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Thursday, 24 December 2009

Polkinghorne Quotes #12: A Dangerous and Satisfying Truth

This is the 12th post in a series on the writings of John Polkinghorne.

The “Two Books” is a common metaphor in the science / faith discussion. We study both scripture (God’s Word) and the book of nature (God’s works). Since God is the author of both books, both can lead us to truth. Sometimes the truths we encounter are so counterintuitive that many exclaim “That’s impossible!” (eg. scientific truths like quantum mechanics or common descent; biblical truths like the resurrection). But even though these truths seem to contradict common sense (are virtually nonsense), on close examination, their veracity is demonstrated by the evidence.

Although all truth is God’s truth, not all truth is equally significant. As Polkinghorne notes, both of God’s books contain truth, but they differ greatly in the potential to impact our lives:

There is one important difference, however, between scientific belief and religious belief. The latter is much more demanding and more dangerous. I believe passionately in quantum theory, but that belief doesn’t threaten to change my life in any significant way. I cannot believe in God, however, without knowing that I must be obedient to his will for me as it becomes known to me. God is not there just to satisfy my intellectual curiosity; he is there to be honoured and respected and loved as my Creator and Saviour. Beware! Let me utter a theological health warning or, rather, promise: “Reading the Bible can change your life”

Searching for Truth, page 16
The truth in scripture can change our lives because it introduces us to the Author of creation, the purpose of creation, and the purpose for our lives. The book of nature, no matter how awe inspiring and wondrous, can never do that. We should never confuse the book for the author (a mistake that has been made repeatedly since the dawn of human consciousness).

As we prepare to celebrate the time when the Author inserted himself into the book of nature (in an altogether unexpected fashion!), let us give thanks for both his books. And we should also remember that no matter how satisfying it is to gain knowledge from these two books, knowing the Author and being known by him (1 Cor 13:12) is even better.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Evolution and Creation: The disconnect between how students process data and what they believe

This is a guest post by Marlowe C. Embree. Marlowe teaches psychology at the University of Wisconsin Colleges and published the 7-part series The Social Psychology of the Origins Debate last fall. He is currently conducting some original research on whether personality differences affect a person’s conclusions regarding creation and evolution, and how likely they are to change their views. This post is the last in a 3-part series where Marlowe shares some of the findings of his research.

In my previous two posts, I presented information about student views of origins and their relationship to personality type differences. In this last post, I will address some concerns related to the nature and source of knowledge.

A) Epistemology and Metaphysics

Philosophers use the terms “epistemology” and “metaphysics” (or “ontology”) to make the distinction I have in mind. Epistemology is the study of how truth can be known, what its sources and justification (or warrant) might be, and how we distinguish truth from opinion. The underlying conclusions about what is true is the domain of metaphysics or ontology. Different persons have different ideas about what is ultimately or noncontingently real, for instance: materialists believe that only matter is real (and thus presumably, in some sense or another, eternal), while theists believe that matter exists only because of the logically prior existence of God.

B) Relationship between how students process data and what they believe

For students, the data from this survey show that links between epistemology and metaphysics were modest at best. Correlations between items of the two different types were no higher than 0.2. Though it would seem logical to presume that epistemological views of such items as the existence of extrascientific sources of truth, the religious neutrality of the scientific method, the capacity for human certainty, and the like would be correlated with worldview stances like CR, TE, and SE, this did not largely prove to be the case. Nor did personality type differences correlate significantly with epistemological items on the attitude survey.

It appears that, for most students, their conclusions about reality are not grounded in a well thought out theory of knowledge. What students believe about God, about evolution, and about the relationship between science and religion does not appear, for the most part, to be a product of independent thinking. A few remarks about this observation follow.

First, this conclusion seems true for all worldview groups. The stereotype that only certain individuals (those whose conclusions one disputes!) are subject to this problem appears well refuted. Students across the worldview spectrum appeared equally subject to this kind of epistemological disconnect.

Second, the conclusion refers only to students in my research sample and cannot meaningfully be generalized beyond the sample. Since my students are at a freshman-sophomore level, the problem is likely a cognitive-developmental one. Researchers into the development of student epistemology (e.g., Belenky et al.) suggest a five-stage model of the development of independent thinking; many of my students have confirmed to me, in informal discussions, that they perceive themselves to be at an early stage of this developmental model. This isn’t a criticism of them; it’s natural for students who are just making the transition from high school to college to be at this point.

C) Conclusions and Next Steps

Overall, this study provides modest support for the notion that personality differences significantly mediate student beliefs about the origins debate and I believe further research is warranted. In future work, I hope to explore in more depth relationships among neurology, micro- and macrocultural differences, cognitive styles, personality, and views of origins.

Future studies might examine longitudinal impacts of higher education on changing attitudes about origins as mediated by type differences. There is some indication that there are discipline-specific impacts (for instance, students of biology may end up with different views than students of psychology), though rigorous empirical examination of this question in the light of type theory has not yet been completed. Self-selection biases represent an obvious confound, since students cannot be randomly assigned to different courses and since type likely plays a major role in determining student course selection. A content analysis of qualitative information, based on student narratives about their changing (or constant) views about origins throughout their college career, could prove quite interesting.

Given the ethics governing my research, I can’t directly ask interested readers to help me collect more data at this time, but would value opportunities to dialogue about this as a future possibility. You can also review a summary of my research on my college website

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Personality Types mapped to Positions on Origins: Student Survey Results

This is a guest post by Marlowe C. Embree. Marlowe teaches psychology at the University of Wisconsin Colleges and published the 7-part series The Social Psychology of the Origins Debate last fall. He is currently conducting some original research on whether personality differences affect a person’s conclusions regarding creation and evolution, and how likely they are to change their views. This post is the second in a 3-part series where Marlowe shares some of the findings of his research.

In my first post, I presented some introductory data relating to the prevalence among college students of four different views of origins (creationism, theistic evolution, secular evolution, and “other”). In this post, I will address the question of personality type and its possible influence on which view a given student might choose to adopt.

In reviewing the material below, a few significant points should be clearly understood. My research should not be construed as an attempt to dismiss the validity of any of the views of origins on the grounds that they are in some way a mere artifact of personality. Psychological research can never, within its own proper universe of discourse, pass judgment on the validity of a person’s ideas; what it can do is elucidate reasons why different people have a tendency to gravitate to different views. Social psychologists speak of the Verstehen-Erklären distinction to distinguish between an attempt to understand something “from the inside” (sympathetically or emically) and an attempt to explain away something “from the outside” (critically or etically). Philosophically and personally, my sympathies are with the former. Those who seek to use my work to disparage or discredit the worldview perspectives of others have completely missed the spirit of my research.

A) Personality Diversity and Cognitive Styles

Many different factors likely influence the viewpoint an individual comes to hold on the origins debate, including but not limited to cultural socialization, religious or nonreligious self-identification, and level and type of education, just to name a few. One potential influence that, to date, has not been extensively explored has to do with personality differences and the possible link between these differences and variations in information processing and cognitive styles. My research examines potential relationships between personality diversity, as viewed from a Jungian perspective and operationalized by means of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and student views of the origins debate.

a. Background on the Jungian Model
Jung proposed that four irreducible functions underlie all mental activity. In the standard Myers-Briggs terminology, they are known as Sensing (S), iNtuition (N), Thinking (T), and Feeling (F).

Both Sensing and iNtuition are means of gathering information about the world without otherwise analyzing or prioritizing it. As such, they are opposing forms of Perceiving (P). Sensing involves a here-and-now, observant focus on present realities as they present themselves to the five senses; hence, individuals who emphasize Sensing as their means of information-gathering tend to become practical, detail-minded, concrete, and application-oriented. In contrast, iNtuition involves a broad-brush, conceptual or imaginative focus on future possibilities as they arise from the unconscious mind or by means of a “sixth sense”; hence, individuals who prefer iNtuition are likely to become creative, big-picture, abstract, and theory-oriented.

Once information is gathered, it can be evaluated or assessed using either of two so-called Judging (J) functions, either Thinking or Feeling. Thinking involves an impersonal, objective analysis with a focus on causes and effects, leading to an orientation among those who prefer Thinking that is calm, consistent, logical, and efficient. Feeling, on the other hand, involves a personal, subjective assessment focused on personal and collective values, producing among those who prefer Feeling a style that is sensitive, individualizing, empathic, and harmony-seeking. However, it should be carefully noted that Thinking does not mean intellect (there are no correlations between T-F and IQ, for instance) and Feeling does not have emotion (both Ts and Fs have emotions, but manage them differently).

Each of these functions can be expressed either in an outward-looking, Extraverted fashion or an inward-looking, Introverted manner, and one of these two modes dominates the entire personality. Finally, a person can either be drawn to closure and structure (a so-called Judging type) or to openness and flexibility (a so-called Perceiving type) in the conduct of their outer lives. Thus, the four possible preferences (E or I, S or N, T or F, J or P) together yield 16 possible psychological types (e.g., INFP). The relative prevalence of the sixteen psychological types in my research sample is presented in Table 3. Isabel Briggs Myers and others have confirmed that liberal arts students tend to be disproportionately NF, so this type distribution is not surprising.

b. Current Consensus of relationship between Personality Types and Religion
The existing type literature strongly suggests a consistent relationship between Feeling and religion (formal citations are not provided in this overview, but are readily available upon request). Most religious leaders and most self-identified religious persons have a higher probability of a Feeling preference than the general population, whereas secularists tend to prefer Thinking. The Sensing-iNtuition preference appears to relate to the conservative-liberal disparity within religious circles, with Sensing types more likely to adhere to conservative forms of religion and iNtutive types more likely to identify with liberal forms. Thus, the main hypotheses of this study refer to the four so-called functional combinations (Sensing-Thinking, Sensing-Feeling, iNtution-Thinking, and iNtuition-Feeling). It would be expected that creationists would be disproportionately SF, theistic evolutionists disproportionately NF (and perhaps NT), and secular evolutionists disproportionately ST (and perhaps NT).

B) Relationship between Personality Type and Attitudes to Origins: Initial Results

The Thinking-Feeling and Judging-Perceiving dimensions yielded statistically significant differences among the four worldview groups (see Table 4).

CR and TE respondents were statistically higher in Feeling, and SE and OT respondents higher in Thinking, suggesting that theists vs. nontheists utilize strikingly different ways of turning inputs (data) into conclusions. This may suggest an underlying genetic propensity to view the world in either personal or impersonal ways.

CR and SE respondents, though opposite in many respects, were statistically higher in Judging, while TE and OT respondents were higher in Perceiving. This makes sense given that Judgers seek closure and certainty (whether theistic or atheistic certainty) that might preclude seeing any value in their opponents’ positions, while Perceivers seek openness and flexibility (which might include a desire to find value in both sides of a debate or a tendency to presume that no simple answers can be correct).

By a Self-Selection Ratio (SSR) criterion (a common comparative statistic utilized in typological research), each worldview was characteristically adopted by different types (see Table 5). Creationists are most likely to be ISFJ or ESFJ, among the most traditional and group-minded of the types. Secular evolutionists are most likely to be INTJ or ENTJ, among the most iconoclastic and individualistic of the types. Theistic evolutionists are most likely to be ISFP or INFP, among the most tender-minded and harmony-seeking of the types. Thus, individuals’ core motives may shape their worldview preferences in interesting ways.

C) Next Post

This research may suggest that some (by no means all!) cultural disputes about origins may reflect “arguments about the shape of the table”, in which each disputant defaults to his or her dominant cognitive posture (as determined by her/his personality type). This may encourage a greater willingness to find value in the ideas of others with whom one disagrees, and may suggest a way to disagree more respectfully. Indeed, one goal of my research is to demonstrate that what appear to be disputes about specific issues are often meta-disputes in disguise, in which each party is really defending his or her own characteristic mental process. If the real issue is one of process (how one thinks), apparent disputes about content (what one thinks) will be permanently unresolvable. My last post will address questions about the relationships between mental process and mental content among students.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Personality Types and Student Views of the Origins Debate: Part 1 – Background and Results of the Origins Views Survey

This is a guest post by Marlowe C. Embree. Marlowe teaches psychology at the University of Wisconsin Colleges and published the 7-part series The Social Psychology of the Origins Debate last fall. He is currently conducting some original research on whether personality differences affect a person’s conclusions regarding creation and evolution, and how likely they are to change their views. This post is the first in a 3-part series where Marlowe shares some of the findings of his research.

I am currently doing research that explores the correlation between personality type differences and student views of the “origins debate”. The influence of personality types in this discussion has not been adequately explored, and my initial findings suggest some interesting relationships. In this post, I will provide a background to the origins debate in the dialogue between religion and science and comment on the results of the first part of my survey that explores student views on origins. In a second post later this week I will provide a background on personality diversity and cognitive styles, and summarize the results of the second part of my research which matches student views on origins to personality types. In a third post I will comment on what the survey shows regarding how students determine “truth”, and what they believe.

A) The Origins Debate and the Relationship between Religion and Science

A century and a half after the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Americans outside the professional scientific community remain deeply divided about the “origins debate”. The majority of recent national surveys converge on the general finding that about 40-50% of Americans adopt a creationist view, roughly 40% adhere to a theistic evolutionist or evolutionary creationist view, and the remaining 10-20% affirm a secular evolutionary view. Underlying this debate is a larger dispute about the best way to conceptualize the relationship between religion and science, which has been sharpened in recent years by the writings of the so-called “new atheists”.

The rise of evolutionary psychology as a new discipline has led to aggressive attempts to explain (or, in the minds of some critics, “explain away”) religion in terms of an evolutionary artifact (technically, a so-called spandrel) related to the modularization of cognitive processes, by way of the development of a so-called “hyperactive agency detection device” in the brain. Some recent research on the relationship between religious experience and brain activity, such as Persinger’s work with his self-styled “God helmet”, have received much attention in the popular media, though they have been criticized on both conceptual and methodological grounds by others in the neuropsychology community (e.g., Mario Beauregard).

As a result of the meta-level differences that exist among those who ponder questions of how science and religion might be related, those who seek to inform themselves about these issues in order to resolve the origins debate for themselves are confronted with a plethora of mutually contradictory perspectives and may well be at a loss to know how to resolve the contradictions. It would not be surprising if many Americans, including college undergraduates, remain confused if not conflicted about these issues.

B) Student Survey on Origins

For the first part of my research, I administered a 50-item questionnaire measuring attitudes about biological origins and related matters to 429 UW Colleges students. Based on responses to the origins attitude survey, students’ level of belief in God and their degree of acceptance of mainstream science (organic evolution) were measured separately, to yield (by way of a median split method) a fourfold classification scheme: belief in God but not in evolution (creationism or CR); belief in both God and evolution (theistic evolution or TE); belief in evolution but not in God (secular evolution or SE); and, perhaps somewhat incongruously, belief in neither (other or OT).

Among students surveyed, 56% were creationists, 13% were theistic evolutionists, 16% were secular evolutionists, and 15% were “other”. The table below describes these results.

These results show that 69% of the students believe in God, somewhat below the 80% figure within the general American adult population. However, only around 29% accept evolution, which is well below the 60% figure for the general American population. It is difficult to say why these results are discrepant; it may be due to the general conservativism of the rural Midwest, or due to the manner in which I defined acceptance vs. rejection of evolution (using a more attitudinally sensitive methodology than is typically used in national opinion surveys). Utilization of my survey methodology in a wider geographic setting could prove interesting. The Baylor University survey of religious attitudes by region confirms an earlier finding by sociologist of religion Mark Silk that there are strong regional differences (for instance, religious conservativism is higher in the Midwest and South and lower in the East and West).

C) Is Theistic Evolution A Unique Position?

To some extent, this study suggests that, as students view the world, TE is an intermediate or compromise position between CR and SE. On a majority of the origins inventory items, TE respondents endorsed the items at a level in between the responses of CR and SE individuals (suggesting that a primary motive for these students is to split the difference between CR and SE or to mediate in some way between them). However, on some items, TEs respond uniquely. TEs were the most likely of the three groups to agree that “science can neither confirm nor deny the existence of God”, that “both those who believe in God and those who do not may be rational persons”, that “both evolution and intelligent design should be taught in the public schools”, and that “God used evolutionary processes to create life”. TEs were less likely than the other two groups to agree that “there is an inherent conflict between science and religion” and that “if evolutionary theory is true, it is fatal to all forms of religious belief”. To this extent, TE represents a unique point of view that is a “third way” all its own, rather than a mere compromise between creationism and secular evolution.

D) Conclusion

The results of this first survey on student views on origins were used to map these views to personality types. In my next post, I will summarize my findings on this relationship by connecting the results of this survey with these students Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I will also include a summary of Carl Jung’s taxonomy of personality for those who are unfamiliar with it.

Copyright © 2009 - Marlowe C. Embree, Ph.D. - All rights reserved

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Personality Types and Student Views of the Origins Debate: Series Introduction

Last fall, Marlowe Embree published a series on The Social Psychology of the Origins Debate. In that series he mentioned that he was conducting some original research on whether personality differences affect a person’s conclusions regarding creation and evolution, and how likely they are to change their views. I’m pleased to welcome Marlowe back to "An Evangelical Dialogue on Evolution". In a new three-part series to be published over next couple of weeks, he will provide a brief review of some of his research results. The subjects of this research were students at the college where he teaches, somewhat serendipitous given that our last series provided perspectives on the science / faith dialogue from various post-secondary students.

Psychology is often treated by Christians with even more suspicion than biology, with the interface between psychology and religion being the “worst of the lot”. So I suspect that this discussion about the affect of personality factors on views of origins could be somewhat contentious. After all some people (from all sides of the debate!) may maintain that (correct) conclusions on human origins are a matter of examining the evidence (whether scientific, theological, or biblical), and that these conclusions are not influenced by an individual’s personality. Others who share my evangelical faith will probably point out that this faith is provided to us by the grace of God through the leading of his Holy Spirit, and that an individual’s personality type does not influence our, or God’s, decisions. I would even wholeheartedly agree with the first clause in both these statements, but not necessarily with the conclusion that personality plays no role in these matters. (At a minimum, I’d like to hear more of what Marlowe and others are discovering in this area).

I believe that this discussion is both worthwhile and helpful for the evangelical community; after all, if we are to peacefully settle this ongoing debate about origins (and unfortunately, notwithstanding the efforts of many evangelicals, it is still a debate and not a dialogue), shouldn’t we try to understand how and why people make decisions and form their beliefs?

Enjoy the series.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Speaking the Truth (about science) in Love - and Focus on the Family’s Truth Project

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:14-16)
Christian Unity
I really appreciate Ephesians chapter 4 where Paul admonishes believers to be unified in Christ, to be at peace with one another, and to treat each other with gentleness, love, and respect. We need to recognize both our individual gifts (eg. 1 Cor 12) and our individual frailties so that we can work to our common goal. This attitude will not only help us grow closer to Christ, but will also help us attract others to the family of God.

But being unified in love does not imply an anything-goes acceptance. Part of being family is helping each other mature in the faith, and this includes “speaking the truth in love”. Our faith is in Jesus Christ who is the “way, the truth, and the life”; articulating this truth and defending this truth (1 Pet 3:15-17) is part of our calling. Sometimes we need to discuss with, ask questions of, and even confront, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Truth is important.

Truth in Science
So what about truth in science? For many years the majority of evangelicals have loudly and vigorously opposed the theory of evolution, even though the evidence for common descent is now almost scientifically incontestable. So it is probably time for those of us that have travelled this journey of faith / science reconciliation to speak the truth in love. As Mark Noll notes, the methods of evangelical engagement with science have become “intellectually, biblically, theologically, apologetically, and spiritually” damaging.

Discussing the issues of Origins in the Church
As we discussed here almost two years ago, there are times to confront, times to dialogue, and times to remain silent on the topic of origins. However, as I admitted then (as still admit now) determining when to confront, when to dialogue and when to remain silent is notoriously difficult.

On a personal level, I think Bethany offers some good advice in this comment from her post last week. When discussing origins with other Christians, we should take into account whether the setting is appropriate, whether the science / faith issue has pastoral implications for the person involved (ie. We could do more harm than good), and maybe most importantly, whether we have the “relational currency” to challenge our Christian friend.

Focus on the Family’s “Truth” Project and Preaching Untruths in the Church
Focus on the Family is promoting their “Truth Project” to churches and small groups. A quick look at the lesson overview shows that, ironically, the Truth Project doesn’t seem to put much stock in truth when it comes to science (see lesson 5). For example, this lesson states that “Darwinian theory transforms science from the honest investigation of nature into a vehicle for propagating a godless philosophy”. Completely untrue.

Then later it is stated that:
A careful examination of molecular biology and the fossil record demonstrates that evolution is not a "proven fact."
This might be technically defensible depending how badly one defined “evolution” and “proven”, but at the very minimum this is (maybe unintentionally) deceptive; hardly a harbinger for expecting much truth from the actual lessons.

Confronting Anti-evolution in the Church
Given what has been said above, I would like to propose a guideline for when we as ECs should NOT remain silent. When either 1) a Christian organization in which we participate or 2) our local Church officially promote anti-evolutionary views, I believe that we must speak up. In this instance, we must “speak the truth in love” and provide the message that:

a) the scientific evidence for common descent is massive
b) the acceptance of biological evolution is compatible with an evangelical expression of the Christian faith

For us to remain silent in these circumstances would be a disservice to the gospel. It would be unloving to our brothers and sisters who are being told that their faith rests on a specific view of science that is demonstrably false.

Dennis Venema’s response to the Truth Project
Dennis Venema is currently in this exact situation – and is speaking up. As he outlined in this comment last week, the Truth Project is being taught at his church. As a geneticist, he is particularly qualified to point out where scientific falsehoods are being promoted. Dennis offered to provide an official response for his church but was turned down. In lieu of that, he gave a talk to some interested church members in a private home.

I encourage my readers to check out Dennis’s talk entitled "Can an evangelical Christian accept evolution?" (the video is broken into 12 parts). As he indicated, this talk for his fellow church members is based on his "Human Genomics: Vestiges of Eden or Skeletons in the Closet?" lecture (audio and slides) at the ASA conference this summer, but this more intimate discussion is targeted at a non-specialist audience.

I thought Dennis's presentation to his church friends was excellent; I believe it will be particularly helpful for someone new to this dialogue. And it was definitely provided in a spirit of speaking the truth in love. Hopefully this will encourage the rest of us to follow suit.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Ebook and Index for the Student Perspective Series

This completes the series on “Evangelicals and Evolution: A Student Perspective” - well, at least the main posts; the conversation in the comments seems to be continuing.

Thanks a lot to Ryan, Emiliano, Eric, Jordan, and Bethany for taking the time to participate (I realize “writing one more essay” can hardly be a huge priority for busy post-grad students), but also for the energy, personal investment, and thoughtful approach to each of your articles. This was definitely not an assignment that any of you “mailed in”. It showed. I know you have provided encouragement to many of us here in the EC wilderness.

As I’ve done for other series published on this blog, this series has been compiled into a Ebook. Anyone can download the free PDF version of it from scribd and redistribute it as they see fit (bearing in mind the Creative Commons license – which in my rudimentary understanding means “you can copy it, but don’t claim it as your own or charge money for it”).

I’ve also included a quick index below with direct links to each of the articles in the series.

1. Introduction (Steve Martin)

2. My journey from opposing evolution to studying it (Ryan Bebej)

3. An evolutionary biology student discovers Christ ... and the toxic anti-evolutionism that often taints the Gospel (Emiliano Carneiro Monteiro)

4. My transition from a conservative creationist to a theistic evolutionist - albeit with some unanswered questions (Eric DeVries)

5. Clarifying concepts in the creation-evolution dialogue (Jordan Mallon)

6. Avoiding the topic of Evolution in Christian academia: Reflections from a theology student (Bethany Sollereder)

Monday, 23 November 2009

Avoiding the topic of Evolution in Christian Academia: Reflections from a Theology Student

This is a guest post by Bethany Sollereder and is the sixth in our series on “Evangelicals and Evolution: A Student Perspective”. Bethany is working on her Masters in Christian Studies at Regent College in Vancouver, where her studies focus on evolutionary theodicy from an evangelical perspective.

“I just don’t think that’s a very interesting question...” the professor said slowly from the front of the full lecture hall, “there are so many more important issues.” The first year class of graduate students collectively sighed in disappointment. The questions about evolution had poured in when they were told they could ask any question of a panel of professors at the end of the year long course in Christian thought and culture. The answer they received seemed like yet another evasion.

The Science – Faith Dialogue: Great Potential in Christian Academia
I have now spent six years in the Christian academy and I find it remarkably hard to understand why the discussion on the interaction between faith and science is so often avoided. If anything, it is a wonderful doorway into many “more important” topics such as hermeneutics, models of biblical inspiration, ancient worldview, cultural engagement, and interdisciplinary studies. The science-faith topic stems from and reaches into all these areas and many more. The beauty of this subject area is precisely that its implications are so wide-reaching. The same tools that you use to exegete Genesis 1-11 extend out into the rest of the biblical literature. For example, an understanding of ancient near eastern cosmology gained in Genesis 1 brings an excellent understanding of passages as diverse as 1 Chronicles 16, Job 26, Psalm 104, Isaiah 40, Philippians 2, and Revelation 21! A discussion that takes modern science into account can challenge traditional readings of everything from theodicy to literary criticism, leading to a wide array of interesting topics. Perhaps it is because it can lead in so many directions that professors avoid it: it is a conversation that might never end.

The Challenge of Teaching about Origins
On the other hand, the issue of origins in particular seems to be uniquely challenging from both an emotional and a spiritual perspective. Step the wrong way in this issue, and it is not simply belief in the historicity of the opening chapters of Genesis that threatens to topple, but potentially a person’s entire faith! However, given the spiritual volatility of the topic, isn’t the Christian academy the perfect environment to critically examine issues of faith, and therefore issues of origins? Would it be better for the student to struggle through these issues in the context of leading a church or working in the secular environment? Yet, even though questions about origins are embarrassingly common, it seems that the topic is often sidestepped in order to avoid giving offense. Even when asked directly about it, answers from Christian faculty are often short and evasive; there seems to be a fear of committing too strongly to one side of the debate. Perhaps this betrays a lack of clear thought on the side of the faculty; perhaps it is simply an unwillingness to engage in such a volatile issue so directly. Yet it is precisely because it is such an explosive topic that we need more thorough training in the area.

“I feel so frustrated” a student once confessed to me, “I feel like everyone deals with the evolution debate as if it’s a conversation we’ve already had, yet I’ve never heard it talked about once in two years!” From the faculty’s point of view, I can imagine that dealing with the same issues over and over again, year after year, would be exhausting. It is true that addressing the hesitancies of students in relation to the science-faith interface must be tiring, especially when it can be a remarkably pedantic area, and can branch almost out of control. But that is not a good reason for avoiding it! I’m sure that New Testament Greek professors do not consider it an exhilarating task to teach the declensions year after year. However, delivering this technical information is foundational, and they realize that the relative drudgery of grammatical basics will one day lead to more interesting debates on interpretation.

Reclaiming the Study of God’s Works in our Culture
I wish that the science-religion dialogue would receive a similar grounding: some aspects of the topic may be tedious, but this grounding is necessary in light of the current cultural battles. And the cultural battle is real. A Gallup poll on Darwin’s 200th birthday found that only 39% of Americans accept evolution, while another 36% do not have an opinion either way. For one hundred and fifty years, evolution has provided biology with its unifying theory and the evidence for it has only strengthened over time. However, 61% of Americans still do not accept evolution as valid. Perhaps the ambivalence in the Christian academy is simply a reflection of the wider culture’s lack of conviction. In this case, it would be a great opportunity for the Church to rise up and become, once again, those who drive discovery of the natural world forward while providing a theological framework in which to understand those revelations.

New Resources for Evangelicals
At the Bible College I attended, a small faculty was responsible for covering a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. As a result, the idea of tackling the massive issues involved in the science-faith dialogue may have seemed quite daunting. Ten or fifteen years ago this task was even more difficult since there were so few books that affirmed both evolution and an evangelical faith. Today, however, there is a torrent of books which provide both the scientific and hermeneutical material necessary to “get past” the most common roadblocks to accepting evolution: how to read Genesis and how to reconcile the theory of human evolution with our affirmation of divine creation. Francis Collins, Darrel Falk, Denis Lamoureux, and Loren and Deb Haarsma have all provided valuable resources to the evangelical community.

With so much good information “out there”, why is there still a reluctance to discuss the science-faith interaction in our academies? I think that we shy away from the challenges science presents to our interpretation of the Bible because there is always a “fear factor” involved in evangelical hermeneutics. This was clearly seen at my Bible College where biblical criticism was largely portrayed as that “slippery slope” where “liberals” began by questioning the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch and ended up denying the resurrection of Christ. There was very little effort put into incorporating the beneficial aspects of criticism because there was so much fear that one might go “too far”. We evangelicals are happy to admit, as a sort of joke, how susceptible we are to guilt; it is much less frequently admitted how susceptible we are to fear. Yet the reality is that as God’s children we have nothing to fear when searching for truth in God’s Works and his Word. The discoveries of science and the tools of higher criticism help us to understand better the amazing world in which God has placed us and the ways in which God has revealed himself to us. With the excellent voices speaking from within both science and theology, the time is ripe for moving past this debate. But we should do this carefully by working through the issues rather than ignoring them.

Fortunately those first year students in that full lecture hall I mentioned in the opening did not have to wait long for a more helpful response. Another professor on the panel took the microphone and spoke about fossils, genetics, his preference for the term “evolutionary creation” over “theistic evolution”, and the importance of a robust theology of creation without extreme dogmatism over the method of creation. It was a brief answer, and it did indeed stir up controversy in some of the tutorial sessions after the class, but it was one of the first times I had observed a positive, informative answer that clearly dealt with some of the issues raised. I hope this type of response is a harbinger of what we can come to expect of Christian academia, and that Evangelical students will receive the guidance they need in the science-faith dialogue.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Clarifying Concepts in the Creation-Evolution Dialogue

This is a guest post by Jordan Mallon and is the fifth in our series on “Evangelicals and Evolution: A Student Perspective”. Jordan is a Ph.D. student at the University of Calgary where he is studying the evolutionary palaeoecology of the Late Cretaceous herbivorous dinosaurs from Alberta.

The transition from young earth creationism to a position that reconciles evolution and faith doesn’t occur abruptly. It’s a process that takes time and usually proceeds by the gradual piecing together of concepts and information. This was certainly the case for me. When I was growing up, I sympathized with young earth creationism as taught by the conservative Lutheran church I attended. Now I research and teach evolutionary science at the university level, but only after a prolonged period of soul-searching and careful study during my post-secondary education. My theology of nature is still incomplete, but the clarifying concepts introduced below helped to deconstruct the barriers that often polarize the evolution-creation ‘debate’ and allowed me to gradually formulate what I consider a more integrated view of science and faith. Hopefully, these concepts will help other students in their struggle to harmonize evolution and evangelical Christianity.

1) Agency and Mechanism in Creation

The word ‘creationism’ is understood by many evangelical Christians to refer to the miraculous and instantaneous creation of life by God. This view is prevalent and has pigeonholed many of us into confusing agency for mechanism. That is, the act of creating becomes needlessly associated with divine intervention. The corollary is that any explanation for life’s diversity that doesn’t appeal to miracles, such as evolution, is assumed to somehow exclude God’s creative agency. Evolution is often described by believers and non-believers alike as ‘godless’.

This conflation is unfortunate because the Bible teaches that even natural processes, such as weather, are under God’s control (e.g., Lev 26:4; Deut 11:14; 1 Sam 12:18; Job 5:10, 37:6; Ps 135:7, 147:8). More to the point, we are each called a creation of God (Ps 139:14) despite the fact that human conception and development proceeds by entirely natural processes. The Bible’s distinction between agency and mechanism therefore allows God to exercise His creativity using the laws of nature He instilled at the beginning of creation. In this sense, creationism doesn’t preclude evolution at all! I liken evolution to the Lutheran doctrine of the Real Presence, in which God is “in, with, and under” the natural processes that produce biodiversity on Earth.

2) Methodological and Ontological Naturalism

If evolution were truly godless because it does not invoke divine intervention, then the same argument would necessarily apply to all of science because the scientific method excludes all appeals to the supernatural. Miracles, by definition, can’t be measured or explained and therefore they do not further our knowledge about how the universe works. Sir Isaac Newton once believed that the stability of our solar system was due to the miraculous intervention of God, but the French astronomer Pierre-Simon Laplace later showed that the stability could be explained entirely through the natural laws of gravity.

It’s important to note, however, that the preclusion of miracles from science is only done in practice. Science cannot comment on whether or not miracles happen, or whether or not God exists; science is neutral on these matters. God may perform miracles every day, but for the reasons given above, the scientific method simply can’t detect them. The search for natural processes that operate in the universe is called methodological naturalism. The atheistic belief that there’s no God and that the natural world is all that exists is called ontological naturalism. The former is perfectly in line with Christian principles, but the latter, obviously, is not.

3) Accommodation and Concordism

If there’s nothing inherently atheistic about the scientific theory of evolution, why do so many evangelicals oppose it so strongly? The answer in large part has to do with the assumptions we bring to the scriptures. Evangelicalism, under the influence of fundamentalism, has promoted the idea that in order to take the Bible seriously, we must believe that it provides a literal and accurate description of the physical universe. That is, God revealed to the authors of Scripture scientific facts about the universe that could not otherwise have been known to them at the time. This assumption is known as scientific concordism. A concordist interpretation of the Genesis creation accounts obviously does not leave room for evolution.

In spite of the popularity of concordism as it pertains to Genesis, history shows that it’s a largely unwarranted assumption. At various points in the past, prominent Christian scholars used the Bible to support numerous outdated ideas about science, most notably geocentrism (e.g., Jos 10:12; 1 Sam 2:8; 1 Chr 16:30; Job 38:4; Ps 19:4–6, 24:2, 50:1, 93:1, 96:10, 104:5; Ecc 1:5; Hab 3:11). These ideas have since fallen by the wayside in light of scientific knowledge, and Christians now read these parts of the Bible in a different way. Rather than blindly insisting that our understanding of the physical world must accord with a literal interpretation of these passages, we now appreciate that God sometimes accommodates His message to the limitations of human understanding. The sun may not literally rotate about the earth as the Bible describes, but it certainly appeared that way to the earth-bound Hebrew people of the Old Testament. The principle of accommodation is the understanding that God spoke to the authors of Scripture using language and imagery with which they were familiar. Many Christians now feel that, given the previous shortcomings of concordism, the Genesis creation account might likewise be better understood as an accommodation of God’s timeless message to the culture of the ancient Hebrew people. If that’s indeed the case, then accepting evolution may be no more heretical than accepting that the earth goes around the sun!

Further Reading

The concepts introduced above are obviously interrelated and merit much lengthier discussions than given in this essay, but time and space prevent further elaboration. I’ll offer instead a few relevant resources that helped shape my thoughts here. Stephen Godfrey and Christopher Smith’s co-authored book Paradigms on Pilgrimage dedicate a couple helpful chapters to exploring more fully the concepts of agency and mechanism, and methodological and ontological naturalism. Denis Lamoureux’s books Evolutionary Creation and I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution similarly provide a thorough discussion of the principles of accommodation and concordism. All the various concepts considered here are connected in Keith Miller’s edited volume Perspectives on an Evolving Creation. Steve Martin tells a similar story to mine in a blog post here. Be sure to also see Steve’s selected bibliography for more resources about the relationship between science and faith.

Friday, 13 November 2009

An Update to the Selected Bibliography on Evangelicals and Evolution

My current selected bibliography on evangelicals and evolution was getting a little long in the tooth (over two years without an update). I have now posted an updated PDF version of the selected bibliography. These are all resources that I have found helpful in my own research into the interaction of evolutionary science and an evangelical expression of the Christian faith.

Note that this is a personal bibliography and is thus biased to my own set of interests (eg. historical context of the dialogue, and the theological implications of evolution); it is certainly not a comprehensive list of resources. For example, the Haarsma’s Origins book is not on the list since I haven’t read it. However, this might be the first book I recommend to an evangelical from the reformed tradition who is investigating evolution & its faith implications for the first time.

As well as uploading the PDF version to scribd, I’ve reproduced the list of resources below.

Selected Bibliography

Alexander, Denis. June 1999. Can science explain everything? scientific naturalism and the death of science. The Cambridge Papers 8 #2, , http://www.cis.org.uk/assets/files/Resources/Articles/Article-Archive/naturalism.htm (accessed December 2006).

———. 2005. Is intelligent design biblical? Evangelicals Now, http://www.cis.org.uk/assets/files/Resources/Articles/Article-Archive/EN_IDarticle.pdf.

———. 2001. Rebuilding the matrix : Science and faith in the 21st century. 1st ed. Oxford: Lion Books.

———. Darwinian evolution: The really hard questions. in ASA 2007 Annual Meeting [database online]. [cited Nov 10 2009]. Available from http://www.asa3.org/ASAradio/ASA2007Alexander.mp3; http://www.asa3.org/ASA/meetings/edinburgh2007/papers/Edinburgh_Alexander_slides.pdf.

———. Does evolution have any religious significance? [cited December 2006]. Available from http://www.cis.org.uk/assets/files/Resources/Articles/Article-Archive/Denis-Alexander-evolution-religious-significance-v2.pdf.

Bartholomew, David J. 2008. God, chance, and purpose : Can god have it both ways?. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Beale, G. K. 2006. Myth, history, and inspiration: A review article of inspiration and incarnation. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society: 287-312.

Bebbington, D. W. 1989. Evangelicalism in modern britain : A history from the 1730s to the 1980s. London ; Boston: Unwin Hyman.

Bimson, John J. 2006. Reconsidering a "cosmic fall". Science and Christian Belief 18, (1): 63-81.

Bright, John. 2000. A history of israel. 4th ed. Louisville, Ky: Westminster J. Knox Press.

Brown, Warren S., H. Newton Malony, and Nancey C. Murphy. 1998. Whatever happened to the soul? : Scientific and theological portraits of human nature. Theology and the sciences. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Cobern, Bill. One christian's perspective on creation and evolution. in Western Michigan University (SLCSP) [database online]. [cited November 13 2009]. Available from http://www.wmich.edu/slcsp/SLCSP176/SLCSP176.pdf.

Colling, Richard G. 2004. Random designer : Created from chaos to connect with the creator. Bourbonnais, Ill.: Browning Press.

Collins, Francis S. 2006. The language of god : A scientist presents evidence for belief. New York: Free Press.

Collins, Robin. 2003. Evolution and original sin. In Perspectives on an evolving creation., ed. Keith B. Miller, 469-501. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

Dawkins, Richard. 1976. The selfish gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dembski, William. Christian theodicy in light of genesis and modern science. [cited December 2006]. Available from http://www.designinference.com/documents/2006.05.christian_theodicy.pdf.

Dickerson, Richard. June 1992. The game of science: Reflections after arguing with some rather overwrought people. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 44, (2): 137-138.

Domning, Daryl P., and Monika Hellwig. 2006. Original selfishness : Original sin and evil in the light of evolution. Ashgate science and religion series. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.

Enns, Peter. 2007. Preliminary observations on an incarnational model of scripture: Its viability and usefulness. Calvin Theological Journal 42, : 219-236.

———. 2006. Response to G. K. Beale’s review article on inspiration and incarnation. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society: 313-326.

———. 2005. Inspiration and incarnation : Evangelicals and the problem of the old testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

———. Inspiration & incarnation: Thoughts, musings, interactions, responses…about or inspired by the book. [cited November 13 2009]. Available from http://peterennsonline.com/ii/.

Falk, Darrel R. 2004. Coming to peace with science : Bridging the worlds between faith and biology. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

Finlay, Graeme. June 2008. Human evolution: How random process fulfils divine purpose. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 60, (2): 103-114.

———. April 2003. Homo divinus: The ape that bears God’s image. Science and Christian Belief 15, (1): 17-40.

Fischer, D. 1994. In search of the historical adam: Part 2. Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith 46, : 47-57.

———. 1993. In search of the historical adam: Part 1. Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith 45, : 241-50.

Giberson, Karl. 2008. Saving darwin : How to be a christian and believe in evolution. New York: HarperOne.

Gingerich, Owen. 2006. God's universe. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Glover, Gordon. 2007. Beyond the firmament. Chesapeake, VA: Watertree Press.

Godfrey, Stephen J., and Christopher R. Smith. 2005. Paradigms on pilgrimage : Creationism, paleontology, and biblical interpretation. Toronto: Clements Pub.

Gould, Stephen J. Evolution as fact and theory. in Stephen J. Gould Library [database online]. 1981 [cited December 2006]. Available from http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_fact-and-theory.html.

Gray, Terry. 2003. Biochemistry and evolution. In Perspectives on an evolving creation., ed. Keith B. Miller, 256-287. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

———. Complexity--yes! irreducible--maybe! unexplainable--no! A creationist criticism of irreducible complexity. in ASA [database online]. [cited December 2006]. Available from http://www.asa3.org/evolution/irred_compl.html.

Haarsma, Deborah, and Jennifer Wiseman. 2003. An evolving cosmos. In Perspectives on an evolving creation., ed. Keith B. Miller, 97-119. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

Haarsma, Loren. March 2002. Can many world views agree on science? Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 54, (1): 28-29.

———. Chance from a theistic perspective. in Talk Origins [database online]. July 29, 1996 [cited May 2006]. Available from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/chance/chance-theistic.html.

———. 2003. Does science exclude god? natural law, chance, miracles, and scientific practice. In Perspectives on an evolving creation., ed. Keith B. Miller, 72-94. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

———. Is intelligent design scientific? in ASA [database online]. [cited May 2006]. Available from http://www.asa3.org:16080/ASA/meetings/Messiah2005/papers/IsIDScientific_ASA2005.htm.

Haarsma, Loren, and Terry Gray. 2003. Complexity, self organization, and design. In Perspectives on an evolving creation., ed. Keith B. Miller, 288-312. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

Hall, John. 2009. Chance for a purpose. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 61, (1): 3-12.

Harvey, Allan. Science and nature in christian perspective. [cited December 2006]. Available from http://steamdoc.s5.com/sci-nature/.

Haught, John F., and Carl S. Helrich. 2005. Purpose, evolution and the meaning of life : Proceedings of the fourth annual goshen conference on religion and science. Kitchener, Ont.: Pandora Press.

Hedman, Bruce A. 1989. Mathematics, cosmology, and the contingent universe. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 41, (2): 99-103.

Hill, Carol. June 2007. A third alternative to concordism and divine accommodation: The worldview approach. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 59, (2): 129-134.

Hughes, Philip Edgcumbe. 1989. The true image : The origin and destiny of man in christ. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.

Hurd, James. June 2006. Reply to the real adam and original sin. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 58, (2): 102-3.

———. 2003. Hominids in the garden. In Perspectives on an evolving creation., ed. Keith B. Miller, 208-233. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

Hyers, Conrad. 1984. Dinosaur religion: On interpreting and misinterpreting the creation texts. Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 36, (3): 142-148.

———. 1982. Biblical literalism: Constricting the cosmic dance. The Christian Century Aug 4, : 832-841.

Isaac, Mark. An index of creationist claims. [cited November 13 2009]. Available from http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html.

Isaac, Randy. Sept 2005. From gaps to gods. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 57, (3): 230-4.

———. June 2007. Assessing the RATE project. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 59, (2): 143-146.

———. 1996. Chronology of the fall. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 48, : 34-42.

Johnson, Timothy R., and Karl Giberson. Dec 2002. The teaching of evolution in the public school: A case study analysis. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 54, (4): 242-248.

Kline, Meredith. 1996. Space and time in the genesis cosmogony. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 48, (1): 2-15.

Krienke, Karl. Dec 1992. Theodicy and evolution. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 44, (4): 255-257.

Lamoureux, Denis. 2008. Evolutionary creation : A christian approach to evolution. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock.

———. 2008. Lessons from the heavens: On scripture, science and inerrancy. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 60, (1): 4-15.

———. Evolutionary creationism. [cited May 2006]. Available from http://www.ualberta.ca/~dlamoure/3EvoCr.htm.

Leslie, John. 1989. Universes. London ; New York: Routledge.

Lindberg, David C., and Ronald L. Numbers. 2003. When science & christianity meet. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Livingstone, David N. 2008. Adam's ancestors : Race, religion, and the politics of human origins. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

———. 1987. Darwin's forgotten defenders : The encounter between evangelical theology and evolutionary thought. Grand Rapids, Mich.; Edinburgh, Scotland: W.B. Eerdmans; Scottish Academic Press.

Long, V. Philips, Gordon J. Wenham, and David W. Baker. 2002. Windows into old testament history : Evidence, argument, and the crisis of "biblical israel". Grand Rapids, Mich. ; Cambridge, U.K.: W.B. Eerdmans.

Marsden, George M. 1987. Reforming fundamentalism : Fuller seminary and the new evangelicalism. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

———. 1980. Fundamentalism and american culture : The shaping of twentieth century evangelicalism, 1870-1925. New York: Oxford University Press.

Marsden, George M., Mark A. Noll, Joel A. Carpenter, Roger Lundin, Nathan O. Hatch, and Wheaton College . Authors. 1984. Evangelicalism and modern america. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

McGrath, Alister E. 2008. The open secret : A new vision for natural theology. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.

———. 2005. Dawkins' god : Genes, memes, and the meaning of life. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.

———. 2002. The future of christianity. Blackwell manifestos. Oxford ; Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.

———. Has science eliminated god? in CiS-St Edmund's Online Lectures [database online]. [cited November 13 2009]. Available from http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/cis/mcgrath/index.html.

———. Has science killed god? (faraday paper #9). in Faraday Institute for Science and Religion [database online]. [cited November 13 2009]. Available from http://graphite.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/resources/Faraday%20Papers/Faraday%20Paper%209%20McGrath_EN.pdf.

———. Isn't science more rational than faith? in Evangelical Alliance of the UK [database online]. [cited November 10 2009]. Available from http://www.eauk.org/resources/idea/bigquestion/bq18.cfm?renderforprint=1.

McIntyre, J. A. Sept. 2002. The historical adam. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 54, (3): 150-7.

———. June 2006. The real adam and original sin. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 58, (2): 90-8.

McLaren, Brian D. 2003. The story we find ourselves in : Further adventures of a new kind of christian. 1st ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Menninga, Clarence. Sept 1988. Creation, time, and "apparent age". Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 40, (3): 160-2.

———. Dec 1999. Disease and dying in the fossil record. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 51, (4): 226-230.

Miller, Roman. Mar 2007. Do we debate or dialogue issues of science and faith? Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 59, (1): 1-2.

Miller, Keith B. September 1993. Theological implications of an evolving creation. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 45, (3): 150-160.

———. June 2002. The similarity of theory testing in the historical and “Hard” sciences. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 54, (2): 119-122.

———. 2003. Common descent, transitional forms, and the fossil record. In Perspectives on an evolving creation., ed. Keith B. Miller, 152-181. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

———. 2003. Perspectives on an evolving creation. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

Miller, Keith B., and David Campbell. 2003. The "cambrian explosion": A challenge to evolutionary theory? In Perspectives on an evolving creation., ed. Keith B. Miller, 182-204. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

Miller, Kenneth R. 1999. Finding darwin's god : A scientist's search for common ground between god and evolution. New York: Cliff Street Books.

Morris, Simon Conway. 2006. The boyle lecture 2005: Darwin's compass: How evolution discovers the song of creation. Science and Christian Belief 18, (1): 5-22.

Moshier, Stephen O., Dean Arnold, Larry L. Funck, Raymond Lewis, Albert J. Smith, John H. Walton, and William Wharton. Dec 2007. Theories of origins: A multi- and interdisciplinary course for undergraduates at wheaton college. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 59, (4): 289-296.

Murphy, George L. March 2006. Reading god's two books. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 58, (1): 64-7.

———. March 2001. Chiasmic cosmology and creation's functional integrity. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 53, (1): 7-13.

———. March 1986. A theological argument for evolution. Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 38, (1): 19-26.

———. June 2006. Roads to paradise and perdition: Christ, evolution, and original sin. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 58, (2): 109-118.

———. Dec 2008. Chiasmic cosmology and atonement. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 60, (4): 214-224.

———. 2005. Pulpit science fiction. Ohio: CSS Publishing Company Inc.

———. 2003. Christology, evolution, and the cross. In Perspectives on an evolving creation., ed. Keith B. Miller, 370-389. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

———. 2003. The cosmos in the light of the cross. Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity Press International.

———. 1998. The theology of the cross and god's work in the world. Zygon 33, (2): 221-31.

Murphy, Nancey C. 2006. Bodies and souls, or spirited bodies?. Current issues in theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

———. 1996. Beyond liberalism and fundamentalism : How modern and postmodern philosophy set the theological agenda. Rockwell lecture series. Valley Forge, Pa.: Trinity Press International.

Murphy, Nancey C., and Carl S. Helrich. 2002. Religion and science : God, evolution and the soul by nancey murphy : Proceedings of the goshen conference on religion and science. Kitchener, Ont.: Pandora Press.

Noll, Mark A. 1994. The scandal of the evangelical mind. Grand Rapids, Mich.; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.

———. 1992. A history of christianity in the united states and canada. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

———. 1986. Between faith and criticism : Evangelicals, scholarship, and the bible in america. Confessional perspectives series. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Numbers, Ronald L. 2006. The creationists : From scientific creationism to intelligent design. Expand ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Peters, Ted, and Martin Hewlett. 2006. Can you believe in god and evolution? : A guide for the perplexed. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

———. 2003. Evolution from creation to new creation : Conflict, conversation , and convergence. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.

Plantinga, Alvin. Sept 1997. Methodological naturalism. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 49, (3): 143-154.

———. 1977. God, freedom, and evil. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Polkinghorne, J. C. 2006; 1988. Science and creation : The search for understanding. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.

———. Creation, evil, and time. in The Faraday Institute of Science and Religion: Summer 2006 Lecture Series [database online]. 2006Available from http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/resources/Summer%20Course%201/045_John_Polkinghorne3.mp3.

———. 2004. Science and the trinity : The christian encounter with reality. New Haven: Yale University Press.

———. 2002. The god of hope and the end of the world. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.

———. 2000. Faith, science and understanding. London: Spck.

———. 1998. Science and theology : An introduction. London; Minneapolis, Minn.: Spck; Fortress Press.

———. 1994. Science and christian belief: Theological reflections of a bottom-up thinker. Gifford lectures for 1993-4. London: Spck.

———. 1989. Science and providence : God's interaction with the world. London: Spck.

———. The future of the science-religion debate. in The Faraday Institute of Science and Religion [database online]. Available from http://graphite.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/resources/FAR173%20John%20Polkinghorne.mp3.

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———. 2007. Genesis chapter 1 and geological time from hugo grotius and marin mersenne to william conybeare and thomas chalmers (1620–1825). Geological Society, London, Special Publications 273, : 39-49.

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———. 2001. The date of the tower of babel and some theological implications. Westminster Theological Journal 63, : 15-38.

———. 1997. The geographical meaning of "earth" and "seas" in genesis 1: 10. Westminster Theological Journal 59, : 231-55.

———. 1991. The firmament and the water above. part I: The meaning of raqia in gen 1: 6-8. Westminster Theological Journal 53, : 241-61.

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———. 1998. Can god be trusted? : Faith and the challenge of evil. New York: Oxford University Press.

———. 1993. Canadian evangelicalism in the twentieth century : An introduction to its character. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

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———. March 2002. Legitimacy and scope of “Naturalism” in science - part II:Scope for new scientific paradigms. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 54, (1): 12-21.

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