Thinking Creation - 03 - The Design of Life
This episode examines specific properties of life, particularly the chemistry of life, that inform our understanding of where life comes from. The protein Endothelin-1 and molecular machine ATP synthase serve as examples illustrating how life works at the molecular level and how this may inform our understanding of life’s origin. Recent thinking about Intelligent Design theory is examined in relation to life, particularly Michael Behe’s observations on irreducible complexity and William Dembski’s idea of specified complexity.
Design at the Molecular Level
Scientists are just beginning to understand the structure and function of minute machines that are essential for life. Inside cells, these submicroscopic motors, generators and other machines operate by the same principles as the machines we are familiar with, only at much higher efficiency and within incredibly tight tolerances. What best accounts for these engineering marvels? Shelley Quinn and Tim Standish, PhD
Design In Fossil Organisms
Have you ever had the opportunity to examine a real fossil? Maybe you have seen dinosaur bones or shells encased in rock. Do these remains of once living organisms look less designed than the creatures we find living around us? How might the same engineering challenges faced by living creatures have been solved by these ancient creatures? What do the conclusions we draw tell us about the Creator of these ancient yet elegant organisms? Shelley Quinn and Tim Standish, PhD
Design in Other Animals
Are other creatures fundamentally different from humans? The surprising answer is both “Yes” and “No”. Why does the biblical account of creation lead us to believe that there should be profound similarities between humans and other living things? What makes us different? How does the Bible define the relationship between humans and other creatures? Shelley Quinn and Tim Standish, PhD
Design in Humans
Incredible as it may seem, Charles Darwin and his modern followers believe the human body contains examples of poor design. Is this pessimistic view of ourselves supported by the evidence? We will look at some of the abundant evidence that humans are engineering successes using one of the very masterpieces that Darwinists commonly present as an example of bad design. Shelley Quinn and Tim Standish, PhD
Design in Ecology
In the Darwinian view, life is locked into a struggle for survival in which every organism is in a competition to the death and only the most fit survive. Is struggle and competition really what we observe in the relationships between organisms? Or is there a far more beautiful principle to be discovered if we take the time to actually look at how life works?
DNA and Design
DNA is amazing, but what exactly is it? What does it do in every living thing? Why is DNA just the right material for the function it performs? Why does just about everyone who studies it acknowledge that DNA at least looks designed? Are there good reasons for Darwinists to deny that DNA is evidence of design? What does DNA tell us about the Creator who wrote out the instructions for life in this remarkable molecule?
What is Intelligent Design? How is it different from Creationism? Is it a scientific or a religious approach? Who are its main proponents? What are its main arguments? What can we learn from Intelligent Design? These are some of the questions we answer in our seventh session of Faith and Science Fundamentals.
Complexity and Interdependency
We begin the Biology section by describing the characteristics and composition of living things. We then review the concept of Abiogenesis (the appearance of the first living being from non-living matter) and the serious difficulties faced by this theory, which is necessary for the naturalistic perspective of the origin of life. Finally, by means of examples relating to the different levels of study of biology (cells, organs, organisms and ecosystems), we show how the high complexity and interdependence found in all of them point to a superintelligent Creator who designed complete and functional systems from the beginning.
Natural Selection and Altruism
Altruistic behaviors are a challenge to the theory of evolution because those organisms that put the benefit of others ahead of their own should be eliminated by natural selection. However, altruistic behaviors are relatively common in nature. In this session we explore some examples of collaboration, empathy, and altruism in plants and animals. We also discuss how these behaviors are explained depending on the worldview of the researchers.
Suzanne Phillips - Cells, Death, and Design
Suzanne Phillips is a doctor of biology, a specialist in microbiology, and Chair of the Department of Earth and Biological Sciences at Loma Linda University.
DNA and design
DNA is the hereditary material and the molecule that contains the information to make all cellular proteins. Proteins, in turn, are very complex organic molecules that perform multiple cellular functions, including copying, reading and translating DNA. In this webinar we briefly explain how this sophisticated DNA-protein system works, and discover that it is a fascinating example of information, complexity and interdependence in living things that clearly points to an intelligent designer.
Epigenetics and pre-adaptation
Epigenetics is a recent branch of genetics that studies how chemical "tags" attached to the outside of DNA affect gene expression. The curious thing about these tags is that they are attached or removed depending on environmental factors and are passed on to offspring. In this session of Faith and Science Fundamentals we explore the implications of these discoveries for Biology and for models of origins.
Leonard R. Brand - Science, Evolution, and Fossils
Leonard R. Brand is a researcher and professor of Biology and Paleontology at Loma Linda University. He has published his research in scientific journals and has a PhD from Cornell University.
Noemí Durán - Natural Selection, Epigenetics, and Environment
Noemí Durán is a biologist specialized in animal behavior. She has a PhD in Marine Biology from Loma Linda University and is the director of the European headquarters of the Geoscience Research Institute.
Timothy Standish - Mutations, Darwin, and Theory of Evolution
Timothy Standish is a biologist specialized in genetics and has a PhD from George Mason University. He is a Senior Researcher and responsible for communication and audiovisual production at the Geoscience Research Institute.
Noemí Durán - In the Beginning, There Was Love
“Survival of the fittest" and “struggle for existence." You have probably heard these expressions before, likely in connection with one of the most famous concepts in evolution: natural selection. Competition and violence are presented as the necessary tool that allowed for the emergence of biodiversity, in contrast with the biblical account of a “very good" creation. In this talk, Dr. Durán illustrates fascinating examples of altruism and cooperation in the animal world, challenging the dominant narrative and pointing back to the time when animals were designed to show the loving character of God.
The Theory of Evolution
Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was based on natural selection as the engine of change in living beings. Later, with the advances in genetics, mutation was added to the theory as the source of the variations on which natural selection would act. The mutation-natural selection binomial thus became the main mechanism proposed for biological diversity. Do mutation and natural selection have the creative capacity assigned to them? Can they transform an organism into a different one by means of small changes accumulated over a long period of time? Are there other natural mechanisms that can do the job?