Guest Post: The Poetry of Creation

big bang color-1568698_1920pixabay
Pixabay

The First Second 

Let’s take a second, not just any one,

But the first second in the universe,

When everything was sorted as is now,

The start of being – quarks, innumerable,

Explosion edged space, full, outward bound,

Irregular to prefix nebulae,

And form the vastest galaxies,

You face the God, Creator of this show,

The big and small, and not on the outside,

A million times more clever than all science.

Then, God will meld particularities,

For heavy atoms, complex molecules,

And you, his creature thinking after him.

So, treasure now this second given you.

  Continue reading

Book Preview – Understanding Scientific Theories of Origins: Cosmology, Geology, and Biology in Christian Perspective

fairyland-canyon-1632749_1920 crop
Pixabay

Teaching at a Christian college, we find that many of our undergraduate students arrive on campus as freshmen having previously accepted the unfortunate dualism of choosing between science and faith, between “creation and evolution,” … Many are skeptical of scientific claims for cosmic and Earth history (and the history of life) that conflict with their literal, concordist, recent-creation view. A course or self-study program, perhaps one that would use this textbook (!), gives the opportunity for students to dig deeper into all of the interesting yet challenging aspects of biblical understanding and scientific knowledge that fuel the science-theology dialogue. We believe that familiarity with a comprehensive doctrine of creation, derived from the full breadth of Scripture, relieves that dualistic tension, honors the authority of God’s Word, and supports a sympathetic view of the scientific enterprise (with its theories of origins). The focus shifts from details about “how” and “how long ago” to deeper meanings that transform lives. Continue reading

Guest Post: Caretakers of the Deep

2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas
Tube worms. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas

How do you imagine a coral reef? Have you had the privilege of seeing one through your own dive mask, or have you sat in the comfort of your living room watching beautifully shot images set to dramatic full orchestra soundtracks?

Healthy coral reefs are a festival of colour, shape, sound, and activity. They are full of interesting characters, each playing their part in the functioning of the ecosystem – from the sponge that filters out harmful viruses from the water column to Continue reading

Guest Post: Caring for Creation on the Coast

wave-crash-600x375
© Lee Abbey

It’s been a scorching summer and you may have found yourself down at the beach a few times. But how much do you know about the wildlife that lives on our beaches and in our seas? Last year I was introduced to Sea Watch: a programme that encourages the public to help those who work in the field learn more about the species that use our seas. Exmoor National Park were running a Sea Watch Training Day for anyone interested and had asked Lee Abbey to host it. As a member of the Lee Abbey community, and soon to be their Environmental Coordinator, I got the opportunity to join in. Continue reading

Guest Post: Doing Faith and Science Like It’s 1718

659px-Les_Astronomes_Jesuit_astronomers_with_Chinese_scholars_Beauvais_18th_century crop

I was seated in the Bell Memorial Union at California State University, Chico, on a beautifully sunny fall day, interviewing one of my students, Giovanni, 19, who grew up in a devoted Catholic family and attended one of the finest Catholic high schools in the Silicon Valley before heading to Chico State.

These conversations always fascinate me because so many emerging adults—those 18-30 year olds among us (perhaps even reading this blog)—are declining to affiliate with any religion. When asked which box to check in response to “What religion are you?” 35-40% will mark “none.” I want to find out why. One key reason, noted by David Kinnaman of the Barna Group,emerging adults are becoming “nones” because they see the church as “antagonistic to science,” unwilling to take in, or take on, its insights and challenges. Continue reading

Guest Post: The military, rogue soldiers and the immune system

Picture1
Regulatory T cells have prevented damage to a transplanted skin graft caused by other immune cells as can be seen by the skin being intact (red) as well as the vessels (green). The blue colour stains all the cells present in the skin. © Sim Tung, 2016

“Are there any supplements I can take to help my immune system?” “Will going vegan boost my immune system? Or what about organic food?” These are just some of the questions I get asked when I tell people I am a PhD candidate in immunology.

Those who aren’t yet bored of hearing about my PhD normally ask heavy questions that require technical answers. After all, how do you explain your field of work without throwing in the big fancy words? I myself can barely understand jobs in Finance or IT – cue Chandler Bing failing to explain ‘data-reconfiguration-and-statistical-analysis’ to his Friends for 10 years.  Anyway, in these moments it feels pretty awesome to see someone get excited and curious about science instead of Love Island. Continue reading

Guest Post: A Human Particular

header-skinny-strip_5000
© Fiona Rich

The mist wisped its way over the sea towards the shore, curling over the beach and on to the promenade.  A deepening haze softened the contours of the beach huts and the cliffs behind.  I walked more slowly, feeling my way ahead.  The air was unusually still.  Scanning the beach I glimpsed a shape there.  It seemed to be blue and white; an abandoned deckchair perhaps?  Coming closer I could see it was a figure stretched out in the sand. Probably one of those giant puppets from yesterday’s carnival.  Then I heard a faint moan.  I approached cautiously.  As I drew closer I could see wide canvas trousers and a short jacket with brass buttons. A scene from my childhood floated past me.  It was a wet day and I was asking when it would be dry enough to play outside.  ‘Is there enough blue sky to make a pair of sailor’s trousers?’ my mother asked, looking up at the sky.  So perhaps this figure was a sailor?  He seemed rather small.  There was seaweed hanging from his body.  Had he nearly drowned and been washed ashore?  I hesitated, being somewhat squeamish and also aware that I was on my way to a rehearsal. Continue reading