Monthly Archives: July 2013

Creation in theological context

I thought it worth expanding the comment I made on penman’s quotation from N T Wright in a recent post, because it occurs to me that not everyone sees the creation issue in the same broad context that I (and those like Wright) do. Essentially, this is the context of biblical theology.

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More on being a bat

Investigating a leak in our roof yesterday (expensive!) I came across a long-lost friend:

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Wright and wrong

Penman, always helpful in providing useful links, has pointed me to a quotation from an interview with theologian N T Wright. In the wide-ranging interview by Andrew Wilson, he is asked about belief in a historical Adam and Eve.

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Convergence (of minds) and clades

I’m just reading a refreshingly non-controversial book of the type that first got me seriously interested in palaeontology maybe 50 years ago. It’s a new survey of Pterosaurs, by palaeontologist and skilled paleoartist Mark P Witton. I ordered it from the subject and text description, and hadn’t realised that it’s not only a comprehensive and authoritative overview of some incredibly interesting and unusual creatures, whose story has been much better understood recently, but also a gorgeously illustrated coffee-table book. It’s also excellent value for money. I’m a teenager again!

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When is a non-function not a non-function?

Yesterday I looked at orphan genes in the general context of providence, and cited a New Scientist article showing the increasing degree to which they are thought to arise in non-coding DNA sequences. In other words, in the proverbial “Junk DNA”.

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Orphan genes as Fatherly providence

The questioning of natural selection in my last two posts should be seen as a simple lack of conviction that classical Neodarwinianism is robust enough to account for, in a well-worn phrase, the origin of the species. I should emphasise again that theologically, an adequate scientific theory of evolution is perfectly compatible with the providence (ie supervision and direction) of a wise God: the denial of teleology is categorically an unscientific and metaphysical claim. At the same time, the astonishing complexity of life, as its wonders are exponentially proving, makes some kind of teleological mechanism within biology ever more likely, if we are to avoid a high contingency theory that is unsatisfactory … Continue reading

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A bit more on natural selection

After publishing my last post I noticed I’d downloaded from somewhere (maybe the Sanford article) a 2008 paper by Austin L Hughes about the methods that are used to detect genes that have been subject to natural selection.

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Putting the axe to Donar’s Oak

When Winfrith of Crediton, not many miles from the Hump’s rural seat, went to Germany and cut down a celebrated pagan sacred oak around 723 AD, the lack of any resulting thunderbolt from Thor destroyed the entire basis of pagan belief. With the tree gone, there was literally nothing left. A couple of recent interesting papers here  and here look in detail at natural selection and question its ability to do what is claimed of it.

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No posts in over a week! That’s partly because the stuff I’ve been reading doesn’t really suggest anything of public interest . (I did a quick study on a dozen or so reasons why Matthew 16 isn’t about the Papacy, but there’s no reason to blog on that either.) But the main reason was my preparing for a double concert with my saxophone choir yesterday – lunchtime on Lyme Regis seafront, with the echoes bouncing off the famous fossiliferous cliffs, and the ice-cream shop next door presenting us all with refreshments at the end. And in the early evening we played at a village music festival with a less peripatetic … Continue reading

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