Adelaide Chapter

Archive for the ‘2022’ Category

The sun and nine planets of our system orbiting.

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. On the 26th May, Dr Mark Harwood spoke on astronomical evidence for biblical creation. He provided scientific arguments to support the young earth creationist claim that the ages of the earth and our solar system are less than 10,000 years old. He addressed the following aspects of the origins debate.

• What is the core issue in the creation/evolution debate?

• What is the role of science in discovering the truth about our origins?

• Astronomical evidence consistent with the biblical timelines

• Why does it all matter?

The Gospel connection

Mark Harwood completed his tertiary education at the University of Sydney where he received B.Sc., B.E. (Hons) and Ph.D. degrees. His postgraduate studies were focused on radio telescopes and computer techniques for antenna design and measurement. Dr Harwood is now employed by CMI as a speaker and scientist, and he has oversight of the speaker development program for the Australian and Singaporean ministries.

The presentation can be viewed on YouTube

Abstract luminous DNA molecule. Genetic and gene manipulation concept. Cut of replacing part of a DNA molecule. Medicine. Innovative in science. Medical science and biotechnology.

Both artificial intelligence and genetic engineering have enormous potential benefits for the health and welfare of humanity, but there are also risks. Artificial intelligence is using computers to mimic human thought processes and decision making. The possible threat here is that computers may surpass or even displace humanity. Genetic engineering is editing DNA genes. This can potentially be used to mitigate or eliminate genetic diseases, enhance human athletic or intellectual performance, improve health, or substantially prolong life. Dr Fazale Rana, from Reasons to Believe (RTB), spoke to us on “Artificial Intelligence and Genetic Engineering”. This is based on his book “Humans 2.0: Scientific, and Theological Perspectives on Transhumanism”. The Kindle edition is available from https://www.amazon.com.au/Humans-2-0-… for $11.99. The initial sections are on gene editing using CRISPR-Cas9, Brain Computer interfaces (BCI) and artificial body parts. These can be used to heal diseases or adverse genetic conditions. A prime example is the Cochlear ear implant, which is now used to enable deaf people to hear. This is great, but these techniques also have the potential capability to enhance human capabilities to create a new super humanity, which is more controversial.

TThe presentation is can be viewed on YouTube.

Dr Fazale Rana has a PhD in biochemistry. He was brought up in an atheist family, but describes his conversion as follows:

“As a graduate student studying biochemistry, I was captivated by the cell’s complexity, elegance, and sophistication. The inadequacy of evolutionary scenarios to account for life’s origin compelled me to conclude that life must come from a Creator. Reading through the Sermon on the Mount convinced me that Jesus really was who Christians claimed him to be: Lord and Saviour.”

In 1999 he left his position in research and development to join Reasons to Believe and is now Vice President of Research and Apologetics.

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. On the 21st of April, Brian Schroeder spoke on “Biblical arguments for a young earth”

Here is Brian’s summary of what he presented:

Should Christians base their understanding on science or on the Bible? And, in both cases, how do we interpret what we see and read? If there is no God and the universe created itself from nothing, then any human book is merely a fallible human book.  But if the creator of the universe is responsible for the Bible, then clearly the one who designed and made everything has the best understanding of science and thus both science and Bible would fully agree.  So ultimately it comes down to interpretation. As Christians we believe in God, and hence in the Bible. 

His talk is available on YouTube.

Brian Schroeder presented how he believes we should interpret the Bible and what that means for our understanding.

Brian Schroeder

Brian Schroeder is a Reasonable Faith committee member. He has BSc and BA degrees from Adelaide University (Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics), and an MA in Theology.

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. On the 7th of April, Dr Gordon Stanger spoke on “Is an old earth compatible with the Bible?”

Gordon’s main claim is that we should read Genesis 1-11 from a Hebrew perspective. Then we can understand the theological intent of this section of scripture. The Bible is a book on spiritual matters which only briefly and tangentially references planetary and biological creation. The 6 days in Genesis 1 do not have to be interpreted as six 24-hour days.

Dr Gordon Stanger

Dr Gordon Stanger is a geologist, hydrologist, water resources specialist, and a climate-change impact analyst. He is an RFA committee member, semi-retired and is a keen advocate of ‘sensible Christianity’.

A recording of the presentation and discussion is available on YouTube.

On the the 3rd October, there was a presentation on how we should conduct dialogue and respect each other. Apparently this fell on deaf ears.

 

If God is God, can’t he do anything he chooses? Nothing’s impossible for him, surely, but how could God possibly have a dilemma? Well, he has; and it’s a dilemma of cosmic proportions, a dilemma that’s way beyond anything that you and I will ever face.

Crucifixion by Gabrie Metsu

Firstly, God is love. He loves everything he has made, including you and me, but he’s also holy and can’t tolerate the least deviation from his holiness. It’s us human beings that have brought about this dilemma for God. Love would have God forgive us anything and everything, but holiness would have him wipe us all out (Just consider what we’ve done to the world he gave us, and to one another). So, what’s God to do, and how can he resolve that dilemma?

Geoff Russell

Geoff Russell is a professional electrical engineer. He has a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours from the University of Adelaide, a post-graduate Diploma in Engineering & Computer Applications and an Associate in Theology from the Bible College of South Australia. Geoff is also a valuable member of the Reasonable Faith Adelaide committee.

The presentation is available on YouTube.

How do we respond to division on evolution and age of earth? by Dr Kevin Rogers

This year (2022) we are devoting most of our meetings to address issues regarding

  • Young Earth Creationism (YEC),
  • Old Earth Creationism (OEC),
  • the scope and validity of evolutionary theory. and
  • their implications on Biblical
    • historicity,
    • reliability and
    • inspiration.

The difference between OEC and YEC estimates for the age of the earth is about 100,000 to 1. So, at least one view is diabolically wrong. However, what can be even more diabolical is how we address and treat each other.

The topics that are covered are:

  • What are the YEC/OEC options?
  • What are some Biblical perspectives?
  • How should we handle the division?
  • What are the advantages of the Christian perspective?

The presentation is available on YouTube.

The presentation contains web links, which are listed below:

https://biologos.org/common-questions/what-is-evolutionary-creation summarises the Biologos position on evolutionary creationism.

https://biologos.org/common-questions/how-should-we-interpret-the-genesis-flood-account/ describes the Biologos view on Noah’s flood.

https://www.reasonablefaith.org/search/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6InNlYXJjaCIsImtleXdvcmRzIjoiZXZvbHV0aW9uIiwic3VibWl0IjoiR08ifQ describes William Lane Craig’s views on the age of the earth, evolutionary theory and his Biblical perspective.

The following are additional useful references:

All of our YouTube recordings can be accessed from https://www.youtube.com/user/ReasonableFaithSA/videos

This year we are going to devote most of our meetings to address issues regarding Young Earth Creationism (YEC), Old Earth Creationism (OEC), the scope and validity of evolutionary theory and their relationship to Biblical inspiration. These topics are frequently raised during discussions on other topics.

Opinion is divided within our subscribers and our own committee. The views expressed by the speakers do not necessarily represent the view of Reasonable Faith Adelaide (RFA), as we currently don’t have one. It will be a miracle if we attain unity, but we hope that we at least become better informed and empathetic towards those we disagree with.

Gordon’s arguments can be classified into the following types:

  • Those that indicate an age longer than the maximum YEC limit,
  • Those that estimate the age of the earth (estimated to be 4.54 billion years), mainly based on radio-active decay estimates, and
  • Those that estimate the age of the universe (estimated to be 13.77 billion years).
Dr Gordon Stanger

Dr Gordon Stanger is a geologist, hydrologist, water resources specialist, and a climate-change impact analyst. He is an RFA committee member, semi-retired and is a keen advocate of ‘sensible Christianity’.

Gordon’s presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

On a lighter note, I came across this a few days ago:

This year (2022) we plan to address the elephant in the room.

In past meetings, the discussions have often been diverted when someone expresses an opinion regarding Young Earth Creationism (YEC) or Old Earth Creationism (OEC). As the minister responsible for herding cats, it has been my job to move the discussion back onto the original topic. But this is an important issue that won’t go away by pushing it under the carpet, so this year we are going to give it a fair bit of attention.

All Christians are creationists of some sort but disagree on how or when. Roughly, opinions fall within the following groups:

  • Young Earth Creationists (YECs) believe that the 6 days in Genesis 1 should be interpreted as 6 literal 24-hour days. Hence the age of the earth (and usually the rest of the universe) is just a few thousand years. This view is argued by Creation Ministries International (CMI) and Answers in Genesis (AIG).
  • Old Earth Creationists (OECs) and mainstream science claim that the earth is ‘approximately’ 4.543 billion years, and the universe is 13.77 billion years. Some OECs believe that God intervened miraculously in the development of life, whereas theistic evolutionists believe that evolution proceeded mainly through natural causes.

The time frames between the YEC and OEC positions differ by approximately a million to one, so at least one opinion is diabolically wrong.

So, this year people can express and argue their opinions (on both science and Biblical interpretation) and will hopefully listen to others in a respectful and empathetic way.

On 10 February 2022, Steve White presented a
scientific case for a young earth, followed by discussion and questions from the audience. A recording of the meeting is at