Ronny Nalin - Is the Earth Special?
The search for extraterrestrial life is a fascinating enterprise that has spurred the birth of a dedicated line of scientific inquiry, known as astrobiology. Yet, at present, the earth remains the only place in the universe where humans have been able to empirically detect life and its signatures. Why is it so? Is the earth special? Answering this question requires a basic understanding of some of the parameters that make our planet habitable. This presentation aims at offering a synthetic review of several of these parameters, also incorporating some information gained from the study of exoplanets. Following this review, the presentation tries to relate the current scientific findings on planetary habitability with the Genesis account of creation, highlighting both areas of convergence and tension, and introducing a theological reflection on the original question about the earth being special or not.
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?
Seeing Beauty in the Creation
For a Bible-believing Christian, nature is filled with beauty. We know in the depths of our hearts that the tragedy of sin has terribly damaged God’s creation, yet it still reveals breathtaking beauty everywhere we look. What does this tell us about the Creator? How does the artist Nathan Green respond to what he sees and paints from nature?
Good Creation and Natural Evil
Despite the creation’s elegance and beauty, it is clear that there is something wrong in the world. Where does all the death and suffering marring the creation come from? How does the Bible help us to understand the current state of the creation and the Creator’s solution to the problem?
Alternatives to the Biblical Creation
The biblical record of a 6-day creation thousands of years ago appears to be impossible to reconcile with the Darwinian theory of evolution over billions of years. Surprisingly, this doesn’t stop people from trying to find some kind of compromise between these two very different perspectives. We will look at the most commonly embraced “compromise” position among Christians and ask whether or not it really works, either as science or theology. How does the true account of origins given in the Bible tell us about the Creator that other views contradict?
Believing the Bible and Believing Science
There is a myth that has been repeated over and over again, yet no amount of repetition can make it true. It says that Christians live in a world of faith that somehow denies reality and that science is only about reality. According to these twin falsehoods, Christians must put aside their faith to be scientists and science has ultimate authority when it comes to the truth about our world and our origin. Join us as we discover why many of the greatest scientists, both past and living, have been led by their Christian faith to be scientists.
Sharing the Creation
Christians understand the basic facts of creation from the biblical record. This doctrine is foundational to the biblical worldview and all other biblical doctrines. How is this most effectively shared with those who do not believe? There is no perfect way of reaching every mind, but there are a few principles that can greatly increase the likelihood of productive engagement with those who do not yet know their Creator. Join us as we share these simple rules for reaching others with the everlasting gospel that all Christians are called to share with the world!
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.
Edward Zinke - Theology, Bible, and History
Edward Zinke has a master's degree in Theology from Andrews University and is the author of several books and numerous articles. He was a co-founder of the Adventist Theological Society and a member of the Biblical Research Institute and the Faith and Science Council.