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.
We need to hear stories from others who have wrestled with evolution and Christian faith. What arguments made them change their views on science? How did they hold fast to their relationship with God? The essays in this series will eventually comprise a book, provisionally titled, “Evolving: Evangelicals Reflect on Evolution.”
There was nothing about my experiences on Oct. 20 or the God I’d met that day that intimated to me that he harbored a particular abhorrence for evolution or any scientific theory. I wonder how often we do stuff like that: add things to our list of divine “non-negotiables” that really reflect nothing of the God we experienced when he first welcomed us into his family as a free gift of grace.
…because accepting evolutionary theory for the first time does require us to reconsider and reframe other aspects of our cultural and spiritual beliefs, we must be more caring about the way we interact with those who remain in disagreement with us.
As Christians we believe by faith that Christ was both human and divine, and although this paradox can be difficult to comprehend, it is not a stumbling block to our faith nor does it hinder us from having a relationship with him. Similarly, the Bible is both human and divine.
In this three part series, Dennis Venema introduces and highlights Todd Wodd—a biologist who validates evolution as a credible theory, yet rejects the theory itself on a Biblical basis. In other words, Wood is a Young Earth Creationist. Despite their different perspectives, however, both he and Venema offer similar scientific critiques of arguments made by Reasons To Believe (RTB) including their view that physical, anatomical and genetic similarities as well as shared pseudogenes do not imply common ancestry between two organisms. The careful evaluations made by both Venema and Wood demonstrate the scientific weaknesses in RTB’s theories.
Belief collects the most important writings on faith and belief, from C.S. Lewis to Martin Luther King.
I was raised in a household of atheists. My parents were card-carrying members of the American Communist Party, and therefore the atheism in my household was quite close to the militant anti-theism of the so-called “new atheists”.
This series discusses the importance of unity among Christ’s believers. Ross Hastings, an expert in the areas of both chemistry and pastoral theology, is eager to see the church seek out unity rather than divisions in this science/faith interface. Unpacking Ephesians 4:1-6, he explains that unity in Christ through the Holy Spirit is the primary concern of both Jesus as seen in John 17 and Paul in Ephesians 4, making this matter pressing. He urges all believers to be in agreement that God indeed created, yet to be in dialogue over how that creative process occurred.
... I would exhort these, my fellow conservative evangelical shepherds and thinkers, to set aside all reticence and fear, emerge from anonymity, and storm the forum of discourse, engaging this most pressing matter with vigor, equanimity, and humility. In doing so, know upfront that there will be few handrails to guide; you will not be building upon an extensive precedence of published conservative thought.
I look my students dead straight in the eye and tell them that no matter what, debate within the intellectual sphere cannot and should not take away or diminish the importance of the personal nature of their faith. The intellect, to use a scientific phrase, while necessary for the faith, is not sufficient
People hold clearly discordant points of view, and it would be dishonest to ignore the conflict. Yet some voices emphasize the dissonance without any note of harmony to put it in context. Too often, science and faith becomes a hostile battle of worldviews, sounding angry, dissonant chords even among fellow Christians. But civil, gracious dialogue is possible.
This series by Denis Alexander reflects on advancements in genomics as well as their theological implications. He focuses on the relatedness of hominin genomes, arguing that this does not interfere with the image of God in humans. The image of God depends more on the capacity for relationship and covenant, not on a list of particular physical qualities. He then discusses why the recent studies of genomics provide “no grounds for genetic determinism.”
In this series, U.S. Navy Commander Mike Beidler shares his own personal journey from accepting young-earth creationism to embracing evolutionary creationism.
The BioLogos Foundation explains to the findings of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project and responds to the claims that its discoveries challenge the theory of evolution, especially regarding so-called "junk DNA".
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”.
This series by Scot McKnight relates a lecture given at the 2012 BioLogos workshop for Evangelical theologians, scientists, authors and pastors. He explains that evolution is taught in public schools, and therefore must be addressed by Evangelical pastors in the churches as well. This will educate a whole generation of upcoming scientists on the issues of science and faith. Overall, he encourages scientists and pastors to collaborate on the issue as they rethink the long held interpretations of Genesis 1-3.
I found myself in a very awkward situation. On the one hand I was a follower of Jesus Christ who loved the Bible, knew that it was God’s Word, and, therefore, not full of lies. However, I also was someone who had loved science for many years and was planning on pursuing a career in research...
Because evolution is a challenging subject, many Christians are tempted to simply ignore or reject it. Yet considering evolutionary creation has important benefits for Christians both in our relationship with the Creator, and with our relationships with other people—believers and non-Christians alike. First, Christians should study evolution because (like all the natural sciences) it is the study of God’s creation. Creation itself is a complementary revelation to what is communicated in the Scriptures, and through it God shows how and when he brought about life, to his honor and glory. Studying the creation is also an invitation into a deeper understanding of the attributes and character of Father, Son and Spirit. Second, considering evolutionary creation aids the Church in its gospel mission, supporting young Christians in their faith, helping answer critics, and equipping us to engage effectively in the wider culture. An anti-evolution attitude can harm Christian young people by presenting them with a false choice between pursuing science OR holding to faith. Similarly, a hostile attitude towards evolution can hinder evangelism when seekers hear that they must reject science to follow Christ. On the other hand, studying evolution as a God-ordained process helps Christians refute arguments that science encourages an atheistic worldview. Furthermore, as the church engages front-page issues raised by the rapid growth in science, medicine, and technology, a Christ-centered voice in such areas as bioethics will be stronger if based on a thorough understanding of the natural sciences, including evolution.
(Updated on September 9, 2012)