The following projects were supported by the BioLogos Evolution & Christian Faith grant three-year program.
BioLogos does not necessarily endorse the views expressed by the project leaders or their institutions, nor do the project leaders or their institutions necessarily endorse the views expressed by BioLogos.
Back to the Beginning: Educating Students and Parents About Evolution, Genesis, and Coexistence
Dr. Brian Eisenback, and Dr. Kenneth Turner
This project aims to create curriculum about Christianity and science, specifically focusing on evolution and various interpretations of the Genesis account of creation. Regardless of how Christians view evolution or how they read the opening chapters of Genesis, they should seek to be informed and educated about the relevant scientific and biblical data. The curriculum will be useful for Christian schools (homeschool, high school, or college) and churches. The first half of the curriculum presents both a narrative of evolution and the supporting evidence as understood by mainstream science. The second half summarizes the exegetical and hermeneutical issues involved in reading and interpreting Genesis, then reviews and critiques various evangelical perspectives reconciling Scripture and science. Rather than promoting a specific “position” on creation, this study will (1) provide for a lay audience, in an intellectually honest way, the biblical, theological and scientific data that specialists are actually looking at and debating; (2) outline the strengths and weaknesses of the main positions that evangelicals take; and (3) pastorally call Christians to honesty and charity as we all wrestle together with these issues.
The Textbook for Teaching Scientific Theories of Origins at Christian Colleges and High Schools
Dr. Stephen Moshier, Dr. Larry L. Funck, Dr. Robert C. Bishop, Dr. Ray J. Lewis, and Dr. John H. Walton
This project will enable development of a general college-level textbook on scientific theories of origins. Book content and pedagogy follows from the authors’ sixteen years of teaching Theories of Origins, a general education science course at Wheaton College that provides an overview of mainstream scientific theories for the creation of the universe, earth, life, diversity of life, and humankind. The authors, representing the sciences and biblical studies, will guide the reader through origins theories and introduce approaches for relating scientific and biblical accounts of creation. A significant objective is for readers, like our students having no particular science background, to appreciate the sophistication of modern scientific work on origins problems and to understand the evidence leading to scientific paradigms and paradigm shifts. Tensions perceived by readers between scientific and biblical accounts of origins are defused when the purviews of science and theology are properly defined and their historical engagement is reviewed, a robust doctrine of creation is explored, and the cultural-historical contexts of scriptural accounts are understood. We hope that this textbook will facilitate the development of similar courses at Christian colleges, high schools, or home schools. Christian students who are studying origins in secular educational settings would also benefit from this book, as would seminary students, pastors and Christian scholars seeking an objective, introductory background in these topics. A website will accompany the textbook providing complementary resources and updates to the text on origins studies and relevant biblical scholarship.
Equipping the Next Generation of Christian Paleobiologists: A Seminar for Christian Graduate Students in Paleontology and Paleoanthropology
Dr. Ralph Stearley and Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler
Christian graduate students in paleontology and paleoanthropology are often caught in a mire of distrust, fostered by a polarizing cultural climate which perceives these historical sciences as somehow “at war” with Christian faith. While this “warfare model” of the relationship between science and faith has been demonstrated to be historically naïve, it is unfortunately publicly promoted by some well-known scientists and by some vocal Christians. Christian graduate students attempting to navigate these conflicting claims and expectations can experience a profound sense of isolation; often resulting in the privatization of his or her faith. We propose to assist these young Christian paleobiologists through a one-week seminar during summer 2014 and a one-week reprise/workshop in summer 2015, providing them with a solid background in the long positive history of participation by Christians at the forefront of paleontological research, as well as Christian responses to claims by secularists. As one of the requirements for acceptance, seminar participants will agree to communicate their personal story and a positive view of the relationship between science and Christianity to their local congregations. We also intend and expect this seminar to initiate long-term friendships and collaborations, forming the basis of a network of future Christian scientists in academia.
The Author of Life: Seeing God in Evolution and Creation
Chaplain Joshua Hayashi and Ms. Diane Sweeney
A dynamic team of an educator, a chaplain, a scientist and media specialists will produce multimedia curricula for high school students. This series will encourage and challenge young people to think deeply about God's role as Creator. Through professionally produced, short documentary films, expert commentary, and student testimonies, this project will help students connect and deepen their Christian faith with their biology curricula. In addition, a printed study guide will help facilitate guided small group discussion to help them process these ideas.
This series will attempt to augment and deepen the biology class curricula by connecting to the orthodox teaching they have learned in church about our Creator and his relationship to creation. We recognize the personal and intellectual tension that our students face in our society which polarizes faith and science. Questions that seek to integrate the sciences and faith into a larger world-view are routinely dismissed. In essence, we hope to take the answers to several questions that students struggle with that are explained so eloquently in The Language of Science and Faith (Giberson & Collins, 2011), and make them visual, tangible and more tailored to this audience. The series of lessons will be geared primarily towards engaging the attention of the Christian millennial generation in their high school and early college years.
Catalyzing Compatibility of Evolution and Christian Faith on Secular Campuses: Curricular Resources for Student Groups
Harvey Mudd College
Dr. David Vosburg
Christian students at secular colleges and universities often feel that their faith is in conflict with the findings of modern science, particularly evolution. Many then feel compelled to choose one and reject the other, or to settle for a diluted and uninspired faith. Neither of these options is ultimately helpful for the student, for the integrity of the Christian faith, for effective witness to non-believers, or for encouraging talented Christian students to pursue careers in science. These students need help, and they are not finding it. Their churches and campus ministers either perpetuate the message of conflict between faith and evolution or feel ill-equipped to tackle such an intimidating and controversial topic. Students need resources that affirm core Christian values, have a high view of biblical authority, give credence to evolutionary creationism without being forceful, are user-friendly, and are designed for group discussion. I propose to develop, field test, publish, and promote curricula that Christian student groups or churches could use to promote healthy dialogue on evolution and Christian faith. My aim is to catalyze productive and stimulating conversations, to convey that evolutionary creation can be compatible with Christian faith and can even enrich it. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders in the church and in science—they need to consider the message of compatibility in community and to be encouraged to seek God’s truth in the Bible and in creation.