Volume 43 Number 1
From the Executive Director
Price and Hickernell Become Newest Council Members
Our newly elected Council member is Martin Price, Executive Director of Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) in North Fort Myers, Florida. ECHO is a nonprofit, third world agricultural development organization. Martin became a fellow of ASA in 1985. He has been representing ASA on the board of Directors of AISRED since its inception.
Fred Hickernell returns to Council for a two-year term to replace Bill Cobern who resigned for personal reasons. He previously served on the Council from 1991 through 1995. Fred is retired from Motorola, Inc. and currently an adjunct professor at the U. of Arizona in Tucson. Other Council members for 2001 are: Jay Hollman, president; Dorothy Chappell, vice-president; Kenell Touryan, secretary-treasurer.
Macosko and Monsma Teach the Controversy
The U. of Minnesota Institute of Technology publishes the magazine Inventing Tomorrow (firstname.lastname@example.org), which ran an article, "Pondering Our Origins" by Maureen Smith (Spring 2000, pp. 16, 17, 35), on a colloquium taught by prof. of chemical engineering Chris Macosko and MacLaurin Institute physicist Bill Monsma entitled "Origins: By Chance or By Design?"
The popularity of the honors colloquium reflects the general interest and concern of Americans in origins issues. Students play the role of Kansas State school board members in explaining the board's decision on curriculum guidelines that exclude evolutionary biology. The three groups of students separately planned their presentations, but all concluded that evolution should be taught, though with reservations (as a "theory," not a fact). The course uses an old-earth timeline.
Macosko is quoted as expressing doubts about evolution theory, especially "the step from no life to life." The polymers he designs have some similarities to bio-molecules, and he concludes: "No way are we getting close to a theory for the origin of life."
How can a scientist believe in God? Monsma replies: "It's sort of like believing in electrons." He's never seen them but has good reasons for believing they exist.
The class reads Ian Barbour's article, "Religion and Science," in which Barbour lists similarities and differences between science and religion, including the idea that scientific theories influence what scientists observe. "Your theory helps determine what questions you ask," says Monsma. Other class readings include Darwin, Dawkins, and Gould, as well as Behe, Johnson, and Dembski - authoritative readings on both sides of the issue.
Macosko also invites students to his home for pizza and a showing of the classic revisionist-history movie of the 1925 Scopes trial, Inherit the Wind. "I wish all classes were like this," said a student. More info is at: www.cems.umn.edu/people/faculty/macosko.html * Roger Wiens
Dembski, Baylor U. Aftermath
Bill Dembski was removed from the directorship of the newly-formed Polanyi Center at Baylor U. After the Center survived an attack by Baylor faculty, while receiving support by its president (see ASAN, Jul/Aug 2000, "Polanyi Center Under Fire"), Dembski wrote a reply in which he described his opponents as having met their Waterloo:
The report marks the triumph of intelligent design as a legitimate form of academic inquiry. This is a great day for academic freedom. I'm deeply grateful to President Sloan and Baylor University for making this possible, as well as to the peer review committee for its unqualified affirmation of my own work on intelligent design. ... Dogmatic opponents of design who demanded the Center be shut down have met their Waterloo. Baylor University is to be commended for remaining strong in the face of intolerant assaults on freedom of thought and expression.
Dembski's "Waterloo" comment was regarded as not "collegial" by the administration; thus Sloan relieved Dembski of the directorship. The school also requires the name of the Polanyi Center to be changed and the center expanded in scope, as was previously agreed to by Dembski.
Dembski responded to the subsequent action: "Some Baylor faculty have exerted enormous pressure on Baylor to disassociate the university from me and my research. Earlier President Sloan had properly characterized these efforts as 'intellectual McCarthyism.'"
The full Baylor committee report is available at: http://pr.baylor.edu/feat.fcgi?2000.10.17.polanyi
On May 10, 2000, a three-hour briefing, "Scientific Evidence of Intelligent Design and its Implications for Public Policy and Education," was held in Washington, DC, to brief members of Congress on the creation-evolution issue from an ID viewpoint. Speaking at the briefing were Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, Nancy Pearcey, and Phillip Johnson. About fifty people attended, including a handful of staffers and members of Congress, some from the House Education and Workforce Committee. The Congressional Record for June 14 (Page H4480, which is on-line) includes an address from Congressman Mark Souder of Indiana, one of the co-sponsors of the May briefing. Souder said, in part:
Mr. Speaker, on June 1, I received a letter that was written by seven members of the biology department and one professor of psychology from Baylor University in response to my co-hosting a recent conference on intelligent design, the theory that an intelligent agency can be detected in nature, sponsored by the Discovery Institute. The professors denounced intelligent design as pseudo science and advocated what is bluntly called the materialistic approach to science.
Mr. Speaker, I am appalled that any university seeking to discover truth, yet alone a university that is a Baptist Christian school, could make the kinds of statements that are contained in this letter. Is [their] position on teaching about materialistic science so weak that it cannot withstand scrutiny and debate?
... Today, qualified scientists are reaching the conclusion that design theory makes better sense of the data. Influential new books are coming out by scientists like molecular biologist Behe, Darwin's Black Box, the Free Press, and mathematician William Dembski, the Design Interference, Cambridge University Press, which point out the problems with Darwinian evolution and highlight evidence for intelligent design in the university.
The tone of the letter I received seems to suggest that my congressional colleagues and I were unsuspecting honorary co-hosts in a conference on intelligent design. That is not the case. My good friend, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Canady), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution has considered holding a congressional hearing on the bias and viewpoint discrimination in science and science education. Ideological bias has no place in science and many of us in Congress do not want the government to be party to it.
Another response came from the Cranach Institute at Concordia U., the site of the Conference to Critique Intelligent Design (see May/Jun 2000 ASAN), expressing dismay over Dembski's removal. The response reads, in part:
Shortly before this announcement, we learned that the committee appointed to evaluate the status of the Center upheld the importance and legitimacy of Dr. Dembski's work, while calling on the Center to be redefined in its scope (http://pr.baylor.edu/pdf/001017polanyi.pdf). In his press release ..., Dr. Dembski clearly agreed to these terms, stating that "[t]he scope of the Center will be expanded to embrace a broader set of conceptual issues at the intersection of science and religion and the Center will therefore receive a new name to reflect this expanded vision." We appreciate that Dr. Dembski has not actually been fired as Associate Professor, but his removal as Center Director does not seem to have been made on legitimate academic grounds.
The Cranach Institute is a Lutheran research institute "devoted to continuing the Reformation tradition ... and applying its insights today." * Forrest M. Mims III, Jay Wesley Richards, email@example.com; www.discovery.org
… A new, best-selling book by biologist Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? (Regnery, 2000, 338 pages, hardcover; $28) addresses longstanding errors of fact in the presentation of evolutionary theory to the public, especially to youth in state schools. Subtitled "Why much of what we teach about evolution is wrong," the book draws upon those who have expertise in the evidence that controverts repeated claims about the Urey-Miller experiment with its reducing atmosphere, common descent and the "Cambrian explosion," homology and vertebrate embryo textbook drawings as evidence for common ancestry, archaeopteryx as the dinosaur-bird link, peppered-moths-on-tree-trunk pictures in textbooks, Galapagos finch beak changes, mutant fruit flies, and ape-to-man sequence drawings. The illustrated book is readable by a wide audience, and the argumentation is simple and evidence-oriented. This book will provide powerful ammo to students, parents, and teachers in the grass-roots evolution battle, and will possibly clear out dead wood in the controversy so that the essential issues are better revealed. For more, see related report in this issue, "Huston Smith, Wells Speak ..."
… Oskar Gruenwald's Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, which includes papers on sci/rel, is now on-line at: www.JISonline.org
… Former President Anthony Diekema of Calvin C. has published the book, Academic Freedom & Christian Scholarship (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000; $22.00 list). Diekema examines the scholarly literature on academic freedom and, reflecting upon his twenty years as president of Calvin C. (1976-1996), extensively cites situations involving two ASAers: Howard Van Till (author of The Fourth Day) and Hessel Bouma III (author of Christian Faith, Health, & Medical Practice).
In successive chapters, Diekema addresses threats to academic freedom in the context of world view, policy development in the Christian college, and concludes with reflections on how to promote an ethos of freedom. The book is an excellent, thought-provoking resource for anyone concerned about academic freedom and Christian scholarship. Much of what the book has to offer applies as much to non-Christians as to Christians, and as much to secular institutions as to institutions with religious identities. * Hessel Bouma III
… A new book, Realism Regained: An Exact Theory of Causation, Teleology, and the Mind by U. of Texas at Austin philosopher of science Rob Koons is now available from Oxford U. Press. The book is simultaneously an attack on anti-realism (in both its empiricist and post-modern versions) and on materialistic metaphysics. He defends belief in the objectivity of logic and mathematics, science, teleological and cognitive descriptions, and ethics, arguing in each case that this objectivity is possible only if the world of space and time is open to influences that transcend nature. Rob hopes this will help to demonstrate that naturalism is not only bad science, but bad metaphysics as well. Copies of an abstract, the table of contents, and first and last chapters are available on Koons' personal web site at: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/philosophy/faculty/koons/main.html
… The Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute (IBRI) has recently gotten its own website at www.ibri.org It includes a brief description of IBRI goals - to strengthen the church in outreach to educated unbelievers and to integrate the data of science and Scripture, a current catalog, many of the 49 research reports, and about twenty on-line tracts, including many intended to reach out to Muslims. ASAN readers might recall that IBRI's Bob Newman took both first and second place in the ASAN leaflet contest a few years ago. The winning leaflets are on the ASAN web site at www.toolcity.net/~dfeucht
… Dan Simon, electrical engineering (control) prof. at Cleveland State U. has a web site through which he reaches his students and others with his Christian world view, at: http://csaxp.csuohio.edu/~simon/philosophy.html
… Richard P. Aulie has placed his views of the Intelligent Design movement on the NABT (National Association of Biology Teachers) web site, in the form of a three-part analysis of the creationist book, Of Pandas and People, dwelling on its historical and theological shortcomings. Part one takes up evangelical reactions to evolution and offers a definition of Intelligent Design, part two examines the design argument, and part three is on creationism and the origin of science. Aulie is at Shipcoveaulie@yahoo.com The first two parts are at: www.nabt.org/resources_panda1.html and www.nabt.org/resources_panda2.html
Huston Smith, Wells Speak; Padian Misses
Excerpted in part from the report of Walter Hearn, The Troll House, Berkeley, CA; tel. 510-527-3056; firstname.lastname@example.org
On the morning of Oct. 14, Walt and Ginny Hearn went to hear Jonathan Wells discuss the 2000 Lawrence Lecture at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Berkeley. Walt reports that as per Jonathan's post of Oct. 1, the lecture on "Evolution: Why Can't We Handle This Issue Sensibly?" was delivered last night by Huston Smith, an authority on world religions and emeritus professor of philosophy. This morning a roomful of people assembled to hear Prof. Smith, Jonathan Wells, and Kevin Padian, prof. of integrative biology at U.C. Berkeley and president of the National Center for Science Education, discuss the same topic. But Padian did not show up.
The audience was annoyed by Padian's unexplained absence but Jonathan was unflummoxed. After responding to Smith's lecture and outlining the gist of his own new book, Icons of Evolution, Jonathan adroitly fielded questions and comments in a rousing give-and-take. Richard Strohman, emeritus prof. of molecular and cell biology at U.C. Berkeley, with whom Jonathan did postdoctoral research in embryology, was in the audience. At one point, Smith invited Strohman to come forward and take the chair unoccupied by Padian. Instead of criticizing Jonathan's approach, Strohman, known for his arguments that "life is more than DNA," seemed to reinforce Jonathan's skepticism about neo-Darwinian interpretations and would have added a certain aura of authentication if any had been needed. Without Padian, there were perhaps fewer fireworks.
Also in attendance were Fresno State English prof. Terry Scambray (who once hosted a well-attended campus lecture by Phil Johnson) and chemical engineering prof. Chris Macosko (on sabbatical from the U. of Minnesota and currently co-teaching his son Jed's deCal course on ID).
Icons of Evolution looks like a winner. A lot of copies would have sold today if they had been available.
The Polanyi Society is sponsoring a conference on the theme "Polanyi's Post-Critical Thought and the Rebirth of Meaning" on June 8-10, 2001, at Loyola U. in Chicago. This conference is an occasion to reflect on themes and possibilities found in Polanyi's thought twenty-five years after Polanyi's death in 1976. Chicago is an apt site for the conference, since interested participants will be able to access the archival Polanyi papers during weekdays at the Regenstein Library of the U. of Chicago.
Proposals are invited for papers that examine connections between Polanyian perspectives and those of other thinkers, schools of thought or domains of inquiry. Papers can explore prospects for post-critical thought. Proposals for papers should be no more than 250 words. The initial deadline for receipt of proposals was Nov. 1, 2000. Those who did not meet the Nov. 1 deadline can submit proposals before the final deadline of March 30, but priority consideration will be given to proposals meeting the Nov. 1 deadline. Mail an electronic copy to Phil Mullins (email@example.com). Those unable to provide an electronic copy may send a paper copy to Phil Mullins, MWSC, St. Joseph, MO 64507. Proposals should include e-mail address (or fax number) as well as preferred mailing address and phone number of the author.
Also see the Polanyi Society web page (http://www.mwsc.edu/~polanyi). The full announcement is circulated on the Meta Lists on Science and Religion, at http://www.meta-list.org
ASAers In Motion
… David Campbell has been busy. Besides marrying last June and finishing his Ph.D. on bivalve molecular evolution at St. Mary's C. of Maryland, he is now a visiting prof. there, continuing research on fossils and modern mollusks. Also, he co-authored a paper in the J. of Paleontology on marine fauna and flora of the early Neocene in northwestern Venezuela.
… Leaving the metropolis, P. M. Dass moved from Chicago, IL to Deep Gap, NC, near Boone, where in August 2000, he joined Appalachian State U. as assistant prof. of science education in the biology department.
… Mark Strand also gets around. He has been Medical Programs Officer for the NGO Evergreen Christian ministry in China, but is now pursuing a Ph.D. in health and behavioral sciences from the U. of CO in Denver. Mark, Rene, and their three children have been in China since 1991. They plan to return to China once his course work is completed.
ASA Newsletter on Web
For those who have not yet discovered the ASAN link from ASA's home page at www.asa3.org the ASAN has been on-line for over a year. The on-line version is derived from the paper version's file, converted to Web format (HTML). The Web version sometimes contains additional pictures and/or text, and is beginning to appear before the printed copy reaches most of your mailboxes. The main ASA website links to the newsletter website, which is on the Editor's local Web server ISP, at www.toolcity.net/~dfeucht
Science Poetry Returns!
Just when hard-headed, analytic readers thought the ASAN had finally left science poetry behind, it reappears. Even scientists and engineers seem to use both sides of their brains, as evidenced by another poem from long-time ASAer and Rochester, NY physicist Paul Mauer (Pmauer7008@AOL.com), from a sequel to his small book of poems entitled "A Few Words" (keeping in mind Eccles. 5:2). "A Few More Words," which is literally that - a half sheet of paper - begins with a simple reflection of the astronomer at work.
Is a star
Some of the light
From the star
Enters my spectrometer.
There it liberates
Electrons, when free
Can speak to me.
I listen with care
To what they say
About the star,
So far away.
After this light warm-up, Mauer turns to the weightier topic of origins - in lines sublime, that do not rhyme - and brings in the wider view of life, with a little help from fellow ASA poet, Walter Hearn, who provided some refinement of the genetics content.
The 13 cards I hold,
So I am told,
Are one possibility
Out of 635 billion.
The life I hold,
So I am told,
Rests on the way
4 bases are arranged
In my DNA.
Both my life and my hand
Are somewhat improbable,
An act of the Dealer.
Scientist Mauer is not alone in his role as poet. Reticent poet and linguist Joseph Poulshock writes about his poem: "I'm encouraged that someone might even read my poem ... And I'm not sure if any literary types will critique it, even though I have asked." Poulshock has web-published it; an unofficial version of the poem is online with orchestral accompaniment. The file is about 1 Mbyte of QuickTime Audio, at: www.tci.ac.jp/~naphtali/songs/finalword.htm
Having written "Scientist's Psalm," a poem printed as a leaflet by the ASA years ago, biochemist Walt Hearn more recently wrote an article for Radix magazine entitled "Faith, Science (and a Little Poetry) for a New Millennium" (Jan/Feb 2000, 7-11). (At an earlier time, Walt was the Poetry Rejection Editor for Radix.) Walt's poetry has gotten around over the years. On April 29, 2000, at a Bethel C. fundraiser, Elving Anderson preceded the invocation by reading a poem written by his good friend. Each of the attendees received a copy of Walt's book, Being a Christian in Science, written as guidance for graduate students.
In the Radix article, Walt reflects on changes in the world since his youth, when "milk and soda pop came in glass bottles." He then wonders aloud about the value of trying to relate highly esoteric and speculative theology and science, in view of the more primitive behavior among nations today. He then expresses the idea in metrical form titled "Never Mind." The last six lines sum up the questioning nature of the poem:
Astronomers then had their say, but none foresaw
In mind's blind eye such overweening scope
For science - 'til desert vision, deadly, raw,
And brilliant, mushroomed up from isotope.
Knowledge increases; who knows what we'll find?
That's progress, is it not? Oh, never mind.
In reflecting upon the rapid progress of human genome mapping, Walt remembered a poem he wrote not long after the discovery of messenger RNA, titled "Angels and RNA." After envisioning the dizzying rate of scientific progress, the poem ends with: "Yet, recurring patterns sometimes can be seen: How many messengers now dance upon one gene?"
Finally, Walt turns to the centrality of knowing God: "Knowing God is more like knowing another living person than like dissecting a cadaver or deconstructing a theology." But if faith, as one kind of knowing "comes from putting ourselves into the situation, and the other kind, science, comes from keeping ourselves out of it as much as possible, how can those two kinds of knowledge ever be brought together?" Hearn finds chemist-turned-philosopher Michael Polanyi helpful here:
All knowledge, even the most mathematically abstract, is personal. That is, it must be possessed by a living person. Suppose a scientist makes a discovery and deposits her information in a journal; that information does not function as knowledge in my life until I retrieve it, possess it, and act on it.
Walt amplifies: "To me, that personal aspect of all knowledge, however obtained, means that a true integration of science and religious faith is likely to take place only within a life." The final poem of the article appears, "A Psalm of Almost Solomon," about a Christian who knows some biochemistry. The sonnet gets going:
This bit of flesh, dynamic turbulence
Of enzymes, hormones, functioning as me -
Improbable summation of events
Implicitly alive because of Thee -
and develops into a doxology:
O God of complex systems, God of all,
I praise Thee with but dim imagination;
The article ends with Walt asking: "Has there been a point to my life? Well, this is the millennium in which I find out." Meanwhile, he intends to continue the ongoing adventure with a caring, trustworthy Friend.
ASA commissions and affiliations are showing increased activity, as their existence becomes solidified in the minds of ASAers. The Affiliation of Christian Geologists has been publishing a newsletter for some time, with the Summer 2000 issue containing articles by Keith Miller and Roger Wiens, and edited by Steven Schimmrich (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Now appearing is the second issue of the 6-page ASA Bioethics Commission Newsletter (Summer 2000), edited by Hessel Bouma III (email@example.com). Besides much resource information, it contains calls for papers (including one for the joint Bioethics and Global Resources and Environment Commissions symposium at ASA01), and articles on genetically modified crops and end-of-life care.
Roy Adams Honored
Geneva C. in Beaver Falls, PA is the school of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Internationally known boron researcher and prof. emeritus Roy Adams was paid tribute at a dinner on Sept. 16, 2000, for his 45 years of service to the college. Nearly 300 people attended. The 26,000 sq. ft. Adams Chemistry Center is the next building to be built on campus. C&EN reported (16 Oct 2000, p. 56) that "Adams told supporters that his accomplishments were never done for his own glory. Rather, it was his commitment as a Christian scholar that drove his research and mentoring of students." Adams was born in 1919 to missionary parents near Hong Kong. He did his graduate work at the U. of Kansas, and started teaching at Geneva in 1946. He holds eleven patents.
Bioethics and Science Fraud
It is difficult enough to resolve bioethics issues, but possible fraud can further complicate matters. CNN reported that a judge has ruled that a major DNA patent may be invalid. Pharmaceutical company Hoffman-LaRoche intends to appeal the ruling that its patent was questionably obtained. In the suit, Promega Corp. argued that the important patent was issued in 1990 through a misrepresentation of their experiments, and that advances over previous discoveries were falsely claimed. The full story is at: http://www.cnn.com/1999/NATURE/12/08/dnapatent.ap/index.html
With the Lord
Dorothy Chappell, Dean of Natural and Social Sciences at Wheaton C., reports that Wheaton C. recently has suffered the loss of two highly valued colleagues and Christian brothers. Both were excellent educators and represent the best among Christian educators in the ASA. Both were excellent teachers, had a rigorous ongoing scholarly agenda from which they frequently published, and were mentors in integration of faith and learning. They represented the broad emphases of the ASA - one was a biologist and the other was a theologian. Both have published in the ASA journal.
… David S. Bruce, Professor of Biology at Wheaton C. at 61 years of age, went to be with the Lord in October, after suffering from an Epstein Barr viral infection introduced by a successful kidney implant in July. David attended Taylor U. and completed the M.S. and Ph.D. in Biology/Physiology at Purdue U. He taught at Seattle Pacific U. immediately after completing the Ph.D. and began work at Wheaton C. in 1974. David's research interests focused on physiological adaptations of animals to the environment and the improvement of teaching in physiology through the appropriate use of computers. He maintained an active agenda of research and publications, with students and other collaborators, on hibernation of ground squirrels, bats, and bears, and the search for a "hibernation trigger molecule" that induces hibernation. Special interests in health professions made David an enthusiastic mentor and advisor to students pursuing careers in medicine or physiology. David also taught regularly at the Wheaton C. Science Station in South Dakota and led students in the study of the creation and Creator he so dearly loved. David is survived by his wife, Janet, and two adult sons, Rob and Scot. Memorial gifts are being accepted by the Cardinal Bernadin Cancer Center of Loyola Research Fund, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood, IL 60153
… Timothy R. Phillips, Associate Professor of Theology at Wheaton C. at 50 years of age, went to be with the Lord on Sept. 27, 2000 after suffering a long bout with cancer. Timothy graduated from Wheaton C., completed the M.T.S. from Gordon Conwell Seminary, and the Ph.D. in Theology from Vanderbilt U. In 1986, he returned to Wheaton C. to teach classes in historical and systematic theology where he wrestled with questions about life and death with students. The struggle was always centered in God's self-disclosure in Jesus Christ and Scripture and Tim never let anyone get away with glib answers. One of Tim's legacies to his students is his insistence that they understand and respond to how others outside the evangelical community deal with theological issues. He was a valuable participant in the "Evangelical and Catholics Together" meetings and mentored his love for Christ's people to the larger Church. A co-author/editor of four books with friend, Dennis Okholm, Tim pressed on to engage thinking about theology and culture. In this endeavor and passion, he helped initiate the annual Theology Conference at Wheaton. He entitled the most recent and very successful conference, "The Relationship of Theology and Science." Tim valued teaching, scholarship, and service to others in Christ's name. His influence is felt in churches and educational institutions around the world. His international grad. students in Wheaton and his trips to Nigeria and Kenya brought many closer to their Lord. According to Dennis Okholm, one of Tim's best friends, Tim considered himself as a modest scholar with a lifelong agenda, who was in love with the God he studied. Timothy is survived by his wife, Sandy, and two sons, Aaron and Caleb. Memorial gifts are being accepted by the Timothy Phillips Memorial Fund for Missions at Wheaton C., Wheaton, Il 60187.
* Dorothy Chappell
Russell Humphreys was posited at Los Alamos last issue (Nov/ Dec 2000 ASAN), but he is actually at Sandia National Laboratories.
The Executive Director's Corner
by Donald W. Munro
At last we have reached the new millennium for us purists. We are excited about the new challenges that face us in the years ahead. The ASA Council held their fall meeting at Tickfaw State Park in Louisiana.
Louisiana is home to continuing ASA President, Jay Hollman, who will have the distinction of serving in that position for two years since we have had a Council resignation. In our fifty-nine years of existence, only eight others have served as president for more than one year. These include Alton Everest (10), Harold Hartzler (6), Russell Mixter (4), V. Elving Anderson (3), and the others for two years - Donald Boardman, Robert Fischer, Charles Hatfield, and Kurt Weiss. This list must bring back some memories for our long-time members. Four of these past-presidents (nonbolded) are deceased.
Our newly elected Council member is Martin Price, Executive Director of Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO). Besides Jay Hollman, the other Council members are: Dorothy Chappell, vice-president; Kenell Touryan, secretary-treasurer, and Fred Hickernell, who comes back to Council for a two-year term to replace Bill Cobern who resigned for personal reasons. Bill will continue to work on a science education project for ASA.
This year we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary for fifteen distinguished, active members who joined ASA in 1951, according to the early journals. They are Richard H. Bube, Howard H. Claassen, Walter R. Hearn, Truman V. Hershberger, Eldon T. Hitchcock, Charles E. Hummel, Robert E. Jervis, O. Carroll Karkalits, Edmund C. Kornfeld, J. Robert Martin, Kermit O. Ratzlaff, Donald S. Robertson, George E. Speake, Reuben B. Widmer, and Robert G. Ziegler. Our sincere congratulations to all of you.
Retiring Council member for 2000, Joe Sheldon, is our Program chair for the July 20-23, 2001, ASA Annual Meeting at Kansas State U. If this newsletter arrives at your door on time, there will just be a few days to get that all-important abstract to us for the annual meeting. Abstract deadline is Jan. 10. Do not miss it! E-mail your abstract to Carol: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual meeting plans are moving forward rapidly. Due to the hoped-for crunch of papers, some of you may be asked to give a poster paper instead of a lecture. In some ways, a poster is more valuable than a talk. People can look it over, digest it, and provide better feedback to the presenter. It takes time to prepare but not more than a podium talk should. Regardless, we need to avoid thrown-together talks or posters. One should give the same care to ASA presentations as they would to a lecture or poster at any professional meeting.
Looking ahead, the broad topic of neuroscience has been chosen for the joint ASA/CSCA meeting in British Columbia at Trinity Western U., July 23-26, 2004. You can start working on your papers now. For the Messiah C. (Grantham, PA) meeting in 2005, we are working on an aspect of energy, conservation, and the environment with Kenell Touryan as Program Chair and Ted Davis and Jerry Hess serving as Local Arrangements chairs.
One overlooked group that I would like to encourage more is our associate members. We would like your input on how to approach the Church, home schoolers, Christian schools, and other outreach areas, concerning the interface between science and faith. I hope to schedule an Associate Members' meeting at the annual meeting. What would some associate members like to see on such an agenda?
Please remember us in prayer during the Congress 2001 meeting sponsored by Vision New England at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Feb. 1-3. Jack Haas and I will have a booth in a good location where many of the some 10,000 attendees will pass by. Pray that we will have good conversations, attract new ASA members, and encourage Christians who may be struggling with science/faith issues.
A new year always begins with joy and trepidation. For a nonprofit organization, concern is great for funds to cover the new budget, especially at the beginning of the year when some people do not think about donations. We are happy to report that the dues will remain the same in 2001 to encourage all to continue their membership. This means, however, that only about 30% of our income in 2001 will come from dues. This year the ASA Council raised the amount for the donations needed to balance the 2001 budget, so I pray that you will be able to help. We have some of the most wonderful donors in the world. I deeply appreciate them. They have made the difference in the last six years while I have served at ASA.
In the next newsletter, I will tell you how we did in the matching grant for the endowment in 2000. I hope I can report that it was completed. So far there is no matching endowment offer for 2001. Have a great year.
ASA Council Enjoys Louisiana Retreat
by Donald W. Munro, Executive Director
The ASA Council and some helpful guests had a profitable but very rainy retreat at Tickfaw State Park near Baton Rouge, LA. We "roughed" it in cabins with heat and air-conditioning, complete kitchens, teak furniture, and a full indoor bathroom. ASA President, Jay Hollman arranged our wonderful extended weekend.
We even survived some delicious Cajun food and we enjoyed the marvelous cooking of Clayton and Anne Hays, whom Jay engaged to serve us. We had a turducken for one meal. Ask me about that sometime. Clayton has just begun full-time work with Young Life and with his servant attitude he will be a superb staffer.
Our last ASA Council retreat was in 1984, led by Bob Herrmann. I was privileged to be at that one, too.
You would have been so pleased to see your Council members in action. They are all busy people but when they come together in a state park the sky is the limit. They each presented dreams that they have for specific areas of ASA. Now we need the time and means to bring as many of these to fruition as possible.
The discussion was broad ranging with three invited guests. Steven Hall, a first-year faculty member at Louisiana State U., spoke very well for the young scientists in the affiliation; John Van Zytveld joined us from the Murdock Charitable Trust to help the Council better understand granting processes and provide some very wise counsel from his many experiences; and Jack Haas gave us insightful information and discussed future ideas for the ASA web site. Without Jack and Terry Gray, our web site would be very far behind. I recently spent a good period of time looking it over. It continually amazes me how many very useful things can be found there.
We presented a special certificate to retiring ASA Council member, Joe Sheldon. We will surely miss him at the Council meetings. Joe brightened everyone's morning with a report of some bird that he had spotted. He fondly will be remembered for the enthusiasm and excitement that he brought with his new ideas. Thank you, Joe, for your five valuable years of service to the Council.