Tuesday, June 03, 2008

From RNA to Humans: A Symposium on Evolution

This Symposium at The Rockefeller University is a 2-day event on various aspects of evolution. The lectures are available online as videos. Jerry Coyne's one-hour lecture is called Feeding and Gloating for More: The Challenge of the New Creationism and is aimed at an intelligent lay audience. He defines "scientific theory", for example. His video is well worth watching. He gives some information on the history of the problem and the current situation. He discusses the fossil record and intermediate forms and other hard evidence supporting evolutionary theory. He then considers 2 forms of Intelligent Design and the evidence that has been presented in support of ID and clearly refutes those claims. At the end of the lecture he gives specific suggestions for how to combat creationism/id:
1. Teach the evidence for evolution.
2. Teach the meaning of "theory" in science.
3. Emphasize the difference between natural and supernatural explanations...
4. Recognize that, when it comes to science, we [meaning scientists] are the establishment [and so should not accept creationists as equals for debate purposes].
5. Educate yourself about the controversy.

He recommends the NCSE website.

I would add a #5: Explain why science and religion are not incompatible. I can't say it enough -a person can be a faithful Bible-believing Christian and accept evolutionary theory.

He ends by arguing passionately against religion. He does not accept my #5 at all and does believe religion is in direct opposition to rational science.

There are other videos available, but this is by far the most accessible and the most useful for folks involved in the evolutionary argument against creationism/id.

HT: AIG Busted

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