The Randomness Project
It is not uncommon to hear voices proclaiming that biology and physics have shown us that—at fundamental levels—nature is random, hence meaningless, purposeless, and without a creator. But how might God work providentially through indeterminate processes? The John Templeton Foundation has provided a generous grant of $1.69 million to support a new research initiative on the theme of Randomness and Divine providence.
A Pastor’s Approach to Science
Since the sermon is the main component used to build the congregation’s collective approach to understanding how the church relates to the world, I want to take a few moments to lay out what has worked in my preaching and what has not when it comes to science, and more specifically, the subject of evolution.
Science and the Bible: Theistic Evolution, Part 2
Everyone reading this column originated in the union of two cells, one from each parent. Everyone reading this is also created in the image of God. Each of these two sentences is true, but the truths they proclaim are of a different order. The first neither implies nor negates the second.
Evolution and Personal Faith: How Christian University Students Resolve the Conflict, Part 4
Christian biology-related majors at a Christian university who accept evolution can persist in an abiding belief in God, a commitment to the Bible, a dedication to the Christian life, and a positive view of teleology and theodicy. Moreover, many of these students seek wholeness and coherence in their lives by endeavoring to be true to both science and their religious beliefs.
Evolution and Personal Faith: How Christian University Students Resolve the Conflict, Part 3
Popular literature often champions the teacher as a potential role model to shape and inspire student learning, and the same is certainly true in this context. Given participants’ frustration at growing up without seeing Christians who modeled a coherent and positive commitment to science, it’s not surprising that many participants viewed their professors as important role models.
Freedom and Grace in Tennessee
Towards the end of the last school year, the Tennessee legislature passed the Teacher Protection Academic Freedom Act, a law that became more popularly known as the “Monkey Bill.” I was doing research in a Tennessee high school biology classroom the morning that I learned that the bill had passed.
The State of Evolution (Infographic)
The BioLogos Forum is pleased to present this infographic about evolution and public education in the United States. The graphic, titled “The State of Evolution”, draws upon sources from USA Today, the National Center for Science Education, and Pew Forum, and shows two challenges to a widespread understanding of the science of evolution in the United States.
The Sorrows and Joys of Teaching Evolution at an Evangelical Christian University
As a biology professor, I have the profound privilege of teaching the principles of evolutionary biology to a variety of students. As one might expect, teaching this subject matter at times engenders controversy, crises of faith, anger and fear in students (and others).
Evolution and Personal Faith: How Christian University Students Resolve the Conflict, Part 2
"Dad, I know this letter is probably discouraging to you – maybe someday I will be convinced otherwise, but this seems very logical and practical to me. I pray that you will not condemn me in your disappointment, but understand that it is not a contingent factor in my salvation… I pray you have at least been open to this letter and accepting of my stance. --Your Loving Daughter, Gail"
Evolution and Personal Faith: How Christian University Students Resolve the Conflict, Part 1
Rachel had grown up as a pastor’s kid firmly entrenched in Young Earth Creationism. When she enrolled in a Zoology course at a Christian college as a pre-med major, it was the first time she had encountered the notion that a person could accept evolution and remain a vibrant Christian – her professor was a testament to that reality.
Allaying Parental Fears About Evolution Education in Public Schools
If they left their children in the public classroom, should they as concerned parents, as committed Christians, as agents of truth and light in this dark world, remain quiet or should they speak out?
Dispatches From the Physicalist Frontier, Part 2
Leaving the specific claims of neurobiology and physiology aside for now, our focus remains on finding philosophical frameworks that help us put such claims in a biblical context as well as a scientific one; Corcoran’s proposal is to re-think the problem of human persons from a physicalist perspective that has no need of a non-physical soul.
Dispatches From the Physicalist Frontier, Part 1
I’m a physicalist when it comes to human persons. I believe, in other words, that we are wholly physical objects. I don’t believe there are non-physical souls in the natural world. So I don’t believe that we are or have such non-physical souls as parts. I believe we are through-and-through physical.
Rediscovering Human Beings, Part 2
A genuine solution requires abandoning both of Descartes’ abstractions and rediscovering the human being as an irreducible psychophysical whole -- the mental and the physical as two aspects of one thing.
Rediscovering Human Beings, Part 1
That we are animals is something we hardly needed Darwin to tell us. It is obvious from the fact that, like other animals, we have stomachs and skin, eyeballs and ears, limbs and teeth, muscles, brains, and other organs. Yet it doesn’t follow that we are mere animals.
Body and Soul, Mind and Brain: Pressing Questions
“Bit by experimental bit,” writes philosopher P. Churchland, “neuroscience is morphing our conception of what we are.” For many, this includes dispensing with the “soul” in favor of biologically anchored processes.
Science and the Bible: Theistic Evolution, Part 1
The dictionaries I checked don’t define the term, “theistic evolution,” so I offer my own definition: the belief that God used the process of evolution to create living things, including humans.
Death and Rebirth: The Role of Extinction in Evolution
When they imagine evolution, many Christians picture novelty: new species arising over time, or speciation events. But as the most recent Southern Baptist Voices exchange makes clear, many Christians also focus on the role of death in evolution—something that can be a stumbling block.
Evolution, Creation, and The Sting of Death: Part 3
It is one thing to say that death is primordial; it is another to view it as the central means of creation. The theological uneasiness about this issue ultimately rests not just on an understanding of God’s creative activity, but also on a particular representation of evolution.
Evolution, Creation, and The Sting of Death: Part 2
How could one claim that death was part of creation? One could, because Genesis depicts plants as given for food, and every chomp kills. Robust herbivory—“every green plant for food”— entails real creaturely death.
Evolution, Creation, and The Sting of Death: A Response to John Laing, Part 1
Professor John Laing focuses on what many believers and non-believers alike recognize as perhaps the most significant challenge to faith in God: the problem of natural evil, and in particular, the acrid sting of death.
Southern Baptist Voices: Evolution and Death
Baptist theologian John D. Laing observes that in evolutionary thought, death functions as a mechanism for life, playing a vital role in natural selection by rooting out weakness and driving evolutionary development. Laing goes on to argue that this creates tension with Scripture, which depicts death as an invader, disturber of peace, and a force of evil.
The Questions Update: Did death occur before the Fall?
Today’s post features a preview of the updated Question, "Did death occur before the Fall?", revised by Senior Web Consultant and Writer Deborah Haarsma. This question provides an overview of the issue and points readers to more resources within and beyond the BioLogos website.
David Lack: Evolutionary Biologist and Devout Christian
Charles Darwin’s personal struggles and ultimate rejection of Christianity are well documented, and people are eager to link his loss of faith to his evolutionary theory. David Lack, on the other hand, began his scientific career as an agnostic, but shortly after publishing his famous book on the evolution of "Darwin's finches", he converted to Christianity.
Christianity and the History of Science (Infographic)
The BioLogos Forum is pleased to present this infographic about the relationship of Christianity with science throughout history. It debunks the myth that they have always been in conflict, and it reveals numerous examples of Christians playing a leading role in the development of natural science.
The Questions Update: How have Christians responded to Darwin’s “Origin of Species”?
History reveals that one of the earliest supporters of evolutionary theory in the American scientific community was a devout Christian botanist named Asa Gray. And among theologians, BB Warfield believed that certain forms of evolution were also compatible with a high view of Scripture.
Asa Gray and Charles Darwin, Part 3
Gray saw design providing the overall, general plan, but not requiring specific details. Thus he could accept the elimination of unfavorable variations in the same way he could accept that, for the elect, God could work through suffering.
Asa Gray and Charles Darwin, Part 2
How could an omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent God set up a process that led to a struggle for existence? Darwin expected that Design would be without suffering, teleology without agony, and purpose without pain.
Asa Gray and Charles Darwin Discuss Evolution and Design, Part 1
If Thomas Huxley earned the title of "Darwin's bulldog," then Asa Gray should be remembered as "Darwin's dove." As a Christian firmly anchored in the faith of the Nicene Creed, as well as a professor of botany at Harvard University, Gray was one of the few members of the scientific community to whom Charles Darwin revealed his theory before the publication of Origin of Species in 1859.
David Lack and Darwin’s Finches
Considering the immense popularity of "Darwin's finches", it is quite surprising to learn that Charles Darwin himself had very little to say about them. In fact, it was actually David Lack, one century later, who conducted the critical research that immortalized the finches in biology textbooks and popular lore.