Adelaide Chapter

Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Scientism and scientific naturalism by Tom Daly On the 9th November 2023, Reasonable Faith Adelaide hosted a presentation on ‘Scientism and scientific naturalism’ by Tom Daly.

Scientism and scientific naturalism are two ideas that shape how many people view the world around us and what we consider as knowledge, and yet they are often more assumed than examined. Scientism basically says that if you can’t prove it scientifically, it doesn’t count. Meanwhile, scientific naturalism takes it a step further, claiming that everything that exists is part of the natural world and there’s no room for the supernatural. “You have faith, but I have reason” is the common refrain from the secular world and yet, when we compare scientism and scientific naturalism with the Christian faith, a far richer picture quickly emerges. Tom Daly examines some of the background and implications of these 2 beliefs.

Tom’s slides contain several hyperlinks as follows:

Why I believe in God | Dr. John Lennox interviewed by Dr. Amy Orr-Ewing at….

Ricky Gervais And Stephen Go Head-To-Head On Religion at….

What Is Science and Scientism? | Ian Hutchinson at….

Definition of Methodological naturalism at…. Straw Dogs Quotes at….

Mind & Cosmos Quotes at…. Does science prove everything? At….

Why No One Has Measured The Speed Of Light at….

Is There Meaning to Life? | William Lane Craig, Rebecca Goldstein, Jordan Peterson – Toronto 2018 at….

Tom Daly

Tom Daly is a member of our committee and is an IT professional who has worked in hi-tech for nearly 40 years.

The wonder of the living cell, by Joshua Meade

The complex structure and workings of each living cell leaves many of us in a state of wonderment.

Coming in all different shapes and sizes, cells perform all the vital processes required for life on Earth, such as Osmosis, photosynthesis, energy production via respiration, homeostasis (maintaining internal stability) – just to name a few. Following on from previous talks, Joshua discusses some of the amazing functions & processes that are occurring within each of the 30+ trillion cells in our body – primarily focusing on the process of Respiration. The origin of the cell is a highly relevant topic in apologetics due to the complex nature of the cell’s inner workings. We all see the same miracle of life, and yet come to vastly different conclusions as to how it came to be.

Joshua Meade
Joshua Meade

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

His talk can be viewed on YouTube

Bronwyn Pearse discusses how apologetics can be used to strengthen the next generation of Christians.

According to David Kinnaman, “Young Christians are abandoning the church. However, by cultivating five practises, we can form these into disciples of Jesus.” Also, apologist Sean McDowell says, “We are living in an era of change. God does not change, but human culture does. We can’t use apologetics to pound this generation into submission, but we can use it to prepare young people for the great things God has planned for them. “

Bronwyn explores ways where we can use apologetics and other practices to ‘Strengthen and Build Faith in Young People.” Bronwyn used the following resources:

Apologetics for a New Generation & A new kind of Apologist. Sean McDowell, Faith for Exiles , David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock

The Unshakable Truth Experience pack by Josh and Sean McDowell includes a book and a 12 session DVD and study guide for small groups Includes the 12 foundational truths about God, compelling evidence for these, how these truths impact our lives.

On Guard for Students, William Lane Craig. A thinkers guide for Christian faith is an introduction to apologetics for young people.

Tactics, A game Plan for discussing your Christian Convictions, Gregory Koukl The Big book of Christian Apologetics,’ &‘When skeptics ask by Norman Geisler (covers a wide range of topics)

The Case for Christ ,’ Lee Stroble ‘which explores the evidence for Jesus life death and resurrection.

The Surprising Rebirth of the Belief in God, Justin Brierley “The plausibility problem: The Church and same sex attraction” Ed Shaw. highly recommend it !

as well as the podcast episode on Unbelievable “Is the Church failing gay Christians which he appears on. ‘Without a Doubt: Answering the 20 toughest faith questions.

7 Truths that changed the world’: Discovering Christianity’s most Dangerous ideas, by Ken Samples

‘‘The Creator and the Cosmos’ how the latest scientific discoveries reveal God, astrophysicist Hugh Ross

‘The 10 most common objections to Christianity.’ Alex McFarland, Lee Strobel The Language of God by Dr Francis Collins, A Scientist Provides Evidence for Belief

Her presentation and the ensuing discussion are recorded in YouTube,

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.

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
    1. The waiting time problem (a modern reworking of Haldane) +
    1. Genetic Entropy and the Fall 
    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
    1. Human genetic diversity: from one man?
    1. Human genetic diversity: the timeframe
    1. Longevity in Genesis and genetics
    1. DNA bar codes of metazoans
  4. Carbon dating: residual carbon-14 as a problem for deep time (Measurable 14C in Fossilized Organic Materials: Confirming the Young Earth Creation-Flood Model)

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.

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
  • 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.

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.