What I Wish My Pastor Knew About… The Life of a Scientist, Part 2
Let’s see — a community of people that work side by side, motivated by delight and wonder, characterized by intellectual humility and a willingness to admit they have been wrong and change direction, who together help one another bear the frustrations of work in a fallen world . . . does this sound like something the church ought to celebrate?
What I Wish My Pastor Knew About… The Life of a Scientist, Part 1
...there are inevitable limits to what any pastor can do to constructively integrate the knowledge content of science — so vast and rapidly expanding that even scientists cannot pretend to be expert in anything but a tiny portion — with the content of Christian faith. But there is another way to approach faith and science which I believe might well be more within reach of most pastors, and more essential to their job description than being deeply literate in the latest scientific discoveries and theories...
Multiple Lines of Evidence for an Old Universe
Astronomers have many different methods for measuring the age of various objects in the universe, and they all support ages of billions of years, not thousands. Even if the assumptions of one or two methods were faulty, it is highly unlikely that all of the methods would be affected.
Motivated Belief: John Polkinghorne on the Resurrection, Part 3
The real problem of belief in miracle is properly a theological issue, not a scientific one, since claims of unique historical occurrences lie outside science’s competence to adjudicate. All it can do is reinforce the commonsense recognition that something like a resurrection does not usually happen. The real challenge to belief in miracle lies elsewhere.
Bigger Than We Think
My Hawking-induced crisis of faith spurred me to move beyond a "God of the gaps"—a shrunken deity enlisted merely to fill any remaining pockets of mystery that science has yet to illuminate. Indeed, my experience has been that recapturing the doctrine of Creation in its scriptural fullness points us toward a much more exciting understanding of creation. It points us toward a God for whom science is a gift rather than a stumbling block. And perhaps most importantly, it points to a Creator God who is worthy of worship, enjoyment, and trust.
Exploring Baby Galaxies with Charles Steidel
No one need ask: “Were you there?” Chuck Steidel has tapped into nature’s own motion picture of past events, now showing in the present. Anyone who cares to view it can now see for himself what was and wasn’t there, at various stages of the deep past.
Evolution Basics: Natural Selection and the Human Lineage, Part 2
Variation, of course, is only one part of the recipe for evolutionary change. In order to shift average characteristics of a population over time, natural selection needs to be acting on that variation.
Evolution Basics: Natural Selection and the Human Lineage, Part 1
I’ve often encountered the misconception among non-biologists that mutations are always harmful, or always remove functions and information. However, in many cases mutations can be beneficial, add gene copies, and new functions and information to the organism as well.
Biological Evolution: What Makes it Good Science? Part 2
The Galápagos Islands were not a distinct “center of creation,” but a workshop for evolution in which an ancestral species made it to the yet uncolonized island and underwent a massive degree of speciation to adapt to the environment of the island. This is precisely what one would expect if the species of islands had arisen by evolution.
Biological Evolution: What Makes it Good Science? Part 1
Since Darwin’s time, paleontologists have discovered transitional fossils that are part fish and tetrapod, part amphibian and part reptile, part dinosaur and part bird, and part reptile and part mammal. Once again, we would predict such paleontological trends and the existence of such transitional fossils if life came about through a process of organic evolution.
Comparing Interpretations of Genesis 1
For concordists, the temptation is to interpret every Bible verse to match the current scientific picture. For non-concordists, the temptation is to interpret every Bible verse that appears to disagree with science as figurative.
Motivated Belief: John Polkinghorne on the Resurrection, Part 2
Recent high-profile attacks on religious belief by some scientists have made much play of depicting believers as if they were simple-minded fideists [those who rely on faith alone] of an anti-intellectual mindset. The demolition of such strawmen is an unworthy polemical strategy. Christian theology’s pursuit of motivated belief demonstrates the misleading character of this kind of antireligious argument.
Reflections on Biblical Interpretation and Evolution, Part 2
It’s one thing to say evolution doesn’t conflict with the Bible’s purpose. It’s another thing to say evolution actually reinforces central biblical truths.
Reflections on Biblical Interpretation and Evolution, Part 1
I had assumed believing the Bible is inerrant in all ways was the traditional position of Christians throughout the ages. I assumed it was the position of my own Christian tradition. I was wrong.
Evolution Basics: New Genes, A New Diet, and Implications for Dog Origins
While the mutation that led to shortened legs in some dog breeds is a particularly dramatic example of a new variation arising (since it involves the birth of what is effectively a new gene), there were many other genomic regions selected during the creation of dog breeds. … the main theme is clear: small changes in DNA, combined with artificial selection, can add up to large changes in form within a population in a short amount of time.
Evolution Basics: Artificial Selection and the Origins of the Domestic Dog
Here in the early 21st century we are beginning to see the genetic underpinnings of artificial selection at a genome-wide level, and the results are absolutely in keeping with Darwin’s ideas: that populations contain significant diversity, and that artificial selection can act on that diversity over time to promote the reproduction of certain variants over others, and thus shift average characteristics of a population.
Are Scientists Biased by Their Worldviews?
The competing models and arguments may have originated in differing worldview beliefs, but eventually the experiments and observations push the scientific community toward a consensus shared by scientists of many different worldviews.
Infographic: “In the Pipeline” for Our Evolution & Christian Faith Grant Program
Last month, we announced the 37 grantees from our Evolution & Christian Faith program! This month, we take a closer look at the projects and what’s “in the pipeline” over the coming years from these grantees!