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Life's BIG Questions

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Life's BIG Questions Powered By Docstoc
					Has Science Disproved the
                   Bible?


        Part 1
Simple Answer



  No !
               Trust in the Bible
• For many, trust in the Bible has
  been diminished because:-
• Theologians have undermined its
  authority
• It is believed that science has
   disproved its teachings
             Scientists of the Past
• Important to recognise that
  most great scientists of the
  past were believers
• Some of them
  accomplished Bible
  students
• e.g. Sir Isaac Newton
                 Scientific Believers
• Many eminent scientists are
  believers
• These include
  – Current & past fellows of the
    Royal Society
  – Nobel Prize winners
• 1997 Survey in Nature
  – 40% of all scientists in America
    believe in God
                Scientific Believers
“To postulate that the development and
survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence
of chance mutations seems to me a hypothesis
based on no evidence and irreconcilable with
the facts”
              Sir Ernest Chain, 1945 Nobel Prize
“I just cannot believe that everything developed
by random mutations”
                 Dennis Gabor, 1971 Nobel Prize
The burden of proof is on those who don't
believe that "Genesis" was right, and there was
a creation, and that Creator is still involved.
              Richard Smalley 1996 Nobel Prize
              Scientific Believers
“Unless at least half my colleagues are dunces,
there can be – on the most raw and empirical
grounds – no conflict between science and
religion.”
                                 Stephen Jay
Gould


The Bible is not a science text book –
it deals with the why and not the how
                Common Beliefs . . .
Scientists have proved that
• Universe started with a big
  bang
• Life developed by evolution



If true, the Bible must be wrong talking about creation

   These are some of the things we
   shall look at
                              Overview
Important to distinguish between facts
  and theories
• We will find that:
  – Both Bible & Science suggest the universe
    had a beginning
  – Both Bible & Science indicate that life
    appeared in a complete form

 There is no conflict between scientific
 facts and what the Bible says
                       Overview
We shall look at:
• Facts and theories
• The origin of the
  universe
• The fossil record
           Facts and Theories in Science

Facts
• Science works with them
• A far-away nebula
• A rock formation
• A fossil in that rock
  formation
                   Observable Facts
• Something that can be
  proved beyond doubt
  – Tangible
  – Measurable
  – Repeatable




  Can be felt through our senses &
  experienced first hand
                                      Gravity
We all experience gravity
• Drop something & it always
  falls
• Scientific experiments
   – Gravity well understood
   – Rockets launched into
      space
   – Satellites put into orbit
• Gravity is real
   – Can be experienced &
      measured

      Gravity is an observable fact
                  Fact and Theories
Developing a Scientific theory
• Scientist makes observations
• Assumptions made
• Assumptions tested
• Proven “assumption”
  becomes a theory
• Confidence gained by testing

   A theory is developed from extensive
   testing to gain confidence
                  Fact and Theories
Developing a Scientific
  theory
• Theory only trusted
  when confidence
  gained
• Engineers can only use
  tested theories

  We only trust theories that have been tested
                                     Theories
• Sometimes no way of knowing
  assumptions used in a theory
  are right
  – Often the case for the distant
    past
• We can’t use experiments to
  prove it

  Important to know what can be proved &
  what is a theory that can’t be proved
  Trusting Unproven Theories
Mid 19th Century
• “Miasma” theory
   – Disease caused by a
     poisonous vapour
     -“miasma”
• “Dyscrasia” theory
   – Disease caused by
     imbalance in body’s
     temperament
    What were the consequences?
Trusting Unproven Theories
Mid 19th Century
• No problem in drinking water
  contaminated with sewage
   – Thousands died in 4 cholera
     epidemics between 1831 & 1854
• No problem in doctor or nurse
  moving from a dead body to a
  living one without washing
   – 1 in 3 women died in hospital
     giving birth to children

All the facts needed to form correct theory
Some facts may be unknown
  “Big Bang” Observable Facts
1. Light from distant galaxies
   is “red shifted”
2. Cosmic microwave
   background radiation
3. Universe contains mainly
   light weight elements
   – Hydrogen & helium are
     most common elements
4. Galaxies seem evenly
   spread through space
                           “Big Bang” Theory
1. “Red shift” suggests galaxies are
   moving away
   – Universe expanding
2. Background radiation
   – Remains of “Big Bang”explosion
3. Light elements
   – “Big Bang” predicts the lightest
     elements produced first
4. Galaxies evenly spread
   – Will be the case if universe is
     expanding in all directions
     following a “Big Bang”
         “Big Bang” Assumptions
1. Physical laws that we
   know today are
   unchanged
2. The laws are constant
   throughout universe
3. Red shift is caused by light
   source moving away from
   us
    If universe is expanding & we roll back time,
    everything goes back to a point in space time
    from which it all started - The “Big Bang”
            “Big Bang” Assumptions
•   What information would
    modern telescopes have given
    millions of years ago?
•   Can’t do experiments to prove
    laws remain unchanged
•   Facts we have support the
    theory if we accept the
    assumptions that we cannot
    prove


      “Big Bang” must remain an interesting theory,
      and should not be regarded as a fact
                    Theory of Evolution
• Gradual change over many
  millions of years
• Fossil record should show
  – Continuous progression
  – All sorts of stages of
    development
     • E.g. wings in different stages




   The theory of evolution should fit the
   observed facts in the fossil record
                        The Fossil Record
                                        Phyla in the Fossil record
A. According to Darwin’s
                                        A




                            Number of
   theory the number of




                              Phyla
   animal phyla
   gradually increase
   over time
                                                   Time
B. Fossil record shows
   that almost all animal               B

                            Number of
   phyla appear at same
                              Phyla
   geological time

                                                   Time

     Theory does not fit the observed
     facts in fossil record
                  The Fossil Record
Testing the theory of
  evolution
• All fossils are well
  defined
• No intermediate fossils




 But what about Archaeopteryx?
                          Archaeopteryx
Fully formed features
• Toothed jaw like a reptile
• Feathers like a modern bird
• Braincase similar to modern
  bird
Everything needed for flight is
  present


 Not a missing link for origin of birds
           Lack of Transitional Forms
“As by this theory, innumerable
transitional forms must have existed.
Why do we not find them embedded in
the crust of the earth? Why is all nature
not in confusion instead of being as we
see them, well-defined species? … The
explanation lies, however, in the
extreme imperfection of the
geological record”

             Charles Darwin in “The Origin of Species”
                        The fossil record
“There is no need to apologize any
longer for the poverty of the fossil
record. In some ways it has
become almost unmanageably
rich, and discovery is outpacing
integration … The fossil record
nevertheless continues to be
composed mostly of gaps”
   G. T. Neville in Science Progress
                         The fossil record
“The extreme rarity of transitional
forms in the fossil record … (is)
the trade secret of palaeontology
                Steven Jay Gould


“The fossil material is now so complete that the lack of
transitional series cannot be explained by the scarcity of
the material. The deficiencies are real, they will never
be filled”
                     Prof N. Heribert-Nilsson Lund, Sweden
    Lack of Transitional Forms
“The fossil record - in defiance of Darwin's whole idea of
gradual change - often makes great leaps from one form to
the next. Far from the display of intermediates to be expected
from slow advance through natural selection many species
appear without warning, persist in fixed form and disappear,
leaving no descendants. Geology assuredly does not reveal
any finely graduated organic chain, and this is the most
obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against
the theory of evolution.”
     Steve Jones’ preface to Darwin’s Origin of Species 1999
                The Fossil Record

• Fossils give an
  important fact
• Fossil record does not
  contain partly
  developed animals that
  theory of evolution
  predicts
Classification of animals
    Another argument used to support
    evolution
       • Comparative studies of
         animals
          – “Cladistics”
       • Animals that look alike are
         classified as similar
       • Similarities used as
         evidence to say they are
         ‘related’ by evolution
      Classification
• Horses, donkeys, zebras
   – All look alike
• Evolutionist say they had
  common ancestor
• Can’t so any experiments to
  prove this

 Classification of animals
 tells us nothing about how
 they came into existence
          Variations within species
• Small variations seen
  within species
• Over relatively short
  timescale different
  breeds of dogs produced
• “Given enough time,
  these variations can
  produce new species”
• But dogs are still dogs
  not new species



    Different breeds are as a result of human
    interference – not natural selection
           Variations within species
• Small variations seen
  within species
• Big assumption that
  same mechanisms
  caused appearance of
  –   The heart
  –   Bone
  –   Feathers
  –   Warm-blooded creatures
  –   A backbone
             Variations within species
• Big changes never
  been observed
• Not good to extrapolate
  beyond what has been
  seen




        Not sensible to use very minor changes as
        evidence to support the great changes
        required by the theory of evolution
                                 Summary
• Fossil record contains only
  fully formed animals
• Classification of animals
  tells us nothing about how
  they came into existence
• Minor changes are not
  scientific evidence of large
  changes
     Has science disproved the
                        Bible?
• Scientists suggest evidence
  points to beginning of the
  universe
   – “Big Bang”



 About 3,500 years ago the Bible stated
 that the universe had a beginning:
     Has science disproved the
                        Bible?

In the beginning God
created the heavens and
the earth
               Genesis 1:1



 Science and the Bible are in agreement
            Has science disproved the
                               Bible?
• Fossils are facts        “The fossil record furnishes irrefutable
                           proof that life on earth has changed
• Progression of life is
                           through the ages … Fossils prove not
  opinion                  only that life has changed but also that it
• Fossils provide no       has progressed from simplicity to
                           complexity with the passage of time.
  evidence to suggest      These are the facts. To those who take
  progression              an unbiased view of the matter, there is
                           only one conclusion – that all past and
• Creation also explains   present life has descended from simple
  the facts                beings”
                           William Strokes and William Lee in the
                           book “Essentials of Earth History”
                   Does science support
                             the Bible?
• No Bible comment on how
  our world and life began  In the beginning God
• There was a Creator       created the heavens
• Organisation of living    and the earth.
  things                             Genesis 1 v 1
• Points to a Creator
• Here science supports the
  Bible
                                Summary
Important to distinguish between facts
  and theories
• We have seen that
  – Both Bible & Science suggest the universe had
    a beginning
  – The scientific facts used to support evolution
    could also be used to support creation

 There is no conflict between scientific facts
 and what the Bible says

				
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