Series: Evolution Basics (48 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scholar and musician Jeff Warren addresses the questions of how music is meaningful, and where that meaning resides, by looking at the popular ideas that musical meaning is entirely subjective to the listener and that the meaning of music can be universal. He also explores the recent trend of attempting to explain music via neuroscience. Finally, he looks into the reasons why music continues to play such a critical role in the worshiping life of the Church.
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".
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.