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June 2013

Evolution Basics: Genomes as Ancient Texts, Part 4

Evolution Basics: Genomes as Ancient Texts, Part 4

…as we have seen before, there is no biological need for these sequences to be this identical – in fact, even for this small region of this gene, there are over 53 million (!) different ways to code for the exact same amino acid sequence. Most of those sequences are much more different from the human sequence than the nearly identical sequences we observe in other primates.
June 28, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics 
7
 
Evolution Basics: Genomes as Ancient Texts, Part 3

Evolution Basics: Genomes as Ancient Texts, Part 3

Taken together, what we observe when comparing the overall structure of the human genome to other primates is that (a) our genomes do indeed have the features one would predict them to have if they are copies of a shared ancestral genome, and (b) the differences we do observe are easily accounted for by well-known mechanisms. These observations strongly support the hypothesis that our species arose through an evolutionary process.
June 27, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics 
0
 
Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a stronger Christianity

Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a stronger Christianity

Listening to his story I had to remind myself that Phil was an atheist, not a seminary student recalling those who had inspired him to enter the pastorate. As the narrative developed, however, it became clear where things came apart for Phil.
June 25, 2013 
 
Science & Worldviews 
10
 
Miracles are Impossible, Part 1

Miracles are Impossible, Part 1

People who believe in miracles usually don’t think of them as God’s “breaking” the laws of nature but as God’s being constantly attentive to his cosmos.
June 24, 2013 
By Jeffrey Burton Russell 
Divine Action & Purpose 
12
 
The Bible, Evolution, and Grace

The Bible, Evolution, and Grace

If your core value is serving God and you believe that anything but a literal interpretation of the Bible is disobedient to God, you can’t hear any of the scientific arguments, and that was the way it was with me. Until I dealt with the loyalty question, I could not proceed to the science.
June 21, 2013 
By Emily Ruppel 
Biblical Interpretation, Creation & Origins 
2
 
Belief in God in an Age of Science: John Polkinghorne, Part Three

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

The gift of Love must be the gift of freedom, the gift of a degree of letting-be, and this can be expected to be true of all creatures to the extent that is appropriate to their proper character. It is in the nature of dense snow fields that they will sometimes slip with the destructive force of an avalanche. It is the nature of lions that they will seek their prey. It is the nature of cells that they will mutate, sometimes producing new forms of life, sometimes grievous disabilities, sometimes cancers.
June 20, 2013 
By Ted Davis 
Divine Action & Purpose, Problem of Evil 
315
 
Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Part 2

Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Part 2

Evo Devo has revealed the continuity among forms that was masked or about which there were uncertainties based on appearance alone. By revealing the developmental similarities among structures, Evo Devo presents a wholly new kind of evidence that is far more objective than morphology alone. These insights into the evolution of novelty strengthen aspects of Darwin's original ideas that some have found most difficult to grasp.
June 18, 2013 
By Sean Carroll 
History of Life 
34
 
Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Part 1

Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Part 1

How could we make progress on questions involving the evolution of form without a scientific understanding of how form is generated in the first place? [By the 1970s] population genetics had succeeded in establishing the principle that evolution is due to changes in genes, but this was a principle without an example. No gene that affected the form and evolution of any animal had been characterized. New insights in evolution would require breakthroughs in embryology.
June 17, 2013 
By Sean Carroll 
History of Life 
27
 
Evolution Basics: Genomes as Ancient Texts, Part 2

Evolution Basics: Genomes as Ancient Texts, Part 2

… these observations indicate that there is no biological need for nearly identical genes at the amino acid level, or even at the DNA level, in different species. Numerous amino acid sequences, and even numerous DNA sequences, are equally capable of performing the same function. Yet, what we see time and again (across whole genomes!) are nearly identical genes, with a few (often shared) differences – exactly what speciation events would be expected to produce.
June 14, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics 
32
 
Evolution Basics: Genomes as Ancient Texts, Part 1

Evolution Basics: Genomes as Ancient Texts, Part 1

…while errors made by human scribes tend preserve a meaning of some kind (even if it is an altered meaning), DNA replicating enzymes do not check to see if meaning (i.e. function) is preserved as they copy. (The functional check for a DNA sequence will come later as that particular organism develops (or not) and reproduces (or not). In other words, natural selection is the check for “meaning” for a DNA sequence).
June 13, 2013 
By Dennis Venema 
Genetics 
1
 
Breaking Away from a False Dilemma

Breaking Away from a False Dilemma

With a high-school level understanding of science and theology, I was convinced by this "either-or" argument and, to my knowledge, became the first Young Earth Creationist in my local Nazarene church. I knew the enemy and the enemy had a name. It was Evolution.
June 11, 2013 
By Steven M. Smith 
Biblical Interpretation, Evolution & Christian Faith project 
25
 
God Did It (But I Don’t Exactly Know How the World Was Created)

God Did It (But I Don’t Exactly Know How the World Was Created)

After we both exhaled some relieved laughter, I whispered, "I believe God created the world and holds it together. Just how he did that is up for debate, but whatever conclusions you come to about the earth's origins, God did it. Okay?"
June 10, 2013 
 
Creation & Origins 
4
 
Introducing Our New BioLogos Commercials

Introducing Our New BioLogos Commercials

We’re pleased to introduce the first official commercials for BioLogos, produced by Ryan Pettey of Satellite Pictures and featuring BioLogos vice president Jeff Schloss, philosopher Alister McGrath, and theologian NT Wright.
June 07, 2013 
 
 
4
 
Belief in God in an Age of Science: John Polkinghorne, Part Two

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

Science rejoices in the rational accessibility of the physical world and uses the laws of nature to explain particular occurrences in cosmic and terrestrial history, but it is unable of itself to offer any reason why these laws take the particular (anthropically fruitful) form that they do, or why we can discover them through mathematical insight.
June 06, 2013 
By Ted Davis 
Earth, Universe & Time 
23
 
And God Saw That It Was Good

And God Saw That It Was Good

What shall we make of all this? We need to be cautious about what things in nature we attribute to the Fall. It’s too easy for us to take our conception of how we would make a good creation and assume that’s how God made it. By studying God’s creation, we might learn that some of our ideas are wrong.
June 04, 2013 
By Deborah Haarsma, Loren Haarsma 
Problem of Evil 
14
 
A Perfect World?

A Perfect World?

Astronomy and geology give us clear evidence that the fundamental laws of nature have remained unchanged since the beginning of creation. Whatever the effects of the Fall, they do not seem to have changed the basic laws of physics.
June 03, 2013 
By Deborah Haarsma, Loren Haarsma 
Problem of Evil 
2