Conference on Christianity and Science

The apparent conflict between Science and Christianity is the subject to be addressed at a day conference in Inverness which will bring together three expert speakers on the theme.

The WorldConference on Christianity & Science

Inverness East Church Hall,

 Margaret Street, Inverness IV1 1LU

Saturday, 28 August, 2010

Dr Murdo MacDonald:
Director of the Church of Scotland's Science, Religion and Technology Project.

The Rev Dr Alistair Donald:
Church of Scotland Minister currently serving as Chaplain to Herriot Watt University.

The Rev Dr Arthur Fraser:
Minister and a former University Lecturer.

10.30am - Registration and Tea/Coffee
11.30am - Murdo MacDonald
‘Science and Christianity: Friends or Foes?'
12.45pm - Lunch
1.30pm - Alistair Donald
'What is Intelligent Design?'
2.45pm - Coffee
3.15pm - Arthur Fraser
'Can Christians believe in an Old Earth?'
4.30pm - Finish

Conference Fee: £5                 Bring a Packed Lunch: Tea and Coffee provided

Further information: Tel. 01463 236695

East Church, Inverness, 14/08/2010

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George Orr 22/08/2010 13:32

You start with athe n assumption that the theory of evolution is true. It is not true it is a theory.

Evolution is a theory that proposes that life came about spontaneously, in a very basic form and from there, it has 'evolved', multiplied and and improved to the point today where we have the great biodiversity that we see.

The above statement is chop full of assumptions but let me deal with just one. A basic understanding of information transfer, e.g. in the DNA of a cell, shows that the basic information for the formation of 'anything' requires that the information be there in the first place or that new information has to be introduced from an outside source.

If the information is there in the first place, where did it come from?
With the information that is already present in the DNA; a new cell of the exact same capability can be created or a less good cell that has mutated and switched off information can be created.
It is not possible to create a better cell with no new additional information from an outside source. There can be apparent beneficial mutations that occur but these always occur with less information.

In the natural world what is often called 'evolution' is in fact natural selection which takes the form of an apparent improvement in a kind. This always takes place within the 'kind' and is always only an apparently beneficial mutation.

Defination of Evolution
a process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage (especially a more advanced or mature stage)
((biology) the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms)

(especially a more advanced or mature stage)
This is a blind faith statement it is not science.

Evolution has never been observed. Evolution goes against all the known and observed truths of information science. Evolution is a bankrupt theory.

Penny Lee 22/08/2010 16:27
I gather one of the basic laws of science is that "Order cannot come out of chaos". That law would appear to completely contradict what we are asked to believe in evolution. If you put all the correct ingredients in the same place and waited for them to come together in the right combination, you'd wait for eternity because it just isn't going to happen. Science tells us that and common sense tells us it. Since it cannot happen, how much more so when you don't even begin with the right ingredients in the first place? Then, try adding a random explosion (which can't be explained either) and you now have all the random ingredients now broken and even less likely to form something worthwhile. Then we are asked to believe that this happened millions and billions of times until we had a very complex, varied and incredibly ordered galaxy.

And you wonder why we cannot accept it?
DuncanTamsett (Guest) 23/08/2010 14:43
1. At a Science and Christianity conference in the 1980s Duane Gish confidently predicted that the gap in fossil record between Land Mammals and Marine Mammals would 'never' be bridged. (He supported his assertion with an image of a Cow bearing flippers - being rewarded with the laugh he was fishing for). In the early 90s the first fossil bridging the gap was found. This was done by knowing the approx. age of the rocks in which such a fossil would be found, then locating rocks having the appropriate and palaeo envoronment, and then searching. This is a good e.g. of the predictive power of Evolution working as a theory. (i.e. it is not 'just a theory' - what ever that means!) (In the late 90s another fossil bridging the gap was found and in the 00s approx another 10 distinct fossil intermediates between Marine and Land Mammals were found) 2. The subtitle of Darwin's famous book is much more interesting than the main title. Evolution was not new as an idea in 1859. Genetic mutation may produce random change, but Natural Selection (N.B. Selection is the 'opposite' of Random) means that the genetic information carried by surviving genes changes in a non-random way. i.e. Darwin's original cotribution was the Mechanism for Nat. Sel rather than Evol. itself. 3. Growth 'defies' the laws of thermomdynamics in precisely the same way that evolution does, and yet here we all are. i.e. Evol. does not defy Thermodynamics for reasons that it takes too long to attempt to explain here. 4. For those of you willing to look at something 'not' produced by the 'Answers in Genesis' outfit, you might benefit from reading 'In Search of Darwin's God' by Ken Miller (a real Scientist and a real Christian). In the last 3rd of the book he does not quite prove God through a consideration of Nature but he does i think do a good job of showing that Science has failed to dismiss God.
A P Elsworthy (Guest) 24/08/2010 18:46
Science cannot use its tools to dismiss God because God is faith based rather than rational. As far as I am aware science is not even looking at the question of God because it has more pressing matters.
Donald Boyd 30/08/2010 13:16
I wonder if any of the contributors to this forum attended this "conference". If so, do you have any comments to make?

Duncan Tamsett (Guest) 31/08/2010 10:46
A Science and Christianity meeting wld have interested me in principle. But this looked like a cover for an attempt to promote 6 Day Creationism as Science based. Was i wrong to think so? One of the talks shd have been subtitled '... Can Scientists Believe in a Young Earth?'. That may have made it more interesting to me. There did not appear to be anything challenging the Young Earth view on offer. Was i wrong to think so? Is there a potted 'proceedings' of the meeting available i wonder?
Alec (Guest) 31/08/2010 16:02

My reading of the poster and the items on it is of OEC rather the YEC viewpoint

Esp the question:

"'Can Christians believe in an Old Earth?'

Almost as if ther is a sub line there that reads "Is it OK for Christians to believe in an old Earth?"

Plus the fact that the language used doesnt sound like the sort of thing you get from YECs

But the main clue is the speaker Dr Murdo Macdonald of the

Doesnt sound remotely like YEC territory

Would be interesting to hear from someone who was there to hear what was actually said

Duncan Tamsett (Guest) 31/08/2010 17:01
I have looked at the web site you mentioned and I agree that the indications are that I have probably misjudged MM.

Any proceedings available to those that did not attend?
Donald Boyd 01/09/2010 14:20
Dr Arthur Fraser clearly articulated his belief in millions of years of Earth history in the third lecture 'Can Christians believe in an Old Earth?', but the other lecturers made no comment on this.

This lecture gave standard geological teaching and Dr Fraser said that there is no current geological evidence of Noah’s flood.

However it was not a conference as there was no conferring. There were three lectures, and after paying our admission fee we were informed that there would be only one question per person - hardly a conference.

Some lectures are so poor that if one is to benefit from them one needs to ask several questions, even if only to clarify what the speaker means.

I got no opportunity to put a geological question to him. He referred to the short run-off time in the recent Pakistan floods as evidence that there was no time in Noah's flood to lay down the sedimentary rocks. The rain and run-off time in Scripture for Noah's flood was six months Gen 8:3, so that Noah’s was no local flood. When I asked him about this afterwards, he had no comment to make on it. Conference attendees are no wiser about this.

The first two lectures were useful but the third one was evidently the controversial one and merited proper discussion and at least clarification.

Alec (Guest) 01/09/2010 15:09
I have followed the Faith/Science debate for some time and I find it fascinating. Sounds like the conference was a missed opportunity to properly address some of the key issues. On the other hand, it may be that addressing some of these issues too closely leads to some difficult situations viz:

Whether the debate is Faith vs Science or Religion vs Evolution or whatever, there is one key issue which most arguments hinge on . Origins

The early chapters of Genesis speak of Man being specially created and that there is one man , created from dust, and one woman, created from Adams rib. They are perfect in their original state and creation itself has no flaws. So far so good. What then happens is that sin gets in – the Fall takes place and after this, physical death occurs, and the natural environment itself is disturbed and damaged (hence earthquakes)

This is very much the YEC view, and to my mind , it fits perfectly with NT teachings. Paul and Christ both refer to Adam. It is perfectly clear that according to NT teaching humankind is sinful BECAUSE of Adam and Eve. It follows that Jesus and Paul believed in a literal Adam and Eve

The whole NEED for the Christian scheme of redemption is based on the Fall of Man. It has to be a literal truth.

Problem is, this doesn’t sit well with modern science. Adam and Eve the first representatives of Homo Sapiens? No Hominids before them? No plate tectonics before Adam and Eve bit a piece of fruit? (So was the earths crust homogenous? Where did Continental and Oceanic crustal types come from?) Were carnivores herbivorous before the Fall? When did they develop carnivorous digestive tracts and grow fang like teeth?

It goes without saying that none of the YEC / literalist / 6 day creation / special creation of Man sits with any of

13 billion year old Universe
> 4 billion year old Earth

The problem is not one for the YECs – they simply deny modern science, and besides, a literal reading of Genesis fits perfectly with the Christian scheme of redemption. Anyone who takes a literalist /YEC view will have no difficulty getting the NT to agree with Genesis.

The problem is for the OECs and Theistic Evolutionist believers.

How does one square scientific evidence with a Christian worldview without

1) Simply ignoring the inconvenient bits
2) Using metaphor and allegory
3) Compartmentalising (which is a bit like 1))

It’s a difficult one. And its only when you start asking questions about the detail that the problems start to appear

And it almost seems at time that there are only 2 possible ways of reconciling everything

1) Young Earth Literalism
2) Atheism

Any opinions , feel free…..


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