Re Throwing a monkey wrench into the …

Comment on SDA Darwinians compromise key church doctrines by Ken.

Re Throwing a monkey wrench into the
works and Bob’s quote

” 3. You say there is no difference between small changes within a genome vs massive transition up the taxonomic latter from simple genomes to complex ones. Have you really thought that one through?

With a flex of a muscle I can move my hand from 0 to 40 mph in 1 second. Does that mean that “with time and more muscle flexing” I will be able to move my hand from 0 to a billion MPH in 2 seconds?

You are taking something that has an observed science limit and pretending that it has no limit.”

Dear Bob

Thanks for your comments.

Sorry to be picayune, but I don’t recall stating ” there is no difference within small changes within a genome..” Those differences are what make organisms unique ( even finches). The question is how did those small changes come about and why the similarities?

And your respectful admonition about the limits of observed science is appreciated. It is simply not enough for my untrained eye, yet ‘candid’? mind, to look at a chimp and see a remarkable similarity between it and a human. Phenotypes might be helpful, yet not definitive clues.

So what is the closest genome to that of a human?

‘Trying to think things through’
Your agnostic monkey’s uncle
Ken

Ken Also Commented

SDA Darwinians compromise key church doctrines
Dear Krismith 777, David, Sean, Bob, Shane, et. al.

Re Biblical interpretation

Gentleman, although I realize your discourse is tangential to the issue of evolution being taught at LSU, it is interesting and demonstrates a very important point. Well meaning folks of the same faith can differ on the interpretation of the biblical account of creation.

Although I am humbled -and grateful for the education – of your biblical knowledge, I ask the following: Do you use human reason, consensus of others (i.e. church doctrine), faith, or a combination of these factors, to come to your own conclusions?

Let’s say we were in a room together and you were all teaching me the correct interpretation of Genesis. Let’s say each of your as teachers had a different, albeit slight, interpretation. Would it be wrong of me as a novice to ask if there was an empirical methodology to resolve the issue. Isn’t this what science does without the bias of faith or non faith?

Cheers
Your agnostic friend
Ken


SDA Darwinians compromise key church doctrines
Re Sean’s Quote

“It is far more rational and non-arbitrary to defend one’s conclusion that the Bible (or particular interpretations of the Bible) is in fact trustworthy as the Word of God based on the overall weight of empirical evidence that appeals to the candid intelligent mind.”

Dear Bob, Krismith 777, Prof Kent and Sean

Gentleman, thank you very much for your reply to my queries on biblical interpretation. This ignorant agnostic has a lot to learn when it comes to matters of faith and your collective help is invaluable in that regard.

I’m not sure how any text can speak for itself without interpretation of some sort. I understand the concept of looking at the plain meaning of words in law as one method of interpretation. It seems to me that the historical grammatical method of biblical interpretation is akin to that. And I see nothing inherently wrong with different interpretations of texts, sacred or otherwise. That’s only human.

However, with the greatest respect to Prof Kent’s eloquent defence of faith alone which I understand, I think Sean’s position as per his quote above puts meat on the bones of faith. To be credible to the modern educated mind this is imperative, or else Adventist doctrine may eventually be resigned to the mythological scrap heap. Not that I don’t enjoy mythology, I cut my teeth on Greek literature and philosophy.

Now, where I do side with Prof Kent, is I cannot see how the weight of the evidence favours creation, vs. evolution, at least not yet. To me, distinguishing between macro and micro evolution is an apologetic, creationist argument based on a presumption of life being created all at once. To my (‘candid’? ‘intelligent’?!) mind when I look at chimps I see a strong connection to humans. Similar genotypes support the notion of a common ancestor.

As I watch Sean brilliantly debate with many evolutionists on this forum. I realize I am very much out of my league to understand the data, let alone the arguments in layman’s terms. But what a joy and wonder to observe and participate in the debate! Great stuff!

There is something, can’t comprehend it yet, that intrigues me about intelligent design. Is chance, randomness part of a design humans don’t understand yet? Ironically, Stephen Hawkings new book, which I expect did not come into being ex nihilo, is called The Grand Design.

What I do know is that this site in which I am privileged to partake is very valuable. I have been treated with great Christian charity and tolerance which speaks volumes about your faith. It is my express hope that you of adversarial positions can be more charitable with each other. As I have tried to establish, we all think differently; that should not be a crime but rather an invitation to learn more from each other.

Your agnostic monkey’s uncle
Ken


SDA Darwinians compromise key church doctrines
Re David’s quote on % of YEC’s

Hello David

Thank you very much, that was very informative. I had no idea that YEC was that popular in the USA.

Regards
Ken


Recent Comments by Ken

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Hi Bob

I asked once before and I’ll ask again: what is your background and expertise in biology?

Your agnostic friend
Ken


Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs
Re: What every human being on the planet believes?

Empirically, as i don’t have blind faith I could know this, perhaps it could only be a divine being that could do so. 🙂

Always open to correction though to those that know the absolute truth,

I remain,
Your agnostic friend
Ken


A “Christian Agnostic”?
Re Bob’s Quote

“But we can “observe” that the making of complex systems (and books, and works of art and science) is done by “creators” every day – observable, repeatable, testable. A mechanism proven to work.”

Hi Bob

Thanks for your comments.

This may surprise you but I’m actually intrigued by the design argument. My Dad is a Deist although I’m not of that bent, at least not yet! The laws of nature, i.e. gravity, that even allow the universe to exist are pretty marvelous. Did they arise as a result of a random quantum fluctuation or was their Grand Designer behind it all. If so what is or was the nature of such designer based on what we empirically observe about our universe?

The problem I have with intelligent design within our universe and especially regarding life on earth is theodicy. I do understand how the concept of original biblical sin accounts for the loss of perfection, but I have a very tough time understanding why a God would cause such destruction of his creation based on the disobedience of the literal eating of an apple. I just can’t rationally fathom how the eventual and natural demise of our solar system can be based on Man’s fall. Empirically, through science we can now view the death, and birth, of stars. Was this all caused by eating forbidden fruit?

Thus one must ask: why would a good, compassionate God create a Universe, and sentient life, that suffers and dies? Age old problem, that in my estimation has been allegorically resolved through the Genesis narrative.

Let’s move on to evolution. Micro evolution does not seem to be a problem for anyone. Life does adapt to its environment through genetic change. In my mind the issue becomes what happens over billions of years. After considering everything I have read to date I cannot honestly see an overwhelming case for a young earth. Moreover I have not read or heard anything yet that such a view can be scientifically supported by anyone without a biblical creationist bias. Given enough time great change will occur as evidenced by the vast diversity of life spread over every niche of our planet. Were there kangaroos on the Ark, or did they evolve in an isolated part of the world from whence they could not spread?

I don’t think evolution is a fraud or a hoax. Too many educated people of faith believe and accept it for it to be an atheist conspiracy. Have their been mistakes made and will they continue to be made? Are there dishonest scientists? Certainly. They are fallible humans, just like you and I, after all. But the issue is what does the weight of all the multidisciplinary evidence indicate?

Hope that helps

Your agnostic friend
Ken


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

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

Hello Sean

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck in your pursuit of God.

Goodbye
Your agnostic friend
Ken


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

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

Hi Sean

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

Conviction requires courage period.

Your agnostic friend
Ken