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.
The evidence suggests that God has chosen to work through a random process, one which involves the routine creation and destruction of millions of cells that never get used. This is the ordinary means by which God maintains our health. The miracles of healing recorded in the Bible are miraculous precisely because they don’t occur by this normal, natural process.
The tension generated by our understanding of God’s character, as revealed in the Bible, and by the reality of the natural world around us has been the focus of much debate within the Christian church since the first century. This series examines critically several of the proposed solutions to this problem, viewing them from the perspective of a geologist, paleontologist, and orthodox evangelical Christian.
It is one thing to say that death is primordial; it is another to view it as the central means of creation. The theological uneasiness about this issue ultimately rests not just on an understanding of God’s creative activity, but also on a particular representation of evolution.
N.T. Wright explores the context and manner in which Scripture is authoritative. He does so by questioning the meaning of an authoritative book as well as the application of such authority. Wright encourages us to flee from the controlling “list” mentalities that belittle the richness of God’s Word, and rather to understand it as a narrative inspired by God and recorded by ancient persons. Ultimately, God “organizes” his people through his Son Jesus and by the Holy Spirit, and not through extracted rules from the Bible.
In science, we don’t really know the true way things actually work. What we have are theories—broad explanatory frameworks supported by experimentation, which we can use to make testable predictions about the natural world.
A common challenge to evolutionary theory is that while life does indeed change over time (what is known as microevolution), no one has ever seen one species evolve into another species (macroevolution).
In today’s video, Dr. Rick Colling states that evolution is not merely the imposition of death and destruction and survival of the fittest. Rather, it is about second chances.
One of the challenges for discussing evolution within evangelical Christian circles is that there is widespread confusion about how evolution actually works. In this installment on “junk DNA”, we explore how genomics can be employed to test for non-functional sequences by comparing sequences between related organisms.
In today's video, Rev. Lincoln Harvey discusses our desire to "domesticate" the liveliness and abundance of God. Harvey notes that the Trinity highlights both the manyness and oneness of God, which can be hard to Christians to fully understand.
So, for Driscoll, the choice is a simple dichotomy: Scripture or science. Scripture is the highest court of authority in all matters, and the role of believing scientists is to affirm Scripture. To fail to do so is to “exchange the truths of Scripture for the truths of science”.
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.
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.
With his standard panache, the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen J. Gould argued strenuously that evolution had no inherent directionality. We are mere accidents; a "tiny twig on an improbable branch of a contingent limb on a fortunate tree".
This series by Michael Horton first appeared in the March/April 2010 issue of Modern Reformation. Horton begins by pointing out that the concept of inerrancy goes back to the ancient Church, but was most clearly developed by Princeton theologians A.A. Hodge and B.B. Warfield in their 1881 book, Inspiration. These men emphasized that the Holy Spirit worked through limited human authors in a centuries-long process to produce the Bible. Hodge and Warfield defined inerrancy not as the absence of technical errors but as the truthfulness in what the biblical writers were affirming.
During the late 19th century when critical views of Scripture came to prevail in American universities, Warfield was responsible for refurbishing the conviction that the Bible communicates revelation from God entirely without error. Yet while he defended biblical inerrancy, Warfield was also a cautious, discriminating, but entirely candid proponent of the possibility of evolution.
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.
I want to lay out some of the key myths and indicate how Coyne’s discussion can help Christians get a more accurate understanding of evolution.
Old Princeton and the Dutch Calvinists understood that the human dimension of Scripture—which pervades Scripture thoroughly—is not merely tolerable of a divine book, but a necessary component of what inspiration means.
With Christ, his humanity is essential to who he is. Likewise, the Bible’s “human side” is an essential part of what Scripture is, and recognizing this has practical implications.