Adelaide Chapter

Archive for the ‘Science’ 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

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.

“Thinking about Evolution takes the reader on an extraordinary tour through contemporary evolutionary theory. The range of issues covered is astounding, from chemical evolution and abiogenesis to the relationship between the genetic codes of chimpanzees and human beings. The depth of the discussion is also impressive. Each chapter explains the latest studies and applies them to the question at hand. Most important is the strong affirmation of the truth-conducive nature of the scientific enterprise. At the same time, important criticisms are developed and applied to many of the common claims made in the name of evolutionary theory.” This is a “must-read book for anyone who has the courage to challenge preconceived ideas about evolution and consider how science, philosophy, and theology intersect.”

Dr Fazale Rana

Dr Fazale Rana has a PhD in biochemistry. He was brought up in an atheist family, but describes his change of mind 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.”

His 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

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 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: