Presentation on theme: "“Some would claim the answer to these questions is that there is a God who chose to create the universe that way. It is reasonable to ask who or what."— Presentation transcript:
“Some would claim the answer to these questions is that there is a God who chose to create the universe that way. It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. In this view it is accepted that some entity exists that needs no creator, and that entity is called God. This is known as the first-cause argument for the existence of God. We claim, however, that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings.” – Stephen Hawking The Grand Design
A Quick Overview of Evolution 1.For this discussion, we’ll use the following definition: Biological evolution attempts to explain the change in existing biological entities and their progression over time 2.Micro-evolution describes the changes within a specific type/species 3.Macro-evolution is a major evolutionary transition from one type of organism to another occurring at the level of the species 4.Survival of the fittest (coined by Herbert Spencer) is argued as to its definition, but is normally understood to be 'natural selection', or the preservation of favored races/species in the struggle for life.
“In grammar school they taught me that a frog turning into a prince was a fairy tale. In the university they taught me that a frog turning into a prince was a fact!” - Ron Carlson
A Quick Overview of Evolution “Large evolutionary innovations are not well understood. None has ever been observed, and we have no idea whether any may be in progress. There is no good fossil record of any.” - Paul Wesson By contrast, micro-evolutionary variations due to mutation and natural selection have been and are observed. Postulating an unobserved designer is no more unscientific than postulating unobserved macro-evolutionary steps.
Naturalistic Philosophy’s Assertions 1.Biological evolution is incompatible with the existence of a Creator 2.Biological evolution accounts for the existence of all of life’s complexities 3.Natural selection is a blind, automatic process with no purpose 4.Natural selection is the explanation for the existence of all life
Is Evolution the Answer? Does evolution answer the critical question of existence – why we have something rather than nothing? And does it explain the specific complexity found in life?
Is Evolution the Answer? “An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” - Richard Dawkins
Is Evolution the Answer? “It seems to me that Richard Dawkins constantly overlooks the fact that Darwin himself, in the fourteenth chapter of The Origin of Species, pointed out that his whole argument began with a being which already possessed reproductive powers. This is the creature the evolution of which a truly comprehensive theory of evolution must give some account. Darwin himself was well aware that he had not produced such an account. It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.” - Anthony Flew, philosopher and former atheist
Does Evolution Mean No Creator?
“Either half of my colleagues are enormously stupid, or else the science of Darwinism is fully compatible with conventional religious beliefs... Science simply cannot adjudicate the issue of God’s possible existence. We neither affirm it nor deny it; we simply can’t comment on it as scientists.” - Stephen Jay Gould
Does The Fossil Record Help? “The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on the earth [should] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links. Geology assuredly does not reveal any such graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” - Charles Darwin “I will lay it on the line – there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument [for macro-evolution]” - Colin Patterson
The Fossil Cover Up
When Walcott’s fossils were re- discovered in the mid-1980’s, the effect was very dramatic. In 1992, Scientific American was moved years later to print a story about it and ask the question “Has the mechanism of evolution altered?” National Geographic, the New York Times, and Time all printed stories speaking of “Evolution’s Big Bang.” Yet today, high school biology textbooks mostly ignore this data and its implications.
Does The Fossil Record Help? “The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with the idea that they gradually evolved: 1.Stasis – most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on ear. They appear in the fossil record looking pretty much the same as when they disappear, morphological change is usually limited and directionless. 2.Sudden appearance. In any local area a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed’” - Stephen Jay Gould
“The most thorough study of species formation in the fossil record confirms that new species appear with a most un- Darwinian abruptness.” Dr. Richard Kerr "Did Darwin Get It All Right?" Science, 267:1421, 1995 Comment on article: (1) The reality of sudden saltations in the fossil record or "punctuated equilibrium" implies that those unfound transitional fossils beloved by the gradualists are truly missing. (2) The higher the taxonomic level, the more silent the fossil record. There are few clues as to how the major divisions of life (the phylla) originated.
What about the Archaeopteryx? The archaeopteryx is held up as the perfect example of a transitional species – feathers on wings speak of the bird, but it had jaws and teeth, not a beak, so it seems to also be a reptile. However, many scientists now believe it was simply a bird. Interestingly, in Leviticus 11:18, birds are listed and one of them is the tinshemet. Then in Leviticus, reptiles are listed, and the tinshemet appears again. Evidently, the Scripture felt the animal fell into both categories and was a single animal, not a macro- evolutionary entity.
“The fossil evidence that challenges this classic concept of evolution has been found worldwide.... All body plans represented in the thirty-four animal phyla extant today appear as a single burst in the fossil record. And it happened 530 million years ago. Those are the data. No one disputes them.... One of the great mysteries of animal evolution is why no new phyla have appeared since that Cambrian explosion of life.” - Dr. Gerald Schroeder
Evolution’s Main Argument
Similarity vs. Progression
A Common Source for Life
Look Designed? “Living objects... look designed, they look overwhelmingly as though they’re designed. Biology is the study of complicated things which give the impression of having been designed for a purpose.” - Richard Dawkins
A Quick Correction on ‘Intelligent Design’ “Intelligent Design” may strike you as a curious expression – don’t we always think of ‘design’ as the result of intelligence? Therefore the adjective “intelligent” is redundant.
The Difference in Data & Information
DNA Is Information like software “At first approximation, one can therefore think of DNA as an instructional script, a software program, sitting in the nucleus of the cell. Its coding language has only for letters (or two bits, in computer terms). A particular instruction known as a gene, is made up of hundreds or thousands of letters of code.” Dr. Francis Collins
Randomness in Software…? If there is one thing a software developer does not want, it is randomness in their code. One misplaced semi-colon or letter can cause a program that consists of ten thousand lines to not work.
DNA Is the Result of Intelligence
DNA – Genetic Code
“If you’re trying to explain an event in the remote past you should rely on our knowledge of the cause/effect structure of the world and you should be looking for a cause that has the capability or power to produce the known effect in question. It is the principle of sufficient or adequate reason. Darwin’s mentor Charles Lyell gave this to him. Lyell put it this way: ‘In investigating the past we should be looking for causes now in operation’. Now as to Information and intelligence: What is the cause now in operation of digital information? That is intelligence. By using Darwin’s own principle of reasoning, we can use an inference to the best explanation: intelligence produces information.” - Dr. Stephen Meyer
Evolutionists Admit Information “What lies at the heart of every living thing is not a fire, warn breath, nor a ‘spark of life’. It is information, words, instructions.... Think of a billion discrete digital characters.... If you want to understand life think about information technology.” - Richard Dawkins
Evolutionists Admit Information Darwinist Richard Dawkins admits that the message found in just the cell nucleus of an amoeba is more than all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica, with the entire amoeba itself having as much information in its DNA as 1,000 complete sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The important thing to understand is that the makeup of these entities is not random, but instead the information is highly organized.
“In no way can the concept of ‘information’, the concept of conveying a message, be articulated in terms of the concepts of physics and chemistry, even though the latter can be shown to explain how the molecular machinery (DNA, RNA, and protein) operates to carry information.” - Arthur Peacocke, Theologian and Scientist
Confusing ‘basis’ and ‘implication’
Design or Chance? One Design One by Chance?
Pushing Out the Problem Doesn’t Help There are two possibilities for intelligence: it is either transcendent or immanent. You see design in the fabric of the universe; not the result of a creature in the universe but something beyond it. Dawkins proposes space aliens for the reason we see intelligence here but he also says that the alien would have had to have evolved as well. The problem is if you can’t get the evolutionary process to solve the information process here on earth, why think it could happen elsewhere? Kicking it to outer space doesn’t help. - Dr. Stephen Meyer
With all the evidence pointing to intelligence behind the information we see in life, why don’t atheistic evolutionists admit what is really there?
A Battle of Worldviews – Theism vs. Naturalism “I am not an agnostic. I am an atheist. My attitude is not based on science, but rather on faith.... The absence of a Creator, the non-existence of God is my childhood faith, my adult belief, unshakable and holy.” - George Klein, Immunologist
A Battle of Worldviews – Theism vs. Naturalism “In China we can criticize Darwin, but not the government; in America you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.” - Jun-Yuan Chen, Palaeontologist
“The world needs to wake up from the long nightmare of religion... Anything we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done, and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilization.” - Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate
No Design but Intelligence? “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” - Francis Crick “Given the weaknesses of all theories of terrestrial genesis, directed panspermia [the deliberate planting of life on Earth by aliens] should still be considered a serious possibility.” - Francis Crick
Atheists Know Intelligence When they See it ‘Contact’ was a movie based on a novel by atheist Carl Sagan. It was about scientists searching for intelligent life in space. Before long, the project does, indeed, discover the first confirmed communication from extraterrestrial beings, a repeating series of the first 261 prime numbers (a sequence of prime numbers is a commonly predicted first message from alien intelligence, since mathematics is considered a "universal language," and it is conjectured that algorithms that produce successive prime numbers are sufficiently complicated so as to require intelligence to implement them). “Incidentally, is it not to be wondered at that our archaeologist immediately infers intelligent origin when faced with a few simple scratches whereas some scientists, when faced with the 3.5 billion letter sequence of the human genome, inform us that it is to be explained solely in terms of chance and necessity?” John Lennox, PhD, Mathematics, Philosophy
“If science is based on experience, then science tells us that the message encoded in DNA must have originated from an intelligent cause. What kind of intelligent agent was it? On its own, science cannot answer this question; it must leave it to religion and philosophy. But that should not prevent science from acknowledging evidences for an intelligent cause origin wherever they may exist.” - Dean Kenyon, Biophysicist Scientists Know Intelligence When they See it
“Your protein defies the laws of mass action – evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken – evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause!” – Dr. John Lennox God or Evolution of the Gaps?
The Teleological Argument Behind every complex design is a designer The universe has a complex design Therefore, the universe has a designer The teleological (telos, from the Greek word which means “design” ) argument says that the universe and mankind exhibit marks of intelligence and design.
“I think the origins of the laws of nature and of life and the Universe point clearly to an intelligent Source. The burden of proof is on those who argue to the contrary.” – Anthony Flew, former outspoken atheist