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A Christian Approach to Biological Complexity

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Title: A Christian Approach to Biological Complexity


1
A Christian Approach to Biological Complexity
  • Dr. Ard Louis
  • Department of Physics
  • University of Oxford
  • www.cis.org.uk
  • www.faraday-institute.org
  • www.cpgrad.org.uk

2
Colliding cultures?
  • Christian sub-culture(s)
  • Scientific sub-cultures
  • culture is often caught not taught

Words Customs Traditions Behaviour Beliefs Values
Assumptions
My main argument Much of the tension between
evolution and faith is due to unrecognized
cultural assumptions
3
OUTLINE
  • Self-assembly things that make themselves
  • What does the Bible say about nature?
  • What does nature say about God?

4
Biological self-assembly
  • http//www.npn.jst.go.jp/ Keiichi Namba, Osaka
  • Biological systems self-assemble (they make
    themselves)
  • Can we understand?
  • Can we emulate? (Nanotechnology)

5
Virus self-assembly
viruses
  • Self-assembled from identical subunits
    (capsomers).
  • Characteristic number T.
  • Capsid T 12 pentamers, 10(T - 1) hexamers.

11/13/2013
6
Self-assembly of computer viruses
Computer viruses?
Monte-Carlo simulations stochastic
optimisation http//www-thphys.physics.ox.ac.uk/us
er/IainJohnson/
7
Self-assembly with legos?
8
Christian reaction Fear?
9
OUTLINE
  • Self-assembly things that make themselves
  • What does the Bible say about nature?
  • What does nature say about God?
  • Language and metaphors of evolution

10
God created and sustains the world
  • In the beginning, God created the heavens and
    the earth Gen 11
  • For by him Christ all things were created
    and in him all things hold together Col
    116,17
  • The Son is the radiance of Gods glory
    sustaining all things by his powerful word Heb
    13

11
Biblical language of creation
  • He makes springs pour water into ravines it
    flows between the mountains the wild donkeys
    quench their thirst Psalm 104 10,11 (praising
    Gods creation)
  • Natural processes are described both as divine
    and non-divine actions
  • 2 perspectives on the same natural world

12
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

13
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

14
Leibniz 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

15
Leibniz objects
  • And I hold, that when God works miracles, he
    does not do it in order to supply the wants of
    nature, but those of grace. Whoever thinks
    otherwise, must needs have a very mean notion of
    the wisdom and power of God

16
God of the gaps
  • This is a fatal step to take. For it is to assert
    that you can plant some sort of hedge in the
    country of the mind to mark the boundary where a
    transfer of authority takes place. .. Either God
    is in the whole of Nature, with no gaps, or Hes
    not there at all.

Charles Coulson (1910-1974) First Oxford
professor of theoretical chemistry
17
Interpreting the Bible
  • What kind of language?
  • What kind of literature?
  • What kind of audience?
  • What kind of context?
  • The antidote to bad interpretation is not no
    interpretation, but good interpretation, based on
    common sense guidelines
  • G. Fee and D. Stuart, How to Read the Bible for
    All It Is Worth, Zondervan (1993), p17

18
Biblical or cultural?
19
Genesis 1-3
Genesis 11-23 In the beginning God created the
skies and the earth. The earth was without form
and void And the Spirit of God was hovering over
the waters. Day (yom) one God created day and
night Day two God made the sky (firmament)
between the waters Day three God made dry land
and vegetation Day four God made Sun and
Moon (greater and lesser lamps) he also made
the stars (sic!) Day five God made Sea creatures
and flying creatures Day six God made Land
animals. God made Mankind (adam) Male Female in
Gods image Day seven God rested from his work.
  • Genesis 24-25
  • In the day (yom) that the Lord made the earth and
    the skies before any vegetation or rain.
  • God formed the man (adam) out of the dust of the
    earth (adama)
  • God planted a garden eastward in Eden, where He
    put the man
  • God made out of the ground every tree grow that
    is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The
    tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good
    and evil were also in the garden
  • God took man and put him in the garden of Eden to
    tend and keep it.
  • God commanded the man not to eat of the tree of
    good and evil for in the day (yom) that you eat
    of it you shall surely die.

20
Genesis 1-3
Genesis 11-23 In the beginning God created the
skies and the earth. The earth was without form
and void And the Spirit of God was hovering over
the waters. Day (yom) one God created day and
night Day two God made the sky (firmament)
between the waters Day three God made dry land
and vegetation Day four God made Sun and
Moon (greater and lesser lamps) he also made
the stars (sic!) Day five God made Sea creatures
and flying creatures Day six God made Land
animals. God made Mankind (adam) Male Female in
Gods image Day seven God rested from his work.
  • Genesis 24-25 cont.
  • God said It is not good that man should be
    alone I will make him an ally comparable to
    him. The LORD God brought every beast of the
    field and every bird of the air to the mans to
    see what he would call them. .. But for the man
    there was not found an ally comparable to him.
  • God caused the man to sleep, and took his side to
    make a woman. The man called her wo-man, for she
    was taken out of man.
  • For this reason a man will leave his father and
    mother and be united to his wife, and they will
    become one flesh.

21
What kind of literature?
  • Genesis 1-23
  • Phrases that occur 10 times
  • 10 times God said (3 for mankind, 7 for other
    creatures)
  • 10 times creative commands (3 x let there be
    for heavenly creatures, 7 x let for world
    below)
  • 10 x To make
  • 10 x According to their kind
  • Phrases that occur 7 times (heptads)
  • and it was so
  • and God saw that it was good
  • Genesis 12-3
  • Phrases that occur 3 times
  • God blessed
  • God created
  • God created men and women
  • Other numerical patterns
  • Intro 11-2 contains 21 words (3 x 7) and
    conclusion (2 1-3) contains 35 words (5 X 7)
  • Earth is mentioned 21 times and God 35 times
  • -- see e.g. H. Blocher In the Beginning, p 33
    or E. Lucas Can We Believe Genesis Today , p 97

22
What kind of literature?
FRAMEWORK VIEW
  • SHAPED
  • Day 1
  • The separation of light and darkness
  • Day 2
  • The separation of the waters to form the sky and
    the sea
  • Day 3
  • The separation of the sea from dry land and
    creation of plants
  • INHABITED
  • Day 4
  • The creation of the lights to rule the day and
    the night
  • Day 5
  • The creation of the birds and fish to fill the
    sky and sea
  • Day 6
  • The creation of the animals and humans to fill
    the land and eat the plants

Day 7 The heavens and earth were finished
and God rested
23
What genre of literature?
  • Gen24-7 -- more patterns
  • These are the generations
  • of the heavens
  • and the earth
  • when they were created
  • in the day that the Lord God made
  • the earth
  • and the heavens.
  • Chiastic structure (C. John Collins, Genesis 1-4
    PR (2006))
  • When no bush of the field was yet in the
    land and no small plant of the field had yet
    sprung upfor the Lord God had not caused it to
    rain on the land, and there was no man to work
    the ground, and a mist was going up from the
    land and was watering the whole face of the
    ground then the Lord God formed the man of dust
    from the ground and breathed into his nostrils
    the breath of life, and the man became a living
    creature.
  • A completely different emphasis!

24
What genre of literature?
  • More like Revelation than like Luke
  • But very clear in its teaching e.g.
  • God created the world
  • Creation is good
  • I Tim 4 4 For everything God created is good,
    and nothing is to be rejected if it is received
    with thanksgiving,

25
What genre of literature?
  • More like Revelation than like Luke?
  • But very clear in its teaching e.g.
  • God created the world
  • Creation is good
  • Man is made in Gods image
  • Mankind (adam) has fallen into sin
  • A promise of redemption (seed of woman)
  • MANY! More things
  • No problems with perspecuity on doctrine

26
What genre of literature?
  • a conscious and deliberate anti-mythical polemic
    which meant an undermining of the prevailing
    mythological cosmologies.
  • Gerhard F Hasel, The Polemic Nature of the
    Genesis Cosmology, Evangelical Quarterly46
    (1974), pp. 81-102.

27
What genre of literature?
  • Is it chronological?
  • What man of intelligence, I ask, will consider
    that the first and second and the third day, in
    which there are said to be both morning and
    evening, existed without sun and moon and stars,
    while the first day was even without a heaven?
  • Origen 185 - 254 First Principles, 4.3

28
What genre of literature?
  • Is it chronological?
  • On this subject there are three main views.
    According to the first, some wish to understand
    paradise only in a material way. According to
    the second, others wish to take it only in a
    spiritual way. According to the third, others
    understand it both ways, taking some things
    materially and others spiritually. If I may
    briefly mention my own opinion, I prefer the
    third
  • Augustine of Hippo (354-430) De Gen. ad litt
    VIII, 1. (on the literal interpretation of
    Genesis)

29
What does the Bible say about nature?
  • God sustains the universe
  • Language of Gods action
  • Miracles v.s. customs of the creator
  • God created the universe
  • Genesis 1-3 polemic structured prose, not a
    journalistic account.
  • Gods creation is good.
  • Bible is not a science textbook
  • E.g. John Calvin, Augustine, etc.

30
OUTLINE
  • Self-assembly things that make themselves
  • What does the Bible say about nature?
  • What does nature say about God?
  • Language and metaphors of evolution

31
What does nature tell us about God?
  • What does the Bible say?
  • the heavens declare the Glory of God - Psalm 19
  • What is man that you are mindful of him? Psalm 8
  • For since the creation of the world God's
    invisible qualities his eternal power and divine
    naturehave been clearly seen, being understood
    from what has been made, so that men are without
    excuse. Romans 120

32
Natural Theology
  • History of Natural theology
  • Paley Newman Barth ..
  • The fundamental thesis of the book is that if
    nature is to disclose the transcendent, it must
    be "seen" or "read" in certain specific ways --
    ways that are not themselves necessarily mandated
    by nature itself. It is argued that Christian
    theology provides a schema or interpretative
    framework by which nature may be "seen" in a way
    that enables and authorizes it to connect with
    the transcendent.
  • --- A. McGrath p x about "the Open Secret"

33
History of life on earth
  • Grandeur of God?
  • humans -- last 2 seconds of 24 hr day
  • not unlike astronomy the heavens declare the
    Glory of God - Psalm 19
  • What is man that you are mindful of him? Psalm 8

In our galaxy there are 100,000 million stars,
like our sun. our galaxy is one of 100,000
million galaxies. In a throwaway line in Genesis,
the writer tells us, "he also made the stars" ..
Gen 116
34
History of life on earth
  • Grandeur of God?
  • humans -- last 2 seconds of 24 hr day
  • not unlike astronomy the heavens declare the
    Glory of God - Psalm 19
  • What is man that you are mindful of him? Psalm 8

If the earth was 24 hours old, then your life is
the last millisecond ..
35
Evolution?
  • EMOTIONAL DEBATE ?
  • Does where we come from determine who we are
    and how we should then live?
  • Natural theology?

36
2009 International Darwin Year
  • Charles Robert Darwin
  • 1809 Born into Unitarian family
  • 1859 Publishes Origin of Species
  • Biological Complexity arises from
  • Variation and Natural Selection

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its
several powers, having been originally breathed
into a few forms or into one and from so
simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful
and most wonderful have been, and are being,
evolved.
37
OUTLINE
  • Self-assembly things that make themselves
  • What does the Bible say about nature?
  • What does nature say about God?
  • Language and metaphors of evolution

38
Intermezzo 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 most Christians agree that God created
    this mechanism)
  • Evolution as a big picture worldview
    (scientism)
  • 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.

39
Christian approaches to emergence of biological
complexity
  • Young Earth Creation Science
  • Earth is about 10,000 years old
  • Genesis 1,2 are historical in the modern sense
  • mainly in the last 50 years
  • Progressive Creationism
  • Earth is old
  • Complexity came about through miracles
  • Varied views on exegesis of Genesis
  • Theistic Evolution/Biologos
  • Earth is old
  • Complexity came about through normal processes of
    God
  • Genesis 1,2 are theological (framework view
    --prose poem)
  • Intelligent Design
  • All the above views are strictly creationists
    and believe in intelligent design
  • Capital ID is a more recent movement, could be
    YECS, PE, or TE.

40
Language Random or stochastic?
  • Random mutations and natural selection...(chance
    and necessity -- Monod)
  • Stochastic optimisation
  • e.g. used to price your stock portfolio .....

41
Lego blocks or clay?
  • Evo-Devo Lego Blocks
  • pax6
  • sonic-hedgehog
  • shaven-baby
  • tinman
  • Endless Forms Most Beautiful The New Science of
    Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom.
    S.B. Carroll (Blackwell Science 2005)

42
Why so few genes?
Mycoplasma genitalium (483) (300 minimum?)
E.coli (5416)
S. cerevisiae (5800)
Drosophila Melanogaster (13,500)
C. elegans (19,500) P. pacificus (29,000)
H. sapiens (23,000)
43
Why so few genes?
We share 15 of our genes with E. coli
25 yeast
50 flies
70 frogs
98 chimps
44
Gene language
Why are there so few genes? complexity comes
from the interactions gene networks systems
biology
transcriptional network for yeast Saccharomyces
cerevisiae
45
Nothing Buttery
humans are collections of chemicals
46
Nothing Buttery
humans are collections of chemicals
47
Nothing Buttery
humans are collections of chemicals
48
Dawkins on being human
  • "The individual organism ... is not fundamental
    to life, but something that emerges when genes,
    which at the beginning of evolution were
    separate, warring entities, gang together in
    co-operative groups as "selfish co-operators".
    The individual organism is not exactly an
    illusion. It is too concrete for that. But it is
    a secondary, derived phenomenon, cobbled together
    as a consequence of the actions of fundamentally
    separate, even warring agents.
  • From Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow,
    (Penguin, London, 1998) p 308.

Prof. Richard Dawkins (Oxford)
49
Gene language
  • Genes are trapped in huge colonies, locked
    inside highly intelligent beings, moulded by the
    outside world, communicating with it by complex
    processes, through which, blindly, as if by
    magic, function emerges. They are in you and me
    we are the system that allows their code to be
    read and their preservation is totally dependent
    on the joy that we experience in reproducing
    ourselves. We are the ultimate rationale for
    their existence.
  • Genes swarm in huge colonies, safe inside
    gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the
    outside world, communicating with it by tortuous
    indirect routes, manipulating it by remote
    control. They are in you and me they created us,
    body and mind and their preservation is the
    ultimate rationale for our existence.
  • Denis Noble --
  • The Music of Life Biology Beyond the Genome (OUP
    2006)
  • Richard Dawkins --
  • The Selfish Gene (1976)

50
Contingency v.s.deep structures Re-run the
tape of evolution?
When you examine the tapestry of evolution you
see the same patterns emerging over and over
again. Gould's idea of rerunning the tape of life
is not hypothetical it's happening all around
us. And the result is well known to biologists
evolutionary convergence. When convergence is the
rule, you can rerun the tape of life as often as
you like and the outcome will be much the same.
Convergence means that life is not only
predictable at a basic level it also has a
direction. Simon Conway Morris Life's Solution
Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (CUP,
2003)
51
Convergent Evolution?
Convergent evolution in mechanical design of
lamnid sharks and tunas Jeanine M. Donley, et al.
Nature 429, 61-65 (6 May 2004)
52
Convergent Evolution
  • North America
  • Placental Sabre-toothed cat
  • South America
  • Marsupial Sabre-toothed cat

53
Convergent Evolution
compound eye
camera eye
54
Convergent Evolution?
  • Enormous number of examples ... from proteins to
    vision up to societies to intelligence.
  • Are rational conscious beings an inevitable
    outcome?

55
Summary
  • What the Bible tells us about nature
  • Created and sustained
  • Genesis 1
  • What Nature can tell us about God
  • Natural theology and its critics
  • God and Evolution
  • Extracting much meaning from these mechanisms is
    hard .
  • Metaphors are important
  • Self-assembly (things that make themselves)
  • random v.s. stochastic processes
  • gene language etc..
  • There is much more to discover
  • Atheism of the gaps?

56
  • The Bible tells us about nature
  • What nature tells us about God (natural theology)
  • Evolution and its metaphors

57
-------
58
------------
59
Case study 2 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) .

60
tapestry arguments in biology chromosomal
banding
Humans have 46 (2 X 23) chromosomes Apes have 48
(2 X 24) chromosomes
chromosome 2 Human, Chimp, Gorilla, Orang-utan
  • The origin of man a chromosomal pictorial
    legacy. J.J Yunis and O. Prakash, Science 215,
    1525 (1982)

61
tapestry arguments in biology fusion of
chromosome 2?
chromosome 2 Human, Chimp, Gorilla, Orang-utan
62
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
hg16114455823-114455838), 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 centromeres became
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).
63
endogenous retroviruses
HERV-K insertions
  • In humans endogenous retrovirus sequences make up
    about 1 of the genome.
  • Lebedev, Y. B., et al. (2000) "Differences in
    HERV-K LTR insertions in orthologous loci of
    humans and great apes." Gene 247 265-277.

64
tapestry arguments in biology more threads of
evidence
  • Genetic threads
  • SINEs (Alu )
  • LINEs
  • Retroviral insertions
  • pseudo genes (e.g. olefaction)
  • chromosomal inversions
  • Phenotypal similarities
  • Fossils
  • The tapestry for do humans and chimpanzees share
    a common ancestor? seems to most biologists
    almost unbreakably strong

for physicists, mathematicians and engineers --
these arguments may still seem foreign and vague
where is the proof?, how do you know? -- so
communities talk past each other
65
Jewish Commentators
  • the sages agree that the creation of this earth
    and sky was a single divine event and not a
    series of distinct occurrences spread out over
    six or seven days
  • N.M. Samuelson, Judaism and the Doctrine of
    Creation, CUP (1994) p115
  • The text does not point to the order of the
    acts of creation the text does not by any
    means teach which things were created first and
    which later it only wants to teach us what was
    the condition of things at the time when heaven
    and earth were created, namely, that the earth
    was without form and a confused mass
  • Rashi (1040-1105), Commentary on Genesis
  • Many more examples, e.g. Maimonides (1135-1204)
    etc

66
  • In understanding the central role of figurative
    language in the early chapters of Genesis, the
    Church Fathers were following an already
    established Jewish tradition of creative and
    highly flexible interpretation. Early Jewish
    commentaries on Genesis favoured symbolic
    readings of the early chapters. Many of the early
    rabbinic writings were of the view that God
    created everything instantaneously rather than in
    any particular period of time. The Targums, the
    Aramaic translations of and commentaries on the
    Hebrew Scriptures with which Jesus and St Paul
    would have been familiar, were extremely flexible
    in how they 47 read (and what they read into)
    these verses. The highly influential Alexandrian
    Jew, Philo, a contemporary of both Jesus and
    Paul, explained at some length how the days of
    creation, the image of God, Adam and Eve, and
    the garden of Eden were all intended
    symbolically rather than literally, being no
    mythical fictionsbut modes of making ideas
    visible. 6 Such figurative readings continued
    into the Middle Ages, in the work of rabbis such
    as Rashi, Maimonides and Gersonides, and some
    Christian theologians such as Nicholas of Lyra.
    In the process, allegorical readings of Biblical
    texts became excessive and it was in reaction to
    this trend that the Reformers downplayed moral,
    allegorical and anagogical interpretations
    (representing three strands of the mediaeval
    Quadrigaor fourfold sense of scripture) in
    favour of a literal reading alone.7 Even then the
    pattern wasnt universal. Calvin, for example,
    favoured a literal interpretation but recognised
    that Moses, whom he believed authored Genesis,
    had adapted his discourse to common usage. 8
    Rescuing Darwin Early Jewish commentaries on
    Genesis favoured symbolic readings of the early
    chapters.

67
Science has a servant role in interpretation of
the Bible
  • All truth is Gods truth, so, properly
    interpreted, science and the Bible cannot
    contradict
  • The Bible must not be placed under any other
    authority! no authority, even one at the apex of
    the scientific world, may impose his authority on
    the Bible in order to dictate how it is to be
    understood, even with the best intentions.
  • Instead of an authority, however, a ministerial,
    servant-role apears possible. .. The knowledge
    derived from the observation of reality
    (science) would help us to understand the
    language of the Bible better.
  • Henri Blocher In the Beginning IVP (1984) p 25

68
The 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 Gods creation and
    self-expression it does not, and was never
    intended, to provide us with an infallible
    repository of astronomical and medical
    information.

John Calvin 1509-1564
69
Warfield on evolution
  • B. B. Warfield (1851-1921). A biblical
    inerrantist as evolutionist. Livingstone DN, Noll
    MA, 1 Isis. 2000 Jun91(2)283-304.
  • 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.

B.B. Warfield 1851-1921
70
Writers of the Fundamentals
  • 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 suns
    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.

James Orr 1844-1913
71
AsideEmergence of Humans?
e.g. at what age is a child spiritually
responsible to God? John Stott on Homos Divinus
  • 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)

72
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)

73
SUMMARY
  • COMPLEX MATERIAL!
  • Evolution as
  • Natural history
  • Mechanisms to create biological complexity
  • World view (evolutionism)
  • Metaphors are important
  • The mechanisms of evolution can be beautiful
  • Biblical Interpretation important to look at
    genre of literature

74
Writers of the Fundamentals
  • 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 suns
    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.

James Orr 1844-1913
75
The Bible and Science
  • The lesson of Galileo, , should remind us that
    careful observation of the natural world can
    cause us to go back to Scripture and reexamine
    whether Scripture actually teaches what we think
    it teaches. Sometimes, on closer examination of
    the text, we may find that our previous
    interpretations were incorrect.
  • Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology IVP (1994) p
    273

Wayne Grudem
76
The 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 Gods creation and
    self-expression it does not, and was never
    intended, to provide us with an infallible
    repository of astronomical and medical
    information.

John Calvin 1509-1564
77
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

Francis Schaefer 1912-1984
78
(No Transcript)
79
Intelligent Design (capitalised)
heterogeneous movement -- will focus on ID
centred at Discovery Institute
  • some key publications and people
  • The Mystery of Lifes Origin (1984)
  • Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, Roger L.
    Olsen
  • Evolution, a Theory in Crisis (1986)
  • Michael Denton
  • Darwin on Trial (1991)
  • Philip Johnson
  • Darwins Black Box (1996)
  • Michael Behe (CT book of the year)
  • Icons of evolution (2000)
  • Jonathan Wells
  • No Free Lunch (2001)
  • William Dembski

80
What is ID
  • Intelligent agency, as an aspect of scientific
    theory making, has more explanatory power in
    accounting for the specified, and sometimes
    irreducible complexity of some physical systems,
    including biological entities, and/or the
    existence of the universe as a whole, than the
    blind forces of. . . matter.1 That is,
    intelligent design is a better explanation for
    entities exhibiting complex specified information
    (CSI) than are appeals to the inherent capacities
    of nature (i.e. chance and/or physical
    necessity). ID suggests that the world contains
    objects that exhaust the explanatory resources of
    undirected natural causes, and can only be
    adequately explained by recourse to intelligent
    causation.
  • (definition from Peter S. Williams)

81
Irreducible Complexity
Michael Behe (1996)
  • Bacterial flagellum, immune system, etc... are
    too complex to have evolved
  • This result is so unambiguous and so significant
    that it must be ranked as one of the greatest
    achievements in the history of science ... The
    discovery of intelligent design rivals those of
    Newton and Einstein, Lavoisier and Schroedinger,
    Pasteur and Darwin.

82
Complex Specified Information
William Dembski
  • CSI -- information that could not have come
    there by chance alone?
  • e.g. when we see a statue v.s. weathered rock
  • Law of the conservation of information

83
Intelligent Design
  • Philosophical issues
  • Definition of science (demarcation) ?
  • Problems, but why not follow the evidence?
  • Theological issues
  • when/why does God intervene?
  • miracles?
  • Newman/Barth critique

84
ID and Christians
  • Major issues is -- why these miracles?
  • Miracles occur to serve Gods redemptive purpose
  • Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin etc...

And I hold, that when God works miracles, he
does not do it in order to supply the wants of
nature, but those of grace. Whoever thinks
otherwise, must needs have a very mean notion of
the wisdom and power of God Leibnitz
e.g. what is the Biblical rationale for
supernatural action aiding the creation of the
flagellum?
85
Intelligent Design (capitalised)
  • GOOD
  • Looking at complex questions in
    science/philosophy
  • counteracting evolutionism
  • middle road, broad church?
  • LESS GOOD
  • Detached from scripture
  • doesnt solve some pressing questions (like death
    before fall)
  • very political
  • http//www.discovery.org
  • William Dembski, Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer,
    Paul Nelson

86
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/lectur
    e.html
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