Saturday Science Links: October 18, 2014
Collection of the best articles of the past several weeks on science (and faith) from around the web.
Evolution and the Christian, part 2: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Some of the Christian objections to evolutionary creation come from a misunderstanding of what the Bible means when it says “God created”.
Ch. 3-4: The Importance of Reading the Biblical Text in Context
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.
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.
Series: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes (5 entries)
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.
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.
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”.
Series: Science and the Bible (22 entries)
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.”
Revealing God's Nature
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.
Seeing the Flood Story Through an Ancient Israelite Lens
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.
Mitochondrial Eve, Y-Chromosome Adam, and Reasons to Believe
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?
Maker of Heaven and Earth
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.
Series: From ID to BioLogos (8 entries)
In this series, Dennis Venema describes his personal journey that took him away from the Intelligent Design arguments toward the evolutionary creation worldview. Through careful and honest research, he discovered ID scientific reasoning to be analogy-based, in sharp contrast to evolutionary science, which was supported by concrete data. After accepting this view, God’s presence ever strengthened him as he explored the compatibility between the Bible and God’s creative mechanism.
From the Dust: The Book of Genesis
It is our sincere hope that, above all else, the film can become a focal point for some of the big questions that inevitably arise at the intersection of science and faith.
The (Lack Of) Conflict Between Science and Religion in College Students
Media-hungry atheist, creationist and religious fundamentalist provocateurs have dominated the science and religion narrative for the past decade. A recently published large-scale survey of college students, however, finds that the call to arms has fallen on deaf ears.
Series: Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography in the Bible (8 entries)
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.
Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography in the Bible
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.
Series: Recovering the Doctrine of Creation: A Theological View of Science (7 entries)
Robert C. Bishop explains that many believe two things about creation: that the universe was created out of nothing by God and that he accomplished this in six days. This overly simplistic view does not do the robust Doctrine of Creation (DoC) justice, and it unnecessarily hinders much of the dialogue between evolution and Christianity. Bishop “recovers” the DoC by exploring the limitations of creation, God’s sovereignty in the process, God’s Trinitarian activity and ongoing purpose for his creatures, and the salvation of creation in space and time.
Series: A Tale of Three Creationists (3 entries)
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.