The Answer from Science

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1 Similarities among Diverse Forms Diversity among Similar Forms Biology s Greatest Puzzle: The Paradox and Diversity and Similarity Why is life on Earth so incredibly diverse yet so strangely similar? The Answer from Science whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. Charles Darwin, 189 Comments from Previous Students Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. T. Dobzhansky, I didn t like the material cover. I wish we could have gotten more into bio instead of evolution. This is supposed to be Biology 1 not Evolution 1. This class had nothing to do with Biology. This was strictly Evolution, and NOT the Biology 1 course I paid for! This is Life Science not an evolution class. [Source: American Biology Teacher : -9] I paid for a biology class and I got an evolution class. 1

2 Competing World Views Naturalistic evolution Evolution occurred via purely natural processes without any divine guidance. Theistic evolution Evolution occurs but is guided by God. Creationism Species were created separately by God. Group of adults Everyone Scientists Gallop poll of US adults (1997) Creationism God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last,000 years. Theistic evolution Man has developed years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, including man's creation. 9 0 Naturalistic Evolution Man has developed years from less advanced forms of life. God had no part in this process. The five main reasons why people say they do not believe in "evolution : 1. belief Jesus Christ 2. belief in God. due to my religion or faith. not enough evidence. belief in the Bible. Source: Opinions have been remarkably stable Guided by God God Had No Part God Created in Present Form Other/ No Opinion 7 7 Group of students Before After Poll of this Class (2007) Creationism God created life pretty much in his present form at one time within the last,000 years. 2? Theistic evolution Life has developed years from older forms of life, but God guided this process, including human development.? Naturalistic Evolution Life developed years from older forms of life. God had no part in this process. 19? Note: of students did not respond to this question. Source: Education and World Views More educated adults believe in some form of evolution (theistic or naturalistic): 7 of people with post-graduate degrees 8 of college graduates 0 of adults with some college 1 of adults with high school or less. Analyst: : 1/2/2007 :0 PM: The people surveyed were asked to respond "true" or "false" to the statement "Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals." Sources: [0] Belief in Evolution- Iceland - Jon D. Miller, Michigan State University, The New York Times (8/1/06) - [1] Belief in Evolution- Denmark - Jon D. Miller, Michigan State University, The New York Time

3 . The Threat of Intelligent Design...Intelligent Design is a religious and not a scientific proposition. John E. Jones, US District Judge...The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over years.while we respect Prof. Behe's right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific. The Biology Faculty of Lehigh University Michael Behe, Ph.D. Lehigh University Both sides ought to be properly taught so people can understand what the debate is about. George W. Bush, President of the USA Politics and religion threaten education. "Regardless of what you may personally believe, which of these do you believe should be taught in public schools? Response Evolution only Creationism only 2 Intelligent design only All three All physics textbooks should include this warning label: This textbook contains material on Gravity. Universal Gravity is a theory, not a fact, regarding the natural law of attraction. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered. None of these Unsure CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Sept. 8-, 200. N=1,00 adults nationwide Is evolutionary theory harder to understand? It s about the implications!

4 International Comparison of Science Skills Among 1-Year-Olds Country Finland Japan Upper rank Lower rank Ways of Knowing Hong Kong (China) South Korea Liechtenstein Australia Macao (China) 2 2 Religion truth is received from a supernatural authority Netherlands Czech Republic New Zealand Canada 6 8 Philosophy truth is discovered by reasoning 1. Because data are based on samples, it is not possible to report exact rank order positions for countries. However, it is possible to report the range of rank order positions within which the country mean lies with 9 likelihood. 2. Rank based on top two levels of proficiency (out of six) on mean scale of science performance.. Rank based on lowest two levels of proficiency (out of six) on mean scale of science performance. Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD PISA (Program for Student Assessment) 200 database. Switzerland France Belgium Sweden Ireland Hungary Germany Poland Slovak Republic Science truth is discovered by reasoning and experimentation Passive Religion Philosophy Science Active Iceland United States Religion and Science: Why they can never get along While scientists seek to fill the gaps in our knowledge, religion has provided a God-of-the-gaps. New evidence that contradicts received truth threatens religion. Discoveries in all scientific disciplines have been opposed on religious grounds. The difference between science and religion is the difference between a willingness to dispassionately consider new evidence and new arguments, and a passionate unwillingness to do so. Sam Harris, 2006 Letter to a Christian Nation Copernicus s Universe Aristotle s Universe Galileo Galilei (16-162)

5 Theory of Evolution Evolutionary theory simplifies our world. Simplifies our view of the world. Makes testable predictions. Human Cat Whale Bat Provides real explanation based on detailed mechanisms. Turtle Chicken Mouse Pig Human Evolutionary theory makes testable predictions. The theory has been tested, refined, and re-tested for over 0 years; this rigorous scrutiny explains why biologists accept evolution as a fact. Evolutionary theory involves detailed mechanisms. Natural selection Mutation Genetic drift Creationism Does not simplify our view of the world Is not a testable hypothesis Fails to provide a real explanation with a detailed mechanism The idea is not subject to peer review. I am no more fundamentalist when I say evolution is true than when I say it is true that New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere. We believe in evolution because the evidence supports it, and we would abandon it overnight if new evidence arose to disprove it. Richard Dawkins, 2006 The God Delusion

6 Controversy over Science As scientists fill in the gaps, the God-ofthe-gaps is being squeezed out! Fetal Stem Cells But will scientists ever be able to explain everything? Scientific Disciplines Metaphysics: The Boundary of Science Biology Chemistry Beyond a certain level, science cannot explain our universe. Humans can never know certain truths about their origins. Physics Metaphysics Current knowledge of Physics contradicts most concepts of God, including the Judeo-Christian concept. Course Policy I won t tell you what to believe about metaphysics as long as you don t let metaphysics guide your understanding of biology. Paul Davies University of Adelaide 6

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