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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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Perform Lab Exercise 2: The Nature of Life (2-3 hrs)


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.

Welcome to lab exercise number two. This particular lab exercise corresponds with chapter two in your text, where we’re going over the nature of life and the types of life. Two parts to the lab. Part of it is you going out and looking at actual critters and things like that, and recording those observations. The second part of the lab is answering a bunch of questions. The first part of the lab has to do with the types of life that we talk about in lecture. It’s probably a good idea to take a look at the lecture on the different types of life to make sure you’ve got that down. In that lecture, we identify two major types of life. Biblical life and biological life. Biblical life is that which the Bible describes as living, which includes the God, angels, man, and animals. Biological life, I argue, is something a little bit different. It includes some of the same things that have biological life, namely man and animals, humans and animals. But also, in addition to that, biological life includes plants, fungi, algae, protists, and bacteria. In this first part of the lab, I want you to get comfortable, or a little more comfortable, with that distinction. Being able to distinguish between biblical life and biological life. So for that part of the lab, I want you to go out into the created world, some place in a place where you can encounter a number of organisms.

Think of a place where you see the most plants and animals that you can think of. Go to that location with a piece of paper and a pencil to record your observations. And I want you to ultimately list 25 things. Make actually 25 sentences. Five of those are going to be observations of organisms that have biblical life. And so that would be either humans or animals. So I want you to observe five different humans or animals that you can directly sense. That you can directly hear, that you can directly see, or feel, or touch, or smell, or maybe taste. Anything that you can, any animal or human that you can detect wherever you’re at, you can write a sentence on each one of them and also indicate how you detected them. I saw a raccoon. I heard a woodpecker pecking on the tree. I smelled a skunk. Any one of those would be if you indicated you’ve directly observed an organism with biblical life. This second category, the second five sentences I want you to compose, have to do with also detecting examples of biblical life, but indirect inferences about biblical life.

Here, I want you to record instances where you inferred the existence of either a human or an animal based on something that that human or animal left behind.

For example, and again, record how it is that you came to infer that. For example, it might be, “I inferred the existence of a human being because I saw a plastic bottle left on the ground. They left as trash.” Or, “I inferred the existence of a raccoon because I saw footprints of the raccoon.” These would be examples of indirectly inferring an organism. In this case, a biblically living organism. That would be a human or an animal. But rather than directly, it’s indirectly something they left behind. A third group of five sentences would be examples of biologically living organisms that are not biblically alive. So what that would be is everything except… or all the organisms, or any organism except a human or an animal. So it would be a plant, or a fungus, or you might see an algae or a protist. Those are unlikely because they’re very small. But any one of those things that you directly infer. And again, list how it is that you detected it. So it would be, “I heard the leaves of a tree. I saw a lily. I smelled a daisy.” Any of those would be direct observations of a biologically living organism that’s not biblically alive. A fourth category of five organisms, or five statements about detecting organisms, would be biologically alive organisms that are not biblically alive. Again, it’s the plants, the fungi that you indirectly observe. In other words, you don’t see or hear or feel them directly, but you detect something they left behind. Such as, and again, record how it is you inferred it. It might be, “I inferred the existence of a blueberry bush because I found bird poop with blue stains in it.” Or, “I saw a dead branch from a pine tree.” Or, “I saw some dead leaves from an aspen tree.” Or something like that. This is indirect inferences of biologically living things that are not biblically alive. The last category of five observations would be of things that are not alive in any way. So this could be organisms that were once alive that are now dead, or it can be something that was never alive. And again, these are direct observations, so record how it is you detected them. “I sat on a rock. I felt a rock. I saw a dead animal. I saw a dead opossum on the road.” This would be an example of something directly observed that’s not currently alive. That’s the first part of the lab. That’s what you do outside in God’s creation. Again, encouraging you to take a look at the creation, observe things in the creation, and at the same time to learn the distinctions between the different types of life we talk about in chapter 2 of the book.

The second part of the lab is answering a bunch of questions. I encourage you there to read chapter 2, observe, listen to the video on chapter 2. That will explain and, I would argue, give you the answers to really all of those questions. But those are contemplative questions. You sit down wherever it’s comfortable for you and work through the answers to those questions. You’re going to give you an insight into the nature of life. Ultimately, the issue is focused on the fact that life is not physical. It’s not physical. Biological life is not physical. Biblical life is not physical. Nefesh life is not physical. No type of life, that’s what’s argued in chapter 2, is in fact physical. They’re all non-physical. So the questions in this particular lab are helping you think through that and reason your way through that. So I encourage you to work on that. Again, look through the video material in chapter 2, and then answer those questions for the lab. [BLANK_AUDIO]