Theology of Creation,
Scientific Evidence,
and Education

Biological Evolution — Principles & Questions

Ideas about evolution occur in three areas of thinking:  science (IN THIS PAGE), philosophy (DESIGN IN SCIENCE), and theology (METHODS OF CREATION).   In this science-page the views will span a wide range, from strong arguments for evolution through moderate questions to strong criticism.

Principles of Neo-Darwinian Evolution

      Robert Schneider offers evolution for Christians to summarize the basic scientific principles of evolution (36 k) because — as he explains in the introduction (8 k) — evolution (the science) is not evolutionism (atheistic philosophy) and "most Christians know little about the scientific details of evolution. ... This is true both of Christians [like Schneider] who accept evolution and support teaching it in the public schools... and those who reject it and oppose its teaching."
Evolution 101 is a good way to learn the principles of evolution, to understand the modern synthesis of ideas in current theories of neo-Darwinian evolution.  It has 53 pages plus optional sidetrips, with a Table of Contents you can use as a sitemap.  It's part of a larger website developed by the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education.  (78 k of total text, plus graphics that often include text)
      Another useful introduction, evolution and the fossil record, is from the American Geological Institute and the Paleontological Society.  (12 pages with 43 k of text, plus graphics)   /   Also, PBS has a vast website — constructed as an extension of their 8-hour "Evolution" series in 2001 — including a 9-page FAQ (38 k) and a wide variety of multimedia resources you can explore from their homepage or sitemap.

      Definitions of Evolution — and Principles for its Logical Evaluation examines principles for a logical comparison of theories, and explains why instead of thinking about vague "evolution" we should define it more precisely and then evaluate four types of evolution — micro-E (and minor macro-E), old-earth fossil E, full common descent, and a natural development of all biocomplexity — that are related closely but are not identical in terms of evidence-and-logic;  by Craig Rusbult  (15 k +11k)

      Questions about Neo-Darwinian Evolution

      Most scientists accept the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, although they sometimes debate the details.  But some scientists, especially proponents of Intelligent Design, think neo-Darwinism cannot explain the development of all the complex systems we observe.
      To learn the basics of intelligent design — what it is and isn't, and why some people think it is credible (in terms of science, theology, philosophy, education,...) while others don't agree — you can explore DESIGN IN SCIENCE.  The rest of this page looks at scientific questions about design and evolution:  general questions   irreducible complexity   information analysis   fossil record & rates of evolution   common descent   human evolution.

I.O.U.s — Soon, maybe by mid-October 2010, this page will have more content (overviews & links), and one part (about Human Evolution) is fairly complete now.

General Questions
Mark Hartwig — in an FAQ about ID for the Access Research Network — answers questions about scientific evidence for biological design in pages 2 through 10, from "How can you tell if something is designed?" through "What about the evidence from homology?"  (28 k total in 9 pages, plus references)
Talk Origins has many "totally pro-evolution" arguments, as do the websites above in Principles of Evolution.
This is just a rough beginning, and later there will be more here.  Until then, you can explore Evolution and Creation which is a comprehensive links-page (assembled for courses at California State University at Fullerton, taught by James Hofmann, Craig Nelson, Bruce Weber, and Robert Woodworth) that covers a wide range of perspectives and topics:  theology, philosophy, and science;  principles of evolution (natural selection, mutation & genetics, anatomy & physiology & biochemistry, developmental biology, fossils, and biogeography);  origin of life;  intelligent design;  education and legalities;  age of the earth & Noah's Flood;  creationism (old earth & young earth) and theistic evolution;  human evolution, sociobiology;  and more.


Irreducible Complexity (the claims of Michael Behe)
This concept is examined in a links-page for IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY - EVOLUTION AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN.


The next three sections (re: information analysis, fossil record, common descent) will have resources later, maybe by mid-October 2010.  Until then you can find lots of information (especially about fossils & descent) in the earlier section for Principles of Evolution.

Information Analysis
Does the "information" in biological organisms indicate design?  This question is distantly related to young-earth claims about thermodynamics (Second Law, entropy,...) and evolution (astronomical, chemical, and biological) because both types of argument are about complexity, but basically they are different and they should be evaluated separately.   {re: the I.O.U. - Probably there won't be much more in this subsection until November 2010 or later.}

The Fossil Record and Rates of Evolution
These sections (fossils & rates) are related, with overlaps, and genetic evidence (clocks,...) may also be included here.

Common Descent
There will be introductory overviews and arguments for-and-against, and probably a separate page devoted to this idea.  Currently there is a page about COMMON DESCENT (Common Ancestry) IN HUMAN EVOLUTION.


Human Evolution
The page about HUMAN EVOLUTION — SCIENCE & THEOLOGY outlines basic principles and features ideas from ASA scientists (Deb Haarsma, Loren Haarsma, David Wilcox, John Bloom, Davis Young, Dick Fischer, Glenn Morton, Peter Rust, Carol Hill, Graeme Finlay, Roy Clouser,...) plus others who include YECs and secular scientists, to provide a full range of views.

In this page you'll find links to resource-pages expressing a wide range of views, which don't necessarily represent the views of the American Scientific Affiliation.  Therefore, linking to a page does not imply an endorsement by ASA.  We encourage you to use your own critical thinking to evaluate everything you read. 

This website for Whole-Person Education has TWO KINDS OF LINKS:
an ITALICIZED LINK keeps you inside a page, moving you to another part of it, and
 a NON-ITALICIZED LINK opens another page.  Both keep everything inside this window, 
so your browser's BACK-button will always take you back to where you were.

This page, written by Craig Rusbult (editor of ASA Science Ed Website), is
and was revised August 16, 2010
( all links were checked-and-fixed on July 3, 2006 )

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