Sunday, 26 July 2015

A criticism of Stephen Palmer's talks at the Coventry Creation Day - 2

In the intervening half-century since the then-arranging brothers of the Watford Ecclesia excommuicated bro. Ralph Lovelock for his views on how to reconcile the evidence of pre-Adamic human fossils with Christadelphian theology, not only has our community not made any substantive effort to honestly engage with these problems, it has retreated even from the old-earth creationist view which was normative up until the mid-20th century and uncritically adopted both the YEC worldview of American Protestant fundamentalism, and its extreme literalist approach to reading Genesis. Attacks on evolution are made in complete ignorance both of the evidence for evolution, and the considerable advances made in reading the creation narratives that take into account both its ancient Near Eastern  background, and the recognition among even many conservative Old Testament scholars that both fundamentalism and strong concordism are failed views that have long passed their use-by date.

In order to help make up for this regrettable lack of knowledge, I have selected a number of presentations from respected scholars in the life sciences and Old Testament studies. The motivated viewer who invests the time to watch and study them will be in an excellent position to appreciate why presentations such as those made by Stephen Palmer and other evolution denialists are inaccurate and unhelpful.

Old Testament scholar John Walton, professor of OT at Wheaton College, outlines how understanding the creation narratives in their ancient Near Eastern context, rather than imposing a fundamentalist framework on it, allows one to better understand the creation texts.

Jeff Schloss, Professor of Biology at Westmont College, and Tremper Longman III, OT scholar at Westmont College use the power of the 'two books of revelation' approach to show their complementarity with respect to origins.

Medical geneticist, former head of the Human Genome Project, and director of the National Institutes of Health outlines his journey from atheism to belief:

Palaeontologist Keith Miller (Kansas State University) shows that the 'Cambrian Explosion' is not the problem for evolution that special creationists claim it to be.

Cell biologist Graeme Finlay shows the evidence for human evolution from comparative genomics. (A companion website to this lecture is here).

Geneticist and associate professor of biology at Trinity Western University Dennis Venema provides an accessible overview of evolution.

Cell biologist and Professor of Biology at Brown University Kenneth Miller comments on Intelligent Design, showing its many scientific failings.

All of these scholars are Christians who are commenting in their areas of study, making it hard for the evolution denialists in our community to accuse them of being anti-Christian, or uninformed. After investing the time to watch these, the average believer will both be better informed on these issues, and well aware of how badly anti-evolutionists in our community have misrepresented this subject.