Christian Responses to the Spiritual and Physical Status of Neanderthals

neanderthal-reconstruction-girl-spiritual-status

The physical and spiritual status of Neanderthals has been hotly debated since the first fossilize of bones were described from Neander Valley in Germany in 1856.   Since that time bones from more than 400 Neanderthal individuals have been recovered over a large geographical range (fig 1). Hundreds of published studies on these bones, artifacts […]

The State of Creationism in the Church Today: Reflections on ETS 2014, Part II

Creación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel)

Evangelical Christianity, broadly defined, has seen a number of science and faith battles over the past 50 years.  For most of those years the debate has focused on the age of the earth and the closely – though not universally – associated debate about the extent of Noah’s Flood.  Today, the age of the Earth […]

Reflections on ETS 2014, Part I: An Overview of Origins Related Talks

adam-and-eve-historical-garden

The landscape of science and faith discussions within conservative evangelical Christianity has shifted noticeably over the past 20 years.  Vigorous debates over the meaning of the day of creation in Genesis 1 were common in the 1990s, resulting in study committee reports from conservative denominations like the Presbyterian Church in America, “Report of the Creation Study Committee” […]

Fossil Virus Found in Hamsters Points to an Ancient Origin of Ebola Virus

The Ebola Virus. Like most viruses, the Ebola virus is not a cell but rather just a protein capsule with a very small genome (a single strand of RNA in this case rather than DNA as found in all "living" things).

The Ebola virus has captured headlines around the world.  One of the big questions that I see being asked frequently is – where did it come from? Does it have a recent origin or has the virus been with us for a long time but simply not recognized? Clearly it didn’t come into existence in […]

Origins of the Dead Sea Part II: The Lowest Place on Earth Goes Lower

The Dead Sea shore in 1985.  Photo - Jesse Blatutis

Most people know that the Dead Sea is a very salty place.  And they are right, though there’s much more to it.  The Dead Sea, for one thing, is a really large, really salty place – 34% salts compared to 3.5% for sea water.  It’s 31 miles long, 9 miles wide.  More specifically, the Dead […]

The Origins of the Dead Sea: A Geo-Biblical Exploration – Part I

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Just 50 miles from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea is a deep scar in the face of the Earth.  Long known as the Valley of Siddam, the vale of salt, or the Jordan Valley, its most famous feature is the Dead Sea, which sits 1400 feet below the Mediterranean shore.  The exceptionally salty […]

The Earth on Show: Encountering Lost Worlds Through Fossil Displays

A "Young Mammouth" unearthed by Charles Willson Peale on display at the Philadelphia museum in 1821.

Most of us remember our first life-like encounter with dinosaurs sitting in a theater watching Jurassic Park (1993).  Although dinosaurs had been very popular in picture books for many years the vivid recreation of them on the screen rekindled a sense of awe of these amazing creatures of a past age.  Today, movies with depictions […]

Ken Ham’s Ark Adventure to Usher in a Modern Day Reformation?

Noahs_Ark

Ken Ham would have us believe that the modern creationist movement, which apparently began only 53 years ago, is the real deal this time. Unlike all the other attempts to create a history of the Earth with a recent global flood as a centerpiece, this time it apparently is going to usher in a real reformation in both science and an appreciation for biblical authority.

We’re Going on a Fossil Hunt to Find a Herpes Virus

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There is a very recent form of fossil hunting that I have gotten to partake in to some small extent, and I can do it while sitting in front of a computer screen! With some computer skills and some knowledge of animal genomes it isn’t difficult to join this hunt for fossils inside the genome of living organisms.

The Pit of Bones: A Death Chamber Time Capsule

Fig. 2. Excavation in a portion of The Pit of Bones in Spain.  Image from: http://www.diariouno.com.ar/mundo/Hallaron-el-ADN-mas-antiguo-del-pariente-humano--20131204-0118.html

A small chamber in a deep, dark cave. Tens of thousands of bones. Animal bones and human bones. Buried under dust and dirt and bat dung. Welcome to an ancient chamber of horrors. This is the Pit of Bones (aka Sima de los Huesos). In 1997, scientists discovered this small chamber within a much larger […]

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