Utah Bible & Science Conference Panel Discussion II: Audience Peppers Panel With Questions

(system) #1

LOMA LINDA - After panelists at the discussion of the St. George, Utah International Conference on the Bible and Science finished giving opening remarks of various lengths, the panel engaged in a back-and-forth over changes in views on the Trinity and on the age of the earth within the Seventh-day Adventist community. Following that discussion, moderator Jim Walters invited questions from audience members. The following are synopses of the questions asked in order, along with responses from respective panel members.

This is part two in a two part report on the panel discussion at the Loma Linda University Damazo Amphitheater. Read part one of this report, the comments of the six panelists regarding the St. George, Utah conference here. Utah Bible & Science Conference Panel Discussion: Defending and Dissecting the Conference

Direct question to Suzanne Phillips: I taught 25 years at the seminary, and it seemed to me that the consensus at the seminary was an old earth, young life position. Was Young Earth creationism sought out and presented intentionally at the St. George Bible/Science conference, or did I miss the whole discussion?

Suzanne Phillips: Those planning the conference were not related to the group working on FB #6. All those presenters at the conference who she knows about felt very comfortable with old earth, young life. But that doesn’t fix any of the challenges that creationists have because the very old rocks have fossils in them, which means there was something alive and something died. And we don’t believe that something died until The Curse, which was, “And you shall surely die.”

Paulien: So there was not a conscious effort to promote Young Earth Creationism?

Phillips: Certainly none of the conference planners or those who spoke believe that as far as I know.

Giem: I happen to be slightly in favor of Young Earth as well (Giem was a presenter at the conference), and I won’t go into the reasons here, but I didn’t get the sense that the conference was following that line.

Protestantism has a history of splitting and splitting into ever smaller groups and what’s really been striking is that it really hasn’t happening in Adventism as much as one might think given the ideological polarization we see. With that in mind, a short quote from a favorite spiritual writer of mine and a question.

“Most people assume that being in a loving relationship individuals agree with each other. Many people, for example, become scared or shaken when their partner disagrees with them. Then they compound the mistake by trying to change their partner’s mind. Yet on a personality level, two people are different in all respects and cannot be made identical in any way. There are no well-matched couples. Friendship is seeing differences, accepting difference, yet continuing to love and be happy” (Love and Courage, Hugh Prather, 50).

If we can see the point of that in our most important intimate relationships, can we not also see it in connection with the life of the community?

Richard Rice: The question really speaks for itself.

You're trying to make the Bible a book of science, which it is not. Also a book of sociology that provides insight into how people should live in the 21st century. Think of passages in Deuteronomy which command the stoning of sons that are disobedient to their parents, or when Israelites conquered nations and took the young girls as spoils of war. This doesn’t tell us how we should live in the 21st Century. We’re trying to make the Bible fit into science here and now. Most of us don’t take Genesis 1 and 2, which tell two different stories about creation, to be science in which there is a hypothesis, an experiment and a result given. Science should be reproduce-able.

Maury Jackson: If you want to believe the Bible literally, that is fine. Just please don’t practice it that way.

Paul Giem: There is harmony internally in Scripture and with science. What science cannot do is start out by demanding that everything be explained on naturalistic basis. If you start that way, you get things like trying to explain the origins of life without any intelligent input whatsoever. Once you realize there’s that kind of bias in the way science is currently practice even though it shouldn’t be that way, then you realize we should take another look before assuming science knows what it’s talking about in those areas.

Leonard Brand: Studying history is not repeatable, yet many findings from geologic history are used by many Christians to decide their theology. New discoveries in biochemistry and other fields are putting the theory of evolution into “deeper and deeper weeds.”

I’m a scientist, and I’m offended that science is being used in a manner that it’s not designed to be used. Science has limitations. Science does not deal with questions of God. Science does not deal with the miraculous. Science does not deal with origins. A good scientist has the moral obligation to only believe the evidentiary data, they do not go beyond that. We are ruining opportunities for young people by denigrating science or by using it inappropriately. Science has a tremendous observational power, a power of evidence-gathering, and scientists have a moral obligation to believe only those things for which we have evidence.

Kenneth Wright: “One of the big dangers I see on both sides of the debate is that often the conclusion is decided before the data are analyzed. In other words, we already know what we think is truth, so therefore we have to make the data fit our concept of origins or development or whatever it happens to be. It is dishonest not to let data speak for themselves and instead say “This is what the data have to say…” I’m not saying scientists on either side of the debate do that, but we all come to science with certain assumptions, and if we’re not careful, we can impose our assumptions on the way we interpret our data.

Coming out of the conference and coming out of the Annual Council, there was a statement that Fundamental Belief #6 will be changed with the word “recent” inserted. Professor Brand and Dr. Giem, I wonder if you could tell us what, in your view, “recent” means. I have heard rumors that both of you have said it could mean hundreds of thousands of years. What do you define “recent” to be?

Leonard Brand: I’d suggest the real issue is a creation in which God created Adam and Eve and they fell and that brought sin into the world. Is it that, or is it a long process of evolution and death making God responsible for death and evil. Those are the choices.

Paul Giem: There’s a difference between what I believe and what I think is reasonable in terms of interpreting the biblical record. If you were asking me to place a bet, I would place one less than 6,000 years, which means I’m more conservative than Ussher in that respect. (Bishop James Ussher set date of creation at Oct 23, 4004 BCE.) If you were to ask me could I be wrong? Ya! Maybe we’re looking at 6,200, maybe 7,500 years… maybe 10,000 years… When you get to 100,000 years, I think you’re really stretching it a bit.

I’m a pastor, so my concern is how we relate in community with each other. I have a question, not hypothetical, but real question for all panelists. I held evangelistic meetings at the Sligo Church. A scientist from the Smithsonian attended. He was interested in being baptised into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He and his family had been attending services for a while. He filled out all the decision cards positively. He kept Sabbath and even quit a consulting job to keep Sabbath. His kids were enrolled in Adventist schools. He said "I believe in creator, but I just can’t believe life hasn’t been around on this earth for a long, long time." What would your advice have been?

Leonard Brand: “I’m not a pastor, so I don’t have to make that call. I have dear friends in similar situations, and I don’t have to argue about details if it won’t help them.”

Maury Jackson: As a pastor rule was that, if I wasn’t going to put a member out of the church for not believing a certain thing, then wouldn’t prevent someone with same view from joining the church. So I would ask, “do I have members that actually believe that?” And if so, fine.

Paul Giem: My reaction to him would be, “You’re joining a church where majority of members--outside of certain areas--believe conservatively, that life is only a few thousand years old. If this is the community you wish to join, and you wish to learn more as I hope we all do, then I’m ready for you to have a commitment of that kind. Saying that, I’m not sure I would immediately hire him at the local college to teach biology.

Kenneth Wright: “When Phillip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, I doubt very seriously that he asked him how old he thought the earth was.” Baptism is not joining the club, it is making a commitment to God. If you’re committed to God, who’s to tell you that you can’t be baptized?

Suzanne Phillips: “I feel very strongly...Christ says ‘judge not that ye be not judged,’ and hopefully everyone knows that I don’t want to judge anyone. The only reason I take a stand on these issues is because I believe the Bible and I care very deeply about what is taught at our schools because young people are young and impressionable. So how you believe is between you and God. If this person confesses Jesus Christ, that was the prerequisite. Repent, and be baptized.

Richard Rice: I’ve talked with John Brunt about this before. I heard a recently-retired General Conference official say “I think we need a creed.” As a theologian, I thought that’s exactly what we don’t need, and coming from him, I was surprised. What he meant was in contrast to long statement of Fundamental Beliefs, which is moving in the direction of seeking more and more specificity, maybe we could find a way of articulating our deepest convictions in terms of what we have in common rather than interpretations likely to divide us.

Jim Walters: It looks to me like we are unanimous in saying, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, “Yes.”

Related a story of not being equipped by Adventist education for the rigors of scientific community and exposure to evolutionary thought. Question: What if evidence continues to mount for longer and longer chronology. That might raise questions about literal, seven-day creation. People have many reasons for Sabbath keeping. Why can’t we have a big enough tent to allow people who hold to a long chronology and still value Sabbath?

Leonard Brand: My belief in the Sabbath is not based on science, but what I understand from the Bible does help me in my science. Most scientists know only one point of view based on long chronology and naturalism. Scientists who hold to a conservative view understand both points of view--the short chronological view and the long chronology. I discover things in my research in geology that others simply have not noticed. Evidence in favor of a short chronology is increasing, despite what most published scientific literature would suggest.

Suzanne Phillips: Evidence is going the way of shorter chronology and toward catastrophic events.

Maury Jackson: I like to point out to people that the 10 Commandments are given at least twice. The Deuteronomy version gives as basis and goal of Sabbath keeping liberation from slavery and oppression, specifically mentioning the Exodus from Egypt. The tent is big enough. I have pastored long enough to know that there are people in congregations all over that believe in long age creationism and keep the Sabbath in small Adventist faith communities.

I’ve given my career to the educational mission of the church. I’m very concerned that the young people in our colleges today will leave in droves if the current leadership of church insists on a recent, young age, including a worldwide flood. I am an archaeologist… leaving aside geological problems. Dr. Wood, for whom the Archaeology museum at Southern is named, established the earliest fixed date in human history, which still stands--the date of 1991 BC for the beginning of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt. That means there are still twelve dynasties that are older than 1991 BC. A recent 6,000 year creation of the earth and dating of the Flood leaves 500 years at the most for a worldwide flood having occurred and you have to squeeze in all of earth’s history that we have written documents for. We have languages. We have astronomical events that have been observed. We know how to date these things. There is not room to accommodate a short, recent history based on the archeological and historical evidence we have alone. Our young people are smart enough to know these things and to read about them. Does anyone on our panel join me in worrying about a mass exodus of millennials from our church if we keep going the direction we’re going?

Leonard Brand: I worry about a mass exodus, but I suggest there are reasons very different from the one you presented that might cause this.

Paul Giem: That is one of the reasons I try not to say that my opinion should be fixed in stone. First of all, I could be wrong. Second, even if I am right, there is enough evidence for some of the other positions that I don’t think it is fair to expect everyone to come up to my opinion. That’s assuming that it’s “coming up” to my opinion. That’s why when people are careful, they don’t usually say 6,000 years ago, they say “a few thousand years ago” and that leaves room to put some of those events back further. I agree that if the Middle Kingdom is securely dated at 1991 BC, you have a major problem and you are probably going to have to go to at least Septuagint numbers to get all of the civilizations in. I want to make the point that that is in fact separable from the question of “do we have to go to millions of years?”

Richard Rice: We need to be careful about only one solution or only one way of arguing for a solution. Even if we argue for and find compelling evidence for a conservative interpretation of things, we should be open as Paul has indicated to presenting evidence for another position as well so that students are aware that it’s not as cut-and-dried as some believe it might be.

I teach embryology. I’m a scientist in developmental biology. I’ve taken Dr. Brand’s course. If the church has made a decision for me on where we need to be looking as far as evolution and creation, is there a need for scientists that are studying this topic about evolution and creation? Do we need to have scientists? Are we trying to create the next generation of scientists to even know about evolution? It seems as though, if we’ve been told the truth, we no longer need to be seekers of truth.

Leonard Brand: I teach a class here on the philosophy of science and origins, and in that class, they have to know everything that science has to say and to understand other ways of looking at things. I tell them that I hope you come out thinking like I do, but I don’t want you to come there because I say it. They need to be thinkers and learn how to interpret evidence. We need scientists because their are approaches to these questions that most of science is not thinking about because they start with the bias of naturalism.

Attended the St. George conference and was disappointed that they didn’t speak about the young people in terms of applying James Fowler’s stages of faith development. Students are frustrated when they have questions and are told that their questions are not really open to discussion. Another issue is that we tow the line and then our young people are the ones who suffer because they feel they can’t say what they think. Students get shut down and told "No, we don't speak about that." I have that concern, Joseph said. As we have these debates, our young people are leaving out the back doors, Joseph worried. "I invite us to consider our young people."

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6370

(Ron Corson) #2

I like that one. to restate it: Evidence in favor of a short chronology is increasing despite the evidence of the scientific literature.

somehow I doubt that.

(Elmer Cupino) #3

I cannot imagine being a teacher in an educational institution where I am told what to teach, independent of my expertise. Can you imagine the stress involved in such a situation?

In an article published in The Psychiatric Times Sept 1, 2014 http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/mens-health/life-stress-reduces-man’s-sperm-quality it was reported that life stress reduces a man’s sperm quality.

So, if you were a young married vegetarian http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/vegetarians-may-have-low-sperm-count/articleshow/44887092.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst male, employed at a SDA educational institution, what are the chances of getting your wife pregnant with a healthy offspring? That, in addition to other theological factors and negative news exposure http://www.pe.com/articles/church-752830-roberts-women.html is sure to deplete our church membership.

'Houston, we have a problem."

(jeremy) #4

over the past while, i have heard a few horror stories about la sierra and the fact that they teach the kids evolution there…i have read about a creationist student who launched a protest - or perhaps a lawsuit - a while back, alleging quite shocking details, but i haven’t really heard what became of that protest…i’ve seen fairly aggressive vitreole coming from conservative quarters, directed at nad president, dan jackson, and others, over the apparent fact that the school isn’t being reined in in any way…on the other hand, i’ve heard at least one person from the la sierra area maintain that evolution is only being taught as a theory that educated people need to be aware of, and that creation is also being taught…to me, the la sierra representatives asking questions from the panel featured in this article seem to be implying that unless we give up a recent, six-day creation, along with the flood, and allow a belief in evolution, we’ll see a mass exodus of millennials from our church because, on a community level, our apparent preference for the biblical account through an implied mandate from our general conference president means we aren’t accepting differences among us while we continue to love and be happy…all of this seems to suggest that evolution is the preferred paradigm at that school, and not merely part of an enrichment curriculum…

it goes without saying i’ve heard concerning stories about loma linda, as well…i find the suggestion that because we no longer stone our children for misbehaving, we can’t use the bible as a literal guide in any way, quite disappointing…i also wonder about the suggestion that an acceptance of a longer and longer chronology for earth’s living history is compatible with a literal sabbath…

i have to say that, for me, the entire ethos emanating from the bulk of the line of comments and questions cited in this article is distinctly non-adventist…clearly, sandra roberts has her hands full…one has to wonder whether the lack of recognition for her presidency involves more than a tug of war over wo…that is, if it is about wo, is the unwillingness to coalesce around ordained women on the part of male headship advocates in any way due to a suspicion of incongruity with deeper issues that an acquiescence on wo will only exacerbate…in which case, perhaps we may fairly ask whether opposition to wo is objective, or strategic: has wo become an unwitting metaphor for all that is felt to be genuinely irreconcilable between factions in our church…

(Tim Teichman) #5

Wow. A 231 word sentence. I’d love to see my 9th grade English teacher diagram this one.

I surely do hope that La Sierra is teaching evolution in their science program. Colleges should be places of higher learning, not extensions of Sabbath School. Ours need to step up to the plate and start acting in their own interests and in that of their students. They are supposed to be getting a real and competitive education in their selected majors, whether they be biology, cosmology, geology, or theology. They’re not there yet, as the church thinks they should be bible schools. I don’t be sending my kids to any of our schools. I prefer to get my money’s worth.

We shouldn’t be using the Torah as a science textbook. It contains beautiful stories that can teach us much about God. But as most serious biblical scholars and theologians know, based on careful study, while much of it is true it is not historically factual.

(Tim Teichman) #6

Yea, that sounds like wishful thinking to me as well.

(Tim Teichman) #7

Three times, at least. Twice in Exodus. Once in Deuteronomy.

And as Adventists I don’t think we follow all of any of them, which I find ironic as I grew up being told we are better than the other Christians because they ignore the Sabbath. We just pick other things to ignore and then deny we’re doing it.

(Rheticus) #8


The two black speakers - Dr Maury Jackson and Dr Eugene Joseph were so sensible and willing to face the issues. The old white males were either pushing their career choices without facts or subtlely pointing out the flaws without being too confrontational.

Jackson’s quote of conservative Eastern Europeans SdA attendees that “The language of the president of the GC reminded us of the dicators who ruled us” is truly insightful and challenging.

Despite congratulating themselves and the audience on how educated and intelligent they are, there was a huge dirth of facts from the panelists. More amazing was their ability to waste time without addressing the issue.

Let us start at the beginning.

Asked to comment on the age of the dirt, Dr Brand avoids the issue by wasting time talking about the rest of the universe. He then tries to discredit science by talking about the http://geology.utah.gov/surveynotes/geosights/goosenecks.htm
claiming that science now thinks they were done quickly, hinting at a few thousand years. Read this link to see how wrong he is.

Now the panel wastes time trying to show that SdA theology does or does not change. Of course it changes, as any intelligent and educated SdA already knows.

Next comes another waste of time about following ones conscience, where the conservative consensus quickly falls to “we will let anyone in who lives like us, but we won’t let them teach”.

A waste of time by Giem talking about “assumptions” comes next

Suzanne Phillips makes a really insightful point - the SdA pro-recent-creation-of-life scientists are comfortable with an old earth, recent creation of life model, but this approach doesn’t fix our problems because of fossils in the old rocks. She is right, of course, which makes you wonder which ignorant scientists she has been talking to.

Jackson now makes two excellent points - there are reasons for the Sabbath (e.g. celebrates liberation from slavery) beyond the Genesis week, and he has pastored healthy small SdA communities of SdA who believe live has been on earth for millions of years.

Dr Geraty then provides the “smack down” of the event. Giem had earlier stated very emphatically that he thinks life has been on Earth even less time than Usher did. Geraty, providing the sole relevant fact of the entire discussion, points out that the archaeologists have a solid date of 1991 BC for an event in the Middle Kingdom, with 12 dynasties before it. Giem backs away from his emphatically stated belief with all the alacrity of a person touching a hotplate. How much research has Giem really put into his emphatically stated beliefs?

Dr Geraty expressed concerned that the young will leave in droves if the leadership insists on YLC. Judging by their complete absence at the microphones, they already have. What we are watching here is some old white guys and a few hangers-on defending their already ruined ivory tower.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #9

What amazes me it the circular thinking of a fossil encased in a Rock and the measure the age of the fossil by the age of the Rock. rocks don’t encase anything as rocks. It would have to be a molten form or granular form at encasement. explain the petrified forest Did the minerals exist before or after the tree fell? there are coke bottles encased in stalagmites. so is the cave as old as coke? The mineral content of the earth is as old as the sun.The fossils are as old as. The flood. creation is recent compared to the age of the substrate, the fossils are more recent yet. If man emerged from the ape there has been no fall, Then LGT was a glimmer of hope. Tom Z

(James J Londis) #10

There is no question that if the traditional understanding of Creation and the age of living things on earth is modified or abandoned, Adventists have some profound theological challenges. But are they insurmountable as Vandieman and others suggest? Does the Sabbath absolutely need the creation story to be honored and observed? Jesus kept it, the early church kept it for a time. Why is that not enough?

On the question of God creating a system dependent on “death” through the evolutionary process, that is undeniably difficult. But is it insurmountable if we have never thought and prayed it through? I recall even Dr. Jack Provonsha making some suggestions (which seemed far-fetched to many of us at the time) about an earth whose processes were manipulated by Satan; hence, dinosaurs, neanderthals, and so on. Adam and Eve were the beginning of God asserting authority over Satan’s failed experiment.

What is needed is both continuing scientific research and theological reflection. What is not needed are pronouncements that shut either or both of them down in an effort to protect received wisdom from any questioning whatsoever.

(Rheticus) #11

I don’t think SdA have put enough thought into the “death” issue.

We live because individual cells and clumps of cells die. There is no solid boundary between ameba and humans - just a continuum of larger and more complex collections of cells. Where in this continuum does one draw the line and say “it is okay for Eve to eat the apple, provided she doesn’t eat the worm in it”?

Furthermore the evolutionary processes of mutation and selection are very basic to cell replication, and if any cell replication happens either (1) there is continuous supernatural intervention to stop it, or (2) predator-prey relationships will involve.

By not addressing the details, SdA really keep their heads very deeply embedded in the sand.

(Steve Mga) #12

The death issue is something that ALL Creationists refuse to discuss.
Why did Spiders build webs in the Garden? Why do some hopping
amphibians have such long tongues? Were insects MADE to be
eaten? What about Robins and Worms? What about Ant Eaters?
Then there is the issue of Oceans, lakes, and streams. Smaller
living organisms are eaten by bigger ones.
No one discusses “Poisons” in nature. When did they develop or
were they always there? All the way down to reactions to tics,
chiggers, mosquito bites. Bee stings. Not to mention snakes, fish.
Then there are forbidden compounds in plants like Caffeine, Nicotine,
Morphine, Hallucinogens, Alcohol etc. What benefit did Adam and Eve obtain
from them?
There is so much Creationists do not like to bring out from under the rug.

(Elaine Nelson) #13

The sole reason for these many conferences is ostensibly to somehow support a young creation is the Sabbath. Were it not for that one unique doctrine separating Adventists from all other creations and which established it as a new religion, these would all have been unnecessary.

Sabbath was NOT established at Eden for mankind, but symbolized God “resting” or completing His work. Man had not worked, and he was never given a rest day at Creation. It was first recorded as a command to the Israelites several millennia later and it was ONLY for them, no other tribes around. It was a reminder of their deliverance from slavery (in two of the records, and in the preamble to the one in Ex. 20) it was also directed as a reminder of their former slavery and a reminder of the creation. This was written much later than Sinai, and much more likely no earlier than 1000 B.C.

As stated above, NO ONE observes Sabbath as given in the Decalogue; nor was it ever given to the Jews to observe. By the end of the first century Christians were regularly celebrating the first day of the week in honor of the Resurrection–the beginning of Christianity. Sabbath was for the Jews and Christians were never given any day to observe, but by gradually meeting on the first day it became traditional.

The seventh day as a Christian observance has absolutely no support by NT scripture or by any instruction to the non-Jewish Christians which became the church by the first century’s closing. Reading Paul’s letters to the gentile Christians shows absolutely no support for Sabbath observance. One is either under the Jewish Law or the New Covenant inaugurated by Christ at His Resurrection.

(James J Londis) #14

Elaine: No NT scholar doubts the fact that the Sabbath was observed outside of Palestine (mixed Jewish/Gentile congregations? Gentile Congregations? Not certain) for a long time after the death of Jesus, though its eventual disappearance is also well-known. So many of Jesus’ miracles were intentionally performed on the Sabbath because he wanted the Jews to understand its meaning. There is no evidence in the gospels (written later than many of Paul’s letters) that Jesus intended to abolish the Sabbath or that it was limited to Judaism. When you say it has no support in NT scripture, you mean in Paul or the other letters (though Hebrews suggests there “remains a rest for the people of God”). This is not an either/or but a both/and.

(Cfowler) #15

Tim said, “And as Adventists I don’t think we follow all or any of them, which I find ironic as I grew up being told we are better than the other Christians because they ignore the Sabbath. We just pick other things to ignore and then deny we’re doing it.”

I didn’t grow up SDA, but after being there for 2+ decades, you are absolutely correct. I had never seen such proud, arrogant Christians in my life I’m not trying to be mean, but unfortunately it’s the reality. It is so much the norm, that I don’t think they even realize how bad it is. Nobody has a clue how to keep the Sabbath. But, the bigger issue is that Christians weren’t given the Sabbath anyway.

(Tim Teichman) #16

Yes, you’d think that if we wanted to know how to keep the Sabbath, we’d ask a Jew. They seem to have something honest going on regarding the Sabbath.

Not only were we not given the Sabbath, we were not given any of the 615+ commandments in the Torah, either. Including any of the three versions of the 10. For pretty funny but telling read on how far we are from following the Torah, see http://www.amazon.com/Year-Living-Biblically-Literally-Possible/dp/0743291484/

The commandments are a key part of the Covenant(s) between Israel and God. If we indicate that Christ presented a new way, a new covenant, and we are not bound by the prior covenants, then we are not bound by the commandments, either. It isn’t really very complicated…

(Graeme Sharrock) #17

Dr Phillips says “Evidence is going the way of shorter chronology and toward catastrophic events.”

I challenge Dr Phillips to publish her account of this data that is simultaneously supporting both “shorter chronology” and “catastrophic events”.

Within the broad range of data on geological and paleobotany, etc there will always be fluctuations in the depth and implications of data. What creationists are doing is finding that (perhaps) there is 1 % of data that goes their way, and they see a fluctuation in number of articles that increases that number to 1.6% and then claim “evidence is going their way”.

(Cfowler) #18

Exactly! Well said, Tim.

(Graeme Sharrock) #19

Dr Londis

I am sympathetic with your concerns and agree that continuing scientific research and theological reflection is needed. However, many Adventists have already moved far beyond the options you provide.

To understand where many–including a larger percentage of SDA millennials, and most graduate students- are today, begin with the assumption that earth history as taught by mainstream science is accepted as true. Then do your theology.

(Jared Wright) #20

It would be interesting to do statistical analyses of published, peer-reviewed studies on geochronology to see what percentage point to a chronology in the thousands of years vs. those that point to much longer chronologies. That, coupled with data from other fields of study.

Would the results be similar to the consensus among scholars over climate science, where a small number of dissenters to the scholarly consensus create disproportionate headlines while claiming they are being conspiratorially marginalized?

The short-chronology researchers contend that their studies are covered up by the more powerful, government-funded long-agers because the short-chronology data overturns the conclusions of the establishment. Is that really what’s happening?