Evolution Dialogues by C3PEDF9

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									    The Evolution
     Dialogues:
 Science, Christianity, and the
   Quest for Understanding




The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
     Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion
     The American Association
  for the Advancement of Science


 World’s oldest general scientific society
 World’s largest general scientific society
    Represents some 10 million scientists
     worldwide
 Publisher of Science
    Founded in 1880 by Thomas Edison
    One million readers per week
             AAAS Mission

 To advance science and innovation throughout
  the world for the benefit of all people
 AAAS Program of Dialogue on
 Science, Ethics, and Religion
           (DoSER)



 Contributes to the level of scientific understanding in
  religious communities
 Promotes multidisciplinary education and scholarship of
  the ethical and religious implications of advances in
  science and technology
   DoSER also seeks to:

 Increase scientific engagement in the
  dialogue on science, ethics, and religion


 Facilitate collaboration among scientists,
  ethicists, and religion scholars and leaders


 Further public understanding of the dialogue
  on science, ethics, and religion
 History of evolutionary
  theory
 Relationship between
  Christianity and evolution
 The nature of science and
  Christian ways of knowing
 The history of life
    Science
       in
    Darwin’s
     Time
7
     A Period of Unprecedented
        Scientific Discovery

    In the late 18th century:
       Fossils discovered in Russia, Europe, and
        North America
       Overseas travel revealed unfamiliar plants
        and animals
       Patterns uncovered in layers of rocks

8
    Rethinking the Age of the Earth
        Biblical writings: 6000 years old
           Estimated time based on lineages
        Compte de Buffon: 75,000 years old
           Data on heating and cooling of iron and
            other materials
        James Hutton: Millions of years old
           Observed weathering and erosion
        Charles Lyell: Millions of years old
           Studied rock layers
9
            Pondering the
          Succession of Life
     Fossils of non-existent species
        Evolution (change over time) was
         occurring
        Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
          Transmutation: the change from less
           perfect into more perfect
10
     Darwin Makes His Contribution
                  Articulated the mechanism
                   of evolution:
                    Individuals with traits more
                     adaptive in their particular
                     environment would be more
                     successful
                    This mechanism is natural
                     selection

11
     Christianity
          in
      Darwin’s
       Time
12
     The Seamless Blending of all
            Knowledge

     Western understanding of the
      world based on the bible, nature,
      and history
        In 1650, Archbishop James Ussher
         dated the creation of the world to
         4004 B.C.
13
           The World as
              inferred
           from the Bible
 Special Creation
       God created each living thing in its
        ideal form or “kind”
 Humans created in God’s image
 The Great Chain of Being
       All creatures ordered from worms to
        human beings, through angels, to God.
 14
         An Evolving Sense of
               History
      Geologists:
         Evidence suggested a much older Earth
      Religious thinkers:
         How to interpret the first chapter of Genesis
             Day-Age theory
             Gap theory
      More generally:
         Shift towards importance of empirical evidence to
          scientific pursuits

15
     Darwin’s Religious Views

      Best described as agnostic
        Did not believe the world was a result of
         the evolutionary process alone
        But could not trust the human mind to
         grasp the true nature of existence



16
       The
     Theory of
     Evolution
17
      Evolution in Action

      All species related through a
       common ancestor
      Distinct species result from
       incremental changes to traits over
       millions of years



18
            Natural Selection
      Process itself is not random
         Response to environmental conditions
      Changes to DNA is random
         Mutation: changes to DNA
            Occasionally causes beneficial changes in
             traits
            Increased reproductive success
            Trait endures through subsequent
             generations

19
       Other Evolutionary Mechanisms

 Sexual selection
      Females prefer to mate with
       most impressive male


 Genetic drift
      The genetic structure of a
       population changes
       randomly over time.


20
          Microevolution and
           Macroevolution
      Microevolution
        The small-scale, observable change
         over time that occurs within a species
      Macroevolution
        The production of new species through
         evolutionary processes


21
        Evidence for Evolution
      Homologies
         Anatomical structures that are similar
          across species
      Transitional fossils
         Records in stone of the change within
          species, across species and across
          lines that separate one type of body
          plan from another

22
      Focus on Current Research
      Biological evolution
         Widely accepted by scientists
      However:
         Details are still debated
         Questions remain in relation to evolution
            When did the various species first evolve?
            How much is the evolution of one species
             related to the evolution of another?
            How did life originate?
23
     Initial Responses
         to Darwin’s
            Theory


24
     A Topic of Personal Interest
       On the Origin of Species published
        in 1859
       Book quickly sold out
         Challenged understanding of God as
          creator
         Raised questions about origins of
          human morality
       Responses varied widely
25
                Rejection
     Many believed:
        Change in nature part of God’s plan
          Darwin’s theory contradicted this
        Theory of Evolution:
          Lacked sufficient evidence
          Conflicted with a literal reading of
           Genesis
26
                  Qualified Support
      Some colleagues:
        Supported old Earth theory and natural selection
        But not human evolution




27
        Enthusiastic Support

     Some of the scientific community
     Some of the Christian community
        Reverend Charles Kingsley
          God could work through evolution



28
        Evolution of Scientific and
             Public Opinion
      Evolution widely accepted within 15 years
      Natural selection not fully accepted until the 20th
       century
      Neither were particularly controversial (after initial
       hubbub)
      Used by public to justify unscientific views
         Labeling of poor and uneducated as “unfit”
29
       Evolving Christian Responses

 Initially, no major issues among
  Christians except Catholics
      Catholic immigrants labeled “unfit”
       by the eugenics movement
 No major issues among other
  religious groups
 No official resistance to evolution
  in U.S.

30
     Build-up Toward Backlash
      Rise of fundamental Christianity
      Stability of traditional society challenged
         Rise of industrialism
         After-math of civil war
         Women’s suffrage
         Immigration
      Increase in number of children receiving
       public secondary education


31
            Evolution on Trial
      Law passed in 1925 criminalizing the
       teaching of evolution in Tennessee
      Scopes Monkey Trial
         Law stood for forty years
         Four other states banned teaching of
          evolution in public schools
         Individual districts banned teaching of
          human evolution

32
       The
     Science
      Behind
     Evolution
33
           What Science Is

      A process through which to
      understand the natural world




34
     Levels of Scientific Knowledge
       Facts
         Observations that have been confirmed
          again and again
       Hypothesis
         A tentative proposal used to explain data
       Theory
         An explanation of how nature works that
          encompasses many tested hypotheses
35
The Construction of Knowledge About Evolution

  Darwin published after years of research
      Studied pigeons using observations, experiments and
       correspondence
         Hypothesized that pigeons were a single species
         Bred pigeons from different breeds and produced fertile
          offspring.




36
        Certainty and Uncertainty
      Scientists must remain flexible
      New data can require new hypotheses
      Even theories can change
      Changes to theories are accepted if they:
        Fit experimental evidence gathered over years
        Explain observations that conflict with previous
         theories
        Predict further data
37
           Non-scientific
     Interpretations of Science

      Claims that science supports non-
       scientific worldviews
        Theism
        Atheism
      Science is only one way of knowing.

38
 Christian
Worldviews
       Foundations of Christianity
      The Bible
         The foundation of Christian belief
      Revelation
         A source of Christian knowledge
      Tradition
         Biblical interpretations, theology, church government, religious
          practices
      Reason
         A gift from God that leads to deeper understanding
      Experience
         Everyday life, observations of the world, religious experiences


40
        Jesus According to the Gospels


      A rabbi and healer who preached God’s love
      Seen as threat to social order; arrested, tried,
       and crucified
      Appeared in the flesh three days later and
       after forty days, ascended to Heaven

41
                      Christian Belief
      Christianity
         World’s largest religion (2 billion)
         Jesus the Messiah, God’s chosen one
         Christians are called to:
            Love God and others
            Follow the example of Jesus
         Unity with God is possible with repentance


42
                 Defining Religion


      The pursuit of answers to life’s “big questions


      A search for reality beyond scientific exploration




43
     Faith as the Starting Point

      Systems of knowledge are built through:
         Shared assumptions
         Judgments
         Experiences over time
      No intentional testing of doctrine




44
                   Contested Knowledge
 Disagreement and Controversy within
  Christianity
       Biblical inerrancy
           Bible is without error in every
            detail
           Word “day” means 24-hours
       Biblical infallibility
           Bible is correct in what it
             teaches
           Can include allegory,
             metaphor, and parable
 45
      The World
         as
      Explained
     by Evolution
46
     Diversity Beyond Measure

     1.8 million species
        Estimated actual total between 4
         million and 15 million




47
              One Big Family
      All species contain DNA
        Genes are operational units of DNA
      DNA sequences similar between species
        DNA differences reflect “relatedness”
      Similar traits also reflect common descent
        But convergent evolution also produces similar
         characteristics

48
                     Life’s Origins

      The Big Bang Theory
         Predominant explanation for origin of the universe
      Single-celled life appeared 3.5 - 4 billion years ago
      Defining a living thing
         Acquires and uses energy
         Membrane separates it from surroundings
         Reproduces



49
     The Arrival of Plants and Animals
        Soil and bacteria built up on Earth’s surface
        Simple plants and fungi emerged
        Over next couple billion years, eukaryotes
         appeared
        1 billion years ago, first multi-celled animals
         formed eukaryotic cells
        500 million years ago, first animals with
         spines evolved

50
                   Human Origins

 5 to 8 million years ago : A fork in
  the branching evolution of primate
  species
 Chimpanzee lineage evolved from
  one branch
 Modern humans evolved from the
  other (hominins)
 Human species the only surviving
  branch of hominin family
51
         The Future of Evolution
      Insights about humans from the story of
       evolution:
            Evolved very late in the history of biological
             evolution
            Stand apart from the millions of other
             species
              •   Operate within a framework of cultural evolution
              •   Have unprecedented effects on the existence of
                  other forms of life on the planet

52
     Contemporary Stances
       Toward Evolution




53
            A Touchy Subject
      Arguments over whether and how evolution should
       be taught:
         Change science to make it consistent with
          religious views
         Modify religious views to account for an evolving
          universe
         Separate science and religion into distinct
          domains


54
       “Scientific” Creationism
      Scientific claims made to support creationist
       doctrines
         Rebutted by scientists as distortions of science
      Lobbied for “scientific” creationism to be included
       in public school science curriculum
      Barred by 1987 Supreme Court ruling



55
                “Intelligent Design”
      Some biological phenomena not explained by
       evolution
      Some biological structures “irreducibly complex”
         Claimed as evidence of an intelligent designer
         But evolution can and does explain them
      “Teach the controversy” undermines evolutionary
       biology
         There is no scientific controversy about evolution

56
              Scientists Respond
      ID :
         Presumes science can detect supernatural actions
         Encourages abandonment of scientific inquiry
      “Supernatural” entities:
         Operate outside of natural laws
         Cannot be investigated through science
      ID:
         Not science and misguided theology

57
     Creation and Evolution Complementary

                   Many Christians (now and in
                    the past) believe:
                      Science and religion are
                       complementary
                      Faith in God consistent with
                       evolutionary understanding of life
                      Evolutionary theory stimulates
                       evolving understanding of God



58
 Creation and Evolution as Interactive

      Evolutionary theology
         Views God as continuously engaged in
          an ongoing creation of the universe
          through evolutionary processes
      Process theology
         Suggests that God creates the world by
          enabling it to create itself and that God is
          affected as the universe evolves

59
     Shared values


        Truthfulness

        Community

         Tradition


60
          Reason

								
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