Origins 12(2):59-60 (1985).
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.
CAN SCIENCE AND RELIGION WORK TOGETHER?
The most important characteristics of a good scientific theory or
hypothesis are that it can be experimentally tested and stimulates scientific progress by
suggesting useful experiments to be done. Both creation and evolution contain testable as
well as untestable hypotheses. Hypotheses about ultimate causes, or whether God has or has
not involved himself in earth history cannot be tested by any experiment. However,
hypotheses about the existence of fossil evolutionary intermediates or about the
sedimentary environment in which fossil-bearing rocks were deposited can be tested. In
other words whether or not a supernatural event (divinely initiated creation or worldwide
flood) occurred is not scientifically testable, but if such an event occurred, it would
likely have left behind physical evidence. Hypotheses about this physical evidence can be
devised and tested.
In attempting to study geologic history, one important limitation affects both flood geologists and conventional geologists alike. The interpretation of geologic history is accomplished mainly by comparison of geologic deposits with modern analogues modern processes of erosion and deposition. Since the rapid, large-scale geologic processes that would occur in a worldwide flood cannot be observed today, this introduces a heavy bias against the recognition of evidence for a geologic mega-catastrophe.
The finding of evidence to confirm the reality of a global geologic catastrophe would not prove that God caused a flood, but it would indicate that it is not unreasonable to believe the flood story if our confidence in Scripture leads us to do so.
The study of earth history involves research on the nature of events that we have not observed. Because of the uncertainties that this introduces, acceptance of any theory of origins involves a definite element of faith.
A method of dealing with conflicts between Scripture and current scientific interpretations is proposed. In this method, both science and Scripture are taken seriously. New scientific theories challenge us to more careful study of the Bible, to determine if it really says what we thought it says, or if we are reading something between the lines. We then decide if there really is no conflict between the two, or if the Bible is indeed saying that something is wrong with our data interpretation, and more research is needed.
WHICH VERTEBRATES MAKE VITAMIN C?
Vitamin C is involved in the body functions of both man and animal.
But it was long believed that man and a few exceptional animals like the monkey and guinea
pig were the only ones that require the vitamin in their diet; the rest can make their
own. Chickens do not require the vitamin, so presumably birds in general do not.
But careful investigation has revealed that many species of birds must get the vitamin in their diet; and of those which make their own, some make it in the kidney and some make it in the liver. When more mammals were studied, there were additional surprises. For example, all the members of one order require the vitamin.
Only now do we have sufficient knowledge of the diversity in vitamin C requirement to even begin an evaluation of the various possibilities for the origin of that diversity. Could this be true also of other characteristics of animals? Might we sometimes be too hasty in concluding that there is conflict between revealed and scientific avenues of information on origins?
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