CT Scan: Critical Thinking Scan
Critical Thinking Scan with Patricia Engler can help you process any faith-challenging message and reach a biblical, logical conclusion yourself.
Thinking About DNA: Introduction
To think through evolutionary arguments about DNA, it’s essential to know some basics about what DNA is and how it works. Here’s a crash introduction to how genetic information is encoded, organized, and translated into the proteins which do all the work in our cells.
Handout 1 - Thinking About DNA: Introduction
The “Junk DNA” Debate
Is most of our DNA “junk” leftover from evolution? Some people still say so, despite research suggesting that most of the human genome is biochemically active. Let’s think biblically and critically about “junk DNA” arguments and explore some recent advances in the “junk DNA” debate.
Handout 2 - The “Junk DNA” Debate
The Onion Test
A popular argument for “junk DNA” says that since onions have more non-coding DNA than humans, but are less complex than humans, onions’ DNA must be mostly useless junk. Therefore, the non-coding DNA in humans is likely junk as well. Let’s think through this argument biblically and critically.
Handout 3 - The Onion Test
What are “pseudogenes?” Are they really useless genes leftover from evolution? Can they show that different organisms—like chimps and humans—share the same ancestor? Popular evolutionary arguments would say so, but let’s see how to think biblically and critically about such claims.
Handout 4 - Pseudogenes
Does having similar genes mean sharing the same evolutionary ancestor? Popular evolutionary arguments state that genetic similarities (say, between chimps and humans) are prime evidence for evolution. Is that true? Let’s see how to think through any such argument biblically and critically.
Handout 5 - Genetic Similarities
The Not-So-Universal Genetic Code
Most living things share the same genetic code. Does that mean they also share the same ancestor(s)? Textbooks often say so. However, it’s now clear that the genetic code is not universal, as evolutionists once believed, leading some evolutionists to suggest there is no “tree of life” after all. ...
Handout 6 - The Not-So-Universal Genetic Code
Do Evolutionary Trees Show Evolution?
Living things can be classified into nested categories, like mammals and vertebrates. Do these categories mean certain groups share the same evolutionary ancestors? Textbooks say so. To see whether that’s true, let’s think biblically and critically about the idea of evolutionary “family trees.”
Handout 7 - Do Evolutionary Trees Show Evolution?
How to Build an Evolutionary Tree
Where do evolutionary “family trees” come from? What assumptions go into constructing them? And why do trees based on different assumptions often tell different stories? Find out in this episode, highlighting truths to remember when you see an evolutionary tree presented as fact in a textbook.
Handout 8 - How to Build an Evolutionary Tree
Human Chromosome 2 “Fusion”
Is your second chromosome evidence for evolution? A popular evolutionary argument says chromosome 2 resulted when two chromosomes from an ape-like ancestor fused, explaining why chimps have more chromosomes than us. Let’s think through this claim and uncover the other side of the chromosome 2 story.
Handout 9 - Human Chromosome 2 “Fusion”
What is Information?
Can mutations create new information? To answer, we first have to pinpoint what those keywords mean. Mutations are permanent changes to DNA, which can produce helpful new traits under certain conditions. But can they produce useful, novel information to evolve one kind of creature into another? C...
Handout 10 - What is Information?
Can Mutations Create New Information?
Do mutations create the kind of new information required for microbes-to-man evolution? Mutations can produce new traits which may be beneficial in certain environments. But because genes often encode multiple layers of information, even “beneficial” mutations typically come at a cost. Let’s look...
Handout 11 - Can Mutations Create New Information?
Thinking Through “New Information” Claims
Often, claims that mutations produce useful new genetic information involve one of four processes: 1) duplication of information, 2) loss of control over how information is used, 3) degeneration of information, and 4) transfer of information. In each case, you can ask, “Does this involve somethin...
Handout 12 - Thinking Through “New Information” Claims