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.
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?
Martin Pröbstle - Universe, Bible, and Genesis
Martin Pröbstle is professor of Old Testament and Dean of Theology at Schloss Bogenhofen Seminary in Austria. He is the author of several books and has published numerous articles in specialized theological magazines.
Nestor Petruk - Archeology, Old Testament, and Myths
Néstor Petruk is an archeologist and professor of Theology at the Sagunto Adventist Theology College. He is a specialist in Biblical languages and Assyriology and has participated in several archaeological expeditions in Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.
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?