Seminar on Origins

Valley Church hosted a seminar on origins, Saturday January 19, 2008, 8am-noon, in the Campus Center. It traced the creation-evolution debate back in history, explored Biblical and scientific viewpoints, and highlighted recent developments in Intelligent Design. The goal of the seminar was to provide new appreciation for the wonders of God's creation and provide apologetic resources for further study. This web page: will provide some reference material from that seminar and the followup activities. It will be maintained through March.

If you have feedback or questions, please email me, Frank Nemec, at, or participate in the Origins email list (see below).

Note: upcoming event

Dr. Francis Collins will be speaking on faith and science at Berkeley February 4, and at Stanford February 5.

Outline and Schedule (Draft): 19 January 2008

There will be opportunity for questions at end of each major section, moderated to watch time.

Origins email list

The Origins email list provides a way for people interested in preparation for this seminar, as well as related discussions. You may subscribe or unsubscribe at any time. Once you have subscribed, you can post to the list by sending an email to


Want to discuss these subjects after the seminar? Meet in the Campus Center the next two Monday mornings, January 21 and 28, at 6:30am. After that, we'll see where interest leads.

The first meeting was attended by 8 people. Discussion was lively and varied, and was clearly limited by time rather than things to discuss.


The visual materials used during the seminar are available from Frank Nemec on a CD containing the PowerPoint presentation and some other visual materials. The flagellar assembly animation can be viewed with QuickTime or other movie viewers. The directory of Flash files includes an open source viewer suitable for those files. The PowerPoint file can be viewed with PowerPoint, a free PowerPoint viewer available from Microsoft, and some other tools like Open Office.

Resource Handout: Resources in the Origins Debate

Young Earth Creationists

Old Earth Creationists

Intelligent Design

Theistic Evolution

Darwinian Evolution

Christian Professional Societies with perspective statements on origins and ethics

Other General Links

Other references

Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator. "A journalist investigates scientific evidence that points toward God." See

Francis S. Collins, The Language of God. A superb presentation of various issues of apparent conflict between science and religion, from the head of the Human Genome Project.

Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box. "The biochemical challenge to evolution" from a founder of Intelligent Design.

Richard Cowen, History of Life. A well reasoned, well presented overview of origin issues from a secular perspective. It does a reasonable job of expressing views commonly held among scientists.

Richard F. Carlson, ed, Science and Christianity Four Views. Articles by five scientists who are Christians, but who have four widely differing views.

John Gribbin, Schroedinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality. A secular scientist's attempt to explain some of the mysteries of quantum physics.

The American Scientific Affiliation,