Origins News Roundup for August 20, 2014
This week, science and religion blogs are in the spotlight! Enjoy these articles from a sampling of bloggers inclined toward discussions of origins.
Starting off the notable blog posts from the last few weeks, in “Does Matter Matter? Reconciling the uncertainty of quantum physics and God” physicist Gillian Straine explores the changes that quantum physics has brought to our understanding of the physical world and the questions it has raised about God:
Quantum physics has changed how the physical world is thought about, and how we understand matter, free will and the nature of reality. It also clashes with traditional ideas about a sovereign God who might be in command of the universe. To enfold quantum science into a theology, we would need to admit that science is saying that the future of the cosmos is genuinely uncertain. But if God is all-knowing, all-powerful, the creator of the universe, the consummation of all time, maker of all matter, can God really be in the dark about where creation is heading? Where in chance are the beloved divine attributes of providence and sovereignty? But, if you maintain that God really is in control of the material world, how then do we regard uncertainty and chance in physics?
Next up, “Humility” from the blog Science & Belief Ruth Bancewicz walks through a visit she made to the Human Origins exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and recounts the philosophical musings the visit inspired. In her words, “Our existence is fragile, but somehow we have developed to a point where we can understand the world around us in great detail, produce sophisticated technologies, and find out about our own origins. As [Rick] Potts said in an interview with BioLogos, ‘an aspect of being human has been the process of becoming human that scientists have been able to uncover.’”
In a slightly different vein, “Genetic Engineering; Foe or Friend?” from the Science and Religion Forum discusses commonly raised questions and concerns about genetic engineering. Author Celia Deane-Drummond writes in regard to make choices about genetic engineering, “A theological approach to wisdom becomes the quest for goodness and truth. Our conduct then, is judged by the goodness it promotes for the whole global community.”
Finally, the John Templeton Foundation has a Big Questions Essay Series, featuring authors from various perspectives on questions such as “Does moral action depend on reasoning?” and “Does science make belief in God obsolete?”
In other news, Gordon College recently held a conference to educate Protestant pastors on relevant topics in the sciences. The goal of the conference was to develop scientifically literate pastors, better able to converse with congregational members about origins, genetic engineering, cosmology, and the like. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have finally placed a perplexing and unusual fossil in the evolutionary tree. NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has gathered images of X-ray light being pulled into the black hole known as Markarian 335. CNN reports, “As if NuSTAR's observations and Einstein's theories aren't mind-boggling enough, NASA says the black hole Markarian 335 ‘spins so rapidly that space and time are dragged around with it.’”