Peter's Science and Religion Pages
Science & Religion
Peter Eyland, 02/09/06
Anselm believed it would be wrong not to demonstrate by reason the truth of what Christians believe.
Creation Science, Intelligent Design and Evolution
The questions behind these topics are:
What have, and do, Christians believe about when, and how, the Earth and her people were created?
I will present a number of different views tonight. I emphasise that some (conceivably all) of them will not be my own, but it is my intention to present variously conflicting views as fairly as possible. That may confuse you, but try not to concentrate on what my position may, or may not be. Concentrate on the arguments themselves. You will of course have to evaluate any bias I may unconsciously express, and you will need to reflect on any new information, and choose for yourselves what you think best.
All care taken, no responsibility accepted.
I will introduce the idea of “concordance” and “paradigm”, and then discuss three scientific paradigms.
First: the moving Earth,
Third: Adam and Evolution.
The idea of the Earth moving brought Galileo into conflict with the Catholic Church authorities.
Questioning the age of the Earth brought Lyell into conflict with the Bible's genealogies. Creation Science will be looked at under this heading as it argues for a young Earth.
Darwin's idea of evolution raised questions about Adam and his creation. Intelligent Design will be looked at under this heading, as it is essentially anti-evolutionary.
Any slightly historical bent can be blamed on Mark Twain’s comment: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes”.
Some Christians insist that the Bible has to be in exact correspondence with modern science. Passions are naturally roused when people feel that their whole hope of heaven depends upon this concordance. People often express an all or nothing approach.
A scientific paradigm is a simple but comprehensive idea that provides a model explanation of something and in doing so generates a number of interlocking facts. Normal science investigates a paradigm to extend the knowledge of the facts it reveals. It increases the match between prediction and fact, and clarifies its statement.
Some historic paradigms are contained in:
These all formed bases for scientific paradigms in that they formed distinctive, coherent views of nature which then attracted an enduring group of followers and left problems to be resolved.