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In the last article I explored contemporary developments in biology that now permit it to proceed in a precise quantitative fashion. This was a very important article that built the foundation for this current article. With this in mind I turn now to one of the most controversial parts of evolutionary science—that having to do with common descent. Since antiquity the Judeo-Christian narrative has held that humans were a specific creation of God on day-6 of creation week—not the product of common descent. Yet science is finding evidence that would seem to fit a different narrative.
In the last article I discussed the credibility of two key ideas related to evolutionary science, namely mutations and natural selection. As it stands, it is generally recognized that nothing in biology makes sense outside of acceptance of these two processes, and more importantly they are well documented. In this article I am going to direct our attention to the most significant development in biology over the past few decades. It is a development that has fundamentally changed the conversation.
In the last article I considered the general context in which changes in biological organisms take place. In this article, I am going to go a step further and look more in depth at some of the specific mechanisms in play.
Over the next six articles we are going to have an adult conversation about evolutionary science, though it will be elementary at best. But when I use the word “elementary” that is not to imply that I won’t get into some complex matters. My purpose will be to outline some of the basic ideas, and provide the non-science reader with some general understanding as to why this idea continues to prevail in the scientific world.
We are now well into the political season in the United States, and in an age of hyper-partisanship I am going to laying out six important issues I believe will have a profound impact upon American democracy in coming years. I will aim for a relatively nonpartisan discussion by avoiding the names of politicians and political parties. These issues are important enough that at some point in the future when historians are looking in retrospect at this period in time, they may well view this era as pivotal in terms of how these issues were addressed.
At the two recent constituency meetings regarding the issue of women’s ordination (WO), the dominant argument coming from official channels has had to do primarily with a) policy and procedure, b) the question of unity, and c) the dire consequences of a yes vote (though ironically these latter two points were never very clearly detailed).
This is an introductory article that inaugurates a series under the umbrella title, “Bringing the Real World to Genesis.” Some will likely object to this title, though it is simply intended to convey the theme of this series, namely that science does have something to say about how we should interpret Genesis. This issue has arisen because some church members are inclined to treat religious belief as detached from scientific data.
In 1978 over two hundred leading Christian conservative luminaries convened in Chicago at the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (1). One of the key points was that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, with the general idea being that God superintended the endeavor such that we have full assurance that no error exists in the original autographs (2).
Most of us recognize the thin ice we are on when we think and speak in categorical terms, yet it is all around us—talk-radio, cable news channels, religion, and yes, occasionally even postings on the Spectrum Blog. So what is it about human nature that inspires the spirit of dogmatism and self-delusion? More importantly, how do we create a more mature and defensible modus operandi? These are pressing questions facing us today as a civil society, as a church, and as a virtual community.
In the December 8, 2011 issue of the Adventist Review (AR), Mark Kellner, News Editor at the AR authored a column under the title, “If the Account of Creation Isn’t True…” He frames his discussion by referencing a recent New York Times op-ed authored by two evangelical scholars who lament the rampant anti-intellectualism among many evangelicals as well as many who compose the politi