Origins News Round-up for December 6, 2013
This week’s Origins News Roundup features highlights from a recent conference of evangelical theologians, exciting human fossil finds, tell-tale lice, and a few words from the Pope.
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.
What’s the evidence for the idea that God exists or doesn’t exist? I think anyone who’s looked at that would conclude that the strong atheist position of saying, "I know there is not God" is not an easy one to sustain.
Where is human evolution going? Where has human evolution been? A roundup of stories from the past few weeks.
“For a few moments, it felt like our little church community was surrounded by glory. The wisdom of Christ in the hypothalamus was illumining the wisdom of Christ in the prophets and gospels.”
What can a practicing scientist in the 21st century—even a "bench scientist" like me whose scientific forays are confined to a laboratory—glean from a 19th century wanderer like Thoreau?
Zoologist Steve Roels shares a summary of his experiences listening and talking with the scientists in attendance at the Third World Summit on Evolution and also offers a reflective essay and poem about evolution, psalms of praise, Darwin, and the islands that so inspired him.
Considering my own stance on the satisfying harmony of science and faith, you might be surprised to find on my shelves nearly everything written by Richard Dawkins (including “The God Delusion”) and my late friend Christopher Hitchens (including “God Is Not Great”). One must dig deeply into opposing points of view in order to know whether your own position remains defensible. Iron sharpens iron.
How do metaphors impact the dialogue between faith and science? We might start by asking: what are the framing metaphors at work in the current debates? Even using the word “dialogue” here suggests an implicit metaphor that frames my approach to the relationship between faith and science. Imagine substituting “dialogue” with “war;” that would conjure a completely different metaphorical framework.
Its questionable treatment of science and scientists—with an attack mindset and a goal to make scientists look stupid—causes me to advise extreme caution. Bluntly, I see this video as counter to our evangelistic mission.
Join astrobiologist Stephen Freeland for a look into the nature of information and the origins of life on earth. (These posts were originally published as a paper in the ASAs academic journal, PSCF, and are reprinted here with permission.)
Listening to his story I had to remind myself that Phil was an atheist, not a seminary student recalling those who had inspired him to enter the pastorate. As the narrative developed, however, it became clear where things came apart for Phil.
With so many issues to discuss, Christians can easily get the feeling that science is always attacking the faith. It is essential to balance such conversations with positive responses to God’s creation. After all, the primary response to the natural world in the Bible is to praise the God who made it.
My Hawking-induced crisis of faith spurred me to move beyond a "God of the gaps"—a shrunken deity enlisted merely to fill any remaining pockets of mystery that science has yet to illuminate. Indeed, my experience has been that recapturing the doctrine of Creation in its scriptural fullness points us toward a much more exciting understanding of creation. It points us toward a God for whom science is a gift rather than a stumbling block. And perhaps most importantly, it points to a Creator God who is worthy of worship, enjoyment, and trust.
The Galápagos Islands were not a distinct “center of creation,” but a workshop for evolution in which an ancestral species made it to the yet uncolonized island and underwent a massive degree of speciation to adapt to the environment of the island. This is precisely what one would expect if the species of islands had arisen by evolution.
Over the next few months, with permission from Yale University Press, BioLogos will offer edited versions of chapters from John Polkinghorne's best books, Belief in God in an Age of Science and Theology in the Context of Science, in order to help readers delve more deeply into some of his most important ideas.
These excerpts from Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design, written by BioLogos president Deborah Haarsma and her husband Loren Haarsma, offer a sampling of the book's many topics, from exploring our disagreements and agreements on origins as Christians to explaining scientific processes to looking at how we read Genesis.
In our current culture, we’re defined by our jobs. It’s having a vocation. I wanted to shift away from that. I didn’t want to be a doctor first and foremost, or a scientist, but one who praises God.
BioLogos interim web editor Emily Ruppel recently traveled to Boston for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference, where she took an afternoon off from lecture-going to catch up with Doug Lauffenburger, head of the biological engineering department at MIT and a member of the American Scientific Affiliation.