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The Past, Present, and Future of BioLogos.org

BioLogos.org

BioLogos.org has always been the main point of entry and the “public face” for The BioLogos Foundation. Increasingly, it’s become a key point of entry into the wider conversation on science and faith as well. As writers and speakers in the BioLogos community have gained a higher profile over the past three years, and as evolutionary creation has been increasingly viewed as an important alternative to atheistic materialism, Intelligent Design, and Young Earth Creationism, many thousands of viewers have sought out BioLogos’s perspectives on the evidence for evolution, the historical and theological context for Genesis, and the history of the science/faith “conflict,” among other topics.

According to Google statistics, The Questions landing page on our website has received more than 21,000 views since December 2011, with “How is BioLogos different from Evolutionism, Intelligent Design, and Creationism?” drawing more than 7,000 views from browsers on every continent but Antarctica. Perhaps more significantly, BioLogos pages now appear among the top five slots in Google searches for all sorts of different keywords. For example, we appear in the top two Google search results for “fossil record” and in the top five for “what is evolution?” We consider this to be a sign that our perspectives are among the most referenced and trusted, and that our active efforts at search engine optimization are paying dividends in increased traffic on the website. We now appear on the first page for many of the typical queries performed by people around the world who’ve never heard of BioLogos.

Furthermore, hundreds of first-time visitors come to our site every day, and many of them land on The Questions and Resources pages, rather than just sticking to the home page. These developments present opportunities and even guidance for how to better serve the public. With these developments in mind, we’re taking several steps to make the website an even more effective tool for advancing the truth that the best of contemporary science complements a robust and orthodox Christian faith.

The BioLogos Foundation began under Dr. Francis Collins’ guidance with The Questions, a resource for making sense of the essential issues in the science-and-faith dialogue. Three years later, we’re revisiting those original answers to make sure they reflect the latest and best thinking in both science and theology, and we’re also expanding the list to include other issues that have come to the fore more recently. In an effort led by Calvin College astrophysicist and author Deborah Haarsma, we’re reformatting each Question so it includes a “nutshell” version and a more “in depth” answer, as well as suggestions for further reading. It’s a big job, but Haarsma has already updated about a quarter of the Questions, beginning with the section “The BioLogos View.”

The additional resources linked to each Question include books and articles, but there are also links to some of the best blogs and essays from the BioLogos site. In early March we posted The Forum’s one thousandth post, and while The Forum continues to generate new and timely material, much of what has come before deserves more than just a second look. Thomas Burnett—our associate editor—has been working “under the hood” to catalogue and review those 1,000+ blogs.

Based on Burnett’s work, we’ll be making this incredible storehouse of information we’ve assembled since 2009 more accessible through better organization, tagging and search capabilities, and seamless integration with the topics addressed in The Questions section. Rollout of the new system is still a few months away, but this more practical (and visually appealing) way to use the archives will help our website visitors recognize that the natural sciences, theology, biblical studies, history, worship, and the arts are all channels through which we can seek to know God and his mighty works in more depth and with more passion. Our Webmaster, Stephen Mapes, and our very talented programmer, Michael Marcacci, are working together to masterfully oversee the technical aspects of all of these changes.

Finally, we continue to invite a diverse range of writers to share their insights into these issues, whether they’re speaking from academic, pastoral, or popular settings. One potential change we’ve been exploring is running more of our multipart series consecutively within one week, rather than stretching them out over five or six weeks. We’ve also been using a more thematic and journal-like approach to how we organize posts within a month. For instance, in May there’s been an emphasis on issues relating to randomness and teleology in nature; whereas in June, we’ll consider several approaches to understanding what it means for humans to bear the image of God.

Since our goal is to present material in a way that serves our current and future readerships more effectively, we’d love to receive your feedback on how you use the site and what you’d like to see us address in the future, both in terms of content and format.

Be sure to answer a few short questions in this survey to help us understand your views and how we can improve the site!

Thanks for reading!

Mark Sprinkle
Senior Web Editor