Kirk Durston at TWU, “The Emergence and Complexity of Life: Was Mind Required?”

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Event Details


ABSTRACT: Was the origin and diversity of life a result of mere natural processes, or was the mind of the Creator actively involved in the process? In this talk, we will look at a scientific method to resolve this question. The concept of functional information, or functional complexity, has recently been defined in the scientific literature. The central hypothesis in this seminar, which is testable and falsifiable, is that a unique property of intelligence is the ability to produce statistically significant levels of functional information. Functional information, therefore, acts as a marker or ‘fingerprint’ of intelligence. It follows from this that any effect that requires or carries a statistically significant level of functional information, requires the involvement of an intelligent mind.

This method of design detection will be applied to protein families with the result that they strongly test positive for an intelligent origin. In the final section of the talk, two models will be compared: the standard Neo-Darwinian model and a version of an intelligent design model that has the mind of the Creator very much involved in the origin and diversity of life. The comparison will be done by way of mutually competing predictions to see which are falsified and which are verified by recent advances in science. It will be shown that the mind-based model appears to have substantially greater explanatory power than the current Darwinian model.

BIO: Kirk Durston is the National Director of the New Scholars Society. His Ph.D. (Biophysics) was completed at the University of Guelph, specializing in the identification, quantification, and application of functional information to protein structure. His M.A. (Philosophy) was completed at the University of Manitoba, specializing in the problem of evil. He has publications in journals of philosophy and science journals. His other interests include amateur astronomy, wilderness canoeing & camping, landscape photography & art.

LOCATION: Northwest Auditorium, TWU. Northwest Auditorium is in the Northwest Building, which is bldg #28 at www.twu.ca/campus/map-numerical.html . Pay parking is available nearby.

SPONSORS: This public lecture is co-sponsored by CSCA, the Vancouver Area Science & Religion Forum, Power to Change, and the NATS 487 class “Natural Science and Christian Worldview” at Trinity Western University. Please contact Paul Brown for more information.

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