David Eberth: The Evolution–Creation Controversy
Calgary's Centre For Inquiry will be hosting David Eberth of the Royal Tyrrell Museum for a talk on the controversial topic of evolution v. creation. Mr. Eberth, as a research scientist, has studied ancient environments of fossil-bearing rocks, and participated in projects throughout the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Germany, China, Mongolia, and Canada. His specialties include stratigraphy and sedimentology, chronostratigraphy (the age of the rocks), and taphonomy (influences on preservation and fossilization).
On the topic of his talk David writes: Our society isn’t the first to grapple with the concept of evolution and its implications for cultural and religious beliefs. The 18th Century enlightenment ushered in a readiness to reject the authority of the church on matters of natural history and science, and set the stage for the eventual acceptance of Darwin’s ideas in 19th century western society.
For the past 150 years, however, there have been times of increased cultural resistance and “pushback” in North America (and elsewhere) to the factual and theoretical aspects of evolution. Today, the evolution-creation controversy is once again a hot-button issue. However, addressing the controversy is difficult because it is deeply steeped in history and philosophy, reflects a broad cultural misunderstanding of both a complex scientific concept and how science works, seemingly pits faith against reason by introducing questions of morality and goodness, and often is co-opted for political purposes.
Given the controversy’s multifaceted and complex nature, it’s no wonder that many individuals (religious and non-religious) are confused by it, and no less wonder that the controversy simply won’t go away, even in the face of continually-mounting scientific evidence in support of biological evolution.
This presentation and discussion focuses on the historical, philosophical, cultural, and personal aspects of the controversy.
Update: Download a recording of David's lecture (~70M / .M4A)