Allow me to give this quick initial response in answer to your closing question. Later, after I have time to read and digest the two articles you have linked, I will respond to them and the rest of your post.
I take this opportunity to affirm all the encouragement I have given you in my previous responses to your posts…and give you some more. Let’s take this from above:
MG: My sense is that most of you conclude, "The scientific evidence is so clear and emphatic that whatever the Bible is saying, it cannot be contradicting the scientific consensus."
JS: Is that really what you think of me?
Not only is it not what I think of you, you are one of the reasons, and actually the main reason, that I qualified the plural “you” with “most.” In other words, you are the most notable exception I have found in this forum to the sentiment about which I was expressing concern.
I am going to say even more, so guard yourself against getting puffed up…because God help you if you get puffed up, and God help me if I tempt you to get puffed up.
You have a most tender spirit and you combine a staggering amount of intelligence and education with a very humble heart. In other words, most people as intelligent and educated as you are, aren’t that humble. And most people who are humble as you are, aren’t that intelligent and educated.
You have disagreed with me from the beginning, and still do, yet you keep giving me a fair hearing. You haven’t looked to score points against me. Rather, you’ve looked for ways to help me, yet without being condescending.
This forum is blessed to have a voice as mature as yours participating in it. I hope these words of mine do not discourage others here who are like you in all the things for which I have commended you, for indeed you are not an utterly unique participant. Yet, in the interactions I have had here, yours stand out as a model for anyone to follow.
I lived in St. Louis 1979-1994 and so I know how prestigious an institution is Wash U. I can only imagine the pressure you are under both from secularists who think you’re too Christian and Christians who think you’re too secularist. Yet you seem to be navigating your path with the peace of our Lord. It is wonderful to behold, even if only in the limited way I can.
You and I may never come together on the age of the earth and evolution on this side of heaven. At this point, it’s an open question. It’s not settled in my mind that we will or won’t come together before then. Yet in this I have confidence: you have a good spirit. Of all the things for which people admire you - and there are many, given your accomplishments - I admire most your spirit. Please never doubt that again.
I know you seek to be the best professional scientst you can, and that you do not cavalierly dismiss the Bible in your pursuit of science. On the contrary, you seem to be as one following this guidance:
It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them. - Ecclesiastes 7:18
Sorry for the haste, and it probably resulted in some poor wording or misspellings above. But I couldn’t bear the thought of any delay in telling you that you have earned my respect by the way you conduct yourself and affirm together with you that who unites us is so much more important than what may divide us. To Jesus our Lord be the glory today and always.
Final words to others: Again I say, I see others of you seeking follow the Lord with the same sort of quiet zeal as JS. You be encouraged, too - please. None of you need my approval, but we all need the Lord’s approval. May we find it daily as we seek Him daily. He is generous to grant it.