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Devotional Biology

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  1. Introduction & Preface
    4 Steps
  2. Chapter 1: Biology for the Believer
    15 Steps
  3. Chapter 2: The Living God: Biological Life
    14 Steps
  4. Chapter 3: God’s Glory: Biological Beauty
    6 Steps
  5. Chapter 4: God is Distinct: Biological Discontinuity
    9 Steps
  6. Chapter 5: God is Good: Mutualism & Biological Evil
    10 Steps
  7. Chapter 6: God is Person: Animal Behavior & Personality
    17 Steps
  8. Chapter 7: The Provider God: The Anthropic Principle
    12 Steps
  9. Chapter 8: The Sustaining God: The Biomatrix
    8 Steps
  10. Chapter 9: God is One: Monomers, Biosimilarity, and Biosystems
    8 Steps
  11. Chapter 10: God is Three: Biodiversity
    11 Steps
  12. Chapter 11: God of Hierarchy: Biological Hierarchy
    13 Steps
  13. Chapter 12: The Almighty God: Metabolism
    8 Steps
  14. Chapter 13: God the Word: Animal Communication & Language of Life
    8 Steps
  15. Chapter 14: God’s Fullness: Reproduction, Diversification, and Biogeography
    10 Steps
  16. Chapter 15: The History of Life
    9 Steps
  17. Appendix
    4 Steps
Lesson Progress
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The following transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors in spelling and/or grammar. It is provided for assistance in note-taking and review.

In this lesson, I’ve got a challenge for you. I want to introduce a concept here that in the years of teaching this, I’ve found students struggle with understanding. So this is one of those where I’m going to try to go slow here, put on your thinking caps, we’ll get through this. It’s a really cool thing once you get it. And some people get it easily, others takes a while. Maybe this is one of those videos you watch more than once or something like that till you get a hang of it. It is something I call the spectra of perfection. I’m going to refer to it and we’re introducing it here in the issue in the study of life, but it’s going to come up repeatedly in the chapters throughout the book. And so if you can get the concept, you’ll find advantages in understanding it throughout. And the basic idea is God created the physical world, as I’ve said, to illustrate His invisible nature. But God isn’t just invisible. He’s also infinite. Now God wants us to understand his invisible nature, so he created visible things to illustrate that nature. But he’s also infinite. I would suggest he wants us to understand his infinity as well. But the question here is, this challenge is, how does God teach a finite being how to think of infinity? Some people say that it isn’t possible at all, but I think God actually created a way to do that, and it is by what I call the spectra of perfection.

In order for God to teach us, a finite being, how to understand his infinite nature, I believe he has created the world with a bunch of spectra of perfection.

In each one of these cases, we’re going to first talk about the spectra of perfection of life. In each one of these, God creates in a very special way. First of all, whatever He’s going to illustrate. I’m going to give an example from something really easy to understand, like bigness. Okay, let’s say God wants to show His own bigness. But His bigness is infinite bigness. So how does He show a finite being who can’t conceive of an infinitely big thing? How does He get a finite being to think of infinitely big? I believe he does that by creating things in a very special way. First of all, he creates different things in the universe with different sizes. So he creates itty-bitty little things, and bigger things, and bigger things, and bigger things, and really big things, and huge things. So he creates a variety of different bignesses in the universe, scatters these things throughout. And whatever he’s trying to show, he creates various degrees of perfection of that characteristic. If he’s trying to show beauty, he creates various degrees of perfection of beauty. Some things that are very beautiful, some things that are not as beautiful, some things that are really not very beautiful at all. He creates a spectrum of perfection of those things and fills the universe with them. Secondly, he creates us in such a way that when we see the spectra, we just automatically line them up. So we’re created in such a way that if we see all these different degrees of perfection, we order them in our mind, and we line them up according to that spectrum of perfection.

And the third thing is, not only do we line them up, but we extend our minds. Our minds see that spectrum from little to big, or ugly to beautiful, or whatever. And we continue in our minds. We extrapolate beyond. God created us with this compulsion to keep on going. We see it getting bigger and bigger. So we go beyond what we see to what we cannot see, and our minds are lifted up towards infinity. It’s not that our minds can get there. It’s just that our minds are stretched towards infinity so that we get something of an idea what infinity is really like. I’m going to give an example here in the case of size. Again, if God wanted to show us that he’s really big, then he might do it by using a spectrum of perfection of bigness in the universe. He creates little things, and he creates big things. So he creates things of various sizes, and he scatters them all about. But he also created us with this compulsion to just automatically line things up, even though they’re not in order in that way. The little things aren’t over here, and the big things over there. In our minds, we put them in that order. And in fact, we are part of that. So we’re a certain size. There are things that are smaller. There are things that are bigger, and we put them in a particular order just automatically in our brain. We’re compelled to do so. But our brains also, number three, are compelled to extrapolate beyond what we see. Beyond from the little things to the bigger things, to us, to bigger things, to huge things. And our brains keep on going. It can’t go forever. So it really can’t get up to infinity in size. but our minds are lifted up towards the concept of infinite size. Our minds get an idea of what infinity of size actually means. In this way, humans actually infer, or deduce, or extrapolate the existence of something that’s actually infinitely big, or an unlimited size. And it’s by this means that I believe God uses the physical world to not only show us physical illustrations of his invisibility, of his invisible characters, but also gives us an idea that those characteristics are infinite in nature.

So let’s, and that’s the concept of spectrum of perfection. Let’s apply it, as we’re in this particular chapter, to life. I believe God doesn’t just want to show us what life is like. Thus, he created physical organisms with life. But I think he wants us to understand that he, God, has life and has something called infinite life. That whatever infinite life is, he wants us to understand that. And he did that by creating a spectrum of perfection of life. So, for example, he created not just living organisms. He created stars, and planets, and the earth, and rocks. And he created a bunch of things that aren’t alive. So there’s a spectrum of perfection of life. There are things that don’t have life at all. And then there are some other things that seem to have some of the characteristics of life, but people argue whether they’re living or not. For example, we have these things called viruses. Viruses have some of the characteristics of living things. Namely, they can get into a cell and cause a cell to reproduce more copies of that. So they can reproduce. That seems to be a characteristic of life. But there’s a bunch of other things that living things have that viruses don’t seem to have. So biologists have argued for decades as to whether viruses are alive or not, because it appears that viruses sort of have a little bit of life.

They’re barely alive, or maybe they’re not alive. Maybe they’re right on the edge. So God created things that are non-living, things that are, “We don’t know whether they’re alive or not,” kind of things, the viruses. That’s a little tiny thing on the scale here. And then he also created things that have a little bit more life. Namely, things like plants. Plants don’t seem to have biblical life. So they’re not as alive as animals. They’re not as alive as humans, in a sense. They don’t have biblical life, but they do have biological life. They have some sort of life. They have more than a virus, but they don’t seem to have quite as much as an animal. And then God created animals. God created animals that have biblical life. They have something we might call a soul. They seem to have, in a sense, if not more life, a more vibrant life, a more living life. I don’t know how you would say that. In the spectrum of perfection, it’s yet something with a little bit more life than plants. And then he’s got humans. Humans have biological life, like plants and animals, and they have souls, like animals. But humans have something even more than that. They have spirits. have spirits that can interact with God. So in a sense, they have more life than animals on this spectrum of perfection. So they’re represented here by a taller bar. But in addition to humans, you’ve got a distinction the Bible makes between humans that know God and humans that don’t know God. That’s interesting. We literally have some humans that, according to the Bible, are spiritually dead. other humans that are spiritually alive. That would suggest some humans have more life because they have spiritual life, and they’re not spiritually dead, as opposed to others that are spiritually dead. So even among humans, there are some with even more life. And then Jesus said that he came not just to give life, spiritual life, but to give life more abundantly. That suggests that it’s possible for some believers to have spiritual life, but not have abundant life. Perhaps you know about people like this. They’re believers, but man, they don’t look like they’re having any fun whatsoever. I mean, they’re not enjoying life. They don’t have the joy of God. They might have spiritual life, but then there’s these other people that seem to have gotten it. They’re getting a life from God that makes them vibrant, that makes them exciting, It makes them have the abundant life Jesus spoke of. So we’ve got this spectrum of organisms, things that are created by God, from things that don’t have life, things that have maybe a little bit of life, or maybe they’re not live, or right on the edge, the viruses. Then we have plants that have more, animals that have more, humans that have more, believers that have more, and believers with abundant life with even more.

And then remember, God created our brains in such a way that we automatically extrapolate. We start from those non-living things and extrapolate through those people with the most abundant, most exciting, most vibrant life. We extrapolate beyond thinking there’s something beyond that. There’s something with bigger life, with more life, with more enthusiasm, with more excitement, with a more positive perspective on things. We extrapolate beyond what we see to presume the existence of something that has infinite life, that is infinitely vibrant. Whatever life is, there’s something that exists that has all of that and more than we have ever experienced. And that something is God. I believe God created a spectrum of perfection of life to help us understand what the life of God is, and even more, that that life of God is infinite, and what that might mean.

At least our brains are lifted towards that. We can’t fully understand the infinite nature of God’s life, but I believe the spectrum of life gives us insight into the infinite life of God.