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Science and Religion in Dialogue Week 1 Notes

by: lucy allen

Science and Religion in Dialogue Week 1 Notes ASEM 2410

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lucy allen
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Notes for day two of week 1 (Thursday, 3/24/2016). On day one (Tuesday, 3/22/2016) we went over the syllabus, introduced ourselves and watched the first half or so of the movie Darwin's Dangerous I...
Science and Religion in Dialogue
Dr. Gregory A. Robbins
Class Notes
Science, religion, darwin, natural selection, Decent with Modification, On The Origin of Species




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by lucy allen on Thursday March 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ASEM 2410 at University of Denver taught by Dr. Gregory A. Robbins in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views.


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Date Created: 03/24/16
1809 -G.F. Erasmus (drunken one in movie) -Zoonomia -idea of transmutation of species, biological change -adumbrated -cloud casting a shadow -anticipating what is to come -F. Robert: father of G.F. Erasmus -well known highly respected physician, hopes for Darwin were that he would be a physician as well -as an undergrad, Darwin went to Scotland to U of Edinburgh -followed in fathers footsteps to become an M.D. -got as far as the gross anatomy class and the surgery class -left Scotland and the University as an embarrassment to his father, who said that if he wasn't going to be a doctor, the only other thing he seems to be interested in is collecting insects and roaming around in the woods (not attending to studies), so become a clergyman, because it is a lazy man's business 1831 -he graduated with a degree in theology, but he was equally well trained in the sciences -not ordained as an Anglican priest (like normal), then become a cureit, which means you are assigned to a parish priest for a couple of years and learn what its like to be a minister, then assigned to a parish -he instead went on the Beagle with Cart Fitzroy to do research -at this point still a believer in genesis -Fitzroy was very religious, not Anglican, but part of a very conservative Protestant sect -both were creationists, believed god created the world in the way in which it is described in the opening chapters of genesis -Darwin was convinced of species fixity: god in the 6 days of creation, created all of the species that existed -they were created in the form that God intended them -provide intellectual company and stimulation to the captain -Darwin became intrigued and really began his own scientific observation and journaling 1836 -returned to England -dispatched a number of publications on scientific endeavors and participated in observations that became the basis for the theory of his and of the origin of species -required textbook at the time was by William Paley -Natural Theology volume -one of Paley's commitments in writing Natural Theology was that you could look at the creation, the physical world, and what struck you immediately by your observation of this was the design -that design in the natural world would lead you then to a firmer conviction of God's existence (God: annotated in class as theta) as evidenced by the natural world -Darwin had read and basically memorized the book -it is one long argument with these themes in mind -when Darwin sat down to write TOOS, he wanted to utilize a fundamental representation of Paley's, he wanted it to be just like Paley's (one long beautifully written argument) -Paley was always in the back of Darwin's mind -Charles Lyell -as a geologist, examined the geological record -he was particularly interested in the formation of mountain ranges and volcanoes, and earthquakes -he was convinced that the Earth upon which we lived was changing, it was dynamic -easy enough to observe but he added into that, that the Earth is changing over time (long periods) -proposed for the first time that Earth must be millions of years old -new landmasses (islands, mountains, etc.) take place over long periods of time, giving rise to a theory he called uniformitarianism -Irish bishop: Bishop Ussher -as a biblical scholar and bishop who was interested in the sciences, he was interested in asking how old the Earth was -and how can you determine that? -as a Bishop he figured you had to do it based on your reading of the bible, and using the bible's contents as evidence -came up with that the bible was somewhere between 6-10,000 years old (1659) -whereas Lyell proposed for the first time that Earth must be millions of years old -Darwin takes Lyell's work with him along the voyage on the Beagle -on the Beagle -Darwin came across fossils of species that were extinct -extinction became a preoccupation of Darwin's -if we have species fixity, and God creates them all and liked them the way he created them in the first place, then why is there extinction? -common answer to that was the Great Flood described in genesis -reason for the flood was human sinfulness -Darwin did not like this answer very much -if the World were destroyed by a flood and all of the creatures were killed, why wouldn't we find the jaws from the dinosaurs at the bottom instead of the top of the Andes mountains? -he also observed that there was a lot of death in the animal world in general, which he considered wasteful -also observed an increase of interest in speciation -why is it that when you go from the area of Quito (South America) and you go 700 miles off the coast to the Galapagos islands, you can go on an island just 30 minutes (via ship) to the next island and the species differ so radically -what is the purpose of all of the species in such close proximity and yet they are very different -therefore speciation has to do with variation and change -Lyell's theory about the geographical record comes to influence Darwin -has to do with change over time -time becomes an important element in Darwin's thinking -Thomas Malthus -economic theory -struggle for existence -the ability to reproduce -from that Darwin is much informed -Adam Smith -idea of the Free Market -from that Darwin is much informed -Darwin's Theory -about speciation -how do we arrive at new species? -it is not about origins or how everything started -at the end of his career, Darwin joins Huxley in saying that he is agnostic about origins -agnostic: someone who knows that they cannot know -Descent with Modification -explanation for changes in species seen over time -by means of Natural Selection (mechanism) -does not require Godly intervention, happens naturally over (long periods of) time -The Origin of Species -only one diagram: branching tree -one common stem/trunk of the branching tree -short branches that come to an end explain extinction -ecological connectedness of all that is -consilience: In science and history, consilience refers to the principle that evidence from independent, unrelated sources can "converge" to strong conclusions -genome is evolution laid out for all to see -"shows we are all descended from the same humble beginnings and the connections are all written in our genes" -for the rest of class after the break we watched more of the Movie started on Tuesday, Darwin's Dangerous Idea


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