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Uncertainty is Uncomfortable

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November 3, 2010 Tags: Divine Action & Purpose

Today's video features Kathryn Applegate. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of BioLogos. You can read more about what we believe here.

In this video “Conversation,” BioLogos Program Director Kathryn Applegate points to evolutionary science as a way to gain a richer understanding of the glory of God.

Scientists become fairly comfortable with a certain level of uncertainty within scientific data, notes Applegate, but that is not the case for most people. Uncertainty—especially where faith is concerned—can be scary for people who want a black and white answer. Yet science has all of the subtlety of a beautiful painting that is hard to encapsulate in a sound byte.

God speaks through the Bible and all sorts of other things that comport with the Bible, says Applegate. “Science is another way of studying what God does. How he created and how he continues to create. God is active and involved. We see that through the means of a continuous creation through evolution,” she says.

That is really exciting and allows us to better understand the character of God. God is infinitely creative and infinitely good. Looking to Genesis for scientific data is like looking at the notes on the page of a symphonic score without ever hearing the music—you miss all the richness. “Not that the notes aren’t important,” says Applegate, but they do not offer the complete picture and it isn’t the primary purpose of those texts.

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Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.

Kathryn Applegate is Program Director at The BioLogos Foundation. She received her PhD in computational cell biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. At Scripps, she developed computer vision software tools for analyzing the cell's infrastructure, the cytoskeleton.

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Roger A. Sawtelle - #39547

November 12th 2010

Part 2

Death per se is not evil because Jesus died and He was without sin.  The death the Jesus suffered for our sin and the sins of the whole world was primarily the alienation of God the Son from God the Father.  “Abba, why have you forsaken Me?” 

Nature is not evil or sinful, so the death of all living things is not the result of their sin, it is the result of their being created physical beings.  Jesus came to save us not from physical death, pain, and suffering.  He came to save us from sin and spiritual death.  Our life is victory over sin and death, not life without sin and death.

IMHO Christianity does not go against evolution because of change & death, but it does in as far as conflict or sin is the engine of Darwinian Malthusian natural selection.  On the other hand ecological natural selection makes symbiosis, interdependence, mutualism the basis of natural selection, thus making love a reality in God’s world.

Papalinton - #39614

November 13th 2010

Hi Nedbrek
You do believe all this stuff though don’t you, at #39543?
Indeed time+mud= man.  Never a truer word spoken.  There is no doubt life will be [in terms of self replicating organic tissue] made in the lab, probably in our lifetime.  Will this put paid to any theist notion of god creation, or will god simply transmute to a different definition, pretty much as it has done over recorded history?  In the two millennia since man created the christian god image in their own middle-eastern kind, there has not been one scintilla of accrued evidentiary material to even suspect there is a spectral numen set apart from humanity with puppet strings.

In respect of hedonism,  I appreciate the silly ad hominem.  As you well know in your heart of hearts, religion is a social construct derived from how our forebears saw their relationship with the world, the environment and the cosmos.  And through that narrative, in the absence of science as we now know it, made some sense of that relationship.  My worldview is predicated on the notion of humanism, even with its bad bits because we can do something positive to mitigate, if not eliminate them.

Can’t be done through a god.  That’s sheer speculation. Non sense


nedbrek - #39656

November 13th 2010

Papalinton, indeed, I do believe everything in 39543.  Not because I have experience or evidence, or because such things “make sense” to me, or resonant in my logic.  I believe them because I trust God, who never lies, who is truth.

How can you believe in humanism, when there is so much evidence against it?  Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot - all sought to “improve” humanity (of course, not believing themselves to need any improvement, and making sure other people paid any necessary prices).

In what way were they wrong?  What standard do you use?

(as an aside, I believe that nothing can be done to improve humanity, not until the new creation - the evidence supports this)

nedbrek - #39660

November 13th 2010

Oh, I don’t mean the hedonism as an ad hom.  I’m just summarizing your position as “I do what I please”.  The alternative is to have an absolute standard, which I don’t see your basis for (or even argumentation for).

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