Archive for the ‘Evolution and God’ Category

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He is risen!

April 12, 2009

I can’t get past Jesus.  Science can say what it wants about millions of years ago, but 2000 years ago the world fundamentally changed.  Was it actually today?  Who knows, and does it really matter?

The world is fundamentally not right.  We all know this.  We all feel the brokenness permeating everything, just below the surface.  

We look for cures.  

Some say look to science, but science explains everything without giving it any meaning.  Some say look to politics, but kings, prime ministers, and presidents have failed again and again across the millennia to make the world  a better place.  So I look to God.  Not God, the absent, who made the model train and walked away, but God the father.  He watched the conductors derail their trains, their lives, and ruin everything about themselves and each other. 

God, the perfect, watched his creation distort the perfection they were given into war, hate, starvation.  Even when we forgot about God we recognized the broken and we tried to fix it. We called it inequality, and made a new stratification.  We called it poverty, but there were too many empty mouths to feed.  We forgot the first term: sin, and what it requires: a sacrifice.  

God did not forget.  In an inexplicable way God joined us in his son Jesus.  God, the perfect, became God, the human.  Not just human but the perfect human, the one we were all supposed to be.  Jesus scared the authorities of his day so they killed him.  He died and his cult vanished, he rose again and his follower caught fire.  They told the world, as I tell you now:

Beyond hate there is the love of God.
This was the Resurrection.
Beyond this broken world there is the work of Christ’s followers.
This is the Resurrection.
Beyond death there is the life of bent knee and dry eyes.
This will be the resurrection

He is risen!
He is risen indeed!

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Life after People?

April 2, 2009

I just watched the documentary Life after People from the History Channel.  It was a very interesting idea.  Their concept was to document the progression of the planet if humanity suddenly disappeared.  The music and voice-over give it a distinctly creepy feel; which sort of makes sense given that it is discussing the planet without us.  The most interesting part about it though is watching some of the scientists they interview.  Their glee at how earth would restore itself when we are gone emanates from the screen.  It is unsurprising, especially in the case of the Greenpeace scientist they interview.  It is weird though, because if sentience is extinguished from the universe does it really matter if life goes on?

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Scienceless Science Minister?

March 29, 2009

I have been waiting a little while to weigh in on this one.  My good friend Matt, not to be confused with other Matts, who has become my most regular commenter here asked my thoughts on this.  For those who don’t know about it, Canada’s minister for Science and Technology, Gary Goodyear, refused to say he believed in evolution.  His response was that he didn’t feel the need to discuss his religious beliefs.  As someone who has spent 88% of his life in secular education I can understand playing your cards close to the chest when it comes to a question like this.  There are two fundamental issues with his answer though.  The first is that evolution is an undisputed fact of science.  The (legitimate) dispute is over degree.  This is where clarification over macro and micro evolution comes into play.    As someone who is not in science I can only say that I sit somewhere between the camp known as Intelligent Design* and a secular understanding of evolution.  The fact that Goodyear didn’t have an appropriate answer for this question means that he had not thought about the question except to decide against evolution.  

The second issue is that Goodyear has now given ammunition to those who think Christians are a bunch of idiots.  This is unfortunate on a large scale because there are theists, atheists, and many in between who are not happy with where evolutionary theory is being used.  Where Popper’s idea of the ideological revolution has replaced the scientific revolution it rightly was.  On a smaller scale this story is unfortunate because it ends up downplaying Goodyear’s credentials as a chiropractor (who go through the same anatomical training as doctors), and his studies in Biomechanics and Psychology at Waterloo.  By not thinking through his position he ended up allowing himself to be cast as antiscientific.  There is a lesson in this for all of us.

*Intelligent design is not the same as creationism.  If you haven’t bothered understanding the difference it breaks down quite simply.  Creationism sees the world as 6,000 years old, static, and divinely ordered on a literal biblical model.  Intelligent Design generally encompasses viewpoints from Macroevolution to Creationism, focusing only on the difficulties of accounting for the beginning of life, the cambrian explosion, and complexities of the cell as happy accidents and instead explaining them as the products of intelligence.

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So where does this leave us?

February 28, 2009

This is interesting.  According to an article on discovery.com we are hard-wired to react to unfair situations.

Disgust over an unfair or immoral social situation is hard-wired into the human body as strongly as the reaction to a foul taste, according to research published today in the journal Science.

The idea that this study is conclusive is a little difficult, and the problem, especially understanding brain elasticity, is that things that are learned can appear to be hardwired.  Is this facet like language?  We’re hardwired to learn language, but what language we learn is not necessarily pre-determined.  Anyway, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

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Torture, Ethics, and God

February 24, 2009

I haven’t had much time to blog, I’m on reading week, which is attempting to live up to its name.   I’ve finally gotten around to answering my good friend Matt’s (who should blog) response to my thought’s on torture.  I meant to keep it short but it kind of exploded.  You can read and add to the discussion here.

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Evolution and God 1

February 18, 2008

Evolution and God are not necessarily incompatable.  It’s been interesting reading a few interviews with Dr. Francis Collins who is a leading biologist (head of the Human Genome Project) and also a believing Christian.  It’s comforting to think that even though I’m not quite sure where I stand on the extent of evolution I’m in good company in not dismmissing it entirely.  You can read a short piece by Collins called “Why this scientist believes in God” at CNN.com.  It’s interesting stuff.  I’m hoping at some point to read his book “The Language of God.”  Hearing his thoughs on DNA and God should be incredible.