Monday, March 30, 2015

An Animated Journey Inside the Cell

This original animation, Journey Inside The Cell by Light Productions, reveals in intricate detail how the digital information in DNA directs protein synthesis inside the cell, revealing a world of molecular machines and nano-processors communicating digital information.

Narrated by Stephen C. Meyer, author of the book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne 2009), the video is a short tour of the molecular labyrinth, the cell’s sophisticated information-processing system, which not only produces machines, but also reproduces itself.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Galileo, Augustine and Vatican II

Could There Be Another Galileo Case?

Galileo, Augustine and Vatican II

Gregory W. Dawes
University of Otago, New Zealand


[1] Few scholars of religion seem familiar with the theological writings of one of the founders of modern science, Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642). In these writings, which deal with the interpretation of the Bible, Galileo tries to defend his espousal of Copernican astronomy against his critics. He does so by drawing a sharp distinction between questions of religion and questions of science, justifying this by claiming that he stands in a long tradition, one reaching back at least as far as St. Augustine (354 - 430). Galileo's position ought to be of considerable contemporary interest, for in our own day his strategy has become a common one, particularly among those who wish to avoid what Andrew Dickson White famously described as "the warfare between science and theology." Such writers argue that science and religion do not come into conflict because their areas within which they are competent differ. In the words of a recent work by evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, science and religion may both claim authority, but their areas of authority represent "non-overlapping magisteria".

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Lost World of Adam and Eve: An Interview with John Walton

The following interview provides some helpful hints in how to read Genesis 1 and 2 within the broader context of the language and culture in which it was written, which will also help bring us to a deeper theological understanding of the text.

Old Testament scholar John Walton affirms a historical Adam—but says there are far more important dimensions to Genesis.

Interview by Kevin P. Emmert
MARCH 19, 2015
Christianity Today

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why We Need Earthquakes

Why We Need Earthquakes

Without them, the planet couldn't support creatures like us.

Christianity Today
Dinesh D'Souza

The problem of theodicy—why bad things happen to good people—predates Christianity. Writing around 300 b.c., the Greek philosopher Epicurus framed the problem this way: God is believed by most people to be infinite in his power and also in his goodness and compassion. Now evil exists in the world and seems always to have existed. If God is unable to remove evil, he lacks omnipotence. If God is able to remove evil but doesn't, he lacks goodness and compassion. So clearly the all-powerful, compassionate God that most people pray to does not exist.

This old critique has been revived by Bart Ehrman in God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question—Why We Suffer. Theologians over the centuries have responded to questions about the existence of evil by pointing out that man, not God, is the author of moral evil. Evil in this view refers to the bad things that people do to each other. Moral evil is the necessary price that God pays for granting humans moral autonomy.

Yet while human freedom may account for moral evil, it cannot account for natural evil, or more accurately, natural suffering. Ehrman's book is full of examples, to which we can add recent tragedies such as the earthquake in China last spring and the 2004 tsunami that killed tens of thousands in Southeast Asia.

Christian apologists such as C. S. Lewis have attempted to account for natural disasters by showing how they draw people together, or how they provide moral instruction to the survivors, or how they turn our eyes to God. Ehrman asks, but couldn't God have found better ways to achieve these worthy objectives? Rejecting as implausible and offensive the usual responses to innocent suffering, Ehrman has stopped calling himself a Christian.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why the World's Most Notorious Atheist Came to Believe in an Intelligent Creator

Anthony Flew (1923-2010), who was the world’s leading intellectual atheist for most of his adult life, said the following a few years shortly before his death:

“I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite intelligence. I believe that the universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Scientists Calculate the Feasibility of Noah's Ark

Scientists at the University of Leicester have discovered that Noah's Ark could have carried 70,000 animals without sinking if built from the dimensions listed in The Bible.

Sarah Knapton
April 3, 2014

Noah’s Ark would have floated even with two of every animal in the world packed inside, scientists have calculated.

Although researchers are unsure if all the creatures could have squeezed into the huge boat, they are confident it would have handled the weight of 70,000 creatures without sinking.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cosmological Contingency and Logical Necessity: G. Florovsky and T. Torrance

This lecture was delivered in April 2011 at the Orthodox Theology and the Sciences Conference held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

By Matthew Baker
Fordham University, New York, USA

After long neglect, Fr Georges Florovsky is now finally again being talked about. Over the past two years, conferences have been held in five countries, a society has been established at Princeton, and articles are appearing in various journals – all dealing with Florovsky's thought and influence.

Some of this talk is highly critical. Some argue that Florovsky's neo-patristic hermeneutic must be, not extended, but transcended, left behind, if Orthodoxy is to rise to the needed engagement with modern culture. Given the crucial place of the sciences in the birth of the “modern,” it is interesting, to say the least, how little engagement with scientific thought one finds among these critics.

In contrast to these critics, the work of Alexei Nesteruk has recently shown us how contemporary physics and Orthodox theology in a distinctly Florovskian vein may be brought into deep and fruitful interaction. But there is another figure upon whose crucial contributions Nesteruk explicitly builds, who has also not yet received the interest deserved from the Orthodox. Of all 20th century theologians, T.F. Torrance's offering to theology-science dialogue is the most estimable, and informed by a profound engagement with the Greek Fathers. In a certain sense, the two approaches of Torrance and Florovsky are joined in Nesteruk's attempted neo-patristic synthesis of theology and physics.

This exchange is not one Nesteruk inaugurated. After meeting, probably at the first WCC assembly in Amsterdam, 1948, Florovsky and Torrance corresponded occasionally into the 70's. Torrance's published works also contain positive remarks on aspects of Florovsky's thought.

In the context of theology-science dialogue, however, it is on the theme of the contingency of creation that Torrance most frequently repairs to Florovsky for insight. In what follows, then, we will consider Florovsky and Torrance's contributions to our understanding of created contingency in theology and science, and then conclude by asking what, if anything, the respective approaches of these two theologians have to offer to one another as well as to the wider enterprise of Church theology.