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Series: Saturday Science Links (27 entries)

The biggest science stories of the week are reviewed.

 

The Romance of Natural History

As practitioners of the emerging science of geology dug up previously unknown creatures of enormous size, readers of their books and articles responded with a mix of fascination and anxiety.

 

Where are the Transitional Fossils?

A common argument leveled against the theory of evolution is that scientists have not been able to produce transitional fossils that show the change of one species into another. In this podcast, we address a common misconception about what transitional fossils actually are.

 

Scientists Tell Their Stories: George Murphy

During his seminary education, Dr. Murphy also gained a deeper understanding of Luther’s theology of the cross, and he realized that it’s really the best way to approach the science and theology dialogue.

 

Biblical and Scientific Shortcomings of Flood Geology, Part 3

We find no compelling evidence that the earth’s geological features can be explained by a global Flood. Here we consider three lines of evidence: global salt deposits, the order of deposition of sediment layers in the Grand Canyon, and the sequence of fossils in geological strata.

 

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.

 

What is the genetic evidence for human evolution?

In recent decades, scientists have discovered more about the beginnings of humanity. The fossil record shows a gradual transition over 5 million years ago from chimpanzee-size creatures to hominids with larger brains who walked on two legs. Later hominids used fire and stone tools and had brains as large as modern humans. Fossils of homo sapiens in east Africa date back nearly 200,000 years. Humans developed hearths for fire, stone points for spears and arrows, and cave paintings by 30,000 years ago. By 10,000 years ago, humans had spread throughout the globe. Genetic studies support the same picture. Humans share more DNA with chimpanzees than with any other animal, suggesting that humans and chimps share a relatively recent common ancestor. Also, the same defective genes appear in both humans and chimps, at the same locations in the genome—an observation difficult to explain except by common ancestry. Genetics also tells us that the human population today descended from more than two people. Evolution happens not to individuals but to populations, and the amount of genetic diversity in the gene pool today suggests that the human population was never smaller than several thousand individuals. Yet all humans, of all races, are descended from this group. Humanity is one family.

 

Series: Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople (8 entries)

The six-part series by Dr. Keller considers three main clusters of questions lay people raise with their pastors when introduced to the teaching that biological evolution and biblical orthodoxy can be compatible. As a pastor and evangelist, Keller takes these concerns seriously and offers suggestions for addressing them without requiring believers to adopt a particular view or accept a definitive answer.

 

Series: He Who Has Ears (4 entries)

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.

 

Evidences for Evolution, Part 2b: The Whales’ Tale

If evolution is true, whales are related to the even-toed hoofed mammals, and there should be transitional fossil forms dating from about 45 to 50 million years ago.

 

New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 2: Comparative Anatomy

Critics of evolution sometimes portray the theory as an untestable historical conjecture, depicting it as fundamentally different from experimental science in the lab. But the hunt for the earliest tetrapods was an effort to test a hypothesis that had generated a prediction.

 

The Crutch

Providing the crutch for non-believers to lean on is a well-intentioned strategic error that has no benefit and likely does much harm. However, I am even more concerned about something else related to our construction of these crutches.

 

Series: The Cambrian "Explosion", Transitional Forms, and the Tree of Life (8 entries)

Many evolutionary critics have identified the Cambrian Explosion as a stumbling block to the theory of evolution, arguing that the “expected transitions between major invertebrate phyla are absent, and that the suddenness of their appearance in the fossil record demonstrates that evolutionary explanations are not viable.” Keith Miller argues that the Cambrian Explosion is not so problematic as these opponents claim after all.

 

Beware Evolutionary 'Just-so' Stories About Religious Belief

As an evolutionary biologist I am fascinated by the emergence of cognitive abilities that make us so distinctive from other living species. There are, however, risks in making up evolutionary "just-so" stories to explain the origins of complex human beliefs.

 

Does the Slippery Slope Always Go to the Left?

In this video Conversation, N.T. Wright responds to a question from a BioLogos Forum reader who notes that in the world of evangelical Christianity there seems to be a great suspicion about becoming too politically liberal, but few worries about becoming too conservative.

 

The Danger of Preaching on Genesis

In this video Conversation, Joel Hunter acknowledges the risk that pastors take when preaching on Genesis—and in particular, when they approach it with an attitude of humility, allowing the possibility that the text was not meant to be understood in literal terms.

 

The Benefit of Doubt

But like a church bell on a clear winter night, it is in the crisp darkness of doubt that God’s voice carries farther and more clearly. St. John’s great insight is that this dark night is a special sign of God’s presence, where our false sense of comfort is being stripped away and we are left naked before God and asked simply to trust.

 

Series: Science and the Evangelical Mission in America (4 entries)

In this three part series, Pastor Ken Wilson of Vineyard Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, exhorts his fellow evangelical believers to reexamine their uncomfortable feelings toward modern science. He calls churches to confront the brutal facts. By maintaining a defensive position toward science, he says, evangelicals are creating a stumbling block to some people who would otherwise embrace the Bible. He reflects on the numerous testimonies from people in his own congregation who have drawn near to Christ because of his open perspectives on science and faith. Ultimately, it is most important to reach the designated mission field.

 

Getting Back to Basics

In today's video Conversation, Dr. Greg Boyd discusses the basic truths that provide the framework for Christian belief and distinguishes them from the potentially divisive issues that do not compromise what he refers to as the "non-negotiable" truths.

 

Science and Faith in the Front Lines of the Culture War

In this brief video conversation, Os Guinness, author and founder of the Trinity Forum, suggests that the religious right might have largely created the current culture war that has science and faith as its core antagonists.

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