The Rise of the Neandertals, Part 1
The Neandertals reached the height of their culture during one of the coldest time periods in history: the Würm glaciation. This stage in the earth’s history began roughly 120,000 years ago and ended just before 10,000 years ago.
A Celibate Life in a Libertine Age
…we must never venture to wander far from God, upon the Presumption that Death is far enough from us, but rather in the very height of our Jollities, we should endeavour to remember, that they who feast themselves to-day, may themselves prove Feasts for the Worms to-morrow…
Are We Genetically Predisposed to Believe in God?
This entry was originally posted on February 13, 2010. While the question of evolutionary predisposition toward religious belief may be challenging, Christians need not see it as threatening. In fact, this is actually a Pauline notion that is explored in Romans 1, where Paul claims that it is in mankind’s nature to “know God”.
The Personal Journey Of A Faith-Filled Scientist
The conflict does not come from God or nature—we have created the conflict ourselves. Intentionally or not, we often extend science past its natural bounds and use the Bible for questions it does not intend to answer.
A Pedagogy of Hospitality
When we understand the Gospel message, everything changes (or should change) in how we interact with others. We recognize that we can no longer feel superior to others because our good works get us no closer to salvation than the misdeeds of the wicked, as all of humanity falls short of God's glory.
Evolution: What We Know and What We Don’t
This entry was originally posted on February 17, 2010. In this video conversation, Jeff Schloss makes the observation that when we use the term “evolution”, it is not always exactly clear what we are actually discussing unless we denote the intended usage.
With Charity to All
“…why a man should be hanged, because it has not yet pleased God to give him his spirit, I confess, I am yet to understand. Certainly to think by a halter to let new light into the understanding, or by the tortures of the body to heal the errors of the mind, seems to me like applying a plaister to the heel, to cure a wound in the head; which doth not work upon the seat of the disease…”
Reflections on Reading Genesis 1-3: John Walton’s World Tour, Part 3
When we talk about the Amish, there is a whole array of cultural understandings (and perhaps misunderstandings) that we assume with the use of the word. This is an example of the interdependence of language and cultural understandings. One could not just translate “Amish” and expect a foreign audience to therefore understand—culture also needs to be “translated” (explained). Many examples of this same kind of thing in the Bible show us that we have to connect with the text as an ancient, culturally embedded document.
Reflections on Reading Genesis 1-3: John Walton’s World Tour, Part 2
Rather than re-reading the Bible scientifically or ideologically, we need to allow the Bible to be what it is—not a book of instruction about current issues telling us what to do to fix the world. It is God’s revelation of himself, and he is the one who is fixing the world. We are responsible for taking the knowledge of God that the Bible gives us and applying (not re-reading) it to the situations that we face in a fallen world.
Reflections on Reading Genesis 1-3: John Walton’s World Tour, Part 1
We should not think of Genesis 1-2 as communicated to Adam and Eve, but rather imagine a scenario more like Moses communicating to the Israelites in the wilderness (hypothetically, realizing that the book makes no such claims). This shift in our perspective is extremely important. Expanding on that idea, we can imagine not only a setting (Moses communicating to Israelites), we can imagine an event.
Evolution Basics: The Cambrian Diversification and Assembling Animal Body Plans, Part 2
For better or for worse, taxonomy has been trying to shoehorn ancient species into modern categories. The fact that ancient species blur the distinctions between modern day taxonomic groups (such as arthropods and onychophorans) shows that what we recognize as large taxonomic groups (such as what we call “phyla”) are in fact best described as monophyletic groups in nested sets.
Evolution Basics: The Cambrian Diversification and Assembling Animal Body Plans, Part 1
All living arthropods have a suite of defining characteristics such as a hard external skeleton (exoskeleton), specialized body segments, and specialized appendages. While these characteristics are useful for defining modern arthropods, these criteria become less useful as we travel back through the evolutionary history of arthropods.
Understanding Evangelical Opposition to Evolution
This entry was originally posted on February 11, 2010. In this brief video, Professor Schloss addresses what he sees as the two primary reasons that evangelical Christians oppose evolutionary theory.
Origins News Roundup
Astrobiology is the field of inquiry about the origin of life on our planet and the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. Making a comeback is the theory that life began on Mars and emigrated from there to Earth via meteorites dislodged by collisions with asteroids.
God’s Extravagant Love in Creation
Critics of Christianity look to evolution to show how the emergence of human life on earth demanded enormous ruin and ravage, billions of years of apparent waste and futility, species extermination and organism road kill. Not only was the massive dying off rampant, it’s mandatory too.
From the Dust: Evolutionary Creation
With From the Dust, it was our goal to help Christians see the complexity of the issues raised by modern science, as well as help them to courageously engage with the theological conversations happening within the sphere of Christian culture today.
The Heart of a Great Scientist
Christian love is no less evident in Boyle’s attitude toward individual persons in ordinary discourse. As Burnet said, “When he differed from any, he expressed himself in so humble and so obliging a way, that he never treated Things or Persons with neglect, and I never heard that he offended any one Person in his whole Life by any part of his Deportment”
“From the Dust” Now Available for Download
We're excited to announce that the documentary From the Dust can now be purchased and rented through the iTunes Store!
Evolution and Faith in Latin America, Part 2
As I read The Voyage, I often thought about Darwin’s other famous work, The Origin of Species, and the delight that Darwin clearly took in the natural world. Writing about a tropical forest in Brazil, he found himself at a loss for words, “…it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, astonishment, and devotion, which fill and elevate the mind.”
Evolution and Faith in Latin America, Part 1
Latin American scientists at the meeting regularly discussed the need for improved scientific literacy in their countries and more effective outreach to increase acceptance of evolutionary biology. More than one speaker was alarmed at the growing influence conservative religious groups have in framing public discussion of evolution.