The Harmonious Dissonance of
Rhetoric and Reality in the Early Decades of
The American Scientific Affiliation
MARK A. KALTHOFF
Department of History
Hillsdale, Michigan 49242
From: Perspectives on Science and Christianity 60 (December 1991): 259-274.
Founders of the American Scientific Affiliation were convinced that many Christians needlessly struggled in their faith because of prevailing fundamentalist misconceptions regarding science and its relation to Christianity. Through publication, discussion, and review, members of the young ASA partially realized their objective of countering error. Yet because they were learning themselves, the vision of just how the "facts of science" were to be "correlated" with scripture remained somewhat rudimentary and obscure. Consequently, in their efforts to articulate the alleged "harmony" between science and scripture, the unseasoned evangelical scientists failed to avoid producing their own dissonant chords. Potentially worrisome notes sounded in several ways: in divergent views of the nature of science, in efforts to review publications and to publish their own material, in discussions of flood geology, and in disparate convictions about the concept of evolution. This paper highlights these dimensions of early ASA history in order to illustrate ways the words and deeds of ASA members mingled to produce a fascinating harmony from dissonant chords.
In June of 1942 the fathers of the American Scientific Affiliation could look with expectant satisfaction upon the first fruit of their labors, an eleven-page promotional brochure which told The Story of the American Scientific Affiliation. This first "history" of the "infant religion and science association" summarized the early months of the organization's life, outlined plans, presented the newly-drafted constitution, and concluded with the hopeful speculation that "this can become the most important movement since the Reformation." Exactly what the American Scientific Affiliation and the Reformation would have in common was left unspecified. Interestingly, the word "reformation" had replaced the word "renaissance" which had been used in the original draft. Both words conjured the image of something profoundly important and lasting in effect. That seems to have been the principal concern.1
But profoundly important and lasting effects are the consequences of penetrating ideas. The founders of the ASA, indeed, had what they believed to be such a keen idea. F. Alton Everest (b. 1909), the young group's first president and tireless organizational chief, expressed that idea in the fall and winter of 1941 in letter after hand-typed letter to prospective members. He wrote, "[T]here can be no real discrepancies between the Bible and the real facts of modern science." The American Scientific Affiliation had a job that went beyond what Everest called the "red-blooded man's duty and privilege" of being a Christian. "This group of scientists can prove to the world," proclaimed the founders, "that the principles of our Christian faith welcome investigation and that the Bible, being the Word of God and thus infallible, will withstand any encounter with science which might be proposed."2
So by mid-1942 everything was in place: a constitution, goals, plans, new letterhead, and a slowly-but-surely-growing membership. Now all that had to be done was that "red-blooded man's work" of expounding to the world the harmony of science and scripture. There had been a good deal of rhetoric bantered about during those early days regarding "the facts of science," "correlation with the Bible," and "fundamental Christianity," both within and without ASA membership. And there was a bit of bravado accompanying the litany of ASA "plans" and "objectives."
The result was that the historical realities of implementing those plans did not always square with the original rhetoric. This should hardly be surprising, given that the members came together with differing scientific, theological, educational, and geographical backgrounds. Still, if its goal was to announce that the "facts of science" were in harmony with scripture, then it seemed incumbent upon the ASA that it broadcast harmony from the interaction of its own members. That it did. But at times that harmony reverberated with curiously dissonant strains. The vision of just how the "facts of science" were to be "correlated" with scripture remained rudimentary and obscure. As the ASA grew from five members to nearly eight hundred members in its first one-and-a-half decades, that rudimentary and obscure vision matured as ASA members thought and learned and interacted. As words and deeds of ASA members mingled to produce a fascinating harmony from sometimes dissonant chords, they left a record of interesting episodes, ideas, and anomalies that merit review.
The "Real Facts of Science"
In late January of 1942 Alton Everest revealed his thoughts in the form of a rhetorical question: "There are so many variant opinions and interpretations within even our small group concerning certain biblical passages, how can we expect to appear before a B[ible] I[nstitute] group without appear[ing] to be wrangling among ourselves?" Everest answered his own question. The ASA had to present "a solid, well thought out front." As he later communicated to a prospective member, "[W]e are firmly convinced that our group will be a more powerful tool in the hands of the Lord if we maintain our standards so high that the confidence of those in the other camp will be compelled. For this reason we have chosen not to adopt deluge geology, anti-evolutionism, or anything else as the basis of our group."3
The wisdom evident in the founders' fear of becoming too narrow in creed has left the ASA with a legacy of the so-called "open forum" approach. This tactic would prove to be the source of its own set of problems. But for the meantime, while still thinking matters through, the organizers of the ASA were becoming wary of advertising adherence to anything more specific than an "unerring" Bible and "the real facts of science." It was the invocation of this rhetorically pleasing phrase, "the real facts of science," however, that would betray a degree of philosophical naivety and conflicting views of science within the ASA.4
Philosophers of science have long acknowledged the tenuous ontological status of scientific "facts." The temptation right now is to undertake a digression reviewing the ideas of William Whewell (1794-1886), Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), Thomas Kuhn (b. 1922) and others on this subject. Resisting that temptation, the point is that many philosophers who think about these things have insisted that presuming autonomous existence for "facts of science" is unacceptable. The ASA founders were not philosophers, however. As a result they had not given these matters much thought.5
The affair becomes more complex when relating the presumed "facts of science" to Scripture. In their rhetoric, ASA founders gave voice to sentiments reminiscent of Scottish Common Sense Realism as transmitted through such Princeton theologians as Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921). As Mark Noll has observed, "The Scottish philosophers regarded truth as a static entity, open equally to all people º They were deeply committed to an empirical method that made much of gathering relevant factsº " Warfield believed that this common rational sense could then be pressed into theological service. He "held that history, reason, and objective science could demonstrate the validity of Scripture as divine revelation. Individuals convinced by such demonstration could then rely on Scripture to construct theology."6
Viewed from this perspective, the writings of ASA founder Peter Stoner qualify him as a Warfieldian of sorts. His popular book, From Science to Souls (1944), concluded its argument on a definitive note. Stoner proclaimed that his presentation was "proof of the Bible's inspiration by God - proof so definite that the universe is not large enough to represent itº . Any man who rejects Christ as the Son of God is rejecting a fact proven perhaps more absolutely than any other fact in the world."7
Apparently a preferred method of proof among ASA founders was a three phase "Scientific Procedure" outlined by Alton Everest in his Moody Monthly article, "Can Christians Be Scientific?" Surely they could. After all, the phases of the "Scientific Procedure" could be followed by anyone. They were "1) Lack of Bias º 2) Hypothesis º 3) Testing the hypothesis." Everest explained, "A scientist must approach a problem with no pre-conceived ideas which would tend to influence his conclusions." Any other view which admitted pre-conceived bias and still claimed scientific status would be sheer nonsense.8
Kuyper argued that there were "two kinds of
Christians and non-Christians, and therefore,
respectively "two kinds of science,"
each beginning from separate sets of presuppositions.
"Sheer nonsense" - that was B. B. Warfield's feeling about the Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper's (1837-1920) view of science. Kuyper held that no scientist could ever approach a problem without preconceived ideas. He argued that there were "two kinds of people," Christians and non-Christians, and therefore, respectively "two kinds of science," each beginning from separate sets of presuppositions. Kuyper's presuppositionalism seems to run counter to the evidentialist position of Warfield. Where Warfield saw universal scientific agreement as at least theoretically possible, Kuyper believed that, regarding the two kinds of scientists, "each group naturally contradicts whatever the other group asserts."9 Interestingly, however, it is not hard, despite the Warfieldian sounds of Stoner and Everest, to find other ASA members sounding contrary Kuyperian chords.
Historian of American religion George Marsden has made much of this distinction between "Warfieldians" and "Kuyperians." "In almost every field today," argues Marsden, "evangelical scholars are divided basically into two camps, with some hybrids in between. These camps are the Warfieldians and the Kuyperians, although they do not necessarily identify themselves as such or follow their mentors precisely."10 While Marsden's approach has merit, attempting to apply a strict topology shaped along the contour of a rigid Warfieldian-Kuyperian dichotomy could prove thorny. Nevertheless, for purposes of identifying dissonant strains within ASA ranks, Marsden's strategy functions well heuristically.
It would take people formally outside the ranks of ASA membership to play the first non-Warfieldian notes, however. In the fall of 1945 Cornelius Van Til of Westminster Theological Seminary explained to Alton Everest, "The Christian has a radically different conception of the very idea [of] fact than has the non-Christian. Any discussion about facts therefore which does not include a settlement on the question of the philosophy of fact is bound to be very weak." When Van Til presented his invited paper, "Epistemological Assumptions of Scientists," at the first ASA convention in August, 1946, he made sure this theme was clear. "The non-Christian scientist carries with him," reasoned Van Til, "the assumption that man is the final reference point of his own interpretation º It is in terms of this assumption that he observes the facts."11
The first ASA publication venture materialized in 1947 as a monograph, "Christian Theism and the Empirical Sciences," by another non-ASA member Cornelius Jaarsma. Presumably Van Til's message was resonating well within the ASA membership, for Jaarsma's monograph echoed a similar note. He announced, "Facts have no being without God, nor can they continue as facts apart from God. He is the presupposition of all things. The fact of God must be taken into account to give adequate, yes, true interpretation of other facts." Perhaps the very notion of autonomous "facts of science" to correlate with scripture was an error stemming from secular philosophy. Jaarsma concluded in a Kuyperian vein insisting that, "When the primary fact of º God is ruled out º erroneous conclusions are inescapable."12 By formally endorsing Jaarsma's article, was the ASA renouncing a Warfieldian heritage?
No, it was not. The following year, the ASA's student handbook, advertised as "a 289-page Christian Classic that took twelve men five years to produce," appeared. On the fundamental question of the nature of scientific fact did the ASA present "a solid, well thought out front?" Editor Everest explained in the preface that the volume's purpose was to demonstrate "a harmony" between "the observations of science and a simple, direct interpretation of the Bible narrative." In the chapter on "The Witness of Physical Science to the Bible," the author seemed willing enough to grant "facts" autonomy. "By the facts of science the conclusion is endorsed that the universe must have had an origin in time º " Rather than beginning with God, then, the "facts of science" had foundational status. Interestingly, in the chapter on "Psychology and the Christian Faith," editor Everest added to the second, enlarged edition of 1950 a comment which implied the autonomy of "scientific facts." The revised chapter concluded, "No psychological gymnastics are necessary to reconcile the Christian position with the facts of psychology and psychiatry."13
"The non-Christian scientist carries with
reasoned Van Til, "the assumption that man is
the final reference point of his own interpretationº
It is in terms of this assumption that he observes the facts."
From these brief passages an undercurrent of Warfieldian sentiment may be assumed. But such an inference could be drawn only by ignoring other passages from the book. For example, chapter one, "A Christian Interpretation of Science," suggests that there are two kinds of scientists after all. "The scientist who is a follower of Jesus Christ finds that his conception of science is determined by his beliefsº . [T]he Christian theistic view º has its own interpretation of science" and its own presuppositions. The chapter on "Geology and the Bible," struck a similar chord: "[I]t is not possible to reconcile the [scientific] interpretation with the Scriptures. This is due to the fact that the two are essentially irreconcilable." Such insistence upon the irreconcilability of scripture with scientific knowledge that is not first founded on presuppositions of biblical supernaturalism sounds rather Kuyperian.14 Kuyperian sounds continued to get hearings within the ASA in other forms as well.15 But, despite members voicing such convictions, as the years wore on, a Kuyperian view never clearly dominated.
A litany of Warfieldian and Kuyperian counter-examples could be extended, but by now the point should be clear. Marsden has argued that "in virtually every field the principal intraevangelical debate has been the same: Do evangelical Christian scholars pursue their science or discipline differently from the way secularists do?"16 Some within the ASA have urged that they must; others believed that if Christians and non-believers share anything in common, certainly it must be science. Has this dissonant strain ever been resolved within the ASA? Perhaps one could argue that a Warfieldian model finally came to dominate with the approval in 1970 of the ASA's fourth constitution. There the "Doctrinal Statement" included for the first time the statement, "The scientific approach is capable of giving reliable information about the natural world."17 The Kuyperian might object to the use of the definite article - he might ask, "Which scientific approach, the Christian or the non-Christian?" But a Warfieldian would not be likely to bother with this distinction. Neither did the new ASA constitution.
Blackballing Fundamentalist Pseudoscience: Ironies in the Construction of an ASA Imprimatur
The question of whether or not evangelical scientists pursue their discipline differently than secular scientists, Marsden suggests, is "the principal intraevangelical debate." To be sure, as I have briefly tried to demonstrate, evangelical scientists of the ASA were not of one mind on this matter. Some minded a lot, for others it didn't matter. While for early ASA members the question certainly was a principle of debate, it was only one thread in a broad fabric of issues which they considered meaningful.
The chief reason ASA leaders during the early years did not fuss much over the theological and epistemological questions surrounding the notion of "scientific fact" (aside from the reality that it had not really occurred to some of them as an issue) was that they could only bother with so many things at a time. Their published "PLANS" for "correlating" scripture with the "facts of science" made scant allowance for worrying about what a "fact" was.
Leading the list of ASA plans was what Everest considered the job "that would be expected to appear first in a new organization" ó "reviewing." "Our main object," he explained in a letter to a new member accompanying a package of nine books, "is to get a list of books º which we can recommend without reservation." Among the founders, Everest and Stoner were especially eager to guard "the fundamental church" against well-intentioned but basically "crack-pot presentation[s]" of science by "Bible-teachers, preachers, and evangelists," whose approach "left a dark brown taste in the mouth of those of scientific training." In keeping with original plans, the founders hoped to provide "a 'stamp of approval' for publishers' use in the flyleaf of approved books and pamphlets º I keep thinking of the 'Good Housekeeping Institute Seal of Approval'," wrote Everest to Irving Cowperthwaite, "but I hope ours means more."18
In these early years ASA aspirations ran high
the evangelical Vatican for fundamentalists preferring literature
with a scientifically correct imprimatur.
In these early years ASA aspirations ran high for be-coming the evangelical Vatican for fundamentalists preferring literature with a scientifically correct imprimatur. In the end, however, rhetoric, both published and otherwise, outstripped the historical realities. This is not meant to suggest that the ASA of the 1940s did not make a hearty effort to fill the role of censor.
Everest and Stoner were especially pleased to announce in mid-1942 that the ASA already "has one job to its credit." A "sensational" little book had appeared in fundamentalist circles purporting to "have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt" the inspiration of scripture by employing what detractors labelled "absurd and erroneous" methods of numerology. Stoner, the ASA's mathematician, had demonstrated that using the book's method, its own foreword "was even more inspired than the Genesis passages themselves!" Apparently several organizations had encouraged sales of the book. Having alerted those groups to this serious flaw, the ASA took pride in its role in effecting the book's demise.19 This first "reviewing" victory charged the ambition of the young science and religion society; and the founders quickly organized a formal reviewing phase of their work.20
The ASA mark of "approval" would routinely appear on many of the Moody Institute of Science films ó something that probably did as much for ASA's credibility as it did for Moody's. And, perhaps remarkably, the ASA endorsement appeared on a few editions of John R. Howitt's (1892-1985) pocket-sized booklet, Evolution: "Science Falsely So-called."21 But an ASA endorsement was never to rival Good Housekeeping's Seal in name recognition or importance. Beyond these examples the founders' vision of a widely-recognized ASA imprimatur gradually fizzled. This was not due so much to lack of energies for reviewing as it was to a shortage of approvable material. Two notable examples are worth mentioning ó the cases of Harry Rimmer (1890-1952) and Henry Morris (b. 1918).
Rimmer, a Presbyterian minister and self-proclaimed "research scientist," had founded his Research Science Bureau, Inc. in the early twenties "to prove º that science and the literal Bible were not contradictory." He gained influence and notoriety travelling the lecture circuit and publishing numerous books and pamphlets. Despite his wide influence, his writings represented to many ASA members the sort of "hopeless" material that "should not have been published" in the first place.22
Despite his wide influence, Rimmer's writings
represented to many ASA members the sort of "hopeless" material
that "should not have been published" in the first place.
It was the fall of 1947 and the ASA leadership was in the thick of final reviewing and preparation for Modern Science and Christian Faith. Already swamped with ASA business, Everest received a request from Van Kampen, their publisher, for "the ASA's opinion of Harry Rimmer's books prior to accepting some for republication."23
Only one book, however, Rimmer's Theory of Evolution and the Facts of Science, ended up being subjected to ASA scrutiny. Given the ASA penchant for the phrase "facts of science" this was a natural choice for review. In typical fashion Rimmer explained that "With facts we have no dispute; we accept every fact of every science known to man. Our argument is with the interpretation of those facts, and it does not follow that because we accept the facts in any given field of research we are constrained to accept all the theories based on those facts."24
Despite the presence of such conservative names as Walter Lammerts, William Tinkle, and Edwin Monsma on the eight-member review team, the overwhelming consensus was that whatever merits the book may possess, its "glaring faults" ultimately "weaken the book to the point where it should not be republished." Perhaps there is subtle irony here. The ASA, a group established to demonstrate that "there can be no real discrepancies between the Bible and the real facts of modern science," concludes this episode recommending that a Christian publisher avoid issuing a book whose author spent a lifetime allegedly championing the very same cause. Perhaps, sensing an incongruity, one member expressed concern that the ASA "might become known in the eyes of the Christian world only as an anti-Rimmer club."25
There were several ASA members, however, intent upon preventing that. Chief among these was Wheaton biology professor and soon-to-be-ASA-President, Russell Mixter (b. 1906). Wheaton College had been named recipient of a sizable donation. A condition for receiving this gift, however, was that Harry Rimmer visit the school annually to make sure evolution was not being taught. Mixter, chuckling at the whole situation surrounding the review of Rimmer's book, wrote to Everest proclaiming, "Rimmer has me on the spot! º he doesn't know any of this! When he comes to town next year, I'll get sick º All you need to do is laugh." Mixter later explained his jocular comments to Everest, "Really, I was joking about Rimmer. He's a joke(r) too, not so? But wouldn't he have fun if he knew just who was doing what?" Rimmer never did find out "who was doing what" and Van Kampen did not republish his book. Rimmer died three years later and in many libraries his books began gathering dust.26
But as that dust was settling on Rimmer's books, the influence they had exerted over the young mind of Henry Morris was just beginning to manifest itself. While still in his twenties and wrestling with the way to relate science to his faith, Morris had read The Theory of Evolution and the Facts of Science. He later confessed that Rimmer's "book did as much as any one thing to convince me once and for all that evolution was false." In 1947, modeling his mentor, Morris was busy polemicizing against evolution.27
One essay was a piece entitled "Can a Christian Consistently Believe in Evolution?" The summary paragraph declared unequivocally Morris's answer to the title's rhetorical question: "Evolution, then, in any form, whether materialistic or theistic, is an utterly un-Scriptural and un-Christian philosophy and is unscientific as well." Morris did not submit this essay to the ASA for review, but Moody Monthly did. Everest had received a letter from the magazine's editorial staff requesting an opinion of Morris's manuscript. Sarcastically remarking upon the ASA's success at acquiring material for review, Everest commented to a colleague, "Well, we asked for it, and now we have it!"28
"Evolution, then, in any form,
whether materialistic or theistic, is an utterly un-Scriptural
and un-Christian philosophy and is unscientific as well,"
declared Morris's essay.
What did the ASA do with it? - pretty much the same thing they had done with Rimmer's book. Everest selected three prominent ASA leaders for the task. They were Peter Stoner, Russell Mixter, and J. Laurence Kulp (b. 1921), the bright young Wheaton alumnus whose Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Princeton was followed with all the coursework for a second doctorate in geology from Columbia. Everest, especially pleased that ASA had attracted a member of Kulp's caliber was hopeful that the young geochemist would help steer the ASA into the mainstream of scientific respectability.29
One thing was certain: Kulp's ardent resolve to steer away from material like Morris's essay. Critical of the article's "illogical" thesis and "unscholarly attitude," Kulp suspected that Morris's summary paragraph alone "would make most educated readers look for the nearest trash basket." The assessments of Stoner and Mixter were no more favorable. Everest sent the reviews to Moody Monthly with the kind comment that "men like Morris are so very sincere." But no recommendation to publish the article accompanied the kind remark. Perhaps another subtle irony lies in this episode, where the ASA gave the "thumbs down" to the work of a man they would soon welcome into membership and later elect as a fellow.30
The founders' vision for the ASA mark of approval as the symbol of quality and trustworthiness in evangelical science never fully materialized. Ironically, this was not because they did not review books, films, and pamphlets. They just had a darned hard time finding any that passed muster. Kulp had complained, "If there is even one `good' anti-evolutionary book, I would be delighted to know about the same." Maybe that was the problem. ASA reviewers increasingly seemed to see the classification "good anti-evolutionary book" as an oxymoron. And when so much of the literature to review was anti-evolutionary, gaining name recognition with a "seal of approval" could be tricky. So rather than blackballing fundamentalist pseudoscience by sifting Christian literature through its reviewing filter, the ASA increasingly took the offensive, attacking scientific follies head on and offering alternatives designed to bring the emerging new evangelical coalition into harmony with mainstream science.31
Too Much Influence by the Orthodox Viewpoint? Washing Up Flood Geology
If eradication of fundamentalist pseudoscience was an objective of the ASA reviewing function, that did not mean ASA members always drew the line between quackery and legitimate science in the same way. Member disagreed with member; and over time individual members changed their views.32 But when exchanges of ideas are lively enough, they can be the source of inharmonious strains. This is especially true in the case of controversial subjects. If consonance between members on debatable issues was a desired end, it would come, if at all, only after enduring a measure of dissonance. The stories of ASA dealings during the forties and fifties with "Deluge Geology" and evolution are fitting illustrations of harmonious dissonance.
In the spring of 1942 two ASA founders, John Van Haitsma and Russell Sturgis, communicated approving judgments of George McCready Price's (1870-1963) deluge geology. Van Haitsma concluded that Price's book, Genesis Vindicated, which argues for a recent six-day creation, "is in line with the aim of our society." And Sturgis pronounced the early volumes of The Bulletin of Deluge Geology and Related Sciences "very worthwhile material" and "well worth having in our libraryº "33
How far would the ASA go in espousing this unconventional harmonization of Genesis and geology? Everest later received a letter from Ben F. Allen, Secretary of the Deluge Society, proposing that "the two societies get together in the publication of a journal." And, when Price himself (to the surprise of many) showed up in the fall of 1942 at a small "regional meeting" at Stoner's Pasadena home, Walter Lammerts seized the opportunity to present a letter from Cyril B. Courville, leader of the Deluge Society. Courville's proposal echoed Allen's sentiments and suggested the formation of an interdenominational board to back the proposed journal. Most agreed, however, that it would be unwise to "sponsor some one idea just to watch the heads fall." The subtle message to the flood geology contingent was that the ASA would rather do its job "the slow hard way and with men who are not sold out to some idea."34
"I asked our Geologist how many Geologists
in the schools
accepted Price's work. He says absolutely none,
but some schools require their students to completely
refute this argument before they complete their course."
Apparently, however, the hint was not strong enough. In early 1944 another associate of the Deluge Society, Dudley Joseph Whitney (1883-1964), approached the ASA with a proposal for joining together in the formulation of a "Creed of Creation." Fearing the worst, Everest shared the Whitney correspondence with the council. He began his accompanying letter, "I have a bomb in my lap which I would like to pass on to the rest of you." Unwilling to be drawn into association with an idea he considered "basically unsound" and "extremely unscientific," Peter Stoner penned a few remarks to let Everest and the rest of the council know his feelings about flood geology:
I feel that our job is to show the relation of the sciences to the Bible and to do it in a way, as far as possible, friendly to science. This deluge geology bunch seems to go out with a chip on their shoulders and dare science to knock it off. They certainly have the scientific world against them.
I asked our Geologist how many Geologists in the schools accepted Price's work. He says absolutely none, but some schools require their students to completely refute this argument before they complete their course.
[And in another letter] º The Deluge group have been trying to get a debate for a long timeº . It is something like the position I would be in if I claimed 2 x 3 was 7 and challenged the Mathematical world to debate the subject. No Mathematician of standing would accept such a debate.35
Not surprisingly, the ASA leadership remained disinclined to join forces with the flood geology group. Instead they voiced agreement with Allen MacRae, president of Faith Seminary, who would soon join the ASA council. In a statement incorporating "Rimmeresque" overtones MacRae explained:
To my mind it would be unfortunate for the Affiliation to go on record strongly in favor of any one of the various views. It seems to me that its purpose should rather be to show that the Bible as correctly and carefully interpreted, and without any twisting whatever, leaves room for every scientific fact as yet discovered, however much it may be at variance with some particular theory built upon these facts.
Admitting the existence of "differences of opinion within [their] group," but not wishing to make that dissonance public, the ASA leadership followed the advise of Secretary-Treasurer, Marion D. Barnes, "to let the correspondence with D.J.W. drop." It seemed that the ASA was making it clear to all concerned, in as harmonious a way as possible, that an "open forum" was not the same as a platform for the peculiar.36
It seemed that the ASA was making it clear to
in as harmonious a way as possible, that an "open forum"
was not the same as a platform for the peculiar.
The questions of how to relate Genesis and geology had not been settled, however. In September of 1947, a seminar, again at the home of Peter Stoner, was held on the subject "The Age of the Earth by Radioactive Methods." Ultimately printed and distributed in 1948 as A Symposium on "The Age of the Earth" by Members of the American Scientific Affiliation, the collection of seven papers generally supported the reliability of using radioactivity in age determination. The opening paper, "The Biblical Evidence of the Age of the Earth," by Bernard Ramm concluded that "the time element as a general principle can be granted to the geologist." And J. Laurence Kulp's review of the "Present Status of Age Determination in Geology" resonated with confidence in the usefulness of radiometric dating methods.37
But the pages of the little booklet still contained enough room for echoes of Everest's nemesis, Dudley J. Whitney. Walter Lammerts contributed an essay based in part on a 1938 paper by Whitney. Following Whitney, Lammerts argued that radioactive analysis was seriously inconsistent with "the usual methods used in age determinations." As if trying to minimize the impact of Lammert's contrary tone, six of the short paper's eight paragraphs were followed with editor's explanatory comments, such as, "These anomalies are not as bad as the author indicates." The tone of the booklet indicated the general ASA desire to walk in harmony with mainstream geology. But in typical fashion, there remained a dissonant chord.38
Edwin Y. Monsma, a Calvin College biology
was especially concerned about Kulp's willingness
(in "Antiquity of Hominoid Fossils") to admit
uniformitarian presuppositions and the possibility that
"wholesale death and destruction took place before the fall."
Growing weary of the persistent legacy of Price, Rimmer, and others, Everest hoped that Kulp would lend his expertise at the 1948 ASA convention the following August. He wrote Kulp in the winter of 1947 with a plea so eager it bordered on the urgent:
It would be most helpful if you would present a comprehensive destruction of Flood Geology, we'll give you a whole session if necessary, or an evening meeting, perhaps. This material could also appear as a magazine article, or better yet, the ASA could publish it in monograph form and publish it ourselves in order to allow the more comprehensive data which would be necessary for a solid work.39
Kulp, who had been reading about man-like fossils, had come to believe another tactic was in order. He told Everest that contrary to "the various pseudoscientific statements in Christian apologetical literature" there was a "tremendous number of geological facts concerning the chronology of the Pleistocene period [which] make it apparent that such [man-like] creatures have been on the earth probably hundreds of thousands of years." He felt that the ASA ought to know about these facts. Consequently he recommended postponing what he agreed to be "the necessary destruction of flood geology" in order to focus upon a subject he believed to be "of far more importance to the A.S.A."40 Thus Kulp's 1948 convention paper was entitled "Antiquity of Hominoid Fossils."41
Following Kulp's presentation a lively discussion session ensued, marked by worried comments from Edwin Y. Monsma. The Calvin College biology professor was especially concerned about Kulp's willingness to admit uniformitarian presuppositions and the possibility that "wholesale death and destruction took place before the fall."
Kulp responded congenially and with confidence that no genuine evangelical convictions were threatened. Despite the mild dissonance, the session concluded with Kulp's proclaimed objective realized - "instruct[ing] evangelical scholars in the ways of geology and the age of man."42
Kulp's paper, simply titled "Deluge
set about to remove systematically any shred
of credibility that flood geology owned.
Kulp's self-described work had, indeed, only begun. About a month later - in a letter congratulating him on being elected to replace Monsma on the executive council (a move perhaps symbolic of the direction ASA was moving and certainly one capitalizing on Kulp's "strategic place") - Everest reminded Kulp of the persistently lingering bogey man. "This flood business seems continually to crop up," he groaned; and then went on to share a substantive excerpt from one of Henry Morris's recent letters. Intently hopeful that Kulp would view Morris's remarks as evidence that flood geology required a straightforward dismantling and burial, Everest concluded the letter with the hint to take on the subject at the next annual meeting. Kulp concurred "that an analysis of Flood Geology is required." His only request was that Everest provide him with more information on the deluge school; for his own library contained only two of Price's books.43
The ASA president gladly replied with a promise to loan Kulp his file of "The Bulletin of Deluge Geology" with the condition that it be returned after use because, as Everest explained, "Although this is on my 'screwy shelf', I prize them highly." A note of caution was at the heart of the sagacious leader's letter, however. Although Kulp was a known quantity and had proven at the last convention that he could "treat º controversial subject[s] with tact," Southern California, the site of the next meeting, was home of "the foremost proponents" of flood geology. "[T]he presentation of a destruction of something they hold very close to biblical truth itself," cautioned Everest, "if not done very carefully and wisely, might turn them from the ASA."44
Plans went forward, however, and Kulp plunged into the corpus of works by flood geologists. Upon completion of the last copy of the "Bulletin of Deluge Geology," he pronounced in exasperation, "What confusion!" Clearly determined to unleash all his abilities on the young-earth rhetoric, Kulp proposed to Everest that he also "undertake the authorship of a purely scientific monograph on the present status of radioactive age determination." Everest later commented that he rarely encountered "such a display of energy on an ASA project." He seemed to find the whole prospect exhilarating, however. "Inasmuch as I am in hearty accord with your motives, I will hold on tight and let's go," he proclaimed. So by early 1949, the stage was being set for what could be a big western showdown in August.45
Throughout, Everest had remained the consummate administrator, always operating in order to derive the maximum return with the least interpersonal friction. Acutely aware of the stakes, he reminded Kulp that he was "looking forward to a cool, dispassionate, and factual presentation that will essentially close the subject."46
Kulp's paper, simply titled "Deluge Geology," set about to remove systematically any shred of credibility that flood geology owned. His introduction made the problem clear. Deluge geology was a theory "in complete disagreement with the conclusions of trained geologists the world over." But, it had "grown and infiltrated the greater portion of fundamental Christianity in America primarily due to the absence of trained Christian geologists." His task - try to train them. Kulp argued that flood geology entailed "four basic errors." After explaining each in the context of an extended geology lesson, Kulp finally pronounced his judgement that Deluge Geology was "entirely inadequate." But, he assured, this should not be a source of difficulty to the evangelical Christian. "The science of geology precludes certain interpretations of Genesis but does not make impossible acceptance of plenary inspiration of the scriptures." And so the "cool, dispassionate, and factual presentation" for which Everest had hoped finished with assurances that orthodoxy remained intact.47
Morris, complaining that Kulp had "used the
to bolster his pre-determined conclusion,"
surmised that its author "may still be too much influenced
in his own thinking by the orthodox geological viewpoint."
The big showdown had come to pass, but, despite the presence of "feeble" 79-year-old George McCready Price in the front row, it did so without any guns a-blazin'. At the last minute circumstances had conspired to prevent Kulp from attending the meeting; so Marie Fetzer was recruited to read Kulp's paper. Her presentation was followed by plenty of discussion, but, as Everest later reported to Kulp, Price only "said something very brief which missed what everyone was waiting for."48
Everest had also hoped that Kulp's presentation would "essentially close the subject." After pondering the conference's impact, however, he admitted that "a discussion of a paper like that needs more than a single hearing for best results." Kulp concurred, "I suppose we must keep banging away on the educational program." And bang away they did.49
Although harmony rather than dissonance had characterized the 1949 meeting in Los Angeles, that did not mean Kulp's message was passively or universally warmly received. In the June, 1950 issue of the ASA Journal there appeared a one page anonymous article entitled, "Comment on the 'Deluge Geology` Paper of J. L. Kulp." Its author was none other than Henry Morris. Morris, complaining that Kulp had "used the paper merely to bolster his pre-determined conclusion," surmised that its author "may still be too much influenced in his own thinking by the orthodox geological viewpoint." And while he was on the subject, Morris went on to include Cordelia Erdman, whose paper on "Fossil Sequence in Clearly Superimposed Rock Strata" had preceded Kulp's at the 1949 meeting, as another who "I feel º is perhaps too much committed to the orthodox viewpoint."50 When it comes to the point where one man's heresy is another man's orthodoxy and vice versa, it has also come to the point where the word dissonance has found legitimate use.
Morris was not the only ASA member to find fault with Kulp's paper. At the 1951 meeting at Shelton College, Uuras Saarnivaara, a sociologist specializing in exegesis and ethics at Suomi Theological Seminary in Hancock, Michigan, trotted out his rejoiner to Kulp in a paper entitled, "Flood Geology." According to the abstract, the paper promised to show that "practically all the arguments of Kulp against flood geology are based on faulty information, or on faulty conclusions." Yet, despite the abstract's brazen claims, it apparently fell on deaf ears.51
The dissonant chatter about flood geology between ASA members did not remain within the confines of ASA meetings and publications either.52 During the mid 1950s the pages of InterVarsity's HIS magazine became a forum for various ASA members to dispute flood geology and related subjects. Both Kulp and Morris were key figures in these articles.53
That Whitcomb and Morris's The Genesis Flood would not appear for the better part of a decade is evidence enough that the dissonant harmony sounding from ASA quarters would continue. Everest had hoped to "essentially close the subject." But such visions of washing up flood geology once and for all were obviously symptoms of too much influence by the orthodox viewpoint.
Coming to Terms with the "E-Word"
In early 1948 Alton Everest received a letter from Fuller Seminary's professor of theology and philosophy, Carl F. H. Henry, inviting Everest and local ASA members to a meeting on the Fuller campus. Henry explained, "I do not think of anything more important that the evangelical scientists of our country could dedicate themselves to than the project we hope to launch that night, a closely-knit refutation of evolution timed to come out on the hundredth anniversary of Darwin's origin of species [sic]." Henry went on to suggest that he, Everest, and Bernard Ramm get together beforehand for a planning session: "We ought not to leave it to the meeting itself to evolve something, for none of us believe in naturalistic evolution anyway, nor theistic evolution for that matter." The delighted Everest invited eight other colleagues to the gathering to help launch the program for what he explained "may become one of the most significant single Christian efforts of our day."54
After that initial meeting the whole project remained on the back burner as more pressing issues received attention. One early response did come from Wheaton alumnus, J. Frank Cassel (b. 1916) who had gone on to join the zoology faculty at Colorado A. & M. College (and would later move to North Dakota Agricultural College and would serve on the ASA executive council). Cassel described the proposal as "near to my heart;" but went on to voice reservations at the "scarcely scientific" attitude of assuming "that evolution can be refuted!" He believed that instead of "the preconceived attitude of disagreement," the ASA should be positive. Certainly scientists would welcome a "thoroughgoing Creationist interpretation" of observed facts if given in the right attitude, he argued.55
Certainly scientists would welcome a
Creationist interpretation" of observed facts ó if given in the right attitude,
The first real ASA effort to give such a "creationist interpretation" of evolution came in 1950 with the publication of the organization's second monograph, Creation and Evolution by Russell Mixter. Actually a compilation of papers Mixter had composed in the late 1940s, the monograph was originally written as a critical evaluation of A. F. Shull's influential textbook, Evolution. Convinced that "people who place their faith in Divine Creation as the explanation of the development of life º have as much justification for their belief as do [atheistic evolutionists for theirs]," Mixter was unwilling to make a case for the soundness of macroevolutionary hypotheses. But he determined that "the flood was not world wide and may be disregarded in a study of animal distribution." Furthermore, following and expanding upon Floyd Hamilton's The Basis of Evolutionary Faith, to which he referred throughout, Mixter considered likely the evolutionary development of organisms "within the order." Not surprisingly, his conclusion that "a creationist may believe in the origin of species at different times, separated by millions of years, and in places continents apart," was bothersome to ASA's anti-evolutionary contingent. As had been the case with J. Laurence Kulp's "Deluge Geology" paper, an anonymous critical response appeared in the ASA journal. Perhaps this was a gesture symbolic of the fact that the ASA movement away from anti-evolutionism was not to be a saltatory change.56
Sensing this, Cassel, who was preparing his paper, "A Study of Evolution" for the 1951 Shelton College Convention, wrote to Everest with an inquiry about Carl Henry's original proposal: "How do things stand? I don't want to rehash too much old stuff, neither do I wish to arouse any sleeping dogs I can't tame." Everest, ever the sensitive politician, replied that Henry's proposal was "not dead, only sleeping," like the dogs that might awaken if Cassel did not tame his proposed paper abstract by removing the statement, "Therefore, evolution is a fact." Cassel reluctantly complied. And it was just as well, for some were not ready to face the "E-word" in that context just yet. For example, commenting to Mixter on the proposed centennial volume, founder Peter Stoner explained, "I would be in favor of the ASA publishing a book giving the arguments against the Theory of Evolution º . if we can establish the fact that there were acts of creation in the biological field, the theory of evolution falls automatically."57
"Until we admit something exists,
we can't study it - and evolution is in need of much
thoroughgoing study by conservatives. At least among us girls,
let's call it by name, talk it over, and then do something about it."
Still, the patience with anti-evolutionism among a younger progressive ASA contingent was beginning to wear thin. Kulp, for instance, had responded to Mixter regarding the Darwinian centennial volume, "I, for one, will have no part of a straight "anti-evolution" treatise, which is the form in which it was originally proposed." And Cassel, by the time of the Shelton College meeting, was at about his wits` end. In an letter of exasperation he complained:
º until we admit something exists, we can't study it - and evolution is in need of much thoroughgoing study by conservatives. At least among us girls, let's call it by name, talk it over, and then do something about it. Let's stop this wasting time saying, now this is evolution, and I believe in it, but it really isn't evolution - because something else is evolution.
º so let's make use of a perfectly good - if much misused and much misunderstood word.
Now I well realize that in accepting such a position º we are heretics on both ends and "no longer fundamentalists!" (Oh happy day, what an easy way to get out from under that stigma - gentlemen, I jest).
º I have no particular love for my statement - "Therefore, evolution is a fact." º I tried to simply say that 2 plus 2 equals 4, rather than put it as we have been for so long in A.S.A. - "It is axiomatic what 2 plus 2 equals, but I can't say it cause it's a dirty word - and besides that's not what I'm talking about, anyhow." This time it happens to be what I'm talking about.58
Cassel's views gradually prevailed. By mid-decade, even H. Harold Hartzler, the ever-agreeable ASA President from Goshen, Indiana, informed a group of ASA leaders that "the A.S.A. should not be an anti-evolutionary society. Rather, we should examine the facts." And Everest, who had once led prospective members to believe that the ASA would be an anti-evolutionary organization, admitted a change of outlook: "My view concerning the purposes of the ASA and some of the problems, such as this topic of evolution, have matured considerably during the course of the past ten years º . I cannot now recommend as a primary purpose of the proposed volume `to show the inconsistency of evolution.' This is far too negative an approach."59
Perhaps a watershed point in the evolution of ASA thinking on evolution came in late August, 1957 at the twelfth annual convention held on the campus of Gordon College and Divinity School. Here the atmosphere was made right for discussion of the "E-word," with such papers presented as "The Formation of Living Organisms From Non-Living Systems," by the amiable iconoclast, biochemist Walter Hearn, "Primitive Earth Conditions and The Origin of Life," by Karl Turekian, one of Kulp's outstanding Ph.D. students, and "Radiocarbon Dating - A Tool in Fixing Chronology of the Last 50,000 Years," by Edwin Olson, another of Kulp's assistants at the Lamont Geological Observatory. So when, in the session devoted to "An Evaluation of the Fossil Record," Russell Mixter, the guru of evangelical thought on origins, finally got up and said he felt the gaps in evolutionary theory were being closed and that he was prepared to quit emphasizing those gaps, many felt the ASA had come to a big turning point.60
Whether or not that meeting functioned for many
as a cathartic experience or an eye-opening revelation
of ASA apostasy on the evolution questions is
not especially important. Rather, the point is that by the end
of the decade the ASA had been instrumental in bringing about
an "evolution of evangelical thinking on evolution."
Whether or not that August meeting functioned for many as a cathartic experience or an eye-opening revelation of ASA apostasy on the evolution questions is not especially important. Rather, the point is that by the end of the decade the ASA had been instrumental in bringing about an "evolution of evangelical thinking on evolution." Reflecting on the fact that "Evolution" had originally been considered "a dirty word," Frank Cassel admitted that "in fifteen years we have seen develop within A. S. A. a spectrum of belief in evolution that would have shocked all of us at the inception of our organization."61
When Evolution and Christian Thought Today finally appeared in late 1959 under Mixter's editorship, the final chapter entitled "Theology and Evolution" by Carl F. H. Henry was somehow "out of tune" with the rest of the volume. As the author of another chapter later remarked, "It was almost as though he [Henry] hadn't read the other chapters or he didn't know the material that other people were talking about." Rather than the "closely-knit refutation" that Henry had envisioned over a decade earlier, the book came off the press as something of an eclectic Christian endorsement of organic evolution. Significant was the chapter on "The Origin of Life" by Walter Hearn and his student, Richard Hendry. Suggesting the likelihood that "a complete metabolic machine may have appeared only after long periods of `chemical evolution'," the authors concluded that "the expressions in Scripture regarding the creation of life [were] sufficiently figurative to imply little or no limitation on possible mechanisms." Despite these controversial propositions, the book placed the American Scientific Affiliation in the mainstream of the emerging neo-evangelical constituency. While Christianity Today voted Evolution and Christian Thought Today one of the twenty-five "best books of 1959 from a strictly evangelical point of view," Eternity Magazine judged the volume to be "The Most Significant Book of the Year" for 1960.62
As with the story of the ASA dealings with deluge geology, the dissonant tones accompanying efforts to come to terms with the "E-Word" would not fade away. Instead they would resonate ever louder until some of those making those dissonant sounds would depart from the ASA fold in order to sing in unison their own song. But events of that departure make another whole story.
Harmony entails a pleasing combination of different tones. It is much more satisfying to the ear than unison. Perfect harmony is also more difficult to obtain, however. Therefore, those pursuing the greater richness that comes from singing in harmony also risk creating discordant sounds in the attempt.
The ASA founders adopted a musical metaphor to explicate their view of the encounter between science and Christianity. Rather than unison, the word they chose was harmony. They chose well; for the members of the ASA have only rarely sung in unison. On the other hand, the mingling of different convictions and beliefs has on occasion fallen short of the richest harmony. Of course, rhetoric does not always match perfectly the historical realities.
Webster defines dissonance as "a mingling of discordant sounds, lack of agreement, or inconsistency between the beliefs one holds."63 During its first decades the American Scientific Affiliation was at times a source of dissonance. But as Godly pilgrims pursuing Truth, they were more tolerant of their differences, even if they did notice them - Everest once quipped to Kulp referring to the ASA, "we are quite brutal with ourselves."64
The result has been harmony, but at times a dissonant harmony, issuing from an affiliation of scientists who were out to prove to the world and to themselves that the term "evangelical scientist" is not an oxymoron.
I would like to thank the many members (past and present) of the American Scientific Affiliation who have supported this work by offering encouragement, granting interviews, and sharing with me the rich resources of their personal archives. Research for this paper was funded in part by a grant from the Lilly Endowment and the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals.
1For reference to the ASA as an "infant religion and science association" see John P. Van Haitsma to F. Alton Everest, December 31, 1941, American Scientific Affiliation Collection, Wheaton College Archives and Special Collection (hereafter referred to as "ASA Papers"); F. Alton Everest, The Story of the American Scientific Affiliation, p. 7, ASA Papers, (comparison to the reformation); F. Alton Everest, "What is The American Affiliation of Scientists?", typed manuscript, December 6, 1941, ASA Papers, (comparison to renaissance).
2F. Alton Everest to P. Carlson, November 18, 1941, ASA Papers, (no real discrepancies); F. Alton Everest, The Story of the American Scientific Affiliation, p. 7, (red-blooded man's duty and prove to the world), ASA Papers. By self-admission, not a scientist, but an engineer, (see F. Alton Everest to E. B. Saye, March 5, 1943, ASA Papers) Everest had been at first favorably impressed by the writings of George McCready Price, Harry Rimmer, and especially the physician Arthur I. Brown, whose radio messages on the "Miracles of Science" received wide airing along the Pacific Coast. See Arthur I. Brown, Miracles of Science (Findlay, Ohio: Fundamental Truth Publishers, 1945).
3 For further discussion of Rimmer, Price, Brown, and the others involved with science and religion themes during the first half of the century see Ronald L. Numbers, "The Creationists," in God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science, eds. David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986), pp. 391-423 and Henry M. Morris, History of Modern Creationism (San Diego: Master Book Publishers, 1984).
Everest's friends and colleagues often remarked on his abilities as a tireless organizational chief. For example see Russell Mixter to F. Alton Everest, January 15, 1949; where Everest is called "Most Notable President and Voluminous Worker."
4F. Alton Everest to John P. Van Haitsma, January 28, 1942, (wrangling among ourselves); F. Alton Everest to Arthur P. Kelly, October 4, 1942, (powerful tool); both in ASA Papers.
Regarding "thinking matters through," Everest had suggested to Van Haitsma in the January 28 letter the possibility of publishing a paper to present the ASA view: "That would be in black and white and hard to misunderstand, and would come only after much thought on the subject." So it was not clear from the outset that the ASA founders were opposed, in principle, to having an ASA "position." But, they postponed adopting such a position until enough "thought on the subject" had been completed. On "unerring" Bible and the "real facts of science" see "The Constitution of the American Scientific Affiliation" Article II - Creed, as found in "The Story of the American Scientific Affiliation".
5For a fine introductory survey see John Losee, A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980); William Whewell, Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (London: John W. Parker, 1847); Pierre Duhem, The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory, trans. by P. Wiener (New York: Atheneum, 1962); Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed., enlarged (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).
The generalization that the founders had not given much thought to philosophical questions I arrived at initially by surveying writings and correspondence. Confirmation of this view came in the form of an interview of F. Alton Everest by historian Ronald Numbers. During that conversation Everest admitted that "none of these [the founders] were what you would call philosophically oriented persons º " I acknowledge the generosity of Ronald Numbers for sharing this information.
6Mark A. Noll, "Introduction," in The Princeton Theology 1812-1921: Scripture, Science, and Theological Method from Archibald Alexander to Benjamin Warfield, ed. Mark A. Noll (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company, 1983), pp. 31 and 41.
7Peter W. Stoner, From Science to Souls (Chicago: Moody Press, 1944), pp. 100-101. See also Stoner's undated manuscript, "Come let Us Reason Together or New Evidences of the Inspiration of God's Word." For biographical information, see Stoner's autobiography, God's Dealings With One Man," n.d. ASA Papers.
8F. Alton Everest, "Can Christians Be Scientific," Moody Monthly (June, 1947), p. 737. See also George M. Marsden, Religion and American Culture (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990), p. 102 for discussion of his term "methodological secularity" which seems to have application in this context.
9Abraham Kuyper, Principles of Sacred Theology, trans. by J. Hendrik De Vries (New York: Charles Scribners's Sons, 1898; reprint ed., Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company, 1980), p.156. For Kuyper's entire discussion see Chap. 3, "The Twofold Development of Science," esp. pp. 150-159. For Warfield's view that Kuyper's position was "sheer nonsense" see George Marsden, "The Evangelical Love Affair with Enlightenment Science," Chapter 5 in his Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1991), p. 123.
10Marsden, Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, p. 151.
11C. Van Til to F. Alton Everest, undated but marked received November 24, 1945, ASA Papers, Cornelius Van Til, "Address by Professor Van Til of Westminster Theological Seminary," Yearbook of the American Scientific Affiliation (1946): 24, 26. I am grateful to Jack Haas for bringing to my attention these references.
12Cornelius Jaarsma, "Christian Theism and the Empirical Sciences," Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 7 (June, 1955): 4, 6. This article is the text of the first monograph which the ASA Council decided to republish in the Journal. Apparently by 1955 the message was still resonating.
13Comment on Modern Science and Christian Faith being a "Christian Classic," is taken from typed draft of a promotional brochure, ASA Papers. "To our knowledge, this is the first successful attempt to present a concise, scientifically accurate treatment of the relationship of the Bible to the many fields of modern science," proclaimed the dust jacket. F. Alton Everest, ed. Modern Science and Christian Faith: A Symposium on the Relationship of the Bible to Modern Science (Wheaton, Il.: Van Kampen Press, 1948). F. Alton Everest, "Preface," in Modern Science and Christian Faith, p. 7, (harmony); Frank Allen, "The Witness of Physical Science to the Bible," in Modern Science and Christian Faith, p. 129, (facts of science); Anon., "Psychology and the Christian Faith," in Modern Science and Christian Faith, second edition, enlarged, 1950, p. 277. The author of this chapter was John Howitt, then at Ontario Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, who felt constrained by his employment arrangement to avoid open publication on science and religion. The text from the first edition which Everest changed had read, "No psychological gymnastics are necessary to reconcile the Christian position with the rapid advances in the field of psychology."
14Roger J. Voskuyl, "A Christian Interpretation of Science," in Modern Science and Christian Faith, p. 14; Edwin K. Gedney, "Geology and the Bible," in Modern Science and Christian Faith, p. 50, Gedney continued this passage arguing, "The scientific interpretation is basically mechanical in character, blind in its operation, and quite void of the supernatural. The Scripture is based primarily upon the supernatural as an effective cause."
15For example, Robert D. Knudsen read a paper, "The Idea of Christian Scientific Endeavor in the Thought of Herman Dooyeweerd," at the 1953 annual convention. Here he argued against the assumption of "a neutral factuality that can be grasped and understood alike by Christian and non-Christian." Robert D. Knudsen, "The Idea of Christian Scientific Endeavor in the Thought of Herman Dooyeweerd," Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 6 (June, 1954): 11.
16Marsden, Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, pp. 150-151.
17"Constitution of the A. S. A.", Article II, Section 1, as reproduced in F. Alton Everest, The American Scientific Affiliation, Appendix 5a.
18F. Alton Everest, Open letter to prospective members beginning, "Dear Friend," January 1, 1943, (reviewing first); F. Alton Everest to Paul De Koning, February 7, 1943, (recommend without reservation) - Interestingly, the package of books included, among others, volumes by L. Allen Higley, George McCready Price, and Harry Rimmer. F. Alton Everest to W. B. Anderson, April 13, 1942, (crack-pot presentation, dark brown taste); see also Peter W. Stoner to Editor of Sunday School Times, Sunday School Times (December 26, 1942), p. 1073; F. Alton Everest to Irving Cowperthwaite, December 7, 1941 (Good Housekeeping Seal); except Stoner letter all in ASA Papers.
19F. Alton Everest to W. B. Anderson, April 13, 1942, (one job, proven beyond shadow, more inspired than Genesis); see also F. Alton Everest, Open letter to prospective members, January 1, 1943, pp. 3-4. The sensational little book was Karl G. Sabiers, Astounding New Discoveries (Los Angeles: American Prophetic League, n.d.), a popularization of the numerological work of the Canadian, Ivan Panin. Peter Stoner gave his analysis of this work in "Dr. Ivan Panin's Work on Bible Numerics," ASA Yearbook (1947). A small controversy was stirred up when the fundamentalist magazine Sunday School Times published a scathing review of Sabiers' book (Sept. 5, 1942, pp. 711-713). Among the outpouring of letters in response was one from Stoner published in the December 26, 1942 issue (see pp. 1058ff). See also F. Alton Everest, The American Scientific Affiliation, p. 111f.
It is somewhat ironic, but in keeping with a Warfieldian belief that one can muster evidence for inspiration rather than presupposing it, that Stoner's book, From Science to Souls, as well as his booklet Come Let Us Reason Together, and an entire chapter in Modern Science and Christian Faith, "Mathematics and Prophecy," were devoted to using mathematical techniques in order to establish the inspiration of scripture. Clearly, members of the early ASA were generally in favor of both the means and end of the little book they helped demolish, with but one exception, its derivation of truth from error. See note 7 for the Stoner reference. The chapter, "Mathematics and Prophecy," in Modern Science and Christian Faith was by Wheaton College Mathematics Department Chairman, Hawley O. Taylor. Interestingly, after being refereed by H. Harold Hartzler, the chapter was dropped from the book's second edition.
20This meant that Stoner submitted a little article, "The Creator of Gravitation" for ASA review. Containing "little requiring expert scientific opinion," the article appeared in Moody Monthly with an asterisk by the title referring the reader to the official-sounding endorsement at the bottom of the page: "Approved by the American Scientific Affiliationº " F. Alton Everest, Open letter to prospective members, January 1, 1943, p. 4, (little expert opinion); Peter W. Stoner, "The Creator of Gravitation," Moody Monthly (April, 1942), pp. 458 and 486. Stoner's book, From Science to Souls had received an ASA endorsement as well.
21For general discussion of ASA's reviewing function see F. Alton Everest, "Reviewing Function of the ASA," Chapter 5 in The American Scientific Affiliation, pp. 110-115.
John R. Howitt served on the ASA executive council from 1955-1959 and was very active in ASA affairs. His booklet was a "compact summary of anti-evolutionary arguments" published by the International Christian Crusade. For a brief discussion of Howitt and his booklet, Evolution, see "Obituaries" in the "News Letter" of the American Scientific Affiliation, Vol. 28, No. 1, February/March 1986, p. 3f. On ASA decision to grant "approval" to his booklet, see F. Alton Everest to John R. Howitt, September 5, 1945, ASA Papers.
The growth of the Journal's book review section and the flurry of activity and controversy surrounding the ASA's published response to the National Academy of Sciences booklet on creationism, Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy (1986) are perhaps the remaining legacy of the founders' vision of reviewing. Neither of these is insignificant. Yet, neither do they precisely embody the reviewing plans of the founders.
22For biographical detail on Rimmer see Mignon Brandon Rimmer, Fire Inside: A Biography of Harry Rimmer (Berne, Indiana: Berne Witness Company) and Charles Brandon Rimmer, In the Fullness of Time (Berne, Indiana: Berne Witness Company, 1948). I am grateful to Edward ("Ted") Davis for directing me to these references. See also Ronald Numbers, "The Creationists," in God & Nature, p. 399f for a sketch of Rimmer and the quotation regarding purpose of the Research Science Bureau. For more on the Research Science Bureau see Rimmer's promotional brochure in ASA Papers. Rimmer's notorious offer of "$1000.00 REWARD" "to any person who could prove that there is even one scientific error in the Bible" was never paid. For Rimmer's "$1000.00 Reward" see dust jacket of The Harmony of Science and Scripture, eleventh edition (Berne, Indiana: Berne Witness Company, 1940). Fascinating accounts of one attempt to collect the reward and the ensuing court trial are given in James E. Bennet, The Bible Defeats Atheism: The Story of the Famous Harry Rimmer Trial as Told by the Attorney for Defendant (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1941) and Harry Rimmer, That Lawsuit Against the Bible (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940). See Frank J. Cassel to William J. Tinkle, May 5, 1948, ASA Papers for "hopeless" comment; see Review of Rimmer's The Theory of Evolution and the Facts of Science by Edwin Y. Monsma, January, 1948, ASA Papers for comment that it "should not have been published."
23F. Alton Everest to George R. Horner, et al., November 26, 1947, from J. Frank Cassel Papers, Wheaton College Archives and Special Collections. Since the time I reviewed these papers, they have been incorporated into the ASA Collection.
24For speculation on ASA interest in Rimmer's book because of the phrase "facts of science" see F. Alton Everest, The American Scientific Affiliation, p. 112. Harry Rimmer, The Theory of Evolution and the Facts of Science (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1935), p. 49, emphasis Rimmer's.
25The eight men submitting reviews of Rimmer's book were Paul E. Parker, George R. Horner, William Tinkle, C. B. Hamann, Harley Barnes, Edwin Monsma, Walter Lammerts, and J. Frank Cassel. J. Frank Cassel to William Tinkle, May 5, 1948, (glaring faults); William J. Tinkle, "Review of Rimmer's Theory of Evolution and the Facts of Science," manuscript, April, 1948, (should not be republished); Marion D. Barnes to F. Alton Everest, February 19, 1949, quoted by Everest in The American Scientific Affiliation, p. 113, (anti-Rimmer club), all in ASA Papers.
26Russell Mixter to F. Alton Everest, December 20, 1948, (Rimmer has me on the spot!); Russell Mixter to F. Alton Everest, January 15, 1949, (I was joking), both in ASA Papers. To avoid creating a stir, the decision was made to label the Rimmer critiques "confidential" for circulation among members. The plan seemed to have worked; see Everest, The American Scientific Affiliation, p. 113.
27 Henry Morris, who would later launch the "revival of creationism" by co-authoring The Genesis Flood and helping found the Creation Research Society from a small group of disgruntled ASA members, would also become a fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation; but in the fall 1947 his membership application was still a year and a half from being filled out. Morris signed his ASA membership application March 9, 1949 and was notified of his acceptance early the next month. For more on Henry Morris see, History of Modern Creationism, p. 90, (Rimmer influence); this is a valuable, albeit slanted source of autobiographical material on Morris. For discussion of "Henry M. Morris and the Revival of Creationism" see Ronald Numbers, "The Creationists," in God & Nature, pp. 407-410.
28Henry M. Morris, "Can a Christian Consistently Believe in Evolution?"; F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, December 28, 1947, (explanation of situation and quote), ASA Papers.
29Personal interview with J. Laurence Kulp, November 7, 1990, (biographical information); F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, November 27, 1947; I also gratefully acknowledge Ronald Numbers's loan of the recording of his July 23, 1984 interview with Kulp.
A Veteran of Manhattan Project research, Kulp had become a faculty member at Columbia's Lamont Geological Observatory and an important leader in applying Willard F. Libby's (1908-1980) newly developed methods of carbon-14 dating to problems of geology.
30"Reviews of the Manuscript: 'CAN A CHRISTIAN CONSISTENTLY BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION` by Henry Morris," January 31, 1948, sent as an enclosure in letter from F. Alton Everest to Walden Howard, January 31, 1948, (kind remark), all in ASA Papers.
31For Kulp's comment on no good anti-evolutionary books see his "Comments on `Can a Christian Consistently Believe in Evolution?'" by Henry M. Morris," p. 3, ASA Papers. For discussion of the "new evangelical coalition" see Joel A. Carpenter, "From Fundamentalism to the New Evangelical Coalition," in Evangelicalism and Modern America, ed. George Marsden (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1984), pp. 3-16.
32Certainly this could all be interpreted as part of that lively exchange of ideas required "to integrate and organize the efforts of many individuals desiring to correlate the facts of science and the Holy Scriptures." From "Article I - OBJECTS," original constitution of the American Scientific Affiliation, May 1942.
33For more on Price see works by Morris and Numbers cited in note 2 above. For a sympathetic account by a student of Price see Harold W. Clark, Crusader for Creation: The Life and Writings of George McCready Price (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1966). George McCready Price, Genesis Vindicated (Takoma Park, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Company, 1941) was Price's last major work. Van Haitsma to F. Alton Everest in postscript to letter to council, March 23, 1942, (aim of our society); this is an important letter also because Van Haitsma submits twenty questions on Bible-science relations for discussion at conferences with faculties of Bible Schools. Sturgis to Council, April 15, 1942, (worth while material), both letters in ASA Papers.
34F. Alton Everest to Council cc/ Moon and Houghton, October 7, 1942, (report of Ben Allen's letter and meeting at Stoner's home); F. Alton Everest to Stuart J. Bates, October 8, 1942, ("Price's presence was a genuine surprise"), ASA Papers.
35On J. D. Whitney and his efforts with the Religion and Science Society in the mid 1930s see Numbers and Morris references in note 2 above. F. Alton Everest to Council, May 9, 1944 (bomb); Edwin Y. Monsma to F. Alton Everest, May, 1944 (Creed of Creation); Peter Stoner to F. Alton Everest, February 25, 1944 (extremely unscientific, chip on shoulders, students required to refute Price); Peter Stoner to Council, May 15, 1944 (basically unsound, 2 x 3 = 7), all in ASA Papers.
36F. Alton Everest to Council, May 9, 1944, (Allen A. MacRae comment quoted); Edwin Y. Monsma to F. Alton Everest, May, 1944, (differences within the group); Marion D. Barnes to F. Alton Everest, June 2, 1944 (agreement with MacRae's position, suggestion to drop correspondence); all in ASA Papers.
It is worth noting that MacRae's comment continued to resonate well within the ASA. In his 1957 essay, "The ASA, an appraisal of its achievements in light of its purposes," H. Harold Hartzler again quoted verbatim the same passage. In ASA Papers.
37A Symposium on "The Age of the Earth" by Members of the American Scientific Affiliation, ed. J. Laurence Kulp, 1948, pp. I-1, II-3, and VIII-1 through VIII-6; mimeograph copy in ASA Papers.
38W. E. Lammerts, "Critique of Radioactivity Estimates of Age of the Earth," in A Symposium on "The Age of the Earth" by Members of the American Scientific Affiliation, ed. J. Laurence Kulp, 1948, pp. VI-1 through VI-4, in ASA Papers.
39F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, November 27, 1947, (comprehensive destruction); F. Alton Everest to Harley Barnes, November 27, 1947, Everest wrote, "The prospect of Dr. Kulp writing on Flood Geology for the next ASA convention is very heartening to me, personally, for these things should be met squarely," both in ASA Papers.
40J. Laurence Kulp to F. Alton Everest, April 29, 1948, ASA Papers.
41Kulp presented what he regarded to be "considerable scientific evidence" for the thesis that "man-like creatures have been on the earth for at least many tens of thousands of years." He admitted that such a position "requires a reexamination of our interpretations of Genesis," but insisted that such a thesis "is not disastrous to a strong conservative apologetic." See abstract for his paper as printed in the "Program for the Third Annual Convention, The American Scientific Affiliation, Inc.," reproduced as appendix 27 in F. Alton Everest, The American Scientific Affiliation.
42"DISCUSSION ON PAPER BY DR. KULP," in Proceedings of the Third Annual Convention of the American Scientific Affiliation at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 1, 2, and 3, 1948, pp. 70-88, in ASA Papers. For Monsma's comments see pp. 70-71 (uniformitarianism), pp. 80-81 (death before the fall). Regarding the assumption of uniformity in nature Kulp suggested, "if that assumption is now true, that is the only one you need to make to demonstrate in a crude way that the earth is very old, and there have been certain long periods in the past. That doesn't say anything about evolution as such. All it does is demonstrate the antiquity of the earth." And regarding Monsma's concern about death before the fall he proposed that it "is very much of a philosophical question as to what we mean by death before the fall. There is death and there is death. Death in the animal kingdom is quite different from death in a spiritual senseº " see pp. 72-73 (emphasis mine), and p. 81; J. Laurence Kulp to F. Alton Everest, November 14, 1948, (instruct in ways of geology).
43F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, November 6, 1948, (strategic place, crop up, Morris letter, 1949 meeting). Morris was especially exercised by the fact that Edwin Gedney, in his chapter, "Geology and the Bible," in Modern Science and Christian Faith, had given Price's flood geology short shrift. In fact Gedney had ignored it completely. The only reference to Price came in Everest's "patronizing" footnote which had been included as a political gesture. Everest's "patronizing" political gesture acknowledging Price appears in Modern Science and Christian Faith, p. 58, note 28 in the 1948 edition. It appears again unaltered p. 43, note 26 in the 1950 edition. Morris was unable to prevail.
Actually, Everest and Kulp had corresponded rather extensively during the late forties on the content and purposes of Modern Science and Christian Faith. Although Kulp's editorial capacity was not official, he assisted Everest in reviewing several chapters. Kulp collaborated directly with Gedney in revisions of "Geology and the Bible" for the second edition. The exclusion of Price's view was no oversight. "We agree to hit Flood Geology by omission rather than by attack for the purpose of the present volume," Kulp explained to Everest; J. Laurence Kulp to F. Alton Everest, March 21, 1949, ASA Papers.
J. Laurence Kulp to F. Alton Everest, November 14, 1948, (analysis required), ASA Papers.
44F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, November 21, 1948, ASA Papers.
45J. Laurence Kulp to F. Alton Everest, December 29, 1948, (What confusion, monograph proposal); F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, February 2, 1949, (hold on tight, let's go), both in ASA Papers. In addition to the "Bulletin of Deluge Geology and Related Sciences" Kulp had read Price's Q.E.D.: Or New Light on the Doctrine of Creation (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1917) and The New Geology (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press, 1923). These were among Price's early works; and, although Kulp did not think Price's argument had changed substantively, he was interested in obtaining more recent materials. Kulp had also read Harold W. Clark's book, The New Diluvialism (Angwin, Calif.: Science Publications, 1946) in which Clark, Price's former student, departed from his former teacher's views on several points, but still argued from a flood geology perspective.
46F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, February 2, 1949, (internal friction); Everest to Kulp, February 24, 1949, (close the subject), both in ASA Papers.
47J. Laurence Kulp, "Deluge Geology," Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 2 (January, 1950): 1-15. Kulp elucidated the errors of flood geology as follows: first, it mistakenly assumes "that geology and evolution are synonymous." Second, it makes the logical error of "assuming in the major premise that which is to be proved." That is, the flood geologists assume "that life has been on the earth only a few thousand years" and conclude, therefore, that "the flood must account for geological strata." Third, proponents of deluge geology do not understand the conditions under which rocks are formed and folded. Fourth, Price's writings and conclusions antedate most of the important geological advances of the first half of the twentieth century which render his theory untenable. Quotations from pp. 1, 2, and 15.
48F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, September 13, 1949; In a letter to Everest the day after the meeting, Price echoed his obliging tone, "I was pleased to recognize the evident intention to have free and open discussions of mooted points of science, together with a frank and positive allegiance to the basic facts of the Christian religion º I foresee distinct possibilities for great good, if the work of the A S F [sic] can be continued on this high level º " George McCready Price to F. Alton Everest, August 24, 1949, both in ASA Papers.
Everest stepped in and read Kulp's other paper, "The Carbon 14 Method of Dating," himself. In the same letter to Kulp he reported that it was "well received" and followed by lively discussion.
49F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, September 13, 1949, (more than a single hearing); J. Laurence Kulp to F. Alton Everest, September 26, 1949, (banging away), both in ASA Papers. Virtually guaranteeing Kulp's paper wide ASA exposure, it appeared the following January in the Journal. And making sure that issues of geology and antiquity remained topics of discussion, Kulp, Cordelia Erdman, Delbert Eggenberger, and Marie Fetzer all contributed papers to the 1950 Convention the following summer on such topics as "Recent Developments in the Carbon 14 Method of Dating Fossils," "The Paleontology of the Horse," "Methods of Dating the Earth and Universe," and "Recent South African Fossil Finds." See the "Official Program Fifth Annual Convention of The American Scientific Affiliation, August 29th through September 1st, 1950 at Goshen College," obtained courtesy of H. Harold Hartzler.
50"Comment on the `Deluge Geology' Paper of J.L. Kulp By an A.S.A. Member", Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 2 (June, 1950): 2. On establishing Morris as the author see F. Alton Everest to Henry M. Morris, March 1, 1950; Russell Mixter to Marion Barnes, April 18, 1950; Allan A. MacRae to Russell Mixter, April 26, 1950, all in ASA Papers.
51Quotation from abstract as printed in "Official Program, Sixth Annual Convention of the American Scientific Affiliation, August 28-31, 1951, Shelton College," obtained courtesy of H. Harold Hartzler.
Regarding the comment that his paper fell on deaf ears - J. Laurence Kulp had absolutely no recollection of the man or the paper during an interview, November 7, 1990. Walter Hearn, then a young member, recalls being very favorably impressed by both Kulp and the ASA when at the Shelton meeting Kulp took aside a person who gave a paper that Hearn and Kulp considered to be "pretty far off the track" and kindly "took him aside" in order to help set him straight. Perhaps this was Saarnivaara. Interview with Walter Hearn, January 12, 1989.
52The issue did remain alive and well within the ASA Journal as well. No less than twenty-six articles or letters touching on flood geology have appeared in the Journal in the years since Kulp's paper.
53See J. Laurence Kulp, "The Christian Concept of Uniformity in the Universe," HIS, May, 1952, pp. 14-16, 23-24; J. Laurence Kulp, "Does Nuclear Science Preclude Survival," HIS, November, 1954, pp. 7-9, 27-28; Henry M. Morris, "Creation and Deluge," HIS, January, 1954, pp. 6-11, 18-23; Wilbur L. Bullock, et al, "Readers' Reactions to `Creation and Deluge' January, 1954, HIS," HIS, April, 1954, pp. 19-23, 30-31; Henry M. Morris, "Letter to Editor," HIS, May, 1954, pp. 30-31. I am grateful to Wilbur L. Bullock for bringing this latter correspondence to my attention, Interview of Wilbur L. Bullock, August 6, 1990.
54Carl F. H. Henry to F. Alton Everest, March 1, 1948; F. Alton Everest to Walter E. Lammerts, et al, March 21, 1948. The eight men invited to the planning meeting at Fuller were Stuart J. Bates, Walter E. Lammerts, Peter W. Stoner, Harvey F. Ballenger, Roland N. Icke, Earl C. Rex, Edgar B. Van Osdel, and Hawley O. Taylor.
55J. Frank Cassel to F. Alton Everest, May 5, 1948, ASA Papers.
56A. F. Shull, Evolution (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1936); on Mixter's intent see Russell L. Mixter to H. Harold Hartzler, December 18, 1963, Hartzler Papers, courtesy H. Harold Hartzler; Russell L. Mixter, Monograph Two: Creation and Evolution (Wheaton, Illinois: The American Scientific Affiliation, 1950), quotations from pp. 16, 17, 18, and 30. Mixter was favorably influenced by Floyd E. Hamilton, The Basis of Evolutionary Faith: A Critique of the Theory of Evolution (London: James Clarke & Company, Limited, 1931). For example, on page 17 of his monograph, Mixter favorably quotes Hamilton and inserts an exclamation point which does not appear in Hamilton's text. For the response to Mixter and Mixter's rebuttal see "A Criticism of the A.S.A. Monograph on `Creation and Evolution'," Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 6 (March 1954): 24-28.
57J. Frank Cassel to F. Alton Everest, July 30, 1951, (sleeping dogs), Cassel's original draft of his abstract was included with this letter; F. Alton Everest to J. Frank Cassel, July 31, 1951 (not dead); Abstract of "The Study of Evolution" by J. Frank Cassel as printed in "Official Program, Sixth Annual Convention of the American Scientific Affiliation, August 28-31, 1951, Shelton College," Cassel's new wording was, "Therefore, by definition this particular phase of evolution does occur;" Peter W. Stoner to Russell L. Mixter, March 29, 1952, (evolution falls automatically).
58J. Laurence Kulp to Russell L. Mixter, January 20, 1950 (will have no part); J. Frank Cassel to F. Alton Everest and James Buswell, III, August 4, 1951, both in the ASA Papers.
59H. Harold Hartzler to F. Alton Everest, et al, January 24, 1955; F. Alton Everest to Russell L. Mixter, et al, February 20, 1955, both in ASA Papers. Regarding Everest's assurances of the ASA's anti-evolutionism Everest had written to Arthur P. Kelley, October, 4, 1942 explaining, "Of course we are in the `anti-evolution' fight in a way º ", ASA Papers; and Walter Lammerts later insisted, "When I was asked to join in 1943 by Alton F. Everest [sic], he assured me that the stance of the society would be anti-evolutionary"; from Walter E. Lammerts, "The Creationist Movement in the United States: A Personal Account," The Journal of Christian Reconstruction 1 (Summer, 1974): 54.
60"Official Program, Twelfth Annual Convention of the American Scientific Affiliation, August 27 - 29, 1957, Gordon College & Divinity School," obtained courtesy of H. Harold Hartzler. Interestingly, this is the only ASA convention program to have a bright red cover (perhaps symbolic?); Russell Mixter's paper "An Evaluation of the Fossil Record" was reprinted in the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 11 (December 1959): 24-26. Remarks summarizing Mixter's comments and affirming the significance of the Gordon meeting as a turning point in ASA history are from an interview with Walter Hearn, January 12, 1989.
61J. Frank Cassel, "The Evolution of Evangelical Thinking on Evolution," Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 11 (December, 1959): 26-27.
62Russell L. Mixter, ed., Evolution and Christian Thought Today (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1959). Hearn and Hendry quotations from pp. 67 and 69. On reception by evangelical magazines see, Christianity Today, February 15, 1960, p. 17 and Eternity, December 1960, p. 46. Comments about Carl Henry's chapter in relation to the rest of the book are from Walter Hearn, Interview, January 12, 1989.
63Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1979).
64F. Alton Everest to J. Laurence Kulp, November 6, 1948, ASA Papers.