Blog Post Index

This page should help you navigate to posts of interest. The first is a list of posts (Titles and first few lines) in order of posting starting with the most recent. Following that is a list of posts grouped according to subject. One can also use the search box in the main blog page with keywords.

Replication (Part 2)

Posted on November 14, 2018by thebookofworks

In a recent post I said that the replication of cells is required for evolution and the origin of modern life as we know it. While it’s true that the daughter cells of a parent dividing cell end up containing … Continue reading →

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How to Be a Molecular Biologist

Posted on November 8, 2018by thebookofworks

It’s easy. All you need to know about molecular biology is that it’s all about DNA. And you don’t need to know what that stands for, or anything else about DNA except this. It’s a really long molecule, like a … Continue reading →

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Replication (Part 1)

Posted on October 23, 2018by thebookofworks

In the transition from chemistry to biology, many new features had to emerge from an increasingly complex chemical system. Examples include some form of membranous enclosure to allow for appropriate concentration of reactants, thus defining the borders of a living … Continue reading →

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A Goldfish Sings a Tentative Psalm

Posted on October 1, 2018by thebookofworks

Today’s guest post is a poem by my wife (and collaborator), Aniko Albert. There is a story behind this poem related to our relationship. After reading it, you might want to take a look at an earlier post on this … Continue reading →

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The Right Thing

Posted on September 18, 2018by thebookofworks

People talk about morality a lot. Some say there are moral facts, others that moral codes are subjective and depend on culture. I have read the argument that human moral instincts are the product of evolution, or simply the collective … Continue reading →

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How I spent my summer vacation

Posted on September 9, 2018by thebookofworks

Hello to my readers, and welcome back to the Book of Works. It has been a long, sometimes relaxing and sometime productive summer. In July, I went to the ASA annual meeting near Boston, where I gave a talk and … Continue reading →

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Vacation

Posted on July 1, 2018by thebookofworks

At this beginning of July, I want to take an opportunity to thank all those who read and comment on this blog. It has been a great three years, and I have learned a lot and enjoyed all the interactions … Continue reading →

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Beyond the Gap

Posted on June 22, 2018by thebookofworks

The phrase “God of the gaps” was invented by the 19th century theologian Henry Drummond. He was speaking of the things that science could not explain yet, and which, he said, some Christians treated as “gaps which they will fill … Continue reading →

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Did a “Massive Genetic Study Reveal 90 Percent Of Earth’s Animals Appeared At The Same Time”? No, it didn’t.

Posted on June 9, 2018by thebookofworks

The declaration in quotes is the title of an article in Tech Times reporting on a paper published in Human Evolution by Stoeckle and Thaler with the title Why should mitochondria define species? Not surprisingly, young earth creationists and others are … Continue reading →

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Darwin’s Visit

Posted on May 28, 2018by thebookofworks

The dentist did his best with my root canal, and I went home, took some pain killers, and fell asleep. I woke up still feeling drowsy, so I went out into the backyard for some fresh air. Sitting at the … Continue reading →

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Intrinsic Biochemical Intelligence

Posted on May 9, 2018by thebookofworks

Another rather interesting trait of slime molds and related organisms is that they are capable of rather impressive feats traditionally thought to be limited to “higher” animals. These include behaviors like problem-solving skills and the ability to learn. Amazingly, they … Continue reading →

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Darmarckian Evolution

Posted on April 26, 2018by thebookofworks

When I first heard about epigenetics, I hated it. I still do, in fact, but I am slowly beginning to accept the fact that epigenetics is a fact. And it’s a terrible fact, like all facts that force one to … Continue reading →

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God and Nature, Spring 2018

Posted on April 17, 2018by thebookofworks

The first issue of the online magazine, God and Nature with yours truly as Editor-in-Chief has been released at this LINK. The focus topic is “Chance and Design” and it also includes an essay by me (sent in and approved … Continue reading →

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The Tortoise and the Hare – The Rematch

Posted on March 27, 2018by thebookofworks

The hare, having lost the most famous race in history, eventually gathered up his dignity and asked for a rematch. “This time I’ll be careful” he told himself. “I wont be overconfident, I wont get distracted, I wont let my … Continue reading →

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Judgment and Peer Review

Posted on March 9, 2018by thebookofworks

Peer review is a critical process in modern science. Scientists with expertise in the right field judge the quality of a grant application or a manuscript submitted for publication in a journal. This judgment determines whether the grant will be … Continue reading →

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Finding My Faith – Update

Posted on February 26, 2018by thebookofworks

Just about a year ago, I put up a post called Finding My Faith, which presented a brief summary of  some of my reasons and experiences that led me from atheism to Christianity. Very recently, I posted a tweet that … Continue reading →

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How Evolution Works

Posted on February 13, 2018by thebookofworks

I have been asked many times to explain how so called “macro-evolution” works. There are of course many excellent books and articles online and off that cover this, but I thought it might be a good idea to have a … Continue reading →

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God and Nature

Posted on February 8, 2018by thebookofworks

For the past six years, I have been a member (and now a fellow) of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA). From the ASA web site The ASA was founded in 1941 as an international network of Christians in the sciences. As … Continue reading →

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Some Wisdom from the Past

Posted on January 29, 2018by thebookofworks

Arthur Thomson, also known as Lord Kelvin, was an English physicist (and Christian) who wrote a book titled “Progress of Science in the Century” published in 1901. The century referred to was the 19th.. I have a copy of it … Continue reading →

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Is God Imaginary?

Posted on January 14, 2018by thebookofworks

There are many essential equations that describe the physical reality of the universe. Einstein’s E = mc2 is probably one of the most famous, and also the simplest. In the 1920s, physicist Erwin Schrödinger developed an equation that is of … Continue reading →

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RNA and the Origin of Life

Posted on January 2, 2018by thebookofworks

First Happy New Year to all. Now, for the matter at hand. Traditionally, the scientific field of origin-of-life research has been divided into two camps based on what theorists propose came first: replication or metabolism. The “replicators-first” group think that … Continue reading →

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Merry Christmas

Posted on December 21, 2017by thebookofworks

It’s that time of the year again. Everyone is running around, trees are being put up and decorated, presents being bought and wrapped, travel plans being made and tickets purchased. It’s all exhausting. Last year I posted a blog about … Continue reading →

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The Flood and the Boat

Posted on December 16, 2017by thebookofworks

The following post is an excerpt from the Preface to my book manuscript, which is now in the final editing phase. The working title is The Book of Works (just like this blog). I am also about to start looking … Continue reading →

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The Other Universe

Posted on December 3, 2017by thebookofworks

The nice thing about having a blog is that one can write and publish whatever one wants to, without having to go through peer reviewers, editors, or publishers. The bad part of that is that one can end up posting … Continue reading →

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Advice to a Reluctant Agnostic

Posted on November 15, 2017by thebookofworks

The following is from the Biologos website. A reader posted  a poignant question about a month ago, which I (and others) answered. My answer seemed to be well liked by many of the Biologos Forum participants, and I thought I … Continue reading →

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Credo. And Non Credo

Posted on November 7, 2017by thebookofworks

When I decided to become an official, professing Christian, I was thrilled to see that I could honestly say that I believed in every word of the Apostle’s Creed. I am very grateful that the creed I had to believe … Continue reading →

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It All Started with Paul

Posted on October 22, 2017by thebookofworks

No, this is not about the origins of Christianity. The Paul in the title is not the Apostle, but Sir Paul McCartney, former Beatle. Back 1969, rumors on some American college campuses that Paul McCartney had died in a car … Continue reading →

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Evo Psycho

Posted on October 14, 2017by thebookofworks

A popular approach to explaining consciousness and other attributes of the human mind and soul is to attribute all of it to evolutionary mechanisms. The purpose of the new field of evolutionary psychology (EP, or Evo Pyscho, my own invention) … Continue reading →

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How do Biological Robustness and Innovation go together? (Part 2 of 2)

Posted on October 4, 2017by thebookofworks

Andreas Wagner and his research  group found, both in laboratory experiments and using computer models, that there is not just one way to build a protein with a particular function. There are millions (at least) of ways to do it. … Continue reading →

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White Knights and Genotypes (Part 1of 2)

Posted on October 2, 2017by thebookofworks

Everyone knows that life is complex, but what does that really mean? Take the following fact: we can throw away a large fraction of the genes of most organisms (up to 80% in some cases), and they will live and … Continue reading →

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The Science of Atheism.

Posted on September 24, 2017by thebookofworks

Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a god, or in a supernatural being. We hear that all the time, and it’s generally true, from a dictionary point of view. So are there no other beliefs or attitudes or … Continue reading →

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Whatever Works

Posted on September 6, 2017by thebookofworks

Why doesn’t anyone speak Esperanto? For the same reason that communism failed, that there are always shortcuts, and that mutations are random. The answer is that planned, designed systems never work as well as unplanned, natural systems that arise by … Continue reading →

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Thank you…

Posted on August 31, 2017by thebookofworks

Today, August 31, 2017 is the last day of the John Templeton grant that made this blog possible. BUT, it is NOT the last day of the blog. I will be continuing this blog into the future, and have no … Continue reading →

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Guest Post: What the 2017 Eclipse Asks Us About Our Church Ministry, by Jennifer Secki Shields

Posted on August 23, 2017by thebookofworks

Today’s guest post is by my friend and colleague, Jennifer Secki Shields. Jen was trained as a biologist, and was the long-term Director of Christian Education at Christ Crossman United Methodist Church in Virginia. More recently, she founded a new … Continue reading →

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Our Scientific Publication on Gene Regulatory Networks for the John Templeton Foundation Grant

Posted on August 18, 2017by thebookofworks

As part of our work for the John Templeton Grant #57657  “A New Biology of Spiritual Information” awarded to the Natural Philosophy Institute for the period from Sept 2015 through August 2017, my wife Aniko Albert and I published a … Continue reading →

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The American Scientific Affiliation Annual Meeting

Posted on August 4, 2017by thebookofworks

From July 26 to July 31, my wife, teenage stepson and I were in Colorado, first to visit an old friend in Boulder, and then to participate in the 76th annual meeting of the ASA in Golden (outside of Denver). … Continue reading →

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Biological Non-Conservation and Natural Selection (Part 3)

Posted on July 18, 2017by thebookofworks

The non-conservation principle (NCP) of life is directly responsible for the process of natural selection. We know that groups of organisms differ in their birth and death rates due to differences in the function of various forms of genes called … Continue reading →

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Some Personal Updates

Posted on July 12, 2017by thebookofworks

I thought I might take an opportunity to update readers on some recent and planned activities that are keeping me busy. I have been working under the aegis of my John Templeton Grant on an analysis of the dynamics of … Continue reading →

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Non Conservation, Evolution and Teleology in Biology (Part 2)

Posted on July 3, 2017by thebookofworks

We have seen in the last post (Part 1) that life is not conserved, while matter and energy are. We know that life is an emergent phenomenon from complex chemical interactions. As discussed in the last post, there are a … Continue reading →

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The Non-Conservation Principle in Biology (Part 1)

Posted on June 26, 2017by thebookofworks

There is no denying that biology is a form of chemistry. Biology is derived from and depends on all the rules of chemistry, including equilibrium, reaction kinetics, catalysis, organic synthesis, hydrolysis, entropy, etc. However, biology is a form of chemistry … Continue reading →

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About the Bible.

Posted on June 22, 2017by thebookofworks

“You guys are kidding, right?” “What do you mean?” “What do I mean? You are collaborating on a book. One of you writes the first chapter, the other writes the second. And so on” “Right. That’s what we did.” “Great. … Continue reading →

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Accepting Evolution

Posted on June 15, 2017by thebookofworks

I have noticed that for some people, the reality of evolution is not a scientific issue, nor even a theological one. They will never be convinced by either the science or the theology that evolution is both true and consonant … Continue reading →

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On Maundy Thursday

Posted on June 7, 2017by thebookofworks

On Maundy Thursday, Jesus came into the Church where I was, and sat down in the pew behind me. The service was mostly a musical rendition by the Church choir, along with another church choir and a string quartet. They … Continue reading →

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Christian scientists

Posted on June 4, 2017by thebookofworks

Some time ago, the militant atheist Richard Dawkins began promoting the idea that while he had to admit that there were some scientists who were Christians, the better scientists, (such as members of the National Academy) tend to be atheists … Continue reading →

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The Meaning of Purpose by Randy Isaac

Posted on May 22, 2017by thebookofworks

Today’s guest post is by Dr. Randy Isaac, former Executive Director of the American Scientific Affiliation, and a good friend. Randy and I share an interest in the concept of teleology in biology, and how notions of purpose and causation … Continue reading →

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Christianity as Child Abuse?

Posted on May 18, 2017by thebookofworks

The first time I heard of this new atheist meme, I was so shocked that I ignored it. But since then it has grown in popularity. One can now find people writing that teaching any religion to children is child … Continue reading →

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The Orphan of the Universe by Dean Ohlman

Posted on May 9, 2017by thebookofworks

We are fortunate to have a guest post from my colleague and fellow member of the facebook group, Celebrating Creation by Natural Selection, Dean Ohlman. Dean is retired from Our Daily Bread Ministries (formerly RBC Ministries) where he was a Christian … Continue reading →

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The Objectivist Fallacy

Posted on May 1, 2017by thebookofworks

There is a very popular atheist argument that only objective “scientific” facts count as evidence for anything. I call this the Objectivist Fallacy (OF), which is a form of scientism. Examples of the OF include the often-heard statements and questions … Continue reading →

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March for Science

Posted on April 23, 2017by thebookofworks

My friend and colleague Mike Beidler just posted something on facebook that I thought was worth re-posting here. Mike is the President of the Washington DC metro section of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), and a well respected writer on … Continue reading →

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A new day

Posted on April 18, 2017by thebookofworks

Originally posted on Random Ramblings:
I’ve always loved the Sabbath. Time to stop and be with my family. Time to appreciate God’s goodness to us and remember His promises. The Sabbath of Passover week is always especially a time of joy.…

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Simply, Simon; Redux

Posted on April 11, 2017by thebookofworks

It is Holy Week, and I would like to repost something that I put up on Holy Saturday last year. Holy Saturday is the day in-between. Very little is written about what happened on that day, but we can imagine.  We … Continue reading →

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Wisdom from The Biologos Conference

Posted on April 7, 2017by thebookofworks

I signed up for the live streaming of the Biologos Conference held in Houston last week and have watched most of the plenary lectures. They were all very  good, and I think some were outstanding. I was moved and inspired … Continue reading →

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Amazing Grace

Posted on March 31, 2017by thebookofworks

I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see. On Wednesday evening, March 29, Dr. Francis Collins and Professor N.T. Wright spoke at the opening session of the second Biologos Conference on Christ and Creation … Continue reading →

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An Audio Interview

Posted on March 26, 2017by thebookofworks

A couple of weeks ago, I did an audio interview with someone I met on twitter calling himself Max Kolbe (a pseudonym, the real Max Kolbe is a Polish saint). Max runs an anti-atheist group and is very active on … Continue reading →

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Reductionism

Posted on March 21, 2017by thebookofworks

My friend Dr. Randy Isaac read my recent post about emergence and got in touch with me about it. Randy recently retired from a long stint as the Executive Director of the American Scientific Affiliation. A physical scientist and a … Continue reading →

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The Origin of Chance

Posted on March 14, 2017by thebookofworks

After many many attempts (don’t ask how many, it was a very large number), God finally made the perfect universe. Everything worked great; the stars shone, the sun was brilliant, plants and animals, birds and fish were everywhere, and humans … Continue reading →

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Surprise!!

Posted on March 6, 2017by thebookofworks

There is a remarkable thing about scientific discoveries in all fields. They generally tend to be surprising. Nobody (meaning, no scientist) expected that the universe had a clear beginning – that space and time started at a particular moment, before … Continue reading →

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Evolution and Christian Belief: How Bad is it?

Posted on March 1, 2017by thebookofworks

At a recent symposium I attended, I heard a speaker say that Americans are still ignorant about science and reject evolution. The speaker put a good deal of the blame on Christianity, saying that the majority of the major religion … Continue reading →

6 Comments |

 

Is there Purpose in Life?

Posted on February 21, 2017by thebookofworks

Not a simple question. And the answer depends on who you ask. A Pastor will say yes, of course. Many biologists will answer no, the whole idea of purpose or, the ancient philosophical concept of teleology, has no place in … Continue reading →

11 Comments |

Why Charles Bastian isn’t Famous

Posted on February 15, 2017by thebookofworks

Charles Bastian was one of the leading biologists of the 19th century. A professor of Pathological Anatomy at University College, London, Dr. Bastian was a fellow of the Royal Society and of the Linnean Society. He was the author of … Continue reading →

13 Comments |

The God of Math, Meaning, and Harmony (by Ethan Ortega)

Posted on February 8, 2017by thebookofworks

Today’s post is a guest post from Ethan Ortega, a faithful follower of this blog for some time. I will not write much in introduction to Ethan, since he covers that pretty well in the post. Ethan will be happy … Continue reading →

5 Comments |

Emergence (1)

Posted on February 3, 2017by thebookofworks

Emergence is an interesting phenomenon that pervades all of existence, one that is often discussed by scientists, by philosophers, and humanists. But despite its ubiquity, I do not believe I have ever seen the idea of emergence brought up as … Continue reading →

9 Comments |

 

Finding My Faith

Posted on January 23, 2017by thebookofworks

I had an unusual upbringing for a Christian. My parents were dedicated materialistic atheists. They not only didn’t believe in God – they also thought that anything with a spiritual, psychological or non-rational quality was bogus. I grew up … Continue reading →

9 Comments |

Experience and Evidence

Posted on January 14, 2017by thebookofworks

What is scientific evidence? Can a spiritual experience count as scientific evidence? Most people would say no, but I am not so sure we can say that with absolute certainty. Christians are often asked by atheists “What is your evidence … Continue reading →

9 Comments |

Real and Fake

Posted on January 10, 2017by thebookofworks

There has been a lot of talk about fake news and what sometimes looks like a “post-truth world” recently. Fake news is obviously a problem in politics. In a similar vein,  fake science is a problem for theology. I will … Continue reading →

13 Comments |

The Good News

Posted on January 4, 2017by thebookofworks

Welcome to 2017!!  A decade ago I had a book published about the situation of humanity and the environment. My working title for the book was The Good News, because it put forth the claim that contrary to what most … Continue reading →

6 Comments |

Providential Evolution

Posted on December 5, 2016by thebookofworks

Dear reader – This blog post reflects a novel and probably controversial theme relating teleology (purpose) to evolution. I have written a much more detailed manuscript regarding these ideas, including the specific scientific background for them, which will be published … Continue reading →

16 Comments |

A Christmas Tale

Posted on December 12, 2016by thebookofworks

The Christmas season is here, and for my last post before the holiday period, I thought I would reflect a bit on my childhood memories of Christmas. They can be summed up with one word: Nothing. That’s right, I have … Continue reading →

2 Comments |

Magical Thinking, Part 2: Magic and Scientism

Posted on November 3, 2016by thebookofworks

We are seeing the flourishing of a strong atheistic world view that holds that that the universe is governed by natural law, as the monotheists first proclaimed (see previous post), but not because of a divinely designed creation, but because, … Continue reading →

6 Comments |

Guest Post: Looking for God in All the Wrong Places

Posted on November 9, 2016by thebookofworks

Today we have a guest post from Noah White. Noah is a junior at Houston Baptist University. He commented on a recent post here called Science, a Crisis of Faith, and Biologos. We began a conversation by email, and I suggested … Continue reading →

6 Comments |

The Atom and the Atonement: Why we need models in science and theology

Posted on November 17, 2016by thebookofworks

Originally posted on Science and Belief:
Atoms by Cezary Borysiuk. Flickr. (CC BY 2.0) If you ask a 14 year old, an 18 year old and an undergraduate to describe an atom you will get different answers. Ask them to…

1 Comment |

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on November 23, 2016by thebookofworks

For American readers, this is a season to give thanks, even in the midst of hardship and worry. Let us pray. May the good Lord watch over you, bless you in this time of giving thanks, and may you recall … Continue reading →

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Black Gunk

Posted on November 28, 2016by thebookofworks

I started out in science as a chemistry major in College. I liked chemistry much more than biology, because chemistry had rules, equations, and laws, and it made a lot of sense to me compared to the strange, messy, and … Continue reading →

11 Comments |

My Grand Unified Theory of Everything

Posted on October 5, 2016by thebookofworks

Despite the title, this is not a scientific post. It is metascientific, meaning its sort of like metaphysics, but not really. Metascience is when you talk about scientific stuff, but not really in a scientific way. There are four forces … Continue reading →

6 Comments |

 

Science, a Crisis of Faith, and Biologos

Posted on October 14, 2016by thebookofworks

On the Biologos forum on September 20th, a man named Nathan posted an eloquent and very moving cry for help. He confessed that he was a Christian who was undergoing a crisis of faith, and that he had been moved … Continue reading →

7 Comments |

A Discussion on Evolution (elsewhere)

Posted on October 24, 2016by thebookofworks

A discussion about some of the arguments between Intelligent Design and Evolutionary Creationism has been going on at Biologos for a while. Not for the first time. I am mentioning it here, now, because one of the Biologos commenters, Eddie … Continue reading →

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Magical Thinking, Part 1: Magic and Theism

Posted on October 28, 2016by thebookofworks

There are three broad ways of thinking about the world. The first is the magical view that everything that happens, good or bad, is due to the actions of a conscious agent, who might be benign, capricious, or malevolent. … Continue reading →

5 Comments |

Elegance

Posted on September 1, 2016by thebookofworks

Summer is over,  and the glorious month of September is here. Today marks the end of my long blogcation, and I welcome back any readers who were impatiently pining for new posts . I think the coming year will be an … Continue reading →

4 Comments |

Intelligent or Divine Design?

Posted on September 5, 2016by thebookofworks

The appearance of design suggests a designer. But how can we define the appearance of design? William Dembski, one of the founders of the Intelligent Design movement (ID), has subjected this question to some rigorous statistical treatment, with the intention …Continue reading →

5 Comments |

Reason, Freedom and Doubt

Posted on September 16, 2016by thebookofworks

I was quite pleasantly surprised when I became a Christian to find that there is a great deal of rational and logical analysis in Christian theology. Reading or listening to people like NT Wright or John Walton is not at … Continue reading →

4 Comments |

 

Wisdom from Tertullian et al.

Posted on September 22, 2016by thebookofworks

Among the blogs I follow is one called Resurrection Orthodoxy, written by Joel Edmund Anderson. http://www.joeledmundanderson.com/?p=1813 He recently had a post that I thought was a good accompaniment to my own last blog post on probability and theology. The post … Continue reading →

1 Comment |

The Blog Banner, Walt Whitman, ID and the Genetic Code (and more).

Posted on September 30, 2016by thebookofworks

I chose the banner for my blog mostly from an instinctive attachment to the idea of a parent passing on the wonder of science to a child (as my own father did with me). The fact that the subject is … Continue reading →

2 Comments |

My Talk on Evolutionary Biology

Posted on July 7, 2016by thebookofworks

Here is the link to my recent talk at the American Scientific Affiliation Washington DC Metro Chapter, on June 24, 2016. Its a bit dark, and its long, but about half of the video is discussion from the audience, which … Continue reading →

6 Comments |

 

The Reasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics in the Biological Sciences

Posted on July 12, 2016by thebookofworks

(With apologies to Wigner) The fact that biology is not rich in theory is well known. Of the theories that do exist (such as Darwin’s theory of evolution), many have never been formulated into mathematical laws. Physics envy is … Continue reading →

11 Comments |

 

Vacation!

Posted on July 15, 2016by thebookofworks

Over the past year I have very much enjoyed posting almost 70 articles on this blog. I have also been happy to see the comments, likes, and post reblogging, and want to say thanks to all of the followers and … Continue reading →

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Tweeting and God

Posted on June 4, 2016by thebookofworks

My busy two weeks of meetings and deadlines is now past, and I can devote myself to important stuff like lying on the hammock, watching the garden grow, and blogging. I recently started using Twitter to expand my social network … Continue reading →

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The Right Answer

Posted on June 14, 2016by thebookofworks

Several decades ago, I welcomed a new graduate student to my lab. She had just graduated summa cum laude from a major Ivy League college, and she was as smart as can be. I put her to work on a … Continue reading →

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The “Brothers” Shapiro

Posted on June 20, 2016by thebookofworks

Well, they aren’t brothers – they just share the same last name. I don’t think they knew each other. I don’t even know if they even knew the other existed. One of them, James is alive and well; sadly the … Continue reading →

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It’s in our DNA

Posted on June 27, 2016by thebookofworks

Genes are amazing things. They are storehouses of information. They are also able to copy themselves (with some help), and they are the reason I am here typing. In the 1970s, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins had an insight that propelled … Continue reading→

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Occam was wrong

Posted on May 2, 2016by thebookofworks

Parsimony has become very popular with scientists and philosophers. The idea is that the simplest explanation for any phenomenon – the one that includes the fewest possible number of causal factors – is the best explanation. This principle was used … Continue reading →

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A Time for Us

Posted on May 8, 2016by thebookofworks

I grew up in the middle of Brooklyn, NY, so I missed out on the whole trees and flowers thing until much later. But there were some advantages to being in NY. My parents brought me to see quite a … Continue reading →

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Accidental Will?

Posted on May 11, 2016by thebookofworks

It has become quite popular to doubt the reality of free will. The famous atheist Sam Harris has a book about this, and the claim that free will is nothing more than an illusion can be found throughout modern atheist … Continue reading →

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More on Biological Theory

Posted on May 18, 2016by thebookofworks

I have studied many things in my long career in biological research. Most of my work was on applied biology. I worked, published papers, and got grants in environmental health sciences, toxicology, cancer research, molecular epidemiology, population genetics, gene-environment interactions, … Continue reading →

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A Brief Interlude

Posted on May 22, 2016by thebookofworks

I will not be posting here for the next week or so, since I am in the middle of a time crunch, with deadlines and obligations bearing down from several directions. I hope to get back to speed after I … Continue reading →

 

The Story of My Greatest Discovery

Posted on April 2, 2016by thebookofworks

In 1991, on a trip to London, I had some free time and went to the British Library. I saw a lot of manuscripts on display, but nothing on science. I asked a guard for directions to the scientific manuscripts, … Continue reading →

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Review of Michael Denton’s Book

Posted on April 8, 2016by thebookofworks

On Feb 10, I posted a link to our review of Michael Denton’s book Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis that was published on the Biologos Blog. That review did spark some interest on the Biologos site, but the discussion quickly went … Continue reading →

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God in His Creation

Posted on April 13, 2016by thebookofworks

I believe that God is the creator of all that exists. We don’t know how God created our universe, or even if there is only one universe or there are many independent ones. We don’t know if life arose from … Continue reading →

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Praise the Lord, Simulator of the Universe

Posted on April 23, 2016by thebookofworks

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s recent debate at the American Museum of Natural History on the question of whether we live in a real or a simulated universe was fascinating. The first interesting thing is that such a hypothesis is considered worthy of … Continue reading →

 

The Creator in a scientific paper

Posted on March 2, 2016by thebookofworks

A strange situation has arisen regarding a paper in the well-respected, free online journal, PLOS One. The paper, called “Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living”, was published by four Chinese scientists in January. The paper appears … Continue reading →

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Purity

Posted on March 7, 2016by thebookofworks

Being pure is supposed to be a good thing, and I guess sometimes it is. But sometimes it isn’t Having pure air to breathe or pure ingredients to work with are universally seen as good. But in other, more abstract … Continue reading →

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Life will find a way

Posted on March 13, 2016by thebookofworks

This famous quote from the film “Jurassic Park” is actually not as vacuous as you might expect from a Hollywood blockbuster. In fact it is pretty well true. Life does tend to find ways to spread, adapt, survive, and … Continue reading →

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Baseball Cards, Gene Regulatory Networks and Chance.

Posted on March 18, 2016by thebookofworks

One of the first skills I ever mastered, when I was about 10 or 11, was how to flip baseball cards. One kid would flip a card spinning into the air and let it come down, heads or tails. The … Continue reading →

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Simply, Simon

Posted on March 26, 2016by thebookofworks

Today is simply Saturday,  the day between. We know very little about what happened on this day, but we can imagine.  We can imagine a man, much like us. A man defeated, alone, miserable and afraid. This man, who was … Continue reading →

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How Do I Know?

Posted on March 28, 2016by thebookofworks

This past Good Friday, I posted the following two paragraphs (shown in italics) in the facebook group, Celebrating Creation by Natural Selection. One of the comments was a question shown below in bold. What follows that is my answer. I … Continue reading →

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Free Will

Posted on February 3, 2016by thebookofworks

The militant atheists I grew up with (my family and all their friends) considered free will a critical component of the human mind. The idea that people were to some degree free to choose their mode of action was crucial to the very fabric of liberal (not to mention radical) social action. The restriction of free will by outside agencies, like the Church, the oppressive ruling class, poverty, or lack of education, was in fact identified as the obvious enemy of progress.

An Important Book Review

Posted on February 10, 2016by thebookofworks

The staff of Biologos asked me to review a new book by Discovery Institute’s Michael Denton. The book is called Evolution Still a Theory in Crisis, not an auspicious title for an evolutionist like me. But I read the book, and Im glad I did.

I think my review of the book (written with my wife and collaborator, Aniko Albert) along with an introduction by Jim Stump, Biologos Senior or, and a non technical summary by the Biologos orial Team could represent a turning point in the interactions between those who hold to Evolutionary Creationism, and some parts of the Intelligent Design movement.  I will repost the review here at a later date, but for now here is a link to the review and the other documents. Comments can be made here or there, as you wish.

 

Thoughts On Evolution

Posted on February 16, 2016by thebookofworks

Evolution is not simply change. Stars change, planets change, galaxies, mountains, rocks, and all aspects of the physical world change, but they do not evolve. Evolution implies more than simple change: it is an accumulating, progressive change that relies on the transmission of information from one state of matter to all future states. In life, this transmission of information is chemically mediated through the informational molecule of inheritance, DNA. Natural selection is the process that selects which states are most likely to pass their information, but without inheritance (a term that means the passing of information from one generation to the next) there is no evolution.

Former atheist astrophysicist, Sarah Salviander, explains her journey to Christianity.

Posted on February 18, 2016by thebookofworks

I found this blog post and had to re blog it here, since her story is so close to mine. I was very moved to read it, and I simply had to share it.

Testimony of former atheist Sarah Salviander. She is a research scientist in astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Texas.

“I was born in the U.S., but grew up in Canada. My parents were socialists and political activists who thought British Columbia would be a better place for us to live, since it had the only socialist government in North America at the time. My parents were also atheists, though they eschewed that label in favor of “agnostic.” They were kind, loving, and moral, but religion played no part in my life. Instead, my childhood revolved around education, particularly science. I remember how important it was to my parents that my brother and I did well in school.

Deep in My Heart

Posted on February 21, 2016by thebookofworks

Today’s post is nothing related to science. I did speak at my Church on Friday about humility, science and faith, and on Ash Wednesday went to an African American Church where I listened to their choir. That experience stimulated this … Continue reading →

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Two new articles about the new evolutionary biology

Posted on February 23, 2016by thebookofworks

My two related articles on the new evolutionary biology have come out at the same time: Sy Garte “God and the New Evolutionary Biology” God & Nature Magazine Winter, 2016 and my first full original article in PSCF (at this … Continue reading →

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The Book of Job, Revised

Posted on February 28, 2016by thebookofworks

And it came to pass that a famous scientist came upon hard times. People called him names, women said he had castigated them unfairly, others questioned his sincerity. Some criticized him for speaking about things that he knew nothing of, … Continue reading →

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It’s Only Logical

Posted on January 4, 2016by thebookofworks

“The true function of logic…as applied to matters of experience…is analytic rather than constructive; taken a priori, it shows the possibility of hitherto unsuspected alternatives more often than the impossibility of alternatives which seemed prima facie possible. Thus, while it liberates imagination as to … Continue reading →

Gene Regulatory Networks

Posted on January 12, 2016by thebookofworks

Gene Networks are collections of genes that interact with each other. What does that mean, and how do genes interact? First, we must understand that a gene does nothing but store information. The analogy most often used is a book. … Continue reading →

 

STOP signs

Posted on January 23, 2016by thebookofworks

Several decades ago, I was driving along a country road looking for a cabin owned by a friend of mine. The directions he had given me were vague at best. I came to a spot where the very rustic road … Continue reading →

 

The Good Creation

Posted on December 2, 2015by thebookofworks

When I was a child we used to go for summer vacations to the small New England village where my grandfather owned a house not far from the ocean. During one walk along the beach, I found a nice piece … Continue reading →

On Constants

Posted on December 10, 2015by thebookofworks

In science, there are many laws that are described mathematically. Some are established from experimentation; others are derived theoretically from other known laws. It has often been pointed out that it is quite remarkable that nature operates in  ways that … Continue reading →

 

Cousins!

Posted on December 16, 2015by thebookofworks

I am sorry to say, but Donald Trump is related to me. But the good news is so is President Obama, Hilary Clinton, and everyone running for President (somewhat good news, I guess). Not only that, but they are also … Continue reading →

 

Happy Holidays!

Posted on December 19, 2015by thebookofworks

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all. I will be back in early January. Meanwhile I hope all your holiday celebrations are full of joy, and (if you are lucky) peace. Sy

Dodging Darwin: How Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter is Slowly Embracing Evolution

Posted on December 30, 2015by thebookofworks

Originally posted on Naturalis Historia:
Please welcome David MacMillan* as a guest author today on Naturalis Historia.**  As the strict young-earth creationists at Answers in Genesis work to complete their Ark Encounter “theme park,” they have expended an impressive amount…

 

The Truth About New Biological Information (Continued)

Posted on November 3, 2015by thebookofworks

In a previous post (The Reality of Biological Information), I discussed some of the many mechanisms that allow for the production of NEW genetic information without getting into specific examples. In this post I will cite several examples of new … Continue reading→

Humans

Posted on November 9, 2015by thebookofworks

I believe in human exceptionalism. I believe that human consciousness, creativity, intellect, imagination and other characteristics are emergent qualities with no true analogy in the animal world. I believe this as a matter of religious faith (imago Dei), but even …Continue reading →

 

Tank God (not a typo)

Posted on November 19, 2015by thebookofworks

After eating, I was feeling pretty good. I swam down to the castle, where, as usual, Blackie and Angel were having their daily discussion, or argument (depending on their respective moods). Same topic of course, – science vs. religion. Blackie … Continue reading →

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on November 25, 2015by thebookofworks

I will be traveling for the holiday so I will not be posting anything until Monday Nov. 30. I hope all who read this have a great Thanksgiving. Peace and joy to all.

Alien Civilizations?

Posted on October 4, 2015by thebookofworks

Now that water has been found on Mars, the question of life outside of our own planet is likely to be a major discussion topic for a while. Since liquid water is a necessary (but insufficient) requirement for life, journalists, … Continue reading →

God proves His existence. Uh oh.

Posted on October 6, 2015by thebookofworks

One bright sunny day, the Lord God paid a visit to Earth. He arrived in a huge, flaming chariot that was visible to millions of people as he circled the globe a few times. Behind the chariot was a banner … Continue reading →

 

Stochastic Grace

Posted on October 9, 2015by thebookofworks

This was first published on the Biologos Website in December 2010.  I was raised in a household of atheists. My parents were card-carrying members of the American Communist Party, and therefore the atheism in my household was quite close to the …Continue reading →

 

Yes, the Universe Is Huge.

Posted on October 18, 2015by thebookofworks

There is a very popular meme floating around these days. It’s about how immensely huge the universe is. How many billions of galaxies there are, each with billions of stars and planets, and doesn’t that make you feel small? Insignificant? … Continue reading →

 

Wisdom from the Apostle Paul (By Guest Blogger Dean Ohlman)

Posted on October 20, 2015by thebookofworks

Today’s blog post is from Dean Ohlman, a fellow member of the facebook group Celebrating Creation by Natural Selection (CCNS). I have adapted the post below from some comments that he  a discussion thread on that site. Dean … Continue reading →

 

God Seeks Advice

Posted on October 25, 2015by thebookofworks

God was perplexed. “I don’t get it. What is the point, exactly?” Michael sighed and tried to explain. Again. “You see, Lord, what they are saying now is that if something can be explained by science, then nobody needs to … Continue reading →

 

I Don’t Know

Posted on October 27, 2015by thebookofworks

I have given many talks in my life – at symposia, seminars, conferences. I always liked public speaking (being the egotist that I am), but my favorite part was the questions. Some were easy. Sometimes I got a question that … Continue reading →

 

Biology, the Lawless Science (Part 2)

Posted on September 5, 2015by thebookofworks

In physics, chemistry, geology, climatology and even some of the social sciences, theories and laws are born from models of systems, generally based on observations or experimental data. Molecular biologists also use the term model in their papers and presentations.  … Continue reading →

The Bus and the Drums. A love story for 911.

Posted on September 11, 2015by thebookofworks

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 The young woman was crying. She stood at the front of the crowded bus. Her man was soothing her.”It’s OK, honey, … Continue reading →

 

Truth?

Posted on September 17, 2015by thebookofworks

“What is truth?” “Oh boy, is that the topic?” “Yeah, why not?” “I mean, like are we still in college or what? Cmon, what is truth, you got to be kidding.” “OK, wise guy, can you answer the question?” “Sure. … Continue reading →

 

The Default Position Redux – Suffering and Christianity.

Posted on September 19, 2015by thebookofworks

I have just read an excellent blog post by theologian Ryan Patrick McLaughlin entitled The Real Theological Challenge of Evolution.http://www.patheos.com/blogs/evangelicalpulpit/2015/09/the-real-theological-challenge-of-evolution/. The author raises an issue I have seen many times: that the problem with evolution is not that it contradicts … Continue reading →

 

Truth in Science (An Introduction)

Posted on September 29, 2015by thebookofworks

I love science, and I will always consider myself to be an active scientist. But there are some things going on in certain scientific areas of enquiry that trouble me. I have seen some people (most of them not actually … Continue reading →

 

The Problem with Modern Atheism is not about God

Posted on August 3, 2015by thebookofworks

Is there a spiritual dimension of reality? Some time ago you could be an atheist and answer yes. But the New Atheists not only deny the existence of God, they also deny the reality of anything spiritual in human existence. … Continue reading →

The Reality of New Biological Information

Posted on August 12, 2015by thebookofworks

According to an idea popular among young earth creationists,  evolution cannot result in new genetic information, and biological information can only be degraded with time. There are variations on this theme, including the concept that mutations cannot be beneficial. These … Continue reading →

 

New Ideas in Evolutionary Biology, Part 1 (of 3)

Posted on August 14, 2015by thebookofworks

(This series of three posts is taken from a review article I am planning to submit for publication. I have removed references from the posts, but will be happy to supply them on request.) The idea that the source of … Continue reading →

 

New Ideas in Evolutionary Biology, Part 2 (of 3)

Posted on August 15, 2015by thebookofworks

(This series of three posts is taken from a review article I am planning to submit for publication. I have removed references from the posts, but will be happy to supply them on request.) Stress Directed Mutations In 1988, a … Continue reading →

 

New Ideas in Evolutionary Biology, Part 3 (of 3)

Posted on August 15, 2015by thebookofworks

(This series of three posts is taken from a review article I am planning to submit for publication. I have removed references from the posts, but will be happy to supply them on request.) Natural Genetic Engineering (cont.) There is … Continue reading →

 

The Default Position

Posted on August 26, 2015by thebookofworks

My first wife was not happy with the house we lived in. It was in a small town, on a quiet street, with a backyard, a driveway, a garage, a front and back porch, three bedrooms upstairs, a living room, … Continue reading →

 

What does “Peer Reviewed” mean?

Posted on August 31, 2015by thebookofworks

You might have seen or heard people engaged in debates about evolution, climate change, GMOs, vaccinations, or any other popular science-oriented issue refer to peer- reviewed literature, published papers, or journal articles. These all refer to the same thing.  So …Continue reading →

 

Faith and Proof

Posted on July 6, 2015by thebookofworks

I’ve always loved science. I became a scientist, and I did a lot scientific research in genetics, toxicology, and molecular biology. While I never became a great scientist, I did make a living at it. And I have always read … Continue reading →

 

A review of Nicholas Wade’s book A Troublesome Inheritance (modified from a review published in Perspective in Science and Christian Faith

Posted on July 17, 2015by thebookofworks

A Troubling Distortion of Science – A Review of A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History by Nicholas Wade. Sy Garte and Aniko Albert The use of pseudo-scientific arguments to advance philosophical and political agendas is quite familiar to …Continue reading →

 

Do we need God?

Posted on July 27, 2015by thebookofworks

The answer is no. I will elaborate. We don’t need to believe in God to be good people. I have known many good people who didn’t believe in God, including most of my relatives. We don’t need to know God … Continue reading →

Magic, Religion, Science

Posted on June 5, 2015by thebookofworks

In the first human conceptions of the world, nobody thought that any part of reality obeyed fixed natural laws. That is the nature of magic, the basis of primitive religions and world views. According to magical thinking, there is … Continue reading →

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The genesis of Genesis

Posted on June 9, 2015by thebookofworks

Here is what I think might have happened. Sam the scribe, a very religious man, was hanging in front of his tent one day when he heard the voice of the Lord. “Sam,” boomed the voice. “Get some parchment and … Continue reading →

 

The genesis of Genesis, Part 2

Posted on June 14, 2015by thebookofworks

God said,  “Listen, Sam, I hope you are getting the point here. The plants, using photosynthesis were able to convert the energy from the sun into useful chemical energy by a complex process of electron transport. What a great system. … Continue reading →

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A New Biology of Spiritual Information

Posted on June 19, 2015by thebookofworks

The title of this this post is also the title of the grant just awarded to The Natural Philosophy Institute by the John Templeton Foundation. I (Sy Garte) am the Principle Investigator of the award, and I will be assisted … Continue reading →

 

Welcome to The Book of Works

Posted on May 25, 2015by thebookofworks

This blog is about science from the perspective of natural philosophy. There was originally no distinction between science and philosophy. Scientists as recently as 150 years ago referred to themselves as natural philosophers. Natural philosophy is in fact a good …Continue reading →