“The Language of God” Book Club – Chapters 1 & 2
Collins poses, as the central question of his book: “In this modern era of cosmology, evolution, and the human genome, is there still the possibility of a richly satisfying harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews?”
Origins News Round-up for January 17, 2014
Today’s Origins News Roundup features challenging and exciting new ideas about evolutionary theory, fossil finds that add to our understanding of how carnivores and humans developed, some interesting science history from England, and more on American views of evolution.
Origins News Round-up for January 3, 2014
Today’s origins news roundup features an end-of-year look at some of 2013’s major science highlights, a brief glimpse at what to watch for in the new year, and a few great science and faith resources from the past few weeks.
Human Moral Responsibility and the Sciences of the Mind
“I believe it is fair to conclude that the supposed threat posed to human free will and moral responsibility from the very much work-in-progress social and cognitive human sciences is quite overblown.”
Origins News Round-up for December 6, 2013
This week’s Origins News Roundup features highlights from a recent conference of evangelical theologians, exciting human fossil finds, tell-tale lice, and a few words from the Pope.
Why the Church Needs Multiple Theories of Original Sin
“It’s tempting to think that the church needs to decide quickly which of these [original sin] scenarios is right, and which ones must be wrong. I believe the church is better served by taking its time, holding several different scenarios in tension for a while as we think through the implications of each.”
Series: The Human Fossil Record (16 entries)
In this series, James Kidder provides an intriguing study on transitional fossils and the evolutionary history of modern humans. He begins by discussing the fossil record, explaining how new forms are classified. He then explains the physically distinguishing trait of humankind—bipedalism. From the discovery of Ardipithecus, the earliest known hominin, to the australopithecines, the most prolific hominin, Kidder focuses on the discovery, the anatomy, and the interpretation of these ancestral remains.
Series: The Faith of a Great Scientist: Robert Boyle’s Religious Life, Attitudes, and Vocation (13 entries)
A deep love for scripture, coupled (ironically) with a lifelong struggle with religious doubt, led Robert Boyle to write several important books relating scientific and religious knowledge. We explore aspects of this fascinating interaction.
Belief in God in an Age of Science: John Polkinghorne, Part 4
It is precisely the recognition of the qualities of elegance, economy and naturalness which solves the problem of the under-determination of theory by experiment, so often pressed by philosophers of science, who sometimes speak of the process of discovery as if it were a dull routine of fitting curves to data points.
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”.
Series: Understanding Randomness (5 entries)
In this series, Kathryn Applegate addresses the concern that randomness implies the absence of God's activity and involvement in the natural world. She begins by clearing up some common misconceptions about the concept of "randomness", and later focuses on the mechanisms of the immune system to demonstrate that God works through random processes to preserve life. Far from being an indication of a "godless" universe, one might conclude that randomness is one of God’s favorite mechanisms for creating and sustaining life!
Humanity as and in Creation
Christian theology asserts that humans are spiritual creatures, a unity of body and spirit or “soul,” integrated, not reducible downwards to mere matter or upwards to mere spirit.
A Plea to My Shepherds
... 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.
Science and Scientism in Biology: The Origin of Morality
The problem is that as human beings, we know that goodness exists, so it must be accounted for, and if one is a staunch believer in scientism, it must be accounted for scientifically.
Does Evolution Compromise Human Morality?
Once we have a scientific hypothesis for how something exists, it is tempting to make the philosophical inference that this is also why it exists.
Series: Harmonizing Science, Ethics, and Praxis (4 entries)
In this three-part series, Cal DeWitt offers insights and examples of why science and ethics must work together to help us make informed, practical decisions within our society. DeWitt’s science-ethics-praxis model provides a framework by which we can live more effectively as God’s stewards.
Series: To Serve and Preserve—Genesis 2 and the Human Calling (3 entries)
In this series, David Buller pays careful attention to the original language and cultural context of Genesis 2, revealing that our responsibility to care for creation is a sacred task given to us by God, not merely a modern secular activity. By taking Scripture seriously, we learn that we have a God-given mandate to be diligent stewards of His creation.
Willing to be Wrong
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.
Denisovans, Humans and the Chromosome 2 Fusion
The Denisovans, an extinct hominid group that interbred with modern humans, made the news again lately with the publication of a more detailed study of their genome. One of the many interesting findings was that the Denisovans share the same chromosome 2 fusion that modern humans have.