Because church refuses to stay in its lane and insists there are no other answers than those it accepts merely on faith, just as you did in a previous comment, or when @vandieman says the real solution is that everyone needs to reread EGW’s conspiracy theory-laced manifesto.
Take for example the belief that sin equals death.
This is a faith-based claim that cannot be proved and scientific observations say death is a natural part of life. At which point, however, organized religions start screaming because it cuts them out of the equation and means that people don’t need anything church has to offer.
IOW, I’m back to my original point, with which you’ve also agreed, that the author’s dream of a wonderful church is a pipe dream which will not and cannot happen as long as people of faith insist that any faith other than theirs is untenable and results in an eternal death.
(Which type of death science says is only natural and makes just as much sense as religion’s story-book based belief that such “scientific” thinking is sinful.)
That said, it’s obvious that some people drift over into scientism, that is, the dogmatic belief that science will one day have all the answers, which also is not possible as science has no place for subjectivity, intuition, desires and emotions even though it seems these may be the real motivation of our creator and the ultimate explanation for his, her or its creative activities.
(BTW, I kinda feel bad and like I’m butting into the conversation because of the time difference but then again not so bad that I’m going to delete this comment!!!
What we’re left with is neither side has all the information. But, we all have a brain, and unless God tricked us, in leaving evidence of a long creation period, we have to go with our God-given ability of looking at evidence and making conclusions -which, BTW, work in various fields of science - to the point of being able to land and control a vehicle on the moon and on Mars, etc. We are even able to see Venus, in real time; and now know EW was wrong about there being very tall people walking around on that planet. That took a combination of scientific evidence and a lot of math, and man’s ability extrapolate from evidence, which seems to have worked. Investigating evidence and drawing conclusions is what differentiates us from animals.
Like Galileo has said, “Science tells us how the heavens go; the church (Bible) tells us how to go to heaven.” You don’t read a cook book to know how to plant a garden.
So, I do have a final question - who the (blankety blank) is James Ussher that we should take his word for the earth being 6000 years old, anyway? Do we take his word on anything else in the SDA church?
If we’re doing “tit for tat” - where did Noah hide the dinosaurs?
Unless we want to categorize the Bible with stories like Aladdin’s lamp, and the “magic flying carpet”, we have to assume God respects us enough to tell us the truth. There is overwhelming truth in the various sciences; and we are meant to learn them.
The Bible is a “library” with contributions over a span of thousands of years. But none of it was written until writing was invented - by us . It is a reflection from people of faith; and we have to have faith that they knew what they were talking about. I have personal answers to your questions but they would not answer for you. Faith is personal - a direct line between God me (you) - possibly meaningless to someone else. If you really want to know what I think, I would tell you.
When you say God created a “perfect” universe - perfect in what sense? There are no straight lines, or perfect 90 degree angles in nature. Even the earth is not a perfect round ball. Some of what we would call “imperfect” aspects of nature, are what makes nature work. There is enough ambiguity in Genesis, that anything could be deducted - because, the creation story is a poetic rendition of how God made the universe; not a scientific treatise.
My questions would be something like:
Why did Adam and Eve have to sleep - did they get tired in their perfect world - did their body chemistry suffer (in a perfect world) if they didn’t.
Why was it necessary for them to eat? What would have happened if they never ate?
What did Adam find in the land “east of Eden”?
Where did all the people come from that Cain ended up living among?
Where did day and night come from - before there was a sun?
Who were the “giants” on earth - where did they come from?
Arguing about stuff like that makes none of us better people - it creates “them and us” divisions.
The problem with conclusions is that as long as the universe is changing, there will always be new facts coming which which means what we thought was settled may need to be revised. Thus, all human conclusions are tentative.
Quantum theory also says that observations change what’s being observed, and there is no way to know how much.
I read somewhere that the best science can ever claim is to be “humanly objective” which makes sense to my finite mind.
Or as another Spectrum article put it, human intellect can only ever make approximations or best guesses.
As to EGW’s tall people on Mars, the trick is to realize that they are just like the her spirit guide, the IJ and that fire breathing dragon in my garage; invisible!!!
Is this attempt a noble cause or the road to insanity, given that only a crazy person tries to educate a person who’s convinced he the smartest person in the room?
It’s a fact that any that number of roads lead to Rome, so when I hear someone say there’s is the only one, I know that person is simply mis- or underinformed and tune them out.
On the other hand, if a person is asking for directions, or wants to talk about the different options for getting to to the capital of Italy, I know that a productive, and perhaps even pleasant, conversation is possible.
Hello, I’m sorry but then what is the point of the article?
His whole point is that the church isn’t allowing for scientific teaching and sticking toa recent creation model. There have been many articles here critical of the church for not accepting evolution as a scientific fact and “clinging” to fables about creation. Science in the sda church is most certainly trying to influence doctrine.
The question could equally be asked in the other direction - Why is the church telling scientists what they should teach in science class.
This is the biggest fallacy the church teaches. Science and God are not mutually exclusive. The church would have you believe they are so you have to make a choice. This is akin to the church previously saying only the clergy can interpret the Bible correctly. Even if you read it yourself (see the scientific facts) you don’t understand it correctly.
Science and God, God and science are absolutely intertwined. The more you learn about one, the more you learn about the other.
Just for reference and clarity the Bible doesn’t equal God.
I get the counter question, and honestly I never attended sda universities but I’m aware of the controversy. From what I understand creationism is taught but so are the basic ideas behind evolution. And I’m sure there are professors that emphasize evolution over creationism. But my point still stands, we run Adventist universities! If only teaching evolution is important to a parent or student, don’t send them to a faith based Christian school.
And I agree 100% that science and God are not mutually exclusive, each should broaden our understanding of the other. However, the author makes the point that science is clear on evolution, but then my point is, what basis does he have for believing in a God that cannot be seen, touched, heard, or proven? Faith. So why are we not sticking strictly to science for all other parts of the Bible? How does a scientist believe someone can come back to life after 4 days in the grave?
I know you mention the Bible does not equal God, but then what basis do you have for faith that God created the world? If a church does not use the Bible to develop its teachings it cannot remain a church because there is no objective source for truth. And this is ultimately the issue with evolution vs creationism, does the Bible remain our only source for truth. And if evolution is true, then the God who created a perfect being in His image and placed him in paradise to enjoy and live forever, does not exist. Evolution destroys the God as He is presented in scripture.
For nearly my entire lifetime, I’ve heard the discussions, explanations, hypotheses based on evidence, and hypotheses based on wishful thinking about creation and evolution and all the points in between. As I age, I’ve come to a conclusion similar to that of a conservative Christian paleontologist colleague, who has been quoted as pointing out that, for him, the evidence says one thing and the Bible says another. He expects God to explain things when we get to heaven.
I’m comfortable with that, partly because I believe God and the universe They created is much more complicated than we can begin to imagine in all our efforts to explain our individual and corporate beliefs. I’m come to hold some beliefs lightly until we study them further in eternity. Many things some of us firmly believe will be disproved eventually, but in the meantime, why fight about them. God is vast enough that we can’t destroy Them by what we believe.
By the way, has anyone else noticed that Cliff’s last couple of columns in the Review have been more meditative and devotional, without comments about evolution?
I believe the dinosaurs didn’t make it in the ark. Now this isn’t a salvation issue, but that’s my opinion. Bible isn’t clear in this though so we don’t have a clear teaching.
And by a perfect world I mean one with no suffering, death, suffering etc. yes there’s a lot out there we don’t understand about the universe and so we don’t have official teachings on them, but a creation that is directly attributable to God and in which death and suffering did not exist is clear from scripture.
And I honestly would like to know what you think and why. And the questions you pose are very good but the difference is that most don’t have a biblical answer. They are not detailed in scripture. Unlike the creation story which is very explicit, your questions are not answered and so we don’t have to argue or even discuss because they are not answered in the Bible. But where man comes from is definitely answered.
A world without sleep would not be perfect for me lol
I agree with @Sirje, as it pertains to her cynicism on these matters. (And as @timteichman queried via other examinations, when Adam ate a banana, did it “die”?)
Many SDAs insist the created world and its inhabitants were “perfect.” But they step away from what the Bible says — the created world was very good — and perform this “correction” of their own volition; i.e., with the same level of authority other Christians assert the Bible says, "God helps those who help themselves."
In other words, such a statement is not biblical; it does not appear in Holy Writ. Neither does the assertion, in the beginning, God made a “perfect” world, or “perfect” people. If the Bible doesn’t say this, then neither should we.
You’re right it doesn’t say “perfect” but it does say God created man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being and many here don’t accept that, so why would they accept genesis even if it did use the word perfect? They would not.
Genesis also says man was created in God’s image, m does it use the word perfect? No, but that’s splitting hairs, Adam was not a sinner until he chose to sin. He was created without sin because he was in Jesus’ image.
Lastly, genesis says after sin the earth was cursed and thorns were produced etc, so yeah technically the word perfect isn’t in genesis but that’s a weak argument. The point is clear from genesis, thorns, death (which NT says entered through sin) , hurricanes, etc did not exist before sin and all of that is said in genesis, but even the plain things aren’t accepted. And people didn’t die before sin according to genesis, but evolutionists don’t believe that either.
The point is that the church tries to tell science what to teach and objects to scientific findings.
Scientists, meanwhile, would be happy if the church left them alone to do their thing.
In the end, science is the study of nature. If you believe that God created all of nature - say, the entire universe - then science is the study of God’s creation. And so, no facts discovered by science can disagree with the reality of creation. Those facts may seem to disagree with every creation myth from antiquity, but not with what was actually created - starting some 14 billion years ago.