A question about the name 'biologos'

Dear friends,

I have been enjoying Dr, Collins’ books only the last 2 months or so. I am still digging quite a bit into them and the relatively newly founded Biologos organization. Yet, coming from a Hellenic background, in my own humble opinion the choice of the word ‘Biologos’ is rather unfortunate. In Hellenic (Greek) it means something totally different. I understand what was the likely rational for the choice of this word; however, I am wondering whether any ‘sophisticated’ Hellenic/English resources were considered.

It is a bit like some parts of English translations of the Bible (from Hellenic) that leave much to be desired.

Respectfully,

Christos

Hi, and welcome to the forum!

Yeah - I imagine the name was probably chosen in an English-speaking context, obviously wanting to showcase science (biology) in a harmonious blend with God’s Word (the Logos) … hence BioLogos.

You’ll have to share more with us about what the unfortunate ramifications are in Greek. That would be interesting to learn.

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Yes, the ‘CamelCase’ (combined upper- and lowercase) BioLogos has to have been pretty intentional (unlike the left-handed helix of ICR’s logo, oops XD ) …and not equivalent to ‘biologos’, whatever that may mean.

Maybe he got it in a vision or on a mountain top somewhere.

“The term “BioLogos” comes from two Greek words: bios, which means “life” like in our words “biology” (the study of life) or “biohazard” (something not very pleasant for life); and the word “logos”, which can mean a bunch of different things like “the study of” or “reason” or “word”. Collins had in mind the use of the term from the first chapter of the Gospel of John where Christ is called “the Logos”, usually translated into English as “Word”. The Gospel starts with “In the beginning was the Word” and a few verses later says, “All things came into being through the Word.” So BioLogos references the fact that Christ is the source of all life. Therefore life is an expression of the will of God.”

biologos in spanish is “biology” so many people think we are just a science organization.

It is pronounced “Bio- LOW-GOWS” as in a brand “logo.”

Please do tell what it means! :rofl:

I think if you look at the “bio” as meaning “life” and Logos as Christ, it comes together with shades of meaning including “life with Christ” as well as combining the sciency biology meaning with Christ. And we have have prior discussions on Logos and the Word as found in the first chapter of John.
Of course, my pet peeve is we call it Evolutionary Creationism when Integrative Creationism would be more descriptive and marketable.

And Hilliary beat me with her post!

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It’s meant to be an English neologism, and if BioLogos were branding itself for a Greek-speaking context, they would have to change their name. It already causes problems for search engines because biólogos is Spanish (and maybe a couple other Romance languages) for biologists.

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The Bible is written in Common (Koine) Greek, not the Classical Greek of the educated people. However, the Logos was a concept taken from philosophy which was written in classical Greek.

As found in Dictionary of Philoso1ophy and Religion by W. L. Reece, Humanities Press 1980, p 314. "A Greek term meaning ‘reason, word, speech, discourse, definition, principle. or ratio.’ The function of term in philosophy has turned largely on the logos as ‘reason’."

The Jewish philosopher Philo used the concept of logos to mean the creative word of God.

Joihn 1:1 places the philosophical concept of Reason, Logos, in the center of Christian theology. This may be what @xphstos50 is referring to. Whatever that many be, the Greeks accepted Christianity over their native religion, which was based on myths, the opposite of logos.

Thank you for all your comments. After I had been wondering about science (40.5 years in University Academia) and faith (28 years assistant cantor of byzantine music in Greek Orthodox Churches), I ran across “the Language of God” that seemed to take care of some of my science-faith questions. Interestingly, this wonderful encounter raised some new questions, the answers to which I am still looking for.

In my own humble opinion, this topic probably needs a fair amount of additional thought and/or discussion. A few quick points are:

  1. ‘Logos’ has more meanings than the ones listed above (in one of the responses).
  2. Although Greeks accepted Christianity over their native religion, it seems that Christianity has borrowed a number of ‘aspects’ of the Ancient Greeks’ religion. Is it a coincidence?
  3. The word biologist in Spanish and Italian is coming from the Hellenic word βιολόγος (‘biologos’, no capital letter L). It is no wonder that search engines may be having a tough time with the essence of ‘biologos.org’. For example, people may very well think BioLogos is a group of Βιολόγοι (Biologists).

Francis Collins specifically said he was referring to the Logos of John 1, which is Christ. The Greek word Logos is borrowed into English and used as a title for Christ by English speakers.

No, of course not. Christianity was contexualized in Hellenistic culture and then institutionalized in Roman culture that was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy. Most of the early church Fathers were classically educated in the Greek/Latin system.

Yes, the name and website were chosen before people thought of things like search engine optimization and the global marketplace.

Thank you for your response/comments. A few additional points are:

  1. “‘Logos’ has more meanings than the ones listed above” in my earlier point #1 was referring to Reece’s source’s information mentioned earlier. That list is incomplete.

  2. I fully agree with your response to my earlier point #2; yet, I meant to go a bit beyond your response’s contents.

  3. I beg to differ with your response to my earlier point #3. Optimized search engines have been around since the mid-1990s. Of course that is OK anyway.

I would like to reiterate that the book ‘The Language of God’ has affected me very positively, to an extend that I had never thought of before. I still have (at least) two questions that I am searching some answer for, but I will keep looking and thinking about them.

I am also lucky in that my other half has similar formal education in a very different field from mine, and she is the daughter of a Greek Orthodox priest. You may guess … who is mostly the devil’s advocate, in our interesting sometimes lengthy nice related discussions at home!

Sure, but internet savvy marketing people trained to write copy that capitalizes on search engine optimization and social media algorithms is newer. BioLogos did not have staff trained in such things when it started.

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