Adelaide Chapter

September 25, 2022

Abductive reasoning & Conspiracy Theories by Ken Samples

On Thursday 22nd September, Dr Kenneth Samples from Reasons to Believe, spoke to RFA on “Abductive reasoning & Conspiracy Theories”.

What does this mean? Reasoning can be deductive, inductive or abductive.

  • For deductive reasoning, the conclusions are certainly true.
  • For inductive reasoning, the conclusions are probably true.
  • For abductive reasoning, the conclusions are plausibly true.

Abductive reasoning is the ‘best’ explanation for a given phenomenon, where the best explanation is the one that is most likely to be true.

A conspiracy theory is a theory that explains an event that is the result of a secret plot by powerful conspirators. Examples are:

  • the American government were engaged in a plot to kill President Kennedy.
  • a select group of people who are part of clandestine societies control the world.
  • getting vaccinated is a bigger risk to their health than getting infected with the coronavirus.

Most conspiracy theories are false, but some are true. Ken described how best to evaluate them. A video of his talk and the ensuing discussion is available on YouTube.

Kenneth Richard Samples earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and social science from Concordia University and his M.A. in theological studies from Talbot School of Theology. He is a senior research scholar at Reasons To Believe (RTB). He uses his knowledge to help others find the answers to life’s questions and encourages believers to develop a logically defensible faith and challenges sceptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level.

The origin of life by Joshua Meade

September 8, 2022

The origin of life problem remains one of the most challenging scientific questions of all time. Until the 19th century, it was widely believed that life would spontaneously arise from other life. This phenomenon was known as spontaneous generation and was the best explanation of the time when describing the formation of moulds & fungi, as well as maggots, mice, and other such creatures. The theory was finally put to rest following a series of scientific experiments that exposed the existence of bacteria & other such microbes.

The living cell is truly an extraordinary feat that hosts a complex mix of biochemical interactions to sustain even the simplest of lifeforms. Modern-day scientific research on the origin of life is known as Abiogenesis: Life from non-life. There are numerous scientific theories for how life could have come about on a lifeless primordial Earth, whereby specific conditions brought about the first self-replicating molecules essential for chemical evolution. Regardless of the worldview you hold, it is beneficial to know the arguments that both support and oppose your belief, therefore Joshua will be outlining the current scientific theories & discoveries surrounding abiogenesis.

Joshua Meade
Joshua Meade

Joshua Meade is a PhD student at the University of South Australia. He is a mechatronic engineer and a member of the RFA committee. He also has an active interest in biochemistry.

Joshua’s presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

Geomorphology and Noah’s flood by Dr Ron Neller

August 26, 2022

Dr Ron Neller (from Creation Ministries International) presented arguments that major landscapes, sediment deposits, and the fossil record is due to Noah’s flood and that this is an alternate explanation of the fossil record, thus undermining evolutionary claims.

Dr Ron Neller

Ron holds a B.A. (Hons) and a Ph.D., both in fluvial geomorphology. He has held lecturing and research positions at the University of New England (Australia), Griffith University, the University of Sunshine Coast (Queensland), the University of Queensland, Turku University (Finland), and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (People’s Republic of China).

Ron’s talk can be viewed on YouTube

The human genome project by Joshua Meade

August 26, 2022

The human genome is the mapping and sequencing of all genes in the human DNA molecule. The human genome project was started in 1990 and the complete genome was achieved in May 2021. 533

For this talk, Joshua Meade provided an overview of:

  • Common worldviews on human origins,
  • Christian demographics on the worldviews,
  • The Human Genome Project, and
  • The implications of the Human Genome Project on our understanding of human origins.
Joshua Meade
Joshua Meade

Joshua Meade is a PhD student at the University of South Australia. He is a mechatronic engineer and a member of the RFA committee. He also has an active interest in biochemistry. Joshua and Amethyst are currently back in New Zealand, and they have three lovely young girls.

Comparing Jesus to other religious leaders by Bronwyn Pearse

August 26, 2022

Who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:15)

How does the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth compare to the other sages? How did the Sages view themselves? Were their lives and philosophies really that different? The comparisons are revealing!

Bronwyn Pearse

Bronwyn Pearse is a primary school teacher who currently works with a number of people from different religious backgrounds. Having grown up in a Christian family she has always enjoyed asking questions and digging deeper into the truth claims of Christianity. In recent years she has been exploring what makes Christianity unique amongst the world religions.

Bronwyn’s talk can be viewed on YouTube