On the way home this evening I listened to a fascinating debate on SAfm. I flutter between SAfm and 702 when I’m in the mood for talk radio. More often than not 702 is a bit left and SAfm a bit dull however over the last few months the topics on the After 8 Debate have peaked my interest.
I had watched the breaking news around Australopithecus sediba intently (maybe I’m a bit dull too). It reminded me of my fossil hunting days in Grahamstown as a member of the Albany Museum Club (yes, I know, I was always a geek, but it does have a little Indiana Jones allure to it?).
This debate squared off a Fundamentalist Christian advocate, Dr Carl Wieland (Creationist), against a well respected South African Paleontologist, Professor Francis Thackeray (Evolutionist), with some additional input by a Dr Louw Alberts (Well meaning Christian somethingist… Theistic Evolutionist?).
The debate was civil although I think the presenter failed to allow the delegates to tuck into the meat of the issue. One thing I detest about the format of the After Eight Debate is the sms’s which are always frivolous and almost always just obfuscate the conversation’s train of thought.
This is worth a listen to (MH, you don’t have choice!). Click here (http://downloads.creation.com/radio/SouthAfricanRadioBroadcast-2a.mp3) if the player doesn’t work.
Dr Carl Wieland is in great demand as a speaker on the scientific evidence for Creation/Flood, and its relevance to Christianity. Able to hold audiences (both academic and lay) with his knowledge, easy-to-listen-to style, and ever-present humour, he has lectured extensively in Australia and internationally.
Dr Wieland is Managing Director of Creation Ministries International in Brisbane, Australia. This ministry organization (which started as Creation Science Foundation, then Answers in Genesis) produces the family magazine Creation (now going to subscribers in over 100 countries), which he founded in 1978.
Professor Francis Thackeray is a South African who obtained his PhD in anthropology through Yale University (1984), analysing faunal remains from Late Quaternary assemblages at Wonderwerk Cave south of Taung, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Prior to that he studied at the University of Cape Town where he obtained a BSc, majoring in zoology (1974); BSc (Hons) in archaeology (1975); and MSc in environmental studies (1977).
He has been particularly interested in developing a statistical definition of a species, and in assessing probabilities of conspecificity in the context of hominid fossils from Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and other sites, based on exploratory morphometric techniques. He has directed excavations at Kromdraai, Plovers Lake and Bolt’s Farm in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. In collaboration with French colleagues, he is the Director of the Human Origins and Past Environments (HOPE) programme. Since 1990 he served as Head of the Department of Palaeontology and Palaeoenvironmental Studies at the Transvaal Museum before being appointed as Director of the museum, a position which he held until January 2009.
Dr Louw Alberts is ’n bekende wetenskaplike en Christenleier. Hy is op 30 Oktober 1923 gebore en het aan Rhodes-universiteit gegradueer.
In sy loopbaan was hy besoekende wetenskaplike aan die universiteite van Amsterdam en Sheffield, professor in fisika aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat en die eertydse Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit, visepresident van die Raad op Stoomkrag, president van die Raad vir Mineraaltegnologie, direkteur-generaal van mineraal- en energiesake en voorsitter van die WNNR. Hy is ook erelidmaat van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Fisika en die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns.
I’m no fence sitter. For other articles I’ve written regarding this issue check out: