class 4: creation vs. evolution

Class 4 Audio

The creation vs evolution debate has taken on great cultural significance. Some evolutionists label their opposition as ignorant and simple-minded, while many creationists accuse their counterparts of pushing an atheistic agenda.

In this class, we look at both sides of the debate, and consider how a Christian should evaluate this issue.

class slides (powerpoint)

class slides (keynote – for mac people)

6 Responses to “class 4: creation vs. evolution”

  • Andrew Ryan Says:

    Hi guys, I’m half way through this right now. To start with the positive, I like how you stressed that evolution doesn’t invalidate faith in God. Most biologists have some kind of religious belief.

    For the bad, there are many errors of fact and logic in your presentation. In the first few seconds you talk about ‘men evolving from monkeys’ which no scientist argues to be the case. Your analogy about a car evolving makes no sense. Would you accept someone saying that a woman giving birth to a baby is as believable as a car giving birth to another car? I wouldn’t!

  • Andrew Ryan Says:

    Further, Michael Behe’s assertions about the 40 essential parts of the flagellum have been shown to be false:

    ” Behe asserts that the bacterial flagellum requires at least 40 parts to function. But Draper refers to biochemist David W. Ussery’s point that some forms of bacteria have flagella that only require 33 parts to function. But if so, then since the bacterial flagellum doesn’t require all 40 parts to perform its function, then by Behe’s definition, it isn’t irreducibly complex.[4] Draper points out that the same criticism applies to Behe’s immune system and cellular transport examples.”

  • Andrew Ryan Says:

    You should also make clear to your students that the distinction between micro and macro evolution is entirely a creationist invention. It’s like talking about micro soil erosion and macro soil erosion. It is simply false to say the evidence for long-term change rests only on extrapolating from short-term change. The evidence for long-term change is overwhelming, and you do a dis-service to decades of research in this area to suggest otherwise.

    However, what you can point out is that a creationist would need to posit some mechanism that would prevent short-term changes accumulating into big ones. As far as I know, ‘no-one’s ever suggested one. It would be like saying you’ve observed a tree growing over a couple of years, but you still disagree in principle with the idea that a Red Wood tree could grow from a seed.

  • Andrew Ryan Says:

    The claim that there are no transitional fossils is so wrong as to leave me baffled. There are tens of thousands of transitional fossils. In fact every fossil that’s been discovered could be described as transitional. Kyle, your claim that we would expect to see fossils of animals ‘turning into other animals’ doesn’t even make sense. What are you imagining such a fossil would look like? An animal that is horse on one side and half dog? In fact, what we see in the fossil record is precisely what Darwin predicted.

    What do you think your pupils will think when they hear you claim there are no transitional fossils, and they visit a natural history museum and discover thousands of them under a single roof?

    More accurate would be for you to say that scientists have countless fossils, but creationists reject them all. Currently your claim is similar to a Hindu saying “If Christianity was true, one would expect them to have some kind of holy book, and yet they have none”. Rather than just saying “Christians have a bible, but we reject it.”

  • Andrew Ryan Says:

    Kyle, you made a claim in your lecture about fossils showing the similarity of eyes among all ancient creatures. This is quite simply false. I suggest you investigate trilobite eyes, which were completely different from any other creature’s on earth.

  • Fred Says:

    “First, evolution is not loeadd with “oodles” of speculation.”Then may I suggest you do some further reading? Because actually, speculation is the glue that holds Darwinism together.[In a letter to Asa Gray, a Harvard professor of biology, Darwin wrote:] “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.” *Charles Darwin, quoted in *N.C. Gillespie, Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation (1979), p. 2 [University of Chicago book]. “The fact is that the evidence was so patchy one hundred years ago that even Darwin himself had increasing doubts as to the validity of his views, and the only aspect of his theory which has received any support over the past century is where it applies to microevolutionary phenomena. His general theory, that all life on earth had originated and evolved by a gradual successive accumulation of fortuitous mutations, is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from that self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe.” *Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1986), p. 77.”It has been estimated that no fewer than 800 phrases in the subjunctive mood (such as `Let us assume,’ or `We may well suppose,’ etc.) are to be found between the covers of Darwin’s Origin of Species alone.” L. Merson Davies [British scientist], Modern Science (1953), p. 7.Finally, no less than Richard Lewontin once famously said that…We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promise of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for 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 foced 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 absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.Richard Lewontin, Billions and Billions of Demons, The New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997, p. 31.As for your contention that there is no science in ID, I would suggest that you have failed to notice that speculation is as essential to Darwinism as water is to a goldfish.

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