FALSE DICHOTOMY PRESENTATION

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1 evolution vs. creation FALSE DICHOTOMY PRESENTATION A great resource for demonstrating the false dichotomy of evolution vs. young earth creationism and STARTING CONVERSATION Presentation prepared by Tracy Bolton Dungan PDF designed/packaged by

2 INTRODUCTION I recently taught a lesson to my confirmation class about creation and evolution. My goal was to confront the false dichotomy of evolution/science/no God vs creation/6 days/young earth/anti science. I presented the cases of evolution, young earth creation, old earth creation, theistic evolution, and intelligent design, giving basic beliefs, roadblocks and challenges to their beliefs (and the responses), as well as a little on how each case treats science and scripture. The group (8th & 9th grade) was very engaged, asked good questions. I sent them home with a few easy resources if they were interested in pursuing more - including the tip that all of their parents have Natasha s 40 Conversations book, with several chapters devoted to these topics. Thank you to Natasha Crain, for tackling this subject in a way that inspired me to try this with my confirmands. I very much appreciated the additional resources she listed for each chapter, thoughtful sources who also treat with care and respect other positions. I poured over many of them, and I know I would not have found them without her direction! They have helped immensely with my conversations with my skeptical family members, as well. -Tracy Bolton Dungan P.S. Natasha Crain s book Keeping Your Kids on God s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith is available for purchase and a highly recommended resource. Check it out: TABLE OF CONTENTS Materials & Setup Explanation...3 Presentation...4 Boards Overview...5 Board Printables Board Titles...6 Basic Beliefs...15 Scripture & Science...23 Challenges for Evolution...35 Challenges for Young Earth Creation...56 Challenges for the rest...71 Visuals Bacterial Flagellum...92 Apparent Age Demonstrated...93 Radiometric Dating...94 Combinatorial Probability Demonstrated...95 Pre-Cambrian Explosion Demonstrated...96 Post-Cambrian Explosion Demonstrated...97 Set-Up Example...98 Revised: January 6, 2017

3 MATERIALS & SETUP EXPLANATION Before You Start This presentation is an outline in working form. Most of the ideas presented under Challenges/Roadblocks need more explanation than what is written. You need to know your stuff in order to present it well and effectively. Material List Worldview Board Titles (print and cut) Challenge & Answer (print and cut) 2- Word Combo locks (or use the image provided in the VISUALS section) Legos for Cambrian explosion (or use the images provided in the VISUALS section) 2-4 x8 foam core boards (or large poster boards, butcher paper, etc) Tape Paper (colored paper recommended for the Worldview Board Titles and Challenges) Prepping The Materials I color coded the 5 worldviews. I find it helps to visually differentiate them. Challenges and Answers I printed double-sided. I purchased two word combo locks (see picture), so they could calculate probabilities of combinations on a small scale I set up a visual demonstration of the Cambrian explosion, using Legos (see page) We have a large supply of 4 x8 foam insulation boards that we use for decorating/props/etc. I took two of these to be the evolution and young earth creation boards. This allowed me to show the supposed dichotomy between these two separate positions, hiding the rest of the info behind them. For all challenges and answers, I taped or pinned up the 1-3 word side facing out, the longer explanation facing the wall. Ones with extra pictures, I put the picture behind the challenge, and when the challenge is revealed, used the picture in my explanation. Example of set-up using colored paper (see page_ for large version). Left: Before, Right: After 3

4 PRESENTATION 1. Start with only evolution and creation visible. Explain the basic beliefs of both, asking if anyone has something they feel I missed out. 2. Talk about the perceived exclusionary nature of the two positions. 3. Open up the two boards, revealing the other main camps. 4. Add Young Earth to the board that said Creation. 5. Discuss that I have chosen a well-represented position for each view, but there are people along the spectrum, and different answers to some challenges, depending who you ask. 6. Explain the basic beliefs of the 3 newly revealed positions. 7. Ask each student to come up and pick a challenge. They turn it over and reattach to wall or board while I m explaining more about that challenge. 8. When someone turns over the mathematical/probability challenge, I bring out the combination locks. Can you figure out the number of possible combinations? Then compare to an average length protein, with 120 dials. Discuss the large numbers involved. 9. When someone turns over the Fossil Record challenge (under evolution), bring out the Legos, and discuss what the Cambrian explosion shows. 10. Once all the challenges have been revealed, evaluate your time. We had used up 1 hour out of our 90 minute block of time. I gave us 20 minutes for revealing the Dealing with the Roadblocks. Since that isn t enough time for all of them, I told them to pick the ones they were most curious about the response, and we d go until we ran out of time. 11. With the Roadblock Explanations, sometimes I hadn t actually found anyone who answered the challenge. Sometimes, I found the answer extremely unsatisfying. I mentioned that when talking about it, and told the kids they could research further, and see if they could find a better answer. 12. With 10 minutes left, we went to the last part how does each group view science, how do they view Scripture. I had them guess which they might value more, or consider more authoritative. 13. I left the display up in our room, so that anyone curious about the last of the Roadblock Answers could sneak in and look if they wanted to. 4

5 BOARDS OVERVIEW Basic Beliefs Roadblocks Challenges Dealing with Roadblocks How it Treats Scripture How it Treats Science Evolution Intelligent Design Theistic Evolution Old Earth Creation Young Earth Creation Change through time Undirected, result of chance All life on earth from one life Mutations happen, natural selection keeps the best, over time new species There is an intelligent mind behind creation, responsible for information in cell, balance of life in universe God started creation, put everything in place so that evolution would happen and end up where it is today Days of creation represent chunks of time God used special creation at several points universe, life, diversity, intelligence/ Sentience/ souls Evolution could be part of progression Earth & Universe at most 10,000 years old God created in 6 literal days Evolution of animals is only within kind Abiogensis Fossil Record Cambrian explosion, etc. Math/probability Irreducible Complexity Sentience Information within genes Free Will Whose definition of Science? God of Gaps? Pre-determination vs. Free will Random and Heartless What about Adam & Eve? Integrity of Biblical Interpretation God of Gaps? Position in Science World Layers of fossils Geologic Dinosaurs Visible Evolution Abiogenesis combination of materials and time. Different earth then. Fossil Record soft bodies, incomplete record Irreducible Complex- Maybe the pieces were there and used for other things Sentience -?? Math/prob -time & chance Free Will Illusion Info in Genes Just appears like info?? Whose Science showing where ID gives testable outcomes, allows for predictions God of Gaps Follow the science to reasonable and only explanation Free Will -?? Random & Heartless God outside of time and space, knows how it all ends Maybe image of God is not physical at all. Adam & Eve & Sin at some point, God took animal humans and added souls Biblical Interpretation Careful in interpretation, looking for full integrity with scriptures God of Gaps Questions beyond science + questions where most reasonable answer is God. Flood Geology Appearance of age (Adam full grown) Institute for Creation Science Radiometric dating uses incorrect assumptions Dinosaurs contemp with people All visible evolution is within kind Irrelevant there is no God, or at least no proof of God Secondary Acknowledging ID begs the question of WHO? Anything regarding creation is spiritual lesson only God is answer for questions science not meant to handle meaning of life Primary source, but traditional interpretation may not be correct Nature part of God s revelation. God & Science will always agree our interpretation (of either) may be wrong Primary source Any discrepancies, scripture wins See everything through the lens of scripture Natural laws able to explain everything, if given enough time Follow where science leads including to intelligent explanations Primary Source. Any discrepancies, science wins, scripture redefined Nature is also part of God s revelation Science gives you insights, scripture gives direction Investigate through lens of scripture 5

6 BOARD TITLES (TO PRINT & CUT) BASIC BELIEFS BASIC BELIEFS BASIC BELIEFS BASIC BELIEFS 6

7 BOARD TITLES (TO PRINT & CUT) BASIC BELIEFS ROADBLOCKS/ CHALLENGES ROADBLOCKS/ CHALLENGES ROADBLOCKS/ CHALLENGES 7

8 BOARD TITLES (TO PRINT & CUT) ROADBLOCKS/ CHALLENGES ROADBLOCKS/ CHALLENGES DEALING WITH ROADBLOCKS DEALING WITH ROADBLOCKS 8

9 BOARD TITLES (TO PRINT & CUT) DEALING WITH ROADBLOCKS DEALING WITH ROADBLOCKS DEALING WITH ROADBLOCKS HOW IT TREATS SCRIPTURE 9

10 BOARD TITLES (TO PRINT & CUT) HOW IT TREATS SCRIPTURE HOW IT TREATS SCRIPTURE HOW IT TREATS SCRIPTURE HOW IT TREATS SCRIPTURE 10

11 BOARD TITLES (TO PRINT & CUT) HOW IT TREATS SCIENCE HOW IT TREATS SCIENCE HOW IT TREATS SCIENCE HOW IT TREATS SCIENCE 11

12 BOARD TITLES (TO PRINT & CUT) HOW IT TREATS SCIENCE EVOLUTION 12

13 BOARD TITLES (TO PRINT & CUT) CREATION YOUNG EARTH CREATION OLD EARTH 13

14 BOARD TITLES (TO PRINT & CUT) THEISTIC EVOLUTION INTELLIGENT DESIGN 14

15 BASIC BELIEFS (EVOLUTION) Change through time All life on earth from one life 15

16 BASIC BELIEFS (EVOLUTION) Undirected, result of chance, mutations, and natural selection 16

17 BASIC BELIEFS (EVOLUTION) Mutations happen, natural selection keeps the best, over time there are new species. 17

18 BASIC BELIEFS (INTELLIGENT DESIGN) There is an intelligent mind behind creation, responsible for information in the cell, balance of life in the universe. Evolution is not the end-all explanation, but it can be part of the process. Does not clarify who/what the intelligence is. 18

19 BASIC BELIEFS (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) God started creation, put everything in place so that evolution would happen and end up where it is today (and beyond). The Theos could be the God of the Bible, or some other single-agent deity. In what I ve read, it s always been the God of the Bible. 19

20 BASIC BELIEFS (OLD EARTH CREATION) God created the universe and earth and all inhabitants over vast periods of time. Days of creation represent chunks of time. Special Creation at several points universe, life, diversity, intelligence/ sentience/souls Directed evolution allowed 20

21 BASIC BELIEFS (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Earth and Universe at most 10,000 years old God created all in 6 literal days 21

22 BASIC BELIEFS (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Evolution of animals is only within kind (i.e. evolution is change, but not new species) 22

23 SCRIPTURE (EVOLUTION) Irrelevant There is no God, or at least no proof of God 23

24 SCIENCE (EVOLUTION) Natural laws able to explain everything, if given enough time 24

25 SCRIPTURE (INTELLIGENT DESIGN) Secondary Acknowledging ID begs the question of WHO? 25

26 SCIENCE (INTELLIGENT DESIGN) Follow where science leads including to intelligence explanations 26

27 SCRIPTURE (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) Anything regarding creation is a spiritual lesson only, not an actual explanation of origins 27

28 SCRIPTURE (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) God as the answer to questions of science was never intended to address meaning of life 28

29 SCIENCE (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) Primary source. Any discrepancies, science wins, scripture redefined. 29

30 SCRIPTURE (OLD EARTH CREATION) Primary source, but with an understanding that our traditional interpretation may be wrong. 30

31 SCRIPTURE (OLD EARTH CREATION) Nature is also part of God s revelation. Science gives you insights, scripture gives direction 31

32 SCIENCE (OLD EARTH CREATION) God & Science will always agree our interpretation (of either) may be wrong. 32

33 SCRIPTURE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Primary Source Any discrepancies, scripture wins 33

34 SCIENCE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Investigate through lens of scripture 34

35 CHALLENGE TITLE (EVOLUTION) ORIGINS 35

36 CHALLENGE (EVOLUTION) How does life come from not life? Original experiments that showed possibility have been discredited. The more we learn in science, the more we learn how complex even simple life is, and the further we get from an explanation. 36

37 ANSWER (EVOLUTION) Combination of materials and time Different Earth then 37

38 CHALLENGE TITLE (EVOLUTION) FOSSIL RECORD 38

39 CHALLENGE (EVOLUTION) Cambrian Explosion (and other explosions) life suddenly explodes in complexity, without the time required for evolutionary changes. The fossil record should be full of fluidity countless transitional forms. Instead, it shows stability, then extinction. 39

40 ANSWER (EVOLUTION) Soft bodies don t leave as many fossils Fossil record incomplete 40

41 CHALLENGE TITLE (EVOLUTION) PROBABILITY (MATH CHALLENGE) 41

42 CHALLENGE (EVOLUTION) To make changes, must start with proteins. Mutations need more than just a new combination they need a functioning new combination. Try out the combo lock. Imagine it is 120 characters long (Average length amino acid). One average length protein represents just one possible sequence among an astronomically large number There are only 1065 atoms in our galaxy. 42

43 ANSWER (EVOLUTION) Mutations are very common Vast amounts of time 43

44 CHALLENGE TITLE (EVOLUTION) IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY 44

45 CHALLENGE (EVOLUTION) A single system, composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the function of the whole, where the removal of any of the parts causes it to cease functioning. Mousetrap Bacterial Flagellum 45

46 ANSWER (EVOLUTION) Some pieces were used in other structures Mutations happen that don t impact survival, just hang out. 46

47 CHALLENGE TITLE (EVOLUTION) SENTIENCE 47

48 CHALLENGE (EVOLUTION) How does consciousness/ sentience evolve from nonaware life? 48

49 ANSWER (EVOLUTION)??? 49

50 CHALLENGE TITLE (EVOLUTION) INFORMATION 50

51 CHALLENGE (EVOLUTION) DNA, Proteins, loaded with information that resembles a computer code. Where does the information come from? 51

52 ANSWER (EVOLUTION) Just appears like information it isn t really. 52

53 CHALLENGE TITLE (EVOLUTION) FREE WILL 53

54 CHALLENGE (EVOLUTION) It appears that we have freedom to make choices, good and bad. However, if evolution is true, we are only a product of chemical processes, not able to make choices. 54

55 ANSWER (EVOLUTION) Some will agree that we do NOT have free will, it is just an illusion. 55

56 CHALLENGE TITLE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) CREDIBILITY 56

57 CHALLENGE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Shunned by scientists who do not share their belief. Can mean loss of jobs, unemployability. 57

58 ANSWER (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Institute for Creation Science 58

59 CHALLENGE TITLE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) FOSSIL RECORD 59

60 CHALLENGE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) The fossils do appear in layers, roughly from simplest forms to most complex forms 60

61 ANSWER (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Fossil layers were formed during the flood. Appearance of layers due to how they settled. 61

62 CHALLENGE TITLE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) AGE OF EARTH 62

63 CHALLENGE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Mainstream science establishes earth as 4.5 billion years old Carbon Dating Tree Rings Ocean floor ripples 63

64 CHALLENGE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Appearance of Age (Adam) Flood Geology Radiometric dating uses incorrect assumptions 64

65 CHALLENGE TITLE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) EVOLUTION IN ACTION 65

66 CHALLENGE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics Fruit Flies - mutation rates Finches on Darwin s Island Vestigial Traits flightless birds 66

67 ANSWER (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) All evolution we witness is within kind i.e. the changes do not make a new creature. 67

68 CHALLENGE TITLE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) DINOSAURS 68

69 CHALLENGE (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) When did the dinosaurs live? Why do we have dinosaur fossils? 69

70 ANSWER (YOUNG EARTH CREATION) Dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans. Referred to in Job the Behemoth Other potential references 70

71 CHALLENGE TITLE (INTELLIGENT DESIGN) WHOSE DEFINITION OF SCIENCE? 71

72 CHALLENGE (INTELLIGENT DESIGN) Can Intelligent Design science provide testable predictions? Is it religion in the guise of science? 72

73 ANSWER (INTELLIGENT DESIGN) Showing where Intelligent Design gives testable outcomes Experiments based on predictions made from ID model 73

74 CHALLENGE TITLE (INTELLIGENT DESIGN) GOD OF GAPS? 74

75 CHALLENGE (INTELLIGENT DESIGN) Attributing anything we can t figure out to God As science figures out more, will God s place disappear? 75

76 ANSWER (INTELLIGENT DESIGN) Follow the science to the reasonable and only explanation Science should not eliminate an entire line of reasoning before it starts 76

77 CHALLENGE TITLE (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) FREE WILL 77

78 CHALLENGE (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) Has God allowed for Free Will through the ages? Does God allow free will now, or are we all pre-determined? 78

79 ANSWER (THEISTIC EVOLUTION)??? 79

80 CHALLENGE TITLE (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) RANDOM AND HEARTLESS 80

81 CHALLENGE (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) So many chances, random outcomes How is this consistent with humans created in the image of God? Is God in charge? 81

82 ANSWER (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) God outside of time and space, knows how it all ends. Maybe Image of God is not physical at all maybe it could have been another species 82

83 CHALLENGE TITLE (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) ADAM & EVE & SIN 83

84 CHALLENGE (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) If humans evolved instead of created, when did they become human? How did sin enter the world? 84

85 ANSWER (THEISTIC EVOLUTION) At some point, God took animal humans and added souls At that point, sin is possible? 85

86 CHALLENGE TITLE (OLD EARTH CREATION) INTEGRITY OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION 86

87 CHALLENGE (OLD EARTH CREATION) Are they reinterpreting Scripture so much it won t mean anything? Slippery Slope 87

88 ANSWER (OLD EARTH CREATION) Careful in interpretation Looking for full integrity with scriptures 88

89 CHALLENGE TITLE (OLD EARTH CREATION) GOD OF GAPS? 89

90 CHALLENGE (OLD EARTH CREATION) Attributing anything we can t figure out to God As science figures out more, will God s place disappear? 90

91 ANSWER (OLD EARTH CREATION) Questions beyond science Questions where most reasonable answer is God 91

92 VISUALS (BACTERIAL FLAGELLUM) 92

93 VISUALS (APPARENT-AGE DEMONSTRATED) 93

94 VISUALS (RADIOMETRIC DATING) 94

95 VISUALS (COMBINATORIAL PROBABILITY) 95

96 VISUALS (PRE-CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION DEMONSTRATION) 96

97 VISUALS (POST-CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION DEMONSTRATION) 97

98 VISUALS (SET-UP EXAMPLE) 98

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