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Evolution & Creationism

Evolution & Creationism

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Evolution & Creationism

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  1. Evolution & Creationism Mike Phillips Geology Professor

  2. Disclaimer (Georgia) • This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.

  3. Tests for a scientific explanation • Was the explanation derived from observation? • Does the explanation rely on natural cause? • Is it supported by natural data? • Can the explanation be changed or negated in the light of new information?

  4. Why give science precedence? • It works! • Examples • Germ theory: explains why we get sick • Plate tectonics theory: explains earthquakes & volcanoes & predicts economic deposits • Gravity theory: allows safe space travel • Natural selection theory: agricultural development, improved medical practice (laboratory experimentation & germ control), enhanced pest control

  5. Organic Evolution • changes in life through time • development of complex life forms • development of a variety of life forms • factual observation • fossil record • comparative anatomy • genetics

  6. Natural Selection • mechanism responsible for evolution • works through mutation and selection • survival of the • fittest for a niche • luckiest • combination

  7. Natural Selection • Evidence • population ecology • genetics • domestic breeding • experimentation

  8. Religious Concerns • Theological conflict • natural cause vs. special cause • Relationship of humans and animals • Difficult to observe • Only a “theory”

  9. Where does the Bible fit? • Purpose of Bible • ethical philosophy • not a science text • “Gap” problem • Bible doesn’t always match up with nature • Bible missing most of modern science, medicine, and technology • Many interpretations • One inspired source among many

  10. Science & religion(some perspectives) • Nature is God’s will, no need to investigate. • If it’s in the Bible, that’s how it is (was); all scientific explanations must conform to the Bible. • Nature operates according to God’s laws, what science cannot explain is where God has intervened. • Nature operates according to God’s laws, God never intervenes. • Nature operates according to natural laws. (no comment on God) • Nature operates according to natural laws. (there is no God)

  11. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics • International Council on Biblical Inerrancy • Summit II: Chicago, November 10-13, 1982 • Developed set of affirmations and denials regarding Biblical inerrency • cited by many creationists as a foundational document

  12. The Chicago Statement:Article XX • We affirm that since God is the author of all truth, all truths, biblical and extrabiblical, are consistent and cohere, and that the Bible speaks truth when it touches on matters pertaining to nature, history, or anything else. We further affirm that in some cases extrabiblical data have value for clarifying what Scripture teaches, and for prompting correction of faulty interpretations. • We deny that extrabiblical views ever disprove the teaching of Scripture or hold priority over it.

  13. The Chicago Statement :Article XXI • We affirm the harmony of special with general revelation and therefore of biblical teaching with the facts of nature. • We deny that any genuine scientific facts are inconsistent with the true meaning of any passage of Scripture.

  14. The Chicago Statement :Article XXII • We affirm that Genesis 1-11 is factual, as is the rest of the book. • We deny that the teachings of Genesis 1-11 are mythical and that scientific hypotheses about earth history or the origin of humanity may be invoked to overthrow what Scripture teaches about creation.

  15. The Flat Earth • International Flat Earth Research Society • Charles K. Johnson, president (deceased) • grew to 2000-3000 members by 1995 • articles • http://www.simegen.com/pipermail/simegen-l/Week-of-Mon-20010402/002100.html • http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/fe-scidi.htm

  16. From Science Digest (July 1980) Johnson's beliefs are firmly grounded in the Bible. Many verses of the Old Testament imply that the earth is flat, but there's more to it than that. According to the New Testament, Jesus ascended up into heaven. "The whole point of the Copernican theory is to get rid of Jesus by saying there is no up and no down," declares Johnson. "The spinning ball thing just makes the whole Bible a big joke."

  17. Geocentrism • The Biblical Astronomer • Dr. Gerardus D. Bouw • http://www.geocentricity.com/ • (but the Earth is not Flat) • http://www.geocentricity.com/flatearth.htm • The Fixed Earth • Marshall Hall • http://www.fixedearth.com/

  18. Biblical Astronomer Credo • The Biblical Astronomer was originally founded in 1971 as the Tychonian Society, on the premise that the only absolutely trustworthy information about the origin and purpose of all that exists and happens is given by God, our Creator and Redeemer, in his infallible, preserved word, the Holy Bible. All scientific endeavor which does not accept this revelation from on high without any reservations, literary, philosophical or whatever, we reject as already condemned in its unfounded first assumptions.

  19. Biblical Astronomer Credo • We believe that the creation was completed in six twenty-four hour days and that the world is not older than about six thousand years. We maintain that the Bible teaches us of an earth that neither rotates daily nor revolves yearly about the sun; that it is at rest with respect to the throne of him who called it into existence; and that hence it is absolutely at rest in the universe.

  20. Young Earth Creationism • Institute for Creation Research • http://www.icr.org • Answers in Genesis • http://www.answersingenesis.org/ • Creation Research Society • http://www.creationresearch.org/ • The Biblical Creation Society • http://www.biblicalcreation.org.uk/

  21. ICR Tenets of Scientific Creationism • “A Christ-Focused Creation Ministry” • 1. The physical universe of space, time, matter, and energy has not always existed, but was supernaturally created by a transcendent personal Creator who alone has existed from eternity.

  22. ICR Tenets of Scientific Creationism • 2. The phenomenon of biological life did not develop by natural processes from inanimate systems but was specially and supernaturally created by the Creator.

  23. ICR Tenets of Scientific Creationism • 4. The first human beings did not evolve from an animal ancestry, but were specially created in fully human form from the start. Furthermore, the "spiritual" nature of man (self-image, moral consciousness, abstract reasoning, language, will, religious nature, etc.) is itself a supernaturally created entity distinct from mere biological life.

  24. ICR Tenets of Scientific Creationism • 6. Processes today operate primarily within fixed natural laws and relatively uniform process rates but, since these were themselves originally created and are daily maintained by their Creator, there is always the possibility of miraculous intervention in these laws or processes by their Creator. Evidences for such intervention should be scrutinized critically, however, because there must be clear and adequate reason for any such action on the part of the Creator.

  25. ICR Tenets of Scientific Creationism • 7.The universe and life have somehow been impaired since the completion of creation, so that imperfections in structure, disease, aging, extinctions, and other such phenomena are the result of "negative" changes in properties and processes occurring in an originally-perfect created order.

  26. ICR Tenets of Scientific Creationism • 8. Since the universe and its primary components were created perfect for their purposes in the beginning by a competent and volitional Creator, and since the Creator does remain active in this now-decaying creation, there do exist ultimate purposes and meanings in the universe. Teleological considerations, therefore, are appropriate in scientific studies whenever they are consistent with the actual data of observation, and it is reasonable to assume that the creation presently awaits the consummation of the Creator's purpose.

  27. ICR Tenets of Scientific Creationism • 9. Although people are finite and scientific data concerning origins are always circumstantial and incomplete, the human mind (if open to the possibility of creation) is able to explore the manifestations of that Creator rationally and scientifically, and to reach an intelligent decision regarding one's place in the Creator's plan.

  28. Answers in Genesis • Believing in a relatively 'young Earth' (i.e., only a few thousands of years old, which we accept) is a consequence of accepting the authority of the Word of God as an infallible revelation from our omniscient Creator.

  29. CRS Statement of Belief • All members must subscribe to the following statement of belief: • 1. The Bible is the written Word of God, and because it is inspired throughout, all its assertions are historically and scientifically true in the original autographs. To the student of nature this means that the account of origins in Genesis is a factual presentation of simple historical truths.

  30. BCS Creation Manifesto • While the Bible is not a scientific textbook, it makes some clear statements which have a direct bearing on the study of various areas of science, which provide both frameworks and baselines for the study of those subjects.The disciplines and issues dealt with in this section are of crucial and central importance (though many others could be cited), and failure to incorporate them into the relevant disciplines will result in failure to fully understand the subject, and failure to glorify God in that area of His creation.

  31. Old Earth Creationism & Intelligent Design • Reasons to Believe • http://www.reasons.org/index.shtml • International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design • http://www.iscid.org/ • The Discovery Institute • http://www.discovery.org/ • Intelligent Design Network • http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/

  32. Origins(a Christian Leadership University web site) • “For Christians, the date of creation is not a primary issue of faith and should not be regarded as such, because the Bible does not specifically state a date of creation.” • “Some scientists in the Intelligent Design community of scholars are "young earth creationists," and many are not. However, all of these scholars recognize that the first priority is to concentrate on breaking the domination over science held by naturalistic philosophy--the view that materialism/atheism is the only rational perspective.”

  33. Irreducible Complexity • A functional system is irreducibly complex if it contains a multipart subsystem (i.e., a set of two or more interrelated parts) that cannot be simplified without destroying the system’s basic function. • Irreducible complexity differs sharply from another form of complexity that may be called cumulative complexity. A system is cumulatively complex if the parts of the system can be arranged sequentially so that the successive removal of parts never leads to the complete loss of function.

  34. Irreducible Complexity • To determine whether a system is irreducibly complex employs two approaches • An empirical analysis of the system that by removing parts (individually and in groups) and then by rearranging and adapting remaining parts determines whether the basic function can be recovered among those remaining parts. • A conceptual analysis of the system, and specifically of those parts whose removal renders the basic function unrecoverable, to demonstrate that no system with (substantially) fewer parts exhibits the basic function.

  35. Tests for a scientific explanation • Was the explanation derived from observation? • Does the explanation rely on natural cause? • Is it supported by natural data? • Can the explanation be changed or negated in the light of new information?

  36. Is it science?

  37. Is it science?

  38. The Controversies • Scientific: details of process and mechanism • Religious • natural vs supernatural cause • interpretation of religious texts • Political

  39. Helpful Resources • National Center for Science Education • http://www.natcenscied.org/ • evolution: science and belief: Intelligent Design? • http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/nhmag.html • Religious Tolerance.org • http://www.religioustolerance.org/evolutio.htm • Talk.Origins • http://www.talkorigins.org/