Where Science and Faith Converge
  • Leaning in with Hope

    November 7, 2019

    The work we do at RTB has at its core the desire to help you and others see the heart of God, his love, his character, creation’s purpose, and humanity’s significance within creation. Our view of God’s work in creation affects our view of his character. A progressive creation model, like the one at RTB, highlights God as actively and intimately engaged in his creation since the beginning of time. We see God’s self-disclosure (revelation) of his character, his love, and purpose in the created order, and this reflects the depth and passion of his heart for reconciling and redeeming us. We see that we are made in God’s image, unique among all creatures and made in such a way as to be capable of receiving God’s revelation. All of creation is for the sake of God revealing himself to creatures made in his image so that we might be reconciled to God.

    • Problem of Evil
    • Pain and Suffering
  • A Measles-Free Future

    October 24, 2019

    One day the world could be measles-free. The 15 children that die every hour from measles infections could be saved. The 20–30% of infected people who require hospitalization could be spared the expense and experience. The threat of the rare, neurologically debilitating, and fatal disease (SSPE) that can develop decades after infection could be eliminated. How? Through life-saving immunizations.

    • Viruses
    • Human Flourishing
    • Faith & Reason
    • Controversies
  • Creating HIV-Resistant Humans: What Could Go Wrong?

    October 10, 2019

    I’m surprised when I find others who haven’t yet heard of CRISPR gene-editing. Application of this groundbreaking technology has exploded over the past six years. One such effort, the alteration of the human genomes in twin girls born by in vitro fertilization (IVF) in China last year just before the Second International Summit on Human Gene Editing, made international headlines and raised widespread concern and outcries from the scientific community.1 I’ll discuss why and offer guidelines for responsible progress.

    • Life Complexity
    • Human Uniqueness
    • Human Flourishing
    • Ethics
  • No Greater Love Than to Lay One’s Life (or Organs) Down for One’s Friends

    September 26, 2019

    More than 6,000 people die every year in the US because they didn’t receive a transplant in time.1 Help may arrive soon, according to a recent press release from the National Institutes of Health, which highlights research that might help save some of these lives. Researchers have turned data from successful studies of organ preservation in rats to applications in human health and treatments.

    • Life
    • Human Flourishing
    • Christian Life
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  • A Post-Genomic Era? Ludicrous with an Incomplete Human Genome

    August 15, 2019

    I periodically draw attention on social media to the fact that the human genome sequence is not complete. I thoroughly enjoy the reaction of others who are shocked to find that this is actually true. Why should anyone care if the human genome sequence is not yet complete? Surely the few bits that have been missing from the reference genome aren’t all that significant. At least that’s how many who write (and talk) about the genome, including the few who acknowledge that the reference genome is incomplete, describe it.

    • Science in the News
    • Life Complexity
    • Human Uniqueness
    • Genomics
  • What’s a Hemimastigote Got to Do with Progressive Creationism?

    February 21, 2019

    I love a good hiking story, and like all scientists I love the prospect of discovering something new. Really new. A recent “behind the paper” article posted on Ecology and Evolution (an online community from Nature Research) unpacks a tale with both elements. In spring of 2016, on a hike through Nova Scotia, Yana Eglit stopped to collect a soil sample that harbored not just one but two rare organisms from a seldom-encountered group of predatory protists (single-celled eukaryotes) known as hemimastigotes. Discovery and analyses of these tiny creatures has been instructive and it bears directly on evolution/creation discussions.

    • Genomics
    • Common Design vs. Common Descent
    • Creation vs. Evolution
  • Life’s Layers of Complexity: When All Isn’t All

    January 24, 2019

    Looking back on 2018, I give thanks for the blessings God has rained upon me. I can’t help but think how my vision of God’s goodness and glory have grown as I contemplate almost every aspect of creation in each new scientific study.

    • Challenges to Evolution
    • Apologetics
    • Life Complexity
  • Why Celebrate World Mosquito Day?

    August 20, 2018

    Mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures on Earth, killing over half-a-million people annually and sickening hundreds of millions more. So why on earth would we celebrate World Mosquito Day? And why would a good God create bloodsucking, disease-ridden insects responsible for such extensive suffering?

    • Ecosystems
    • Diseases
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  • Reveling in Revelation

    August 9, 2018

    I just love nature! I recently enjoyed five days of extended hiking—65 glorious miles of soaking in the beauty of hills and fields and ocean-bay views. I chose to meditate on Psalm 16 as I hiked, trying to commit the entire Psalm to memory. What a wonderful time, nothing to do but revel in God, his word, and nature. Or should I say creation?

  • Viruses are People Too!

    July 26, 2018

    One of my pet peeves is when people endow viruses and cells with humanlike abilities and characteristics—a process known as anthropomorphizing. I used to tell my students at the University of Virginia how imprecise and unscientific this is. Viruses and cells do not choose, plan, or scheme. In other words, they are not volitional. They do not evade attack, restrain abnormal or deleterious mutations, or preserve their own existence.

    • Teleology
    • Viruses
    • Life
  • God and Science: A Course in Due Course

    April 19, 2018

    Many fear to tread into culturally charged topics in an “us” versus “them” social media climate characterized by rapid escalation, rabid judgments, and character assassinations. What if a course on God and science could actually help us love one another, or at least be kinder to those who see things differently than we do?

    • Science & Faith
    • Philosophy
    • Interpretation
    • Faith & Reason
  • A Forest Stroll is Good for Body and Soul

    March 15, 2018

    At RTB we want to help others see that wherever we look in nature we find things that reinforce confidence in the God of the Bible. The words of Paul, found in his letter to believers in Rome, suggest that these evidences should be everywhere we look. Recently, a hike and a video spotted on social media brought just such an example to my attention.

    • Fine-Tuning
    • Requirements for Life
    • Plants
    • Ecosystems
    • Apologetics
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  • More Questions, Answers, and Comments on Vaccinations

    February 8, 2018

    I’ve recently (re)posted two blogs, “Vaccine Safety and Loving Our Neighbors” and “FAQs about Vaccine Safety,” which I hope you’ll take the time to read. But here I want to address two more issues that often come up as I talk with others about vaccine risks and safety and loving our neighbors.

    • Q&A
    • Ethics
    • Christian Life
  • Answering FAQs on Vaccine Safety

    February 1, 2018

    My previous article titled “Vaccine Safety and Loving Our Neighbors” generated some ardent reader responses in 2015 when originally posted. In this follow-up article I would like to acknowledge and address many of these responses, especially those from readers who expressed concern over the evidence for vaccine effectiveness and safety.

    • Christian Life
    • Good Questions
  • Vaccine Safety and Loving Our Neighbors

    January 25, 2018

    In the wake of a 2015 outbreak of measles originating at Disneyland and spreading to more than 20 states, California state legislators passed a bill implementing mandatory vaccination for students attending public schools. At that time the grassroots uprising against this legislation surprised and disappointed me. This is a charged topic, but it seems that this reaction is primarily rooted in misinformation and a false sense of security that may also involve a failure to consider civic responsibilities. I first shared this blog and perspective in a 2015 post. I have updated the content, but my thoughts and comments are basically the same as that post. I share here my scientific perspective on vaccine safety and my Christian perspective—that vaccinations can be an apologetic demonstration of Christlike love for our neighbors. In next week’s blog, I will address some questions and comments raised by readers that followed the original blog post in 2015. In two weeks I will share more recent thoughts and comments from continued dialogue with others on this topic.

    • Diseases
    • Pain and Suffering
    • Viruses
    • Human Flourishing
    • Controversies
  • How Do I Respond When Others Are Curious about My Faith as a Scientist?

    January 18, 2018

    A few weeks ago I had the privilege of interacting with apologists from the RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) Connect online community in a forum called “Ask RZIM.” I thought I’d share some of the questions and my responses here on Theorems & Theology.

    • Faith
    • Good Questions
    • Apologetics
    • Faith & Reason
    • Christian Life
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  • Answering Questions about Darwinism

    January 11, 2018

    A few weeks ago I had the privilege of interacting with apologists from the RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) Connect online community in a forum called “Ask RZIM.” The questions I encountered there are similar to ones I often think about and am asked when I’m out and about. I thought I’d share some of the questions and my responses here on Theorems & Theology.

    • Philosophy
    • Naturalism
    • Good Questions
    • Apologetics
  • Answering Questions about Gene Editing Technologies

    January 4, 2018

    A few weeks ago I had the privilege of interacting with apologists from the RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) Connect online community in a forum called “Ask RZIM.” The questions I encountered there are similar to ones I often think about and am asked when I’m out and about. I thought I’d share some of the questions and my responses here on Theorems & Theology.

    • Human Flourishing
    • Good Questions
    • Apologetics
  • Why Skiers Can Be Thankful for Bacteria

    December 28, 2017

    I was 12 years old when I first learned to ski. Our family was visiting relatives in Washington for Christmas, and after a good snow the previous day, my sisters, cousins, and I headed for the slopes. None of us from Oklahoma had ever been skiing before, but our cousins were gracious hosts and good teachers. We not only learned how to ski that day but also had such great fun and worked so hard at it that we devoured my aunt’s unending stew before surrendering to sleep and the next day’s soreness, stiffness, and stories. Ever since then I have loved the snow. I am captivated with the beauty of snow as it blankets everything, burying the bleak grays of asphalt and urbanization. Snow also reminds me of the Scripture in Isaiah that invites us to reason together that though our sins are like scarlet, God will make us whiter than snow.

    • RTB's Creation Model
    • Bacteria
  • A Common Design View of ERVs Encourages Scientific Investigation

    December 21, 2017

    Viruses are a mystery: No one knows where they originate. As a virologist, I’ve always thought of viruses as incomplete components of once functionally reproducing cells. As a Christian, I’ve often linked viruses to the fall because of their association with disease and suffering. Although evolutionists certainly wouldn’t agree with my second line of reasoning, many do support an escaped gene theory to explain the origin of viruses. In other words, the vast array and diversity of viruses in nature may originate from sets of genes that have escaped from once living cells.

    • Common Design vs. Common Descent
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