Past Event

ID or Evolutionary Creation: A Forum on Origins

May 9, 2014
Panel Discussion at University Presbyterian Church

How did the universe begin? How did life start? How did complex living things arise? Is there evidence that life and the universe were purposefully designed, or are naturalistic explanations more probable? These are huge questions with divergent answers, even among Christians.

The Ideas and Arts Task force at Seattle’s University Presbyterian Church along with the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute invite you to join us as panel of speakers -- Dr. Stephen Meyer, Cambridge trained philosopher of science and author of the recent best-seller, Darwin’s Doubt, Dr. Patrick McDonald, SPU professor of philosophy, and Dr. Benjamin McFarland, SPU professor of biochemistry -- present a discussion about two Christian responses to naturalism: Evolutionary Creation and Intelligent Design.

WHEN: Friday, May 9th at 7pm

WHERE: University Presbyterian Church Sanctuary, 4540 15th NE, Seattle, WA

COST: FREE, but registration is recommended at the link below.

If you have questions regarding this event, please contact Donna Scott at 206-292-0401 x128 or by email to

For directions to the church and a map of parking options, please go to the University Presbyterian Church website. Attendees may park in the north lot, the west surface lot, and the parking structure immediately south of UPC west lot (west side of 15th N.E.).

Speaker Biographies

Stephen C. Meyer Ph.D. - Dr. Meyer is Director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC) and a founder both of the intelligent design (ID) movement and of the CSC, intelligent design’s primary intellectual and scientific headquarters. Dr. Meyer received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in the philosophy of science. He is the author of peer-reviewed publications in technical, scientific, philosophical and other books and journals. Most recently, he is the author of the best seller Darwin’s Doubt The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2013). In his first book on intelligent design, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2009), Meyer examined only the mystery of the origin of life. Now, with Darwin’s Doubt, he expands the scope of the case for ID to the whole sweep of life’s history. Meyer’s research goes to the very source of the mystery of life: its origin, and more specifically the origin of biological information. His research and writings in the field represent the cutting edge of the argument for design.

Patrick McDonald Ph.D. - Dr. McDonald grew up on Seattle’s Capitol Hill (O’Dea High School ’87; Seattle University ’92) and joined the Philosophy Department at Seattle Pacific in 2001 after completing doctoral studies in history and philosophy of science at the University of Notre Dame. He won a Fulbright fellowship to study at the Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin, 1998-99. He offers courses in science and religion, the philosophy of science, and in the history of philosophy. His research interests lie primarily in issues concerning the intersection of evolutionary biology and Christian faith. He and his wife, Hannah (SU ’91, ’94; SPU, ‘11) have been blessed with three daughters. For more information see his CV on the SPU website.

Benjamin McFarland Ph.D. - Dr. McFarland is Professor of Biochemistry at Seattle Pacific University. He also teaches and sings in the choir at Bethany Community Church in Seattle (in fact, he married the choir accompanist a decade and a half ago, and their family has four boys from 11 to 3 years old). The McFarland research group redesigns proteins, both in biochemistry laboratory courses and through independent summer research. For example, the group has increased the affinity of an immunoreceptor-ligand pair by several orders of magnitude through computer-guided design. Dr. McFarland’s articles have appeared in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Molecular Biology, Structure, Immunity, and others, including 20 different student co-authors. In the 2010 Winifred E. Weter Lecture, Dr. McFarland described how the periodic table of the elements and the laws of thermodynamics provide chemical constraints on how life could happen, to the point that we can know much of the procedure of creation. This gives a chemical creation story with narrative dramatic elements showing God’s elegant, consistent action imposing order on the cosmos. Currently he is working on a book telling this story (funded by a BioLogos Evolution and Christian Faith grant) titled The Quickening: How Chemistry Shaped Biology. For more information see his CV on the SPU website.