Category: Science

Embracing the mystery of Biblical miracles

A recent Slate article reflects on the problem of how to understand Biblical miracles in our modern world. One possible solution, taken to extreme by Thomas Jefferson some 200 years ago, is to simply ignore any mention of miracles. The third president of the United States actually excised from his Bible anything he considered too mysterious to be truth, resulting in what's known as the Jefferson Bible. At least…  [more]

The WHO bacon scare and a theology of enjoyment

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) tried to take our bacon away. Or at least that’s how some news organizations first interpreted the announcement that processed meats have been classified as carcinogenic to humans. The real news was less dire, only announcing that the evidence confirms a link between colorectal cancer and certain eating habits (such as eating two strips of bacon a day). Over at…  [more]

Google’s Deep Dream and spiritual perception

When Google showed a group of its computers images and asked them to visually describe what they saw, the results were full of vibrant color and kaleidoscopic patterns, resembling something from a dream or a hallucination. Indeed, the name given to the code that was used is Deep Dream. The human race has long been fascinated with the content of dreams and the ability of the mind to invent impossible landscapes and…  [more]

Stephen Hawking and the body of Christ

In an interesting article in the June edition of Epic magazine, Helene Mialet writes about people’s response to her 10-year ethnographic study of the social fabric (people and machines) that surround Stephen Hawking and allow him to be the Stephen Hawking we recognize and respect. As an ethnographer, Mialet is interested in how Hawking’s ability to do what he does as a scientist is dependent…  [more]

Humbled by Pluto

After traveling 3.6 billion miles, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came within 7,700 miles of Pluto last week, sending us close-up images of that dwarf planet for the first time. The pictures shed new, surprising insight, including huge mountains likely made of water ice. There were also no impact craters on the surface of Pluto, indicating that the surface is (relatively) young. Another surprise was that…  [more]

Asking hard questions about embryo adoption

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed this past Father’s Day, I saw photos of married dads, divorced dads and single dads; of dads caring for their biological children, adopted children and stepchildren. I saw, in other words, the diversity of families in contemporary America. Families today are created and configured in ways that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. This diversity is due to…  [more]

Has a line been crossed in regard to human DNA?

A paper published last month moved a hypothetical bioethics exercise toward an ethical emergency. Researchers in China used a state-of-the-art technology that gives us the ability to edit mistakes in our DNA. The technology, with the eye-catching name CRISPR, has been used in human cells and mouse embryos. So far, CRISPR seems to be able to edit the genome correctly in some cells, some of the time. This particularly…  [more]

From biophobia to biophilia: loving God through His creatures

One summer morning my 3-year-old son headed outside to ride his Big Wheel on our front sidewalk. He was “authorized” to ride the sidewalk between our house and our best friends’ house two doors down. We thought it was safe. A blood-curdling scream, tearful wails and a jackhammer pounding on the screen door indicated otherwise. “What’s the matter?  Are you okay?”  What…  [more]

Francis Collins on being a man of science and faith

National Geographic usually likes to stay above the fray, but the magazine dipped its toes into the faith-science debate with a March cover story entitled “Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?” Encouragingly, part of that package was a brief interview with Francis Collins, a Christian and director of the National Institutes of Health. It’s a fairly surface-level conversation, but it does…  [more]

Mice in the image of God?

When Duke University scientists recently modified mice with human DNA, resulting in mice with larger brains, we learned something new about what makes humans unique. But does this discovery tell us anything about the way humans are made in the image of God? The sequence of a person’s DNA largely determines the biological make up of that person, yet discovering which part of the DNA gives us uniquely human…  [more]

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