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Is acceptance of scientific findings compatible with religious belief?

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Presentation on theme: "Is acceptance of scientific findings compatible with religious belief?"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Is acceptance of scientific findings compatible with religious belief?

3 Is acceptance of Darwinian evolution compatible with religious belief?

4 Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory August 17, 2005 | Issue 4133 KANSAS CITY, KSAs the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling. "Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University. Burdett added: "Gravitywhich is taught to our children as a lawis founded on great gaps in understanding. The laws predict the mutual force between all bodies of mass, but they cannot explain that force. Isaac Newton himself said, 'I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.' Of course, he is alluding to a higher power."

5 A partial taxonomy of creationists Young earth creationists

6 A partial taxonomy of creationists Young earth creationists Old earth creationists –including progressive creationists

7 A partial taxonomy of creationists Young earth creationists Old earth creationists –including progressive creationists Intelligent Design creationists

8 Distinctive features of ID Legacy of "creation science"

9 Distinctive features of ID Legacy of "creation science" Does not specify alternate mechanism

10 Courts keep creationism out of schools Epperson v. Arkansas 1968 Segraves v. State of California 1981 McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education 1982 Edwards v. Aguillar 1987 Webster v. New Lenox School District 1990 Peloza v. Capistrano School District 1994 Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education 1997 Rodney LeVake v Independent School District 656, et al. 2000

11 Distinctive features of ID Legacy of "creation science" Does not specify alternate mechanism Explicitly rejects naturalism

12 Distinctive features of ID Legacy of "creation science" Does not specify alternate mechanism Explicitly rejects naturalism Argument from design

13 Distinctive features of ID Legacy of "creation science" Does not specify alternate mechanism Explicitly rejects naturalism Argument from design –"irreducible complexity" –"complex specified information"

14 Argument from design Anticipated by Darwin

15 Argument from design Anticipated by Darwin Influenced by work of William Paley –Natural Theology, 1802

16 "... the inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker. "

17 "The marks of design are too strong to be got over. Design must have had a designer. That designer must have been a person. That person is God."

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22 "The simple little mousetrap has no ability to trap a mouse until several separate parts are all assembled. Because the mousetrap is necessarily composed of several parts, it is irreducibly complex." The argument from personal incredulity revisited

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26 ID proponents conflate two concepts Methodological naturalism –a key component of science Ontological naturalism –a philosophical position

27 ID is a strictly negative formulation

28 "This isn't right. It's not even wrong" Wolfgang Pauli ID is a strictly negative formulation

29 "This isn't right. It's not even wrong" Wolfgang Pauli What testable predictions does ID theory make? ID is a strictly negative formulation

30 The challenge to teachers ID is not credible to scientists, but is credible to the public

31 The challenge to teachers ID is not credible to scientists, but is credible to the public –polished rhetoric meets scientific illiteracy –well-funded, shrewd political effort

32 The challenge to teachers ID is not credible to scientists, but is credible to the public –polished rhetoric meets scientific illiteracy –well-funded, shrewd political effort Directly confronting ID legitimizes it –a goal of the ID movement

33 The challenge to teachers ID is not credible to scientists, but is credible to the public –polished rhetoric meets scientific illiteracy –well-funded, shrewd political effort Directly confronting ID legitimizes it –a goal of the ID movement Students and parents include committed creationists

34 Guiding principle In a science classroom, science is the only appropriate subject.

35 Teach the controversy?

36 Teach the controversy? No. The controversy is religious or philosophical, not scientific

37 Teach the controversy? No. The controversy is religious or philosophical, not scientific –ID is not science rejects methodological naturalism makes no positive predictions

38 Teach the controversy? No. The controversy is religious or philosophical, not scientific –ID is not science rejects methodological naturalism makes no positive predictions False duality

39 Teach the controversy? No. The controversy is religious or philosophical, not scientific –ID is not science rejects methodological naturalism makes no positive predictions False duality –what about the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

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41 Strategy Do not directly engage ID in the classroom

42 Strategy Do not directly engage ID in the classroom –but be prepared to defend evolution outside the classroom

43 Strategy Do not directly engage ID in the classroom –but be prepared to defend evolution outside the classroom Stick with the evolutionary basics –make sure you're confident in your knowledge of them –not always necessary to make explicit connection with evolution

44 The basics VIST - variation, inheritance, selection, time Life has changed over time Living things are linked by common descent Natural selection leads to change, especially adaptation

45 Mass Frameworks, High School 1. Explain how evolution is demonstrated by evidence from the fossil record, comparative anatomy, genetics, molecular biology, and examples of natural selection. 2. Describe species as reproductively distinct groups of organisms. Recognize that species are further classified into a hierarchical taxonomic system (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species) based on morphological, behavioral, and molecular similarities. Describe the role that geographic isolation can play in speciation. 3. Explain how evolution through natural selection can result in changes in biodiversity through the increase or decrease of genetic diversity from a population.

46 Mass Frameworks, Grades Give examples of ways in which genetic variation and environmental factors are causes of evolution and the diversity of organisms. 11. Recognize that evidence drawn from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy provide the basis of the theory of evolution. 12. Relate the extinction of species to a mismatch of adaptation and the environment.

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50 marble fruit10 calories rock fruit8 calories bean fruit5 calories corn fruit2 calories to surviveto reproduce big bill80 cal160 cal medium bill50 cal100 cal small bill25 cal50 cal Energy content of fruits


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