Origins News Roundup for September 3, 2014
This week's news features volcanoes, skeletons, and stars, as well as a thought-provoking new book from InterVarsity press.
Evolution and Christian Faith Grantees Announced
Congratulations to the 37 winners of the Evolution & Christian Faith (ECF) grants competition! ECF is a new BioLogos program designed to support projects and network-building among scholars, church leaders, and parachurch organizations.
Evolution, the Enlightenment, and Worldviews
In this video conversation, N.T. Wright discusses how the Enlightenment worldview -- which clearly separates God from the world -- has impacted our view of Scripture, and why cleaning the "spectacles" through which we view the world can help us see both Scripture and the world more clearly.
Where are the Transitional Fossils?
A common argument leveled against the theory of evolution is that scientists have not been able to produce transitional fossils that show the change of one species into another. In this podcast, we address a common misconception about what transitional fossils actually are.
Can Science Ever Know Enough?
To say something is poetic is not to declare it ultimately untrue, futile and meaningless—it is to say it is more profound and meaningful and true than many other modes of expression.
Series: Biblical and Scientific Shortcomings of Flood Geology (6 entries)
Gregg Davidson and Ken Wolgemuth seek to remove the stumbling block of the Genesis flood in this four part series. Though many believe in an ancient world-wide flood, the evidence given does not hold up to geological scrutiny, but points rather to something regional instead. It is their hope that Christians will not walk away from faith in Christ simply because a global flood is not supported by science. Looking at natural phenomena like the Grand Canyon, salt beds, and fossil deposits, they reveal reasons for these deposits and structures while showing that their origin did not stem from a violent flood that covered the planet.
Hominids Lived Millions of Years Ago, but How Can We Tell? (Videocast)
This BioLogos videocast addresses the age of recently discovered hominid fossils and how scientists are able to obtain those dates.
Are You There God? It's Us, Scientists (Infographic)
The BioLogos Forum is pleased to present this infographic about religious belief among scientists. The graphic uses data from the Pew Research Center, Rice University, and quotations from scientists assembled in a recent Huffington Post article.
What is Scientism?
Scientism is a rather strange word, but for reasons that we shall see, a useful one. Though this term has been coined rather recently, it is associated with many other “isms” with long and turbulent histories: materialism, naturalism, reductionism, empiricism, and positivism.
Series: Southern Baptist Voices: Is Darwinism Theologically Neutral? (5 entries)
The second entry in our Southern Baptist Voices dialogues, this series features William A. Dembski and Darrel Falk considering the question, "Is Darwinism Theologically Neutral?" from Southern Baptist and BioLogos perspectives. As with the first Southern Baptist Voices series, the exchange is carried out with and respect and humility as Dr. Dembski argues that Darwinism undercuts several "non-negotiables" of Christianity, and Dr. Falk confirms that assessment on several points, while demonstrating that the BioLogos position is not the same as Darwinism.
Jefferson’s Bible and the Tears of Christ
Predictably, "Jesus Wept" did not make it into the Jefferson Bible. John 11 was cut out entirely, falling onto the floor of his Monticello home and discarded, along with Martha's confession.
Series: What Scientists Do (7 entries)
Steve Benner, a Distinguished Fellow of The Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville, Fla., looks at what the role of a scientist should be. Benner looks specifically at "falsifiability", the acceptance of uncertainty, and the place of the scientist in public discourse.
Series: Evidences for Evolution (7 entries)
This technical series, co-written by Darrel Falk and David Kerk, looks into the evidence for evolution in order to dispel doubts that people may have about this well-supported theory. They look at three things specifically: the separate methods which reveal of the age of the earth, the unfolding history of whale evolution, and finally the common trends of heart development in vertebrates.
Series: New Limbs from Old Fins (7 entries)
Stephen Matheson presents common descent by evolution as the best explanation for the universal pattern found in tetrapod limbs. He discusses initially the evolution and development of limbs in specifically vertebrate tetrapods. He looks at the question of origins and further digs into amazing fossil discoveries. He then gives evidence of evolution from fish to tetrapods by discussing the similarities in the anatomy, development, and genetic systems associated with this amazingly common pattern in vertebrate appendages.
Series: Reviewing "Why Evolution is True" (6 entries)
In this three part series, Robert C. Bishop provides a helpful review for Evangelicals of the book Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. He first debunks many outdated ideas and myths about the theory of evolution and its implications. He then goes on to critique Coyne’s conclusions about God as a “bad designer.” He further addresses how Christianity and science overlap as well as how to have a meaningful discussion between two individuals with radically different views.
Series: The Cambrian "Explosion", Transitional Forms, and the Tree of Life (8 entries)
Many evolutionary critics have identified the Cambrian Explosion as a stumbling block to the theory of evolution, arguing that the “expected transitions between major invertebrate phyla are absent, and that the suddenness of their appearance in the fossil record demonstrates that evolutionary explanations are not viable.” Keith Miller argues that the Cambrian Explosion is not so problematic as these opponents claim after all.
Series: Hutchinson on Atheism (7 entries)
Ian Hutchinson draws a sharp line between science and scientism. Scientism holds that all truth emerges from scientific study and explanation. Hutchinson, however, disagrees as he points to science’s inability to establish truth about, for example, the events that have occurred in humanity’s history on earth. He specifically engages Richard Dawkins assertions (from the book The God Delusion) that God is a scientific hypothesis that has been essentially disproved by science and that evolution explains religion as nothing more than a natural phenomenon.
Series: Addressing Christian Concerns about the Implications of BioLogos’ Science (8 entries)
In this series, Ard Louis addresses concerns that Christians may have about the BioLogos view that stem from specific misconceptions. Among these are misunderstandings about the nature of science, God’s action in the universe, and natural theology. In addition, there is unwarranted mistrust towards the academic world. Finally, he encourages the BioLogos team to carefully confront “the ways we in the church have all been shaped by the spirit of the age” and to patiently listen and speak about these issues.
Darwin: The Father of Modern Racism?
Alexander notes that while the biological theory of evolution is not itself an ideology, it has been used for ideological purposes since 1859 to defend everything from eugenics to capitalism to racism to atheism.