Creation and Evolution #6 Human Origins (cont.) Intelligent Design
<ul><li>According to evolutionary theory, animals have died, species have become extinct, long before homo sapiens appeared on the earth. </li></ul><ul><li>If Adam and Eve lived 10,000 years ago, what do we make of fossil records of earlier hominids who obviously died? </li></ul><ul><li>We Christians have always assumed that death is a consequence of Adam & Eve’s sin . </li></ul>When did death become a reality?
Animal death: <ul><li>Scripture passages that discuss death as a consequence of sin (Gen. 2:16-17; Gen. 3:19, 22; 1 Corinthians 15; Romans 5:12-21) clearly refer to humans; it is unclear if they refer to animals . </li></ul><ul><li>For many, this uncertainty, plus the scientific evidence for an old earth, indicates that “death had existed in the vegetable and animal kingdoms from the beginning.” -John Stott </li></ul>When did death become a reality?
Human death: two views 1. Those Scripture passages refer only to spiritual death. Adam and Eve did not die immediately, but as sinners were separated from God. Human death was always part of our original created nature. When did death become a reality? Genesis : very good bad Evolution : bad (?) better
2. Both physical and spiritual death are the consequences of Adam & Eve’s sin. <ul><li>Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin... Rom. 5:12 </li></ul><ul><li>As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive…. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:22, 26 </li></ul>When did death become a reality?
a. Were Adam and Eve created immortal? <ul><li>If so, they would have had bodies that did not age, resisted diseases, repaired themselves when injured, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>The perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable , the mortal with immortality . Did the opposite occur at the beginning? </li></ul>When did death become a reality?
b. Were Adam and Eve created mortal but with the potential to become immortal ? <ul><li>They would then have had bodies similar to ours that, if they had obeyed God, would have become immortal . </li></ul><ul><li>The presence of the tree of life makes sense if Adam and Eve were mortal and needed something to make them immortal. (Did they regularly eat of that tree, or were they going to be given an opportunity to eat of it once—to determine the length of their lives?) </li></ul>When did death become a reality?
An added word evolution: 1. The temptation to transfer accepted truths of biological evolution to other arenas (e.g. social, racial, religious arenas), must be resisted. 2. The fact that we are beings open to God (regardless of how that happened) means that our moral lives are not to be determined by our genetic makeup but by his will.
An added word on evolution: 3. Many of Jesus’ directives run counter to dictates of evolutionary survival: <ul><li>Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. </li></ul><ul><li>Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t worry about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink. </li></ul><ul><li>Greater love has no one than this, that you lay down your life for your friend. </li></ul>Paul : If your enemy is hungry, feed him…
Intelligent Design The following is largely based on a talk given by Loren Haarsma, (Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Calvin College) titled, “Is Intelligent Design ‘Scientific’?” and his and his wife’s book, Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, & Evolution.
Intelligent Design Preliminary observations: 1. In discussions about Intelligent Design theory and evolution we are often offered a false choice: either modern life forms evolved or they were designed . We Christians believe that God designed life forms whether he used natural evolutionary processes or intervened at particular points.
Intelligent Design 2. A distinction should be made between designing something (purposeful planning) and assembling it (construction, actualizing) what was designed. God’s design for life is not in question among Christians who discuss the merits of ID. How God chose to assemble life, is.
Intelligent Design Bag A contains all the unassembled parts of a mechanical music box. You could shake the bag for years but the music box would never reassemble. For a music box to assemble, <ul><li>all of the pieces would have to be carefully designed . </li></ul><ul><li>someone must put the pieces together. </li></ul>Once that is done, the finished product is clearly a designed object.
Intelligent Design Bag B is similar to the Bag A except that all the pieces in it are designed to latch onto each other is specific ways, such that when any two parts that belong together happen to collide, they connect and stay connected. The more you shake this bag, the more the pieces come together in the right way, and eventually the music box will self-assemble. It would still be a designed object but its assembly would happen differently.
1. The fundamental laws of nature appear to be finely tuned for life (the anthropic principle ). This can be broken into three claims ( Origins , 182) Intelligent Design theory rests on two assertions: Scientific: the fundamental laws of physics and the basic parameters of the universe fall within a narrow range of parameters that allow life to exist. Cf. John Leslie’s Firing Squad Intelligent Design
Philosophical: No natural explanation exists for why the laws and parameters are tuned for life. Lucky? The most reasonable explanation is that the parameters of this universe were designed to support life. Eg. Scrabble board w/ 19 letters “Can we play a game today?” Intelligent Design
Religious: the best explanation is that God, the Creator, designed these parameters from the beginning in order to bring about life. The scientific claim is accepted by nearly all scientists. The philosophical and religious claims are disputed. Intelligent Design Most Christians agree that, while fine-tuning might not prove that God exists, that is the best explanation for fine-tuning. Atheists sometimes refer to the multi-verse hypothesis to explain fine-tuning.
2. Biological life is irreducibly complex, too complex to be explained by natural evolutionary mechanisms alone. That complexity is best explained in terms of the actions of an intelligent agent. Intelligent Design
Intelligent Design This, too, can be broken into 3 claims: Scientific: It is very improbable that complex biological features such as the bacteria flagellum could have evolved via the mechanism of evolution. It is very improbable that a living cell could self-assemble out of chemicals.
Intelligent Design Philosophical: If biological complexity could not have evolved and the complexity has an obvious function, then we should conclude that some sort of intelligent being intervened in the history of life to create the complexity.
Intelligent Design Religious: the best explanation is that God, the Creator revealed through Scripture, intervened miraculously in the history of life to create biological complexity.
Intelligent Design The scientific claim is disputed. Progressive creationists accept it; evolutionary creationists do not. The majority of biologists believe that the general weight of evidence (genetic and fossil and a few specific examples where complex evolution is understood) weighs against the claim. But not enough data to decide fully. Horizontal gene transfer, exaptations, chromosome shuffling
Intelligent Design Some critics of ID say that the philosophical claim is simple the religious claim in disguise. ID proponents say that the philosophical claim is religiously neutral and is based on scientific data and therefore can properly be discussed in a science classroom.
Intelligent Design <ul><li>Is it reasonable to believe that an intelligent being would want to intervene during the history of life to create these complex biological patterns. </li></ul>Perhaps, but is that a scientific statement? And does it lend itself to a God-of-the-gaps situation?
Intelligent Design 1. The basis for science: Can we discover new truths about nature? How? Why can we? A broad picture of science includes: 2. The processes of science: What are effective scientific methods for learning about nature? 3. The discoveries of science: What do we learn about nature when we apply these methods?
Intelligent Design 4. The inferences of science: Do scientific discoveries have implications for society, philosophy, religion? 5. The human aspect of science: What are our motives, ethics, and goals for doing science?
Intelligent Design While all 5 should contribute to a broad under- standing of science, scientists assert that only #2 & #3 speak directly to the narrower scientific enterprise: the construction of explanatory models that explain natural events. The others are philosophical or religious concerns that should be addressed in philosophy or religion classes.
Intelligent Design Natural events are explainable by known natural laws, partially explainable them, or unexplainable by known natural laws.
Christians Agree and Disagree <ul><li>Christians in agreement: </li></ul><ul><li>God created, sustains, and governs this universe. </li></ul><ul><li>The God who created this world also reveals himself to humanity. </li></ul><ul><li>The God who created this world is also our Redeemer. </li></ul>
Christians Agree and Disagree <ul><li>Christians in agreement: </li></ul><ul><li>The Bible is authoritative and sufficient for salvation. </li></ul><ul><li>God is sovereign over all realms of human endeavor and God has given human beings special abilities and responsibilities. </li></ul>
Christians Agree and Disagree <ul><li>Christians in disagreement: </li></ul><ul><li>As we study God’s word , what is the best way to understand passages that talk about God’s acts of creation? </li></ul><ul><li>As we study God’s world , what can we reliably conclude that it tells us about its history? </li></ul>
Powerpoint presentations for viewing: www.aacrc.org/interfriends tab: Questions about Powerpoint presentations for downloading: www.slideshare.net Search for: Creation and Evolution Session 1 (2,3,4,5,6)