Science and apologetics
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Science and Apologetics?. by Ard Louis Dept. of Chemistry Cambridge University www-louis.ch.cam.ac.uk/urbana/. Biological self-assembly. Biology is soft--matter come alive Self-assembly of multi-component structures What hope for the modeller?.

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Science and apologetics

Science and Apologetics?

by Ard Louis

Dept. of Chemistry

Cambridge University

www-louis.ch.cam.ac.uk/urbana/


Biological self assembly

Biological self-assembly

  • Biology is soft--matter come alive

  • Self-assembly of multi-component structures

  • What hope for the modeller?


Protein folding positive design and negative design for folded state pathway

Protein folding: Positive design and Negative design for folded state & pathway

Levinthal Paradox: resolution relies on negative design in pathway.

Another Paradox:

Sequence space:

20^150 = more atoms than exist in the universe

C.M. Dobson, Nature 426, 884 (2003)


Reversible self assembly

Reversible self-assembly

  • Reversible self-assembly of one-component structures from individual sub-units:

  • Virus self-assembly in-vivo (Fraenkel-Contrat&Williams 1955- TMV)

  • Clathrin


Positive and negative design for virus self assembly

Positive and Negative Design for Virus Self-Assembly

Model: petagonal bi-pyramids

negative and positive design

Iain Johnston: reversible

self-assembly

D.J. Wales, Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A, 363, 357-377 (2005)


Positive and negative design for virus self assembly1

Positive and Negative Design for Virus Self-Assembly

gas of monomers


Science and apologetics

Science has proven:

There is no God

  • Fear?


Outline

OUTLINE

  • What does the Bible say about the natural world?

  • Using science in apologetics

  • Witnessing to scientists

  • The Origins debate ...


God reveals himself through nature

God reveals himself through nature

  • Romans 1:18

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.


God reveals himself through nature1

God reveals himself through nature

  • Psalm 19:

    1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

    2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.


God reveals himself through nature2

God reveals himself through nature

  • Psalm 8:

    3 When I consider your heavens,

    the work of your fingers,

    the moon and the stars,

    which you have set in place,

    4 what is man that you are mindful of him,

    the son of man that you care for him?


God reveals himself through nature3

God reveals himself through nature

  • Austrian Alps

“It was a beautiful afternoon and suddenly the remarkable beauty of creation

around me was so overwhelming, I felt, ‘I cannot resist this another moment’.”

-- Francis Collins on his conversion.


God reveals himself through nature4

God reveals himself through nature


Science and apologetics

Francis Collins[Director, National Human

Genome Research Institute, USA]

“The work of a scientist in this project, particularly a scientist who has

the joy of also being a Christian, is a work of discovery which can also

be a form of worship. As a scientist, one of the most exhilarating

experiences is to learn something….that no human has understood before.

To have a chance to see the glory of creation, the intricacy of it, the

beauty of it, is really an experience not to be matched. Scientists who

do not have a personal faith in God also undoubtedly experience the

exhilaration of discovery. But to have that joy of discovery, mixed

together with the joy of worship, is truly a powerful moment for a

Christian who is also a scientist”


God created and sustains the world

God created and sustains the world

  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” Gen 1:1

  • “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Gen 1:2

  • “For by him [Christ] all things were created … and in him all things hold together” Col 1:16,17

  • “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory … sustaining all things by his powerful word” Heb 1:3


God sustains the universe

God sustains the universe

  • Psalm 104 (praising God’s creation)

    • “ He makes springs pour water into ravines;it flows between the mountains; the wild donkeys quench their thirst’’ v10,11

    • “Natural” processes are described both as divine and non-divine actions

    • 2 perspectives on the same natural world


Science studies the customs of the creator

‘Science’ studies the “Customs of the Creator”

  • If God were to stop “sustaining all things” the world would stop existing

    • Donald MacKay, The Clockwork Image, IVP

  • “An act of God is so marvelous that only the daily doing takes off the admiration”

    • John Donne (Eighty Sermons, #22 published in 1640)

  • “Miracles” are not God “intervening in the laws of nature”: they are God working in less customary ways


Interpreting the bible

Interpreting the Bible

  • What kind of language?

  • What kind of literature?

  • What kind of audience?

  • What kind of context?

  • All truth is God’s truth, so, properly interpreted, science and the Bible cannot contradict


Bible is not a science textbook

Bible is not a science textbook

  • Moses wrote in a popular style things which, without instruction, all ordinary persons, endued with common sense, are able to understand; but astronomers investigate with great labour whatever the sagacity of the human mind can comprehend ... this study is not to be reprobated, nor this science condemned ... (men) ought not to neglect this kind of exercise ... since the Spirit of God here (i.e. Genesis) opens a common school for all, it is not surprising that he should chiefly choose those subjects which would be intelligible to all ... Moses therefore, rather adapts his discourse to common usage. -- Commentary on Gen 1:16

John Calvin

1509-1564


Bible is not a science textbook1

Bible is not a science textbook

  • The whole point of scripture is to bring us to a knowledge of Christ --- and having come to know him (and all that this implies), we should come to a halt and not expect to learn more. Scripture provides us with spectacles through which we may view the world as God’s creation and self-expression; it does not, and was never intended, to provide us with an infallible repository of astronomical and medical information. The natural sciences are thus effectively emancipated from theological restrictions

John Calvin

1509-1564


Outline1

OUTLINE

  • What does the Bible say about the natural world?

  • Using science in apologetics

  • Witnessing to scientists

  • The Origins debate ...


Science religion and the conflict metaphor

Science/Religion and the conflict metaphor?

“Science and religion cannot be reconciled ... Religion has failed, and its failures should be exposed. Science, with its currently successful pursuit of universal competence … should be acknowledged the king”

--Prof Peter Atkins, Oxford U, in 1995


Science religion and the conflict metaphor1

Science/Religion and the conflict metaphor?

“I don’t know any historian of science, of any religious persuasion or none, who would hold to the theory that conflict is the name of the game between science and religion, it simply isn’t true.”

--Prof Colin Russell, Open University, UK


Science religion and the conflict metaphor2

Science/Religion and the conflict metaphor?

  • Pervasive myth (Emperor has no clothes)

  • Scientists are about as religious as the general population

  • Galileo example far more complex

    • Really about Aristotle/Greek cosmology

    • “Galilieo Connection”, Prof Charles Hummel, IVP (1986)


Christian origins of science

Christian origins of science

  • Science has deeply Christian roots.

    • Uniformity

    • Rationality

    • Intelligibility

    • See e.g. books by Stanley Jaki; R. Hooykaas; e.g. China

  • Royal Society, the word’s first scientific society. Founded in London July 15, 1662, many were Puritans


Founders of royal society

Founders of Royal Society

  • “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent being.”

  • Sir Isaac Newton


Founders of royal society1

Founders of Royal Society

  • Wrote “The Wisdom of God Manifested in Works of Creation”, governor of the “Corporation for the Spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in New England

  • Sir Robert Boyle(1627-1691)


Mechanism v s meaning

Mechanism v.s. Meaning

  • Conflating mechanism and meaning is origin of most confusion

why is the water boiling?


Nothing buttery

enough Fe for 1 nail

enough P for 2000 matches

enough fat to make

10 bars of soap

enough Cl to disinfect

a swimming pool

Nothing Buttery

humans are collections of chemicals:


Scientism

Scientism

  • “The cosmos is all there is or ever was or ever will be” Carl Sagan

  • “The most important questions in life are not susceptible to solution by the scientific method” Prof. Bill Newsome, Stanford U.


God of the gaps

God of the gaps

  • Science can’t understand it => it must be God.

  • often a reaction to mechanism& meaning or nothing buttery

  • “When we come to the scientifically unknown, our correct policy is not to rejoice because we have found God; it is to become better scientists” Prof. Charles Coulson, Oxford U


God of the gaps1

God of the gaps

  • It is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, while presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, taking nonsense. We should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn .... If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well, and hear him maintain his foolish opinions about the Scriptures, how then are they going to believe those Scriptures in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead

    • St. Augustine


Newton and the planets

Newton and the planets

  • “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent being.”

  • Sir Isaac Newton


Newton and the planets1

Newton and the planets

18th century Orrery from a London coffee house, used to show the perfection of the orbits, which reflect God’s perfection


Leibnitz objects

Leibnitz objects

“For, as Leibniz objected, if God had to remedy the defects of his creation, this was surely to demean his craftmanship”

  • John Hedley Brooke, Science and Religion, CUP 1991, p147


Laplace and napoleon

Laplace and Napoleon

  • Mécanique Céleste (1799-1825)

  • Napoleon: Why have you not mentioned the creator?

  • "Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.”


Chaos and the planets

Chaos and the planets

  • Our understanding of the Solar System has been revolutionized over the past decade by the finding that the orbits of the planets are inherently chaotic. In extreme cases, chaotic motions can change the relative positions of the planets around stars, and even eject a planet from a system.

  • The role of chaotic resonances in the Solar System, N. Murray and M. Holman, Nature 410, 773-779 (12 April 2001)


Arguments from science

Arguments from science:

  • Unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics

  • Fine-tuning in cosmology


Unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics

Schrödinger equation (Quantum Mechanics)

Energy-Momentum (Special Relativity)

=

Dirac Equation (1928)

Electrons

Positrons (antimatter) discovered 1932

Unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics

Quantum Mechanics + Relativity = Antimatter

+


Fine tuning and the anthropic principle

Fine Tuning and the Anthropic Principle

  • “The universe is the way it is, because we are here” – Prof. Stephen Hawking, Cambridge U

  • If the [fine structure constant] were changed by 1%, the sun would immediately explode Prof. Max Tegmark, U. Penn

  • “Just Six Numbers” by Sir Martin Rees


We are made of stardust he c via a resonance

We are made of StardustHe C via a resonance

  • Sir Fred Hoyle, Cambridge U

  • “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics .. and biology”

  • His atheism was “deeply shaken”


Fine tuning and the anthropic principle1

Fine Tuning and the Anthropic Principle

  • Fine tuning is not a proof of God, but seems more consistent with theism than atheism

  • Note the difference with “God of the gaps”

  • We seem to have three choices'... We can dismiss it as happenstance, we can acclaim it as the workings of providence, or (my preference) we can conjecture that our universe is a specially favoured domain in a still vaster multiverse.’ If this multiverse contained every possible set of laws and conditions, then the existence of our own world with its particular characteristics would be inevitable.”

    • Sir Martin Rees --

  • John Leslie firing squad argument


Using science in apologetics

Using science in apologetics

  • Key issues are philosophy/worldview

    • conflict metaphor

    • meaning v.s. mechanism

    • nothing buttery

    • scientism

  • Arguments based on science:

    • watch out for “God of the Gaps” or the argument from personal incredulity

    • Fine tuning, the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics and other arguments in the spirit of Ps 19: “The heavens declare the glory of God...”


Outline2

OUTLINE

  • What does the Bible say about the natural world?

  • Using science in apologetics

  • Witnessing to scientists

  • The Origins debate ...


Engaging with scientists

Engaging with Scientists

  • I.m.h.e. more open than arts/humanities students

  • Often looking for a higher cause to which to dedicate their lives; idealists

  • Receptive to truth

  • Still rarely become Christians through intellectual argument alone


Science as a calling

Science as a calling ?

  • Good Scientific praxis resonates well with Christian principles

  • Called not driven; makes better scientists

  • in Christian community

  • Science and its derivatives will,through globalisation, have an increasingly large influence on thinking in the 2/3 world. Impact on missions.

  • Christians are needed


Summary

Summary

  • The Bible:

    • God created the world

    • Nature attests to God’s qualities (Rom 1, Psalms)

    • God sustains the universe

    • Biblical language of Divine action (God sent the rain)

    • Bible is not a science textbook

      • world has a beginning

      • stars, sun, and moon are not Gods etc...


Summary1

Summary

  • Science and apologetics

    • main issues are worldview/philosophy

    • best to use arguments based on non-controversial science

  • Scientists

    • to first order no different from anyone else

    • Could you be called to science?


Origins

Origins

  • Controversial -- where we come from determines identity, meaning, destiny

  • 4 views:

    • 1) Young earth creation science (YECS)

    • 2) Progressive creationism

    • 3) Intelligent Design

    • 4) Theistic evolution

old earth


Advice from augustine

Advice from Augustine

In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in the Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search for truth justly undermines our position, we too fall with it. We should not battle for our own interpretation but for the teaching of Holy Scripture. We should not wish to conform the meaning of Holy Scripture to our interpretation, but our interpretation to the meaning of Holy Scripture.


Advice from c s lewis

Advice from C.S. Lewis

When the author of Genesis says that God made man in His own image, he may have pictured a vaguely corporeal God making man as a child makes a figure out of plasticine. A modern Christian philosopher may think of the process lasting from the first creation of matter to the final appearance on this planet for an organism fit to receive spiritual as well as biological life. Both mean essentially the same thing. Both are denying the same thing -- the doctrine that matter by some blind power inherent in itself has produced spirituality.

(C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock Eerdmans (1970), p 46)

Does this mean that Christians on different levels of general education conceal radically different beliefs under an identical form of worlds? Certainly not. For what they agree on is the substance, and what they differ about is the shadow. When one imagines his God seated in a local heaven above a flat earth, where another sees God and creation in terms of Professor [Albert North] Whitehead’s philosoph[loosely, process theology], this difference touches precisely what does not matter.


Advice from schaefer

Advice from Schaefer

  • We must take ample time, and sometimes this will mean a long time, to consider whether the apparent clash between science and revelation means that the theory set forth by science is wrong or whether we must reconsider what we thought the Bible says.

  • Francis Schaefer


Advice from westminster theological seminary

Advice from Westminster Theological Seminary

The Westminster Confession's doctrine of the clarity of Scripture (1:7) goes hand in hand with its inspiration, infallibility, and authority. Yet it implies that not all parts of the Scriptures are equally clear or full. Here we must follow Calvin's great motto that where God makes an end of teaching, we should make an end of trying to be wise.(11) With Augustine and E. J. Young, the revered teacher of our senior faculty members, we recognize that the exegetical question of the length of the days of Genesis 1 may be an issue which cannot be, and therefore is not intended by God to be, answered in dogmatic terms. To insist that it must comes dangerously close to demanding from God revelation which he has not been pleased to bestow upon us, and responding to a threat to the biblical world view with weapons that are not crafted from the words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God..

http://www.wts.edu/news/creation.html


Advice from billy graham

Advice from Billy Graham

"I don't think that there's any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. ... whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man's relationship to God.”

  • - Billy Graham quoted by David Frost

  • Source: Book - Billy Graham: Personal Thoughts of a Public Man (1997, p. 72-74)


Science and apologetics

YECS

  • easiest to rationalise with Genesis

  • Motivated by desire to uphold scripture

    • Either the Bible is true, or evolution is true (HM Morris: Science and the Bible)

    • This can lead to heated rhetoric

      But can't we be Christian evolutionists, they say. Yes, no doubt it is possible to be a Christian and an evolutionist. Likewise, one can be a Christian thief, or a Christian adulterer, or a Christian liar! Christians can be inconsistent and illogical about many things, but that doesn't make them right.

      -- HM Morris, 1980, King of Creation, pp.83-84

  • Conflict metaphor


Defining evolution

Defining Evolution

  • Evolution as Natural History

    • the earth is old (4.5 Billion years)

    • more complex life forms followed from simpler life forms

  • Evolution as a mechanism for the emergence of biological complexity

    • generated by mutations and natural selection

      (note: God created this mechanism)

  • Evolution as a “big picture” worldview

    George Gaylord Simpson:

    "Man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned. He is a state of matter, a form of life, a sort of animal, and a species of the Order Primates, akin nearly or remotely to all of life and indeed to all that is material."

    or Richard Dawkins:

    "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."


Is the earth old

Is the earth old?

Science is a tapestry -- you can pick at a few strings, but that doesn’t break the whole cloth

  • Radiometric dating (many overlapping isotopes)

  • ice cores:

  • up to 8000 years -- volcanoes like Vesuvius

  • up to 740,000 years

  • Milankovitch cycles

  • Tree rings

  • All these methods (when used properly) agree. There is no scientific controversy

  • http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html


Church fathers

Church fathers

  • "Now what man of intelligence will believe that the first and the second and the third day … existed without the sun and moon and stars?”

  • Origen 185 - 254


Calvin on using science

Calvin on using science

  • As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that Galileo had any direct knowledge of Calvin's writings. Nevertheless his understanding of the nature of the language used by the Bible when referring to the natural world is the same as Calvin's as the following quotations from the Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina show.

  • B1. These propositions set down by the Holy Ghost were set down in that manner by the sacred scribes in order to accommodate them to the capacities of the common people, who are rude and unlearned. (p. 181)

  • B2. It is necessary for the Bible, in order to be accommodated to the understanding of every man, to speak many things which appear to differ from the absolute truth so far as the bare meaning of the words is concerned. (p. 182)

  • B3. For that reason it appears that nothing physical which sense-experience sets before our eyes, or which necessary demonstrations prove to us, ought to be called in question (much less condemned) upon the testimony of biblical passages which may have some different meaning beneath their words. (p. 182f)

  • B4. ...having arrived at any certainties in physics, we ought to utilize these as the most appropriate aids in the true exposition of the Bible and in the investigation of those meanings which are necessarily contained therein, for these must be concordant with demonstrated truths. (p. 183)

  • The first two quotations express the same 'accommodation' understanding of biblical language as Calvin adopted. The third recognises that, as a result of this, the literal sense of the biblical text may sometimes be at variance with the scientific understanding of the natural phenomenon described. In the final quotation Galileo makes the point made by Prof. McKay that one reason why biblical interpreters should take scientific knowledge into account is that it will help them to recognise when the biblical writers are using the language of appearance or cultural idioms, and so help them avoid the kind of misinterpretation made by those who condemned Galileo.

    lehttp://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/cis/lucas/lecture.html


Science and apologetics

  • 1: Isis. 2000 Jun;91(2):283-304.

    B. B. Warfield (1851-1921). A biblical inerrantist as evolutionist.

  • Livingstone DN, Noll MA.

  • School of Geosciences, Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

  • The theological doctrine of biblical inerrancy is the intellectual basis for modern creation science. Yet Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield of Princeton Theological Seminary, the theologian who more than any other defined modern biblical inerrancy, was throughout his life open to the possibility of evolution and at some points an advocate of the theory. Throughout a long career Warfield published a number of major papers on these subjects, including studies of Darwin's religious life, on the theological importance of the age of humanity (none) and the unity of the human species (much), and on Calvin's understanding of creation as proto-evolutionary. He also was an engaged reviewer of many of his era's important books by scientists, theologians, and historians who wrote on scientific research in relation to traditional Christianity. Exploration of Warfield's writing on science generally and evolution in particular retrieves for historical consideration an important defender of mediating positions in the supposed war between science and religion.


James orr

James Orr

  • One of the original “Fundamentalists”

  • There is not a word in the Bible to indicate that in its view death entered the animal world as a consequence of the Sin of man.

  • When you say there is the “six days” and the question whether those days are meant to be measured by the twenty-four hours of the sun’s revolution around the earth -- I speak of these things popularly. It is difficult to see how they should be so measured when the sun that is to measure them is not introduced until the fourth day. Do not think that this larger reading of the days is a new speculation. You find Augustine in early times declaring that it is hard or altogether impossible to say what fashion these days are, and Thomas Aquinas, in the middle ages, leaving the matter an open question.


C s lewis

C.S. Lewis

When the author of Genesis says that God made man in His own image, he may have pictured a vaguely corporeal God making man as a child makes a figure out of plasticine. A modern Christian philosopher may think of the process lasting from the first creation of matter to the final appearance on this planet for an organism fit to receive spiritual as well as biological life. Both mean essentially the same thing. Both are denying the same thing -- the doctrine that matter by some blind power inherent in itself has produced spirituality.

(C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock Eerdmans (1970), p 46)

Does this mean that Christians on different levels of general education conceal radically different beliefs under an identical form of worlds? Certainly not. For waht they agree on is the substance, and what they differ about is the shadow. When one imagines his God seated in a local heaven above a flat earth, where another sees God and creation in terms of Professor [Albert North] Whitehead’s philosoph[loosely, process theology], this difference touches precisely what does not matter.


Science and apologetics

Westminster Theological Seminary

The Westminster Confession's doctrine of the clarity of Scripture (1:7) goes hand in hand with its inspiration, infallibility, and authority. Yet it implies that not all parts of the Scriptures are equally clear or full. Here we must follow Calvin's great motto that where God makes an end of teaching, we should make an end of trying to be wise.(11) With Augustine and E. J. Young, the revered teacher of our senior faculty members, we recognize that the exegetical question of the length of the days of Genesis 1 may be an issue which cannot be, and therefore is not intended by God to be, answered in dogmatic terms. To insist that it must comes dangerously close to demanding from God revelation which he has not been pleased to bestow upon us, and responding to a threat to the biblical world view with weapons that are not crafted from the words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God.

http://www.wts.edu/news/creation.html


Theistic evolution

Theistic evolution

  • Did God create by stochastic mechanism?

  • Dominant view amongst Christian academic scientists and theologians


Tapestry arguments in biology common descent of human chimp

Tapestry arguments in biology: common descent of human & chimp?

Divergence of the chimpanzee and human lineages occurred about 6 million years ago; the times of lineage divergence are not to scale

News & Views: The chimpanzee and us, Wen-Hsiung Li and Matthew A. Saunders, Nature 437, 50-51 (1September 2005) .


Tapestry arguments in biology chromosomal banding

tapestry arguments in biology: chromosomal banding:

Humans have 46 (2 X 23) chromosomes

Apes have 48 (2 X 24) chromosomes

The origin of man: a chromosomal pictorial legacy. J.J Yunis and O. Prakash, Science 215, 1525 (1982)


Tapestry arguments in biology chromosomal banding1

tapestry arguments in biology: chromosomal banding:

Humans have 46 (2 X 23) chromosomes

Apes have 48 (2 X 24) chromosomes

Chromosome 2: Humans, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orang-utans.


Tapestry arguments in biology fusion of chromosome 2

tapestry arguments in biology: fusion of chromosome 2

Chromosome 2: Humans, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orang-utans.


Tapestry arguments in biology evidence from the human genome

tapestry arguments in biology: evidence from the human genome

Chromosome 2 is unique to the human lineage of evolution, having emerged as a result of head-to-head fusion of two acrocentric chromosomes that remained separate in other primates. The precise fusion site has been located in 2q13−2q14.1 (ref. 2; hg16:114455823−114455838), where our analysis confirmed the presence of multiple subtelomeric duplications to chromosomes 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 19, 21 and 22 (Fig. 3; Supplementary Fig. 3a, region A). During the formation of human chromosome 2, one of the two centromeresbecame inactivated (2q21, which corresponds to the centromere from chimp chromosome 13) and the centromeric structure quickly deterioriated [42].

Generation and annotation of the DNA sequences of human chromosomes 2 and 4, L.W. Hillier et al., Nature 434, 724 (2005).


Tapestry arguments in biology more threads of evidence

tapestry arguments in biology: more threads of evidence

  • Genetic threads

    • SINEs (Alu )

    • LINEs

    • Retroviral insertions

    • pseudo genes

    • chromosomal inversions

  • Phenotypal similarities

  • Fossils

  • The tapestry for: do humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor? seems to me almost unbreakably strong

  • See Graeme Finlay booklets “Gods Books: Genetics&Genesis (on sale)

for physicists, mathematicians and engineers

-- these arguments may still seem foreign and vague; where is the “proof”?, how do you know? --- communities talk past each other


Tapestry arguments in biology

tapestry arguments in biology

  • “But others [biologists], I soon came to realize, regarded logical arguments as suspect. To them, experimental evidence, fallible as it might be, provided a far surer avenue to truth than did mathematical reasoning. .... Their implicit assumption seemed to be: How could one know one’s assumptions were correct? Where, in a purely deductive argument, was there room for the surprises that nature might offer, for mechanisms that might depart altogether from those imagined in our initial assumptions? Indeed for some biologists, the gap between empirical and logical necessity loomed so large as to make the latter seem effectively irrelevant.

  • Evelyn Fox Keller, in “Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors, and Machines, HUP, (2002)

You can’t ask those kinds of questions!!!!

(Biologist to AAL at “Protein-Protein Interaction Conf”, June 2004)

“Where are the equations” -- a physicist might ask


Tapestry arguments

Tapestry arguments

  • Basic scientific principles are shared across fields

  • But what is considered “necessary” or “sufficient” for a (self-organised) tapestry varies from field to field (often unwritten)

    • cultural iceberg, above and below waterline

    • evidence: grant or paper review

    • demarkation problem

  • mathematics->physics->chemistry->biology->medicine->engineering

  • Differences --in spite of apparent epistemic laxity ... it still works!


Recommended books see also www louis ch cam ac uk urbana

Recommended Books, see also:www-louis.ch.cam.ac.uk/urbana/

  • Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?, Henry F. Schaefer, III (Apollos, 2003)

  • Quarks, Chaos and Christianity, John Polkinghorne (Triangle, 1994)

  • Science & Its Limits, Del Ratzsch (IVP 2000)

  • Rebuilding the Matrix, Denis Alexander (Lion 2001)


Recommended books see also www louis ch cam ac uk urbana1

Recommended Books, see also:www-louis.ch.cam.ac.uk/urbana/

  • The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Mark Noll (IVP, 1994)

  • Battle for the Beginnings, Del Ratzsch (IVP, 1996)


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