Our friends at the Colossian Forum sponsor an internet project called “Respectful Conversation.” It is a blog moderated by Harold Heie and Rob Barrett which tackles a different topic each month that should be interesting and important to Evangelicals. In October, the topic has been “Evangelicalism and Scientific Models of Humanity and Cosmic and Human Origins.” There you’ll find good, challenging, and respectful posts exploring some of the standard issues, like why we shouldn’t duck hard questions, as well as some under-explored themes, like the need for Christian piety in these conversations.
In other news, you may remember the discovery of Ötzi the Iceman found frozen 10,500 ft high in the Austrian Alps. He lived about 3,300 BC, and was so well preserved that scientists could glean lots of information about his diet, life, and death. The latest results come from his genetic profile and a certain mutation that links him to 19 men (from a sample of 3700) alive in Austria today. Going back further in time, a fossilized mosquito from 46 million years ago was found that still had its final meal of blood in its stomach. Despite the popular misconception stemming from Jurassic Park, this was the first such case to be described in a scientific journal (and unfortunately for science fiction fans, it has been shown that DNA does not survive fossilization). And even older, scientists found a 240 million year old fossil of a fish with a previously unknown backbone structure. It had twice the number of vertebral arches than similar fish, resulting in less flexibility and hence less speed in the water—which is probably why we don’t find such structures among the evolutionary success stories of today’s fish.
The minutephysics guy on YouTube has produced a new whiteboard video called “Science, Religion, and the Big Bang.” It is much more about science than it is religion (and of course greatly simplifies things and skips over lots of controversy), but there is a shout-out to Georges Lemaître, the Belgian priest who was the father of the Big Bang model of the universe. Speaking of the universe, don’t miss the Wired Space Photo of the Day for stunning high-res images of our neighborhood (broadly speaking).