Lecture 1 Darwin vs God

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Information about Lecture 1 Darwin vs God

Published on October 15, 2007

Author: Abhil



The Emperor Has No Clothes:  The Emperor Has No Clothes Sean D. Pitman, M.D. May 2007 Naturalism and The Theory of Evolution Slide2:  Darwin vs. God On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life (1859) Slide3:  "The Negroid stock is even more ancient than the Caucasian and Mongolian, as may be proved by an examination not only of the brain, of the hair, of the bodily characters, such as the teeth, the genitalia, the sense organs, but of the instincts, the intelligence.  The standard intelligence of the average adult Negro is similar to that of the eleven-year-old youth of the species Homo sapiens." - Henry Fairfield Osborn, The Evolution of Human Races, Natural History, Jan/Feb. 1926. Reprinted in Natural History 89 (April 1980): 129. Note that Henry’s intelligence led him to use as evidence for the evolution of humans from apes a single tooth (Nebraska Man) - later shown to be a pig’s tooth American Museum of Natural History What Is Darwinian Evolution?:  What Is Darwinian Evolution? Random Mutations Small or large apparently random non-directed genetic changes Natural Selection A real though mindless brutal force of nature that, in each generation, selects the strongest to preferentially survive and reproduce the next generation Survival of the Fittest What are the Implications of Darwinian-style Evolution?:  What are the Implications of Darwinian-style Evolution? Slide7:  "Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. No gods worth having exist; No life after death exists; No ultimate foundation for ethics exists; No ultimate meaning in life exists; and Human free will is nonexistent." Provine, William B. [Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University], ", "Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life", Abstract of Will Provine's 1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address. Slide8:  "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." Simpson, George Gaylord [late Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, USA], "The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man," [1949], Yale University Press: New Haven CT, 1960, reprint, p.344. Slide9:  "The secrets of evolution are time and death. Time for the slow accumulations of favorable mutations, and death to make room for new species." Carl Sagan, [astronomer and author] "Cosmos," program entitled "One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue." “I personally have been captured by the notion of extraterrestrial life, and especially extraterrestrial intelligence from childhood. It swept me up, and I've been involved in sending space craft to nearby planets to look for life and in the radio search for extraterrestrial intelligence…” (NOVA interview - ) Slide10:  “Time is the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years... Given so much time the 'impossible' becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs miracles.” George Wald, [Nobel Prize in Physiology, 1967] "The Origin of Life," Physics and Chemistry of Life, 1955, p. 12. Any Other Viable Option?:  Any Other Viable Option? Slide12:  “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. . . . Lewontin, Richard C. [Professor of Zoology and Biology, Harvard University Slide13:  . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” Lewontin, Richard C. [Professor of Zoology and Biology, Harvard University, evolutionary geneticist and social critic], "Billions and Billions of Demons", Review of "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark," by Carl Sagan, New York Review, January 9, 1997. (Emphasis in original) Slide14:  "It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that)." Dawkins, Richard [Zoologist and Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Oxford University], "Put Your Money on Evolution", Review of Johanson D. & Edey M.A., "Blueprints: Solving the Mystery of Evolution", in New York Times, April 9, 1989, sec. 7, p34. Just a few of the “Ignorant, Stupid or Insane”:  Just a few of the “Ignorant, Stupid or Insane” Slide16:       "Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it's remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren't just the way they are, we couldn't be here at all. The sun couldn't be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here.      Charles Hard Townes, winner of a Nobel Prize in Physics and a UC Berkeley professor Slide17:  . . . Some scientists argue that "well, there's an enormous number of universes and each one is a little different. This one just happened to turn out right." Well, that's a postulate, and it's a pretty fantastic postulate — it assumes there really are an enormous number of universes and that the laws could be different for each of them. The other possibility is that ours was planned, and that's why it has come out so specially." Slide18:  “Evolution has just been dealt its death blow. After reading Origins of Life [Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross] , with my background in chemistry and physics, it is clear evolution could not have occurred.” Richard E Smalley, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry; keynote address at Tuskegee University’s 79th Annual Scholarship Convocation/Parents Recognition Program Slide19:  “Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no publication in the scientific literature in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books that describe how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred. There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations.” Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, Darwin’s Black Box, The Free Press, 1996 Question:  Question If a fair number of well-respected scientists in just about every major field of science, to include Nobel Laureates, have problems with some fundamental aspect of Naturalism or Darwinian Evolution, are these theories really that well understood, scientifically, or are they more religiously or philosophically based? Slide21:  “My reservations concern not so much this book but the whole subject and methodology of paleoanthropology. But introductory books - or book reviews - are hardly the place to argue that perhaps generations of students of human evolution, including myself, have been flailing about in the dark: that our data base is too sparse, too slippery, for it to be able to mold our theories. Rather the theories are more statements about us and ideology than about the past. Paleoanthropology reveals more about how humans view themselves than it does about how humans came about. But that is heresy.” Dr. David Pilbeam, an anthropologist from Harvard, making some very interesting comments in a 1978 review of Richard Leakey's book, Origins Wishful Thinking at Fontéchevade :  Wishful Thinking at Fontéchevade Slide23:  In 1937, Germaine Henri-Martin, a very well respected archeologist, began excavations in a cave in southwestern France called  Fontéchevade and continued her work here until 1954, removing over 900 cubic meters of sediment Discovered “first Frenchmen” older than Neanderthals Slide24:  Many layers found The topmost layers: "Aurignacian" (modern) Underneath the Aurignacian: "Mousterian" layers, laid down during the time of the Neandertals Below the Mousterian: "Tayacian" layers within which she found several human skull fragments and evidence for the living conditions of these “first Frenchmen” Slide26:  Germaine found lots of evidence of how the first Frenchmen lived The site is full of flint, which was interpreted as being worked into tools Various "hearths" were also found throughout the site where the first families cooked, prepared their food, and ate Evidence of meals, in the form of animal bones, were everywhere Bones of the hominids themselves The evidence for a rather complete an intricate life for the earliest French people seemed rather obvious and fairly easily interpreted The Rest of the Story:  The Rest of the Story In the 1970s Shannon McPherron and Harold Dibble decided to do some reinvestigation Laser mapped of thousands of stone objects and bones Everything in the cave was oriented horizontally or vertically with respect to the cave walls and there was evidence of water sorting The stone “tools” turned out to be no different than naturally carved stones Source of water found – an opening at the back of the cave that drained water and sediments from above Slide28:  The narrator of the 2002 PBS documentary, "Neanderthals on Trial" concluded: “What made it look real to the archaeologists was an overwhelming desire to see the past in a certain way. The urge to distance ourselves from Neanderthals or to pull them closer to us is a surprisingly powerful force. Archaeologists Jean Philippe Rigaud and Jan Simek are well aware of the problem." [Jan Simek added], "I think that we're as guilty of it today, of that kind of preconceived approach to our data, as anybody has been in the history of archaeology or anthropology. It's almost inevitable that our own views of the world will be brought to bear. . . Slide29:  . . . So it appears that Fontéchevade was an elaborate illusion and not a human habitation site at all. What made it look real to the archeologists was an overwhelming desire to see the past in a certain way” Slide30:  It is also interesting to consider comments made by the journalist, Mark Davis, who investigated this story on Neanderthals for NOVA.  "I spoke with many Neanderthal experts in the course of making this film, and I found them all to be intelligent, friendly, well-educated people, dedicated to the highest principles of scientific inquiry. I also got the impression that each one thought the last one I talked to was an idiot, if not an actual Neanderthal. . . The more people I spoke with, the more confusing it got. . .  Listening to the archeologists and anthropologists talk about their work (and their colleagues' work), I heard the same frustrations voiced again and again: People are driven by their preconceptions. They see what they want to see. They find what they're looking for. . .   Slide31:  . . . I learned that what people see in Neanderthals often has as much to do with philosophy as it does with science. What does it mean to be human? Some definitions are broad and inclusive, others are narrow and exclusive. Scholars have been known to attack one another's views on Neanderthals as "racist" or "politically correct." . . . What I found most interesting in all this is that every scientist I talked to encouraged me to explore the issue of self-delusion, and no one claimed to be immune. They are all aware that the history of the field is littered with brilliant scholars who completely missed the boat because of the power of their preconceptions." Flipperpithecus?:  Flipperpithecus? "A five million-year-old piece of bone that was thought to be a collarbone of a humanlike creature is actually part of a dolphin rib...The problem with a lot of anthropologists is that they want so much to find a hominid that any scrap of bone becomes a hominid bone." - Dr. Tim White (anthropologist, University of California, Berkeley). As quoted by Ian Anderson "Hominoid collarbone exposed as dolphin's rib", in New Scientist, 28 April 1983, p. 199 The Problem of Bias:  The Problem of Bias Could we be just as biased? How do we know that our interpretations regarding the “truth of the Bible” or even the existence of God are actually “true”? How does anyone really “know” anything? Or, do we all just find what we are looking for? – what we want to be true? Is truth simply a matter of desire? Are our feelings or desires a reliable measure of true reality? An Intelligent Religion:  An Intelligent Religion The SDA take on Christianity assumes that God is rational and can be rationally understood “Come, let us reason together.” – Isaiah 1:18 “Prove me and see if I will not open the storehouses of heaven and pour you out a blessing” – Malachi 3:10 “Test the spirits to see if they are from God” - 1 John 4:1 Although God is indeed mysterious and seemingly unpredictable in certain aspects, other features are very consistent and predictable The later gives evidence to the trustworthiness of those actions and non-actions that we cannot understand “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12 The First Steps:  The First Steps The first step toward intelligent Christianity starts with the basics: There must be clear evidence of God’s existence There must be clear evidence that God loves and cares for us Slide36:  “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” – Hebrews 11:16 If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” – 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. . . Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” – Romans 1:20,22 Truth or Fantasy?:  Truth or Fantasy? Sometimes the truth isn’t what we’d like. Is a bad truth better than a good fantasy? What if there is no good evidence for God’s existence? Believe in a fantasy God? Would any God deserving of love and respect demand blind faith without convincing evidence backing it up? How is that fair? Can the search for God be a valid science? What Is Science?:  What Is Science? The Scientific Method:  The Scientific Method Make an observation Use that observation to make a falsifiable prediction as to what will happen in the future Test the prediction to see if it successfully avoids falsification If the prediction avoids falsification, the hypothesis gains predictive value It is more likely that this prediction will continue to hold true with more testing If the prediction fails, the hypothesis must be either modified or discarded completely in favor of a new hypothesis Slide40:  Sir Karl Popper, one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century: “Any hypothesis that does not make falsifiable predictions is simply not science. Such a hypothesis may be useful or valuable, but it cannot be said to be science.” Slide41:  Popper began considering the importance of falsification in science after attending a lecture by Einstein Noticed that Einstein’s theories were much different than those of Marx or Freud Einstein Theories were extremely risky while those of Marx and Freud were not in that they “explain too much”, often with completely opposing explanations for observations that could not be decisively disproved Non-Scientific Prediction?:  Non-Scientific Prediction? Observation: Dinosaurs and Birds share several features Hypothesis: Dinosaurs and Birds have a common ancestor Prediction: A link between dinosaurs and birds will be found sharing additional features – like a feathered dinosaur This prediction is not falsifiable, it is only verifiable If feathered dinosaurs are never found, this side of eternity, the hypothesis still isn’t falsified It therefore does not meet Popper’s criteria as a true scientific prediction – however useful it may be A Scientific Hypothesis:  A Scientific Hypothesis While in Las Vegas I observe that I roll double sixes every time after I scratched my nose . . . 3 times so far! Through inductive reasoning, I hypothesize that scratching my nose has some association with rolling double sixes I therefore predict that every time I scratch my nose I will roll double sixes If I continue to roll double sixes after scratching my nose, my hypothesis gains predictive value If I end up rolling anything else after scratching my nose, just once, my hypothesis loses predictive value The hypothesis of 100% association has failed Designed Things:  Designed Things What makes something look designed? Can such features be used to accurately predict, in a falsifiable manner, a designed origin for previously unknown objects or patterns? Slide45:  Both Could Have Been Deliberately Designed Only One Had to Have Been Deliberately Designed Slide48:  or Simple? Complex? Slide49:  Deliberate or non-deliberate? Slide51:  Non-deliberate? Slide54:  Snowflake-type Fractal? Slide55:  Timber circle at Holme-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, England Slide56:  Stonehenge in the Snow Slide57:  Non-Deliberate Potential ID Potential ID Potential ID Potential ID Potential ID Potential ID Potential Slide58: Flagellar Assembly – A Marvel of Microengineering

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