Science in Christian Perspective




From: JASA 15 (December 1963): 115-117


A new organization concerned with relationships between science and the Scriptures, the Creation Research Society, has recently been formed. Its members subscribe to the following statement of belief:

1. The Bible is the written Word of God, and because it is inspired throughout, all its assertions are historically and scientifically true in all the original autographs. To the student of nature this means that the account of origins in Genesis is a factual presentation of simple historical truths.

2. All basic types of living things, including man, were made by direct creative acts of God during the Creation Week described in Genesis. Whatever biological changes have occurred since Creation Week have accomplished only changes within the original created kinds.

3. The great flood described in Genesis, commonly referred to as the Noachian Flood, was an historic event worldwide in its extent and effect.

4. We are an organization of Christian men of science who accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. The account of the special creation of Adam and Eve as one man and woman and their subsequent fall into sin is the basis for our belief in the necessity of a Saviour for all mankind. Therefore, salvation can come only through accepting Jesus Christ as our Saviour.

Dr. Walter E. Lammerts, Director of Research for the Germain Seed Company of Livermore, California ' is the president of the new society. He describes the nature and goals of the organization as follows: "Our steering committee of research scientists is committed to full belief in the Biblical record of creation and early history, and thus to a concept of dynamic special creation (as opposed to evolution), both of the universe and the earth with its complexity of living forms. We propose to re-evaluate science from this viewpoint.

"Beginning in 1964, we plan to publish an annual yearbook of articles by various members of the Society and thereafter a quarterly review of scientific literature. Our eventual goal is the realignment of science based on theistic creation concepts and the publication of textbooks for high school and college use."

Membership is limited to scientists having an M.S. (or equivalent in experience), Ph.D., D.Sc., Ed.D., or M.D. degree, and dues are $5.00 per year. Applications for membership may be sent to Wilbert H. Rusch, Treasurer, 4090 Geddes Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The following persons are members of the steering committee: Archeologist R. Laird Harris; Biochemist Duane T. Gish; Biologist Frank L. Marsh, Edwin Y. Monsma, and Wilbert H. Rusch; Chemist Paul A. Zimmerman; Geneticists John W. Klotz, Walter E. Lammerts, and Wm. J. Tinkle; Geologist Clifford L. Burdick; Geophysicist Harold Slusher; Hydrologist Henry M. Morris; Medical Doctor Karl W. Linsenmann; Meteorologist Willis Webb; Philosopher of Science David A. Warriner; Physicists Thomas G. Barnes and John J. Grebe; Science Educator John N. Moore.

For a decade the Faculty Christian Fellowship has been working toward the development of a Christian faculty movement in America, indigenous to the college and university, directed to the level of the learned vocations of higher education, and carrying on the church's own historic intellectual tradition. The child of con~cerned faculty Christians and the Protestant churches, it has engaged in a wide variety of activities within the strategic milieu of higher education. For 1964 its attention is focused upon a national faculty conference at the University of Chicago's Center for Continuing Education, August 23-28.

Seven objectives of FCF are (1) To help college and university faculty members increase their understanding of and commitment to the Christian faith, (2) To relate the insights of the Christian faith to the vocation of the teacher and to the subject matter of his teaching and writing, (3) To promote fellowship among Christian faculty members, (4) To help discover the teacher's responsibility in the academic community in cooperation with students, administrators, church leaders, and others, (5) To explore within a Christian context the responsibility of the academic community for human culture and contemporary society, (6) To encourage contact and conversation between all members of the academic community who take the university and their work seriously, and (7) To act as a liaison and service agency for denominations, foundations, and other agencies working with faculty on behalf of the concerns of religion in higher education.

The Faculty Christian Fellowship is no longer a membership organization, the decision having been made that membership implies a limited and parochial nature. On the contrary, its purpose is an ecumenical one, representing an inclusive Protestant faculty movement among Christian faculty members in this country. Two publications are especially representative of the concerns of the Faculty Christian Fellowship. THE CHRISTIAN SCHOLAR, a quarterly journal, is available at 475 Riverside Drive, Room 750, New York, New York 10027, and FACULTY FORUM, a more popular news and information foldover is prepared for the Protestant faculty movement by the Methodist Board of Education, P. 0. Box 871, Nashville, Tennessee.


A dedicated and imaginative teacher makes a contribution ... which transcends in results and importance at least a part of the advantages which derive from beautiful laboratories, a well-stocked library, a highly selective student group and time and money for research.

This can best be illustrated by a true story of such a teacher and such a department. The college is a very small one, located in a midwestern town, half a day's drive to the nearest university library. During the sixyear period studied (1947-48 through 1952-53), it graduated a total of 167 men.

The chemistry department at that time was a "one-man" department; in 1958 it added a second teacher. The "one-man" had an M.A. as her highest degree. Her average teaching load came to 26 contact hours. The department reported not a single dollar in support of either research or teaching from outside agencies. Its library had only the journals of the American Chemical Society and the journal of Chemical Education. Its laboratories were reported as inadequate for present class needs and they lacked research laboratories for either the teacher or students. During the period studied the school also had lost its regional accreditation.

This college has none of the outward marks of a very productive college. But in spite of this, its chemistry graduates have gone to graduate school in relatively large numbers and have done extremely well. To do this, the undergraduate courses must have been well taught and in depth. If colleges were compared in terms of the per cent of Ph.D.'s based on the number of men graduates, this college would have ranked among the top five in the country. The chemistry department was responsible for as many Ph.D.'s from 1936-1956 as the rest of die entire faculty together. In spite of a lack of research space, research equipment and research money, the teacher and her students are "research minded." When asked how research might be initiated, she replied "Staff members interested in research, with time for it to a limited extent, will not have any difficulty in creating interest among students." Her department is no exception to the generalization that productivity and research go hand in hand in spite of a heavy teaching load, a lack of space, equipment, library, and money for research.-Clifford E. Larson, Dean, Bethel College, St. Paul. Reprinted by permission from Faculty journal (Bethel College), vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 15-16, March 15, 1963.


For 150 years after evidence contradicting it was known, the phlogiston theory of oxidation was useful, for the significance of oxygen had not been recognized.

Does [this] argue for the stupidity of the experimental philosophers of that day? Not at all; it merely demonstrates that in complex affairs of science one is concerned with trying to account for a variety of facts and with welding them into a conceptual scheme; one fact is by itself not sufficient to wreck the scheme. A conceptual scheme is never discarded because of a few stubborn facts with which it cannot be reconciled; a conceptual scheme is either modified or replaced by a better one, never abandoned with nothing left to take its place. (James B. Conant, Science and Common Sense. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1951, P. 173.)

An intellectual revolution has indeed begun; but it is far from complete. The best minds of the [Roman Catholic] Church have yet to provide modern answers to a vast array of questions posed by the world of 1963. There is, for example, no Catholic theology of space (nor, for that matter, a Protestant or Jewish one). There is only a handful of first-rate Catholic scientists -and even fewer Catholic theologians-who have seriously come to grips with the difficulties that nuclear physics or biochemistry present to a faith formulated largely in an era when men thought that the world was flat . . . On the implications for Christians of such social issues as nuclear war, the Church speaks with divided voice, or not at all.-John T. Elson, "The Catholic Church Battles Its Old Guard," Life, vol. 55, no. 16, p. 122, Oct. 18, 1963.