Adelaide Chapter

Archive for the ‘Creationism/ID/Evolution’ Category

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.

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

Dr Hugh Ross spoke on a particular old earth view called Progressive Creationism (in defence of soft concordance).  He explained how the book of Nature and the book of Scripture can be integrated to be consistent with one another.

Dr Hugh Ross

Hugh was an astronomer/astrophysicist at the University of Toronto. He is the founder and president of Reasons to Believe, (www.reasons.org), and is the author of over 17 books including ‘The Creator and the Cosmos’, ‘Why The Universe is The Way it is ‘ and ‘Navigating Genesis.’ Hugh has addressed students and faculty on over 300 campuses in the US and abroad and speaks at various churches and groups on a wide variety of science-faith topics. He is asked to present to government agencies and atheists and leading contemporaries on the powerful evidence for a purpose filled universe.

Dr Ross is a high-profile speaker, and we are privileged to have him present to us. He will be speaking to us between 12 am and 2 am in the morning. It would be great if you could support him by attending the live Zoom meeting and by inviting others.

His presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

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

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.

 

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:

Amongst Christians, evolutionary theory and the age of the earth are highly divisive issues, and our subscribers and committee members also have different opinions. The differences are quite stark and at least one party must be radically wrong. We have had speakers with various views in the past. On this occasion, Dr Gordon Stanger will present his contribution.

His summary of what he will cover is as follows:

In a North American study, 67% of young people, who had been given a Christian upbringing, had abandoned their faith. The primary reason given was that “science in general, and evolution in particular, disproves the Bible”.

At least a third of global Christianity teaches that:

  • Evolution isn’t true,
  • The Bible and science are incompatible, and
  • One must choose between Darwin and Jesus, and between God and evolution.

This issue is as polarized as vaxxers vs anti-vaxxers; US Republicans vs Democrats, Scientists vs climate deniers; or ‘Young Earth’ vs ‘Old Earth’ Christians.

But can Earth’s amazing panoply of life be generated by the seemingly random processes of evolution, and yet simultaneously be an outcome of God’s creative volition? Creationists emphatically say NO! I emphatically say YES! …..and will explain how this can be true.

In this presentation I will argue that evolution is a reality and that the true core of this issue is more a matter of Biblical interpretation. Do we read scripture from the modern perspective of Biblical literal inerrancy, or do we read it in its original context of multi-faceted visual imagery and a rich complex of early Hebrew linguistic idioms?

Science strongly indicates that a Biblical literalistic interpretation is erroneous, whilst using the original contextual frame of reference is consistent with reality. Science and Christianity are allies, not enemies.

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

Dr Gordon Stanger

Gordon’s talk is available on YouTube.

When Paul arrived in Athens (Acts 17: 16-32), a group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him, and they gave Paul the opportunity to speak to the Athenians in the Areopagus. For the previous 450 years, Greek and Roman philosophers had been debating God(s) versus chance in creation, and this debate continued for a further 250 years after Paul’s speech.

The debate began in 400 BC, when Democritus introduced the concepts of atomic atheism, the infinite power of chance, evolution, and determinism. This triggered Socrates to argue for God’s existence based on arguments from design, the power of the mind, and a predictable cosmos. Later, Epicurus invented naturalism as the framework for understanding science. Then the Stoics became the greatest intellectual opponents of atheism for 500 years, inventing systematic arguments for creation until atheism faded from the classical world by 300 AD. Why did atheism fade out?

This 700-year debate only came to light in 2007, so it is all quite a new slant on the classical world. Leonard Long will describe this 700-year debate and its relevance to our times.

Leonard is a retired doctor and has spent much of his retirement studying the historical development of thought and ideologies in Western culture.

Dr Leonard Long

Leonard’s presentation can be viewed on YouTube.