The Evolutionary Origins of Genetic Information, Part 2
The idea that some sequences of DNA cannot be produced by natural processes owing to the information they contain has no empirical support from modern genetics. In fact, quite the reverse.
The Evolutionary Origins of Genetic Information, Part 1
At first sight, both macro-mutationism and creationism seem similar. Both propose a cut-off point for the degree of genetic change that evolutionary theory can explain, and both propose a new cause must be added to explain genetic differences beyond this cut-off. Where the two propositions differ for science is in their potential for tests.
Belief in God in an Age of Science: John Polkinghorne, Part 5
The human paradox is that we perceive so many signs of value and significance conveyed to us in our encounter with reality, yet all meaning is threatened by the apparent finality of death. If the universe is truly a cosmos, if the word is really intelligible through and through, then this life by itself cannot be the whole of the story.
Mathematics and Beauty, Part 3
Herein is beauty found: to see the presence of the Creator revealed in the designs and relations eloquently articulated through the equations of the physicist or mathematician.
Mathematics and Beauty, Part 2
The type of beauty that is found within a mathematicians world creates a magnetic attraction that pulls upon the mathematicians attention, focusing his or her full being and bringing pleasure in all of the ways the object of beauty is viewed, grasped, and sensed.
Mathematics and Beauty, Part 1
Now, what can be said of these wonders in mathematics that mesmerized me? Are they the same things that attract other people to the study of mathematics?
Evolution Basics: Species Trees, Gene Trees and Incomplete Lineage Sorting
If a gene has variation in a population undergoing speciation events, it is expected that some of the time it will assort with a pattern that does not match the species pattern – in some cases, it will have a gene tree that is “discordant” with the species tree.
Evolution Basics: Genomes as Ancient Texts, Part 5
The longer two species have a shared history, the more similar we expect their gene sequences to be. The longer they have had a separate history, the more different we expect their genes to be, due to mutation events occurring in the “separate history” portion of the phylogeny.
Apologetic Issues in the Old Testament, Part 3
The detailed description of Joshua 10:28-42, where “city” after “city” is destroyed, should be understood in the context of the “city” as primarily a fort for the king, the temple and the army. Understood in this way there is no reason to assume that noncombatant innocents were slaughtered in these forts.
Apologetic Issues in the Old Testament, Part 2
Insofar as historical worth is based on two or more independent witnesses, the earliest undoubted witness outside the Bible to a specific event attested in the Old Testament is the attack of Pharaoh Sheshonq (also called Shishak) against Palestine in 925 b.c. However, this does not invalidate anything purported to appear earlier in the biblical text. It simply means that we do not have an independent witness.
Apologetic Issues in the Old Testament, Part 1
Repeatedly, misunderstandings of the language of the Old Testament and of the culture of the ancient world lead to absurd allegations that fit within a predetermined framework attacking Israel’s God as he is portrayed in the Old Testament. Careful study of the text and its context consistently reveal the opposite of the intended allegations.
Belief in God in an Age of Science: John Polkinghorne, Part 4
It is precisely the recognition of the qualities of elegance, economy and naturalness which solves the problem of the under-determination of theory by experiment, so often pressed by philosophers of science, who sometimes speak of the process of discovery as if it were a dull routine of fitting curves to data points.
One Way Streets: Black Holes and Irreversible Processes, Part 2
At first everyone thought that Bekenstein's idea was ridiculous. After all, if black holes really work the same way as ordinary thermodynamical systems, then they'd have to have a nonzero temperature. If you put a hot thing next to a cold thing, heat flows from the hot object to the cold object. That means that a black hole in empty space (which is at absolute zero) would have to emit radiation. But everyone knew that nothing comes out of a black hole.
One Way Streets: Black Holes and Irreversible Processes, Part I
Imagine you have a jigsaw puzzle solved inside its box. If you vigorously shake it, the pieces will break up and it will become unsolved. However, if you shake an unsolved puzzle, it won't solve itself. There's no law of physics which prevents the pieces from happening to fall in just the right way to solve the puzzle. The reason is that there's so many more different ways the puzzle can be unsolved than solved. So you wouldn't expect it to happen.
Geophysics and the Ground of All Being
Geophysicists, and geologists, and astrophysicists, and other physicists can imagine an eternal God who will create forever because they are able, in their jobs, to look so far back. Geophysicists of faith can get what Peter said when he wrote about Jesus that He was chosen before the creation of the world—they’ve seen the data set.
I was raised in a household of atheists. My parents were card-carrying members of the American Communist Party, and therefore the atheism in my household was quite close to the militant anti-theism of the so-called “new atheists”.