Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
As portrayed in the illustration, the biblical cosmos consisted of three basic regions: the heavens, the land, and the underworld. In conclusion, by understanding how biblical writers viewed the cosmos, readers are in a better position to properly interpret the Creation, the Flood, and other biblical stories, and to place them in their proper context. The Bible is not a book of science. It was written in a pre-scientific era and its main purpose was to communicate moral and spiritual lessons. The Children of Israel had no advantage over their neighbors when it came to matters of science. In fact, this erroneous concept of the cosmos was quite common for that era. The Hebrews were inspired by nothing more than their political and religious motivations. Thus, being ignorant of scientific facts, they thought the earth was flat, that sick people were possessed by demons, and that essentially everything was caused by either gods or demons. Unfortunately, many people are still just as ignorant today.
All Christian sects recognize the Bible as the primary source of revelation. This compiled material was allegedly inspired by God and written by chosen authors to reveal him and his will to man. The Bible, then, is the foundation of the Christian religion. To Christian fundamentalists who believe in verbal inspiration, the Bible is an infallible foundation. They claim that "the Holy Spirit so dominated and guided the minds and pens of those who wrote (the Bible) as to make their writings free from mistakes of any and all kinds, whether it be mistakes of history or chronology or botany or biology or astronomy, or mistakes as to moral and spiritual truth pertaining to God or man, in time or eternity," (Wilbur F. Tillett, "The Divine Elements in the Bible," The Abingdon Bible Commentary).
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
:: spiritual evolution by afeatheradrift
The most elegant part of scientific theory is the ease with which science accepts new information and adjusts past ideas and hypotheses that were incorrect. In a sense, the scientific method itself, like evolution, has a built-in feedback loop that can fix or abandon what doesn't work and pursue traits (or ideas) that are useful and rewarding. It made me wonder: Can faith evolve and grow in the same way?
For the answer, I’m turning to an unlikely place: evolution. More than 15 years ago, archeologists discovered Ardipithecus ramidus (or 'Ardi') in Ethiopia. Ardi was a likely human ancestor that walked upright around 4.4 million years ago in the jungle and is the earliest candidate for a human ancestor ever to be found. Ardi has the intermediate characteristics we would expect from a human ancestor—she was an able climber, yet could still walk upright on the ground; she had a more dexterous hand than a chimpanzee; she did not walk on her knuckles. In other words, she has characteristics that are distinctly unlike both chimpanzees and humans—characteristics unique to her species. Since the initial discovery, teams of researchers have been painstakingly performing and compiling research about Ardi, much of which was published last month in the journal Science.