Scientists debate the origin of life

Spinnaker

Are we alone in the universe? Did God create man or did man create God? Was Darwin right? All these questions were subjects of discussion Feb. 25 at the Skeptics Forum sponsored by UNF Campus Ministries.

Students, faculty and professional community members filled the Lazzara Theatre to listen
to national scholars Dr. Hugh Ross, Dr. Fazale Rana and Dr. Michael Shermer debate the origins of life.

Tommy Park, one of the organizers from the Interfaith Center, believes the forum was a success.

“All three guys gave pretty good presentations,” he said.

Ross and Rana, both united under the mission Reasons to Believe, are dedicated to the idea that science and faith do not have to be at odds with each other.

Ross, who received degrees in physics and astronomy, studied world religions and old scriptures and has come to the conclusion the only historically and scientifically accurate text is the Bible.

During his speech, Ross pointed out the gaps within the evolutionary theory, which should be getting smaller as science progresses. But the gaps are just getting larger, he said.

Shermer, the executive director of the Skeptics Society and a producer of the Beyond Unknown TV show, described himself as an “advocate of good ideas, not bad ideas.”

The 98 percent genetic similarity between humans and chimps, and the abundance of transitional fossils produced through the 10,000-years history of man are facts leading to the conclusion we are a result of cumulative selection rather than a six-day work of a creator, Shermer said.

Rana, who received a PhD in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry, argued that the biochemical systems of all things are remarkably organized and intelligently designed with “eerie perfection.”

E-mail Andrea Farah at [email protected]