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Origins News Roundup for July 23, 2014

This week in origins news, a great collection of articles by key players in the conversation about theology and science, a surprising science fair discovery, and the Apollo 11 anniversary!

 

No Place Like Home: an interview with ECF grantee Seung-Hwan Kim

Everyone is so worried about success and getting this or that honorable diploma—the people here are smart and understand many complex things perfectly—but it’s a long distance from the head to the heart.

 

Origins News Roundup for July 9, 2014

This week in origins news is a rousing medley of articles about science and faith, from multiple angles. Some classics on science, religion, and the classroom along with some probing into where atheists come from, new resources from John Polkinghorne, and an off-the-beaten-path blog post.

 

Series: Seeing God in Everyday Work (2 entries)

 

The Christian Reformed Church votes to support scholarship on human origins

We should celebrate the many times that our churches and colleges encourage scholarship. I saw several delegates at Synod stand up and speak directly about the importance of supporting scholars who engage the science and religion dialogue. The recent Synod decision was a move in the right direction.

 

Series: The Human Fossil Record (19 entries)

In this series, James Kidder provides an intriguing study on transitional fossils and the evolutionary history of modern humans. He begins by discussing the fossil record, explaining how new forms are classified. He then explains the physically distinguishing trait of humankind—bipedalism. From the discovery of Ardipithecus, the earliest known hominin, to the australopithecines, the most prolific hominin, Kidder focuses on the discovery, the anatomy, and the interpretation of these ancestral remains.

 

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.

 

From Cosmos to Psyche: The 2014 ASA/CSCA/CiS Annual Meeting

We are interactive human beings with a capability and a need to connect with others. Those connections can be through electronic or written means but nothing can replace the need for direct personal engagement. Our annual meetings continue to provide that interaction in an environment of open discussion and often vigorous debates.

 

The Creator’s Canvas: How should Christian science teachers approach controversial issues?

Most Christian students have a lot of questions about evolution and the other controversies, but are afraid to ask them for fear of the adults gasping in horror. The right way for a Christian teacher to proceed is to accommodate questions, foster inquiry, and encourage students to think and engage with the issues.

 

Series: Evolution Basics (44 entries)

Written by BioLogos Fellow of Biology Dennis Venema, this series of posts is intended as a basic introduction to the science of evolution for non-specialists.

 

Creation Unfolding: Reading Genesis in a Historical Setting

For my part, the historical setting of the text plays an important role in how I read. It’s not a problem in my view to see the authors of Genesis embedded in their times, writing in the scientific/mythological terms they knew, even if those terms are now obsolete.

 

Zoom In, Slow Down: “Replaying” Evolution and the Fall

Zoom in; slow down. These are relevant principles for the conversation between Christian faith and evolution, too, particularly around thorny issues related to human origins and the Fall.

 

Origins News Round-Up for May 28, 2014

This weeks in Origins news: studies of a skeleton uncovered in 2007 provide clues about rapid human evolution in the Americas, our climate and Christian stewardship, a few BioLogos folks give interviews, and some cool links to miscellaneous finds.

 

Video repost: Chris Tilling on Biblical Genre and Relational Truths

“There are clues in a text as to how the text should be written, so with Genesis, the rhythmic nature of Genesis 1 and 2, the almost poetic, and hymnic, function that it would have played in the liturgy of the earliest Jewish lives… it seems to me that there are clues here that it should be read in a theological way.”

 

Interview with Ronald Osborn

We must press beyond the various creation narratives in the Hebrew Bible, including the final chapters of Job, to the picture of God revealed in the New Testament—the Creator who does not rationally explain away the scandal of suffering but who instead enters into it.

 

A Review of “Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering” by Ronald E. Osborn

The confident assertion that the Bible trumps science stems from a misunderstanding of the purpose of the scriptures, and a misapplication of the Bible to answer questions that can only be answered by the application of science.

 

Series: Intelligent Design and Common Ancestry (4 entries)

Would those genuinely interested in learning about evolution benefit from a careful explanation of why these common objections don’t hold water? Here the answer seemed to me to be “yes.”

 

The Strange Tension Between Theology and Science

The problem comes when materialism, claiming the authority of science, denies the possibility of all other types of knowledge — reducing human beings to a bag of chemicals and all their hopes and loves to the firing of neurons. Or when religion exceeds its bounds and declares the Earth to be 6,000 years old. In both cases, the besetting sin is the same: the arrogant exclusive claim to know reality.

 

An Impossible World

What if political, social, religious, and scientific groups the world over adopted [a gracious] approach to dialogue and their own desires? What if we didn’t have to be snide and aggressive to get our point across and to elicit cheering (or jeering) from our respective constituencies?

 

Series: Interpreting Adam (6 entries)

A few months ago Zondervan published the anthology Four Views on the Historical Adam. This valuable new resource addresses one of the most common questions Christians have about evolution: how does the Adam of the Bible fit with the scientific and historical evidence about early humans?

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