Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Letter to the GC Against Teaching Evolution

Recently I was forwarded a viral e-mail letter from David Asscherick to some General Conference officials. The letter is a politely worded document complaining about evolutionary theory taught in science classes at La Sierra University. The outcome of the letter is clearly to have denominational leadership dictate the curriculum of science course for the welfare of Adventist University students, which the letter equates to little children. I was unable to find a copy of the letter posted on the internet connected to Asscherick however. I will post the letter in its entirety here with a few of my comments (in red). While the letter does sound like it is from Asscherick I cannot say it is with certainty. Someone may be able to say for certain, if they can I would like to know.

Circulating by viral e-mail

April 30, 2009
Pastors Jan Paulsen, Don C. Schneider, Ricardo Graham
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Dear Pastors Paulsen, Schneider, and Graham,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. Like each of you, I am an
ordained pastor of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. I write these words with my heart on full display--from pastor to pastor. This letter concerns the teaching of evolution at La Sierra University. While I am not a formally trained scientist, I am, however, familiar with many of the apologetic, philosophical, and theological issues surrounding the theories of naturalistic evolution. I have made this an area of special study in my life and ministry. So, I feel both comfortable and qualified to speak to the issue, especially in its ecclesiastical ramifications.




It is a matter of incontestable fact that naturalistic evolution is being taught at La Sierra University. This is not in and of itself a bad thing. Evolution should be taught at our denominational universities. But it should be taught as a competing and inimical worldview to the biblical worldview. We need our young people to know what it is they are up against, yes, but when naturalistic evolution is taught as fact or as the preferred and normative worldview, then we can be sure that the enemy has breached our lines.




There is no point in equivocating. I have seen the class materials with my own eyes. Frankly, I think every Seventh-day Adventist deserves to see them. Our people need to know what is happening. Many of them have heard various rumblings, but being the conscientious, confiding, and hopeful people they are, they have generally assumed the very best. We are making capital of their trust.



Notice his beginning argument: teaching evolution is OK but only if we teach that it is a view that we oppose. We should not even teach it as the preferred and normative worldview. Yet clearly it is the preferred and normative worldview of most every area of science. This is an important point when we seek to find what the intentions of the author of the letter are speaking about. He does not want the university to acknowledge the scientific reality, the worldview of modern academia. Instead we should only teach how to oppose the reality, the worldview. Something that numerous Young Earth Creation books have tried to do and something that has failed to move practically anyone in the scientific community to the young earth creation viewpoint. This should reflect that what David Asscherick wants, is in itself not possible at this time. Perhaps in a religion class where the focus is upon some type of church apologetic, then it would be appropriate to teach an inimical view of evolution. But in a science class the idea is to teach the most widely accepted scientific information.



In 2003 I preached a two-week evangelistic meeting on the Loma Linda University campus. The event was student-led and university-sponsored. Many students from La Sierra University attended those meetings, and I personally visited with many of them. They told me what was being taught in some of their science classes. I shall never forget the looks and questions of unadorned incredulity that I witnessed among those students. I have talked to many more since. "What should I do?" "Should I say something?" "Should I just attend a non-SDA school?" Do our leaders know about this?" "How come these people are allowed to teach at a Seventh-day Adventist University?" These young people, and many others like them, are justifiably nonplussed. Frankly, I share their confusion!


At this point we have to ask the question; why are the students confused? Is there some reason that they think that they should not be taught current scientific information at a university? Apparently the answer for these particular students is no, they should not be taught scientific theory at a Seventh-day Adventist University. That raises the second question why would they think that an SDA university because it is run by a denomination could or should only teach the beliefs of the denomination? I doubt the denomination has any particular teachings regarding physics or electrical engineering or even English classes. Do they honestly expect our University instructors to submit to denomination bureaucrats details of every part of their curriculum? We see that there is a problem of expectations. That is there are certain assumptions being made about the Bible, particularly Genesis, that it is meant as a literal account of creation, as if what is recorded was actually recorded by a first hand witness.


Later in the letter Asscherick, tells of his recent evangelistic meetings where the theme was follow the Bible. What he really means is follow one particular interpretation of the Bible. The one that says in the beginning God created light, but we have no idea what that light could be because it was before the creation of the sun. The earth was formless and void and covered with water. But without a sun water would look like stone, frozen solid, the deep is a phrase used of liquid water, not to mention the planet would not retain water without an atmosphere, something again created later according to the Genesis account. Then we have the creation of the sun, moon and stars. But we know from the speed of light those stars could not possibly have been created and be visible to us if the young earth creationist view is correct.


So really how literal are we to take the Genesis account? Are we really following the Bible because we make claims about interpreting possibly symbolic/allegorical stories? Remember the two trees in Eden, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, with a talking snake, does that really sound like a literal story? What about nature, lions, tigers, sharks and parasites? How do we explain them? Nothing about how they came to be as we see them in nature, we could of course blame it on Satan’s manipulation but we don’t see that at all in Genesis or anywhere else in the Bible. So there are legitimate other ways of interpreting the Bible stories, to claim that whatever our tradition is the only way to “follow the Bible” means that we may in fact be the ones leading our children astray.



What deeply concerns me is that the faith of many students, who look up to their Adventist professors as more than just academic instructors, but also as spiritual leaders, is being undermined. Jesus' words in Luke 17:1, 2 about causing "one of these little ones to stumble" carry inestimable weight, and they should be reason enough to propel us to responsible action. Brethren, what are we doing and allowing? Will not God hold us accountable in our respective spheres for what happens on our watch?



I am aware, of course, that the church's governmental structure gives institutions like La Sierra University a necessary degree of administrative freedom. This is a good and wise arrangement. But this freedom, surely, is not synonymous with virtually unaccountable autonomy. La
Sierra University is, after all, a denominational university. If the board has not yet adequately addressed this matter, then doesn't that evince a kind of complicity, if not outright mismanagement and denominational disloyalty? I genuinely ask, at what point is La Sierra University's board accountable and answerable to you men and the levels of church government that you represent? When, if
ever, can someone step in and save our children and the institutions they attend?



Governing and administrative structures are not the church. The people are the church. The governing and administrative structures are the scaffolding of the church. Scaffolds are for building and strengthening a thing; they are not the thing itself. But what if some are using the scaffolding to tear down the very church they were commissioned and created to build up? What then? I genuinely want to know. Where does the buck stop?



Perhaps you feel that your hands are tied by policy and protocol. But surely they cannot be tied completely. What should I, as a church pastor, do if someone is teaching doctrine that undermines the church's biblical positions in one of my
Sabbath School classes? Wouldn't it be expected of me, the pastor--shepherd--of the flock, to address it? To ask this question is to answer it. Of course, I would work though the Sabbath School council and the church board, but you can be sure that I would deal with the problem. My conference president, to say nothing of my Lord, would surely hold me in contempt if I told him lamely that my hands were tied, no?



Furthermore, the greater the errancy, the greater the urgency. As even a cursory analysis plainly reveals, few doctrines are at greater philosophical odds with Seventh-day Adventism than naturalistic evolution, the arguments of well-meaning theistic evolutionists notwithstanding. Our Magna Carta is Revelation 14:6-12. If naturalistic evolution is true, Creation is cremated, the Sabbath is sabotaged, and our very name is neutered. What becomes of Scripture? And of our unique eschatology? We are not talking about bongo drums, wedding bands, and Christmas trees here.



If our hands are tied, then surely we must let an unfaltering love for God, for His Word, and for His young people dash these fetters into so many deserved pieces! We must do something. You must do something.



Who knows but that you have come to your positions for such a time as this. My ministry places me in somewhat of a unique situation in the world church. In partnership with the Central California Conference, I run ARISE, a mission training school that has seen hundreds of young people over the last seven years. I also have the privilege of preaching regularly on 3ABN and the Hope Channel. Too, I travel all over the world holding evangelistic meetings and preaching at camp meetings, youth conferences, weeks of prayer, etc. I genuinely feel that I have my finger on the pulse of the "average lay person" in the Seventh-day Adventist church the world over. Especially the young people ages 15 to 30. I can say with unblinking confidence that God is working in His church! Praise Him!



I just arrived home from the Youth Mission Congress in
Frankfurt, Germany. Over 1600 young people attended the meetings. Night after night I preached the Adventist message--I preached Christ! The theme chosen for the congress was Follow the Bible, and what an indescribable joy it was to see, at the end of my last sermon, hundreds and hundreds of young people streaming forward. All of them had personal decision cards in their hands. A beautiful, five-foot-tall wooden Bible had been constructed for just this moment. On the side of the Bible was a slot designed to receive the decision cards the young people clutched in their surrendered hands. One by one, each placed his or her card in the Bible. The symbolism was rich and thrillingly profound. It was impossible to not be moved at a fundamental level as each eager young person placed their decision, and thus their life in that wooden Bible. My translator openly wept at the sight. "We will follow the Bible," they were each saying. All over the world, God's people--and in particular, it seems, His young people--are saying We will follow the Word--the Living Word, Jesus, and the Written Word, the Bible.



God has entrusted us with these young people. They are His. He has given us His wise counsel to raise up institutions of learning to educate, equip, and empower them. To build them up.



But what do we do when one of our institutions turns from this inestimably important responsibility, a responsibility that is fraught with eternal significance and involves the souls of those Jesus died to save? This is what I want to know.



And so do many, many others.



I thank each of you for your time, and, in advance, for your thoughtful responses.



Sincerely,
David Asscherick
Director, ARISE

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ron,
Your comments on pastor Assherick's letter sound like you are for what La Sierra University is doing. Your comments on the creation of light before the sun, or water before the atmosphere shows your lack of trust or faith in a God who can do and create how he wants. We can't explain with utmost intelligence these points you brought up. Only that God's ways cannot be completely explained through science or our very unlimited thinking in trying to explain God. There is exhaustless proof of God all throughout life and trying to get people to focus on one unexplainable question is just putting doubt in people's mind whether God even exist. This is Satan's method.

jaselena

Ron Corson said...

I think this comment points out the root of the problem. Is faith in God a belief that He could do something in a particular way, while doubt of God is to believe that God could do it some other way. Obviously that can’t work; God could act in a wide variety of ways. So the question remains how God did something. So we are no longer dealing with an issue of faith in God’s ability but faith in our interpretation of a story in the Bible. And that is far different from faith in God. It then becomes faith in a traditional (in this case) interpretation. The Mormons have a different traditional faith, so we are not even dealing with one possible interpretation, we are dealing with the interpretations that have become traditions accepted by various sects.

Take for instance the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory, which is a place where you are punished for your sins until a certain point and then you move on to heaven. A person could say that makes no sense I don’t believe any such thing. A proponent could then respond well “we have to take it by faith, God could do that, who are you to try and determine how God does things? Your limited mind simply restricts your thinking so that you don’t see the truth, the truth you have to accept by faith.”

The argument that something has to be the way our accepted tradition states is faith and anything else is doubt, akin to Satanic delusions just does not work. It becomes “believe what I believe or you are of the devil”, why? Because what you believe is faith and what they believe is not.

You probably say to yourself that all that shows is that there are false interpretations, some of which have become traditions. You would be right, but that still leaves us with the problem of knowing what is true and what we should have faith in. If you are going to have faith in an interpretation then you have to have reasons why you have faith in the interpretation. That is where critical thinking comes in and that is where it is important to look at the evidence around us.

But faith in God is entirely different from faith in an interpretation of scriptures. God would still be the creator God if He used the methods of theistic evolution or made everything billions of years ago or one day ago. The Sabbath as a time to rest from work would stand just as well also. It would be just as legitimate to take a day off whether a person had a week of 7 days or 10 days, the only difference being that if you have a longer week you would have to wait longer for your day of rest. But the day of rest would be beneficial to the human in any case. The only thing different with theistic evolution lies in the method of interpretation of the stories, not that God is no longer the creator or that the Sabbath ceases to serve man.

Shawn Brace said...

Legitimate science should be taught at La Sierra University. No one is against that. What Asscherick and others (myself included) is against is the presentation of pseudo-science - that somehow, Darwinian evolution gives us a SCIENTIFIC explanation of the origin of life. It simply does not. And therefore, should not be taught as real science. Truth is not determined by popular vote.

Similarly, Darwinian evolution has never been able to show any sort of large-scale change. It may make the claim that all species have evolved from one common ancestor, but this has never been empirically demonstrated. And, last I checked, science is defined by, not only coming up with a hypothesis, but also observation. And macro-evolution has never been observed.

I applaud Asscherick (if he really did write this) for standing tall on this issue. Someone has to take a stand and raise the church's awareness to this unfortunate situation.

perpetualstudent said...

The issue is not God's capability. The issue is, if God created the earth in six days, roughly 6000 years ago, why does it look like the earth is roughly four billion years old and all life on it is genetically related?

Sean Pitman said...

Hello all. I'm a personal friend of Asscherick and I was the one who asked him to throw his hat in the ring on this issue. I confirm that this letter is his.

Also, regardless of if the Church is right or wrong, it has in fact taken a very definite stand on this issue of the origin of life on this planet - even a scientifically testable, potentially falsifiable stand. A person may or may not agree with the logic or arguments behind this stand, but it should be clear to all that any organization is free to take such a stand in a free country. It is also free to hire representatives who will actually represent that stand accurately. In fact, if any organization failed to do this, it would soon crumble into non-existence.

Further information on the issue of Darwinian-style evolution being promoted at La Sierra University can be found at:

http://www.detectingdesign.com/videoclips.html#Review

Sean Pitman, M.D.
www.DetectingDesign.com

Anonymous said...

I love this part: "Is there some reason that they think that they should not be taught current scientific information at a university? Apparently the answer for these particular students is no, they should not be taught scientific theory at a Seventh-day Adventist University."

Actually, as it stands, they aren't even being taught proper evolution at La Sierra

For instance:

PDF #4 slide 16 states: (http://www.detectingdesign.com/#University)

• The Hardy-Weinberg principle describes a population that is not evolving

• If a population does not meet the criteria of the Hardy-Weinberg principle, it can be concluded that the population is evolving

This of course is false because Hardy-Weinberg assumes random mating, no mutation (the alleles don't change), no migration or emigration (no exchange of alleles between populations), infinitely large population size, and no selective pressure for or against any traits. In other words, this never happens. To suggest that when it doesn't you must conclude that evolution is occurring is ignorant at best. This represents a faulty support for evolution and it is being taught to La Sierra students.

The argument that we are asking for a fundamentalist "flat earth" religious concept over a sound proven established law of evolution is a straw man and can be see for itself if you look at the syllabus from La Sierra on Sean Pitman's web site (alreay referenced).

Roger Seheult

David Asscherick said...

David Asscherick here. I can confirm that the letter is, in fact, mine. Wow, a true rumor, that's novel! And on the internet no less! Someone call the press…

While I did write the letter it was not originally written or sent as an open, public letter. I sent it to a few colleagues for review. From there it was passed on to a few others, and the rest is history. Bad news travels fast. If only we could get our people this excited about sharing the Good News…

I have mixed feelings about the wide circulation my letter has received. I am happy to see this serious issue receive the attention it needs and deserves, but I could wish that it wouldn’t have happened with a personal letter being made exceedingly public. I have already been in touch with one of the individuals to whom the letter was written. I explained to him that it was not my intent to undercut him by broadcasting a private letter. He was very gracious and understanding. I would’ve expected nothing less, after all he is a fine Christian and a friend.

As for Ron's comments here, I am surprised that he fails to see the utter illogic of his position. The point is not whether or not Darwinian evolution is true (I don't believe it is, but that is another issue altogether). The point is an ecclesiastical one, not a scientific one: Like it or not (and I take it that Ron doesn't like it), the official, endorsed, published, voted, endorsed, sanctioned, (add your own synonyms here _____________) position of the world-wide Seventh-day Adventist Church is that the Genesis creation account is to be literally understood as communicating an actual, literal, solar Six Day Creation.

Surely this concept is not difficult to grasp.

No one is compelled to believe this, because no one is compelled to be a Seventh-day Adventist. However, it is logically coherent that if you are a Seventh-day Adventist you do believe this. Note: this also applies to professors, teachers, pastors, administrators, etc. In fact it applies to these persons doubly since they receive a paycheck to promote as true the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Surely this concept is not difficult to grasp.

If someone wants to work for Nike, great! Let them sell Nike. But if they like Adidas better, then let them work for Adidas. If they work for Nike and insist on promoting Adidas as the superior product they are unethical. And Nike is delinquent in letting this behavior (provided they know about it) to continue.

There are lots and lots of universities these guys/ gals can teach at. Let them teach "the preferred and normative worldview of most every area of science", as Ron calls it, there. We wish you the best, and commend you heartily for your ethically upstanding decision.

Note: this is my first ever blog post. So I'm feeling very modern and hip right now.

Have a great Sabbath! (That is, if you believe in those kinds of things...)

Warm regards,

David

Sean Pitman said...

Hi David,

This is was my first blog post ever as well - and I also felt the same "hip" sensation ; )

Also, I couldn't have said it any better myself - the whole Nike thing is a classic . . .

Sean

Anonymous said...

I do not think that the Adventist church is as homogeneous as you make it out to be. This applies to many situations (jewelry, women's ordination, music, etc.). You can't just say because the democratically decided official opinion is one thing, that anybody who holds a different opinion isn't an Adventist. This is like saying that since Obama was elected President that every American is a supporter, or else they aren't American.

But onto the actual charge against LSU. As a recent science alum from LSU I have taken many of the courses in question. I know many of the bio faculty. Essentially they are trying to present data and theories that are accepted by a consensus in the scientific community. As you have pointed out, this is necessary in any science classroom. To ask them to also teach creationism, ID, etc. is not something that belongs in a science curriculum. Those things may have happened, but they are not scientific theories. In the bio capstone class, the professors bring in speakers representing various worldviews, including creationists. It is in this class that they ask students to think about how they personally balance their scientific training with their religious beliefs. They are open to all opinions of students.

Shawn Brace said...

Intelligent Design is "not something that belongs in a science curriculum." Neither is the erroneous belief that all living organisms evolved from one single organism - and that from some type of inorganic material that "miraculously" appeared out of nowhere (which cannot be demonstrated empirically or by hypothesis and observation).

And yet this somehow passes as legitimate science - when the clear design in the universe that is evident is passed off as religious propaganda. There is a double-standard.

Sean Pitman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean Pitman said...

The problem here is that this issue isn't about "jewelry, women's ordination, music, etc.", none of which are part of the "fundamental" doctrinal positions of the SDA Church. The SDA position on origins is one of the most fundamental of all the doctrinal positions of the Church (Fundamental Beleif #6). The very name, "Seventh-day Adventist" is taken from this doctrinal belief. If you undermine this doctrine, you fundamentally undermine and essentailly do away with Adventism as a unique organization.

If one thinks SDAism is fundamentally mistaken, obviously so, why not simply leave the Church? Why would anyone think to continue carrying the title of any organization that bases so much on such an obviously mistaken notion as a literal creation week? Really, what is left to SDAism if this concept goes away? You might as well just leave it and go elsewhere as nothing unique would be left worth having which other organizations don't already have in abundance.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Anonymous said...

If being a "Seventh-day" Adventist is really just about the 7 literal days of creation, then your argument would be valid. But I really think that is shaky ground to base a religion. The Sabbath is about so much more than just some idea of 7 solar creation days. I mean, according to Genesis 1 there wasn't even a Sun until the 4th day, making the whole literal 24 hour days a bit of a moot point. The basis of the Sabbath is the establishment of a covenant between God and humanity and setting aside time for communion.

As to the point about ID and "miraculous" science. Science has a basic assumption about the world. It assumes that everything operates according to natural laws. This inherently rejects the possibility for any "super-natural" action. Of course, supernatural actions can take place, but science can't say anything about them. So for science, it must assume that life started spontaneously, without God's intervention. Those are just the rules of the game. Whether or not that is what actually happened is a separate issue.

Shawn Brace said...

And herein lies the problem with naturalism: it is pretty telling when a philosophy that claims to be objective starts with the presupposition that only naturalistic answers can be found. Excuse my gross analogy, but it would be like a detective, starting on a murder case, declaring that only a Canadian American could have committed a murder before he even looks at one shred of evidence.

And simply because the sun wasn't created until the fourth day this means that we cannot understand the Genesis account to mean literal 24 hour days? Could it be at all possible that there was some other type of light source before then? Or are we working on a set of presuppotions that allows for only one answer? Do you take the author of Genesis to be so dumb as to make a gross mistake by placing the sun on the wrong day, or overlooking the fact that he hasn't accounted for light the previous three days?

For anyone who is interested, I just posted a blog called "In Support of David Asscherick" here.

Anonymous said...

since when does science only have to have "naturalistic answers". Science means "to know" - whether it is naturalistic or not. To suppose that only naturalistic explainations can be used in the origins of the species presumes that we already know all that is "naturalistic" a gross assumption at that. I suppose that 1000s of years ago that since electricity was not known, lightening could not have had a naturalistic explaination! They simply used other explainations to account for it. Using the same argument then would have been as foolish as it is today. Science has NOTHING to do with naturalism - it is simply a way to know. Scientists better grow up and admit that they do't know all nor can they seek to explain everything with the knowlege set that they think they have obtained. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"'

Roger Seheult

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree that science does not, and cannot know everything. However, science does not mean simply "to know". In the modern conception, science is a process of understanding, involving experiments and generalizable theories. Inherent in all of science is the idea that everything happens according to natural laws. This precludes supernatural involvement.

This is not the same as saying a Canadian American was the murderer. Indeed, what this is saying for the detective is that the murderer was a person, who was bound by physical laws and left physical evidence. This is to say that it would be invalid for the detective to say "the gods" killed this man and just made it look like a normal murder. Maybe they did, but a detective has no tools for determining the action of the gods.

It is no fault of science that it cannot assume God as a cause; that is its method. Instead, we must balance the theories science presents with the rest of our beliefs. Remember that science isn't out there to disprove God. In fact, as it starts with the assumption of no supernatural action, it cannot say whether or not there is a God. Instead science tries to observe evidence in the world, generalize physical laws, and test them with new experiments to see if they behave as predicted. This has brought us medicines, computers, and the very internet we are using for this conversation.

Evolutionary biology is no different. It must be taught is science classrooms as it is science's explanation for what we see around us and the diversity therein. There are other explanations, but they belong in other classes.

Anonymous said...

I believe the bigger picture is being overlooked here! This shouldn't be a discourse over whether creationism or "natural law" darwinism or whatever it is called is right or wrong. I believe every Seventh-day Adventist should have this issue resolved before embarking on a sacred journey as an Adventist, otherwise, I'm sorry to say, they're only Adventist by profession and not by conviction.

LSU claims to be an Adventist institution and should thus abide by the precepts of the Adventist church. If they've come to the conclusion that they can no longer uphold the fundamentals truth of Adventism, then they should remove the emblem of Adventism from curriculum and everything else that pertains to the school, and dare I say, even remove themselves from under the Adventist church as a whole. We cannot afford to have them teach such apostasy and have others think that the whole Adventist church hold such views.

We are truly living in the end of times. We were warned that apostasy will have it's root from within the church, and lo and behold, we are a witnessing it before our very eyes!! May the Lord have mercy on us all!

You Are Israel said...

Ron, you can't possibly be suggesting that Darwinian evolution is "reality" can you? Darwinian evolution is a "faith" in an adult fairy tale...no science, no evidence and hence, no reality.

If a church wants to post on it's doors "this is what we believe" regarding creation then that is, in effect, no different than a business placing the "no shoes, no shirt, no service" sign on the front door. If you don't like that then find another church or start your own. The Seventh-day Adventist church and it's denominational creed is decidedly 6th-day creationist in belief and understanding of scriptural "reality."

Now everything from the complexity of the cell and the genetic record, and the complete absence of transitional forms in the fossil record that could hope to substantiate "evolution" to the first and second laws of Thermodynamics and the complete and utter failure of the recapitulation theory show the theory of Darwinian evolution to be complete and utter rubbish......period.

If anything, the only usefulness in the teaching of such irrational faith and utter falsehoods in any Adventist institution would be to point out the complete depravity and shear non-sense that such fallacious beliefs such as Darwinian evolution pretend to "teach."

I mean let's be serious. So you don't like SDA teaching on creationism. Fine. Evolution should be able to stand "toe to toe" with creationism and we should let the chips fall where they may.

The fact is that David Asscherick quite clearly and pointed out what he was advocating and what he thought was adequate. The fact you missed this Ron seems typical and in line with the usual rational you employ.

Anonymous said...

Roger Seheult wrote: "For instance:

PDF #4 slide 16 states: (http://www.detectingdesign.com/#University)

• The Hardy-Weinberg principle describes a population that is not evolving

• If a population does not meet the criteria of the Hardy-Weinberg principle, it can be concluded that the population is evolving

This of course is false because Hardy-Weinberg assumes random mating, no mutation (the alleles don't change), no migration or emigration (no exchange of alleles between populations), infinitely large population size, and no selective pressure for or against any traits. In other words, this never happens. To suggest that when it doesn't you must conclude that evolution is occurring is ignorant at best. This represents a faulty support for evolution and it is being taught to La Sierra students. "

Hey Roger,
If you scroll down to slides 22 and 23 of that lecture you will see that those issues are addressed with the statements:

"the Hardy-Weinberg theorem describes a hypothetical population; In real populations allele and genotype frequencies do change over time"
and
"five conditions for non-evolving populations (which are not often met in nature)..."

If you have criticisms of the scientific content, at least be sure you criticize it accurately.

The other Roger.

Lydia Haga said...

We did not follow the blueprint
God gave concerning our schools;
Now we are reaping a harvest
of educated fools.

None of this would happen
Had we rejected accreditation;
We've followed worldly standards
Now we're in a messy situation.

The Bible plainly states
God spoke worlds into existence;
My unscientific brain tells me
To accept that without resistance.

God's educational program for us
Is very basic and simple;
It develops body, mind, and spirit
And helps us to be kind and gentle.

Worldly standards and academic distinction
Bring to our schools a degree of professionalism;
But there’s clear and present danger
Because they dampen evangelism.

May we seek God with all our hearts
That He may grant us wisdom
To cast aside everything worldly
And prepare for His coming Kingdom.

--Lydia Haga

Keith E. Phillips said...

Well as I enter into His Sabbath I choose not only by faith but by the overwhelming evidence believe in the churches stance and will teach to my churches that the bible account on creation is solid. Not because I am a conference employee because I am a Adventist! Well it makes since if one chooses to let the bible prove science and not the world. I have not desire to be accredited.

Happy Sabbath,

Pastor Phillips

Ps. David, it does not make me feel hip makes me feel old.

Keith E. Phillips said...

Also I should read over my comments to make sure that they are in order.

michaelhylton75 said...

The worldly-wise individual by his very argument against a plain “Thus saith the Lord …” demonstrates a mindset that will not be convinced by any argument however forcible put forth in support of a “Thus saith the Lord ..” unless such an individual experiences conversion.

Jesus foresaw this apostasy among the ranks of his people and He counseled “ Let them grow together until the day of harvest.” Pastor Asscherick is a champion for the cause of Christ and his influence is far-reaching and I pray that God will continue to sustain him and bless his ministry.

There is need for more voices from among the under-shepherds of the flock to be raised in support for this clarion call from Pastor Asscherick to the Leadership of the church to restore God’s original plan for the church’s denominational institution of learning at all levels. This requires real courage but God will equip those who sigh and cry for the abomination that is done in the house of Israel to take up such a challenge.

This response in red to the letter to the GC leaves me wondering if the writer is a Seventh Day Adventist because it is evident that this piece is not in any way endorsing or reflecting the fundamental belief of the SDA Church as it concern the Biblical account of creation. As far as the interpretation of the Bible is concern where one gets into trouble is when the principle of allowing the Bible to be its own interpreter is disregarded. The Bible clearly declares that no Scripture is of any private interpretation.

I am not antagonistic to true science however among some of the people who claim to be so scientific minded it seems to me lack the intellectual integrity to be critical of anything else except for the plain teachings of Scriptures, and it is to this obvious antagonism towards Bible believing Christians I view with suspicion.

Consider that the Bible teaches that God is light and the source of light and life why is so difficult then to understand that prior to the creation of the sun, moon and stars He was not dependent on any external source when He commanded “the light to shine out of darkness. “ As the moon and the stars of the solar system shine by the reflected light of the sun so the sun derives its light from the Creator.

As for the ridicule of the two trees and the talking snake in the garden of Eden by this closed minded individual, I wish to draw his attention to the talking donkey in the story of Balaam, as well as talking parrots. Is the story of Balaam literal? What about talking parrots? Does this critic consider that he can do nothing against the truth but for the truth?