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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 29, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT

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a day later he came back to me and this man is over 50 and he was crying. he was like i really had no idea that this can affect the people actually went to under don't ask, don't tell. so i guess there were two goals in doing this project. it was a huge success. >> you can watch this and other programs online apple tv.org. >> and now from liberty university in lynchburg, virginia, booktv interviewed professor david dewitt about his book, "unraveling the origins controversy." it's about 15 minutes. >> you're watching book tv on c-span2, as part of our visit to universities. this week we are at liberty university in lynchburg, virginia, talking with some professors are also authors. now joining us here at the law school at liberty university is david dewitt. he is the author of this book,
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"unraveling the origins controversy." he is also a professor of biology. in fact, he is chair of the biology department here at liberty university. doctor dewitt, let's start with the basics. is there a fundamental argument to be made in favor of either evolution or creation, or is there compatibility in your view between the two? and how do you define the argument? >> first, creationists and evolutionists live in the same world. we have the same size. we have the same data. it's a matter of how that data is interpreted. evolution provides an interpretive framework for evaluating scientific data, and creationism really provides an alternate, alternative framework for interpreting the data.
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so i believe in full evidence and arguments from evolution-based journals that would support creation loose interpretation. >> so in your view, do humans, have we devolved from apes, and have animals evolved over the centuries? >> humans absolutely did not evolve from apes but we are directly created by god. there's confusion over the term evolution, because evolution can mean different things in different contexts. for example, when you talk about changes that occurred within a group of organisms, that's a small-scale evolution. so, like the various -- that we have in everything from a chihuahua to a great dane, st. bernard, we have the kind of the
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later king charles, a huge range of variation, but those all come from an original created kind of dog. that is a type of evolution that we can see. it's changed through time. we can observe it. now, there's a different type, we could refer to it as macro, or common ancestry. ancestry. that evolution says all living things share the same common ancestor. that's where i would have a dispute. i would not have a dispute with whether plants or crop, antibiotic resistance in bacteria, we can see that, we can observe it in the present. the difference is when we get to just those stories of how things came to be -- from the queue to
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you by the way of us who spent when you start unraveling the controversy the way the bible starts with genesis looking at the genesis of people have interpreted genesis to been millions of years, you interpret it as six days. >> that's correct. that's about chapter three where i address the meaning of the genesis chapter one. we do take those to mean normal solar days as we see them today. there's a lot of physical evidence to support, not just some genesis, but elsewhere to support a recent creation. for example, jesus said from the
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beginning the creator made them male and female. he is quoting from genesis. and jesus is saying man is created from the beginning, means they must then part of that creation, not 4 billion years after. >> so in your view how old as mankind? how old is the planet's? >> roughly 6000 years. >> do you, do you teach charles darwin in your class at all? >> we talk about charles are required a bit. >> what is the value you see in charles darwin? >> darwin and his origin of species challenged some erroneous notion that people had, and at the time people thought species were fixed, that
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they were created exactly as they are today, and that's the way they have always been. and that wasn't correct. and we see evidence of change through time. so he was correct in that criticism, but his suggestion that all living things come from the same common ancestor, that's where he is deported. so we teach quite a bit about evolution, but we don't teach it as the explanation for how we and everything else got here. >> when you hear the term big bang theory, what is your response to? >> it's a little frustrating, big bang theory, because the big bang theory doesn't really
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explain what we most want explained, which is really where did everything come from. it also doesn't explain why there is so much -- why there is, the universe is so fast. we have some pockets of homogeneity, but we have other aspects of heterogeneity. the last doesn't account for. >> one of the largest scientific projects currently underway is a supercollider, looking for the so-called god particle spinning and they are not having much luck. >> why? >> when we are looking at origins, this is a historical
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event. and we really have to approach historical science in a slightly different way than we approach them. les lyons. and empirical science, which is what i do in my lab, we make a hypothesis. we are predicting the future, and we do an experiment to test, and the experiment is testing whether my prediction of the future is, in fact, the case. so the only way you can predict the future is if you know something about the way the universe works. though when we are talking about events in the past, that's historical science. and we can do the experiments in the same way that we can in the lab. we have to make a whole range of assumptions, and we have really
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multiple competing hypotheses that we have to bring, bring to bear. and way through them for which is most robust. so for example, if we have a historical question saying what killed the dinosaurs, well, we might say well, there was a meteorite that collided with the earth, and we can look for evidence of that. but there can always be other alternatives that we haven't considered. and we might not have evidence of that. there could have been some type of legal ebola virus that affected dinosaurs, for example. so when answering a historical question there are things that can come into play, that in
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spite of we may have evidence for one thing, not some other thing. so when a crime scene is investigated, for example, they are piecing together what happened in the past, and that's a good analogy. >> you got your undergrad from michigan state, a ba in biochemistry. >> yes, vs. >> and a from northwestern. >> it is in euro signs. i did research and still do research on alzheimer's disease. the focus of my research has been in molecular biology, and so i tend, as far as my creation research, focus that in the area of origin of life, and similarities. >> dr. dewitt, have you
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always, when it comes to creation and evolution, have you always felt the way that you do? >> no. in fact, going through school, through public school, i was taught evolution. i did attend church, but i did what i think a lot of people do better going to church to study science, i tried to combine into previously about compatibility. i tried to combine them and say well, evolution must be the way that god used to create. but it was partly through college that i began to see that as unworkable. in particular because evolution requires millions of years of death for us to get from and
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unequal to the law schools. millions and millions of years, but the bible is very clear that death comes after at its and regard death is the way to spend that will come after. and so that's a fundamental conflict, and why evolution in the sense cuts to the nation of gospel, because jesus came to pay the penalty first and then death, when it's judgment day, that's the end of death. so death is an intrusion into the world. it's not the means god used to create. god, after he is creating, this is good. when he has created everything, he said it was very good, and so to have a death driven, wasteful
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process of survival of the fittest and disease and bloodshed is inconsistent with a holy, loving god who is eyed is on the spare. so when you view creation from that perspective, it gives it an explanation for why there is death. it's not what was originally intended. we were meant for life. >> "unraveling the origins controversy," david dewitt, when you teach this book in your biology class, what is one of the most frequently asked questions by the student? >> well, i don't teach that in our biology class. we have a course that is the history of life as a second course that is origins, and that's in our creation studies area. we have a center for creation
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studies, you know, and our biology classes with standard biology textbooks that we use, similar to any of the university come any state university. now, what i do, for example, i teach sub all of you, that's a class for upper level students. the book we use has evolution throughout, and i will point out where they are not giving the whole picture of whether subtly misleading. i also point out world to aspects. there are two main types of cells, bacteria are called prokaryotes. these ourselves that do not have a nucleus with dna. we have other cells, all
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animals, they have a nucleus, they contain dna. that's called -- well, by the name, by the name, prokaryote, pruning before, and ukaryote, u meaning new, they are carrying baggage because bacteria are said to come before a nucleus contains so. just by the name. and so there are other aspects of this where they will refer to a gene being concerned from one organism to the other. well, the evidence that the gene is conserved is it is similar
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from one organism to the other. well, then really on the evidence that we have is that the genes are similar. linking them and saying it is evolutionary, that's an interpretation that was imposed. one thing that i really find is, if people think that evolution is a fact, that common ancestry evolution is a fact, and they don't recognize the assumptions that are there, so part of what i try to do through the book was emphasized the evolutionist of assumptions, and contrast that with creationist assumptions. >> we have been talking with professor david dewitt, biology professor at liberty university. in fact, he is the chair of the
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biology department, and "unraveling the origins controversy" is the name of the book. published by creation curriculum. >> visit booktv.org to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book titled in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also shoot anything you see on booktv.org easily by clicking here i am from outside of the page and selecting format. .tv streams live online for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> you're watching booktv on c-span2 at here's our primetime lineup for tonight.
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>> i would like to talk about about my book, a soldier's dream, and then ask darren an audience for any questions about it. this book came about as result of my reading a newspaper article in december 2007 about a young american soldier who was being hailed as a martyr by iraqis. whatever that story, i thought boy, that sounds interesting, how did that happen, who is this man? he had died in an ied attack. the man's name was captain travis patrick quinn.
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i never heard of such a thing about an immigrant soldier being hailed as a martyr. this happened in a city that was then the epicenter of the iraqi insurgency. in fact, that the military memorial service for him and his fallen colleagues, army specialist and marine major megan mcclung, a delegation of iraqi shakes and armies executed officers came in to pay their respects to the fallen americans and to offer an islamic prayers of mourning for them. which was a striking scene in the history of the iraq war. i had to find out more about this record as i interviewed scores of his american and iraqi colleagues am i came to realize that perhaps his story is critical to understanding america's role on the world stage in the post-bin laden, post arab spring era. and maybe even to discover more about what it truly means to be an american.
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the historical impact of what he and he probably said it was very striking to, in fact, i came to realize that he was a key player at a key moment in the iraq war. in fact it will begin turn around in mid 2006 months before the famous search started happening, as he and his military intelligence colleagues help iraqis launched something that was called the awaken, which was a sunni tribal revolt against al qaeda. al qaeda of course has never really conquered and held large pieces of territory in the world. there's some exceptions. but what happened in anbar province was al qaeda basically conquered the province, and they set up a parallel government, sharia law, courts, a parallel ministry even, of governments. and the rule of this version of
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radical, radical islam, or anti-islam i would call it, was so offensive that the local iraqis rebuilt against it and we helped them come and the awakening was born. the awakening facilitated the search in both turning point helped save iraq from what was a total collapse, a total full scale civil war in 2006 to a different kind of outcome, which is still terribly dangerous but it transformed in the last five years. and i first want to do travis patriquin was. it was this the new iraqi said helped shape the course of the iraq war. he was actually born in the midwest. he joined the army on the day he finished high school in 1993. he was a devout catholic and christian who happen to believe that, he refused to believe that his religion was right and other religions were wrong. in fact, he studied the koran very carefully, and concluded
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that authentic islam was our greatest ally, america's greatest ally in conquering al qaeda. and helping to lead his fight in the world to its urban change my views on islam and how we behave on the world stage. he was fascinated with arab history, arab culture, arab food, arab poetry. he learned arabic, thanks to the military for a year, over a year. he studied arabic intensely. and he traveled to the middle east, kuwait, jordan, and plunged into middle eastern culture, and he loved it. he became a special forces support soldier, and he went to afghanistan in 2002, and the first wave of american soldiers to strike back at al qaeda and the taliban after 9/11. and he won a bronze star for digging trips in combat there.
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in 2005 he was assigned to be the tribal affairs officer for the u.s. military in ramadi, iraq, which was one journalist called it the most fucked up place on earth. reporters scampered through the ruins of ramadi and was a this reminds me of images of hiroshima and trust in installing grid. it had collapsed completely. it was the provincial capital of anbar province and basically the headquarters of the al qaeda college the that were attempting to launch in iraq. ride away three things were obvious to travis patriquin at his college. it to attack al qaeda forces with firepower, and they also had to rebuild the shattered local iraqi police force and reach out to the remaining tribal sheiks. a lot of whom had fled the horror. and there weren't many left. and although he was only a junior officer, patriquin became the key liaison between the military and the sunni sheiks in their attempts to launch the
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awakening movement that helped transform the world. i think travis patriquin is a symbol not only of the americans who served in iraq by the americans who have died there, and that many americans who have helped the iraqis tried to build a new nation out of the horror of this war. perhaps that is what understand who patriquin was was to hear what iraqis say about them, what they told me. in the words of a shake, say many great the awakening movement, travis patriquin was quote an extraordinary men who played a very, very important role. he was my brother. he spoke arabic and he looked like an arab man. when he came at the start of the awaken, we needed someone like him. he was humble and friendly. he was always helping me. he helped us with weapons and ammunition. he helped deliver food to people who need help who were in trouble. and he defended the women and children against the terrorists.
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he was very the import and build rapport between the u.s. and the sheiks. captain patriquin was extraordinary. one baghdad born interpreter told me, patriquin was in love with iraq. he was addicted to the culture. he was obsessed by. he loved the food, the people, everything about iraq. and another baghdad born interpreter told me iraqis can like you but they loved him for a lot of reasons. he had a magical personality, and a trustful face. his presence was noted immediately. iraqis love to talk to me with a mustache. and heavy mustache, suntan, dark skin and a big muscular body. he looked like an air. besides that his heart was connecting to these people. for the average american soldier, iraqi can be hard to sit down and talk to. but what iraqis at them to the with captain patriquin, they could tell he enjoyed eating their hands. they knew he didn't think it. he gave iraqis the most honorable and honest picture of
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the american people and the american military in particular. they thought he was a true american heart. and this iraqi born interpreter concluded, my god, there's no in the world who could have formed a closer connection with the iraqi people and travis did. they adored him. a former iraqi air force general told me, americans haven't appreciated the lessons of what patriquin and his colleagues did. it was a miracle, an absolute miracle, america has not learned the lesson it should have. we need people like patriquin in the american military, not just for iraq but for all middle east, afghanistan, pakistan and elsewhere. people are principled and people who can win the hearts and minds of the people with their culture in their minds, not their weapons. patriquin thought we had to reach out to the grassroots tour in iraq, that we couldn't try to do things from top down because
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the iraqi government was nonexistent, or horribly dysfunction. many american policymakers were trying to force things from the top 10. that was not working. he also thought we should reach out to insurgents. he that we should identify insurgents who were reconcilable. and negotiate with him and talk to them and try to flip them over to our site to fight al qaeda. because the insurgency of course was very factionalized. and patriquin also thought that we had to be humble and show respect to iraqis, and deal with iraq on its own terms rather than try to make us more passionate make them more like this. i think that's a tremendous insight as how america treats the world. he said if you want to stabilize things you have to cut the crap on all this idealism, and deal with the sheiks. the shade was his iraqi partner in office, who launched the awaken, really great all this, what some people thought that
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tony soprano of western iraq. he was an alleged gangster, a really rough character but is also an inspiring leader it turned out. he was only in his late '30s, and he was the man who declared war on al qaeda. discloses american contact in this war was travis patriquin. and patriquin to anybody who would listen, he's the key to ramadi. nothing will work without him. he is huge but he's the center of gravity force. maybe he can change everything. this might be the way out of iraq force. it turns out to of largely occurred the way patriquin wanted it to because they sheik proved to be very effective in fighting al qaeda industry. and tried to began to flip from neutral or pro-al qaeda to the coalition side. in my book there are a few things of patrick in in action. one of them was when patriquin
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first met sattar. he speaks arabic, slang, iraqi arabic. and sattar's, sheiks hands and says what part of iraq are you from? are you from the north or the south? and patriquin, as he often did when this happened, he would say something like know, i'm from chicago. i'm an american. and many iraqis were befuddled by that because they thought he might be an iraqi who left iraq as a child, gone over here, and grown-up and then came back with a funny midwestern accent. they met and quickly became very close allies in this struggle. >> you can watch this and other programs on line at booktv.org. >> here we go. welcome aboard. beautiful downtown oklahoma city. my name is captain rick. i live in yukon oklahoma.

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