Series: Evolution Basics (50 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.
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.
In this six part series, Brian Godawa takes a closer look at cosmography and its relationship to the Bible. After defining cosmography as a theory that describes features of the heavens and the earth, he relates how his own views about the universe have shifted. He then continues to talk about the Mesopotamian cosmography that is so consistently reflected in Scripture. This view of the universe includes aspects such as the firmament, the pillars, the underworld, the heavens above, the watery abyss. He then explains how one understands these concepts in terms of modern scientific thought.
To understand and apply Genesis 1 correctly, we have to consider issues of genre and intention. Too often these chapters are read as if they present a purely straightforward historical and even scientific account of cosmic and human origins.
It has been my experience that many Christians have not given sufficient thought to how the Old Testament was composed––that is, to the "human" side of the inspiration of Scripture.
In this series, Ryan Pettey offers several clips from his powerful documentary "From the Dust". This feature-length film is divided up into various sections, each of which wrestles with the difficult problems that arise when reconciling Scripture with the theory of evolution. A light of hope dawns on the science-faith conversation, however, as scientists and theologians engage in honest dialogue about tough issues such as the interpretation of Genesis, the nature of the Fall, and the idea of random design. Their profound insights are sure to enlighten all minds, raise deeper questions, and provoke new thought.
Brian Godawa looks at several aspects of ancient cosmography (descriptions of the universe) that also appear in the Bible, and what these aspects of the text mean for our understanding of Scripture.
In these two brief video Conversations, John Walton discusses the problem of trying to integrate ancient scripture with our modern worldview.
"As a Christian and a biblical scholar, I care both about Scripture as truth and about the ongoing scholarly conversation regarding the composition of the Hebrew Scriptures. And so, when I was asked to speak on the story of creation in Genesis 1, I welcomed the opportunity to give my thoughts on the interaction between this text and its ancient Near Eastern context."
In this video Conversation, N.T. Wright explores how the ancient Jewish audience read Genesis before and up to the time that Jesus arrived. He asserts that readers of Genesis today who focus simply on the number of days of creation and whether there is evidence in the text pointing to an old or new earth—are in effect not reading the complete text.
John Walton offers some important reminders in this video with regard to how we should approach a reading of the book of Genesis. While it is a text that is written for us—in the sense that it was written for all people in all times and places—it was not written to us.
Genesis 1 and 2 tell the story of creation, and it says things that are at odds with what modern people know to be true of the world and universe around us. One of those issue concerns the second day of creation (Genesis 1:6-8), where God made the "expanse" or the "firmament".
Professor Denis Lamoureux presents the theory of evolutionary creation, which claims that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created the universe and life through an ordained, sustained, and design-reflecting evolutionary process. The view of origins, says Lamoureux, fully embraces both the religious beliefs of biblical Christianity and the scientific theories of cosmological, geological, and biological evolution.
In the ancient world people were inclined to be much more interested in issues like order, functions, roles and general operations than in the material stuff of the physical world. Because of this, even their thinking about creation is more focused on the functional rather than the material.
The more we grasp Israel’s understanding of creation, the less likely we will be to expect from the Old Testament things it was never intended to deliver.
The literary conventions employed in Genesis chapter 1 mark it out, not as a scientific document describing material origins, but as a theological polemic against surrounding ancient Near Eastern pagan religions. Creation language here and elsewhere in Scripture is not about establishing scientific origins of material substance and structure but about covenantal establishment and worldview.
The evidence suggests that God has chosen to work through a random process, one which involves the routine creation and destruction of millions of cells that never get used. This is the ordinary means by which God maintains our health. The miracles of healing recorded in the Bible are miraculous precisely because they don’t occur by this normal, natural process.
In this video Conversation, Denis Alexander asserts that contemporary Christians are not taking the early chapters of Genesis seriously enough.
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.