April 2008
volume 20 (1)

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Denis Alexander
Pages: 2-2


The Nature of Human Nature

R.J. Berry Malcolm Jeeves
Pages: 3-47


Our traditional understanding of humanness has been radically affected by two factors: we now see ourselves as a product of a history that stretches back millions rather than hundreds of years, thus opening the possibility of change from our original state; and over the past few decades we have learnt much about the evolutionary and genetic influences that have formed us, raising acute questions as to how we interpret biblical descriptions of our nature and how we relate to the Creator. We believe that these developments do not conflict with the biblical accounts of humankind, so long as we are open to fresh interpretations when and where new evidence justifies them.


Dialectical Critical Realism in Science and Theology: Quantum Physics and Karl Barth

Ross H. McKenzie Benjamin Myers
Pages: 49-66


In order to illuminate the similarities and differences between science and theology, we consider an epistemology and methodology for each that can be characterised as a dialectical critical realism. Our approach is deeply indebted to the work of the great Swiss theologian, Karl Barth. Key points are (i) that the object under study determines the method to be used, the community of investigators and the nature of the possible knowledge to be gained; (ii) the necessity of a posteriori, rather than a priori reasoning; and (iii) that the dialogue between theology and science should account for both the similarities and differences between the two disciplines. The counterintuitive nature of quantum physics is used to illustrate how in science (i) the dialectic element should lead to a critical dimension to realism, and (ii) one is forced to engage with reality on its own terms.


Evolution as created history

Graeme Finlay
Pages: 67-89


The science of biological evolution continues to arouse debate. In this paper, I wish to show how the distribution of endogenous retroviruses and transposons in mammalian genomes demonstrates that humans have evolved from progenitors that are ancestral to all apes, primates, and mammals. New genes and gene families have risen from ongoing natural genetic processes.1 The evolutionary understanding of biological history is compatible with the historical basis of biblical faith. It is suggested that Christians should see biological evolution as Israel understood her chaotic and tumultuous story: created history.


Attitudes amongst young adults to use of embryonic stem cells in research and therapy: comparison of evangelical Christian students with non-Christian students

John Bryant Mary Gudgin
Pages: 91-105


The various attitudes towards the use of early embryos for the generation of embryonic stem cells are surveyed, with a focus on the positions held within different segments of the Christian community. This discussion is further informed by the results of a survey carried out in Exeter, UK, to compare the views of a group of evangelical students with those of a matched control group professing no religious faith. It is concluded that religious belief is a key element influencing the attitudes of young adults towards the use of early embryos.



Cosmic curse?

P.G. Nelson
Pages: 107-108


Emergence – another category

Peter J. Bussey
Pages: 108-109


Book reviews

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Evolution and Christian Faith

Joan Roughgarden (Tom Hartman)
Pages: 111-113

Nature and the Godly Empire: Science and Evangelical Mission in the Pacific, 1795-1850

Sujit Sivasundaram (Brian Stanley)
Pages: 113-114

God, Humanity and the Cosmos – Second Edition Revised and Expanded as a Companion to the Science-Religion Debate

Christopher Southgate (ed.) (Meric Srokosz)
Pages: 115-116

Exploring Reality. The Intertwining of Science and Religion

John Polkinghorne (Philip Bligh)
Pages: 116-117

A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet’s Future

Roger S. Gottlieb (Celia Deane-Drummond)
Pages: 117-119

Creative Creatures: Values and Ethical Issues in Theology, Science and Technology

Ulf Görman, Willem B. Drees and Hubert Meisinger (eds.)
Pages: 119-120

Religion and the New Ecology: Environmental Responsibility in a World in Flux

David M. Lodge and Christopher Hamlin (eds.) (Hilary Marlow)
Pages: 120-121

God’s Universe

Owen Gingerich (Ken Mickleson)
Pages: 121-122

God the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist

Victor J. Stenger (Paul Wraight)
Pages: 122-124

Roots and Wings: The Human Journey from a Speck of Stardust to a Spark of God

Margaret Silf (Ron Elsdon)
Pages: 124-125

SCM Studyguide: Science and Religion

Jean Dorricott (Richard Dimery)
Pages: 125-126

Why Psychology Needs Theology: A Radical-Reformation Perspective

Alvin Dueck and Cameron Lee (eds.) (Peter G.H. Clarke)
Pages: 127-128