Category Archives: Christianity and Evolution

A Christian Astrobiologist

BioLogos logo

Bilogos conducted a fascinating and uplifting interview with astrobiologist Stephen Freeland.  It’s definitely worth reading.  He speaks about how his faith is bolstered by his scientific discoveries.  Here’s an excerpt:

What’s the most fascinating thing about God’s creation that you’ve learned throughout your scientific studies?

What a good question! I could talk easily about my joy at discovering odd species and interesting behaviors, about the harmonies and patterns that link nature or, more philosophically, about the wonder of a universe that is, to a significant extent, understandable. But honestly, when I really think through this question, the answer is that I think I have learned through science how human understanding is finite. I have learned some spiritual humility (and I am sure more is needed). During my teenage years, I gravitated to what some might call “fundamentalism” – a version of Christianity that was confident about what every part of the Bible meant. I think science taught me humility about what we don’t know and what we cannot know — and how much of what seems certain today is turned on its head by something we discover tomorrow.

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So, The Earth Is Really Old

Here is wonderful infographic on how we know the earth is old, brought to you by the folks at Biologos.  The original article is here.  I love it when people can take technical, scientific info and make it understandable to a 7-year-old (which is where I’m at mentally, sometimes).

The graphic, titled “How Do We Know the Earth is Old?” uses data from the National Center for Science Education, Tufts University, Tulane University, and numerous other sources, and was compiled and summarized by Dr. Gregg Davidson, Professor in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at the University of Mississippi.

age of earth infographic

The Clergy Letter Project

clergy letter image

The Clergy Letter Project, founded by Michael Zimmerman Ph.D., strives to show that Christians do not have to make a choice between science and the Bible.  He gathered 13,600 clergy signatures on a letter stating so.  This is a miracle.  Have you ever seen 13,600 Christians agree on anything?  Amazing.

As Zimmerman puts it, “These clergy members represent congregations large and small, conservative and liberal, evangelical and mainstream. They are as diverse as you can imagine with respect to race, age, gender, ethnicity and any other characteristic you might examine. What they all have in common, however, is the simple belief that a choice does not have to be made between God and evolution.”

Here’s an excerpt from the letter: 

“We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests.” 

Biologos: Bringing Faith and Science Together

BioLogos logo

I came across the Biologos Foundation while researching the compatibility of faith and science.  These people are on my wavelength.  They are, in their own words, “a community of evangelical Christians committed to exploring and celebrating the compatibility of evolutionary creation and biblical faith, guided by the truth that “all things hold together in Christ.” [Colossians 1:17].” Yay.  Also, they like birds.  Did you see the one in their logo?

Here are a few more things they believe in:

What We Believe

We believe that God typically sustains the world using faithful, consistent processes that humans describe as “natural laws.” Yet we also affirm that God works outside of natural law in supernatural events, including the miracles described in Scripture. In both natural and supernatural ways, God continues to be directly involved in creation and in human history.

We believe that the methods of science are an important and reliable means to investigate and describe the world God has made. In this, we stand with a long tradition of Christians for whom Christian faith and science are mutually hospitable. 

We believe that God created the universe, the earth, and all life over billions of years. God continues to sustain the existence and functioning of the natural world, and the cosmos continues to declare the glory of God. 

We believe that the diversity and interrelation of all life on earth are best explained by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Thus, evolution is not in opposition to God, but a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes. Therefore, we reject ideologies that claim that evolution is a purposeless process or that evolution replaces God.

We believe that God created humans in biological continuity with all life on earth, but also as spiritual beings. God established a unique relationship with humanity by endowing us with his image and calling us to an elevated position within the created order.

Evolution and a Divine Creator Are Compatible

A story on the National Geographic website begins with this quote:

“Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” —Albert Einstein

I love it because A) it’s funny, and B) it perfectly elucidates my view on why Christianity and evolution can and should be compatible. The Nat Geo story details how many scientists believe in God and how they understand that God could have driven evolution in His process of creating us.

Here’s another quote from the story:

“Scientists may be just as likely to believe in God as other people, according to surveys. Some of history’s greatest scientific minds, including Albert Einstein, were convinced there is intelligent life behind the universe. Today many scientists say there is no conflict between their faith and their work.”

Amen.

Christianity and Evolution: Time to Reconcile?

Christian biology professor

FRANCISCO AYALA
Image: Courtesy the University of California, Irvine

I came across this story on the Scientific American website about a geneticist who was also ordained as a priest. He wants to reconcile the theory of evolution with Christianity because, as a biology teacher, he sees too many Christian kids losing their faith over this issue.  The story notes:

“Often students in Ayala’s introductory biology class tell him that they will answer test questions as he wishes, but in truth they reject evolution because of their Christian beliefs. Then, a couple of years later, when they have learned more science, they decide to abandon their religion. The two, students seem to think, are incompatible.”

I think it’s time we reconciled the two belief systems.  It’s possible if we understand all the gaps in evolution and see them as God’s guiding hand.  It’s possible if we can get past the religious fervor of ardent evolutionists who push their agenda in order to prove their atheism.  Evolution neither proves nor disproves God.  But our existence on this planet could not have happened without many “coincidences.” I see those coincidences as miracles that led to our creation through evolutionary tools. If Andy Griffith were around, he’d make science and religion shake hands and be friends.

I’ll talk more about this in future posts.  For now, enjoy the Scientific American article.