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Stars, Cells, and God | Hominin Burials? and Viscous Fine-Tuning

Join Fazale “Fuz” Rana and Jeff Zweerink as they discuss new discoveries taking place at the frontiers of science that have theological and philosophical implications, including the reality of God’s existence. Hominin Burials? Were modern humans the first to bury their dead deliberately and ritualistically? Or did hominins that preceded them in life’s history also deliberately inter their dead? These questions bear on the concept of human exceptionalism and, for Christians, the scientific case for the image of God in modern humans. In this episode, biochemist and Christian apologist Fuz Rana discusses recent work by a research team of collaborators from the US, Spain, Italy, and South Africa that relies on the use of machine learning algorithms to analyze hominin burials. What did they discover? How do their insights impact the case for human exceptionalism? REFERENCES: Hominin Skeletal Part Abundances and Claims of Deliberate Disposal of Corpses in the Middle Pleistocene Additional Resources: Rabbit Burrowing Churns Claims about Neanderthal Burials Does Homo naledi Undermine the Case for Human Exceptionalism? Viscous Fine-Tuning For decades, physicists have recognized that the fundamental constants of our universe (speed of light, fine structure constant, proton-to-electron mass ratio, etc.) appear finely tuned to make the environment suitable for life to exist. Typically, that fine-tuning has arisen in the context of making atomic nuclei or stars or planets. A recent paper shows how the fine-tuning of the fundamental constants applies even to the life-essential processes at work inside the cell. REFERENCES: Constraints on Fundamental Physical Constants from Bio-Friendly Viscosity and Diffusion