Summary: Evolution is the cornerstone of the naturalistic world view. Three mechanisms - mutation, reproduction, and selection - operating in nature are held to explain the origins of all living organisms. My purpose is to assist the Christian college student in discerning the pseudo- science and propaganda that often surrounds evolutionary arguments. The lecture will address questions such as: Is evolution the work of Charles Darwin or is it an ancient system of thought? What is evolution? What are some disastrous social consequences of evolution? What is the plausibility argument and how does it differ from science? How are fossils misinterpreted? What is the faith of the evolutionist? Can Christians believe in evolution?
Lecturer biography: Dr. Gary L. Achtemeier received his education at Florida State University and has been a research scientist for 25 years in fields of meteorology, forestry, aerobiology, and remote sensing. He was part of the research team that developed the concept of "tornado chase" upon which the movie, Twister, is based. Now at UGA/Forestry Sciences Laboratory, his air quality research includes methods for using moonlight and light-enhancing cameras to detect smoke from smoldering nighttime fires. Dr. Achtemeier became a Christian at age 14 and has dedicated himself to "removing stumbling blocks that keep God’s people from coming before his throne." He has followed the creation-evolution controversy for nearly 30-years. His studies have culminated in a book, Spiritual Espionage, which contrasts the conflict from a Christian perspective. He is acquainted with many different facets of the body of Christ. He and his wife, Sue, live in Oconee County and attend Grace Fellowship Church of God.
Statement: There is a vast difference in perspective between one who understands himself as a little lower than the angels and one who sees himself as a little higher than the apes.
Actual Lecture Outline
1. Where did evolution come from?
a) early Greek thought - Gods evolved/physical life created.
b) era of the great Greek philosophers - Gods & physical life evolved.
c) Darwin & evolution - little left to prove.
2. What is evolution?
a) a multitude of definitions.
b) microevolution contrasted with macroevolution.
c) selective evolution.
d) purposeless evolution.
3. Some social impacts of evolution.
a) teen suicide - depression.
b) drug abuse - purposelessness.
c) Hitler - license to kill.
a) what have I proved? Common ancestry or common design?
b) distortions of fossil information.
c) Noahcin assumption - problem of living fossils.
5. Closing remarks.
(In alphabetical order)
Gary L. Achtemeier, Spiritual Espionage (1995) (available from author) – from a Christian viewpoint, contrasts creation-evolution controversy from secular and spiritual perspectives.
Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box (1996) Free Press – introduces "irreducible complexity" biochemistry to destroy Darwin’s evolutionary theory
William Dembski, ed. Mere Creation (1998) InterVarsity Press – proceedings of a conference held to explore intelligent design as a substitute for Darwinian evolution
Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985) Hutchinson – a survey of failings of evolution from the perspective of a microbiologist.
Robert Gentry, Creation’s Tiny Mystery (1988) Earth Science Associates – a chronology of the discovery of radiometric haloes and their implications for the formation of the earth
Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial Intervarsity Press – from the perspective of a legal mind; shows that Darwinism is not supported by science
Phillip E. Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds InterVarsity Press – shows how Darwinism intrudes into our thinking through nonstated assumptions
Henry M. Morris, The Long War Against God (1989) Baker – a biblical creationist perspective on origins of evolution and its impacts upon our culture
Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God (1989) Promise – a look at recent astronomical discoveries that suggest that the universe was specifically created to support life
Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men (1987) TFE Publishing – a comprehensive history of origin of evolutionary thought
Thaxton, Bradley, Olsen, The Mystery of Life’s Origin (1984) Philosophical Library – shows failure of chemical evolution to account for origin of life
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