2007 Winter Lectures:
Cosmology, Evolution and Resurrection Hope: Session 2

CD, 2007
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In his second lecture, “The Christian response to the problem of ‘natural evil,’ Russell talked about a major problem for Christians today—the theory of evolution. How can the origin of natural evil be explained if there is no fall into sin at the beginning?

oting that this has always been the greatest obstacle for Christians contemplating evolution, Russell observed that the existence of natural evil (such as natural disasters like tsunamis) raises the question of God’s power and goodness (theodicy). He suggested that there are things in science that are “inevitable, but unnecessary”—things that are analogous to human sin.

One possibility for such a phenomenon in science, he said, is classical thermodynamics, which inevitably controls the overall increase in entropy (disorder). To show that classical thermodynamics need not be the final word he pointed to actual local increases in order on earth, and to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, which results in self-organization—a transposition of theological language into science that was a real example of experimental theology!

(Unfortunately, this year, the recording quality of these CDs is poor.)

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