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May 2013

Evolution basics: From Variation to Speciation, Part 4

Evolution basics: From Variation to Speciation, Part 4

For those “early” flies that were attracted to this new, but somewhat similar fruit in their environment, the result would be twofold: (a) finding a food source with reduced competition from members of their own species, and (b) finding a mate with similar tendencies of attraction to apples. What was previously a “losing” genetic combination (hatching too early, without sufficient food or reasonable prospects for a mate) was now a “winning” combination.
May 31, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics 
33
 
Evolution Basics: From Variation to Speciation, Part 3

Evolution Basics: From Variation to Speciation, Part 3

Once populations become spread out over a wide geographic area, the differences between the populations at the extremities (populations A and E in our diagram) can become quite significant. In some cases, interestingly enough, the populations on the ends of the string can be different enough that they do not recognize each other as members of the same species, despite the fact that they are genetically connected through a series of intermediate populations.
May 30, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics, History of Life 
7
 
Archaic Homo Sapiens in East Asia, Part 2

Archaic Homo Sapiens in East Asia, Part 2

The genetic link between archaics and moderns throughout Eurasia was further supported by the work of Green et al., who presented a genetic sequence of Neandertal DNA. Their results strongly suggested that Neandertals interbred with other archaic Homo sapiens populations in Eurasia and that, because of the presence of Neandertal DNA markers in modern Asian populations, there was continuity between archaic Homo sapiens and modern Homo sapiens in Europe and Asia.
May 29, 2013 
By James Kidder 
Human Origins 
25
 
Archaic Homo Sapiens in East Asia, Part 1

Archaic Homo Sapiens in East Asia, Part 1

Taken as a whole, these skulls clearly represent a transitional phase between Homo erectus and modern Homo sapiens, occupying the same general period of time as those from Europe and Africa, although it is harder to ascertain chronological dates for these finds.
May 28, 2013 
By James Kidder 
Human Origins 
2
 
Belief in God in an Age of Science: John Polkinghorne, Part One

Belief in God in an Age of Science: John Polkinghorne, Part One

The world is not full of items stamped “made by God”—the Creator is more subtle than that—but there are two locations where general hints of the divine presence might be expected to be seen most clearly. One is the vast cosmos itself, with its fifteen-billion-year history of evolving development following the big bang. The other is the “thinking reed” of humanity, so insignificant in physical scale but, as Pascal said, superior to all the stars because it alone knows them and itself.
May 23, 2013 
By Ted Davis 
Image of God 
4
 
Does Evolutionary Psychology Explain Why We Believe in God? Part 2

Does Evolutionary Psychology Explain Why We Believe in God? Part 2

From childhood, people are sensitive to evidence of purposefulness in the environment and concerning objects in that environment. In fact, there may be a tendency to attribute design to such things even when evidence is thin—in a way that is similar to the hypersensitive agency detection device. This tendency is sometimes called “promiscuous teleology” or, used in the context of inference to supernatural agents, “intuitive theism.”
May 21, 2013 
By Michael Murray, Jeffrey Schloss 
Brain, Mind & Soul 
9
 
Does Evolutionary Psychology Explain Why We Believe in God? Part 1

Does Evolutionary Psychology Explain Why We Believe in God? Part 1

When we look across times and cultures and find very similar beliefs concerning the nature of physical, biological, and psychological reality, those similarities cry out for some explanation. Since these different individuals have a very diverse range of experience, something other than common experience alone just might account for the similarities of belief. In some cases we can fairly conclude that there is a common nature – some fundamental similarity in how human cognition works – that underlies broadly shared beliefs.
May 20, 2013 
By Michael Murray, Jeffrey Schloss 
Brain, Mind & Soul 
1
 
Evolution Basics: From Variation to Speciation, Part 2

Evolution Basics: From Variation to Speciation, Part 2

Once separated from the larger population, the smaller “founding” group no longer received new alleles from it, nor passed new alleles that arose back to it. Despite being two populations of the same species, they were now genetically sealed off from one another, and differences in allele frequencies began to accrue between them.
May 17, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics 
273
 
Evolution Basics: From Variation to Speciation, Part 1

Evolution Basics: From Variation to Speciation, Part 1

…in small populations, drift can have a large impact on allele frequencies from one generation to the next. In large populations, natural selection predominates, and drift has little impact. Both of these mechanisms can contribute to changing allele frequencies over time within populations, and as such both can be factors that contribute to speciation events.
May 16, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics 
28
 
Engaging Science in the Life of Your Congregation

Engaging Science in the Life of Your Congregation

With so many issues to discuss, Christians can easily get the feeling that science is always attacking the faith. It is essential to balance such conversations with positive responses to God’s creation. After all, the primary response to the natural world in the Bible is to praise the God who made it.
May 14, 2013 
By Deborah Haarsma 
Education, Worship & Arts 
10
 
Why Do More Homeschoolers Want Evolution in Their Textbooks?

Why Do More Homeschoolers Want Evolution in Their Textbooks?

"Many homeschool parents contact me or show up at my office and quietly say, 'Is there anything besides Young Earth Creationists?'"
May 13, 2013 
 
Education 
1
 
Motivated Belief: John Polkinghorne on the Resurrection, Part 4

Motivated Belief: John Polkinghorne on the Resurrection, Part 4

I believe that when the truth of Christianity is under consideration in the context of science, it is with these issues relating to the resurrection that the discussion needs to begin. Only when a case has been made for the belief that God was present in Jesus of Nazareth in a unique way does it then become possible adequately to attempt to enquire into the significance of his crucifixion.
May 09, 2013 
By Ted Davis 
Christ & New Creation 
328
 
A Survey of Clergy and Their Views on Origins

A Survey of Clergy and Their Views on Origins

What do today’s pastors think about science? What views do they hold on creation and evolution and how strongly do they hold them? How do origins issues impact their ministries? These were just a few of the questions that motivated us at BioLogos to commission a survey of pastors on origins
May 08, 2013 
 
Christianity & Science - Then and Now, Creation & Origins 
9
 
A Fumbling Journey, Part 2

A Fumbling Journey, Part 2

Even being right is not the end goal. Knowledge and being able to fathom mysteries has no meaning apart from love.
May 07, 2013 
By Dorothy Boorse 
Lives of Faith 
5
 
A Fumbling Journey, Part 1

A Fumbling Journey, Part 1

I saw people who were real, kind, loving, complicated and sometimes, just sometimes (at least in my opinion), they were wrong.
May 06, 2013 
By Dorothy Boorse 
Lives of Faith 
0
 
Evolution Basics: The Basis of Heritable Variation, Part 2

Evolution Basics: The Basis of Heritable Variation, Part 2

Taken together, these mechanisms introduce variation into populations, and since that variation is in DNA, the variation is heritable. Variation at the chromosome level may influence the function of genes, and ultimately traits at the level of the organism.
May 03, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics 
11
 
Evolution Basics: The Basis of Heritable Variation, Part 1

Evolution Basics: The Basis of Heritable Variation, Part 1

Taken together, the properties of DNA match what we observe in nature: faithful reproduction of form, but not perfect reproduction of form. At its base, constancy and heritable variation in biological populations trace back to how DNA functions.
May 02, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics 
23
 
What I Wish My Pastor Knew About… The Life of a Scientist, Part 3

What I Wish My Pastor Knew About… The Life of a Scientist, Part 3

The practice of science, and the practices of the world of technology that emerge from science, is one of the determinative features of our world, for better and for worse. Those practices in some ways give life to the deepest hopes we could have for human flourishing in the Christian tradition.
May 01, 2013 
By Andy Crouch 
Science as Christian Calling 
0