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 2007 by David A. Prentice Contents: Overheads to be used with Chapter 1 of “Truth in the Balance,” copyright 2003 by David Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T.

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Presentation on theme: " 2007 by David A. Prentice Contents: Overheads to be used with Chapter 1 of “Truth in the Balance,” copyright 2003 by David Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T."— Presentation transcript:

1  2007 by David A. Prentice Contents: Overheads to be used with Chapter 1 of “Truth in the Balance,” copyright 2003 by David Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T. REVISION DATE 11/04/2014 This material is made available by the author at no charge. It may be reproduced for use in a Christian environment such as Sunday schools or Bible classes, but it may not be used for any commercial purposes. To be certain that you have the most up-to-date version of this material, go to the Origins Resource Association website, Follow the links to “Bible College Materials” and check that the revision date shown online is the same as shown above. If not, download the latest version.

2  2007 by David A. Prentice CULTURAL BELIEFS: 1. Evolution is science but creation is religion. 2. It doesn’t matter what you believe; all religions are basically the same. 3. The scientific evidence overwhelmingly favors evolution. THE TRUTH: 1. The creation/evolution controversy is a question of religion vs. religion, with each side claiming science supports it. 2. What you believe about creation and evolution affects almost every other area of your life. 3. The scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports creation, but it has been withheld. GOALS OF THIS CLASS: 1. Teach you how to think critically. 2. Lay a solid foundation of trust in God’s word. 3. Help you develop a love for the study of God’s creation. 

3  2007 by David A. Prentice HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW? Or at least what you think you know? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 

4  2007 by David A. Prentice WHAT MOST PEOPLE THINK: Evolution is science... Creation is religion. 

5  2007 by David A. Prentice  T I M E EVOLUTION: Initial Disorganization with later increase in complexity and unlimited diversification. Not just change, but change in the direction of increasing complexity. EVOLUTION: Initial Disorganization with later increase in complexity and unlimited diversification. Not just change, but change in the direction of increasing complexity. Evolutionary “Tree” All life came from one simple cell

6  2007 by David A. Prentice  2 GENERAL MODELS OF EVOLUTION: Materialistic (Atheistic) Evolution Everything evolved by purely natural processes Theistic Evolution Some sort of God used evolution as the method of creating 2 Specific Models About Evolution of Living Things: 2 Specific Models About Evolution of Living Things: Neo-Darwinism: Evolution occurred slowly and gradually. Many have abandoned this belief because of the fossil evidence. Punctuated Equilibria: Evolution occurred in sudden jumps. The biological evidence against this belief is overwhelming.

7  2007 by David A. Prentice  TIMETIME Creationist “Forest” All life came from multiple complex ancestors. CREATION: Initial Complexity with later deterioration and diversification within limits Not just change, but change in the direction of decreasing complexity. CREATION: Initial Complexity with later deterioration and diversification within limits Not just change, but change in the direction of decreasing complexity.

8  2007 by David A. Prentice  Recent Rapid Creation (perhaps within the last 10,000 years) The Gap Theory (creation and ruin in the distant past, recent re-creation) Progressive Creation or the “Day- Age” Theory (creation spread out over billions of years -- really a theistic version of Punctuated Equilibria evolution) All are forms of Intelligent Design. 3 VARIATIONS OF CREATION:

9  2007 by David A. Prentice  CONTRAST OF BASIC MODELS: CREATION: Initial Complexity with later deterioration and diversification within limits (complex to simple) EVOLUTION: Initial Disorganization with later increase in complexity and unlimited diversification (simple to complex)

10  2007 by David A. Prentice THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD 1. Define the problem. What do you want to know? (E.g. “Does music affect how plants grow?”) 2. Gather information about the subject. (AUTHORITY) 3. Formulate a hypothesis. 4. Devise a way to test the hypothesis. 5. Observe the results of the test. (EXPERIENCE) 6. Draw a conclusion (INDUCTIVE LOGIC) and report your results so others can repeat the test. 

11  2007 by David A. Prentice Present + Repeatable + Observable = SCIENCE Past + Non-Repeatable + Eyewitness Account = HISTORY Past + Non-Repeatable + No Eyewitnesses = BELIEF 

12  2007 by David A. Prentice WHAT TV AND TEXTBOOKS SHOW US... 

13  2007 by David A. Prentice 1-12 WHAT WE ACTUALLY FIND: a bunch of jumbled up bone fragments That we put together and make up stories about! That we put together and make up stories about! IF YOU CAN’T OBSERVE, IT’S NOT SCIENCE -- IT’S STORYTELLING! IF YOU CAN’T OBSERVE, IT’S NOT SCIENCE -- IT’S STORYTELLING!

14  2007 by David A. Prentice 1-13 Dinosaur dig at Lance Creek Formation, Wyoming

15  2007 by David A. Prentice 1-14 The author at Lance Creek

16  2007 by David A. Prentice 1-15 Dinosaur National Monument, Vernal, Utah

17  2007 by David A. Prentice THINGS WE CAN TEST SCIENTIFICALLY: 1. Overall trends and tend- encies in nature. 2. Observable processes. 3. Processes and events that left direct evidence. THINGS WE CAN’T: 1. Who or what started the universe, and was there a motive? 2. Morality and meaning. 3. Specific details: the names of the first humans, what they wore, what they liked to eat, etc. 1-16

18  2007 by David A. Prentice THE ORIGINS CONTROVERSY: Not Science vs. Religion, but Religion vs. Religion. THE ORIGINS CONTROVERSY: Not Science vs. Religion, but Religion vs. Religion. CREATION EVOLUTION is a religion based on REVELATION. is a religion based on SPECULATION. 1-17

19  2007 by David A. Prentice IS IT LOGICAL TO BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION? IF man evolved from apes, Your brain evolved from an ape brain. IF your brain evolved from an ape brain, Your logic evolved from ape logic. Your logic evolved from ape logic. How do you know it evolved right? Maybe you’re not even asking the right questions! How do you know it evolved right? Maybe you’re not even asking the right questions! Evolution is logical ONLY if you are a modified ape. 1-18

20  2007 by David A. Prentice HOW CAN YOU BE SURE YOU REALLY EXIST? (Could you be living in “The Matrix”?) Descartes: “I think, therefore I am.” If you didn’t exist, there would be no one to ask the question! Where did you come from? Either (1) you have always existed, or (2) you made yourself and forgot about it, or (3) something outside yourself -- your concept of God -- made you. Would God (or random chance) make you and then completely deceive you about reality? If not, your senses are at least partially reliable. It makes sense that there really is a universe out there! 1-19 Other than the certainty that you exist, absolutely everything else you “know” is a step of faith. Other than the certainty that you exist, absolutely everything else you “know” is a step of faith.

21  2007 by David A. Prentice WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “KNOW” SOMETHING? Personal Experience through the five senses. I know a bee sting hurts; I know how to ride a bike. 1. Personal Experience through the five senses. I know a bee sting hurts; I know how to ride a bike. 2. Reliance on Authority. I know the sun is 93 million miles away; Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. 2. Reliance on Authority. I know the sun is 93 million miles away; Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. 3. Logic. I know 2 million + 2 million = 4 million, even though I’ve never counted that high. I know I have a brain, even though I’ve never seen it. 3. Logic. I know 2 million + 2 million = 4 million, even though I’ve never counted that high. I know I have a brain, even though I’ve never seen it. 4. Feeling or Intuition. I know she’s the one for me; I know God has called me to the ministry. 4. Feeling or Intuition. I know she’s the one for me; I know God has called me to the ministry. 5. Wishful Thinking (you really want it to be true) I just know I’m going to win the lottery! 5. Wishful Thinking (you really want it to be true) I just know I’m going to win the lottery! 6. Bluffing (lying) - you try to persuade others for an ulterior motive. You should buy these tickets from me because I know this team is going to the Super Bowl this year; I know evolution is a fact! 6. Bluffing (lying) - you try to persuade others for an ulterior motive. You should buy these tickets from me because I know this team is going to the Super Bowl this year; I know evolution is a fact!

22  2007 by David A. Prentice 1-21 REASONS TO BELIEVE OTHERS WHO TRY TO PERSUADE US OF WHAT THEY “KNOW” REASONS TO BELIEVE OTHERS WHO TRY TO PERSUADE US OF WHAT THEY “KNOW” IS IT BECAUSE: (1) They claim to have personal experience, OR OR are we willing to trust their (4) intuition, (5) wishful thinking, or (6) bluffing? OR are we willing to trust their (4) intuition, (5) wishful thinking, or (6) bluffing? (2) They appeal to an authority we trust, OR (3) We have checked out their logic and found it trustworthy? (3) We have checked out their logic and found it trustworthy?

23  2007 by David A. Prentice No living person has personal experience. THE PREHISTORIC PAST 2. There are no eyewitness accounts except the Bible, which is unacceptable to skeptics. SO HOW DO WE “KNOW” ABOUT THE BEGINNING? Through LOGIC ONLY. SO HOW DO WE “KNOW” ABOUT THE BEGINNING? Through LOGIC ONLY.

24  2007 by David A. Prentice WHO? WHAT? WHAT NOT? HOW? GOD? HOW TO TELL SCIENCE FROM STORYTELLING 1. WHO said they saw it? Can I trust them? 1. WHO said they saw it? Can I trust them? 2. WHAT did they actually see? 2. WHAT did they actually see? 3. WHAT are they NOT telling me? 3. WHAT are they NOT telling me? 4. HOW could I test this to see if it’s true? 4. HOW could I test this to see if it’s true? 5. What does GOD have to say about it? 5. What does GOD have to say about it? HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? 1-23

25  2007 by David A. Prentice MATERIALISM: NO GOD ALLOWED! "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of the failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." Richard Lewontin, The New York Review, Jan

26  2007 by David A. Prentice NECESSARY CHARACTERISTICS 1. Only seen by what He does - INVISIBLE. 1. Only seen by what He does - INVISIBLE. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 6. Nobody made Him - SELF- EXISTENT. 6. Nobody made Him - SELF- EXISTENT GOD

27  2007 by David A. Prentice What if there is no God? Then the universe would have to be the result of a series of forces, processes, and events operating with no particular purpose for billions of years. IF THERE IS NO GOD, THEN WHAT? What characteristics would Random Chance have to have? What characteristics would Random Chance have to have? 1-26 We could call the whole series “evolution,” “quantum fluctuation,” or “accident.” Let’s use the term “Random Chance,” with the under- standing that it represents the whole multibillion year series of forces, processes, and events.

28  2007 by David A. Prentice NECESSARY CHARACTERISTICS 1. Only seen by what He does - INVISIBLE. 1. Only seen by what He does - INVISIBLE. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 6. Nobody made Him - SELF- EXISTENT. 6. Nobody made Him - SELF- EXISTENT. RANDOM CHANCE 1. Only seen by what it does - INVISIBLE. RANDOM CHANCE 1. Only seen by what it does - INVISIBLE. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 2. Established natural laws, so is not subject to those laws - SUPERNATURAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 3. Preceded the universe - ETERNAL. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 4. Influence extends throughout the universe - OMNIPRESENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 5. Directly or indirectly responsi- ble for everything that has ever happened - OMNIPOTENT. 6. Nobody made it - SELF- EXISTENT. 6. Nobody made it - SELF- EXISTENT GOD There is no possibility that God does NOT exist.

29  2007 by David A. Prentice 3. If you believe in Random Chance and you are right, nothing matters anyway. 3. If you believe in Random Chance and you are right, nothing matters anyway. 2. If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are wrong, you’ll never know -- so it doesn’t matter. 2. If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are wrong, you’ll never know -- so it doesn’t matter. 1. If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are right, you at least have the potential to spend eternity in heaven with Him. GOD OR RANDOM CHANCE? The Bible says that God loves you so much that He gave His only son to die for your sins. 1. If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are right, you at least have the potential to spend eternity in heaven with Him. 2. If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are wrong, you’ll never know -- so it doesn’t matter. 2. If you believe in the God of the Bible and you are wrong, you’ll never know -- so it doesn’t matter. 3. If you believe in Random Chance and you are right, nothing matters anyway. 3. If you believe in Random Chance and you are right, nothing matters anyway. 4. If you believe in Random Chance and you are wrong, you are headed for an eternal hell. 4. If you believe in Random Chance and you are wrong, you are headed for an eternal hell. Which step of faith makes more sense? 1-28

30  2007 by David A. Prentice USEFUL IDEAS WITH STRANGE ORIGINS The Sewing Machine 1-29 Structure of Benzene The Cotton Gin Fiber Optics Safety Glass Self-Starting Electric Motor etc. Breakthroughs in Astronomy

31  2007 by David A. Prentice 1-30 WHERE DID SCIENCE COME FROM? Eastern Religions 1. The physical universe is an illusion. 1. The physical universe is an illusion. RESULT: There is no point in studying nature. RESULT: There is no point in studying nature. 2. There is no such thing as objective reality. 2. There is no such thing as objective reality. 3. Because of this, it is not possible to accu- rately measure the uni- verse or know things about it with certainty. 3. Because of this, it is not possible to accu- rately measure the uni- verse or know things about it with certainty. Western Religions RESULT: The Scientific Method. RESULT: The Scientific Method. 1. The physical universe is real. 1. The physical universe is real. 2. There is such a thing as objective reality. 2. There is such a thing as objective reality. 3. It is possible to accu- rately measure the uni- verse and know things about it with varying degrees of certainty. 3. It is possible to accu- rately measure the uni- verse and know things about it with varying degrees of certainty. Science owes its very existence to Western religious belief. Science owes its very existence to Western religious belief.


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