It’s hard for me to say what the most important lesson or the funniest moment were. I often laugh and have learned the most through dialogues like this.
What got me here is a little curious. I had been active on faith and philosophy forums on Reddit on and off for a couple years. That’s such a large group and people so often come and go, I was losing interest. I made a comment on Craig Keener’s YouTube page about how much his Revelation lectures meant to me and made a quick comment about what I was interested in philosophically. He to my amazement, kindly replied and encouraged me.
That lead me to look up to see if Tremper Longman was active on any forums, which resulted in a search result of BioLogos. At first I thought it was associated with Biola, and had the vaguest idea who Francis Collins is. I only knew the name from Longman’s book Confronting OT Controversies. And as someone who was a Robert Malone fan I thought it was kind of ironic I landed here.
I came to find Biologos after listening to their podcast for a while.
The most interesting , and important thing that I’ve learned in here was through various chats, mostly in PM, that shedded light on the issues of LGBT that just never really made sense to me. The hatred towards them I mean. I use to only study the Bible strictly through BCV and through the recourses presented and spending dozens of hours going through them, it really helped me understand the cultural aspect of a term vs the modern definition of a term and how to use examples instead of definitions to understand the main point.
Though I’m not going to share the funniest thing I’ll share one of the things I find very amusing here and it’s within the forums. I have always found it funny that every now and then we seemingly get flooded by a handful of high schoolers or young college kids who are doing some kind of homework on creation and part of it is to ask a few questions and suddenly we see very similar questions with limited interactions after that from them. It’s like they are here to collect words and bounce and then sometime a year later another group runs through for a few days and then the annual migration is over until next time.
Randy, I couldn’t agree more. I like your questions and have actually asked myself some of these fairly often recently.
What brought you to the Biologos website?
About 2 years ago I was looking for some place I could find support for both Christian belief and acceptance of real scientific- as well as other forms of academic inquiry. My church environment had become exhausting and discouraging. I was looking for people whose views I found sane.
What is the most important, or interesting, thing you learned on the website (either the main BL one, or the discourse)?
More than coming to learn about specific content, (I can read books about those things, or watch decent educational videos, etc. A discussion board is a terrible format for me to learn specific content.) I have found the forum a valuable place to process my own ideas, or watch other people do the same. Being involved with other people, who think differently but well and who can do that within the context of faith, is incredibly valuable.
I have found the discussions that involve more philosophical, ethical, and metacognitive topics the most valuable and enjoyable. I have nothing of value to add to any discussion of technical scientific information and cannot participate in those.
Anymore I find that my most valuable communication now takes place through PM, though. I am involved in at least 5 long-term, private discussions.
I have found the thoughtful, intelligent people, who are willing to civilly, humanely debate, argue, think through, question, etc. the very best part of the Forum.
What have you recently found the most humorous–either on the website, or in your recent day?
Hmmm. I’m grateful for the Humor, Pithy Quotes and Photos threads, because I often find myself in need of those as well. Timothy often brightens my day:
Looking for people thinking about and discussing the theological implications of evolution.
What comes to mind most easily are things in which I was shown to be wrong. The easiest to remember is the fact that viruses unlike bacteria do evolve using variation which is mostly random. I don’t think that is the only example, and it is likely not even the most important. And then there are many ways of thinking that are developed by interaction – coming up with my own answers to the questions asked by others. Often the questions are more important than the answers.
Asking us to analyze humor in any way seems destructive of humor. Even reflection can destroy humor. If we had a science of humor would it really be funny any more?
Anybody familiar with the analysis of humor in Heinlein’s novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”?
ChatGPT: “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein is a science fiction novel that explores a wide range of themes and ideas, including the nature of humanity, the role of religion, and the importance of personal freedom. The novel is also known for its use of humor, which is woven throughout the story.
One of the most notable aspects of the humor in “Stranger in a Strange Land” is its satirical nature. Heinlein uses humor to critique various aspects of society, including religion, politics, and popular culture. For example, he pokes fun at the religious beliefs of the characters, portraying them as naive and superstitious.
Heinlein also uses humor to highlight the absurdity of certain social norms and conventions. For example, the character of Jubal Harshaw, a successful author and lawyer, is portrayed as a maverick who rejects many of the traditional values and expectations of his profession. His irreverent and iconoclastic attitude is often played for laughs, but it also serves to challenge the reader’s assumptions about what is considered “normal” behavior.
At the same time, Heinlein also uses humor to explore deeper philosophical themes. For example, the character of Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised by Martians, is often portrayed as an innocent and naive figure who is learning about the complexities of human society for the first time. The humor in these scenes is used to highlight the contrast between Smith’s childlike innocence and the jaded, cynical attitudes of the other characters.
Overall, the humor in “Stranger in a Strange Land” serves multiple purposes, including satire, social commentary, and philosophical exploration. It adds an important dimension to the novel and helps to make it a memorable and thought-provoking work of science fiction.
The analysis of humor starts with the main character’s observation of a chimp beating up another chimp. Previously he did not understand the whole concept of humor, but when he saw this he began laughing. Then he explains his insight regarding humor and sees it as closely related to pain.
I read the story right after high school and didn’t remember the humor element. The one thing that stood out for me was the part about language and the meaning of words. Which I connected to a book I read a little over two years ago, Jacob’s Ladder and the Gift of Glossary by Jimmy Weiss. Interesting book with an original interpretation of the gift of tongues.
The main conclusion I remember about humor from that book was something like: We laugh because it hurts. The naive Martian’s insight into human humor is that we find stuff funny because the alternative would be to live life in drudgery of one kind of pain or another. At least that’s what I recall from my having read it decades ago.
I’m not even sure I remember any more. I probably just stumbled onto it because of my interest in science and faith issues, and then found my way here as a result.
I’ve probably learned (and forgotten) a legion of factoids around here - though don’t ask me to list any of them out at any given moment. My memory doesn’t work like that. To echo the insights of some already expressed above, it’s more about the people here for me too. That’s not to diminish knowledge/wisdom I’ve gained - that’s important too. But we’re slowly shaped by the voices we let into our heads on a regular basis. And I would a thousand times rather have some of the select voices around here rattling around in my head than the talking fear-mongers of so many other media outlets right now. Y’all (even ones I argue and disagree with) are with me ‘in spirit’ so-to-speak, and I value that.
I had been spending time on atheist forums but found the prevailing attitudes and behavior vile. There were exceptions of course but I was really interested to understand the appeal of God belief. But whenever someone articulate and open who was a believer would wonder through, the worst would compete to drive them off. Eventually these Lord Of The Flies moments along with the smug assumption that having escaped religion made everyone some kind of genius became unbearable. Then I tried agnostic forums but got tired of watching the paint dry. Finally I discovered this place and have finally been able to satisfy my curiosity about the draw of God belief. I find I feel something similar but I don’t personify/deify what that is even though doing so does reflect it’s relative importance next to my personal capacity for cleverness. I think of it as being what gives rise to insight and inspiration though I lack a backstory for why I think it deserves the esteem I have for it. Let’s just say I’ve come to value and trust it anyway.
I can’t remember what lead me here but it might have been the science/faith connection. I have a younger brother who is a regular pew-warner and he used to initiate conversations around God with me in which I would suggest YEC wasn’t the only way to imagine his God. Alas I’ve never been able to interest him in checking this place out. He always seems to regard it as though I’d suggested he give the church of Satan a try.
But of course this place too has its share of clowns, polemicists and smug triumphalists just like the atheist forums. That is why I recently I chose to take a break from posting on the open forum. Attention is a precious commodity which I intend to disperse more judiciously from now on. If you don’t deserve it, you’re not getting any. If I don’t respond to your goading or questions I probably have you on ignore.
Thanks for the questions Randy and for your steady good neighborliness.
I was thinking about you yesterday as I was thinking about how various tribes and societies gave rise to particular god beliefs or territorial spirits that take on a life of their own. And then along came Israel and those gods are swept under the rug of Psalm 82:6-8.
The god belief of all god beliefs… it’s the belief is nearly hysterical.
I read somewhere there is this kind of site and was interested to find out more. As a biologist interested about the Logos, BioLogos was a promising word. The info that those writing to the site includes also people who know what they talk, scientists and other reasonable people, sounded promising. So I searched for the site and started reading.
Many posts and comments have included interesting bits of information. The broad scope of persons writing to the Forum has given a better understanding about the variety of ideas more or less reasonable people support.
I usually read the Humor in Science and Theology thread. It is very seldom boring and sometimes includes really funny insights.
I came here because i listened to the biologos founder on youtube and found his views interesting. I studied a little about theistic evolution at university, however, i have never agreed with the theory. I wanted to learn more about this world view because i believe in fair hearing from all sides.
I still do not agree with this world view, my theological knowledge is far to extensive to be able to consider this view as authoritative over self evident biblical revelation.
However, i genuinely value this forum as a learning tool. Individuals should be able to obtain knowledge and skills from a variety of sources and that enables them to choose wisely a balanced view that best fits their judgment.
Believe it or not it was a GOTquestions (yes the site got questions)moderator that first introduced me here(at that small period of time i was a YECer and new to christianity and was asking my questions there)
I got here via a link on the Age of Rocks blog, sometime in the summer of 2015. I was looking for resources that would help me to address the subject from a perspective that was both (a) honest and informed, and (b) unashamedly Christian.
I had started researching the subject because I had seen that the young earth lobby was getting out of hand. I had generally avoided the debate since giving up on YECism when I was at university, viewing it as the kind of foolish controversy that Paul tells us to avoid in Titus 3:9. But it had increasingly come to my attention that young earth teachings were having a real, harmful effect on people (including my own nephews, who were questioning their faith on account of it) while at the same time I’d noticed the increased militancy with which they were being promoted by organisations such as Answers in Genesis, and it had really, really shocked me. When one of my friends, who I’d have expected to know better, wrote a blog post denouncing anyone who didn’t acknowledge that Noah had dinosaurs on board the Ark as “faithless so-called Christians,” I realised I couldn’t remain silent any more.
The problem was that when I first started researching the subject, the rebuttals to YECism that I was aware of all approached it from what seemed to me to be a distinctly atheistic perspective. Sites such as RationalWiki, Talk Origins, No Answers in Genesis, Panda’s Thumb and Sensuous Curmudgeon sometimes seemed to be more interested in berating YECs for “introducing religious presuppositions into science” and squabbling over the First Amendment than in demanding that they get their facts straight; they often went beyond just critiquing YECism and attacked Christianity in general; and they sometimes degenerated into mocking and derisory tones that I found quite off-putting. To encounter organisations such as Reasons to Believe, BioLogos and the American Scientific Affiliation who shared my concerns and actually provided resources that addressed them firmly but respectfully, while remaining steadfastly Christian, was like a breath of fresh air.
That you don’t have to compromise the Bible or become a Progressive Christian if that’s not your thing, let alone abandon your faith altogether, in order to take evolution seriously as the rock-solid, well established, indisputable fact that it is.
Not recent, but the one clear winner by a country mile: when @Jay313 turned Danny Faulkner’s rebuttal of flat earthism into a rebuttal of young earthism by doing a simple find and replace for just five words.
Incidentally, has Answers in Genesis ever responded to that one?
No, not even after @Joel_Duff published a longer version on his blog. Good times!
What brought you to the BioLogos website?
Early in 2016 I started researching an idea for a book on the younger generation losing faith (the rise of the “nones”). I’d noted the trend for a long time anecdotally as a teacher and parent. So I was reading You Lost Me by Dave Kinnaman and he listed the anti-science mindset of the church as one of the main reasons young people were losing faith. That brought me to BioLogos. (I ultimately abandoned the book because I was too late. The trend only picked up steam after the 2016 election, if you get my drift.)
What is the most important, or interesting, thing you learned on the website (either the main BL one, or the discourse)?
I couldn’t pick just one thing. BioLogos has been an important part of my journey for years. From main I learned a lot about the basics of genetics and evolution, and the Forum offered me the chance to ask questions from people who knew far more than I ever will.
In short, BioLogos has been a blessing to me. I thank everyone involved from the top to the bottom. (That’s you, mods. haha)
A long time ago way back in 2012, I was harassing this poor guy at the ASA for not getting this promised website up that was supposed to review homeschool science material. He eventually admitted that they were not going to be able to do that project and put me in touch with Christine Stump, Jim’s wife, who at the time was working for BioLogos as an educational resources coordinator.
We communicated back and forth for a while, at some point she asked if I would write something for a book club on the Origins book that BioLogos was hosting, which I did. They had just switched from their old comment board software to Discourse with this book club and Chris asked me to please set up an account and add some pleasant, orthodox Christian discussion to the mix, because there was a lack of that. We moved soon after that to a location where I did not have DSL internet access in my home, I only had this USB stick that would get me connected to download my emails. It was really slow and couldn’t pull up most websites like Facebook, but since the Forum was very text-based with minimal graphics, I could read posts here and on a homeschool forum. I was very isolated socially at the time and found the discussions here interesting. At some point, Brad asked me to help out with moderating, so I did, and by that time I had better internet access so I have been hanging around ever since. Some things I had talked with Christine about way back in the beginning finally got moving with Kathryn Applegate and some grants, so I worked for four years on the Integrate curriculum, which was the best team I have ever been a part of. I have more work to do with my “real job” and some other BioLogos projects I have been working on, so I have not been able to spend as much time reading threads and commenting as I used to, but I still pop in as much as I can and am often inspired to think more deeply about things as a result.
Chance, luck, and providence. I been a YEC since I’d become a Christian but by 2019 was in a real mixed up place in my faith and views on origins. I posted a thread on the Logos forum looking for books on OEC and EC/TE views and was encouraged to read The Lost World of Adam and Eve by John Walton and How I Changed my Mind About Evolution edited by Jim Stump and Kathryn Applegate.
It was through the Stump and Applegate book that I learnt about BioLogos and then the forum. Crazy to think that was September 2019! For any who are interested you can read more about my story here.
I am so incredibly thankful for those books, BioLogos, and all the wonderful people I’ve met here. I love having the opportunity to give back to BioLogos as a forum moderator and getting to know the other moderators better. This forum is an incredible place.
That I don’t have to choose between mainstream science and a robust theological orthodoxy. But also that it is ok to live with biblical/theological/scientific tensions too. And that saying ‘I don’t know’ is not a cope out but an expression of biblical and intellectual humility.