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Evolution and Creationism: What Everyone Needs to Know. What is science? Evolution: a quick overview -- evidence -- mechanisms The age of the Earth/”how do you know how old it is?” What is creationism Evolution answers questions 7. Why is evolution important? .

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slide2
What is science?
  • Evolution: a quick overview
      • -- evidence
      • -- mechanisms
  • The age of the Earth/”how do you know how old it is?”
  • What is creationism
  • Evolution answers questions
  • 7. Why is evolution important?

www.priweb.org/dev/volunteer

science
Science =

-- a “Way of knowing”

-- materialistic/naturalistic

-- hypotheses that are testable and provisional

science1
Science 

-- certainty

-- ethics

-- values

-- religion

-- politics

-- the answer for every question

-- all of human thought

slide5
Organic EvolutionDefinitions: The hypothesis that all organisms on Earth are connected by bonds of genealogy and have changed through time.Darwin: “descent with modification”
the origin tried to do 2 things
The Origin tried to do 2 things:
  • 1) Convince the reader that evolution has occurred and is an adequate explanation for observations about life.
  • 2) Convince the reader that a particular mechanism – natural selection – is the main cause of evolution.
the occurrence of evolution the fact of evolution mechanism by which evolution occurs

Theoccurrence of evolution (“the fact of evolution”) …mechanism by which evolution occurs.

slide9
Evolution is scientifically useful.
  • it is testable
  • it answers questions
  • it stimulates further research
how did organisms come to be the way they are
“How did organisms come to be the way they are?”
  • They have a history.
  • They don’t. They were created as we see them.
  • We can extrapolate from changes we observe today.
  • We cannot extrapolate from changes we observe today.
evidence for evolution
Evidence for Evolution
  • 1) Biogeography
  • 2) Fossil record
  • 3) Classification
  • 4) Comparative Anatomy
  • 5) Observed small-scale changes
  • 6) Genetics
slide15
Evidence for Evolution: Biogeography

Toucan (Neotropics)

Hornbill (SE Asia)

slide16
Evidence for Evolution: The fossil record

Archaeopteryx and modern pigeon

Archaeopteryx

Compsognathus

slide18
No serious practicing geologist or organismal

biologist has seriously questioned whether

evolution has occurred, or whether it is an

adequate explanation for the history and

diversity of life since at least the 1890s.

There has been, and continues to be, debate

about the causes and mechanisms of

evolutionary change.

mechanisms of evolution
Mechanisms of Evolution
  • Directed evolution/Internal mechanisms - “orthogenesis” etc.
  • Inheritance of acquired characteristics (“Lamarckism”)
  • Genetic drift
  • Neutral theory
  • Natural Selection
  • Higher level sorting
slide20
Natural SelectionDefinition: The non-random and differential reproduction of different genotypes acting to preserve favorable variants and eliminate less favorable variants.
3 unarguable observations and 2 inescapable conclusions
“3 unarguable observations and 2 inescapable conclusions”
  • Observations:
    • 1) There is variation
    • 2) At least some of it is inherited
    • 3) There is vast overproduction
  • Conclusions:
    • 1) There is a “struggle for existence”.
    • 2) On average, those individual organisms with traits that confer some advantage in this struggle will leave more offspring.
the age of the earth
The age of the Earth
  • aka: “how do you know how old it is?”
  • aka: “aren’t there problems with ‘carbon dating’?”
techniques for dating things
Techniques for dating things
  • Relative dating: “X is older than Y”
  • Numerical dating: “X is Y years old”
  • Historically unique events: e.g., 1965 Mustang
  • Processes of change (observe results): e.g., weathering, deterioration, erosion
  • Processes of change (experiments): e.g., moldy cheese
  • Historically repeating events: e.g., Greek revival architecture
radiometric dating the basic idea
Radiometric Dating: the basic idea
  • A product is detectable
  • The rate of production of that product is known
  • Product amount is 0 (or known) at age 0 of sample
  • Product / Rate = Time
    • example: 10g / 0.5g/yr = 20 years
slide27
Seneca Stone Quarry

http://www.earth.rochester.edu/ees207/Eastern_Transect/senecastone.html

slide28
Bentonites (ancient

volcanic ash layers)

in the Seneca Stone

Quarry

http://www.earth.rochester.edu/ees207/Eastern_Transect/senecastone.html

slide29
What is science?
  • Evolution: a quick overview
      • -- evidence
      • -- mechanisms
  • The age of the Earth/”how do you know how old it is?”
  • What is creationism
  • Evolution answers questions
  • 7. Why is evolution important?
slide30
“Creationism”

isn’t science

creationism a definition
Creationism: a definition
  • General: The Universe, the Earth, and all life were created directly by a supernatural creator (God).
  • Variations:
    • young Earth vs. old Earth
    • one creation (“special”) vs. many (“sequential”)
    • non-humans vs. humans
creationism a taxonomy
Creationism: a taxonomy
  • Scientific creationism (no reliance on Biblical revelation, utilizing only scientific data)
  • Biblical creationism (no reliance on scientific data, using only the Bible)
  • Scientific Biblical creationism (full reliance on Bible, but also using science)

(from Scott, Evolution vs. Creationism, 2004)

creationism and science
Creationism and science
  • It was cutting-edge science… about 500 years ago.
  • It has been tested, and it failed.
  • Current public opinion, however…
u s public opinion 2005
U.S. public opinion, 2005

HALF OF AMERICANS ARE “CREATIONISTS”

  • 54% do not think human beings developed from earlier species (up from 46 percent in 1994)
  • 49% believe plants and animals have evolved from some other species; 45% do not believe that.
  • 46% believe apes and humans have a common ancestry; 47% believe we do not.
  • 46% agree that "Darwin’s theory of evolution is proven by fossil discoveries“; 48% disagree.

Source: Harris poll, June 2005

poll by the pew forum on religion public life conducted july 2005 among 2 000 u s adults
Poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted July 2005 among 2,000 U.S. adults
  • Life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time: 42%
  • Life has evolved over time: 48%
    • Guided by a supreme being: 18%
    • Evolution by natural selection: 26%
    • Don’t know how evolved: 4%
  • Don’t know: 10%
polls 2001
Polls 2001

BUT

  • “Evolution should be taught in the public schools” (70%)
  • “The continents on which we live have been moving their location for millions of years...”. (79%)
intelligent design what is it
Intelligent Design: what is it?
  • Holds that “where there is a watch, there must be a watchmaker”.
  • Living things are too complex not to have been designed by an intelligent designer.
  • Claims to accept evolution and an old Earth.
intelligent design how to answer a question about it
Intelligent Design:How to answer a question about it
  • Even if it doesn’t mention God, religion, or a “creator”, it assumes there is/was one.
  • This is supernatural and non-testable.
  • It’s not science.
why does this matter
Why does this matter?
  • Science
  • Science education
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