Apparently GRI is pursuing the same goal that Kent claims …

Comment on The Credibility of Faith by Professor Kent.

Apparently GRI is pursuing the same goal that Kent claims they are not pursuing. Yet Kent’s straw man continues of the form … trying to “bend” the idea of GRI so that as they find evidence for young life and a young earth “they still fail” the Kent straw man.

Thank you, Bob, for your continuing valiant effort to twist everything I write into something that appears to be menacing. Apparently, you find me very frightening. Your loving Christian words would almost persuade me to become a Christian–if only I was not one already.

So let’s suppose that the GRI sponsors a fossil whale dig in South America (LLU and GRI research). The researchers then succeed in showing that the whales were deposited in short order by a catastrophe. Would it disappoint you that most paleontologists would find this particular conclusion similar to that which they have reached from thousands of other fossil digs? And would you be flummoxed if the dating of the whale material itself, and of the Miocene/Pliocene mineral deposits, exceeded 10 million years ago? And would it upset you to learn that Adventist researchers discovered the whales in a highly bioturbated glauconitic sandstone unit?

And let’s suppose that the GRI sponsors a fossil dig in Nebraska (Chadwick’s SWAU research). The researchers then map very precisely the precise position of thousands of fossils in the quarry. Would you be disappointed if a paleontologist asked, “How does this have anything to do with 6 days 6000 years ago?”

Perhaps we should demand that all GRI scientists and projects succeed in proving that life forms could not have existed more than 6100 years ago and that a global flood deposited all fossils and fossil layers simultaneously approximately 4000 years. Doing so might make it a lot easier to fire these chaps who are detested and ridiculed by their own church members in the name of Christ.

By the way, why do we even have fossil layers at all? And why is it that, consistently, we see only the simplest lifeforms in the lowest layers and a gradual increase in complexity as one moves up the layers? How did the flood do this?

Professor Kent Also Commented

The Credibility of Faith
So the conclusion to all of this appears to be that, for SDAs, science and evidence trump faith. I completely disagree, but so be it.

The Credibility of Faith
Bob Ryan wrote

Predictably – every time evidence for either I.D or Young-life is brought up – Kent circles back to the straw man that we should IGNORE such evidence UNTIL it is showing us a 7 DAY event and also showing that it happened exactly 6000 years ago.

Bob himself has pointed out hundreds of times that SDAs believe in 6 days 6000 years ago. I have pointed out that this is a Biblically-based belief, sustained by faith, and is not based on scientific evidence. We wouldn’t be having this discussion if the view of 6 days 6000 years didn’t originat from the Bible because one certainly could not derive it from science alone. Evidence for I.D. and Young-life, which I have never stated should be ignored (another Bob Ryan fabrication), do not provide the basis for or validate 6 days 6000 years ago.

I’m not responding to the remainder of Bob’s psychodrivel.

The Credibility of Faith

Just don’t call your belief or faith anything other than blind faith – i.e., faith that isn’t based on the weight of empirical evidence.

Okay, whatever. I’ll live by faith, you can live by empirical evidence. I’m definitely finished with this go-nowhere conversation.

I think I’ll take a blindfolded stroll in Westminster Abbey next week and see whose tomb I end up at. Mabye it will be that of King Henry VIII, or Rudyard Kipling, or Laurence Olivier, or Alfred Lord Tennyson, or Isaac Newton…or maybe even Charles Darwin! I’ll bet I can sense in my gut whose grave it is before I take off the blindfold. I think I’ll also bring some spaghetti with me in case I end up at Darwin’s tomb. I could then enjoy slaying the flying monster for lunch while in Darwin’s company to remind me how blind my faith really is. Yeah…poetic justice.

Recent Comments by Professor Kent

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes

Sean Pitman: Science isn’t about “cold hard facts.” Science is about interpreting the “facts” as best as one can given limited background experiences and information. Such interpretations can be wrong and when shown to be wrong, the honest will in fact change to follow where the “weight of evidence” seems to be leading.

Much of science is based on highly technical data that few other than those who generate it can understand. For most questions, science yields data insufficient to support a single interpretation. And much of science leads to contradictory interpretations. Honest individuals will admit that they have a limited understanding of the science, and base their opinions on an extremely limited subset of information which they happen to find compelling whether or not the overall body of science backs it up.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes

Sean Pitman: The process of detecting artefacts as true artefacts is a real science based on prior experience, experimentation, and testing with the potential of future falsification. Oh, and I do happen to own a bona fide polished granite cube.

Not from Mars. Finding the cube on Mars is the basis of your cubical caricature of science, not some artefact under your roof.

Sean Pitman:
Professor Kent: If you think my brother-in-law who loves to fish in the Sea of Cortez is a scientist because he is trying to catch a wee little fish in a big vast sea, then I guess I need to view fishermen in a different light. I thought they were hobbyists.

The question is not if one will catch a fish, but if one will recognize a fish as a fish if one ever did catch a fish. That’s the scientific question here. And, yet again, the clear answer to this question is – Yes.

I think I’m going to spend the afternoon with my favorite scientist–my 8-year-old nephew. We’re going to go fishing at Lake Elsinore. He wants to know if we might catch a shark there. Brilliant scientist, that lad. He already grasps the importance of potentially falsifiable empirical evidence. I’m doubtful we’ll catch a fish, but I think he’ll recognize a fish if we do catch one.

While fishing, we’ll be scanning the skies to catch a glimpse of archaeopteryx flying by. He believes they might exist, and why not? Like the SETI scientist, he’s doing science to find the elusive evidence.

He scratched himself with a fish hook the other day and asked whether he was going to bleed. A few moments later, some blood emerged from the scratched. Talk about potentilly falsifiable data derived from a brilliant experiment. I’m telling you, the kid’s a brilliant scientist.

What’s really cool about science is that he doesn’t have to publish his observations (or lack thereof) to be doing very meaningful science. He doesn’t even need formal training or a brilliant mind. Did I mention he’s the only autistic scientist I’ve ever met?

As most everyone here knows, I have a poor understanding of science. But I’m pretty sure this nephew of mine will never lecture me or Pauluc on what constitutes science. He’s the most humble, polite, and soft-spoken scientist I’ve ever met.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes

Sean Pitman: I don’t think you understand the science or rational arguments behind the detection of an artefact as a true artefact. In fact, I don’t think you understand the basis of science in general.

I’m amused by this response. I don’t think you understand the limits of a philosophical argument based on a hypothetical situation, which is all that your convoluted cube story comprises, and nothing more. Whether the artefact is an artefact is immaterial to an argument that is philosophical and does not even consider an actual, bona fide artefact.

Sean Pitman: You argue that such conclusions aren’t “scientific”. If true, you’ve just removed forensic science, anthropology, history in general, and even SETI science from the realm of true fields of scientific study and investigation.

Forensic science, anthropology, and history in general all assume that humans exist and are responsible for the phenomenon examined. Authorities in these disciplines can devise hypotheses to explain the phenomenon they observe and can test them.

SETI assumes there might be non-human life elsewhere in the universe and is nothing more than an expensive fishing expedition. If you think my brother-in-law who loves to fish in the Sea of Cortez is a scientist because he is trying to catch a wee little fish in a big vast sea, then I guess I need to view fishermen in a different light. I thought they were hobbyists.

The search for a granite cube on Mars is nothing more than an exercise in hypotheticals. Call it science if you insist; I don’t see how it is different than a child waiting breathlessly all night beside the fireplace hoping to find Santa coming down the chimney.

I guess the number of science colleagues I acknowledge needs to grow exponentially. I apologize to those I have failed to recognize before as scientists.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes

Sean Pitman: The observation alone, of the granite cube on an alien planet, informs us that the creator of the cube was intelligent on at least the human level of intelligence – that’s it. You are correct that this observation, alone, would not inform us as to the identity or anything else about the creator beyond the fact that the creator of this particular granite cube was intelligent and deliberate in the creation of the cube.

Your frank admission concedes that the creator of the cube could itself be an evolved being, and therefore you’re back to square one. Thus, your hypothetical argument offers no support for either evolutionism or creationism, and cannot distinguish between them.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
I have taken much abuse by pointing out the simple fact that SDAs have specific interpretations of origins that originate from scripture and cannot be supported by science (if science is “potentially falsifiable empirical evidence”). The beliefs include:

o fiat creation by voice command from a supernatural being
o all major life forms created in a 6-day period
o original creation of major life forms approximately 6,000 years ago

None of these can be falsified by experimental evidence, and therefore are accepted on faith.

Sean Pitman’s responses to this are predictably all over the place. They include:

[This] is a request for absolute demonstration. That’s not what science does.” [totally agreed; science can’t examine these beliefs]

The Biblical account of origins can in fact be supported by strong empirical evidence.” [not any of these three major interpretations of Genesis 1]

Does real science require leaps of faith? Absolutely!

I think it’s fair to say from Pitman’s perspective that faith derived from science is laudable, whereas faith derived from scripture–God’s word–is useless.

Don’t fret, Dr. Pitman. I won’t lure you into further pointless discussion. While I am greatly amused by all of this nonsense and deliberation (hardly angry, as you often suggest) for a small handful of largely disinterested readers, I am finished. I won’t be responding to any further remarks or questions.