Guest Post: Purposeful Life – goal-oriented organisms and faith in the Creator

B0010971 Salmonella Typhimurium infection of a human epithelial cell
Salmonella infection of a human epithelial cell (cropped), by David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Wellcome Images, creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

A horde of salmonella bacteria invades a mouse’s guts. The rodent’s immune system is on the alert, but something unusual happens. A minority of the invaders throw themselves onto the mouse’s colon bugs, even though their attack is too risky and they die. Their comrades take advantage of the breach, yet they are not as aggressive themselves.[i]

The berserk salmonella “are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the greater good”, a researcher explains. “You could compare this act to Kamikaze fighter pilots of the Japanese army.” This scenario raises the question, did they do that on purpose? Of course bacteria do not have conscious intentions, but it is at least possible that in another sense there is genuine purpose in this behaviour. This is also an important point from the perspective of Christian faith, which involves belief in a purposeful divine creation. Continue reading

Guest Post – Forgetting in Order to Remember: How science and faith shape how we think of memory

candles-219838_1280
CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay.

A few weeks ago, a new study on dogs received a lot of media attention. A group of researchers found that canines were able to reproduce almost all the activities their owners demonstrated – even out of context. They concluded that dogs have a capacity that is at least similar to human episodic memory, which is the ability to relive in your mind an episode that you experienced previously.

The fact that we value a powerful memory is Continue reading