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Science and the Bible: Assessing the Evangelical Encounter with Evolution
Having now completed our study of the five main views about “Science and the Bible” held by conservative Protestants, I conclude with a final column, assessing the whole situation as I see it today.
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Series: Asa Gray and Charles Darwin Discuss Evolution and Design
Many Christians believe that they face a painful choice-- either life was designed by God or it is an evolutionary product of natural selection. Charles Darwin himself believed in this dichotomy, and people ever since have felt the need to "choose sides". However, looking back at history, we find that one of Darwin's chief scientific colleagues, Asa Gray, did not share this perspective. In this three-part essay, part 1 charts the relationship of Asa Gray and Charles Darwin. Part 2 describes Darwin's struggle with the problem of natural evil and design in nature, and part 3 explores how Asa Gray was able to embrace evolution without rejecting the idea of design.
Our desire to engage in gracious dialogue with fellow believers who reject biological evolution has been receiving increased attention in both the Christian and secular press. More importantly, we are being joined in this reconciling project by our brothers and sisters in Christ who have often been defined primarily as our “opponents”.
Teaching Science in Tennessee
Last week, Tennessee legislators approved a bill on science education (the Teacher Protection Academic Freedom Act) that has stoked controversy around the country.
Science is Empowering But Hard to Define
It is easy to be confused about what science is and what scientists do. In part, this is because scientists do so many different things in so many different ways.
The Galileo Affair: Emblematic or Exceptional?
On the morning of June 22, 1633 in the hall of the convent of Santa Maria sopra Minvera in Rome, Galileo Galilei knelt before the Lord-Cardinal Inquisitors-General and publicly abjured his false opinion that the sun was the motionless center of the universe.
Series: From ID to BioLogos
In this series, Dennis Venema describes his personal journey that took him away from the Intelligent Design arguments toward the evolutionary creation worldview. Through careful and honest research, he discovered ID scientific reasoning to be analogy-based, in sharp contrast to evolutionary science, which was supported by concrete data. After accepting this view, God’s presence ever strengthened him as he explored the compatibility between the Bible and God’s creative mechanism.
The (Lack Of) Conflict Between Science and Religion in College Students
Media-hungry atheist, creationist and religious fundamentalist provocateurs have dominated the science and religion narrative for the past decade. A recently published large-scale survey of college students, however, finds that the call to arms has fallen on deaf ears.
Providing the crutch for non-believers to lean on is a well-intentioned strategic error that has no benefit and likely does much harm. However, I am even more concerned about something else related to our construction of these crutches.
Adventist Origins of Young Earth Creationism
Many evangelicals believe that Young Earth Creationism is the only authentic, biblical way for Christians to understand origins, and that until the advent of Darwin's theory of evolution, it was the only view held by Christians. However, in this excerpt from Saving Darwin, Karl Giberson explains that Young Earth Creationism's origins are surprisingly recent.
Series: Design in Nature
In this series, Oliver R. Barclay examines the idea of God as Designer. He concludes that God did indeed design creation, and that the “state of the world is evidence not only for the existence and power of God but for his kindness and care for his creation.” Barclay then goes on to investigate the arguments for Intelligent Design which attempt to prove that certain examples of design necessarily imply direct intervention by a Great Designer. He points the flaws of such an argument and discusses its implications.
Series: John Polkinghorne on Natural Theology
Polkinghorne discusses the origins and aims of natural theology in this series. It does not offer truth, but rather a “best explanation” for the world, answering primarily meta-questions. Two such questions asked by Polkinghorne are, “Why is science possible at all?” and “What makes the universe so special?” To explore the answers, he looks at the ability of human minds to penetrate mysteries of the natural world as well as the fine-tuning of the universe necessary to produce the fruitfulness of life.
Ard Louis on Intelligent Design
In this short video, physicist Ard Louis expresses some doubts about Intelligent Design, noting that his primary resistance to the movement is based on theological grounds rather than science.
Through a Glass Darkly
BioLogos enthusiastically endorses the idea that the universe is intelligently designed and we certainly believe that the creator of the universe is intelligent. I want to acknowledge the real similarities between fine-tuning arguments and arguments made by ID.
Intelligent Design and Me, Part 1: In the Beginning
When the ID movement first burst on the scene in the mid-1990s, it lacked the amateurishness of the creation-science movement while at the same time making its main goal to unseat philosophical naturalism. As a philosopher who had critiqued one sort of naturalist project in his doctoral dissertation, ID intrigued me.
Christian Faith and World Class Science
Watching the discussion surrounding Francis Collins's National Institutes of Health (NIH) appointment has been enlightening in so many ways. Especially interesting are the arguments by critics such as Sam Harris that someone with faith in God cannot be a good scientist.
Can science and scripture be reconciled?
In Christian belief, God reveals himself in both the written book of the Bible and the created “book” of the natural world. Thus, the truths we find in scripture should not conflict with the truths we find in nature. Yet at times the two revelations seem to be saying contradictory things about how God made the world. Since God does not lie, the conflict must occur at the level of human interpretation: either a misunderstanding of what God is revealing in nature, or a misunderstanding of what God is revealing in scripture. Conflicts motivate us to reevaluate both interpretations. Christians may disagree on whether the scientific or the Biblical interpretation needs to change, but we can agree that God speaks to us in both revelations. (Updated on March 10, 2012)
Are science and Christianity at war?
Some people see science and religion as enemies, at war for leadership in our modern culture. Others see science and religion as completely separate and unrelated facets of life. However, science is not the only source of facts, and religion reaches beyond the realm of values and morals. In fact, religion can have a positive impact on science, such as in the development of modern medical ethics. Many early scientific leaders were devout Christians, as are some scientific leaders today. Science can also enhance the spiritual life of believers. Christians rejoice in scientific discoveries that reveal the glory of God the creator. (Updated June 27, 2012)
How have Christians responded to Darwin’s "Origin of Species"?
Even before Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, many Christians had already accepted an old Earth. One of the first supporters of evolutionary science in America—Harvard biologist Asa Gray—was a devout Christian. Conservative theologian B. B. Warfield also accepted the science of evolution, and both he and Asa Gray rejected the idea that evolution leads to atheism. Even the authors of The Fundamentals, published between 1910 and 1915, accepted an old earth. It wasn’t until a century after Darwin that a large number of evangelicals and fundamentalists began to accept the combination of flood geology and 6-day creation promoted by Seventh-day Adventists. (Updated on July 10, 2012)
How is BioLogos different from Evolutionism, Intelligent Design, and Creationism?
We at BioLogos believe that God used the process of evolution to create all the life on earth today. While we accept the science of evolution, we emphatically reject evolutionism. Evolutionism is the atheistic worldview that says life developed without God and without purpose. Instead, we agree with Christians who adhere to Intelligent Design and Creationism that the God of the Bible created the universe and all life. Christians disagree, however, on how God created. Young Earth Creationists believe that God created just 6,000 to 10,000 years ago and disagree with much of mainstream science. Supporters of Intelligent Design accept more of evolutionary science, but argue that some features of life are best explained by direct intervention by an intelligent agent rather than by God's regular way of working through natural processes. We at BioLogos agree with the modern scientific consensus on the age of the earth and evolutionary development of all species, seeing these as descriptions of how God created. The term BioLogos comes from the Greek words bios (life) and logos (word), referring to the opening of the Gospel of John. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made.” (Updated on March 1, 2012)