I recently attended the annual meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation held at Wheaton College. About 300 professional scientists who are professing Christians had gathered to discuss a variety of topics related to science and faith. Monday morning I delivered my presentation titled: “Young Earth evolutionists? Adaptation of young-earth creationist models, and implication for the church.” This was part of a morning session on the topic: Teaching Faith and Science: In Church. I only had 20 minutes and like all presenters I wish I had had 30 minutes given the breadth of material I had hoped to cover. When I returned home I expanded the presentation to include items I had to leave out at Wheaton. I have recorded that expanded version and share it with you below.
Below I have reprinted the title and abstract for my ASA talk. For those who were able to attend the presentation you will recognize that it fell short of accomplishing all of the goals set forth in the abstract which had been written many months prior. This isn’t an uncommon experience for conference presenters. We have great aspirations when we write our abstracts but then when it comes time to make our presentations our time limits and the vastness of our subject material suddenly becomes a bothersome reality.
In particular I wasn’t able to compare the scientific and theological implications of the young-earth evolution model with those of progressive or evolutionary creationist. I hope there will be a part II at some point where we can explore these connections and provide further talking points for church leaders.
“Young earth evolutionists? Adaptation of young-earth creationist models, and implication for the church.” by R. Joel Duff and Gregg Davidson.
Abstract: Navigating the waters of debate over the origin and development of life has become increasingly confusing as traditional lines are blurred between evolution and special creation.
Leading young earth creationist (YEC) organizations voice strong opposition to evolution while simultaneously promoting models for life history that mirror many aspects of classical evolution. Exhibits, such as found in the Answers in Genesis theme park, The Ark Encounter, present a model in which a few specially created “kinds” on the Ark experienced hyper-fast adaptation solely by natural mechanisms after the Flood to produce the myriad species seen today. At the same time, YEC arguments are moving away from historical biblical orthodoxy.
In this session, we will review current YEC models of the origins of diversity and compare them with conventional evolutionary and progressive creation models with an eye on key biblical implications that are important to the church.