Saturday Science Links: October 18, 2014
Collection of the best articles of the past several weeks on science (and faith) from around the web.
Some of the Christian objections to evolutionary creation come from a misunderstanding of what the Bible means when it says “God created”.
When we sit down to read sacred Scripture, we need to develop a rapport with the Bible’s various authors and their worldviews. Otherwise, we will unintentionally demand they communicate in the same manner we do.
Some people who brook no “god of the gaps” arguments anywhere else look to these three moments as more reasonable places to insert God into natural processes: God spoke matter/energy into existence, God made life out of lifeless matter, and God breathed a soul into human beings.
... 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.
This ongoing series written by historian Ted Davis begins with a brief synopsis of his personal background, and then goes on to reveal his passion for debunking “the now-common view that the history of science and Christianity is one of ongoing, inevitable conflict.”
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.
The debate is often not about evidence, but about making sure that others do not transgress our interpretive boundaries and insist that we're wrong. We've bitten from the tree of knowledge and we love its taste.
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”.
I ask the question, “Why is the universe so special?” Now scientists don’t like things to be special; we like things to be general, and our natural anticipation would have been that the universe is just a common specimen of what a universe might be like.
Design arguments have been around forever and expressed in various ways. Most of them fall into what we call natural theology, which is the process of inferring something about the existence and nature of God by the inspection of nature.
I will take some time to clarify exactly how Michael Behe, the biochemist and Intelligent Design (ID) proponent who has most extensively developed the "irreducible complexity" argument, uses the term.
In today's video, Brian McLaren discusses the value of considering Scripture in light of the cultures that surrounded them. The Biblical writers were aware of the myths of the power nations that surrounded them, but flipped their stories on their heads to reveal truth about God.
In today's video, Oxford physicist Ard Louis discusses the famous debate between renowned evolutionary biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Simon Conway Morris over the idea of evolutionary convergence.
Pete Shaw highlights the story of Noah to explore how the story would have been understood in ancient times and from there he goes on to explore how we might consider it today.
When presented with the evidence for human population sizes over our evolutionary history, a common point of confusion for evangelicals is how this evidence fits with Mitochondrial Eve. How can we all come from one woman (and one man) but also come from a large population of 10,000 individuals?
I fear that many of us ask the wrong questions about the beginning of the book of Genesis. Not only does this generate needless confusion and division, it also makes us miss the life-changing truths that we could see if we asked the right questions.