution isn’t true either no matter how many “scientists” say they can. (Too many “scientists” have had to backtrack on some things they have stated as “hard FACTS” because further research has proven them to be wrong.)
    If you think I am all wrong then you haven’t really done your research–you’ve just fallen for what someones (with a lot of degrees behind their name) says and it seems to be the “intelligent” thing to do.
    I recommend that you broaden your reading and studying and honestly and carefully research both sides of the question. You just might be surprised to learn of the many respected scientists today who totally reject evolution–and give many solid, scientific reasons for it.
    If you want to be intellectually honest you owe it to yourself and those with whom you come in contact to carefully and with an open mind look at both side of the picture. Perhaps there is at least a chance that you aren’t reading the right textbooks or listening to the right tapes. You need to be absolutely certain you know where truth lies–and you can’t do this if you only look at one side of the picture. You’ve never really “grown up” until you’ve learned to think for yourself–and have honestly learned to look at all sides of an issue before deciding what to believe and what to reject.
    Get on the internet and go to Creation Miniseries and read some of their books, watch some of their videos–they have a LOT of both
    For a starter there are two authors I highly recommend. One is Jonathon Sarfati who has written two books that I have. One is “by Design”, the other (and most recent) is “The Greatest Hoax on Earth”–which is his answer to “The Greatest Show on Earth” by Richard Dawkins. Both are excellent
    The other author is a biochemist, Michael J. Behe, who wrote the book, Darwin’s Black Box. He is most famous for introducing “Irreducible Complexity.” This means a single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to it’s basic function, and where the system will not work if a single part is removed. This is demonstrated by a simple mouse trap which was invented by a human mind. Remove only one part of a mouse trap and it will stop working.
    Yet we are supposed to believe that our eyes (for example) which are composed of many, many “parts” and function beautifully just came together by blind chance”? Where is our common sense?
    I could mention many other authors and their books or articles but if you aren’t convinced by these two I’m afraid
    your mind is already made up and you do not wish to be confused with facts. That, of course, is your privilege but I have a feeling that somewhere down the line you will live to regret it.
    Another very important argument in favor of taking the Bible literally and believing in it’s accuracy 100% is Prophecy. I don’t know how many prophecies are in the Bible but someone said they make up almost one quarter of it. I can’t verify that but the ones I do know about that have been fulfilled have been fulfilled down to the smallest detail and I have full confidence that the rest will do the same thing.
    Anyone who can do that over and over and over again has to be a lot smarter and a lot more powerful and intelligent than all of the human scientists put together who claim evolution as “fact”–especially ones who have had to retract statements of “fact” more than once. My God has never had to retract anything He has ever said!
    Choose you this day who you will believe and serve. If human scientist are your gods, follow them but if God be God follow Him. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

    Lydian

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  54. When I wrote the above comments I indented each paragraph in order to save space on the column. I was somewhat horrified to see the indentations were not used when it was posted. I hope it makes sense to you readers. (I didn’t notice the option for editing it for some reason)

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  55. Lydian Belknap: Sometimes I get a little weary of the “sniping” between many of the folks who post here. While I wholeheartedly agree with those who believe in Creation just as to Bible says, I can’t see that they are making any real impress what so ever on those who believe in evolution. After all, “a person convinced against his (her) will is of the same opinion still!”
    We can’t scientifically “prove” creation? (I’m not perfectly sure about that.) But to be 100% positive that they can “prove” evolution isn’t true either no matter how many “scientists” say they can.

    Evolutionism is merely a junk-science form of religion about “birds coming from reptiles” etc etc.

    I am very happy to stated that creationism is a matter of faith in God’s Word. But I am not at all inclined to go down the Dawkin’s flying spaghetti monster form of religion that blindly claims that science has proven Christianity to be wrong but we “believe Christianity anyway because we are silly”.

    Apparently 3SG 90-91 also condemns that form of self-conflicted Christianity as well.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  56. calvin: I am a Seventy-day Adventist who happened to stumble over this site a couple months ago. I have one question. Really, what are you fighting over?

    Yes there is: — responsible leadership that sees a problem ahead of time and takes effective action to avoid it.

    Failing that – things get so broken that eventually you need a 3-alarm fire gong that sounds off until the problem is fully addressed.

    Right now we have people trying to take the right steps – but they are opposed at every turn – so someone needs to remind the group that “yes this thing is very important and must still be solved”.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  57. @Lydian Belknap: You state
    “We can’t scientifically “prove” creation? (I’m not perfectly sure about that.) But to be 100% positive that they can “prove” evolution isn’t true either no matter how many “scientists” say they can.”
    I am concerned that you manifests some misconception of what is science. It is simply a method of testing hypothesis that are always based on natural mechanisms to see if they are false. It can never absolutely prove anything but it can provide proof that something is false and a probability that something is not yet false.

    Your statement on proving evolution is not stated in a testable way particularly if you have not stated what it is you mean by evolution.

    If you restate this generic question into a more specific and testable one than you can have a scientific answer.

    If you ask “Are humans and apes related by descent” then most people with knowledge in this would have to acknowledge that this is true to the level of confidence that is used to convict for murder in a court of law or to assign parentage by DNA techniques.

    However you are always able to invoke the miraculous and say that any genetic similarities and identities were created by divine fiat. This option however is not favoured in science any more than it is invoked as a legal defence against DNA testing in a court of law.

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  58. If you ask “Are humans and apes related by descent” then most people with anything like “observations in nature” would have to admit that humans do not come from apes NOR do they come from something that can produce both apes and humans.

    That is the “pure science” – where instead of engaging in outright storytelling you engage in “observations in nature”.

    Some have argued that having the same number of chromosomes – Humans and Tobacco must be related to each other in some secret mystical “Genetic” fashion.

    As much as that kind of storytelling is helpfull in certain lines of fiction – it is utterly meaningly to someone who makes “observations in nature” about where humans and Tobacco plants come from.

    Of course the Fern has 480 so maybe humans and Tobacco are both trying to evolve “into Ferns”.

    There are, for instance, more than 3,000 species of frogs and yet there is greater variation of DNA between frogs than there is between the bat and the blue whale.

    Still “observations in nature” tell us that whales do not come from bats nor do bats come from whales.

    Evolutionists are not always so careful to separate storytelling and wishful thinking – from actual science – real observations in nature.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  59. @Greg: You say

    Fair enough. I can agree with you on this. I definately think “thus saith the Lord” comes ahead of science. If Pauluc rejects creationism, then that is unfortunate.

    I certainly do not reject a doctrine of creation which I endorse entirely. My concern is that we must not read the bible with a mindset that imagines that it was written to satisfy our curiosity on mechanism in the physical world (which is the core role of science) rather that tell us about faith and the nature of God.

    Do we in reading Deut 23:13 condemn all modern sewerage treatment strategies and the WC as they are not according to the biblical standard? Does a “thus saith the Lord” trump any rational consideration and relieve us of any responsibility to interpret? Do we condemn all advances in science and technology because it is not in the Bible or the writing of EGW? Do we think we can exhaustively understand the bible and arrogantly believe that we interpret the bible to say what is really “Thus saith the Lord”? How may injustices have been perpetrated by people imaging they are following a “thus saith the Lord”. Dont you think the opponents of Galileo opposed him because of a “thus saith the Lord”. Were they right because they invoked this appeal to a special knowledge of Gods word?

    The 6000 year premise that seems to be accepted in creationism without question is not biblical and is based only on calculations by a Catholic who made certain assumptions about the accuracies and completeness of the geneologies. Why do we accept this rather than a simple biblical “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” which is the true basis of any doctrine of creation.

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  60. Holly Pham: Does anyone know of any documented examples of a Christian College that has actually been de-certified because they defended their Christian beliefs by firing someone?

    Does anyone have any documented examples where WASC (or any other regional accreditation body for that matter) failed to follow through on requests they have made to institutions?

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  61. The 6,000 years may not be Biblical but the 3,000 years from creation to the dedication of Solomon’s temple certainly are and of course that was about 3,000 years ago. Put Ussher and Ellen White aside and just take the Bible as it is written. So easy. I get sick of intellectuals saying it’s not Biblical or it’s only from Ussher or Ellen White or the genealogies are inaccurate etc. Try doing a little bit of basic addition and Bible study

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  62. The point I was trying to put across was, because God alone can (and does) accurately predict the future centuries in advance (which no scientist or any other human can do)it seems to me that should show anyone with reasonable intelligence and an open mind that there IS Someone “out there” that can be trusted to accurately tell us what He has done in the past. My unshakable trust in the Bible is based on prophecy which,so far, I haven’t seen anyone on this site that even mentions the word. I have a hard time understanding ‘Why?’.

    The Adventists church was founded on prophecy. The church had begun to grow, Ellen and James White were married, and some sort of structure was being formed before they accepted the Sabbath and it was a while after that before it became accepted by all the ‘little flock.’

    So I have a hard time understanding why we
    pay no attention it now. Of course there always has been–and probably always will be–people whose attitude is, “My mind is made up–don’t try to confusing me with facts!”

    I don’t mean to be critical of anyone but, at 87, I’ve “been around the block” a few times and met (and been related to) quite a few folks like that. (Maybe I’ve been guilty of the same thing myself at times!) But the Day IS coming when each and every one of us will have to stand before God’s judgement seat and “give an account” for the way we have lived our lives–whether we like it or not!I believe that time is coming sooner than we think.
    According to reputable scientist (yes, there are a lot of them out there) the world will run out of oil in roughly 40 years and to date there is nothing known that can replace it. The world’s whole economy is based on oil (cars, planes, ships, etc) and scientists are working on it but say it will be roughly 40 years before anything comes anywhere close to oil. Meanwhile, some are saying if that doesn’t happen the world will return to small groups of people here and there living in another “horse and buggy” age. All the powerful nations will have disappeared.

    Of course. I don’t believe that will happen. Prophecy tells us the USA will play a very important part in the closing events and I believe that.

    What this talk tells me is that Jesus will return before things reach the point of the world becoming a bunch of small communities living like folks lived before cars, ships and air planes were invented.

    Will He come before the 40 year point arrives–or will He let scientists discover a replacement for it? No one knows for sure but there is a real chance that He will return BEFORE the plus/minus “40 years” are over. Which means His coming could be a lot closer than any of us think. I, for one, hope so!

    At any rate. Jesus IS coming back and I believe it is much closer than we even dream of. That’s GOOD NEWS, brothers and sisters. Let’s all be prepared for it!!!

    Lydian

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  63. The point I was trying to put across was, because God alone can (and does) accurately predict the future centuries in advance (which no scientist or any other human can do)it seems to me that should show anyone with reasonable intelligence and an open mind that there IS Someone “out there” that can be trusted to accurately tell us what He has done in the past. My unshakable trust in the Bible is based on prophecy which,so far, I haven’t seen anyone on this site that even mentions the word. I have a hard time understanding ‘Why?’.

    The Adventists church was founded on prophecy. The church had begun to grow, Ellen and James White were married, and some sort of structure was being formed before they accepted the Sabbath and it was a while after that before it became accepted by all the ‘little flock.’

    So I have a hard time understanding why we
    pay no attention it now. Of course there always has been–and probably always will be–people whose attitude is, “My mind is made up–don’t try to confusing me with facts!”

    I don’t mean to be critical of anyone but, at 87, I’ve “been around the block” a few times and met (and been related to) quite a few folks like that. (Maybe I’ve been guilty of the same thing myself at times!) But the Day IS coming when each and every one of us will have to stand before God’s judgement seat and “give an account” for the way we have lived our lives–whether we like it or not!I believe that time is coming sooner than we think.
    According to reputable scientist (yes, there are a lot of them out there) the world will run out of oil in roughly 40 years and to date there is nothing known that can replace it. The world’s whole economy is based on oil (cars, planes, ships, etc) and scientists are working on it but say it will be roughly 40 years before anything comes anywhere close to oil. Meanwhile, some are saying if that doesn’t happen the world will return to small groups of people here and there living in another “horse and buggy” age. All the powerful nations will have disappeared.

    Of course. I don’t believe that will happen. Prophecy tells us the USA will play a very important part in the closing events and I believe that.

    What this talk tells me is that Jesus will return before things reach the point of the world becoming a bunch of small communities living like folks lived before cars, ships and air planes were invented.

    Will He come before the 40 year point arrives–or will He let scientists discover a replacement for it? No one knows for sure but there is a real chance that He will return BEFORE the plus/minus “40 years” are over. Which means His coming could be a lot closer than any of us think. I, for one, hope so!

    At any rate. Jesus IS coming back and I believe it is much closer than we even dream of. That’s GOOD NEWS, brothers and sisters. Let’s all be prepared for it!!!

    Lydian

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  64. Let us pray, friends and fellow SDAs, that LSU can cure itself of this cancer it before it is too late – and that it can set an example for the rest of our denomination to follow.

    The cancer I speak of, of course, is Sean Pitman, Shane Hilde, and all others who insist on using flawed scientific and theological reasoning to “support” one of our outdated beliefs, without concern for the cost to our church as a whole and those at LSU specifically.

    This asinine crusade is poised to destroy a respectable institution. Since its inception, the Adventist church has considered education one of its fundamental missions. EducateTruth is, in short order, threatening to destroy entirely this aspect of EGW’s legacy, and dooming our church to irrelevance in the process. There are some who are short-sighted enough to welcome this change – many of them post to this board regularly – but for the rest of us who still consider things rationally before jerking our knee, we see this as an exceptionally ominous development.

    If WASC fails to certify LSU, it will cease to exist. It will not turn into a bible college – it will instead disappear. There is insufficient volume to support a Bible college in Southern California, and the gutted hulk of LSU would be left to drift aimlessly until the board had to finally close the doors for good. Hundreds of faculty and staff—not to mention thousands of students—will be deprived of what has been an appropriately progressive SDA environment. Without an equivalent nearby SDA institution, most will be forced into schools that really ARE secular (or at least of a different denomination), where no hint of the “SDA message” will fall upon their ears. Is this the scenario those at ET desire?

    Thanks to ET, LSU has a terrible decision to face: loose ~10% of their funding, break from the church and tighten their belts, likely resulting in ultimate failure due to insufficient funding and enrollment – or choose the path to certain destruction by forgoing WASC certification. Of course, the church at large has demonstrated that it is not concerned with the education of our youth, but rather with irrational adherence to outdated dogma – and the occasional vendetta by those with a personal axe to grind. If the church can continue to exert its undue influence on the board, this conclusion is forgone. If, however, the board can grow a backbone and throw off the oppression of those at the church bent of returning us to 1844, it might have a chance at rescuing the school from oblivion.

    If the “church” is willing to destroy LSU (and the rest of my community) over this barely relevant bit of trivia, I cannot in good conscience encourage others to join it.

    Without secular accreditation, our schools are useless. To ignore this point is to ignore the entire point of our church to begin with. We were not founded to be separate from the world, but rather to be a beacon within it – doing good in it, witnessing to it, and—yes—evolving with it. Should we withdraw from the elementary and secondary school realms as well? It will absolutely come to that. If we cannot teach proper science to our 11th graders, then we have no business teaching them at all – and we cannot expect the rest of the world to take us seriously if we do.

    I cannot fathom that there are those who consider this an issue of religious discrimination. Nobody is telling us we can’t pay teachers to teach whatever we decide they want to teach (within legal limits, of course). WASC isn’t a government entity. WASC is simply charged with developing a standard (like the SAT) and then certifying who meets it and who doesn’t – and then others use that certification to judge whether the degrees the school issues are valuable or not. There is clearly no discrimination going on here – but, yes, all of our schools are at risk of loosing this essential certification (and rightfully so) if this internal witch hunt continues, and other schools are forced to reckon with our medival-minded church leadership.

    Frankly, it frightens me that individuals here feel that they can speak to how our church should educate through our institutions, but they are so obviously, completely, violently ignorant. Evolution is not “junk science” – evolution is reproducible, testable, logically-consistent, scientifically-sound fact – in the same manner that the earth’s rotation around the sun is fact, or that gravity is fact. Ignoring it and calling it “junk science” doesn’t make it go away – it just makes you look, well, ignorant. Nobody is claiming that they fully understand evolution, of course – but considering that the Biblical account of creation (and the 6000-year-old earth) is so unfathomably illogical (and so easily disproven), we have to choose a different path to find our answers.

    Opening your eyes and accepting evolution is not easy for an SDA – I know, I struggled with it myself. (I’m still not ready to let go of my belief that the Pope is the antichrist, though.) If it isn’t something you can accept, don’t teach science…but, likewise, don’t try to tell our SDA teachers how they should teach it, because you are not qualified to do so.

    Consider for a moment how foolish we would look if we, as a church, required our teachers to teach that the sun revolved around the earth. Would we expect anybody to take us seriously? The evidence we have to support the heliocentric model of our galaxy (or, for that matter, that the galaxy even exists) is no more and no less viable than the evidence we have to support evolution – but since the Bible contradicts one scientifically-observable phenomenon, we have to disregard it, while at the same time we accept the other? The Complete Works of God include more than the Bible – and to ignore our admittely flawed, human interpretation of nature simply because it doesn’t jibe with our flawed, human understanding of the Bible or the prophecies of a normal, flawed human being – well, that’s just ridiculous.

    If you want to TRULY do something valuable for our church – and for EGW’s legacy—get to work on the wording of Fundamental Belief #6 and bring our church into the 21st century. While you’re at it, fix #23 too, and remove that stupid “man and a woman” poppycock.

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  65. @LSU Alumnus 1996:

    You don’t have to tell the students that evolution is TRUE, but rather, that evolution is FACT

    This isn’t quite true. WASC does not require teachers to tell their students that the modern synthesis view of evolution within mainstream science is a “fact” because it isn’t a “fact” at all. Theories are not “facts”. Theories are non-provable explanations of the facts which make potentially falsifiable predictions about the future.

    It is for this reason that professors at a WASC-accredited institution are only required to inform their students of the mainstream concensus on the theories of evolution. That’s it.

    As long as the students have been taught about the theory so that they can understand it well and pass standardized exams, this should be enough to fulfill the requirements of WASC in this regard.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  66. One more thing to point out – WASC neither requested nor implied that LSU must operate “independent” of the church. In fact, WASC is stating that the decisions to fire professors must be handled according to the institutional processes (i.e., by the board, which includes representatives of the church), as opposed to simply being dictated by the church alone. Graham has admitted that he violated this separation (likely in fear for his own job), and WASC is rightfully concerned.

    WASC’s guidelines are very clear: you may teach whatever unscientific mumbo jumbo you want, as long as you ensure students understand that current scientific understanding supports evolution. You don’t have to tell the students that evolution is TRUE, but rather, that evolution is FACT – and in that subtle difference lies our ability, as a religious institution, to teach science while also teaching our own creation myth. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to teach our students that all science – evolution included – is subject to revision given evidence to the contrary – which is precisely what our professors were doing when someone threw a childish, selfish temper tantrum that may very well destroy the economic and spiritual lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of good, loyal SDAs.

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  67. @LSU Alumnus 1996:

    You don’t have to tell the students that evolution is TRUE, but rather, that evolution is FACT

    This isn’t quite true. WASC does not require teachers to tell their students that the modern synthesis view of evolution within mainstream science is a “fact” because it isn’t a “fact” at all. Theories are not “facts”. Theories are non-provable explanations of the facts which make potentially falsifiable predictions about the future.

    It is for this reason that professors at a WASC-accredited institution are only required to inform their students of the mainstream concensus on the theories of evolution. That’s it.

    As long as the students have been taught about the theory so that they can understand it well and pass standardized exams, this should be enough to fulfill the requirements of WASC in this regard.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  68. @Sean Pitman:

    Evolution is a fact. It is not a theory. Evolution, like gravity, is a natural force that we can try to describe and test and form a theory about.

    The “theory of evolution,” however, is a theory. The theory of evolution is an attempt to describe the origins of life (or at least the origins of life as we know it), using the natural process of evolution as sort of “framework” upon which we try to extrapolate a history we cannot directly observe.

    I’m glad you understand that WASC’s requirements simply require the professors to “inform their students of the mainstream concensus (sic) on the theories of evolution.” This is my point exactly. It is not trying to “meddle” or require “independence” from the church. It is simply requiring that the fact of evolution (i.e., that evolution can and does occur) be taught as just that – fact. Any attempts to extrapolate the facts to derive a cosmology, however – be it the theory of evolution or the theory of creation – is not WASC’s concern. In fact, Professor Bradley was doing precisely this – teaching creation and evolution concurrently—and meeting the requirements for WASC certification. It is a shame that he has lost his job simply for doing it properly.

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  69. @LSU Alumnus 1996:

    Evolution is a fact. It is not a theory. Evolution, like gravity, is a natural force that we can try to describe and test and form a theory about.

    I suppose it depends upon what you mean when you use the term “evolution”. If you’re referring to the observation of “change over time”, then yes, there are such factual observations that are not theoretical. However, when you start talking about degrees of change that have not actually been directly observed, you move into the realm of theoretical predictions that are not “factual”.

    Observed changes over time are predictably limited and do not support the theoretical aspects of evolutionary theory, especially when it comes to the proposed evolutionary mechanism of RM/NS. To the contrary, observational “changes over time” tend toward degeneracy, not any kind of increase in functional complexity or even novel functional diversity beyond very very low levels of functional complexity.

    Slowly reproducing creatures, like mammals for instance, are rapidly declining in genomic quality – i.e., we are rapidly heading for extinction.

    But, of course, they wouldn’t have taught you about that during your time at LSU now would they? Rather, you’re are a prime case in point of the fact that mainstream evolutionary theories are being promoted at LSU and that the Biblical perspective on origins is being actively undermined by LSU.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  70. Sean: “Rather, your are a prime case in point of the fact that mainstream evolutionary theories are being promoted at LSU and that the Biblical perspective on origins is being actively undermined by LSU.”

    Sean, you are 100% correct. This is exactly what we are here about. If this is an example of the ‘valuable’ “Christian” teaching this person got from LSU, they have done a bang up job of undermining the church and teaching heresy…complete with sneering arrogance. I shudder to contemplate what the Creator will say in the judgment day to both the professors and their students.

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  71. LSU Alumnus 1996: @Sean Pitman:
    Evolution is a fact. It is not a theory. Evolution, like gravity, is a natural force that we can try to describe and test and form a theory about.

    Evolutionism is junk science pure and simple. Adventist know T.E as the “worst form of infidelity” for it is “infidelity in disguise”.

    Its birds come from reptiles fictions are only a little less outlandish than its “animals come from plants” fictions.

    And above all they are NOT observable in actual nature!

    So to “make up for it” the diehard evolutionist tries to toss the evolution ‘blanket’ over “yes but your fingernail grows old over time” as if “change over time” is all you need to “observe” when making wild claims about birds coming from reptiles.

    What alchemist in the dark ages could not thrive in such an atmosphere of misdirectoin and storyteling such as evolutionists like to foment.

    LSU Alumnus 1996: @Sean Pitman:

    I’m glad you understand that WASC’s requirements simply require the professors to “inform their students of the mainstream concensus (sic) on the theories of evolution.” This is my point exactly. It is not trying to “meddle” or require “independence” from the church. It is simply requiring that the fact of evolution (i.e., that evolution can and does occur) be taught

    The simple fact is there IS NO requirement from WASC or any other governing body that LSU proclaim to its students “evoution can and does occur”.

    Nobody is going to revoke anything if LSU chooses to simply “tell the truth” instead of pandering after the atheist-centric idea that “evolution can and does occur in real life”.

    LSU Alumnus 1996: @Sean Pitman:
    In fact, Professor Bradley was doing precisely this – teaching creation and evolution concurrently—and meeting the requirements for WASC certification. It is a shame that he has lost his job simply for doing it properly.

    Misdirection and smoke screen above – totally debunked by Bradley’s own statements to the press in higher education.

    You need a less transparently flawed argument.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  72. Sean Pitman: It is for this reason that professors at a WASC-accredited institution are only required to inform their students of the mainstream concensus on the theories of evolution. That’s it.

    Consensus in that context merely means that they can count more on one side than another. It does not mean all scientists are blindly drinking the evolutionist koolaide – though a few T.E.s like to imagine such things when they post here for “effect”.

    As you point out – the “fact” that more official endorsements for evolutionism (in a strict popularity context) exist among scientists – than registered formal complaints against it — is a “given”.

    It is among the few actual “facts” about evolutionism that is actually ‘seen to be true in real life’.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  73. pauluc: @Greg: You say
    Fair enough. I can agree with you on this. I definately think “thus saith the Lord” comes ahead of science. If Pauluc rejects creationism, then that is unfortunate.
    I certainly do not reject a doctrine of creation which I endorse entirely. My concern is that we must not read the bible with a mindset that imagines that it was written to satisfy our curiosity on mechanism in the physical world (which is the core role of science) rather that tell us about faith and the nature of God.
    Do we in reading Deut 23:13 condemn all modern sewerage treatment strategies

    Your claim that evolutionism is somehow creation is totally without support in fact.

    Your claim that the Bible is not describing anything physical in the real world in Gen 1-2 when it gives us evening and morning for each DAY and also the THINGS that were created in each day – is so transparently flawed that it is doubtful your argument carries even one objective unbiased reader.

    Why present such a weak case for your argument?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  74. @pauluc:

    They do not teach the Sanford theory of declining genetic quality because it has no experimental basis and as such does not rate a mention in molecular biology or population genetics. It has never been published in the scientific literature and has been critiqued in the popular literature by competent people who have more time than me.

    I don’t think you understand population genetics or the qualitative nature of the mutational changes that affect gene pools like you think you do. Mutational change over time is overwhelmingly detrimental – devolutionary if you will. The fact that detrimental mutations far outpace beneficial mutations over generations is published in scientific literature (not just popular literature). There really is no argument on this point in the scientific community.

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/dnamutationrates.html#Detrimental

    What is not published in literature is any viable mechanism whereby the overwhelming load of detrimental mutations might be removed from the gene pools of slowly reproducing creatures (like all mammals for example) nearly as fast as they are entering it. While there have been some feeble attempts in literature to try to explain how this might happen, these attempts all have fundamental flaws that do not substantively address the problem – which is what well-known scientists like John Sandford and several others rightly point out.

    These facts of science have important implications that should be presented to our own students in our own schools…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  75. @Sean Pitman:
    They do not teach the Sanford theory of declining genetic quality because it has no experimental basis and as such does not rate a mention in molecular biology or population genetics. It has never been published in the scientific literature and has been critiqued in the popular literature by competent people who have more time than me. See for example this critique
    I am beginning to suspect that you let what you wish to be colour your judgement and objectivity when looking at the critiques of origin of species by natural process.
    This response to LSU Alumni 1996 is an example of the toxicity I have referenced in my comments at spectrum about the fear and secrecy at the GRI meetings. I do acknowledge that his/her comments were no less inflammatory.

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  76. @pauluc:

    They do not teach the Sanford theory of declining genetic quality because it has no experimental basis and as such does not rate a mention in molecular biology or population genetics. It has never been published in the scientific literature and has been critiqued in the popular literature by competent people who have more time than me.

    I don’t think you understand population genetics or the qualitative nature of the mutational changes that affect gene pools like you think you do. Mutational change over time is overwhelmingly detrimental – devolutionary if you will. The fact that detrimental mutations far outpace beneficial mutations over generations is published in scientific literature (not just popular literature). There really is no argument on this point in the scientific community.

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/dnamutationrates.html#Detrimental

    What is not published in literature is any viable mechanism whereby the overwhelming load of detrimental mutations might be removed from the gene pools of slowly reproducing creatures (like all mammals for example) nearly as fast as they are entering it. While there have been some feeble attempts in literature to try to explain how this might happen, these attempts all have fundamental flaws that do not substantively address the problem – which is what well-known scientists like John Sandford and several others rightly point out.

    These facts of science have important implications that should be presented to our own students in our own schools…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  77. Sean: “These facts of science have important implications that should be presented to our own students in our own schools…”

    That is exactly the kind of thing that should be being presented in all our universities and colleges. The problem is, of course, that our professors in some instances aren’t our professors,(though they claim to be) but proponents of evolution. These types of employees should not be teaching in our institutions. And it may be a good idea for the GC to put a clause in the contracts people sign that clearly states that if they promote evolution in any form as fact, their employment is immediately terminated.

    Personally, I have seen ample evidence of what kind of students they are turning out when evolution is taught. I have been extremely unimpressed by the former students that come on here and tell us what ignorant idiots we all are to believe in Creation.

    Evolution is not only junk science, as has been pointed out numerous times, but pure heresy to our church’s beliefs–it causes students to sneer at our belief in Creation–it undercuts the Sabbath and faith in God, and most, if not all, of the principles of the SDA church.

    This is so clear anyone can see it. Yet we are constantly challenged here on this site by individuals, claiming to be SDAs and believe in Creation, who try to separate their “science” from their religion (not possible, by the way), and who then go about trying to proclaim the ‘gospel’ of evolution like it is fact–which we all know it isn’t.

    In my personal opinion, the church needs to thoroughly vet the professors in all the SDA colleges and universities and make sure of their firm belief in the church, Creation, and their commitment to teach Bible principles as relates to their field of instruction.

    In this I am not just suggesting the science professors undergo this scrutiny, but all professors. As I have said previously, God should permeate all classes on the campuses of all our institutions.

    Home Economics should be teaching correct diet, Physical Education should promote correct exercise, English Literature should be promoting the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, etc. (By the way, I find it incredible that so many people are shunning the KJV of the Bible because the language is ‘outdated’ and then they go and study Shakespeare, who uses the exact same language, and whose content is anything but promoting good Christian principles. Just one of my beefs.) Even the business departments should be learning the principles of Christian Stewardship. That is what is supposed to set our universities and colleges apart from the world’s. It is this that the parents are so willing to sacrifice for. The worldliness taught on the campuses of our institutions is defrauding the parent who sends their child to them for a good, solid, SDA education. Reform needs to be undertaken and immediately, if not sooner.

    And it shouldn’t stop there. Our churches, our families, our individuals need reform. Just look around you at the churches…nightclub style churches? Give me a break. That is such obvious heresy it shouldn’t even be a matter up for discussion. Teaching our young children by Veggie Tales videos? What are they thinking????? I know it is much easier to turn on a video than to prepare an actual class for the little ones…and,ok, so we are all busy, but that is no excuse to shortchange the religious education of the little children. What a fearsome account will be called for in the judgment day if we mislead them. I have another beef with the ‘new cirriculum’ they are using for the children’s departments anyway. I actually quit as leader of the Primary dept when they brought it in because I refuse to teach what and the way they want us to.

    Alright, I know this is a long post. I get righteously indignant at all the worldliness in our church. I hope we will all wake up and fix these things before it is too late. We need to get busy and spread the gospel, but how can we lead new converts into a polluted church? Time for a good spring cleaning, don’t you think?

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  78. THE GRI’S FAITH AND SCIENCE MEETINGS IN BANFF

    A group of the SDA Church’s most informed scientists and theologians met recently in Banff, Cananda, to discuss issues of origins and faith. The approximately 100 participants included primarily NAD science teachers, but also GRI staff, theologians, behavioral scientists, philosophers, and students. The chief purpose of the meeting was “increased opportunity…for interdisciplinary dialogue and research, in a safe environment, among Seventh-day Adventist scholars from around the world.” The meeting was organized by the Geoscience Research Institute, which Educate Truth and its supportors have repeatedly slammed. A nice summary of the meetings is presented at Spectrum Magazine (http://tinyurl.com/3wenn5h).

    I appreciated the following statement from the article: “Conference organizers emphasized the importance of confidentiality in the proceedings: presentations represented the personal views of their authors and should not be construed as official positions or policies of any organization; unguarded statements made in the course of fruitful discussion may not accurately characterize the values and intentions of an individual; and mere participation in a ‘Faith/Science’ conference could be used to stigmatize some participants, professionally.” Can anyone imagine the need for such a statement?

    The vast majority at this meeting have no interest in engaging discourse at Educate Truth, Spectrum, or other websites that promote controversy. The individuals were, for the most part, well-informed, humble enough to concede uncertainty in interpretations, and inclusive, i.e. willing to show respect for divergent viewpoints. Some of this was encapsulated by one speaker who wished to convey the following to science teachers and their students: “1) It really does matter what you believe about origins; 2) Science is about generating ideas that have some basis in observation; 3) Scientific ideas are a progress report and must never be considered a finished product; 4) Challenges to the Biblical history of origins are balanced by challenges to the secular history of origins; 5) Decisions about belief with respect to origins cannot be based on science.

    Of course, the latter two points are completely unacceptable to Educate Truth and its supporters. As Sean Pitman opines frequently, the evidence supporting the SDA position is overwhelming (which must be taught as such in the classroom, and enforced by threat of public derision and call for termination), and belief in origins must be based on science rather than faith (because faith not backed up by science is as useless as belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster). Sean, were you there to voice your objections?

    Personally, I took much encouragement that some of the talks and discussion focussed on ecology and the environment. In my opinion, the Church can witness much more effectively with this message than via origins.

    Professor Kent
    Professing Christ until the whole world hears

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  79. @Sean Pitman:

    You say
    “What is not published in literature is any viable mechanism whereby the overwhelming load of detrimental mutations might be removed from the gene pools of slowly reproducing creatures (like all mammals for example) nearly as fast as they are entering it.”

    Sean it is called natural selection and is by no means a new concept. As you indicate most mutations are detrimental. This is expected if most regions of the genome have been selected or designed for specific function.

    The work of Mukai and Estes and many others on c elegans using a worm with a defective DNA repair gene msh2 has clearly shown that there is accumulation of mutations at 100-1000 times that in the control worms but that as you increase population size beyond 25 the fitness returns to near equivalence.
    Estes 2004 paper shows that there is a large number of mutations however that remain largely cryptic in the Msh2 knockout.

    What the recent paper from 2010 shows is that when you look at the DNA level at these worms that have recovered to normal fitness in a large population (n=1000) over 60 generations they found that there were mutations that fixed in coding and non-coding regions. Most deleterius mutations however did not become fixed in the large population size. Genetically the population stabilized at 10-20 generations.

    These studies and the extensive studies on bacteria and virus as well as yeast clearly make Sanford conjectures on genetic doom suspect.

    We all have our demons but if you persist in your statement that there is no viable mechanism I will have to conclude that mortons demon is especially strong with you. You can say you disagree but I do not think you can honestly say there is no viable mechanism in the face of this experimental evidence.

    Once again I would ask you to subject your ideas to experiment for that is the only way science works. I absolutely acknowledge that I do not know much about the populations genetics beyond what I learned and published during my higher degree in genetics but think that consulting the vast literature that is there and accessible via pubmed is preferable to self citation and referral to a site that is scarcely current.

    1. Estes S, Phillips PC, Denver DR, Thomas WK, Lynch M. Mutation Accumulation in Populations of Varying Size: The Distribution of Mutational Effects for Fitness Correlates in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics 2004 Mar;166(3):1269 -1279.
    2. Estes S, Phillips PC, Denver DR. Fitness recovery and compensatory evolution in natural mutant lines of C. Elegans. Evolution 2011 Aug;65(8):2335-2344.
    3. Denver DR, Howe DK, Wilhelm LJ, Palmer CA, Anderson JL, Stein KC, Phillips PC, Estes S. Selective sweeps and parallel mutation in the adaptive recovery from deleterious mutation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genome Res 2010 Dec;20(12):1663-1671.

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  80. @pauluc:

    “What is not published in literature is any viable mechanism whereby the overwhelming load of detrimental mutations might be removed from the gene pools of slowly reproducing creatures (like all mammals for example) nearly as fast as they are entering it.”- Sean Pitman

    Sean it is called natural selection and is by no means a new concept. As you indicate most mutations are detrimental. This is expected if most regions of the genome have been selected or designed for specific function.

    The work of Mukai and Estes and many others on c elegans using a worm with a defective DNA repair gene msh2 has clearly shown that there is accumulation of mutations at 100-1000 times that in the control worms but that as you increase population size beyond 25 the fitness returns to near equivalence. Estes 2004 paper shows that there is a large number of mutations however that remain largely cryptic in the Msh2 knockout.

    What the recent paper from 2010 shows is that when you look at the DNA level at these worms that have recovered to normal fitness in a large population (n=1000) over 60 generations they found that there were mutations that fixed in coding and non-coding regions. Most deleterius mutations however did not become fixed in the large population size. Genetically the population stabilized at 10-20 generations.

    These studies and the extensive studies on bacteria and virus as well as yeast clearly make Sanford conjectures on genetic doom suspect.

    C. elegans is a nematode worm with a very high reproductive rate per generation. The number of progeny per generation can exceed 1,000. At 20 °C, the laboratory strain of C. elegans has an average life span of approximately 2–3 weeks and a generation time of approximately 4 days.

    This is a far cry from the human reproductive rate which doesn’t come close to 1000 per generation – last I checked anyway 😉 In other words, the very high death rate required by NS to compensate for the detrimental mutation rate can be met by C. elegans for the rate of detrimental vs. compensatory mutations under experimental and wild-type conditions. This is not the case for much more slowly reproducing human/mammalian populations (like monkeys, horses, lions, bears, etc.). Increasing the population size for humans and other slowly reproducing creatures does not solve the problem of the required death rate that is needed for natural selection to effectively eliminate or compensate for the detrimental mutations at the rate at which they are entering such gene pools.

    So, unless I’ve really overlooked something major here, it seem to me like Sandford and others like Nuchman and Crowell have a better grasp of the problem at hand. I just don’t see how your nematode worms effectively address the detrimental mutation rate problem for slowly reproducing creatures?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  81. So, all the little scientists met and decided God doesn’t know what He is talking about in His Word? (The only eye-witness account in existance, BTW.) Is that what you are saying, PK? Just another step down on the Heresy Ladder to Hell?

    If the SDA scientists can’t meet and confirm a strong faith in God’s Word and Creation, regardless what the world throws at them, then they have failed miserably. If they have to have confidentiality and closed meetings, then something isn’t quite kosher, is it?

    How sad this must make God feel.

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  82. Faith: So, all the little scientists met and decided God doesn’t know what He is talking about in His Word? (The only eye-witness account in existance, BTW.) Is that what you are saying, PK? Just another step down on the Heresy Ladder to Hell?

    If the SDA scientists can’t meet and confirm a strong faith in God’s Word and Creation, regardless what the world throws at them, then they have failed miserably. If they have to have confidentiality and closed meetings, then something isn’t quite kosher, is it?

    How sad this must make God feel.

    Faith, you obviously do not know what you are speaking of. THE MEETINGS WERE ALL ABOUT CONFIRMING A STRONG FAITH IN GOD’S WORD AND CREATION. You have reached a conclusion based on nothing but presumption, prejudice, ignorance, and malice.

    The reason for confidentiality was that you and others like you are eager to find fault with any given statement by a participant, and to hold that person up to public ridicule and contempt, with flagrant disregard for Christ’s instruction in Matthew 18.

    A plea to the moderators: please put a stop to the posts by those who engage in nothing but fault-finding without factual basis. Your failure to refute such posts gives Educate Truth the repugnant reputation it has earned. I recognize that you guys have a personal vendetta against GRI and all but a few SDA universities, and that you were likely offended if you were not invited to speak at the meeting, but there is no reason to mischaracterize the meeting and lambast those who attended and/or spoke. It’s highly uncharitable and unChristlike.

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  83. Faith – mark my words; not even Bob Ryan, Rich Constantinescu, David Read, or Wesley Kyme will defend your inappropriate statement about the Banff Meeting. An apology is due.

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  84. @pauluc:

    “What is not published in literature is any viable mechanism whereby the overwhelming load of detrimental mutations might be removed from the gene pools of slowly reproducing creatures (like all mammals for example) nearly as fast as they are entering it.”- Sean Pitman

    Sean it is called natural selection and is by no means a new concept. As you indicate most mutations are detrimental. This is expected if most regions of the genome have been selected or designed for specific function.

    The work of Mukai and Estes and many others on c elegans using a worm with a defective DNA repair gene msh2 has clearly shown that there is accumulation of mutations at 100-1000 times that in the control worms but that as you increase population size beyond 25 the fitness returns to near equivalence. Estes 2004 paper shows that there is a large number of mutations however that remain largely cryptic in the Msh2 knockout.

    What the recent paper from 2010 shows is that when you look at the DNA level at these worms that have recovered to normal fitness in a large population (n=1000) over 60 generations they found that there were mutations that fixed in coding and non-coding regions. Most deleterius mutations however did not become fixed in the large population size. Genetically the population stabilized at 10-20 generations.

    These studies and the extensive studies on bacteria and virus as well as yeast clearly make Sanford conjectures on genetic doom suspect.

    C. elegans is a nematode worm with a very high reproductive rate per generation. The number of progeny per generation can exceed 1,000. At 20 °C, the laboratory strain of C. elegans has an average life span of approximately 2–3 weeks and a generation time of approximately 4 days.

    This is a far cry from the human reproductive rate which doesn’t come close to 1000 per generation – last I checked anyway 😉 In other words, the very high death rate required by NS to compensate for the detrimental mutation rate can be met by C. elegans for the rate of detrimental vs. compensatory mutations under experimental and wild-type conditions. This is not the case for much more slowly reproducing human/mammalian populations (like monkeys, horses, lions, bears, etc.). Increasing the population size for humans and other slowly reproducing creatures does not solve the problem of the required death rate that is needed for natural selection to effectively eliminate or compensate for the detrimental mutations at the rate at which they are entering such gene pools.

    So, unless I’ve really overlooked something major here, it seem to me like Sandford and others like Nuchman and Crowell have a better grasp of the problem at hand. I just don’t see how your nematode worms effectively address the detrimental mutation rate problem for slowly reproducing creatures?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  85. Sean Pitman: @ Pauluc: “…the very high death rate required by NS to compensate for the detrimental mutation rate can be met by C. elegans for the rate of detrimental vs. compensatory mutations under experimental and wild-type conditions. This is not the case for much more slowly reproducing human/mammalian populations (like monkeys, horses, lions, bears, etc.). Increasing the population size for humans and other slowly reproducing creatures does not solve the problem of the required death rate that is needed for natural selection to effectively eliminate or compensate for the detrimental mutations at the rate at which they are entering such gene pools.

    Ahem…consider the following abstract on sheep (which just happen to be mammals):

    Renaud Kaeuffer, David W. Coltman, Jean-Louis Chapuis, Dominique Pontier and Denis Re´ale. 2006. Unexpected heterozygosity in an island mouflon population founded by a single pair of individuals. Proc. R. Soc. B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2006.3743

    In population and conservation genetics, there is an overwhelming body of evidence that genetic diversity is lost over time in small populations. This idea has been supported by comparative studies showing that small populations have lower diversity than large populations. However, longitudinal studies reporting a decline in genetic diversity throughout the whole history of a given wild population are much less common. Here, we analysed changes in heterozygosity over time in an insular mouflon (Ovis aries) population founded by two individuals in 1957 and located on one of the most isolated locations in the world: the Kerguelen Sub-Antarctic archipelago. Heterozygosity measured using 25 microsatellite markers has actually increased over 46 years since the introduction, and exceeds the range predicted by neutral genetic models and stochastic simulations. Given the complete isolation of the population and the short period of time since the introduction, changes in genetic variation cannot be attributed to mutation or migration. Several lines of evidence suggest that the increase in heterozygosity with time may be attributable to selection. This study shows the importance of longitudinal genetic surveys for understanding the mechanisms that regulate genetic diversity in wild populations.

    Sean Pitman: @ Pauluc: So, unless I’ve really overlooked something major here, it seem to me like Sandford and others like Nuchman and Crowell have a better grasp of the problem at hand.

    Right.

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  86. Here’s another sinker ball. Wolves, by the way, are mammals, too.

    Hagenblad Jenny; Olsson Maria; Parker Heidi G.; et al. 2009. Population genomics of the inbred Scandinavian wolf. MOLECULAR ECOLOGY 18(7):1341-1351. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04120

    The Scandinavian wolf population represents one of the genetically most well-characterized examples of a severely bottlenecked natural population (with only two founders), and of how the addition of new genetic material (one immigrant) can at least temporarily provide a ‘genetic rescue’. However, inbreeding depression has been observed in this population and in the absence of additional immigrants, its long-term viability is questioned. To study the effects of inbreeding and selection on genomic diversity, we performed a genomic scan with approximately 250 microsatellite markers distributed across all autosomes and the X chromosome. We found linkage disequilibrium (LD) that extended up to distances of 50 Mb, exceeding that of most outbreeding species studied thus far. LD was particularly pronounced on the X chromosome. Overall levels of observed genomic heterozygosity did not deviate significantly from simulations based on known population history, giving no support for a general selection for heterozygotes. However, we found evidence supporting balancing selection at a number of loci and also evidence suggesting directional selection at other loci. For markers on chromosome 23, the signal of selection was particularly strong, indicating that purifying selection against deleterious alleles may have occurred even in this very small population. These data suggest that population genomics allows the exploration of the effects of neutral and non-neutral evolution on a finer scale than what has previously been possible.

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  87. Three thoughts related to this exchange:

    To Sean Pitman – it just might be a good idea to be more tentative when describing constraints and limitations on evolution. We have much to learn.

    To Pauluc – it just might be a good idea to remain open-minded, as I am, about the possibility that there are, indeed, limitations to evolution that favor a more literal interpretation of Genesis. Maybe what God wrote with his finger in stone is true after all. I certainly can’t fit all the pieces together, but I’m willing to accept God’s word at face value.

    To those who have declared me a liar about my stated beliefs (on another thread) – it just might be a good idea to be more tentative when you declare you know with certainty someone’s mind and soul…though the certitude of your convictions is nonetheless quite entertaining. Carry on.

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  88. @Sean Pitman:

    So God has to intervene for big animals that reproduce slowly but not for little animals that turn over rapidly and can use a process of natural selection to maintain fitness and eliminate negative mutations? Is that your view?

    I have referred you to the literature that clearly shows there is a natural process for elimination of “bad” mutations. I do not know if this is the only mechanism operative in slow growing animals with long generation times. I suspect there are other similar natural mechanisms but that ignorance is no excuse for denying that there is a viable mechanisms which was all I was initially arguing.

    Nuchman and Crowell Genetics 2000? Come on genetics has moved on a long way since then. No-one is denying mutation and no-one is denying that they are mostly detrimental. That is obvious as I stated before.

    We now have genomic sequence data from families (trio) to define directly the new mutation rate per generation.

    Roach JC, Glusman G, Smit AFA, Huff CD, Hubley R, Shannon PT, Rowen L, Pant KP, Goodman N, Bamshad M, Shendure J, Drmanac R, Jorde LB, Hood L, Galas DJ. Analysis of genetic inheritance in a family quartet by whole-genome sequencing. Science 2010 Apr;328(5978):636-639.

    ~1.1 × 10−8 per position per haploid genome
    or 66 per genome

    You cannot understand variation and mutation without looking at the initial hapmap data sets and the recent results from the 1000 genome project.

    A map of human genome variation from population-scale sequencing. Nature 2010 Oct;467(7319):1061-1073.

    Look at the 70 page of supplementary data that deals with questions of new mutations, SNPs (polymorphism), recombination rates, gene conversion and sequence evidence for selection.

    They found the similar rate of new mutations
    as previously 1×10-8 per base pair per generation.

    Each individual had 50-100 variants implicated in inherited disorders and 250-300 loss of function variants.

    According to the Sanford model the prediction would be that the tyrolean man or some ancient modern man would have much less than that. I would predict that the numbers would be the same and that there is absolutely no evidence of the genetic change that predict a genetic meltdown.

    If you look at the literature you will find scientist actually generating and looking at data to define the mechanism for the process that you and Sandford claim is impossible; ie remove deleterious mutations.

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  89. @Sean Pitman:

    I am beginning to doubt you have read any of the the Este papers referenced. In defining population size effect they kept the population size to 1, 5, or 25 in their initial papers. Ie they took that number of 25 worms after each generation and moved them into the next culture for 1 generation. And yes you can have sexual reproduction with a population size of 1 as they are hermaphrodite. The 1000 progeny that you cite is a nonsequitor for the experiments on population size and natural selection.

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  90. And while we’re at it, let’s nip one oft-abused notion in the derriere: that there is no such thing as a “beneficial” mutation. There are plenty of studies demonstrating that beneficial mutations exist, even among multicellular animals. Here are two examples:

    Azad Priti; Zhang Mingchai; Woodruff R. C. 2010. Rapid increase in viability due to new beneficial mutations in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetica 138(2):251-263. doi: 10.1007/s10709-009-9418-3.

    It is usually assumed that new beneficial mutations are extremely rare. Yet, few experiments have been performed in multicellular organisms that measure the effect of new beneficial mutations on viability and other measures of fitness. In most experiments, it is difficult to clearly distinguish whether adaptations have occurred due to selection on new beneficial mutations or on preexisting genetic variation. Using a modification of a Dobzhansky and Spassky (Evolution 1:191-216, 1947) assay to study change in viability over generations, we have observed an increase in viability in lines homozygous for the second and third chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster in 6-26 generations due to the occurrence of new beneficial mutations in population sizes of 20, 100 and 1,000. The lines with the lowest initial viability responded the fastest to new beneficial mutations. These results show that new beneficial mutations, along with selection, can quickly increase viability and fitness even in small populations. Hence, new advantageous mutations may play an important role in adaptive evolution in higher organisms.

    Catherine R. Linnen, Evan P. Kingsley, Jeffrey D. Jensen, and Hopi E. Hoekstra. 2009. On The Origin and Spread Of an Adaptive Allele In Deer Mice. Science 325(5944):1095–1098. doi:10.1126/science.1175826.

    Adaptation is a central focus of biology, although it can be difficult to identify both the strength and agent of selection and the underlying molecular mechanisms causing change. We studied cryptically colored deer mice living on the Nebraska Sand Hills and show that their light coloration stems from a novel banding pattern on individual hairs produced by an increase in Agouti expression caused by cis-acting mutation(s), which either is, or is closely linked to, a single amino acid deletion in Agouti that appears to be under selection. Furthermore, our data suggest that this derived Agouti allele arose de novo after the formation of the Sand Hills. These findings reveal one means by which genetic, developmental, and evolutionary mechanisms can drive rapid adaptation under ecological pressure.

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  91. @pauluc:

    So God has to intervene for big animals that reproduce slowly but not for little animals that turn over rapidly and can use a process of natural selection to maintain fitness and eliminate negative mutations? Is that your view?

    No. Slowly reproducing creatures have been degenerating all along since Eden.

    I have referred you to the literature that clearly shows there is a natural process for elimination of “bad” mutations. I do not know if this is the only mechanism operative in slow growing animals with long generation times. I suspect there are other similar natural mechanisms but that ignorance is no excuse for denying that there is a viable mechanisms which was all I was initially arguing.

    Of course there are natural processes that can eliminate “bad” mutations. The problem is that for slowly reproducing creatures these mechanisms cannot eliminate them nearly as fast as they are entering the gene pool. That’s the problem here which you have not substantively addressed.

    Nuchman and Crowell Genetics 2000? Come on genetics has moved on a long way since then. No-one is denying mutation and no-one is denying that they are mostly detrimental. That is obvious as I stated before.
    We now have genomic sequence data from families (trio) to define directly the new mutation rate per generation.

    Roach JC, Glusman G, Smit AFA, Huff CD, Hubley R, Shannon PT, Rowen L, Pant KP, Goodman N, Bamshad M, Shendure J, Drmanac R, Jorde LB, Hood L, Galas DJ. Analysis of genetic inheritance in a family quartet by whole-genome sequencing. Science 2010 Apr;328(5978):636-639.

    ~1.1 × 10^−8 per position per haploid genome or 66 per genome.

    This is an interesting result that essentially cuts in half the previously cited human mutation rate. For example, a 2009 Nature article cites direct measurements of mutations in the Y-chromosome in a family line to come up with an overall mutation rate of around one in 30 million base pairs or ~200 mutations per person per generation.

    http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090827/full/news.2009.864.html

    Either way, the overall mutation rate isn’t really the issue here. The problem is with the detrimental mutation rate. Given the dramatic reduction in what was previously thought to be non-functional “junk DNA” in the human genome (it is now thought that the majority of the genome is functional to one degree or another), even a mutation rate of “~66 per person per generation” is going to produce well over 3 functionally-relevant mutations per person per generation (probably well over 5 or 6). Of course, the vast majority of such mutations will have a detrimental effect on functionality, swamping the relatively rare compensatory and other forms of beneficial mutations. In order for natural selection to help weed out all of these detrimental mutations as fast as they are being produced, many individuals will have to die before reproducing the next generation. What death ratio are we talking about here? That’s the important question.

    The reduction in fitness (i.e., the genetic load) due to deleterious mutations with multiplicative effects is given by 1 – e^ -U (Kimura and Moruyama 1966). For U = 3, the average fitness is reduced to 0.05, or put differently, each female would need to produce 40 offspring for 2 to survive and maintain the population at constant size (i.e., a 95% death rate before reproduction). If the detrimental mutation rate is increased to 5, the reproductive rate would have to increase to ~296 per female per generation in order for natural selection to keep up with the detrimental mutation rate.

    How is this problem explained? I fail to see how anything you’ve cited so far really deals with this issue? It is easy to explain how bacteria, viruses, and nematode worms can keep up with such bad karma since their potential reproductive rate is in the many thousands per individual per generation. This is simply not true for humans or other slowly reproducing animals.

    I am beginning to doubt you have read any of the the Este papers referenced. In defining population size effect they kept the population size to 1, 5, or 25 in their initial papers. Ie they took that number of 25 worms after each generation and moved them into the next culture for 1 generation. And yes you can have sexual reproduction with a population size of 1 as they are hermaphrodite. The 1000 progeny that you cite is a nonsequitor for the experiments on population size and natural selection.

    I’m beginning to doubt that you carefully read the Este papers yourself. If you will note, when the population was kept at 25, there was a constant degenerative effect over time in the gene pool.

    “Notably, no lines in the long-term natural MA experiment have ever been observed to significantly improve beyond the control with respect to the typically measured fitness-related characters… Even the largest population-size treatments show a slight trend toward reduced fitness compared to the control.” – Estes et. al. 2004

    In short, for natural selection to effectively act to counter the entire detrimental mutational load per generation, the effective reproductive rate had to be increased quite significantly… as highlighted in subsequent papers on C. elegans.

    Oh, and by the way, the human selection of individual nematode worms to populate the next generation is equivalent to an enforced death rate that is extremely high. If the individual reproductive rate for a nematode worm is around ~5000 offspring during the lifespan of the worm, and only 25 of the offspring are selected to populate the next generation, that is an effective pre-reproductive death rate of over 99%. Again, such a death rate could not be remotely tolerated by a human population without very quick extinction.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  92. @Professor Kent:

    Several lines of evidence suggest that the increase in heterozygosity with time may be attributable to selection.

    Your point? Of course natural selection plays a role in stabilizing the gene pool and slowing down the degenerative nature of detrimental mutations. That’s not the argument here. The argument in play is if the effects of detrimental mutations can be overcome fast enough to avoid a gradual but steady decline in the gene pools of slowly reproducing creatures?

    So far, the answer to that question appears to be no. I’ve failed to find any reasonable way whereby the steady buildup of detrimental mutations can be effectively countered by any natural mechanism when it comes to slowly reproducing creatures. Perhaps there is a way of which I am not aware? Perhaps. But, for now, I fail to see how anything you or Pauluc have referenced seriously addresses this problem…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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