Views of Creation
Questions and Views
Two Books of God
Age of the Universe
Methods of Creation

Origins Evidence
Age of the Universe
Design of the Universe
Evaluation of Evolution
Design in Science

Origins Education
Public Schools
Christian Schools
Informal Education



Origins Evidence
(and interpretations)

 How old is the universe? the earth? 
 Are "theories about history" scientific? 
 Why is the universe "just right" for life? 
 Does a Big Bang Beginning require a creator? 
 How did the first life become alive? 
 What was the origin of biocomplexity? 
 Does "intelligent design" belong in science? 

These origins questions will be described,
but will not be "answered" for you,
in different parts of this page:

A Multiple Views Website
 Age of the Universe 
 Design of the Universe 
 Four Types of Design 
 Evaluations of Evolutions 
astronomical evolution
chemical evolution
biological evolution
 Design in Science 

      A "Multiple Views" Website
      We have searched the web and have selected pages that will help you learn quickly and well, because you'll be reading only high-quality pages.  This also makes it easier to use the website because you won't be overwhelmed with too many choices, so you can more easily decide what to do first and what to do next.
      But our selectivity is not censorship, and — for controversial issues, when views differ among Christians — in our website the range of views will be wide.  Our goal is to give you accurate information about many perspectives, so you can be well informed while you develop your own perspective.  Since you'll see a wide range of views, our disclaimer is important: "citing a page does not imply an endorsement by the ASA."

more about Accurate Understanding, Respectful Attitudes, and A Multiple-Positions Website

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      Age of the Universe
      How old is the universe and the earth?  Most scientists think there is abundant evidence, from a wide range of fields, indicating that the universe and earth are billions of years old.  But proponents of young-earth theories challenge the interpretations of evidence that lead to old-earth conclusions.  They also question whether science can produce reliable conclusions about the history of nature, so we should ask:
      Can any theory about the history of nature be authentically scientific?  Even though we cannot directly observe ancient history, can we — by a logical analysis of historical evidence, in fields like astronomy, geology, oceanography, nuclear physics, paleontology, evolutionary biology, and archaeology — reach reliable conclusions about what happened in the past, on the earth and in other parts of the universe?

educational resources for Age of the Universe


      Design of the Universe?   ( Design before history? )
      Scientists are discovering that many properties of the universe are "just right" for a wide variety of life-allowing phenomena, ranging from the physics of sunshine to the chemistry of life.  Three explanations are that there is  1) one universe that was very intelligently designed,  2) an intelligently designed multiverse containing an immense number of universes with variable properties, so extremely improbable things (like properties allowing life) will occur in one of these universes, or  3) a non-designed multiverse. 
      Is there evidence to support any of these theories?  What existed before the beginning of our universe?  And then what happened?  Could a "big bang beginning" of the universe occur naturally, or did it require an act of supernatural creation?

educational resources for Design of the Universe


      Four Types of Intelligent Design
      When scientists study a feature of nature (a star, bacteria, whale, biochemical system,...) they can ask about its origin.  Was it produced by intelligent design, either by:
      • natural process because, before history began, the universe was cleverly designed so this would happen, or
      • natural process that, during history, was supernaturally guided in a natural-appearing way to produce the particular natural-appearing result that was desired, or
      empirically detectable design-directed action during history by a supernatural agent (•) or a natural agent (•), which was necessary because undirected natural process would not produce the feature?
      Or was there no design of any type, as proposed by atheists, with everything produced by undesigned-and-unguided natural process?

      All theists agree that the universe is designed and that God can guide natural process, but there is disagreement when we ask, "Does scientific evidence and logic indicate the occurrence of detectable design-action during the formative history of nature?"  Proponents of detectable Intelligent Design think this did occur occasionally — with Chemical Evolution andBiological Evolution, which are described below, being the most common areas for questions — while proponents of evolutionary creation think the universe was intelligently designed so natural process would be sufficient, so there would be no need for detectable design-action during history.

      A theory of intelligent design, proposing a design of the universe, is examined above.
      The most controversial theories of Intelligent Design (proposing "there is detectable evidence for design-action") will be examined in two ways, by asking questions about
      Evaluations of Evolutions — What scientific evidence-and-logic is claimed as support for (and against) specific design theories?
      Design in Science? — What are the arguments for (and against) including design in science?


      Evaluations of Evolutions   ( Design in history? )
      Scientists have proposed theories of natural evolution to explain the origin of all observed features in astronomy, geology, and biology.  Are these theories sufficient to explain everything in the history of nature?  Usually, claims for intelligent design with "empirically detectable design-action during history" are made only in biology, by challenging theories of chemical evolution (which claim to explain the first life) or biological evolution (to explain complex life).  This area is called evaluations of evolutions (both plural) because it lets you explore different evaluations of different evolutions:

      Astronomical Evolution and Geological Evolution
      Although young-earth creationists challenge many principles, and most conclusions, of conventional astronomy and geology (as in "Age of The Universe" above), claims for "design-action during history" rarely occur in these areas.

      Chemical Evolution
      How did the first life become alive?  Can a living organism be produced by undirected natural process?  Did this occur during history?  Do scientists have justifiable confidence in current theories for a natural origin of life?  What are their hopes for future theories?

      Biological Evolution
      Why do most scientists think there is abundant evidence that evolution has occurred?  If "evolution" is an imprecise word with many possible meanings, what are the scientific and educational benefits of using precise definitions?  What are the basic principles of modern evolutionary theories?  Could natural evolution produce all of the biodiversity and biocomplexity we observe, in the time that was available?  Does "irreducible complexity" exist, and could it be produced by evolution?

educational resources for Evaluation of Evolutions


      Design in Science?   ( The Nature of Science )
      Can four types of design — a design of nature, design-directed guidance, and design-directed action (supernatural or natural) — be detected and evaluated using the methods of science, in principle and in practice?
      Many theories about design-directed action (involving bird nests, faces on Mt Rushmore, murder investigations,...) are evaluated based on their scientific merit, using evidence and logic, but other design theories are criticized for "not being scientific."  Why?  What are the arguments for and against including the controversial design theories in science?  If a design theory does not try to explain the details of design (the how, who, and why), is this a serious scientific weakness?  What are the similarities and differences between theories of design and creation?
      If it seems unlikely that a feature was produced by non-design (by undirected natural process), is it logical to conclude that this feature probably was the result of design, or is this an illogical argument based on our temporary ignorance?  In science, is proof required or is plausibility sufficient?  In historical science, what are the similarities and differences between a mechanistic theory and an agency theory?  Can a theory of design be scientific?
      In our search for truth about nature, what are the logical and practical advantages of various strategies?  While doing science, should a scientist adopt a rigid methodological naturalism by assuming-and-concluding that everything in history has occurred by natural process, or a testable methodological naturalism?
      What is science?  What are the goals of science, and what methods will be most effective in helping us reach these goals?  How do scientists think and behave, individually and in their communities?  How should we define science and non-science, what are their relationships, and in what ways does each (or should each) influence the other?  What are the limits for what can claim to be science, and for what science can claim to explain?

educational resources for Design in Science


You can explore these pages
in the area of Origins Questions:
  Questions and Views 
  Age of the Universe
  Methods of Creation  
  Two Books of God
  Design of the Universe  
  Age of the Universe
  Evaluation of Evolution  
  Design in Science
  Public School Education  
  Christian Education (in  
  church, school, home)
  Informal Education  


      The views expressed in this page don't necessarily represent those of the American Scientific Affiliation.  As always, we encourage you to carefully evaluate everything you read.

This home-page for Origins Evidence, written by Craig Rusbult, is

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