Darwin’s Long Regret

Since we've been reading a lot lately about scientists pandering to religion, it's worth remembering that there's nothing new under the sun. As long as there's been science, there have been believers who fought fiercely to prevent their god of choice from being dislodged from a gap, and there have been scientists who felt obliged to placate them. Even some of humanity's greatest scientists felt this pressure, and bowed to it on occasion. Here's one example, which I first read about in Richard … [Read more...]

The Language of God: A Final Word

The Language of God, Closing ThoughtsBy B.J. Marshall Collins' final word comprises two points: that there is joy and peace in God's creation, and that the war between science and spirit should end. In this post, I'll discuss these two points. I'll conclude by giving a final word of my own as my journey of blogging through a book closes.Collins' first point fits perfectly well whether one holds to science or … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Biologos: Epic Fail

The Language of God, Chapter 10By B.J. MarshallIn this chapter, Collins tackles the claim that BioLogos damages both science and religion. Collins disagrees in a way that fails so epically that it almost makes the previous sections of this book seem prescient.For the atheist scientist, BioLogos seems to be another "God of the gaps" theory imposing the presence of the divine where none is needed or desired. This argument is not apt. BioLogos doesn't try to wedge God into gaps in our … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Biologos: It’s All Greek to Me

The Language of God, Chapter 10By B.J. MarshallAfter formally laying out his premisses and his conclusions, Collins muses why Theistic Evolution (TE) hasn't caught on. He surmises that it simply isn't widely known that one can mix science and religion harmoniously, that the position is in effect invisible in the harmony it creates by blending the two harmoniously, and that "theistic evolution" is just a terrible name. He introduces BioLogos as a humble alternative.There simply aren't very … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Bridging the Gap Between Science and Faith

The Language of God, Chapter 10By B.J. MarshallChapter 10 introduces Collins' concept of BioLogos, but first he gives an overview of Theistic Evolution (TE) and why it works to bridge science and faith. Although we've talked about TE previously, this chapter shows Collins laying out six premisses that support TE. He then has a short discourse explaining the conclusions he thinks follow from these premisses.Premiss 1: "The universe came into being out of nothingness, approximately 14 … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Intelligent Design

The Language of God, Chapter 9By B.J. MarshallThe subtitle to this chapter is "When Science Needs Divine Help," which immediately sets up a couple of problems. First, is Collins asserting that Intelligent Design (ID) is science? Second, where does divine help fit in with the application of the scientific method? In response to the first, Collins concludes that ID is not science. He doesn't really address the second problem. That second problem brings to mind a quote by J.B.S. Haldane:My … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Clarke’s Goalposts

The Language of God, Chapter 5By B.J. Marshall At this point, Collins mentions, "godless materialists might be cheering. If humans evolved strictly by mutation and natural selection, who needs God to explain us? To this, I reply: I do" (p.140).In my view, DNA sequence alone, even if accompanied by a vast trove of data on biological function, will never explain special human attributes such as knowledge of the Moral Law and the … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Size Doesn’t Matter

The Language of God, Chapter 5By B.J. MarshallIn this section, Collins describes how "the study of genomes leads inexorably to the conclusion that we humans share a common ancestor with other living things" (p.133-4). There are a lot of ideas in this chapter to unpack, so I'd like to start by reviewing Collins' material on DNA at a high level: size and broad similarity. It would be my hope that, even if Creationists only heard some of the material in this chapter, they would quickly see the … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Grandeur in Life

The Language of God, Chapter 4By B.J. MarshallThe last part of this chapter is a brief but pretty thorough overview of DNA and how it works. He gives a short background going through genetics (Mendel and Garrod), the discovery of DNA (Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty), and the discovery of DNA's structure (Watson and Crick). He then goes through several pages describing how DNA works.He ends this chapter with a brief section he calls "Biological Truth and Its Consequences." He points out how … [Read more...]

The Language of God: On Darwin

The Language of God, Chapter 4By B.J. MarshallCollins spends only three pages discussing the history of Darwin's publishing his theory of evolution through natural selection, but there are a few points that I want to discuss concerning how Collins (and apologists in general) lift quotes, provide misinformation, and arrange material to help guide the reader to draw certain conclusions. Now, I'm not saying that atheological counter-apologists - if I may use such a phrase - are immune from … [Read more...]