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Faith and Science James E. Johnson, M. D.. Has anyone here had a problem arise as you studied science and compared it to your religious teaching. In other.

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Presentation on theme: "Faith and Science James E. Johnson, M. D.. Has anyone here had a problem arise as you studied science and compared it to your religious teaching. In other."— Presentation transcript:

1 Faith and Science James E. Johnson, M. D.

2 Has anyone here had a problem arise as you studied science and compared it to your religious teaching. In other words have you seen a conflict between what you have learned based on your faith background as you compared it to what you were hearing in your science lesson? Where was the conflict? What subject? For most people it is biology, the subject of evolution or cosmology, the study of the universe. I had the same conflict. I first realized that this was an issue in high school. But, it was in college that it really began to bother me.

3 What particularly bothered me when I got to college was that the origin of the universe and life was covered as if God had nothing to do with it. My professors taught as if it was a settled question. The prevailing theories of origins were presented as definitive and proven. Being a left-brained, fact- driven individual, I began to think that I had pick one view or the other. I was caught in a dilemma. I had found the Bible, my church, my pastor and my faith to be very reliable. But, I had great admiration for the scientific method and serious scientists. What was I to do? Have any of you been there? Are some of you there right now?

4 I went to my church small group leader with my question. He was an attorney and didn’t know the answer, but he had a friend of his that was a biology professor at David Lipscomb University, and he invited me over to his house one Sunday afternoon. I remember coming out of that meeting with an acceptable answer, but I remember feeling uneasy about the treatment of the first chapters of Genesis. Basically, I remember his presenting a theistic evolution argument that said Genesis 1-11 could not be taken as literally true.

5 I put the issue aside for about a decade until one day it came up in a conversation with another faculty member. I told him what I thought and he said that he did not believe that. He thought Genesis could be taken literally. That began my interest in the subject. I am by no means an expert, but I intermittently think and read about it. I also taught an in-depth study of the book of Genesis to my Bible study class at my church. Let me say that you can be involved in science and believe the Bible, and you don’t have to be afraid of this issue. The next slide shows the outline for this talk.

6 Outline Relationship between faith and science The source and importance of faith Compatibility of science and faith The origin of the universe and life

7 Before launching, I will give you a couple of slides regarding the fuzzy logic of our day. We live in a time influenced by so-called Post-Modernism, and we often hear that truth is relative. Your truth and my truth may be different. That may be correct when we are talking about our opinion regarding the taste of a food or what is a comfortable room temperature. But, I think we make a serious mistake to think that we can believe two different things about the origin of the universe and both be right. We may both be wrong, but we cannot both be right.

8 Postmodernism is "post" because it is denies the existence of any ultimate principles, and it lacks the optimism of there being a scientific, philosophical, or religious truth which will explain everything for everybody - a characteristic of the so-called "modern" mind. The paradox of the postmodern position is that, in placing all principles under the scrutiny of its skepticism, it must realize that even its own principles are not beyond questioning postm-body.html March 3http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/ postm-body.html March 3, 2014 From PBS Definition of Postmodernism

9 Let us not assume that the freedom to believe anything that pleases us will make the thing that we believe true.

10 Outline Relationship between faith and science The source and importance of faith Compatibility of science and faith The origin of the universe and life

11 Faith Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1 (KJV)

12 Science and the Scientific Method 1.Observation 2.Review background material 3.State the problem 4.Form a hypothesis 5.Design and perform an experiment 6.Collect and analyze the data 7.Draw conclusions /Scientific_Method.html 3/1/2010

13 Faith Science “Not Seen”Visible

14 Invisible Relates to the Visible VisibleInvisible GiftGrace PardonMercy SacrificeLove The PresentThe Future & The Past CreationCreator

15 Science has a very important realm, but it is not an all inclusive. It has little to say about these virtues that are so fundamental and important to us—love, mercy, peace, patience, grace. It can crudely measure some of their effects. Likewise, it has little to say about vices like hate, cruelty, infidelity, etc. In fact, science in its pure form, has no basis for deciding which is virtue and which is vice. A world based on science alone would be a cold and scary place.

16 Is religious faith the only context in which we can address these virtues and vices. No, it is not, but we are talking about faith and science today. Faith has more to say about these virtues and vices than science does. What I would like to address next is the question, where does faith come from?

17 Outline Relationship between faith and science The source and importance of faith Compatibility of science and faith The origin of the universe and life

18 Source of Faith And you will seek Me, and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NASB) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph 2:8-9 (NASB)

19 Source of Faith 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20 (NASB) 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

20 God is real. He came to earth as the Lord Jesus Christ to make it very clear what we must do. We are separated from God by our sin. We fix that relationship by turning from our sin and making Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives. That happens through the faith that we place in him. That event is called salvation or conversion. You say, I don’t have that faith. You can have it, by reading the Bible, praying and talking to people who can share with you what God has done for them.

21 You may say, why should I do that, I am quite happy just like I am? Are you really, and will you continue to be when life does not work out just like you planned? Also, what about the life after this one. The Bible says there is real Heaven and a real Hell and they are for all eternity. Blaise Pascal had something to say about that. In addition to his work with barometric pressure, he was a mathematician who wrote about probability. The point of the next table (called “Pascal’s Wager”), is that the best case of unbelief (if you are right and there is no life beyond this one) is equal to the worst case for a life of faith (if you are wrong and there is no life after this one). But, if you have Christian faith and you are right, the outcome is Heaven. If you live a life of unbelief, and you are wrong, the outcome is Hell.

22 Pascal’s Wager CorrectIncorrect Faith HeavenNothing Unbelief NothingHell Pascal, Blaise, Pensees, Chapter 7, 1658

23 Outline Relationship between faith and science The source and importance of faith Compatibility of science and faith The origin of the universe and life

24 Other than the seeming contradiction on the creation issue, science and faith are quite compatible. We serve a big God and a big universe fits with a big God. We also serve an omnipotent God who is concerned with details. Small atoms and subatomic particles are all right with him. Huge amounts of information in DNA, again no problem.

25 Compatibility of Faith and Science 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Col 1:17 (NASB)

26 Outline Relationship between faith and science The source and importance of faith Compatibility of science and faith The origin of the universe and life

27 Origins—The Challenges Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Job 38:4 The Bible was not written as a science book; avoid adding things that are not there. Is the study of origins a science in the same sense as that chemistry or physiology are sciences?

28 What the Bible says in the early chapters of Genesis appears to contradict what most science books say about the origin of the universe and life. The Bible says that it occurred in 7 days, and adding up dates in genealogies, one would conclude this occurred less than 10,000 years ago. Modern cosmology says the universe is about 13 billion years old, the earth about 5 billion years old and that man has been around for about two million years. It says that the universe began with an inexplicable sudden expansion of an intensely hot, very small particle to its present size now (Big Bang Theory). Stars and planets formed as this cooled. Life began spontaneously, and natural selection and survival of the fittest resulted in the gradual emergence of the species we see around us.

29 The science of studying the origin of the universe is different from other scientific disciplines. If I want to know the products of a chemical reaction, I can keep doing the experiment until I get consistent and reproducible results. We cannot redo the Big Bang. We can use the scientific method to study things that are visible now in an effort to try to understand what happened in the distant past. We can repeat these measurements to be sure we get consistent results, but we are still limited by what evidence has been left to us.

30 The Issue of Origins (the Universe and Life) Scripture Creation in 7 days in specific order Deductive Various observations Naturalistic Theory of Origins 1. Big Bang 2. Spontaneous Generation Of Life 3. Evolution of Species ? Inductive

31 Polls of the general population of the United States over the past few decades have shown that only % of people accept the view that the universe happened completely by mechanisms just described in a manner independent of a divine creator. The largest proportion of people believe that God created humans in their present form, others believe an evolutionary process occurred, but it was guided by God.

32 Guided by God God had no part God created in present form Unsure %% Gallup Polls "Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings?” March 3http://www.pollingreport.com/science.htm March 3, 2014

33 The next two slides show at the top the four main views of the origin of the universe and life. New Earth creationism is a very concrete interpretation of Genesis Old Earth Creationism is viewed by many of its advocates as also being compatible with an inerrant interpretation of scripture, but it takes some literary license that allows time intervals to be longer (using scripture which says with God one day is like 1,000 years and 1,000 years as one day). I will spend more time with Old Earth Creationism since it allows significant reconciliation between what the Bible says and secular theories.

34 At the other extreme is naturalistic theories of origins, incorporated into cosmology and evolutionary theory as they are commonly taught today. In between is “theistic evolution” which argues that most of what passes as naturalistic evolution is true, but was guided by God. Most people who believe this take Genesis 1-11 as being figurative language (next slide), though some think they can wed theistic evolution with a literal interpretation of the Bible.

35 Creationism, Evolution & Scripture Interpretation Creationism Evolution New Earth Old Earth Theistic Naturalistic Scripture Interpretation Literal Figurative

36 What is the problem with theistic evolution when it turns scripture into figurative language? It is very easy for it to become a starting point for doubting the scriptures. I have found the scriptures to be reliable in every other circumstance. Perhaps, we should not be so quick to turn the creation story into some kind of symbolic exercise. While the creation story has miraculous and scientifically unexplainable events, we should not let the secular theories off so easily. Where did the incredibly hot particle from which the universe sprang come from in the beginning? The Big Bang Theory actually has a very God-like sound to it.

37 So, both naturalistic evolution and creationism have unexplainable events. The current version of the Big Bang Theory holds that the universe expanded much faster than the speed of light (almost to its current size in moments) in a process referred to as cosmic inflation. I only add this because, those who would argue that the Genesis story is too hard to believe should really try to digest cosmic inflation. Actually cosmic inflation, again, fits in well with something driven by a creator outside the system.

38 Central Difference in the Two Views Naturalistic Theory puts the unknown into one unexplainable event (“Big Bang”) Bible has a series of unexplainable, supernatural events

39

40 Alan Guth (MIT)—Cosmic Inflation Expansion of the universe to 100 million light years in the first 1/10(^32) sec Theoretical support comes from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)

41 We will now look at the discrepancies between creationism and evolution/cosmology origin theories and deal with them one at a time. There are three—the time interval, the order of events, and the mechanism of formation of life. The time interval is the first. The distance light travels in a year is called a light-year. Since we can see galaxies that are measured to be billions of light years away, the implication is that the universe is billions of years old (otherwise how could we see them?). Radioactive decay based dating techniques seem to support an age of the universe measured in billions of years.

42 Young Earth Creationism holds that early conditions were somehow different, perhaps with a faster speed of light or a different mechanism of the passage of time, allowing us to see these distant objects now. This view also holds that differences in starting conditions also account for the findings in radioactive decay based dating techniques. Old Earth Creationism has no problem with long time periods, since by definition, it agrees with great age for the universe.

43 Discrepancies in the Two Views Time Order of events Mechanism of formation of life

44 Creationism and Time 1. Young Earth Creationism—various forms of this with the idea that the universe looks older than by some dating methods than it actually is. This may be because starting conditions were different from current conditions (for example, faster speed of light, different rate of radioactive decay). 2. Old Earth Creationism—The Earth really is very old. For this to be compatible with literal interpretation of scripture, the term “day” in Genesis means a time interval, but not necessarily what we call a 24 hour day now.

45 Einstein’s work has led us to understand that the flow of time is not what as straightforward as we once thought. It passes more slowly in a rapidly moving object (frequently mentioned in science fiction movies). It is also affected by strong gravitational fields (slower passage the closer to the source of the gravitational field). Even though these affects are small at the speeds and the gravitational force levels we experience, these ideas contribute to the notion that conditions were so different during creation, an appearance of vast age could be seen when the universe is actually young (Young Earth Creationism).

46 Time and Relativity Theory of General Relativity—Time is affected by gravitational field Theory of Special Relativity—Time is affected by velocity

47 Relativity of Time in Scripture For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. II Peter 3:8

48 The verses on the last slide appear to lend some scriptural support to the idea that a day in Genesis 1, may represent a time interval, but not necessarily a 24 hour period that we call a day currently. Using this verse, Old Earth Creationists consider any time interval acceptable. The next consideration of is the order of events. This becomes much easier to reconcile if we accept that the precursor to the Earth was included in a divinely created intensely hot particle postulated in the Big Bang Theory. The Spirit moving over the surface of the “waters” (Gen. 1) would them refer to the Spirit moving over the surface of this particle, external to it.

49 Universe & Life Origin Discrepancies Time Order of events Mechanism of formation of life

50 Order of Creation/Appearance Heavens and Earth (day 1) Light, day, night (day 1) Separation of waters (2) Dry land, plants (3) Sun, moon, stars (4) Sea and flying animals (5) Other animals (6) Man (6) Stars and planets Single and multicellular life (including plants) Fish and some land plants Insects, Amphibians Reptiles, gymnosperm plants Mammals, angiosperm plants Man Genesis Naturalistic Evolution

51 Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth Creationism Universe began as intensely hot, very small particle of pure energy at time zero 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Gen 1:1-2 (NASB) Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990

52 The particle expanded rapidly, cooling as it did; became cool enough for visible light to be possible* 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. Gen 1:3 (NASB) *Visible light is generated by electrons moving between orbitals. At extremely high temperatures, electrons are not in orbitals. Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth Creationism Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990

53 With cooling of the expanding matter, hydrogen and helium formed, gravitation caused formation of stars where heavier elements were formed and are released by supernova allowing formation of planets. Rotation of earth produced day and night. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. Gen 1:5 (NASB) Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth Creationism Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990

54 Appearance of life on earth. Day 2 Separation of waters, Day 3 creation of plants specifically mentioned. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so. Gen 1:11 Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth Creationism Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990

55 Could it be that metabolism of life forms reduced a thick canopy allowing the sun, moon and stars to become visible? 14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. Gen 1:14-15 (NASB) Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth Creationism Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990

56 Creation of large animals and man (order is the same in both) Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth Creationism

57 Universe & Life Origin Discrepancies Time Order of events Mechanism of formation of life

58 The Issue of Origins (the Universe and Life) Scripture Creation in 7 days in Specific order Deductive Various Observations Naturalistic Theory of Origins 1. Big Bang 2. Spontaneous Generation Of Life 3. Evolution of Species ? Inductive

59 The Bible says that God created life. Secular theories say that it began spontaneously, and the diversity of life came about because of spontaneous mutations. The favorable mutations had survival advantages that allowed them to reproduce and pass these on. All this together is referred to as the theory of evolution. It has been highly politicized in academic and media circles, and it is difficult to have a real debate about it any more despite its weaknesses.

60 The most striking weakness of evolutionary theory is the extreme improbability of the initial spontaneous generation of life. The insulin molecule argument is one way of expressing this. Insulin is a small, simple, but essential protein. The number of possible proteins of this size is huge compared even to the number of seconds in 13 billion years. This makes spontaneous formation of such necessary molecules so statistically improbable that one could conclude that it is impossible. Other proteins are just as necessary and most are much larger (hemoglobin, DNA polymerase, etc.) and hence formation by random mechanisms is even more improbable.

61 Human Insulin

62 Irreducible Complexity Example Number of combinations of protein such as insulin with 51 amino acid positions and 20 possible amino acids (20 X 20 X 20… for 51 times comes out to be about 1 X ). Number of seconds in 13 billion years = So, attempting to make insulin once per second for 13 billion years will get through a very small fraction of the possibilities (1 over )

63 Chance of producing insulin by chance With one attempt per second for 13 billion years= 1/100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

64 The Issue of Origins (the Universe and Life) Scripture Creation in 7 days in Specific order Deductive Various Observations Naturalistic Theory of Origins 1. Big Bang 2. Spontaneous Generation Of Life 3. Evolution of Species ? Inductive

65 Evolutionary Possibilities 1. Allows adaptations that preserve a species (antibiotic and insecticide resistance) 2. Possible explanation of variations within a species 3. Possible cause of change of one species to another 4. Possible explanation for the origin of all species

66 The previous slide shows the range of possibilities for natural selection and survival of the fittest (evolution). The first two are generally accepted. Definitive examples of evolution causing one species to change into another are difficult to find definitively even in the fossil record. The fossil record seems to show a rapid emergence of many species (Cambrian Explosion). This really fits better with sudden creation. Similarities between species (homology) and similarities of embryos between species are often cited as supporting evolutionary theory, but can just as easily mean similar design for the species with variation only when it is necessary for unique characteristics of one variety of life form. This would imply economy of effort on the part of the designer, just as there are common parts and design features for different models of cars made by the same company.

67 Cambrian Explosion dated at about 530 million years ago Rapid appearance of most major groups of complex animals

68 Problems with Proving Evolution as Mechanism of Origin for All Species 1. All steps have to be adaptive or the intermediate form will not have a survival advantage 2. Relative lack of intermediate forms in the fossil record (“punctuated equilibrium”) 3. Homology and embryology as arguments for and against 4. Lack of observation of new species formation in rapidly dividing species

69 Often it is argued that we do not see evolution because there is insufficient time for it to occur in our lifetime. Humans are said to have descended from an ape-like creature named Homo habilis. This animal is said to have lived 2 million years ago. If true, this would correspond to roughly 100,000 generations of men. Bacteria can have this many generations in an observable time span. These bacteria are everywhere dividing constantly, and yet we have not observed them changing from species to species.

70 Homo habilis 3/21/06

71 Timeline 2,000,000 years ago with 20 years per generation = 100,000 generations Bacteria with 20 minutes per generation, have 100,000 generations in 2,000,000 minutes 365 X 24 X 60 minutes per year = ½ million minutes per year. In 4 years, some bacteria can have 100,000 generations. Staphylococcus aureas was first named in It was a gram positive, catalase positive, nonmotile, ubiquitous organism then and now.

72 Conclusions 1. Faith and Science have separate but overlapping domains. 2. The origin of the universe and life cannot be reproduced, so scientific elucidation is limited and indirect. 3. Young Earth and Old Earth Creationism are models that attempt to explain origins from the standpoint of faith. 4. Old Earth Creationism has the greatest compatibility with current secular theories. 5. Attempting to explain origins without invoking a designer outside the system has its own set of problems and improbabilities.


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