Mind and Cosmos
Why am I conscious of my purpose?
Ancient Near Eastern views should be considered part of the history of the idea of evolution. The biblical Creation account, in describing the divine actions through which God actually brought the cosmos into existence, was likely deconstructing the alternative theories or speculations of origins available in the Ancient Near East. Consequently, the biblical narrative can be used as well to deconstruct contemporary cosmogonies and evolution. This article was originally published on Perspective Digest, v.24/3.
Confirmation that fathers may sometimes pass mitochondrial DNA to their children violates the assumptions used to calculate the age of the most recent female common ancestor of all living humans. Published in Origins v. 21, n. 2.
Two important papers were published in May 2017, warranting an update on the subject of Homo naledi.
The aim of this article is to use the example of Homo naledi to illustrate the distinction between data and interpretations, and to discuss some of the questions a biblical creationist might have in relation to this new discovery.
This article was originally published as a chapter in the book “The Genesis Creation Account and Its Reverberations in the Old Testament."
Researchers discuss the role and position of Neanderthals in an alleged evolutionary process and debate whether they went extinct before, during or after anatomically modern humans colonized the northern hemisphere, and if the former interbred with the latter. However, many recent studies, ranging from genetics to the analysis of Neanderthal technology and culture suggest that Neanderthals might be understood within a different scientific framework.
Recent discoveries have shown artistic behaviors in Neanderthals including decoration of their bodies with jewelry and probably pigment. Moreover, these are clear indicators that they made use of language and verbal communication.
Recently, the city buses in my neighborhood gained a new set of brightly-colored advertisements along their sides. In bold letters, they proclaimed that humans and chimpanzees are 98% identical: “Come and meet your relatives.”
A review of the book, A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature. Darwinian reductionism dissolves appreciation of the genius behind masterpieces. In the real world, science and the arts each enrich and complement understanding of the other; both, at their best, are part of and point to the same Truth. Published in Origins, n. 61.
The gift of life is conferred on humankind in an intimate face-to-face encounter. God forms a work of art out of moist clay. A bond with this piece of art begins to grow in the gentle process of making. Then comes that incredible moment.
A review of the book, Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science. Published in Origins, n. 57.
A collection of short commentaries on scientific papers published in 2003, covering topics such as frog biogeography, moas, the hoatzin, magic bullets in creationism, intelligent design, gene duplication, snail variation, Cambrian lagerstatten, extraterrestrial impacts, hotspots, carbonates, mitochondrial Eve, pseudogene function, mutations in bacteria, fossil diversity patterns, feathered dinosaurs, the fossil Microraptor, intermediate fossil Ichthyostega, problems with the evolutionary tree, and mitochondrial DNA differences. Published in Origins n. 58.
A collection of short commentaries on scientific papers published in 1998, 1999, covering topics such as developmental genes in sea urchins, dinosaur lungs, Archaeopteryx bones, Darwin's finches, parallel evolution, evolutionism, variation in bacteria, genetic load, human origins, Neanderthal DNA, molecular evolution, origin of life, biogeography of Madagascar, fossil record, problems in phylogeny of microbes and whales. Published in Origins n. 51.
Given the current database on fossil hominids, caution is warranted. Indeed, it would be premature to draw any definitive conclusions with regard to the origins of these organisms and their relationship to the Genesis record.
Review of the book, Bones of Contention. The evolutionary interpretatoin of fossil hominids is strongly criticized. Published in Origins v. 21, n. 2.
The Tasaday was claimed to be a stone age tribe still living in the southern Philippines and recently discovered by anthropologists. Much attention was given to this story, but suspicions were soon aroused that the story was fake, and this indeed turned out to be the case. The lesson is that there is so much pressure for scholars to publish that fraudulent reporting has entered the profession. Published in Origins v. 20, n.1.
Evolution theory is based on competition and struggle for survival, but some animals act in a way that favors reproduction of other individuals and reduces their own competitive status. The theory of sociobiology wants to explain this altruistic behavior as having a genetic basis, so that individuals with the gene tend to help other individuals with the same gene,.This maintains the gene in the population. The idea that human behavior is genetically determined is controversial. Published in Origins v. 19, n. 2.