Looking Back At Favorite Blog Posts and Series

I’ve been blogging for just over 6 years now. Its been a far more enriching experience than I had expected. My primary purpose in blogging has always been my own learning: I find that I learn best in a dialogical, two-stage process of both (1) reading and (2) writing. Stage 1 typically involves carefully reading a book with my pen in hand, making notes on the pages and inside the back cover as I struggle with how to place and understand the book. (Sometimes, of course, it could also be an article, movie, etc.) The key in this stage is…

Thoughts on the Hitchens-Craig Debate

This was a fascinating debate at BIOLA in 2009. I think its the most interesting debate on theism that I have seen, although the Hitchens-Wilson debates are also interesting and have more back-and-forth interaction. The references to N.T. Wright’s argument for Christianity from the rise in the belief of the resurrection are surprising – I wouldn’t have expected that point to surface in a debate like this, but it comes up several times. I think Hitchens is a fascinating human being. At times he can be intolerably rude, but in several of the debates I’ve recently watched,  I’ve been struck by…

Thoughts on Adam and Eve

I just read and very much enjoyed Jack Collins’ recent book on Adam and Eve.  One of the things the book did for me is help me reflect more upon attempts to uphold the historicity of Adam and Eve and some form of human evolution.  I used to think about this issue basically in terms of two options: (1) Adam and Eve are de novo creations of God, without any prior ancestry; and (2) human being evolved from primates.  The first of these options is broken down into the young-earth and old-earth subdivision camps, and the second is quite diverse,…

Humans and Chimps: Some Tentative Thoughts

I’ve been reading through Intelligent Design 101: Leading Experts Explain the Key Issues (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2008), which has an appendix dealing with theistic evolutionist Francis Collins’ arguments for common ancestry between humans and chimps in his The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (New York: Free Press, 2006).  It raised several questions/thoughts: 1) You often hear people say that humans and chimps have 96-98% similar genetic structure, and it can initially seem like a strong argument for common ancestry.  But all living things share a great deal of genetic similarity, and the greater the morphological similarity…

Ban Darwin?

Many people in our society believe that all books which affirm intelligent design should be disallowed from biology classrooms in public schools. Should we therefore ban Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species? Whatever later changes his thought underwent, in this book Darwin affirms intelligent design several times. For example, the last sentence of the book reads thus: “There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed laws of gravity,…

Can Science Replace God?

A common argument from certain contemporary secular voices is that science has, or at least will, replace the need for God. The more science advances in explaining the universe, the less need there is for a Creator. Carl Sagan, for instance, said, “As science advances, there seems to be less and less for God to do…. Whatever it is we cannot explain lately is attributed to God…. And then, after a while, we explain it, and so that’s no longer God’s realm.” At the very end of his fascinating book A Brief History of Time, after outlining the human search…

Einstein

I have been reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Einstein (Simon and Schuster, 2007). I picked the book up because I wanted to learn more about Einstein’s contribution to physics and what is really at stake with the special and general theories of relativity. I also wanted to learn about his life – what it was like to live in as a Jew in many antisemitic pockets of Europe in his earlier years, how he balanced his brilliance and his later academic fame with his personal life, what set him apart as a truly great thinker, and so on. Its a…

Science and Scripture

From Derek Kidner’s commentary on Genesis (Tyndale), p. 31: “the accounts of the world [of science and Scripture] are as distinct (and each as legitimate) as an artist’s portrait and an anatomist’s diagram, of which no composite picture will be satisfactory, for their common ground is only in the total reality to which they both attend…. [Scripture’s] bold selectiveness, like that of a great painting, is its power.”

Where did the moon come from?

You’d think this would be an easy question, discovered and agreed upon by scientists for some time. After all, we’ve traveled there, and learned about much farther away and more obscure objects in outer space. I am watching the History Channel’s The Universe right now and finding it fascinating. Tonight I watched an episode on the moon which discussed various theories about the origins of the moon. Amazingly, it was not until 1984 that a theory for how the moon came to be came to be generally accepted among scientists, and even now it is not proven or universally agreed…

Two Arguments against Neo-Darwinism

Although I accept evolution on a limited scale (for example, as an explanation of the different races of human beings), I don’t find the scientific evidence for naturalistic evolution as an explanation of all life on Earth compelling.  I think there are theological and philosophical objections that can (and should) be raised against this theory, but I think that some of the best arguments against it come from within the field of science itself. Here’s a succinct expression of my two main scientific objections to neo-Darwinism. 1) The fossil record Why are there so few transitional life forms in the…