Geoscience Research Institute

IN A FEW WORDS

Origins 4(1):3 (1977).

Brief summaries of the main conclusions of the leading presentations are given below for those who may find the complete articles too long or technical.


IS EVOLUTION A PRINCIPLE OF SCIENCE?

    The editorial in this issue is an answer to a statement signed by leading biologists affirming evolution as a principle of science. The statement, published recently in the Humanist, asserts that evolution qualifies exceptionally well as a principle of science. A survey of the scientific literature indicates that this is not the case. Fundamental disagreements center around questions of whether or not evolution can be tested by the same criteria used for other scientific theories. Many feel that evolution should be treated differently than ordinary science. This would also exclude it from qualifying as a bona fide principle of science.

ORGANIZATION AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE

    Dr. Walton points out two major problems associated with the spontaneous origin of life that are not answered by physical theory. First is the matter of producing, on the basis of random activity, highly organized molecules essential to life. Secondly is the problem of developing a self-replicating "living" system that would not degenerate as a result of random molecular activity. In the context of the problems posed, the author then proceeds to evaluate: 1) modern concepts of natural selection, 2) non-equilibrium thermodynamics, 3) the assumption that there is something unique to biological systems, and 4) the concept of a Designer associated with the origin of life. The author feels that the concept of creation permits reconciliation of the data of physics and biology.

DOES GOD PLAY AT DICE?

    This article by Dr. Smith addresses itself to the tension that develops between naturalistic and theistic explanations in the context of unpredictable events such as those of quantum mechanics, man's free will, and God's creativity. The author feels that there is purpose in novelty or free choice in at least all these cases. In the case of man, God has voluntarily given up some of His omnipotence to permit man to have free choice. This view is superior to pure determinism in that it recognizes bona fide sources of novelty in the world and adds meaning to man's search for understanding.


1977

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