From Our Desk: Goldstein and Wright

From Alexander Carpenter, executive editor:

A few days ago, Clifford Goldstein wrote about another Spectrum article in the Adventist Review. Here are a few points of critique.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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In this case Goldstein is the flat-earther, incapable of synthesizing the available information and preferring to cling to the old…


Really they aren’t neo-Darwinsists? That really just amounts to an updated Darwinism. Are they just old fashioned Darwinists. I did not think any of those still existed! It sounds to me like Cliff has just updated his terms.
“The theory of Neo Darwinism or modern synthesis theory is the theory of evolution of creatures based on Darwin’s theory and Mendel’s theory of genetics.
According to Neo Darwinism, evolution does not only occur due to natural selection but is also caused by genetic changes in the bodies of living things.” Neo Commerce Bank (BBYB) boosts collaboration with Alibaba Group ecosystem - Newsy Today

I would be very surprised if they did not hold to neo-darwinism.
It is pretty much modern evolutionary theory, though some may quible a bit:
begin quote

Modern evolutionary synthesis

Following the development, from about 1937 to 1950, of the modern evolutionary synthesis, now generally referred to as the synthetic view of evolution or the modern synthesis, the term neo-Darwinian has been used by some to refer to modern evolutionary theory.[5] However, such usage has been described as incorrect;[1][2] with Ernst Mayr writing in 1984:

“…the term neo-Darwinism for the synthetic theory is wrong, because the term neo-Darwinism was coined by Romanes in 1895 as a designation of Weismann’s theory.”'[6]

Despite this, publications such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica,[7][8] use this term to refer to current evolutionary theory. This term is also used in the scientific literature, with the academic publishers Blackwell Publishing referring to “neo-Darwinism as practised today”,[9] and some figures in the study of Evolution like [Richard Dawkins] and Stephen Jay Gould,[11] using the term in their writings and lectures.

…but made to sound convincing because it comes decorated with all the epistemological gravitas of “two dollar words that no one uses."

Hey look, I can play this stupid game too.

This is in the Review, intended for the average layperson. Either write like it and define the jargon, or get off the high horse.

Oh who am I kidding, they haven’t cared about the average layperson in a long, long time.

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No one has ever been able to explain to me how Chinese dynasty records with very distinct dating records goes back for over 400 years before the date of the biblical flood, which supposedly covered the whole earth. There are layers of fossil records in the mountains of Wyoming in which there are distinct separations between the each of the layers dividing the various creatures that lived in each one of these layers time periods, and creationists can’t explain in any logical way how that could have happened. There are thousands of unique creatures in various parts of the earth, especially in Australia and Madagascar, that are not found anywhere else on earth. so how did they get there if they were all on an ark? This is just the tip of the iceberg of questions that I have that don’t seem to be explainable by the biblical creation story. Throw in the fact that the sun was created on day 4, yet we know as absolute fact that relativity, which has been proven over and over, demands that it had to be there before, not to mention that there was no way to differentiate days one two and three, because it takes the earth rotating and the sun shining on it to determine day one two and three.

Genesis is an allegory. It makes the point that God created everything and is in control. I believe that, but God, Himself used parables to teach lessons while on this earth. Why would that have been so difficult to accept that was what he gave to Moses. Remember, what they understood in his day about science could have been put in a thimble.

Jesus asked me to believe in Him. But he didn’t ask me to turn off my brain in order to do so. The mental gymnastics some Christians go through to try to substantiate biblical creation and the flood, are exhausting.


Forty-two years ago science writer and pseudoscience investigator Robert Schadewald wrote that "scientific creationism, geocentrism, and flat-earthism are, respectively, the liberal, moderate, and conservative branches of a tree that has often been called “Bible-science.” Goldstein apparently has not investigated the links between flat-earthism and creationism, but there are many, including within Adventism.

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Use of the term is much more widespread than that. Based on usage, neo-Darwinism is considered correct by most scientists and is essentially equivalent to the Modern Synthesis. We may not like that, and clearly Mayr didn’t either, but he is long dead. :wink: Language is a funny thing. As for Weismann, he was a step in the right direction to the Modern Synthesis, and using the term neo-Darwinism therefore isn’t that bad a choice of terms for what the theory has become today, Mayr’s quibbling aside.

In the end usage rules the day. It would be interesting to see how often the terms Modern Synthesis and neo-Darwinism are used and see if either of them is a clear winner. My sense is that Modern Synthesis is used more often (and may be the better term), but neo-Darwinism us used enough that it is still mainstream.


I have not read Goldstein’s article, but based on how Alexander Carpenter has described it, I question whether Goldstein has actually read the three Bull and Guy books. I have, and I didn’t pick up any allusions to Neo-Darwinism. Rather, I found the books to be carefully reasoned, attempting to explain how the original hearers would have understood Genesis 1-4 based on the Hebrew language. And isn’t that exactly how we should we begin to understand a scriptural passage…what was the original author attempting to say, what was the context, and how would the original hearers have understood it? Seems right to me.


I agree. I’ve read the books as well.

The problem is that when we understand what the original writer actually wrote, what the intent of the creation stories are, that blows up the church’s anti-science teachings of a literal young earth created ex-nihilo about 6,000 years ago - since Genesis actually makes no such claim. What it does describe is a flat earth with a dome over it, with heaven just beyond the dome.


“Language is a funny thing,” and, “in the end usage rules the day”: In the end it is a choice of metaphors.

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