Building Critical Thinkers

Report
Mike Riddle
What Is
Evolution?
Topics

Critical thinking questions

Critical thinking and evolution

Words have meaning (fuzzy words and
magic words)

Analyzing the evidence: asking questions
Three Critical Thinking Questions
How do you know it is true?
Has it ever been observed?
Are you making any assumptions?
One More Question - Fossils
How much of the fossil was
actually found and how much
was added (assumed)?
“For instance, modern whales are
the descendants of four-legged land
animals…”
Biology:
Visualizing Life,
Holt, Rinehart,
Winston, 1998,
p. 177.
Deception
Pakicetus: a candidate for
whale evolution?
Artist
reconstruction
Only the shaded
portions of the skull
were found
The Real Pakicetus
A wolf-like land mammal, with legs
capable of running
Be weary of arguments based on:
Logical fallacies
False assumptions
Misinformation
Critical Thinking
4 Components
Analysis
Inference
Interpretation
Deductive reasoning
Analysis • Determine the credibility of
the evidence.
• Are there any assumptions?
• Are there any logical
fallacies?
Ad Hominem – Name calling
Equivocation - Different meanings
Bifurcation – Either or fallacy
Strawman – Distorting the position
Analysis
Inference • What elements are needed
to draw the conclusion?
• We need to query the
evidence: ask questions
Analysis
Inference
Interpretation • Decode the argument
• Clarify the argument
• What is the real issue?
(presuppositional)
Analysis
Inference
Interpretation
Deductive • What does the premise
Reasoning really allow us to conclude?
• Draw a logical conclusion
based on the evidence
presented in the argument.
Critical Thinking and Evolution
Biological Evolution
The Mechanism for Change
TOOLS
3 critical thinking questions
Fossil question
4 components of critical thinking
How Evolution Happens?
Millions of years of mutations
add new information
Selection Process
Amoeba
Man
Critical Thinking
Will millions of years of mutations and
natural selection allow for amoeba to
man evolution?
3 Questions
Fossil Question
4 Components
Critical Thinking
In science definitions must be clear
and precise.
 No ambiguity
 State exactly what is included and
what is not included in the definition
domain
Evolution
Evolution
Requires the
addition of
new genetic
Analyzing Popular Definitions of
Evolution
Evolution is change over time.
(valid / not valid)
Genetic change in a species over time
(valid / not valid)
Any change in the relative frequencies
of alleles in the gene pool of a
population (valid / not valid)
Challenging Question
What is a good definition of
Darwinian evolution?
Random mutation
1. _________________
Beneficial
2. _________________
Add new information
3. _________________
Must survive
4. _________________
Reproduce more offspring
5. _________________
Analyzing the Mechanisms for
Evolution
Mutations
Natural Selection
Detrimental
Detrimental
Neutral
Neutral
Beneficial
Beneficial
Disease
No change
Add
information
No
evolution
No
evolution
Produce
more
offspring
that survive
Natural Selection
What is it?
What Is Natural Selection?
Charles Darwin
“It may be said that natural selection is
daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout
the world, every variation, even the
slightest; rejecting that which is bad,
preserving and adding up all that is good;
silently and insensibly working, whenever
and wherever opportunity offers.”
Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or
the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1859, p. 84.
Three Assumptions about
Natural Selection
1. Assume natural selection is
responsible for appearance of design
and complexity.
2. Assume an external source as the
source of design.
3. Assume natural selection has the
capability to choose beneficial
mutations (intelligence).
Critical Thinking and
Natural Selection
Natural
Selection
Caused by nature
(natural processes)
Selector
(Intelligence)
Natural Selection
Environment
Exposure
interface
Preprogrammed
information
3 Questions About Natural Selection
1. What is it that natural selection actually
does and how does it work?
2. Selection implies intelligence. Who or
what is actually doing or causing the
selection?
3. Since selection does not address the
origin of information, and mutations
are known to cause a loss of
information or function, is there any
observational evidence for where the
vast amount of information in DNA
came from?
What Is Natural Selection?
It is an artificial mechanism
devised by man to replace the
power and intelligence of God.
A Lesson in Reading
Words have meaning
Critical Thinking
Fuzzy Words
We believe
 We think
 Must have
 Could have
 Might have
 Our opinion is
 We guess
 Over millions of years

No
observable
evidence
Biology, Miller and Levine, 2002, p. 426.
“Those life forms must have evolved
in the absence of oxygen,…”
Life Science, Prentice Hall (Grade 7),
2002, p. 410.
“Paleontologist think that
Archaeopteryx and today’s birds
descended from some kind of reptile,
possibly from a dinosaur.”
April 21, 2010, http://www.physorg.com
“Scientists are reporting discovery
of what may be the "ancestral Eve"
crystal that billions of years ago
gave life on Earth its curious and
exclusive preference for so-called
left-handed amino acids. .”
Biology: Visualizing Life, Holt, Rinehart,
Winston, 1998, p. 193.
RNA was probably the first genetic
molecule.”
Joseph Silk, Ph.D. Astronomy,
The Big Bang, 2001, p. 170.
“Imagine that infinitesimal fluctuations in
density were present in the early universe….
The expansion of the universe must have
exerted a stabilizing influence on such
irregularities. The expanding universe has the
effect of greatly impeding what otherwise
might have been catastrophic forces….
Nevertheless, the process of growth of
fluctuations went on for a very long time,…”
Prentice Hall, Science Explorer: Life
Science, 2002, p. 46.
“The first cells could not have needed
oxygen to survive. They probably were
heterotrophs that used the chemicals
in their surroundings for energy….. At
some point, some of the cells may
have developed the ability to make
their own food.”
Magic Words








Appeared
Emerged
Arose
Gave rise to
Was on the way to becoming
Burst onto the scene
Evolved itself
Was making a transition to
USA Today, “Why did bugs grow wings to fly?”,
Mar 29, 2010.
“Evo-devo proposes that genes
involved in cobbling together flesh
and bone during early growth were
repurposed to develop new
structures throughout evolution's
history, by combining their functions
in new ways.”
National Geographic,
January 1993, p. 12.
“All [dinosaurs] probably evolved
from a scurrying, bipedal,
pheasant-size reptile.”
The Complete Dinosaur, Edited by James O.
Farlow and M. K. Brett-Surman, 1997, p. 204.
“Into this world came the dinosaurs,
initially small bipedal carnivores, and
they rose to dominance at some
point during the Triassic.”
Critical Thinking
Asking Questions
Life originated about 3.7 billion years
ago in a pool of chemicals.
Asking Questions
“About 6 million years ago, the
hominoid line gave rise to a branch that
ultimately led to the ancestors and
closest relatives of modern humans.”
- Biology, Miller and Levine, 2002, p. 835.
Asking Questions
NAS, Science and Creationism, 1999, p. 11
“The different species of finches on the
Galapagos islands, now known as
Darwin’s finches, have different-sized
beaks that have evolved to take
advantage of distinct food types.”
Finches: Different beak shapes
Asking Questions
Normal fruit fly
Orange-eyed fruit fly
Short-winged fruit fly
Curly-winged fruit fly
White-eyed fruit fly
Yellow fruit fly
Eyeless fruit fly
Asking Questions
Caterpillar to butterfly
Eyeless fish
Wingless beetle
Asking Questions
What questions
could I ask?
Dinosaurs
evolved into
birds.
Asking Questions
What questions
could I ask?
Natural selection
is one of the
basic
mechanisms of
evolution.
Asking Questions
Do you
believe in
evolution?
Critical Thinking and the Challenge
of Relativism
Why are you
Christians against
a woman’s right
to choose?
Critical Thinking and the Challenge
of Relativism
Do you take
the Bible
literally?
Mike Riddle
www.CreationTraining.org
Answers Book 1, 2, & 3
Apologetics DVDs
by Mike Riddle
Discerning Truth
Dr. Jason Lisle
© Answers in Genesis-USA
Ask Them Why
by Jay Lucas
Apologetics
© Answers in Genesis-USA
The Rights Fight
Jay Lucas
Apologetics
Defending our
Christian rights
© Answers in Genesis-USA
4 Power Questions
By Mike Riddle
Basic Creation Training
A course on creation for teens and above.
Learn about God’s creation and how to
refute the claims of evolution and theistic
evolution.
Advanced Creation Apologetics
Learn how to ask probing questions and
recognize and respond to logical fallacies
used by evolutionists. Learn to use
presuppositional apologetics in discussions.
Christian Teacher/Leader Training
Training that goes beyond what is taught
in “teacher colleges”. Sharpen your
Sunday school teaching skills. Also, how
to create a Sunday school program that is
life changing.
For more information
www.CreationTraining.org
(859) 250-7987
Email: [email protected]
Building an “Army” of Christian Educators
www.CreationTraining.org

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