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.
Series: “Origins” Book Club (6 entries)
The Christian Reformed Church votes to support scholarship on human origins
We should celebrate the many times that our churches and colleges encourage scholarship. I saw several delegates at Synod stand up and speak directly about the importance of supporting scholars who engage the science and religion dialogue. The recent Synod decision was a move in the right direction.
What Americans Think and Feel about Evolution
The new Gallup survey shows in broad strokes the challenge we face. But more nuanced surveys find that only 8% of Americans are convinced creationists whose beliefs are dear to them, and only 4% are convinced atheistic evolutionists whose beliefs are dear to them. The vast majority of Americans are not sure of their position and are open to a conversation.
Series: What I Wish My Pastor Knew About... The Life of a Scientist (5 entries)
Andy Crouch examines the life of a scientist based on his experience of walking alongside his wife Catherine, an experimental physicist. That relationship has shown him that a life in science is a journey “into a set of virtues,” of cultivating a specific character suited to the particular demands of research and investigation. Crouch's hope is to persuade pastors and others in the church to prayerfully support the scientific endeavor as a reflection of God’s image in humankind as well as offers some suggestions for ministering to their needs.
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.
Awe in Science
If we can understand the experiences of the people who work every day in the lab, our dialogues concerning science and religion will be far more fruitful.
Katharine Hayhoe: Evangelical Christian, Climate Scientist
As an Evangelical and a scientist, Katharine Hayhoe is already a member of a rare breed. As a climate change researcher who is also married to an evangelical Christian pastor, she is nearly one of a kind.
Being Human (Infographic)
The BioLogos Forum is pleased to present this infographic about the current anthropological understanding of human evolution, which takes into account research into both physiological and cultural developments among our ancient ancestors.
Hominids Lived Millions of Years Ago, but How Can We Tell? (Videocast)
This BioLogos videocast addresses the age of recently discovered hominid fossils and how scientists are able to obtain those dates.
The Beauty of Being a Scientist and a Christian
I am a Christian. I believe that God is the ultimate reality and that the world, including me, was created by God. But this is not just an idle affirmation, a faith statement to be recited in church on Sunday.
Many people use the words "dominion" and "subdue" as "unconditional permission to use the world as they please." I came to realize, like many, that such an interpretation is contradicted by the rest of the Bible.
Series: Science as an Instrument of Worship (6 entries)
In this brief series (taken from a 2009 paper), Jennifer Wiseman uses an excerpt from the famous hymn “How Great Thou Art,” to explain why the study of God’s creation can lead Christ’s followers into meaningful worship and overcome the obstacles which impede true praise. Creation as encountered through our senses is pondered by our minds, which flows into wonder-filled songs from the soul. She further explains how knowledge of creation will help Christians to address the moral dilemmas of science, and she encourages all to see the process of scientific inquiry as a means to discover God’s truth.
Dead Bones with a Living Message
In this video, Pääbo covers a lot of ground, noting several lines of genetic evidence for the evolution of modern humans from earlier hominids in Africa, as well as for the interbreeding between early humans and Neanderthals.
Series: Understanding Evolution (4 entries)
This blog series by Dennis Venema undertakes the task of clarifying numerous aspects of evolution that often become misconstrued by Christians. He first discusses the idea of speciation in a population over time, later applying it to the speciation process that occurred among hominids (human ancestors) which led to modern humans. He continues to support this idea by exploring so called “Mitochondrial Eve,”“Y Chromosome Adam” and other compositional clues of the human genome.
Was Humanity Inevitable?
If the tape was rewound and evolution started over from scratch, Conway Morris says, the evolutionary details would be different, but the end result would be similar: a species characterized by intelligence and complex civilization.
NPR’S Adam and Eve Story
All science can say is that there was never a time when only two people existed on the earth: it is silent on whether or not God began a special relationship with a historical couple at some point in the past. This subtle but extremely important point was missed entirely in the NPR story.
Series: Genetics, Theology, and Adam as a Historical Person (9 entries)
Denis Alexander begins this five part series by discussing both what a model is and whether it is appropriate to use one when building a bridge between scientific truths and theological truths. Providing evolutionary facts about the origins of humans as well as discussing the origin and meaning of Adam in Genesis, he constructs what he calls a Retelling model and a Homo divinus model. Both approaches, he concludes, “suggest that human evolution per se is irrelevant to the theological understanding of humankind made in the image of God.”
Made in the Image of God: Theological Implications of Human Genomics
The tenth anniversary of the human genome has been marked by some striking new genetic insights into human evolution and diversity. Do these new discoveries have any significance for the dialogue between science and religion?