Presentation on theme: "Evolution and Creationism: What Everyone Needs to Know."— Presentation transcript:
Evolution and Creationism: What Everyone Needs to Know
1.What is science? 2.Evolution: a quick overview -- evidence -- mechanisms 3.The age of the Earth/how do you know how old it is? 4.What is creationism 5.Evolution answers questions 7. Why is evolution important? www.priweb.org/dev/volunteer
Science = -- a Way of knowing -- materialistic/naturalistic -- hypotheses that are testable and provisional
Science -- certainty -- ethics -- values -- religion -- politics -- the answer for every question -- all of human thought
Organic Evolution Definitions: The hypothesis that all organisms on Earth are connected by bonds of genealogy and have changed through time. Darwin: descent with modification
The Origin tried to do 2 things: 1) Convince the reader that evolution has occurred and is an adequate explanation for observations about life. 2) Convince the reader that a particular mechanism – natural selection – is the main cause of evolution.
The occurrence of evolution (the fact of evolution) … mechanism by which evolution occurs.
Evolution is scientifically useful. ! it is testable ! it answers questions ! it stimulates further research
How did organisms come to be the way they are? They have a history. They dont. They were created as we see them. We can extrapolate from changes we observe today. We cannot extrapolate from changes we observe today.
Evidence for Evolution 1) Biogeography 2) Fossil record 3) Classification 4) Comparative Anatomy 5) Observed small-scale changes 6) Genetics
Toucan (Neotropics) Hornbill (SE Asia) Evidence for Evolution: Biogeography
Archaeopteryx Compsognathus Archaeopteryx and modern pigeon Evidence for Evolution: The fossil record
Evidence for Evolution: Comparative Anatomy North Atlantic Right Whale
No serious practicing geologist or organismal biologist has seriously questioned whether evolution has occurred, or whether it is an adequate explanation for the history and diversity of life since at least the 1890s. There has been, and continues to be, debate about the causes and mechanisms of evolutionary change.
Mechanisms of Evolution Directed evolution/Internal mechanisms - orthogenesis etc. Inheritance of acquired characteristics (Lamarckism) Genetic drift Neutral theory Natural Selection Higher level sorting
Natural Selection Definition: The non-random and differential reproduction of different genotypes acting to preserve favorable variants and eliminate less favorable variants.
3 unarguable observations and 2 inescapable conclusions Observations: –1) There is variation –2) At least some of it is inherited –3) There is vast overproduction Conclusions: –1) There is a struggle for existence. –2) On average, those individual organisms with traits that confer some advantage in this struggle will leave more offspring.
The age of the Earth aka: how do you know how old it is? aka: arent there problems with carbon dating?
Techniques for dating things Relative dating: X is older than Y Numerical dating: X is Y years old Historically unique events: e.g., 1965 Mustang Processes of change (observe results): e.g., weathering, deterioration, erosion Processes of change (experiments): e.g., moldy cheese Historically repeating events: e.g., Greek revival architecture
Radiometric Dating: the basic idea A product is detectable The rate of production of that product is known Product amount is 0 (or known) at age 0 of sample Product / Rate = Time –example:10g / 0.5g/yr = 20 years
Seneca Stone Quarry http://www.earth.rochester.edu/ees207/Eastern_Transect/senecastone.html
Bentonites (ancient volcanic ash layers) in the Seneca Stone Quarry http://www.earth.rochester.edu/ees207/Eastern_Transect/senecastone.html
1.What is science? 2.Evolution: a quick overview -- evidence -- mechanisms 3.The age of the Earth/how do you know how old it is? 4.What is creationism 5.Evolution answers questions 7. Why is evolution important?
Creationism: a definition General: The Universe, the Earth, and all life were created directly by a supernatural creator (God). Variations: –young Earth vs. old Earth –one creation (special) vs. many (sequential) –non-humans vs. humans
Creationism: a taxonomy Scientific creationism (no reliance on Biblical revelation, utilizing only scientific data) Biblical creationism (no reliance on scientific data, using only the Bible) Scientific Biblical creationism (full reliance on Bible, but also using science) (from Scott, Evolution vs. Creationism, 2004)
Creationism and science It was cutting-edge science… about 500 years ago. It has been tested, and it failed. Current public opinion, however…
U.S. public opinion, 2005 HALF OF AMERICANS ARE CREATIONISTS 54% do not think human beings developed from earlier species (up from 46 percent in 1994) 49% believe plants and animals have evolved from some other species; 45% do not believe that. 46% believe apes and humans have a common ancestry; 47% believe we do not. 46% agree that "Darwins theory of evolution is proven by fossil discoveries; 48% disagree. Source: Harris poll, June 2005
Poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted July 2005 among 2,000 U.S. adults Life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time: 42% Life has evolved over time: 48% –Guided by a supreme being: 18% –Evolution by natural selection: 26% –Dont know how evolved: 4% Dont know: 10%
Polls 2001 BUT Evolution should be taught in the public schools (70%) The continents on which we live have been moving their location for millions of years.... (79%)
Intelligent Design: what is it? Holds that where there is a watch, there must be a watchmaker. Living things are too complex not to have been designed by an intelligent designer. Claims to accept evolution and an old Earth.
Intelligent Design: How to answer a question about it Even if it doesnt mention God, religion, or a creator, it assumes there is/was one. This is supernatural and non-testable. Its not science.
Why does this matter? Science Science education