Showing posts from September, 2016

Happy retirement, Roger Sanders!

My friend and colleague Roger Sanders retired this year and just recently moved back home to Arkansas.  I am sad to see him go, but I'm very happy he'll be continuing to work with Core Academy and the Creation Biology Society.

In honor of his retirement, the Journal of Creation Theology and Science has published a special issue with two new research papers from him and a special editorial.  I hope you'll read all about it at the link below.

Roger Sanders and Created Kinds
Check out the announcement from Core Academy as well.

New Research from Roger Sanders on the Occasion of his Retirement
Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.

A spectacular scientific reading of the Bible!

New technology allows researchers to read "unreadable" ancient Bible scrolls!  A burned scroll from the synagogue of En Gedi (where David hid from Saul for a while in 1 Samuel) turned out to be a copy of the opening of the book of Leviticus.

In the 1970s, excavations at En Gedi turned up the remnants of a "Holy Ark," the container where the Torah scrolls are kept.  The En Gedi synagogue was in use for centuries but destroyed and burned in A.D. 600.  What made this particular Holy Ark special was the burnt remnants of scrolls found in it.  The image above shows one of these remnants, a tiny burned fragment of an animal-skin scroll that could not be unrolled or read.

Until now.

Using extremely high resolution micro-CT scanning, researchers were able to reconstruct a digital model of the interior of the burned scroll.  Even with the digital scan, the scroll needed to be unrolled in order to be read.  Thanks to software developed by William Seales at the University of …

Noel Weeks and the Ancient Near East

For those of you who have followed the trends in evangelical Old Testament studies over the past decade or so already know that things are substantially different than they used to be.  When I was an undergrad, my O.T. profs taught that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch and that he intended to record history in Genesis.  The alternative perspective was built on higher criticism, which as I understood it then did not accept the authority or inspiration of the Bible.  Higher criticism was bad, and the traditional understanding of the composition and chronology of the Bible is good.  That's drastically oversimplified, but that was certainly the sense I got.

As I said, things are different now.  There are a great number of evangelical O.T. scholars who appear to have made their peace with higher criticism to a greater or lesser extent.  Particularly when it comes to Genesis, I continually hear rather bold assertions about what the original author or authors intended to communica…

Lab meeting 2: Behind the scenes with created kinds

For those just joining us, the "lab meeting" series describes the latest research results from Core Academy of science researchers and student interns.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I'm keenly interested in created kinds.  The idea of the created kind has a long history in Western thought, but I won't rehearse that history here (read this paper if you're interested).  What is a created kind?  Well, that turns out to be a difficult question.  It's easier to describe than define, so watch this video if you haven't before:

Now the question that nags at my brain is whether any of this created kind stuff is meaningful or just wishful thinking.  On the one hand I can think of good reasons to believe that what we think of as species are malleable and temporary, but on the other, I can think of good reasons why there is and must be stability to God's living creation.  But how do I go about testing whether this or …

Lab meeting 1: The semester begins

I've been inspired lately by the open science movement, wherein scientific research is done out in the open where anyone can check it out.  I love being able to learn about other people's work on twitter or blogs and to read their manuscripts before they're published.  I think these are great ways to draw the public into the actual inner workings of scientific research and to show people what it's really like working on a research project, especially working through social media.

On the other hand, I'm also kind of a traditionalist, and I like to share my research mostly when I have a nice project that makes sense, with a beginning and ending.  I can tell the story of its significance and the work that I did and what I found.  But as I said, I'm becoming more and more enamored with the idea of drawing more people into my world of research and giving them a sense of what it's like to be a creationist researcher.

So I've decided to try out a virtual &quo…

But is it a gospel issue?

Last week, I read an article posted by Christianity Today entitled "Why conservation is a gospel issue."  The article was an interesting article about environmental stewardship, and I don't have a lot of complaints about the content.  It was the title that bothered me.

I've heard the phrase "it's a gospel issue" before.  Creationists have been known to use it to describe young-age creationism.  I personally find the phrase a little alarming, especially in light of the gospel itself.  Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians,
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and…

Core Academy announces program to help schools get science equipment

Core Academy is giving away science equipment to Christian schools.  As a part-time teacher in a small Christian school, I know first-hand how hard it is to have a good science program with nearly no budget.  So we decided to help other schools, just like Core Academy helps our own local Christian school.  Check out the full press release for more details.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.

How many giraffes are there, anyway?

New research co-sponsored by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation has revealed at least four different species of giraffe!  Yes, you read that right.  Four different species of giraffe!  I was previously aware of the giraffe subspecies, but this new study from Fennessey et al. indicate that four of the subspecies are very divergent and different and therefore should be recognized as different species.  How different are they?  These giraffes are roughly as different from each other as the various species of donkeys, zebras, and horses differ amongst themselves.  That's pretty different.

What makes this so delightful to me is how unexpected it was.  As I said, different subspecies of giraffe had been known for a while, nine in all.  Giraffes range across a wide area of Africa, and there are noticeable differences in their coloration and spotting.  Until now, though, researchers hadn't done a really thorough job of examining the genetics of different giraffe populations.  When t…