Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am training to be a high school biology teacher, so less blogging!

In 2004 when I finished my biology degree, I originally intended to do further training to become a high school biology teacher.

[Above: Edith Cowan University, Joondalup: Wikipedia]

However, by then our superannuation was doing so well, I did not need to work, so I decided to retire instead.

But now due to the financial crash, I have had to revert to plan A, and am 3 weeks into a 1 year Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary), majoring in Biological Science, at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, where I did my biology degree.

So I now have a lot less time for blogging, although I should have more time in the semester breaks. Of course if I am successful and do become a biology teacher, I expect I will continue to be very busy, even in school holidays!

Update: I have successfully completed my science teacher training and now have a long break until school commences in February next year. I don't need to work full-time so I will probably work part-time as a relief teacher. In the meantime I will now catch up on my blogging!

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
Blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign, TheShroudofTurin & Jesus is Jehovah!

11 comments:

Robert Byers said...

Hello
I am a YEC Canadian Evangelical and note your industry and carefullness in dealing with origin issues.
Since your Australian i though you might be interested in a problem of yec in dealing with the uniqueness of marsupials in your country.
I wrote an essay called "Post Flood Marsupial Migration Explained" by Robert Byers. Just google.
What do you think?
Lord Bless

Stephen E. Jones said...

Robert

>I wrote an essay called "Post Flood Marsupial Migration Explained" by Robert Byers.

Thanks for your comment. But as I am an Old Earth Creationist, Local Floodist, who accepts universal common ancestry, I don't accept your basic assumptions.

Specifically, I don't accept (on the basis of the evidence, Biblical and scientific), that: 1) the Earth and Universe are only ~10,000 years old; 2) there was a global flood; and 3) the biogeographical distribution of all the Earth's land animal major groups (including Australian marsupials) is adequately explained by migration from a common centre in Mesopotamia.

The biogeographical distribution of marsupials (Australian and South American) and their unique features in common (e.g. syndactyly, the fusing of the second and third digits of the foot), indicate they descended from a common Gondwanan ancestral group, separated by continental drift.

See my "Why I (a Creationist) Accept Common Ancestry (Not Evolution)."

Stephen E. Jones

Robert Byers said...

Thank you for the reply and of coarse being Oec would be a hinderance to agreeing with me.
Yet I am right. You didn't say if you read it.
Its not just marsupials but a whole host of orders that have same shaped creatures said to be unrelated.
The foot thing is a minor adaptation to a migrating group of creatures. It very likely would be that way. Biology just never anticapates that a host of creatures would move into a new area and need the same reaction to deal with some common need. the reproductive angle is more dramatic and yet likewise a minor adaptation.
Remember you are saying all these creatures can evolve to look like all these creatures elsewhere. So you are seeing like pressures bringing like results.
Its the first and easier conclusion to see a marsupial bear or lion is just our bear or lion with a few minor differences.
IT need not be a threat to OEC and is a simple correction to some points of evolution.

I am convinced that if the public knew the incredible claims of convergent evolution where horse, camel, lion, bear like creatures are said to be unrelated to our present ones it would undermine confidence in evolution claims.
Anyways all the best

Stephen E. Jones said...

Robert

>Thank you for the reply and of coarse being Oec would be a hinderance to agreeing with me. Yet I am right. You didn't say if you read it.

I didn't read it, as I rarely have the time or inclination to read the many articles and links people send me to read.

An additional reason why I don't read YEC items is that I spent over a decade (1994-2004) debating with YECs, including some leading ones.

None of those YECs could adequately answer the points I (and others) raised about the Earth and Universe being billions rather than thousands of years old, and the YECs all in the end retreated to their non-scientific bottom line that YEC must be true because their interpretation of Genesis 1 was infallible.

So YEC falls at its first hurdle(s), namely geology and astronomy, that the Earth and Universe are ~10,000 years old. Therefore YEC is out of the race from near the beginning, so there is no need to waste time and effort considering seriously YECs claims later in the same race about biogeography.

Also, quite frankly, after all those years, I have become somewhat bored with the creation-evolution-design issue and have moved on to posting about the Shroud of Turin and ministering to Jehovah's Witnesses (and to a lesser extent Mormons) on my TheShroudofTurin and JesusisJehovah! blogs, respectively.

I will probably come back to posting about creation-evolution-design on this my CreationEvolutionDesign blog eventually (i.e. after I complete my university studies this year and then become a biology teacher next year), but those other areas interest me more at the moment.

Stephen E. Jones

Kendalf said...

Hello Stephen,
I've referenced your quotes page several times in the course of online debates I've been having on ID/evolution. Thank you for making such a comprehensive resource available to us!

Just wanted to encourage you in your pursuit of being a science teacher. I am a physics teacher in California, and just to give you hope, it is possible to be a full time high school teacher and still blog, though probably not the first couple years!

Here's my own testimony from my blog about being a Christian in the ministry of teaching. All the best as you continue to minister in the manner that God has called you!

Stephen E. Jones said...

Ken

>Just wanted to encourage you in your pursuit of being a science teacher.

Thank you for your encouragement. There are a lot of people who say I am "crazy" (including my own wife!) for wanting to high school science teacher, but I feel that is where God is now calling me.

I too may have missed God's `first best' for me in that I originally felt called to write books (e.g. "Problems of Evolution," "Shroud of Turin: The Evidence," and "Jesus is Jehovah!") but I lacked self-discipline to narrow myself down to one thing. So God's `second best' will have to do! And who knows? Science teaching may turn out to have been God's `first best' for me all along!

And maybe I can still write those books in my second retirement?

Whatever, in the end, only one achievement in this life is important:

Jer 9:23-24 (NIV) "This is what the LORD says: `Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,' declares the LORD."

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen said...

Stephen,

I hope your classes are going well. I'm also currently working on a biology degree with the intent to teach high school teacher. Putting aside all questions of sanity, I think the biology teachers I had in high school were the biggest influence in my becoming interested in science. Of course, what could be better than getting paid to talk about biology all day, no wonder they were so into their jobs.

I'm a bit confused about some of the things I've been reading in your blog and I was hoping you could shed some light, or at least direct me to where I can find answers. There are a couple of instances where I've read that you do not agree with evolution but only decent with modification. So, all organisms are genetically and ancestrally related and have become that way by natural and supernatural means. I'm curious as to what natural means are in PMC. I've seen that you have made arguments against natural selection being a method of speciation, however, genetic drift is also a mechanism of evolution. Genetic drift is something that scientists have observed in many populations of species including humans (CCR5 and blood type in native americans). I'm guessing that supernatural changes would be whole genes/genomes appearing ex nihilo to account for irreducible complexity. It sounds like you've had all the same arguments about IC already so I'm curious as to why you still accept IC? Behe's examples do have components that work independent of the whole.

Finally, consider the consequences of a God who is all knowing, all powerful, and beyond human comprehension in any respect. If this being created the universe, wouldn't you expect the laws that he designs to govern it would be so complex that no human could understand them all on an intuitive level? Quantum-mechanics would be a pretty good example of laws completely incomprehensible intuitively to humans. And this being has already seen everything in the universe happen already in every permutation possible. At the point of creation he already knew not only everything going on on this planet, but every other planet, star, cloud of dark matter or dark energy, all at once. He would have made living things have DNA and made that DNA mutate causing variations in populations. It would be how he designed those variations to change when selective pressures were applied to them etc etc. He designed the universe around each human and it is such a perfect design that every event, from the beginning till now, happened exactly the way he expected it to. Doesn't this sound like a god thats described with all powerful, all knowing, etc? So, why demand evidence for god's design in the universe when the whole universe, including evolution and natural selection, is evidence of his design?

I hope that sounded somewhat profound. I hope that it was an argument that you have not heard yet and start inching a little closer to the TE side. Evolution does not demand atheism at all but it is observable in every aspect of biology. It would be a shame for a fellow biologist to miss the elegance in a system that describes so well the greatness of god.

--Steve Cook

Stephen E. Jones said...

Steve

>I'm a bit confused about some of the things I've been reading in your blog and I was hoping you could shed some light, or at least direct me to where I can find answers.

Thanks for your questions. I am in my last week of my final teaching practicum (and have been told today that I have passed!), and I have a year's backlog of things to be done (like house maintenance!) but I will try to reply to your post sometime in the next month.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Steve

>I will try to reply to your post sometime in the next month.

I have today replied to your comment above in: "Re: I'm a bit confused about some of the things I've been reading in your blog."

Stephen E. Jones

Eliazar Firmalo>", said...

Hello Mr. Stephen Jones, i found your comments and ideas in this site. I am a 17-year old student in BS Biology here in the Philippines and am just a 2nd Year college student. I was inspired and excited by reading your posts, because i too would like to be a teacher in secondary education...could you assist me just in words and ideas of yours in achieving this goal of mine? Hoping for your kind help sir, by the way sir i was really inspired and enlightened by the verse in your comment. Thanks to GOD that although we are far from each other, there are really brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ our Lord... i guess thats all sir... hoping for your reply... I am Eliazar Musa Firmalo sir, it was really nice to read your posts...Take Care always sir and GOD bless us all:)

Stephen E. Jones said...

Eliazar

>I am a 17-year old student in BS Biology here in the Philippines and am just a 2nd Year college student. I ... too would like to be a teacher in secondary education...could you assist me just in words and ideas of yours in achieving this goal of mine?

Thanks for your question. The best advice I can offer to a Christian student who is studying Science at University, is this quote from the late evangelical Christian philosopher Bernard Ramm, which has been foundational to my thinking about the relationship between Christianity and Science:

"If we believe that the God of creation is the God of redemption, and that the God of redemption is the God of creation, then we are committed to some very positive theory of harmonization between science and evangelicalism. God cannot contradict His speech in Nature by His speech in Scripture. If the Author of Nature and Scripture are the same God, then the two books of God must eventually recite the same story." (Ramm, B.L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," [1954], Paternoster: London, Reprinted, 1960, p.25).

That is, Nature is just as much God's `book' as the Bible is. Therefore, any interpretation of either Science or the Bible that contradicts the other, must be wrong.

Here is another quote by the late evangelical theologian Charles Hodge that "we interpret the Word of God [the Bible] by the Word of God [nature] when we interpret the Bible by science" (i.e. by proven scientific facts, not mere speculative theories based on the false philosophy of Naturalism):

"Nature is as truly a revelation of God as the Bible, and we interpret the Word of God by the Word of God when we interpret the Bible by science. As this principle is undeniably true, it is admitted and acted on by those who, through inattention to the meaning of terms, in words deny it. When the Bible speaks of the foundations, or of the pillars of the earth, or of the solid heavens, or of the motion of the sun, do not you and every other sane man, interpret this language by the facts of science? For five thousand years the Church understood the Bible to teach that the earth stood still in space, and that the sun and stars revolved around it. Science has demonstrated that this is not true. Shall we go on to interpret the Bible so as to make it teach the falsehood that the sun moves around the earth, or shall we interpret it by science, and make the two harmonize? Of course, this rule works both ways. If the Bible cannot contradict science, neither can science contradict the Bible. ... There is a two-fold evil on this subject against which it would be well for Christians to guard. There are some good men who are much too ready to adopt the opinions and theories of scientific men, and to adopt forced and unnatural interpretations of the Bible, to bring it to accord with those opinions. There are others, who not only refuse to admit the opinions of men, but science itself, to have any voice in the interpretation of Scripture. Both of these errors should be avoided." (Hodge, C., "The Bible in Science," New York Observer, Mar, 26, 1863, pp.98-99; in Noll, M.A., "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind," [1994], Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, reprint, pp.183-184. Ellipses Noll's).

Stephen E. Jones