Sunday, March 1, 2009

Seventh-Day Darwinists

I found an entertaining blog post this morning. By entertaining I mean it consists entirely of the familiar rejection of science that I was raised around. Science is great as long as it isn't evolution. There are so many things that can only be true in the religious fantasy land that I won't bother to comment on them but I did find this interesting:

We see a significant number of professed Adventists denying Bible truth so foundational that nearly all Christendom agrees upon it.

Things like a literal six-day creation (seven if you count the Sabbath) or the literal worldwide flood of Noah's day.
I don't think that the majority of Christians these days are obsessed with a literal 6 day creation and world wide flood, and that is even for those who don't consider catholics Christian. This is a good sign that some realism is penetrating religion.

I did agree with the main point of the article however. I also think that Adventism and evolution are incompatible. I also agree wholeheartedly with his admonition to
Keep seeking with a fervent and honest heart
What I reject is the condition he put up on honest seeking for truth.
As long as you stick to the Bible (and Ellen White's books and articles) you will not go wrong.
I suppose if you already know the answer you want to get it is okay to limit the data you are willing to consider, but there is absolutely no way you can call that honest seeking. I thought I'd try to be unemotional about this post, but this pisses me off.

22 comments:

Herb said...

Jeff, you sound like an angry atheist who needs a big, warm Jesus hug. Or maybe not??? Articles/letters/books/blogs taking the position like the one you describe here are far too familiar to me. I sympathize with you.

Aaron said...

My Dad has wondered, and I have too, when the time would come within Adventism when someone would start drawing the line like Clifford Goldstein has in this article. I have no allegiance to Adventism as an entity, it is just that the I have grown up in and around this entity and so have most of my friends and all my family. But there has been no "witch hunts" to remove those of us who aren't fervent zealots for Adventism. Goldstein sounds like he is about to start his own strain of Adventism. And my guess is if Goldstein could have it his way, the Adventists numbers would dwindle substantially. Maybe that would be good. What I am more interested in is people making their relationships work no matter what church or religion they are in. That, I think, is cool!

Iron Soul said...

My experience is like yours obviously, but I doubt that there are very many individuals that would actually support a witch hunt. They are fine with official policies and positions by the organization, but won't actually put them into practice. I also think there have always been Goldstein like people who are seriously into doctrinal purity it just is never practicable in reality.

In some ways I agree that doing away with the squishy spots would be good. There are so many people in the church that have never had to think about why and what they believe. They just take the path of least resistance. A purity crusade could be just the thing to reveal some of the deep bigotry and ridiculousness that is in the church.

Lori said...

The irony to me is that when one seriously evaluates what they believe and why, then they end up either deeper rooted in the garbage or completely undoing it all. Maybe that is how new religions develop anyway. Because of that, I think that is why people become complacent. Its just easier.

Herb said...

Sometimes when a person does a close examination of his beliefs he finds that when when he's dumping out the bathwater there is no baby to be found in it. He then tosses all the remaining baby-less bathwater with little or no regret and perhaps some amount of glee.

Tim said...

Why do you think that Adventism and evolution are incompatible? Do you mean Christianity and evolution? If it is Adventism then it probably means that you think observing a Saturday Sabbath is somehow contingent on a literal 6-day creation week. That seems like a very odd position to me, but I know Goldstein does go for it. If Christianity is where the problem is, then I can agree that evolution certainly would amplify the problem of pain. But unless one is pretty strict about what gets to count as Christianity, then it seems odd to assert an incompatibility in light of the millions of people who claim to be both evolutionists and Christians. Not that there isn't tension there, but I don't think the tension is fatal. Even if the problem is between evolution and the "plan of salvation" (death is part of God's plan and not the wages of sin, so there is no need for a savior), there are still a lot of self-labeled Christians who have different enough views of death, sin, and salvation that they would not be terribly impressed by the supposed incompatibility. Am I overlooking something obvious?

Iron Soul said...

I guess I wouldn't specifically limit my assertion of incompatibility to Adventism. I do think that Adventism is fairly fundamentalist, and therefore supports Young Earth Creationism which is clearly not compatible with the Theory of Evolution. YEC may not be an official dogma of the SDA church (or it may) I don't know, but base on my experience and education it is a pretty wide spread.

Adventism may not be anti-evolution in some highly technical sense, but I feel that it is in practicality. Based on my viewing of so Shawn Boonstra videos that also seems to be the image the church is trying to project.

As for the millions of Christians who accept evolution, my opinion is that there is a degree of compartmentalizing, or ignorance of the science required. I could be wrong.

Herb said...

I have a friend who once confided in me (rather humorously!) that he regarded himself as an "extremely liberal [Seventh-day] Adventist, since I am an atheist." He meant this to sound funny, which it did, but he was also serious. If one defines [Seventh-day] Adventism as being merely whatever self-described SDAs claim it to be, then it would seem anything could go, including mutually exclusive and contradicting views among members claiming to be part of the group. If, on the other hand, one views "Adventism" as being roughly defined by the core consensus views representative of the mean for self-described Adventists, a narrower (and probably much more useful) definition of "Adventism" would seem to emerge. An alternate, and probably even narrower definition (but maybe not as useful?) might be to say that "Adventism" is defined by an adherence to beliefs within the range of views expressed in the official documents of the SDA church. I assume when Jeff wrote this blog he was referring to one of the two latter understandings of the term "Adventism" rather than the first.

Iron Soul said...

Herb
Thank you. I think you cleared up some of the ambiguity in my language very well.

Reverted said...

I made some posts over there, anonymously... :p

Tim said...

Herb, I understand your point, but I think that it is mostly just a theoretical worry. Is your friend really prepared to call himself an Adventist? I would bet not just because he would have to be forever explaining what he meant by that. If he were able to get hundreds of like-minded atheists to also call themselves Adventists, then he might have a chance at changing how the word is commonly understood. This is just how language works. I think we probably don't really disagree here. I don't think a single language user is enough to change the meaning of a term. But this is beside the point.

If all it took to determine whether Adventism were compatible with evolution was to look at the list of 28 fundamental beliefs, then there wouldn't be a debate. There is a debate, however, because what is being proposed is that Adventism relax that bit about six literal days. Some, like Goldstein, think that this should not happen because Creationism is at the core of Adventism and to lose that would result in the eventual loss of everything else that Adventism currently regards as important. Others (eg, Alden Thompson) think that Creationism can be removed without destroying what is most essential about Adventism. It is a fight about what is at the core of Adventism and about what the logical connections are between components (or, alternatively, what the intellectual foundations of those components are). It isn't a question of polls or official positions but of coherence. I'm pretty sure that is the battle Goldstein thinks he's fighting, at least.

Herb said...

"There is a debate, however, because what is being proposed is that Adventism relax that bit about six literal days."

Traditional 'Adventists' (whatever precisely that means) like Goldstein don't see it like this. They see it as a group of people who have 'left the true church' but insist upon dragging the name 'Adventist' with them. It all gets rather silly when people get so obsessed with labels, if you ask me. If one reads the historical foundations of SDA beliefs and how many of those beliefs were authoritatively described as definitive, final, eternal and inerrant, it becomes difficult to say that concepts which by their very definition were described as immutable and absolute are now claimed to be subject to revision. ANY questioning and openness to revision of such previously stated beliefs or doctrines is in utter and complete violation of the absoluteness with which they were defined. If one sets up a belief system that is defined as having certain ideas that are permanently closed to revision, any such revision is by definition necessarily not part of that functional creed any longer, it would seem to me. It's like going back and saying that what the SDA founders meant when they described things in terms of "never" and "always" should be interpreted as "sometimes" and "occasionally" in a sense, or that the word "literally" should be replaced with "figuratively". When is an absolute not an absolute? It seems like a silly question to me. I don’t see how one can revise a position stated as absolute without a fundamental, seemingly irreconcilable change that necessarily results in something new, distinct and unique from the original. This is why it is dangerous to define a position in black and white terms. By absolutely denying the existence of gray any future attempt to acknowledge gray is an admission that your original stance was wrong, and if you defined yourself by that position, you’ve now fatally damaged that original position. The word label can be recycled, but it would be tagging something new and unique from the original. Something is either absolute or it isn't.

The handful of self-identified deistic ‘Adventists’, ‘Adventists’ who don't think Saturday has any significance in comparison to other days of the week, the agnostic ‘Adventists’, and the two atheist ‘Adventists’ I know don't really seem to share any of the historically unique views that originally defined Seventh-day Adventism and set it apart from other Christian denominations as far as I can tell. And yes, they are "really prepared" to call themselves Adventists as attested to by the fact that that is in fact what they have called themselves. Had they not done so, I wouldn’t be able to write about them here. I don't think they have any big concern with forever explaining what is meant by that term (‘Adventist’), either. I suspect for most (and know for a few) that the common answer would be something to the effect of, "I subscribe to many of the ethical principles I learned within the Adventist faith I was raised in, although I rejected much [or in the case of the atheists, all] of the supernatural and mythological stories that came with the religion. I guess I could be called a cultural Adventist." These people don't really seem to have any religious views that set them apart from other like-minded individuals who consider themselves cultural Catholics or cultural Jews, etc. that I can tell, which makes me wonder why they continue using the label ‘Adventist’ at all, unless it is purely out of familiarity for historically identifying with that community and maintaining strong ties to it through family and friends still a part of it. What do you suppose the percentage of Seventh-day Adventist Church members is who view Genesis as merely an ancient mythology, Saturday as just another day of the week, an earth of at least 4 billion years of age, the Big Bang origin of the universe, and accept that all life on our planet is descended from a common ancestor through millions of years of evolution? What is it about these people that make them ‘Seventh-day Adventists’?

“I don't think a single language user is enough to change the meaning of a term. But this is beside the point.”

Nor do I think a single language user is enough to change the meaning of a term, as you can probably tell in my two posts here. But what is it that would be enough? If this is not at least roughly defined then there is nothing to ponder here. If we wanted to make a true study of this we would undoubtedly need to resort to the use of statistics to determine if there is a quantitatively measurable significance in what the ‘core’ views of SDA members are. Outliers on the tails of the bell curve distribution are guaranteed. Such individuals would need to show up in statistically significant numbers to show that there was a quantitatively non-negligible number of ‘Adventists’ advocating a relaxation of the literal six-day creation story, etc. in the case of this particular discussion, for example.

“Some, like Goldstein, think that this [the relaxation of interpreting Genesis as a literal six-day creation story] should not happen because Creationism is at the core of Adventism and to lose that would result in the eventual loss of everything else that Adventism currently regards as important. Others (eg, Alden Thompson) think that Creationism can be removed without destroying what is most essential about Adventism.”

That ‘most essential’ quality being what? You’ve told us what it is that Goldstein sees as the core, but what do Thompson and others like him argue as the core of the SDA religion that sets it apart form other Christian denominations? Do Thompson et al view Goldstein as an Adventist? Does Goldstein view them as Adventists? Would Thompson view a person who claimed to be an Adventist but admitted to a purely deistic concept of God view that person as an Adventist? How about one who believed in a literal six-day creation but viewed the Second Coming and salvation as merely metaphorical and not literal? Does Thompson view a Saturday Sabbath as being at the core of Seventh-day Adventism and would he take issue with others self-identifying as [Seventh-day] ‘Adventists’ who don’t think Saturday is anything other than a string of eight letters for just another day of the week? If so, why? If not, why use such a name to describe the group?

“It isn't a question of polls or official positions but of coherence. I'm pretty sure that is the battle Goldstein thinks he's fighting, at least.”

Coherence won’t be found here any more readily than it will in the religious labels of Catholicism or Islam, or in the political labels of Communism or Libertarianism. I, too, am quite certain that Goldstein thinks this is the battle he’s fighting.

Tim said...

I just don't agree with what you have written about "Adventism" having a fixed meaning based on the founders having set it up as unchangeable. For one thing, that early church went through all sorts of theological change, which has not stopped. Even EGW's theology went through an evolutionary process whereby she rejected views at the end of her life that she had endorsed as a "prophet" early on. This is the theme of Alden Thompson's latest book (with enthusiastic blurbs on the back by pretty main-stream Adventist theologians), and I think George McKnight (he's from Andrew's, and very much in favor with the church hierarchy) has even written on this topic. Change is built into Adventist theology via the doctrine of "present truth." I mean, early Adventists (including James White) were Arians! At this point, Arianism might get you into even deeper shit than evolution. I can guarantee you that Goldstein is not an Arian. No doubt there have been individuals at every step along the way who thought (and said) that what they currently believed was forever definitive of what true Adventism is. And then they changed their minds. You write about recycling labels. In other words, Adventism is eternal but "Adventism" means something new every day. That seems like a weird and unhelpful way to look at things. Not "wrong" per se, but also not a very good theory. I can understand how a scientific sort of person would find that view more satisfying, but I think it makes better sense to think of Adventism and "Adventism" as existing in a state of reflective equalibrium where each influences the other and both change over time. "BUT THEY FUCKING DEFINED IT AS UNCHANGEABLE!!" he screams, external jugular and superficial temporal veins near bursting. Well, they were wrong.

Yes, there are "cultural Adventists," and it would not surprise me if a few of them thought of themselves as atheists or agnostics. My guess, however, is that most of them just avoid the issue. I would be surprised if there were very many people who self-identified as "Adventist" and "atheist." I could understand it as a transitional position, but I think it would be hard to maintain.

I agree that there is really no point in discussing how many people it takes to change the meaning of "Adventism". There are so many factors, and I am not ready to take on a project like that, which strikes me as very nearly impossible. I guess it all depends on what you mean by "roughly." Would be satisfied with "a decent amount"? Moving on . . .

As far as I can tell, Goldstein and Thompson both view each other as Adventists. There have been numerous "summits" and so on organized to affirm this. Thompson believes that what unites Adventists as Adventists is the "advent hope" (ie, 2nd coming). That is what is in his book, anyway. I suspect that he would like the core to be ethical action, with belief being much less important. In that case Adventism (as distinct from other versions of christianity) might be largely a matter of historical institutional continuity. In a way, the emphasis on belief could be described as the Gnostic heresy, and not such a shocking thing to reject given what Jesus is alleged to have said. I'm not sure how important Thompson thinks Saturday is. However, I do know that he thinks its importance is not contingent on there being a literal six-day creation week. Goldstein seems to think that the importance of Saturday and that literal creation week are logically connected such that you can't deny the creation week and affirm Saturday as Sabbath.

I think there are answers (of variable quality, no doubt) here to all of your questions. Let me know if you think I'm dodging something important that is devastating to my position.

Herb said...

I don't think you're dodging anything, I just think you may be bending over backwards trying to accommodate a definition of [Seventh-day] Adventism that might seem overly-broad and encompasses so many ideas--including fatally self-contradictory ones among those self identifying as part of the group--that the very term risks becoming watered down to the point of potentially not describing anything of any particular significant uniqueness about the group. The term may be unable to be utilized in a very meaningful way if it is overly broadened.

As uncomfortable as it may seem, generalizations are necessary many times. I understood what Jeff meant in his blog post when I commented on what he perceived as the incompatibility between Adventism and evolution even though I suspect that he, you and I would all freely admit we know people who describe themselves as Adventists who accept evolution. When I read news articles about the Catholic stance on birth control and abortion I know that there are thousands of people who identify themselves as Catholics who practice birth control and are pro choice, but I don't take issue with the article for too narrowly defining what "Catholic" means. I think the same phenomenon is at issue here. I don't know, of course, having not conducted a proper study or heard about one being performed on the topic, but I suspect most SDAs would essentially agree with Jeff's statement about the incompatibility of evolution and Adventism. I have this hunch based upon both my everyday experiences and formal education interacting with individuals within the SDA environment, of course. Jeff's comment, as I understood it, was addressing the views perceived as representative of SDAs. My experience would lead me to think that most SDAs would be comfortable with this description and most non-SDAs who know SDAs would likely view them this way as well.

It is not difficult for me to understand how Jeff would get this idea of what an 'Adventist' view is since he grew up in that community and was educated within it. If his experience was anything akin to mine in that environment then he did indeed hear all about an absolute black and white interpretation of many things. I cannot speak for Jeff's experiences, but of my own I never ran into an 'Adventist' who admitted to accepting evolution until my college education, and they were the exception rather than the rule there, often having to keep rather silent about it or risk suffering at the hands of what seemed to be a powerful majority with a view like the one Jeff describes. The norm growing up was a very fundamentalist attitude about origins, creation, and Saturday. To me it seemed obvious that Jeff was speaking about this generalized understanding based upon his own knowledge and experience immersed within the SDA system. I think this is both reasonable and expected. It's how people routinely communicate.

You missed my point in your first paragraph, I think. I don't deny that there were arguments and pathways to revision at the formation of the SDA church. Such topics aren't what I was getting at. The SDA Church officially organized a few years after the publication of Darwin's "Origin". I don't recall ever studying or hearing of any significant discussion at the time the church was formed that indicates there was anything but an absolute outright rejection of evolutionary theory as being incompatible with foundational SDA views and perhaps even the work of Satan himself. With regard to the whole "present truth" thing, I've never bought into it. It's always sounded like a cheap cop-out on issues like this. If such notions as the traditional antievolution SDA view had been prefaced with "We're fairly confident that this is true in our understanding today, but perhaps we'll find out we're wrong later..." then fine, but that's routinely not been the case.

“You write about recycling labels. In other words, Adventism is eternal but "Adventism" means something new every day. That seems like a weird and unhelpful way to look at things. Not "wrong" per se, but also not a very good theory.”

You understood what I wrote but didn’t appreciate that this was precisely one of the points I was trying to make. Which ‘Adventism’ we speak of needs to be understood in advance. Labels are not particularly useful if we don’t do this. I got the impression that Jeff spoke of historical and perceived traditionally representative Adventism, whereas you were speaking in terms of a vastly broader and more flexible use of the term than he was. We’re all going to be talking past each other if we’re not understanding a common definition of the term. I probably went overboard with that section and should have been more direct. (Written language is awesome, but it has some weaknesses spoken language does not and I always seem to find them with my sloppy writing style.)

“Yes, there are "cultural Adventists," and it would not surprise me if a few of them thought of themselves as atheists or agnostics. My guess, however, is that most of them just avoid the issue.”

The ones I know mostly do avoid the issue when it comes to speaking about it. You may or may not be surprised at how regularly some of them attend church, however, which would seem like a strange avoidance behavior.

“I guess it all depends on what you mean by "roughly." Would be satisfied with "a decent amount"? Moving on . . .”

Again, to do a study of this nature one would have to determine BEFORE collecting data on numerous variables what the quantitative values of significance for the purpose of that study were going to be. I used the word ‘roughly’ because I am not going to take it upon myself to determine what those values should be. Studies of social behaviors/beliefs are notoriously noisy and require careful work to be fairly confident one is finding correlations of true significance. The ‘decent amount’ you seem to joke of could indeed be the comical name of a value found to have quantitative, statistical significance.

Anyway, I’ve probably said enough on this topic for now. I just felt like you and Jeff were probably talking past each other because of using different definitions or having different ideas for the same term. I don’t think you guys have a fundamental disagreement with each other, as I’m fairly sure you’d both agree when the other’s angle of view is understood. My responses here seem to have perhaps only served to further confuse the issue, but that was not my intent.

I’m off to take Sofie to the children’s museum!

Tim said...

Let me just clear up one thing: I do understand that you and Jeff grew up in the Adventist church. In fact, I was there for a good portion of the time. I was quite a bit shorter for most of that time, but otherwise bore a striking resemblance to myself. You both had a friend, I think, named "Tim," sometimes called "Tim-bob." That was me.

Sorry. That probably wasn't warranted, but I thought it was funny. Perhaps it wasn't.

I think it is true that in my first comment I failed to understand what Jeff intended. In my second comment my point was that I think he misunderstood Goldstein. Talking about Adventism and evolution being "incompatible" would be, to my mind, an odd way to make the extremely obvious point that the great majority of Adventists (a huge majority if you include the world-wide church) are very much against evolution and that the official position of the church is also against it. That is not Goldstein's point. I say that having read a lot of the back and forth between him and more liberal Adventists in response to that very article (as well as having read a book of his that addresses the subject). He is saying that even though some liberal Adventists think they can safely remove the commitment to a literal creation week without causing too much disruption to the rest of Adventist theology, they are wrong. Adventist theology is like a Janga tower with Creation as one of the pieces at the bottom - remove it and the whole thing collapses.

I don't think that "Adventism" as it is currently used encompasses evolution. "Christianity" does have that breadth, I think. The fight in Adventism that I keep going on about is over whether the church will move in a direction that allows a much broader use of "Adventism," as has happened in Christianity more generally. The conservatives are worried in part because they fear that the liberals may just win the linguistic war by brute force and thus drag Adventism after "Adventism," if that makes sense. Extreme conservatives either think the war (between conservatives and liberals more generally) is lost or that it will be soon. They talk about the Adventist church being the Babylon of Revelation out of which the saved must come at the end of time (this year or maybe next, at the very most).

I'm curious about your feeling that the present truth doctrine is a "cop-out." Do you think Adventists should just bite the bullet and say that Paul, for example, ought to have known that slavery is immoral and that he will be duly punished for his endorsement of it? Most of the time that doctrine is used retrospectively to explain why people like Paul or Martin Luther weren't Adventists (ignoring the obvious anachronism), but I have never heard of anyone saying that the doctrine couldn't be applied prospectively. Identifying a core that cannot be changed without giving up the whole game is a normal thing to do, but I think it is reasonable to expect debate over what belongs in that core. Thompson et al think a literal creation does not belong, Goldstein does. Anyway, I think of that present truth doctrine as one of the redeeming qualities of Adventism, but you seem to take a much more fundamentalist sort of stance towards it (assuming you don't mind being called a fundamentalist).

Tim said...

By the way, all that language about "cores" and such derives from my favorite account of science, Imre Lakatos' "research programmes" model, which I think is useful for thinking about beliefs and evidence generally, not just science.

Herb said...

I don't remember Paul saying anywhere that Christians be forever required to keep slaves or advocate the keeping of slaves as a requisite to being Christian, or that a departure from such pro-slavery views and practices would necessarily be un-Christian at best or anti-Christian at worst. If the doctrine of present truth were as benign as what sounds more like what I would call "present knowledge" in the example you give then I don't have a problem with it. This is not the exclusive way I have heard and seen it used, however. Anyway, this is proving difficult to type about on my BlackBerry. I may find more time later...

Herb said...

Holy crap! The children's museum was pure pandemonium! Sofie loved it though, and it was amusing watching the kids there.

Anyway, I’m back home where I have access to a real keyboard. Typing on a phone, even one with a QWERTY keyboard, truly sucks.

Tim, you may have inadvertently saved me. Like Balaam’s ass, you are an unknowing and unexpected mouthpiece for God! (Would “Balaam’s Ass” be a good name for a rock band??? Maybe an edgy Christian rock band? Hmmm…)

“Extreme conservatives either think the war (between conservatives and liberals more generally) is lost or that it will be soon. They talk about the Adventist church being the Babylon of Revelation out of which the saved must come at the end of time (this year or maybe next, at the very most).”

See, that got my attention! I’ll be busy the remainder of the weekend taking inventory on my secret supply of Weetabix and Veja-Links I have stashed in the old school bus I buried in the hill behind my cabin in the mountains. I need to make sure I have a place to go later this year (or possibly next year at the latest) during the time of trouble. I regret to admit that I don’t have internet access up there, although I do get 3ABN on my homemade satellite TV set-up I run off an old diesel generator. Tim, I also have some books stored up there that you may find some unorthodox uses for on upcoming camping trips. Let me know.

Iron Soul said...

Tim & Herb

Sorry I haven't been involved in your your conversation here. We took Jamie to the YMCA to swim with his friend Jeremy, so I've been avoiding my computer.

I had no idea that my use of the term adventism could cause such lengthy discussion. It was my intent to refer to the adventism that I experienced growing up and was educated in. I never studied college level biology, and I have only encountered one adventist 'authority figure' that would even question the standard literal biblical view. I'm thinking of Dr. Cross in the engineering dept. We had some nice conversations that really inspired me intellectually. There probably were others around, but I never had the benefit of that interaction with them.

Anyway, I'm sure there are ways to construct a meaning of adventism that could move toward closer agreement with reality, but that would not me the adventism that I've experienced. I pretty sure that we have all shared a large portion of that experience so there is really no misunderstanding.

Tim, you can always be counted on to not let me get away with any hasty generalization. It is good. I get to try and rant and you are here to elevate the conversation to intelligent discussion.

Iron Soul said...

Reverted

Have you checked back to that blog to read his response to your comments? I think you probably won't waste any more time there. Complete FAIL

Herb said...

One week to go, Tim! I got so excited about it that I went scouting today, taking Eunduk and Sofie with me. They liked it out there. I now know that we have no need to visit the Mid Hills, Hole-in-the-Wall or Black Canyon region on this trip. That whole area was obviously devastated by a recent fire, and what the fire didn't ruin, the cattle have. Pretty sad drive through that stretch. We can focus on the Cinder Cone/Lava Beds area, Kelso Depot, Kelso Dunes, and the Mitchell Caverns. If time permits perhaps Clark Mountain, too. Let me know about those books!

Thanks for letting me use your blog to post random messages, Jeff.

Reverted said...

Yeah, Jeff, I saw the response. (And, yes, it is full of fail.)

I just made another post--this time quite short--over there, after a long absence. I wasn't going to, but figured I should say something.