1 Scientific + philosophical views on the creation of the universe
1.1 cosmology, BBT, Swinburne's design arguments, Columbus + the flat earth myth, NOMA, the anthropic principle
1.2 G hypothesis, an absolute answer, uni.
1.3 how + why oversimplification. E.g. modern accounts of
gravity clearly explain why any object w/ a mass is attracted
by other objects that have a mass.
1.3.1 Isaac Newton, G plays a role of sustaining the system. deist.
1.4 Western developed countries, stories,
Christopher Columbus' voyage to
prove that the earth wasn't flat.
voyage, opposed by the Spanish
monarchy bc of its cost, not bc of any
Q, flat. Indeed, educated people from
Graeco-Roman times onwards knew,
sphere. myth, originates from books
written in the 19th C as part of the
so-called war of S+R.
1.4.1 Stephen Jay Gould:
"Greek knowledge of
sphericity never faded"
1.5 facts, unlike religion. Dawkins: "Faith is the great cop out", not "evaluate evidence"
1.5.1 empirical methods. Creator, bc G established the scientific laws that
enabled life to evolve. McGrath with McGrath state: "One of the
greatest disservices that Dawkins has done to the natural sciences is to
portray them as relentlessly... atheistic" -'The Dawkins Delusion'
1.6 John Polkinghorne, 'Belief in God in an Age of Science': science "is
far from sufficient to satisfy our human longing to understand and
to make sense of the world... Questions of meaning and justice
cannot be removed from the human agenda."
1.7 1. nature is singularly indifferent to humans.
function on its own, no purpose. cruel. 2. "just plain
wrong" "before 1859, all answers to these
questions were" -Dawkins, 'The Selfish Gene'
1.8 NOMA = idea, Stephen Jay Gould. Non-overlapping Magisteria. A
Magisteria = an area of authority that someone (historically a
teacher) has. S+R can co-exist together, different fields of human
experience. R for Gould concerns Qs of meaning, purpose, +
moral values. S, matters of fact + explanations of why things
work as they do.
1.9 Cosmology, field of physics, origins. associated w/ BBT:
15 billion yrs. All the matter that is within the universe
originates from the initial expansion of space from a
single point of space-time. Astronomers, Redshift in the
1.10 Can, origins, explained
18.104.22.168 1. universe is self-explanatory, if we study the universe, come to understand all
the processes, caused, exist. exists by necessity. Bertrand Russell: uni was a
brute fact, hence there is no explanation for its existence. The chemist Peter
Atkins also holds this view, believing that humans will eventually find an
all-encompassing explanation of the uni, through science.
2 Creationism + evo
2.1 origins of the problem w/ evo
2.1.1 late 19th + early 20th centuries.
2.1.2 Q: Bible was verbally inspired + revealed
truths about G the Creator + the place of
22.214.171.124 implied, if not, then its truth cannot be guaranteed:
what is the status of the Bible beyond that of any
126.96.36.199 Bible = the basis of the Christian
faith, implied, the Christian faith +
belief in G isn't true
188.8.131.52 Verbal inspiration = the belief that Holy
Scripture is inspired by G. the divine
authorship or revelation of the Bible.
every word is inspired by G. v typical
within fundamentalist + conservative
Christianity. every word, inspired, the
Bible is inerrant, + contains truths that are
directly revealed by G. OR, could mean,
author of the scripture was inspired to
write by G. writer rather than a typist for a
divine dictation varies
2.1.3 particularly from Protestant traditions,
responded, evo, fundamentalist approach
to Christian belief
184.108.40.206 'Fundamentals' of Religion
were published by Protestant
movements in North America.
evo, rejected precisely bc,
challenge the notion of G as
Creator, since evo accounted
for the origin of different
animals w/o ref. to G
220.127.116.11 Fundamentalist approaches to
scripture claimed, heirs of the
Reformation reformers who sought
the true meaning of scripture behind
the interpretation of the Church's
18.104.22.168.1 but fundamentalism was a new movement,
adopted the empirical approach of science.
22.214.171.124.1.1 Fundamentalists, truth of the Bible, using the empirical method of
science. miracles, ref. to the way the world works. seemed to walk on
water, san banks just below the water's surface. irony, explaining
away the miraculous nature of miracle stories
126.96.36.199.1.2 science is a
the truth of
in the Bible, the
rejected bc it
the truth claims
2.1.4 evolved from animals, denying that humans are
the unique + superior creation of G, G1-2
2.2 Creationist beliefs + responses to them today
2.2.1 beliefs of conservative, often evangelical, Christian
groups. All, groups, evo, rejected. challenges the status
of humanity as presented, Bible. The status of the
Bible itself isn't in Q, nor is the Q of G being the first
cause of the universe (the Victorians had already
rejected the cosmology of Genesis in favour of the
findings of Galileo + Copernicus). PLACES HUMANS ON
THE SAME LEVEL AS ANIMALS - NO LONGER THE
DISTINCT PINNACLE OF CREATION
2.2.2 1. scripture = the inerrant (incapable of being wrong) Word
of G + verbally inspired by G, thus, literally true. Emphasis,
truth of the biblical text as it is written, rather than on
interpretations derived from scripture. Thus, Qs, origin,
most clearly answered in Genesis. Features of the world,
e.g. apparently millennia-old rocks, explained as
prematurely aged by G, or product of past catastrophes,
e.g. Noah's flood. Fossils =bones of animals that are more
recently deceased than archaeology suggests, or, evidence
of Noah's flood (then they were formed).
2.2.3 gaps in the fossil record. But,
other explanations, e.g. the
missing fossils are yet to be
discovered, or , conditions,
died, specific type for a fossil
to be formed (body, rapidly
covered by sediments to
prevent exposure to the air
+ rotting, many, found in
limestone rocks, which were
originally formed under
2.2.4 ages of rocks. use of radiometric dating,
unreliable method, open to error, rate of
decay of an element can change. Scientists:
the circumstances in which the rate at which a
radioactive element decays can only change in
specified + limited circumstances: these don't
affect the accuracy of a radiometric dating.
2.2.5 Creationists, empirical. illustrate the
truth of the Bible. E.g. emphasis placed
upon archaeological findings
concerning flooding, e.g. the flooding of
the Black Sea basin, caused by the
deluge (severe flood) linked to Noah's
flood. Sea levels, different (water,
trapped as ice in previous ice ages) +
catastrophic floods (towns, @ the
bottom of what are seas today)
2.2.6 many Creationists,
Bible, chronology, earth.
James Ussher, creation:
4004 BCE. Other
Creationists, Days in G1
rep. periods of
thousands of yrs. No
doubt, author of
Genesis implies, list of
ancient patriarchs in
Genesis goes back to
Adam. Not to say that
the no. of years of the
Patriarchs' lives, as
given in the Bible,
necessarily, date when
Adam was made.
3 Responses to the creationism + evo controversy
3.1 Why Creationists reject evo: 1. role, Creator,
Genesis. 2. status, humans as a distinct life
form @ the pinnacle of creation in Genesis. 3.
age, counting back the no. of yrs to Adam from
the stated life spans of the Patriarchs in the
OT or by interpreting the Days of Creation as
symbolic periods, time, e.g. 10,000 yrs. 4.
geology, explained by flood catastrophes, e.g.
G6-9. 5. Animals, descended, Noah, escape. 6.
3.2 1. Richard Dawkins. 2. Keith Ward
3.3 1. Neo-Darwinism: Dawkins, rejecting all claims that G the Creator exists
3.3.1 both, explanatory role, origins, life.
Neo-Darwinists: science, replace, bc, empirical.
Religion, according to this view, unscientific + irrational.
3.4 2. Keith Ward: evo doesn't have to be interpreted, in conflict. world
demonstrates a gradual unfolding design: "drives evolution forward." "a
striving to realize the values of beauty, understanding and conscious
relationship" -'God, Chance and Necessity'. sustainer + origin, uni.
3.4.1 Ward: "The people who wrote Genesis
were not stupid... they didn't mean 'day'
3.5 'The Blind Watchmaker': "Natural selection...
has no purpose in mind... It does not plan for
the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no
sight at all... it is the blind watchmaker."
4.1 some modern Creationists since the 1980s, strongly in favour of
'Intelligent Design'. was first advanced, many Christians rejected evo,
design, couldn't be explained by pure blind chance. However, modern
Creationist, complexity, + discoveries (e.g. DNA), or the regularity of the
laws of physics, as evidence, designed by an intelligent Creator.
4.2 In particular, supporters of Intelligent Design point
to the irreducible complexity of biological systems,
4.3 various Creationists point to specified
complexity, physical world. e.g. messenger RNA,
carry info in, nucleus. The complexity of
biological system must have been specified by
an intelligent being.
4.4 Intelligent Design supporters, apparent
fine-tuned nature, universe. The way the actual
physical laws, work together, life, strongly
suggests that there must be a designer of the
system. E.g. the strong force within physics that
holds subatomic particles together wouldn't be
formed, no atomic particles + ultimately no life.
the physical laws like the strong force are so
'fine-tuned', suggest there must be a designer.
4.5 Stephen Jay Gould: S+R are NOMA, fine-tuned,
not necessarily have anything to do w/ religion.
4.6 'ID': its modern meaning, ruling by the supreme Court in America that the teaching of Creationist
ideas as science was unconstitutional. key features of ID, all, created by G:
4.6.1 universe = irreducibly complex, so complex,
the complexity of these things cannot be
explained by the blind process of evo
4.6.2 specified complexity of organisms + the universe.
the complexity of the organisms, so great, only
possible explanation = it has been 'specified' by G
4.6.3 The physical laws of the universe
are just right for life to exist.
different, no life + no stars,
provide E to sustain life
4.6.4 Often ID is closely linked to Creationism.
4.6.5 claims of ID can't be tested, +, unfalsifiable. w/o need for Creator
5 Religious responses to challenges posed by scientific views, origins, universe, evolution of life
6 Exam Qs
6.1 understand + assess debates concerning these topics
6.2 balanced consideration
6.3 a. Explain how religious people might interpret the theory of evo
6.3.1 breadth of understanding by explaining more than 1 religious approach
6.3.2 a Creationist approach
6.3.3 Ref. different ways,G1-2, interpreted, e.g. myth
6.3.4 Exploring what is meant by Intelligent Design, why, appeal
6.4 b. 'Science removes any need for belief in a God who created the universe.' Discuss.
6.4.1 explore 2-3 ideas
6.4.2 BBT account, why the universe exists. Peter Atkins
6.4.3 analyse, implications of the BBT for belief, Creator, in relation
to the problem of 'G of the gaps' religious thinking + the danger
of tying religious belief too closely to scientific discovery. Ref.
Stephen Jay Gould's concept of NOMA
6.4.4 science, sustainer. Keith Ward or John Polkinghorne, assess ideas
6.4.5 evaluation of Richard Swinburne's
interpretations of signs of design in the
universe, e.g. fundamental laws of
physics, used to suggest that belief in G
the Creator, logical, accept modern