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Introduction. To me Clarity Honesty You are allowed to disagree!!. Three sections. Philosophical fundamentals Why I believe science points towards God Reconciling God’s Word and God’s World. Philosophical Fundamentals. Not so simple…. Science vs Religion. Creation vs Evolution.

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Introduction

Introduction

  • To me

  • Clarity

  • Honesty

  • You are allowed to disagree!!


Three sections

Three sections

  • Philosophical fundamentals

  • Why I believe science points towards God

  • Reconciling God’s Word and God’s World


Introduction

Philosophical

Fundamentals


Not so simple

Not so simple…

Science

vs

Religion

Creation

vs

Evolution

Faith

vs

Reason

  • Most Christians will believe in evolution to some degree or other.

  • Religion and science both require reason and faith.

  • Theists and atheists in the field of science.

  • What separates is their a priori position


World view

World view

Summed up by two a priori positions:

i) Matter and energy is all there is.

Process is unplanned and unguided

ii) There is a creative power that transcends just the physical.

Process is designed and upheld


The computer

The computer

Formed by an unplanned

unguided process.

Formed by a creative

intelligent being

Which would you trust?


Faith

Faith

  • ‘Belief in some thing for which there is no evidence’

  • Fidês

  • Blind faith

  • Evidence based faith


Evidence based faith

Evidence based faith

  • Heb 11v 1 - Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen (KJV)

  • John 21 v 24 – This is the disciple who testifies these things and who wrote them down. We know his testimony is true.

  • Romans 1 v 20 – 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.


Evolution

Evolution

  • Evolution is a philosophical necessity for naturalism. Indeed it can be deduced from it without the need for evidence.

    Lucretius and Epecurus

  • Becomes an a priori position – opposing evidence ignored, conflicting view ridiculed

  • “any person who claims not to believe in evolution is ignorant, stupid or insane”

    Richard Dawkins

  • Evolution has become a substitute for God


Evolution1

Evolution

  • ‘ evolution is accepted by zoologists not because it is observed to occur or …can be proved by logical coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative ‘special creation’ is clearly ‘incredible’ The sole ground for belief is not empirical but metaphysical’

    Professor D M S Watson

  • Chinese Palaeontologist


Statements

Statements:

“I don’t believe anything unless it is provable by science.”

“Only science can lead us to the truth”


Limitations of science

Limitations of science

A kettle is boiling water

  • Mechanisms

    Electricity

    Conduction

    Convection

    Change of state

  • Who put the kettle on?

  • Why did they put it on?

    All are valid reasons for what is seen but science in limited to explaining only one of them


Limitations of science1

Limitations of science

  • Mechanism - 

  • Who did it? (agent) – X

  • Is it any good? - X

Art


Limitations of science2

Limitations of science

  • Mechanism of action 

  • Agent – x

  • When and why – x

  • Is it any good - x


Limitations of science3

Limitations of science

  • Mechanism of action 

  • Morals of use X


Limitations of science4

Limitations of science

  • Mechanism - 

  • Agent? - X

  • When? - X

  • Why? - X


Limitations of science5

Limitations of science

  • Mechanism 

  • Agent X

  • Both valid explanations


Large hadron collider

Large Hadron Collider

  • Looking for sub-atomic particles

  • Higgs Boson

  • Identifying mechanisms not agents!


A grand design

A Grand Design

  • Stephen Hawking’s deduction – that because of M-theory, God does not exist!

  • Captain Non-sequitur


And evolution

…and evolution??

  • Evolution by natural selection is a mechanism not an agent. God is an agent. Existence of a mechanism is not in itself an argument for the non-existence of an agent who designed it.

  • What ever the answer to evolution you can’t produce atheism from it!!

  • Captain Non-sequitur


Candle

Candle

  • Mechanism 

  • Rate of burn 

    But…

  • When was it lit?

  • How long has it been burning?


Age of the earth

Age of the Earth

  • Age of rocks

    - Uranium  lead (4.5 billion years)

    - Helium in atmosphere (10,000 – 2 million years)

  • Salt in the sea (42 million years)

  • Magnetic strength of poles (10,000 – 10 million years)

  • Diameter of the sun (1 million years to hot for life, 200 million years touching the earth)

  • Cosmic dust (between thousands and billions of years)


World view how did we get here

World view – How did we get here?

  • Multiverse – many (infinite number of parallel universes)

  • Chance

  • Created


Multiverse

Multiverse

“Let us recognise these speculations for what they are. They are not physics. There is no purely scientific reason to believe in an ensemble of universes. By construction these other worlds are unknowable by us”

John Polkinghorne (eminent quantum theorist)

Blind Faith!!


Multiverse1

Multiverse

“To postulate a trillion-trillion other universes rather than one God in order to explain the orderliness of our universe seams the height of irrationality”

Richard Swinburne (philosopher)

“Parallel universes don’t disprove a creator” Christian de Duve


Introduction

Why I believe science

points towards God


Chance

Chance…

…or Fine Tuning!!


Introduction

Probability of rolling a six with 1 die

Outcomes : 1 2 3 4 5 6

Probability 1 in 6


Introduction

Probability of rolling 2 sixes with 2 dice

1-1 1-2 1-3 1-4 1-5 1-6

2-1 2-2 2-3 2-4 2-5 2-6

3-1 3-2 3-3 3-4 3-5 3-6

4-1 4-2 4-3 4-4 4-5 4-6

5-1 5-2 5-3 5-4 5-5 5-6

6-1 6-2 6-3 6-4 6-5 6-6

Probability 1 in 36


Fine tuning chance

Fine tuning - Chance

  • 15 scientific constants have to be exactly as they are or universe would not exist!

  • Nuclear ground state resonance

  • Force of gravity

  • Ratio of nuclear strong force to electromagnetic force

  • Ratio of electromagnetic force constant to gravitational force constant


Fine tuning chance1

Fine tuning - Chance

  • Golf ball

  • Coin

  • Statistically impossible

  • “The odds of the universe existing from the Big Bang are so astronomical it has serious religious implications” Steven Hawking

  • “A good case can be made for a deistic cause for the universe” Richard Dawkins


What do you think when you see a beautiful garden

What do you think when you see a beautiful garden?


Precise fine tuning design

Precise fine tuning - Design

  • “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it?” Douglas Adams (author)

  • How about a… Gardener!!


Scientific laws

Scientific Laws

“the only incomprehensible thing

about the universe is that it

is comprehensible” Einstein

  • China – technology

  • West – scientific discoveries

  • Newton, Galileo etc had a belief in a law giving God

  • Not a ‘God of the Gaps’ but a God of the whole show

  • Mathematics


Scientific laws1

Scientific Laws

Laws of thermodynamics define fundamental physical characteristics of the universe

  • First law of thermodynamics – mass/energy can be converted from one form into another but it cannot be created or destroyed.

  • Second law of thermodynamics – ‘entropy’, heat/work process from order to disorder.

  • Implications for ‘Big Bang Model’


Fossils

Fossils

  • Sudden appearance – ‘Cambrian explosion’

  • Demonstrate evolution:

  • Of a horse to… ...another horse


Fossils1

Fossils

“the most obvious and gravest objections

which can be urged against my theory”

Charles Darwin

“I will lay it on the line; there is not one transitional fossil”

Colin Patterson (Natural History Museum)

curator of Archaeopteryx


Limit of natural selection

Limit of Natural Selection

  • “Neo Darwinism is dead” Lynn Margulis (Prof at Harvard and Oxford, holder of the presidential medal for biology)

  • “Natural selection does nothing” Will Provine (Evolutionary Biologist)

  • Genetic Homeostasis

  • Experiments – Fruit fly and E. Choli


The origin of life

The Origin of Life?

  • Biogenesis – life doesn’t occur from non-life!

  • “The origin of life seems almost to be a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have to been satisfied to get it going”

    Sir France Crick

  • Louis Pasteur


The origin of life1

The Origin of Life?

“The simplest bacterium is a veritable microminiaturised factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up of 100,million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely unparalleled in the non living world.”

Michael Denton (geneticist)


The origin of life2

The Origin of Life?

  • Odds of producing all proteins for life by chance 1 in 1040000 calculated to be similar probability for a tornado to pass through a scrap yard and create a 747.

  • Producing a small chain of amino acids by chance

  • Proteins aren’t produced by chance; they require DNA


The origin of life3

The Origin of Life?

  • “The existing translational machinery is so complex, so universal and so essential it is hard to see how it could have come into existence or how life could have existed without it”

    John Maynard Smith

    Evolutionary Biologist

  • Which leads us to the question…


Which came first

Which came first?

DNA

or

Protein


Introduction

DNA

“the code for life”

DNA is information - like a book

  • - Watson and Crick

  • publish a

  • double-helix structure

  • for DNA


Introduction

  • DNAis like a double spiral staircase

  • Each step represents a base

  • Each step has an opposite step on the other staircase

  • A simple bacterium would need 5 million steps

  • A human - 3 billion steps…

  • 450 million miles high

  • 100,000 years to climb


Introduction

DNA is…

  • A double helix

  • Four different bases:

A = Adenine

T = Thymine

G = Guanine

C = Cytosine

  • Complementary pairing

    A + TG + C

  • A specific sequence


Introduction

DNA ‘rungs’

Number of combinations = 1087

Seconds in 4.5 billion years = 1025


A code within a code

Sequence strand

5'

3'

A

G

C

C

T

G

A

T

A

C

A

G

C

C

T

G

A

T

A

C

T

C

G

G

A

C

T

A

T

G

T

C

G

G

A

C

T

A

T

G

3'

5'

Complementary strand

A code within a code


A code within a code1

Sequence strand

5'

3'

A

G

C

C

T

G

A

T

A

C

A

G

C

C

T

G

A

T

A

C

A code within a code

Ser Leu Ile Glu Pro Asp


A code within a code2

Sequence strand

5'

3'

A

G

C

C

T

G

A

T

A

C

A

G

C

C

T

G

A

T

A

C

A code within a code

Ala End Tyr Ser Leu Ile


A code within a code3

Sequence strand

5'

3'

A

G

C

C

T

G

A

T

A

C

A

G

C

C

T

G

A

T

A

C

A code within a code

Pro Asp Thr Ala End Tyr


Introduction

DNA

Common ancestry or common design

“Humans and great apes share 96-98% genetic similarity”

Human genetic similarity:

90% to dogs

88% to horses

75% to nematode worms

60% to fruit fly

53% to Brussels sprout


Introduction

DNA

  • ‘A chimp may share 98% DNA similarity with a human but it is not 98% human, it is still a chimp.

  • Human genome only 3% of total DNA

  • Does genetics tell you everything that it is to be human?

  • Alternative splicing – 1 gene different proteins

  • Error correction – in vivo – 1 in 3 billion

    - in vitro – 1 in 100


Introduction

Proteins involved in DNA

replication and translation


Proteins

Proteins

  • Coded for by DNA

  • Complex - 1˚, 2˚, 3˚

  • Could they be produced by chance?

  • Haemoglobin – 4 chains of 146 aa

  • Probability of formation 1 in 10190

  • ‘improbable into manageable parts’ Dawkins

  • 1000 steps (viable or not viable)

  • Chance now 1 in 10300


So which came first dna or protein

So which came first, DNA or Protein?

  • Irreducible symbiosis

DNA

RNA Protein


Introduction

Reconciling:

God's Word

God's World

Special revelation General revelation


We all come to this subject with a theology

We all come to this subject with a theology!

  • Folk – ‘this is what my parents believe’

  • Tabloid – ‘Scientific discoveries have made belief in God redundant’ Dawkins

    ‘If you don’t believe in a literal meaning of Gen 1 then you are responsible for the downfall of Christianity in this world’ Ken Ham

  • Academic – requires ‘wrestling’ (with the subject not each other!!)

Even if its “I don’t believe in God”


History

History

  • ‘Old earth creationism due to modern geology’

  • Origen and St Augustine

  • 18th and 19th Century – non-literal interpretation of Gen 1

  • 1st half of 20th Century – literal interpretation of Gen 1 – earth 1000s years old

  • ‘Steady state’ of universe incorrect– Big Bang


Big bang model

Big Bang Model

  • Start to the universe

  • First thing is light

  • ‘humans’ appear approx 10,000 yrs ago

  • Correlate with biblical account

  • Details of what happen in between are the contention


Biblical account

Biblical Account

  • Primary authorial intent – Gen 1 is the most God centred chapter in the bible

  • Secondary authorial intent - ????

  • Differences in interpretation often based on what type of writing the beginning of Genesis represents:

    Historical account

    Poetic Narrative


Ten models for reconciling god s word and god s world

Ten Models for reconciling God’s Word and God’s World

“All ten are models which have been expounded by those who believe in God the creator of everything, the divinity of Jesus, the power of the Spirit, the inerrancy of Scripture (as they understand it), substitutionary atonement, miracles, justification by faith, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and everything in the Nicene Creed. “

Andrew Wilson


Young earth creation view

Young earth creation view

  • Mature Creation View – the earth looks old.

  • Flood Geology View – distortion of rocks and fossils due to whole earth flood.

  • Contingency of Science View– no satisfactory harmonisation of science and scripture.


Old earth creation models

Old earth Creation Models

  • Day-Age View – ‘day’ represents an age of time.

  • Gap Theory – billions of years between Genesis 1v1 and 1v2

  • Land of Israel – Genesis 1v2-21 about preparation of the land of Israel


Evolutionary creationism model

Evolutionary Creationism Model

  • Special Creation View – humans are special creations the rest is evolution.

  • Neolithic farmers View – two Neolithic farmers granted God’s image; to whom he breathed spiritual life.

  • Mixed ancestry view – human ancestry is mixed.

  • Accommodation view – Genesis is an accommodation of different ideas about origins.


Key areas of conflict between god s word and god s world

Key areas of conflict between God’s word and God’s world

  • Was God responsible for creation?

  • How old is the earth?

  • In what order were things created?

  • Was creation perfect before the fall?

  • Did animals die before the fall?

  • Did humans die before the fall?

  • Was Adam descended from pre-human creatures?

  • Was Eve descended from pre-human creatures?

  • Are all human beings descended from Adam and Eve?

  • Is the fall historical?


Philosophical fundamentals summary

Philosophical Fundamentals – Summary

  • A priori positions separate us not science

  • Blind faith vs. evidence based faith

  • Evolution – an a priori position

  • Limitations of science:

    - Belief in many things not provable by science

    - Scientific and non-scientific explanations

  • Applications

    - Non-sequiturs

    - Age of the earth

  • How we got here?


Why i believe science points towards god summary

Why I believe science points towards God - Summary

  • Design

  • Fine tuning

  • Scientific Laws

  • Fossil record

  • Limit of natural selection

  • Origin of Life


Reconciling god s word and god s world summary

Reconciling God’s word and God’s world – summary

  • Wrestling

  • History

  • Big Bang Model

  • Young and Old earth Models

  • Key areas of conflict


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