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Evolution Basics: At the Frontiers of Evolution, Part 4: Contingency vs. Convergence

Given that both contingency and convergence seem to be significant factors in evolutionary history, it is only natural for scientists to wonder which force has the upper hand. Is evolution primarily contingent, with convergence playing only a minor role? Or is evolution largely a convergent phenomenon, where contingent factors have little overall influence?

 

Origins News Roundup for August 20, 2014

From science and religion blogs: quantum uncertainty and God, the remarkable fact that we have come to understand our place in the created order, and the role of theology in making wise choices about the use of technology.

 

What Americans Think and Feel about Evolution

The new Gallup survey shows in broad strokes the challenge we face. But more nuanced surveys find that only 8% of Americans are convinced creationists whose beliefs are dear to them, and only 4% are convinced atheistic evolutionists whose beliefs are dear to them. The vast majority of Americans are not sure of their position and are open to a conversation.

 

Ken Ham and Biblical Authority

Because BioLogos accepts the scientific evidence for the age of the earth and common ancestry, Ham believes we are undermining the Bible and denying its authority. However, the authority of the Bible is key for all that we do at BioLogos.

 

Ham on Nye – What to Watch for

Watch to see whether the debate encourages the opinion that science and Christianity are at war. We don’t think you have to choose sides.

 

Response to Ken Ham

Last week Ken Ham addressed BioLogos specifically in a blog post, in response to Daniel Hamlin’s testimony told in our blog on October 14th.

 

Stochastic Grace

I was raised in a household of atheists. My parents were card-carrying members of the American Communist Party, and therefore the atheism in my household was quite close to the militant anti-theism of the so-called “new atheists”.

 

Series: Understanding Randomness (5 entries)

In this series, Kathryn Applegate addresses the concern that randomness implies the absence of God's activity and involvement in the natural world. She begins by clearing up some common misconceptions about the concept of "randomness", and later focuses on the mechanisms of the immune system to demonstrate that God works through random processes to preserve life. Far from being an indication of a "godless" universe, one might conclude that randomness is one of God’s favorite mechanisms for creating and sustaining life!

 

A Plea to My Shepherds

... I would exhort these, my fellow conservative evangelical shepherds and thinkers, to set aside all reticence and fear, emerge from anonymity, and storm the forum of discourse, engaging this most pressing matter with vigor, equanimity, and humility. In doing so, know upfront that there will be few handrails to guide; you will not be building upon an extensive precedence of published conservative thought.

 

Denis Alexander on Understanding Creation Theology

In this video Conversation, Denis Alexander asserts that contemporary Christians are not taking the early chapters of Genesis seriously enough.

 

Series: A Faith Journey in a Medical Science Career (4 entries)

(Needs a summary)

 

Worshiping, Growing, and Learning

Yesterday, biology professors Randy Moore and Sehoya Cotner raised the concern that workshops focused on evolution-related training do not reach creationism-based biology teachers. Today, we'd like to focus on BioLogos' efforts to address that divide through our Biology by the Sea workshops.

 

Evolution and Creationism in America’s Biology Classrooms

High school biology courses have a strong and lingering impact on students’ views of evolution and creationism.

 

Series: Science and the Bible (22 entries)

This ongoing series written by historian Ted Davis begins with a brief synopsis of his personal background, and then goes on to reveal his passion for debunking “the now-common view that the history of science and Christianity is one of ongoing, inevitable conflict.”

 

Surveying George Murphy's Theology of the Cross

If God himself is willing to die, particularly in such a gruesome way, then perhaps we should at least consider the possibility of God allowing the death of other creatures, too. But would this really be compatible with what we know of God through Scripture?

 

Series: Confronting Our Fears (6 entries)

In this series, U.S. Navy Commander Mike Beidler shares his own personal journey from accepting young-earth creationism to embracing evolutionary creationism.

 

Series: “And God Saw That It Was Good”: Death and Pain in the Created Order (6 entries)

The tension generated by our understanding of God’s character, as revealed in the Bible, and by the reality of the natural world around us has been the focus of much debate within the Christian church since the first century. This series examines critically several of the proposed solutions to this problem, viewing them from the perspective of a geologist, paleontologist, and orthodox evangelical Christian.

 

What I Would Like To Hear A Young-Earth Creationist Say

It may come as a surprise that when asked by The Colossian Forum what one thing he would like to hear Young Earth Creationists say, his answer had nothing to do with scientific statements at all. Rather, his hope is to hear a single simple phrase: “We’re both part of the same family.”

 

Series: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes (5 entries)

In this talk, originally delivered at the BioLogos President's Circle meeting in October 2012, Dr. John Walton discusses the origin stories of Genesis 1-3, and why their focus on function and archetypes mean there is no Biblical narrative of material origins.

 

Growing in Faith

As he endeavored to learn more, David was intrigued by Francis Collins book The Language of God because Francis did not present evolution as a rival theory to Christian faith, but as something that described God's method of creation.

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