Comment on Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’ by Professor Kent.
I’m continually disturbed by the “requirements” everyone seems to quarrel over regarding what it takes to be an “Adventist.” It’s tragic, really. There was a time when Church members used to praise anyone who had a connection to Adventism–Paul Harvey, for example (who often attended an SDA Church with his wife, but neither were ever baptized)–without erecting obstacles such as fidelity to FB # such-and-such. God could use virtually anyone to further along His kingdom.
But, increasingly, anyone who thinks even a little differently is treated as an outcast, a reckless threat to the advancement of the Church (either in a “progressive” or “traditional” sense, depending on one’s position). This is tragic, as we’re all in the same boat together. Each one of us can do something–by paddling, bailing, offering praise or prayer, whatever it takes–to keep the boat afloat and moving closer to the Promised Land. Instead of focusing on Jesus and bringing knowledge of Jesus to the world, all we’re doing is stabbing and hacking away at each other. Do we really need uncivil war?
Professor Kent Also Commented
Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’
@ Sean Pitman
As I’ve noted for you dozens of times now, the credibility of the metaphysical claims of the Bible which cannot be directly tested or evaluated through any scientific methods, are based on the credibility of those Biblical statements that can be directly tested and evaluated in a potentially falsifiable manner.
As I’ve noted for you dozens of times now, the origin of life as stated in the Bible is a metaphysical event. You acknowledge that the metaphysical claims of the Bible cannot be directly tested or evaluated through any scdientific methods, YET YOU DEMAND THAT SDA SCIENTISTS TELL OUR YOUNG PEOPLE THAT THE SCIENCE PROVES THE METAPHYSICAL CLAIMS OF GENESIS.
Does your head spin in circles?
Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’
Wesley Kime wrote:
Dr. Pitman (and, by faith, God) never asked us to put evidence in place of faith, or scripture (certainly not Genesis 1) — to say he has is to utterly misconstrue and misquote him.
Rather than risk misconstruing or misquoting, as I have been accused, here are Dr. Pitman’s own statements (which have been repeated many, many times):
“Personally, if I ever became convinced that there really is no scientific merit behind the literal seven-day creation week or the worldwide nature of Noah’s flood, or if Darwinian-style evolution one day made good sense to me, I would leave behind not only the SDA Church but Christianity as well.”
“I, personally, would have to go with what I saw as the weight of empirical evidence. This is why if I ever honestly became convinced that the weight of empirical evidence was on the side of life existing on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, I would leave not only the SDA Church, but Christianity as well…”
So, who is Dr. Pitman’s final authority? Is it truly scripture? Does his position align with, or undermine, SDA Fundamental Belief #1? Perhaps he would like to reexamine his very publicly stated position.
Dr. Ervin Taylor: ‘A truly heroic crusade’
More from Ellen White:
“Since God is the source of all true knowledge, it is, as we have seen, the first object of education to direct our minds to His own revelation of Himself. Adam and Eve received knowledge through direct communion with God; and they learned of Him through His works. All created things, in their original perfection, were an expression of the thought of God. To Adam and Eve nature was teeming with divine wisdom. But by transgression man was cut off from learning of God through direct communion and, to a great degree, through His works. The earth, marred and defiled by sin, reflects but dimly the Creator’s glory. It is true that His object lessons are not obliterated. Upon every page of the great volume of His created works may still be traced His handwriting. Nature still speaks of her Creator. Yet these revelations are partial and imperfect. And in our fallen state, with weakened powers and restricted vision, we are incapable of interpreting aright. We need the fuller revelation of Himself that God has given in His written word.
“The Holy Scriptures are the perfect standard of truth, and as such should be given the highest place in education. To obtain an education worthy of the name, we must receive a knowledge of God, the Creator, and of Christ, the Redeemer, as they are revealed in the sacred word.- EGW, Education, pp. 16-17
In our zeal for creationism, some are quick to forget that the Bible is both sufficient, and superior to nature and science, for informing us about our Creator and our salvation. No one needs to pay attention to my pleas; the plain word of God and the spirit of prophecy should suffice.
Again, I’m a young earth creationist myself, and concede there is SOME evidence to support our views. But I am opposed to the misuse and abuse of science, achieved by cherry-picking the best evidence and overinterpreting other evidence, to shore up the faith of our lay people. Let’s be more humble in acknowledging the limits to our understanding. If God’s word is not good enough for you, then you don’t know God well enough.
Recent Comments by Professor Kent
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Nic Samojluk: No wonder most creationist writers do not even try to submit their papers to such organizations.
Who wants to waste his/her time trying to enter through a door that is closed to him/her a priori?
You have no idea what you’re writing about, Nic. As it turns out, there are in fact many of us Adventists who “waste” our time publishing articles through doors that open to us a priori. Even Leonard Brand at Loma Linda, a widely recognized creationist, has published in the top geology journals. I mean the top journals in the discipline.
The myth that creationists cannot publish in mainstream science is perpetuated by people who simply do not understand the culture of science–and will remain clueless that they do not understand it even when confronted with their misunderstandings. Such is human nature.
Your questions about conservation genetics are very insightful. I don’t understand how all these life forms were able to greatly increase in genetic diversity while simultaneously winding down and losing genetic information to mutations. Sean seems to insist that both processes happen simultaneously. I had the impression he has insisted all along that the former cannot overcome the latter. But I think you must be right: God had to intervene to alter the course of nature. However, we can probably test this empirically because there must be a signature of evidence available in the DNA. I’ll bet Sean can find the evidence for this.
I’m also glad the predators (just 2 of most such species) in the ark had enough clean animals (14 of each such species) to eat during the deluge and in the months and years after they emerged from the ark that they didn’t wipe out the vast majority of animal species through predation. Maybe they all consumed manna while in the ark and during the first few months or years afterward. Perhaps Sean can find in the literature a gene for a single digestive enzyme that is common to all predatory animals, from the lowest invertebrate to the highest vertebrate. Now that would be amazing.
Wait a minute–I remember once being told that SDA biologists like Art Chadwick believe that some animals survived on floating vegetation outside the ark. Now that would solve some of these very real problems! I wonder whether readers here would allow for this possibility. Multiple arks without walls, roof, and human caretakers.
Ellen White said, “In the days of Noah, men…many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians [presumably referring to humans] perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history…”
Sean Pitman said, “All human fossils discovered so far are Tertiary or post-Flood fossils. There are no known antediluvian human fossils.”
Ellen White tells us that humans and dinosaurs (presumably referred to in the statement, “a class of very large animals which perished at the flood… mammoth animals”) lived together before the flood. Evolutionary biologists tell us that dinosaurs and humans never lived together. You’re telling us, Sean, that the fossil record supports the conclusion of evolutionists rather than that of Ellen White and the SDA Church. Many of the “very large animals which perished at the flood” are found only in fossil deposits prior to or attributed to the flood, whereas hunans occur in fossil deposits only after the flood (when their numbers were most scarce).
Should the SDA biologists, who are supposed to teach “creation science,” be fired if they teach what you have just conceded?
La Sierra Univeristy Fires Dr. Lee Greer; Signs anti-Creation Bond
For those aghast about the LSU situation and wondering what other SDA institutions have taken out bonds, hold on to your britches. You’ll be stunned when you learn (soon) how many of our other schools, and which ones in particular, have taken out these bonds. You will be amazed to learn just how many other administrators have deliberately secularized their institutions besides Randal Wisbey, presumably because they too hate the SDA Church (as David Read has put it so tactfully).
Be sure to protest equally loudly.
So clearly you believe that science can explain supernatural events. Congratulations on that.