Language of God
Uniquely Unique | What Does It Mean To Be Human?

Uniquely Unique | What Does It Mean To Be Human?

July 22, 2021

Humans share 98.6 of their DNA with chimpanzees. Other animals also have the capacity for language, technology, and possibly even morality. And our own bodies consist of more non-human cells than human cells. These similarities invite us to wonder, are humans really all that different from other species? Are we just one species among many or are the things which distinguish us from other species differences of another order? In other words, are we uniquely unique? 

In this new Language of God mini series—Uniquely Unique—Jim Stump is joined by our producer Colin for a deep dive into these questions and more. The quest? To try to come to a better understanding of what it means to be human, to bear the image of God. Along the way, you’ll hear from a variety of experts from a wide range of disciplines, drawing on biology, history, anthropology, philosophy, theology and more to try to make sense of our human identity.

Join a conversation about this episode on the BioLogos Forum.

81. Jane Goodall and Francis Collins | Being Human

81. Jane Goodall and Francis Collins | Being Human

July 15, 2021

Jane Goodall’s name has become almost synonymous with the study of and care for chimpanzees over the course of her work which now spans 6 decades. Jane is also this year’s winner of the Templeton Prize, an honor she shares with people like Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Billy Graham, the Dalai Lama, and Francis Collins. She is also the founder of several initiatives, TACARE and Roots & Shoots, aimed at helping developing communities and young people build sustainable communities in 68 countries. Jane joins Francis and our host Jim to talk about her life’s work, the importance of hope in conservation, and the spiritual side of human existence. Jane and Francis may use different language to speak about their spirituality, but throughout their friendship they have found they share a lot of views about the greater significance of all life on earth and their roles in protecting and promoting the flourishing of that life.

Learn more about the Jane Goodall Institute at their website.

Join a conversation about this episode on the BioLogos Forum.

80. Dennis Venema & Michael Peterson | Intellect in the Service of Christ

80. Dennis Venema & Michael Peterson | Intellect in the Service of Christ

July 8, 2021

Before we can understand the interactions of science, religion, philosophy we must first know what each is. In their new book, Biology, Religion and Philosophy: An Introduction, our guests Dennis Venema—an evolutionary biologist—and Michael Peterson—a philosopher—work to define these disciplines before diving into the ways in which they inform each other, support each other, and ultimately help us to understand the world we live in and to better know God, the creator and sustainer of all things. 

You can buy Michael and Dennis's new book here.

Read Evolution Basics articles by Dennis Venema on our website.

79. Justin Barrett | A Psychology of Human Thriving

79. Justin Barrett | A Psychology of Human Thriving

July 1, 2021

Throughout his journey as a Christian and a psychologist, Justin Barrett has often lamented the widespread separation between his faith and his work. As a result, much of his recent work is aimed at bringing the two together so that each can enrich the other. He is now founder and president of Blueprint 1543, a new organization aimed at integrating faith with the human sciences. Justin joins Jim to discuss Blueprint 1543 and what it means to be human in light of the truths of Christian faith and evolutionary psychology.

Join a conversation about this episode on the BioLogos Forum.

Check out Justin’s new book, Thriving With Stone Age Minds: Evolutionary Psychology, Christian Faith, and the Quest for Human Flourishing, here.

Find out more about Justin’s new organization, Blueprint 1543, on their website.

56. Elaine Howard Ecklund | Shared Values in Science and Faith

56. Elaine Howard Ecklund | Shared Values in Science and Faith

June 24, 2021

Elaine Howard Ecklund is a sociologist who has devoted her career to understanding the attitudes and perceptions that scientists and religious people have toward each other. What she has found does not always match what would be expected. We talk about some of what she has learned over her years of research on this topic and talk about her new book, Why Science and Faith Need Each Other: Eight Shared Values The Move Us Beyond Fear

This episode originally aired September 24, 2020.

Check out Elaine Howard Ecklund's website.

Join a conversation about this episode on the BioLogos Forum.

16. Fossils | A Window to God’s Creation

16. Fossils | A Window to God’s Creation

June 17, 2021

Fossils open a window deep into the history of the earth. Through that window we learn about how whales evolved from four-legged creatures to the aquatic animals we know today, we learn about our own species and where we came from, and we learn more about God who made it all. Language of God producer Colin Hoogerwerf journeys into the world of fossils alongside paleontologist Ryan Bebej to explore some of these stories. Guest geologist and paleontologist Ralph Stearley introduces us to some of the early Christians who helped figure out what fossils really are, and biological anthropologist Cara Wall-Scheffer joins to talk about what fossils can teach us about what it means to be human.

This episode originally aired September 12, 2019.

Find Ryan Bebej’s personal story here.

See photos from our visit to Calvin’s fossil collection at our website. 

Find a conversation about this episode at the BioLogos Forum.

78. Stephen Freeland | Life on Earth and Elsewhere

78. Stephen Freeland | Life on Earth and Elsewhere

June 10, 2021

Humans have long been captivated by life outside of our planet. While mainstream speculation about aliens is usually confined to the fictitious worlds of Hollywood films, respected scientists have also made sophisticated arguments for their existence. To sort through these claims, as well as recent news of unidentified aerial phenomena, we turned to an expert in the field. 

Our guest today, Stephen Freeland, has been exposed to a wide range of academic science—he went from studying zoology to computer science to genetics before settling into a career as an astrobiologist. He talks with Jim about what astrobiology is, the rich benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to the subject, and his take on the possibility of life, intelligent or otherwise, beyond our planet.

Read more about recent speculations and an upcoming government report here.

Find Avi Loeb and Amir Siraj’s now famous claims about an interstellar object here.

Check out the article on phosphine in Venus published in Nature.

77. Bill Newsome | Neuroscience, Faith & Free Will

77. Bill Newsome | Neuroscience, Faith & Free Will

May 27, 2021

In this conversation with acclaimed Stanford neuroscientist Dr. Bill Newsome, we hear about his journey to becoming a neuroscientist, how hundreds of millions of neurons enable the fantastic emergence of a unified visual world, and how free will might operate in relation to the seemingly infinite causal chains which bring us all to this moment. Along the way, Dr. Newsome shares his own experiences with science and faith and why biological explanations should not be seen as weapons beating back the claims of Christianity. 

Read Bill’s article, “Life of science, life of faith”, here

Join a conversation about this episode on the BioLogos Forum.

15. Krista Tippett | Life Together

15. Krista Tippett | Life Together

May 13, 2021

The roaring current of stubborn partisan standoffs challenges us to cement ourselves in our views; dialogue erodes as we ditch the public conversation to wrap ourselves in the self-affirming comfort of our isolated belief nooks. Among the most well-acquainted with this phenomenon is On Being host Krista Tippett, who worked as a journalist and diplomat in Cold War Berlin. But she sees something else as well: a hunger for honest conversation. In this episode, Jim talks with Krista about how her work attempts to feed that desire—and where science and faith live in that discussion.

Explore the Better Conversations Guide.

Join a conversation about this episode on the BioLogos Forum.

This episode originally aired on August 29, 2019

76. Stephen C. Meyer | Is God a Hypothesis?

76. Stephen C. Meyer | Is God a Hypothesis?

May 6, 2021

Proponents of intelligent design and evolutionary creation have some different ideas about the relationship of science and faith, and relations between BioLogos and the Discovery Institute have not always been easy. But there is some common ground. We explore some of that common ground in this episode while also discussing the philosophical differences between the positions. Stephen Meyer is a leading advocate for intelligent design and is the Director for the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute, and his new book, Return of the God Hypothesis, frames this conversation.

This was meant to be a conversation and not a debate and so the intention was not to stop every time a claim was made that we disagree with. Instead, we made a companion piece to this episode where we point to many resources that do respond to these claims and help to further explain some of the philosophical concepts covered in this conversation.

Join a conversation about this episode on the BioLogos Forum.