Beginnings

THE DISCOVERY OF THE BEGINNING

Science Catches Up with Scripture. (Genesis 1:1)

Since the time of Aristotle in the 4th century BC, the universe has been regarded as infinite and eternal, having no beginning and therefore no Beginner. In one of the most dramatic intellectual developments in human history, twentieth century research in astrophysics and cosmology has discovered that the opening verse of the Bible is correct: the universe did in fact have a beginning.

 

FORMING THE UNIVERSE

‘Big Bang’ Cosmology and the Bible

(Genesis 1:2)

Genesis 1, which dates from a pre-scientific age, might be expected to parallel contemporary ancient Middle Eastern accounts of origins. In fact, it is strikingly different from alleged ancient parallels, but anticipates in a number of unexpected details the development of the universe as described by modern ‘Big Bang’ cosmology. 

 

LIGHTEN OUR DARKNESS

The Origin of the Very First Light

(Genesis 1:3-5)

The biblical account of the creation of light is remarkable for the way it undercuts ancient religious worship of the celestial bodies and anticipates some of the most remarkable findings of modern science. 

 

THE ORIGIN OF LIFE

Did Life Arise in a Primordial Soup?

(Genesis 1:9-13)

For fifty years pop science has trumpeted that life arose by entirely natural processes through the spontaneous synthesis of chemicals in a primordial soup. The implausibility of this scenario is much less widely known, but is far better established by the scientific evidence. 

 

LIFE TO ORDER

The Sudden Emergence of Complex Life

(Genesis 1:20-25)

The gradual emergence of complex life-forms, central to the theory of evolution by natural selection, is called in question by the discovery that complex organisms arose with un-Darwinian suddenness in the Cambrian era, and by the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record.  This address presents the growing agreement between the scientific and biblical accounts of the development of complex life on Earth.

 

IN GOD’S IMAGE

The Importance of Being Human

(Genesis 1: 26-31)

A seldom-noticed difficulty with the theory that humans evolved from animals is its inability to explain how human beings can do what animals cannot.  The irreversible qualitative difference between humans and animals cannot be explained by naturalistic evolution, but is accounted for by divine creation.  This presentation emphasises the capacity of humans for artistic creativity and abstract thought, and defends the value and responsibility of science.

 

IN GOD’S TIME

The Time-Scale of Creation

(Genesis 2:1-4)

Both evolutionists and Young Earth Creationists have problems with a fifteen billion year age for the universe - the former because it is too short, the latter because it is too long. This address discusses the time-scale of origins, argues on biblical grounds that the days of Genesis are long time periods, and urges greater cooperation between scientists and biblical scholars.

 

EVIDENCE FOR DESIGN

The Complexity and Fine-Tuning of the Universe

(Isaiah 40:12-15, 21-23, 25-26)

It is widely assumed that the origin of the universe and life can be explained by random natural processes. But randomness can only account for loss of order and information, not for the existence of order and information in the first place.  This address argues that the high information content and fine-tunedness of the universe are inexplicable without a supremely intelligent Creator as their cause.

 

CHRIST AND CREATION

Science and the Bible on the Wonder of Life

(John 1:1-14)

The last fifty years, since the description of the double-helical structure of DNA in 1953, have seen a revolution in understanding the living cell. Yet these discoveries, far from making the Bible seem dated, make its portrayal of the nature of life as an information system even more relevant to understanding why we are here.  

 

FAITH AND SCIENCE

Their Complementariness and Partnership

(Matthew 22:34-40)

During the last 150 years the relationship between science and Christianity has often been one of conflict and opposition;  here is a compelling case for greater cooperation, and a critique of those tendencies in both science and Christianity that hinder the development of such a partnership.