Adelaide Chapter

What Astrophysics Tells Us About God, by Dr Jeff Zweerink

December 6, 2022

On the 1st of December 2022, Jeff Zweerink (from Reasons to Believe) provided a presentation on what astrophysics tells us about God.

The Milky Way

He describes his talk as follows:

While in college, I decided to pursue a graduate degree in astrophysics because that area of physics had the most direct overlap with what the Bible describes about the universe. Our understanding of the universe has advanced significantly in the last thirty years. Although many apparent challenges to God’s existence have arisen (like inflation, the multiverse, and research into quantum gravity), the evidence for a beginning of the universe and its design for human life have grown tremendously.

We will discuss these major advances to understand them better. That understanding will help Christians use this potent evidence to share the Gospel while avoiding pitfalls that undermine the public perception of Christianity.

His presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

Jeff Zweerink

Since my earliest memories, science and the Christian faith have featured prominently in my life, but I struggled when my scientific studies seemed to collide with my early biblical training. My first contact with Reasons to Believe (RTB) came when I heard Hugh Ross speak at Iowa State University. It was the first time I realized it was possible to do professional work incorporating both my love of science and my desire to serve God. I knew RTB’s ministry was something I was called to be a part of.

Genesis and genetics, plus carbon dating by Dr Don Batten

December 6, 2022

Christians are a “house divided” on the meaning of the six days in Genesis 1, the age of the earth, and how much truth there is in evolutionary theory. This year, we are paying particular attention to these topics and are allowing speakers to present and argue for their views. This applies to organizations that hold either young earth or old earth perspectives.

On Thursday the 17th November, Don Batten talked on Genesis and genetics from a young earth perspective. He provided the following outline of his talk, including links to background material:

  1. My journey from theistic evolution / day-age to biblical creation and why I found it compelling and important
  2. How the modern molecular biology revolution undoes neo-Darwinism
    1. Bioinformatics: the information in living things
    1. The inadequacy of evolution to explain living things
  3. How the modern science of genetics underscores Genesis as history
    1. Haldane’s Dilemma creation.com/haldanes-dilemma-has-not-been-solved
    1. The waiting time problem (a modern reworking of Haldane) creation.com/waiting-time-problem + creation.com/1-percent-myth
    1. Genetic Entropy and the Fall  creation.com/genetic-entropy 
    1. Adam and Eve & genetics: what the Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA diversity tell us. An Overview of the Independent Histories of the Human Y Chromosome and the Human Mitochondrial chromosome  https://doi.org/10.15385/jpicc.2018.8.1.15
    1. Human genetic diversity: from one man? https://doi.org/10.15385/jpicc.2018.8.1.20
    1. Human genetic diversity: the timeframe
    1. Longevity in Genesis and genetics creation.com/rapid-decline-biblical-lifespans https://creation.com/living-as-long-as-methuselah
    1. DNA bar codes of metazoans creation.com/recent-origin-of-species
  4. Carbon dating: residual carbon-14 as a problem for deep time digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/icc_proceedings/vol5/iss1/12/ (Measurable 14C in Fossilized Organic Materials: Confirming the Young Earth Creation-Flood Model) www.icr.org/article/young-radiocarbon-old-samples

His talk is on YouTube.

Don Batten

Don received both his B.Sc.Agr. (First Class Honours) and his Ph.D. from the University of Sydney. He worked for 20 years as a research horticulturalist with the NSW Department of Agriculture.  He conducted a number of research projects and published his results in scientific journals. Don joined the Creation Ministries International (CMI) in Brisbane, Australia in 1994 and has spoken around the world on the creation issue. He is co-author of The Creation Answers Book, One Blood, Answers to the 4 Big Questions, 15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History, and author of various booklets, including What about carbon dating? and What about arguments for evolution? Dr Batten was the CEO and Managing Director of CMI-Australia from 2015 to 2022. He is now Senior Scientist, focusing on research, writing, and speaking.

C.S. Lewis and his relevance today by Dr Kenneth Samples

December 6, 2022

C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British writer and Anglican lay theologian. He was a gifted academic and held positions in English literature at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He is best known as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, but he is also noted for his other works of fiction, such as The Screwtape Letters and The Space Trilogy. He is also well known for his works on Christian apologetics, including Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

Lewis became an atheist in his teens. However, in his 30s he converted to Christianity under the influence of J.R. Tolkien, author of ‘Lord of the rings’. Lewis described himself as “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”

Lewis had a particular style of apologetics. His Christian world view infects most of his fictional works, but his explicit main arguments for Christian belief were arguments from desire, reasoning, and morality. Are these still effective today?

Ken’s presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

Ken Samples

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.

Earth science, geology and geological evolution by Dr Tas Walker

December 6, 2022

Christians are a “house divided” on the meaning of the six days in Genesis 1, the age of the earth, and how much truth there is in evolutionary theory. This year, we have been paying particular attention to these topics and are allowing speakers to present and argue for their views. This applies to organizations that hold either young earth or old earth perspectives.

On Thursday the 6th of October, Dr Tas Walker (from Creation Ministries International) presented an argument that claims that earth sciences and geology support belief in a young earth (less than 10,000 years). He argued that the geological evidence should be interpreted within the framework of a six 24-hour day interpretation of Genesis 1. Some of the arguments that he presented are:

  • Fossils in the Great Artesian basin are the result of a flood. See https://creation.com/great-artesian-basin.
  • Diamonds that are supposedly millions of years old contain traces of Carbon-14 indicating a much younger age.
  • Long half-life radio-active dating methods (such as uranium-Lead and Potassium-Argon) have been used to estimate the age of the earth to be 4.454 billion years. However, flaws in these methods cause serious errors in these long age estimates.
  • The presence of organic red blood cells in dinosaur fossils indicates a much younger age than conventionally believed.

His presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

Tas Walker

Dr Tas Walker holds a B.Sc. (Earth Science with first class honours), a B.Eng (hons) and a doctorate in mechanical engineering, all from the University of Queensland. He has been involved in the planning, design and operation of power stations for over 20 years with the electricity industry in Queensland, Australia. He has conducted geological assessments of new fuel supplies for power stations across Queensland and has been involved with new mining proposals, including the effects of geological factors on the cost, reliability and quality of the coal produced.

Abductive reasoning & Conspiracy Theories by Ken Samples

September 25, 2022

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.