Volume 44 Number 2
The Executive Director's Corner
Eastern PA Local Section Plans Spring Meeting
(610) 485-0586; email@example.com
Ted Davis has led the effort to line up a speaker and the facilities for an eastern Pennsylvania spring meeting on April 6 at the Messiah C. Campus in Grantham, PA. David Campbell of the U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will be our speaker. Dr. Campbell, a paleontologist specializing in fossil and modern mollusks, is familiar to many of us who subscribe to the Association of Christian Geologists or the ASA email list-servers. His topics will be the place of a Christian in paleontology and his understanding of the relationship between his Christianity and the evolutionism that is so much a part of paleontology.
We have stayed away from this always contentious issue, but now will face it with the help of someone working in the field. Please bring your questions with you. This may be a good opportunity to invite friends or colleagues or pastor. Last fall our speaker, Dr. Bird, said that there are precious few places where Christians can get together to discuss difficult issues without excommunicating each other. Don't miss this opportunity.
We will be producing a brochure with all the details, including directions. Our Messiah C. friends have trooped down to the Philadelphia area for three meetings. Let's have a good showing at their home.
Please respond to me if you are interested in our spring meeting. (See email address above.) And if you know of others who would be interested, please let me know their addresses. When the time comes, we Philly-area attendees may want to arrange car pools.
When Worlds Collide
ASA's vanguard creation-evolution issue is being challenged in emphasis by environmental issues nowadays. But do the two have anything in common?
In Science (Vol. 292, No. 5522, [1 Jun 2001]: 1707-10), the paper titled "Climate-Driven Range Expansion and Morphological Evolution in a Marine Gastropod" by Michael E. Hellberg, et al. begins:
Little is known about the phenotypic consequences of global climate change, despite the excellent Pleistocene fossil record of many taxa. We used morphological measurements from extant and Pleistocene populations of a marine gastropod (Acanthinucella spirata) in conjunction with mitochondrial DNA sequence variation from living populations to determine how populations responded phenotypically to Pleistocene climatic changes.
Study of environmental adaptation in mollusks seems a long way from stewardship of the biosphere, but such studies can offer insight into the extent of its fragility, how God cared for creation when he alone managed it, and what the consequences of present environmental change might be on life. In sci/Xny, one can often span multiple disciplines.
Interdisciplinary thinking characterizes sci/Xny issues. Environmental and bioethical issues overlap significantly, as do science and church history, and philosophy of science and theology. But in general, ASA's subject-matter is so vast that it is beyond mastery and requires specialization. Fortunately, ASA Commissions now help us to focus on those areas of greatest interest to us. One active Commission has submitted the following report.
Newman & Creation Commission Active
Robert C. Newman (firstname.lastname@example.org) gives many talks. Over the last year, he has upgraded and formatted his twenty-five talks in PowerPoint, a Windows application program. A few are course lectures - Newman teaches New Testament at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA - but most are on Christian evidences and are designed for college audiences.
Newman gave a number of these talks last year, including "Cosmos and Contact: The Religion of Carl Sagan," which ASAers attending ASA00 in Massachusetts, also had an opportunity to hear. Other titles given last year are: "Jesus, the Testimony of Prophecy and History," "Why So Much Suffering?" "The Creation-Evolution Debate," and "Scientific Problems of Scientific Creationism." Two of these talks were given in Singapore and Malaysia.
Newman joined Paul Nelson and Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box, in a seminar on evidence for intelligent design in the universe. It was held at St. John's Lutheran Church in Poughkeepsie, NY. He also was videotaped for three 30-minute presentations on cosmology and the Bible for public access TV in Bowie, MD.
In addition, Newman wrote two articles, "Creation" and "Creationism," for the new Routledge Encyclopedia of Fundamentalism, edited by Brenda E. Brasher. And he got in a few plugs for ASA and the Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, of which he is director. The articles are tutorial surveys and would make good ASA web pages for either the main ASA web site or local sections web sites.
Newman is also head of the ASA/CSCA Creation Commission (CC), which published the sixth issue of its newsletter CreatioNews in January. George Murphy's report on the Kansas State U. ASA01 Symposium "Evolution as a Work of the Trinity" (see ASAN [NOV/DEC01]) was printed along with a report of the ASA01 CC meeting, attended by eleven members.
Carl Ressler has posted a literature review at: www.macrodevelopment.org/creationreview. ASA members can post reviews using the initial letters in Isaiah 9:6 as the password. The CC creation-models database has not progressed much, though Murphy suggested a label change from "theistic evolution" to "evolutionary creation." The CC plans to hold another symposium at ASA03 and decide on topics at ASA02.
George Murphy has been finishing a couple of writing projects and teaching a church class on environmental theology and stewardship.
Fraud in Science: How Science Doesn't Work
Industrial, government, and academic ASAers have equal reason to be concerned about fraud in science. For those called to "live the truth in love," lies and deceit have no place in what is historically a truth institution. While inept research is undesirable, intentional lying and cheating go beyond questions of scientific competency.
To illustrate: Past ASA Annual Meeting keynote speaker Forrest Mims is a consultant on various corporate and NASA projects. He is presently writing a book dealing with this subject. He testifies:
Just yesterday a corporate exec hinted that an honest assessment of a particular scientific instrument he makes would cost me a trip to a scientific conference where I am to promote in a paper an instrument that I conceived. I have similar tales about government officials specifically telling me that I should avoid raising honest questions about various environmental issues.
Mims has personally experienced several incidents of high-level scientists attempting to suppress, control, manipulate and/or censor material that was planned to be presented objectively.
Junk science is a relatively new expression referring to that which goes beyond the bumblings of pseudoscience, and emphasizes dishonesty. The expression alludes to ulterior motives of the claimants, who borrow from scientific prestige to establish credibility for something unrelated to science, such as legal testimony.
An effort within the scientific community to minimize scientific fraud was reported last year, in an editorial by Rodney Myrvaagnes in an engineering trade magazine, Electronic Products (April 2001, p. 7) (http://electronicproducts.com). It drew attention to AAAS's attempts to provide the federal judiciary with experts who have no axes to grind. Federal judges can appoint independent experts but rarely do so, not knowing whom to choose in the scientific community as qualified friends of the court.
The AAAS Court Appointed Scientific Experts (CASE) Project attempts to identify and assess, through professional societies, whether a prospective expert witness, chosen by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers, is competent as well as able to communicate with nonscientific jurors. CASE funding comes from private sources.
Whether the jury, who is called to investigate the truth of the charges against a defendant, would be better informed regarding the truth than the presiding judge, Myrvaagnes thinks so. The outcome, though, rests on the willingness of the "distinguished panel" to actually be fair and impartial in their filtering of experts to be presented to the judiciary.
Sometimes a group of scientist will defend science against popular beliefs lacking what they believe is an adequate scientific basis. The Union of Concerned Scientists (USC) (www.ucsusa.org) ran an ad in the New York Times (Feb. 1996) that defined junk science as "all that 'data' and 'research' that some corporate interests and radio talk show hosts have been force-feeding America There's now 'science' to support any position, no matter how inane." UCS affirms the importance of carefully reviewed and peer-approved scientific work done by competent and honest scientists. UCS goes on to state that they have brought "sound science" to the table for over twenty-five years.
In the same newspaper a year later (Feb. 10, 1997), the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF), a free-enterprise public-interest group, ran an ad featuring former US Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, who denied that "only experts may offer 'expert' opinion" and that so-called experts often are not expert in the area about which they testify. The resulting "junk law," he continues, pervades courtrooms. He cites as examples claims of harm done by breast implants, power-line fields, Alar-treated apples, cars, and drugs. His conclusion is that false claims discourage research and development of products that can benefit Americans.
These two newspaper articles illustrate the need for discernment between authentic and nominal scientific authority. While the UCS claims the high ground of authentic science against corporate interests, the WLF argues that too much science in name only appears in courtrooms. The point here is not to argue whether the UCS represents sound science or not, nor the extent of bogus expert testimony in the courts. Just as the church has faced the challenge of keeping itself undefiled from the world-system, the institution of science faces a similar challenge, whether from without (as UCS claims), or from within (as WLF alleges). Scientists who are Christians not only have truth-oriented motivations, but also are familiar with the challenge of keeping the church free of deceit. The dual involvement in church and science reinforces the practice of truth-keeping.
In government, policy-making at the geopolitical level is influenced by both science and big money. MIT physicist Theodore A. Postal concluded that the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, intended for defense against incoming missiles, will be "defeated by the simplest of balloon decoys." He also claimed that the BMDO and its contractors tried to hide this fact by altering the raw data from the experimental tests. If right, then fraud supporting contractor profits may result in false hopes of security; if wrong, a disagreement between "qualified experts" results.
Wherever government and science intersect, issues arise, such as the engineering ethics of shoddy nuclear-plant operations that DOE-watcher Joe Carson has repeatedly uncovered and reported. Science is used to set safety standards, but when those standards are neglected, or falsely claimed to have been kept, then an appearance is created that the science is at fault.
In academia, what is taught as science is an issue nowadays. Hillsdale C. (Hillsdale, MI) sponsored a seminar Sept. 10-14, 2000 on "Junk Science: The Political Abuse of Research." Participants discussed the use of unfounded scientific claims to advance political interests in justifying more intrusive regulation of private and economic life. Hillsdale science-education professor Lee Ann Fisher Baron addressed the influence of junk science in science education, noting that "error is a regular part of science" and that a skeptical attitude needs to be applied to science claims generally. She stated that junk science bypasses the system of peer review and adversely affects the public. The root cause of the impact of junk science, she said, was that "Americans are losing the common-sense skepticism toward scientific claims that animates the scientific method itself." One of the reasons she cites for this is a slow but steady degradation of pre-college education.
Not only does the AAAS want to provide gatekeeping for science. So does the junk-science monitoring web site at www.junkscience.com. (You might consider some of what you find there authentic science!) While continuing to argue scientific positions, ASAers can participate in controlling the damage done by junk science. * Joe Carson, Forrest Mims
ASAers in Action
Gareth Jones Tackles Cloning
Gareth Jones has recently written Clones: Clowns of Technology? in six chapters and 192 pages. It is published in the UK by Paternoster Publishing (www.paternoster-publishing.com) and is available in the US from Gabriel Resources, PO Box 1047, Waynesboro, GA 30830-2047. The price is $17.99.
About the book, Jones writes:
It is highly newsworthy and is probably also highly contentious, since it does not aim to take a simple position. However, I write as a Christian and scientist, and I aim to take both these facets seriously.
In the preface, Jones lays out the scope of the book:
I see cloning as something much larger than the technique of nuclear replacement. Of course, it is this, but it is far more than some isolated technique; it is part of a far bigger venture, fitting as it does into the whole area that has become the artificial reproductive technologies. And so, as we contemplate what cloning is and what prospects it opens up for us, we come face-to-face with what we want from biomedical technology.
this duplication motif has dominated all discussions, so much so that presidents, prime ministers, government committees, and parliaments have been swept away by a tide of fear and resentment. One of my aims in this book is to try and place cloning in a more realistic setting.
Those who have known of Jones over the years know that he does not shy away from controversial issues and positions in bioethics, especially among Christians. Prepared to meet the challenge, he writes:
This book is the latest in what has become a series on biomedical issues written from a Christian perspective. These have been Brave New People, Manufacturing Humans, and Valuing People. These other books provide the backdrop to the current one. While all of them in their various ways have touched on highly newsworthy and contemporary issues, the current one fits even more obviously into this genre. I am writing "on the edge," somewhere I love to be, no matter how problematic this may be for other people, especially fellow Christians.
Gareth is an intercontinental ASAer, living in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Macosko Speaks to MacLaurin Institute
The MacLaurin Institute, a Christian study center at the U. of MN involving ASAers such as Bill Monsma, sponsored a public lecture Nov. 9, 2001 by Jed Macosko, post-doc at U.C. Berkeley, on "Life's Molecular Machines: By Chance or By Design?" Through a virtual tour of life's molecular machines, Macosko made a visually compelling case for the intelligent origin of life. He offered examples of "biological machines" which he and fellow researchers study, utilizing single-molecule techniques.
Throughout his presentation, Macosko made an appeal for an open philosophy of science, one that allows scientists to freely infer the best explanation for life's molecular machines. The MacLaurin Institute can be reached at: www.maclaurin.org or via email at: email@example.com
ASAer back from Papua New Guinea
Over the years, ASA has had its share of members in Papua New Guinea, a remote island north of Australia. Bob Conrad and his wife JoAnn worked for more than forty years as Wycliffe Bible translators, linguists, anthropologists, and literacy promoters in the tropical East Sepik Province, enduring bouts of malaria, hepatitis, and dengue fever.
In addition to accomplishing an unusual amount of New Testament biblical translation into Mufian, Bukiyip, Filifita, and Coastal Arapesh (due out in 2003), they have co-authored cultural booklets with national writers and partnered with the government of Papua New Guinea in providing teacher training and curriculum for pre-school education in vernacular languages. To the Conrads, two Bukiyip translators said, "Others have come and gone; you stayed with us."
Wycliffe's vision is to help start Bible translation projects for the remaining 3,000 languages in the world, with 1,100 currently underway. So far, five hundred translations of complete New Testaments potentially impact thirty million people. (Wycliffe web site: www.wycliffe.org)
Bob is educated in mathematics (Reed C., Portland), holds a certificate in Missionary Biblical Language from Moody Bible Institute, and master's degrees from Peabody C. and the U. of PA. Bob is originally from Portland, OR. The Conrads are now in the Dallas, TX area. * Lori Staalsen
Aulie on Local PBS Panel Discussion
Richard P. Aulie in Chicago, IL, (Shipcoveaulie@yahoo.com) participated in a panel discussion on the Urbana TV PBS outlet at the conclusion of the PBS series on evolution last September. The topic was "Evolution and Creationism in Illinois Public Schools." Aulie was identified as an evangelical Christian and he spoke against the introduction of Intelligent Design and creationism in high-school biology.
Aulie's latest essay on ID is on the SciKron web site (www.scikron.com) in the "magazine" section, titled: "Intelligent Design, High School Biology, and the Lessons of History." He presented this material at Haverford C. in June 2001 at a conference of the Philadelphia Center for Religion and Science sponsored by the Templeton Foundation.
Dembski Starts New Organization
The International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID) is now officially launched as of late last year, Bill Dembski announced. ISCID is a cross-disciplinary professional society that investigates complex systems apart from external programmatic constraints like materialism, naturalism, or reductionism. The society is fully web-driven and can be reached at www.iscid.org.
The society provides a forum for formulating, testing, and disseminating research on complex systems through critique, peer review, and publication. Its aim is to pursue the theoretical development, empirical application, and philosophical implications of information- and design-theoretic concepts for complex systems.
The day-to-day operation of the society centers on the archive, to which members and nonmembers may submit articles. Once uploaded onto the archive, each article has a commenting facility to which members may append comments. After three months on the archive, articles approved by the editorial board enter the quarterly online peer-reviewed journal of the society, Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design.
In addition to the archive and journal, the society sponsors various activities and programs. Society memberships are available online at: www.iscid.org/membership.php You may contact them at: ISCID, 66 Witherspoon St., Suite 1800, Princeton, NJ 08542; tel: 609-924-4424; fax: 609-924-0582; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Young's Book Is Available
It has been confirmed that Davis Young's classic Christianity & the Age of the Earth is still in print. John Wiester, chairman of ASA's Science Education Commission, noted that a major concern of the Commission at the 2001 Annual Meeting was the lack of first-rate material on the age of the earth, as many were under the assumption that Young's book was out of print. Paul Seely agreed to contact Davis and see what could be done to get it republished.
The good news, John relays from Paul, is that Young's book is not out of print. It is published by Artisan Publishers (1988), 188 pages in hardcover for $13.95, and can be ordered directly from Artisan (www.artisanpublishers.com).
For those new to ASA or the age of the earth controversy, this is one of the key books to read, and also can be ordered from the high-volume booksellers, though at a slightly higher price than from Artisan, Paul reports. * John Wiester, Paul Seely
Arizona ASAers Hear Lindberg on Galileo
An opportunity for faculty and students interested in developing an ASA local section at AZ State U. occurred last October 1, when historian of science David Lindberg gave a public lecture on "Galileo, the Church, and the Cosmos." It was part of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Distinguished Lecture Series. His lecture retold the story of Galileo's trial, with stress on the importance of local circumstance. * Ben Sanders
Bible & Agriculture Conference
A Conference on Biblical Holism and Agriculture is scheduled for May 14-17, 2002, to be hosted by Food for the Hungry International and Dordt C. in Iowa. This conference will bring together a mix of key thinkers, writers, and interested agricultural practitioners from around the world to exchange ideas and create practical tools. Registration forms, Visa Letter Applications, and Delegate Information are available from the conference web site: www.fhi.net/gme/fse/bha_registration/index.htm For more info, contact: Dordt College BHA Conference, 498 4th Ave. NE, Sioux Center, IA 51250; tel: (712) 722-6285; fax: (712) 722-6336; email: email@example.com
"I consider an intimate knowledge of the Bible an indispensable qualification of a well-educated man. Contact with the finest influences which have ever come into human life can be obtained in this way." Robert A. Millikan, 1923 Nobel Prize winner and founder of Cal Tech
Using Science to Help the Poor
Scientists looking for a way to apply their skills to benefit those in need might consider submitting a proposal to research one of a number of identified problems. Gordon C. and Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) directed by Martin Price have teamed up to apply for a grant to fund the research.
A committee will review all research proposals and choose projects for inclusion in a grant proposal to a major foundation. Implementation of this project will be contingent upon receipt of such external funding.
If appropriate funding is received, this project will culminate in a major conference involving all research scientists included in the project.
In the application of science for the sake of others in need, ECHO located in Florida develops plant varieties and techniques for aiding those working in developing countries. One goal is to help the indigenous population learn how to feed themselves. ECHO has identified several research problems. A few of them are listed here.
… Search for Plants That Can Be Used to Treat for Worms
… Does Feeding Cassava Tops to Cattle Help Them Fend Off Ticks?
… Organic Methods of Insect Control in Tropical Subsistence Farming
… Control of Ants and Termites
… Use of Leaves of the Gliricidia Tree as a Rat Poison
… Is Papaya Leaf Tea Effective in Preventing Malaria?
… Is It Safe to Eat Velvet Beans?
… Use of Egusi Melon as an Emergency Milk Substitute
Scientists interested in proposing a research project can submit a brief proposal, due April 1, 2002. More detailed instructions and a complete list of research problems are available from: Dr. Harold Heie, Director, Center for Christian Studies, Gordon College Wenham, MA 01984; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions regarding the substance of research proposals, or the possibility of pursuing pertinent research not identified in the RFP, should be directed to Dr. Edward Berkelaar, Research Director, ECHO, at email: email@example.com; tel: (941) 543-3246 x232.
Questions regarding the administration of this project should be addressed to Debbie Drost, Program Manager, Center for Christian Studies, at firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: (978) 927-2306, x4365.
… Has anyone asked Alister E. McGrath to join the ASA (or CiS) yet? One of the world's best-known theologians with a doctorate in molecular biophysics is professor of historical theology at Oxford U. and director of the John Templeton Oxford Seminars on Science and Christianity. Volume one of his three-volume work A Scientific Theology is titled Nature. Published by Eerdmans (www.eerdmans.com) in the US and T&T Clark Ltd. (www.tandtclark.co.uk) in Britain, the 325-page, $40 book lays out a vision for a "scientific theology" in which the working assumptions of the natural sciences are critically appropriated as a theological resource.
Dedicated to Thomas F. Torrance, a Scottish theologian much involved with science, the book grounds the concept of nature in the Christian doctrine of creation, and explores natural theology in contemporary Christian thought.
In the Preface, McGrath describes how the idea for the book came to his mind. He writes:
it was as if a mental bolt of lightning flashed across my consciousness, eclipsing my thoughts on how best to apply Fourier Transforms to study the time-resolved anisotropy of a fluorescent probe that I had developed for studying lipid viscosity in biological membranes and their models.
Beyond the Preface, in which he sketches some of his unbelieving youth, the Prolegomena begins with the legitimacy of a scientific theology, the realist approach, nature according to Plato and Aristotle, John Philoponus, and the seventeenth century. The Christian creation doctrine covers the Genesis accounts, prophetic tradition, the Old Testament and New Testament, Aquinas, Calvin, and Barth, then Deism, and some coverage of Torrance's role of the homoousion in scientific theology. The "Implications" of the doctrine include coverage of human rationality and the imago Dei, contingent ordering of creation, laws of nature, and even beauty as a criterion of scientific theories.
Finally, in part six, McGrath addresses the purpose and place of natural theology: its historic origins, the rise of the mechanical world view, and the quest for a religion of nature. He covers the Old Testament and New Testament foundations of a natural theology, philosophical debate over it, Barth's objection to it, the Genevan school, Thomas Torrance, and the place of natural theology within a scientific theology. This part and the book end with sections wider in scope, relating natural to revealed theology, on seeing nature as creation, and "Natural theology as discourse in the public arena." The book ends by raising unanswered questions for volume 2, titled Reality, which sets out a realist position on theology.
… A recent book on environmental issues is creating a storm of protest, including criticism from Scientific American and biologist E. O. Wilson. The Skeptical Environmentalist by Danish professor Bjorn Lomborg evaluates environmentalist claims in a heavily documented way, about 3,000 footnotes. Lomborg's conclusion is that the indicators show either constancy or improvement in the environment. Apart from his conclusions, the book offers insight into the interaction of science and politics.
Economist magazine did a series of three articles on the reaction to this book. The articles are available on the Web at: www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=965520
CiS Activity and Web Site
ASA's British counterpart, Christians in Science (CiS) at (www.cis.org.uk), reported on their 2001 conference in PrÈCiS, "an occasional communication from Christians in Science" (no. 16, Dec. 2001). Over one hundred people gathered to take on the postmodernist view of science as subjective rather than objective and rational. Bob Carling reported on the event on the Web. (See CiS Web address above.)
Unfortunately, this is the last issue of PrÈCiS. John Bausor, the producer of it, is retiring after ten years, without a successor.
The CiS web site links to both the ASA and CSCA web site, as well as related sites, at: www.cis.org.uk/links.htm. Editorials and articles are also available, as well as article listings of issues of CiS's journal Science and Christian Belief.
CiS also has a long list of available publications from mostly CiS authors, including classic books (originally issued by IVP of Britain) of the late Donald MacKay. Other authors are: Denis Alexander, Ian Barbour, R. J. Berry, John Houghton, Malcolm Jeeves, Gareth Jones, Ernest Lucas, Arthur Peacocke, John Polkinghorne, Michael Poole, Ghillean Prance, Roger Trigg, and others. Reprints from CiS's journal are also available. Even ASA journal back numbers appear. Again, more information can be found on the CiS web site, and materials can be purchased from the CiS Publications Secretary, Bennet McInnes (email@example.com).
With the Lord
Albert Charles Strong of Salem, Oregon, died Sept. 4, 2001 at age 76 of cancer. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley in mechanical engineering in 1947 and from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1950 with an M.Div, for twenty-one years he served as a missionary in Ethiopia, pastoring and translating Amharic literature. He was prepared for this work by further training in linguistics at the U. of OK and Haile Selassie I U. in Addis Ababa, and in theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He returned to the US in 1972 as pastor of two west coast Presbyterian churches. He retired in 1988 and moved to Silverton, OR.
Albert participated in ASA Oregon Local Section meetings and his obituary in the Statesman Journal of Salem reports him as a member of the ASA
.From the Executive Director
by Donald W. Munro
One of the most exciting things right now is the preparation for our meeting at Pepperdine U. in Malibu, CA from Aug. 2-5, 2002. We have mailed the information about our California Adventure which is limited to 44 participants, so please get your reservation in early. Also included was an announcement about scholarships for young scientists. I hope that you will be able to encourage those you know to send in abstracts. Their abstract deadline was moved back to April 1.
Programs Chairs Ted Davis and Sara Miles met to schedule the papers, posters, and symposia. Still to be included are the papers and posters from the young scientists. The money to support the young scientists has been donated and awaits their applications from our web page.
We now have three plenary speakers: Francis Collins, Ian Hutchinson, and Charles Townes. Stanley Moore, local arrangements chair, is dreaming up side trips and the Pepperdine U. administrators are inviting all registrants to dinner gratis on Friday night. What a great welcome to this magnificent place of learning!
ASA Newsletter editor Dennis Feucht has announced to the ASA Council his intention to vacate the editorship sometime this summer. Council is beginning a search for a new editor. If you are interested in such a position, please send me your VITA and a statement that describes your vision for the ASA Newsletter by April 19, 2002. These will be passed along to Council.
In the forty-three year history of the ASA Newsletter (first issue was Feb 13, 1959), there have been only three editors, and all are still active members of the ASA. They are: F. Alton Everest (1959 to 1969), Walter R. Hearn (1969 to 1993) and Dennis (1993 to the present.)
In the 23 September 1969 issue, it says on the back: "Henceforth, evermore and anon, send all ASA NEWS material to: Dr. Walter R. Hearn." In that same issue, Alton quipped: "I suddenly feel unqualified for the task" because he did not have a beard, drive a VW, teach at a Big Ten university or have red hair--all qualifications which Walt then had. Alton said: "Walt - she's all yours, and may God bless (and protect) you ..."
In Walt's last issue (August/September 1993), the "Weary Old Editor" turned the job over to Dennis. Henceforth, the editorship probably will be shorter lived as Council passed a resolution that the ASA Newsletter editorship would be a three-year appointment, renewable for a second three years. Who does God have for our fourth editor?
It is time to celebrate those with forty-five years of membership in the ASA. These people joined in 1957 and are still active members. Congratulations! They are: Charles W. Crown, Robert L. Greenhow, John W. Haas Jr., Russell H. Heddendorf, Robert L. Herrmann, James F. Jekel, Thomas Key, Glenn I. Kirkland, Robert C. Lehman, John A. McIntyre, Harold M. Spinka, Frank Walmsley and Norman G. Wheeler. We hope for many more years in the ASA for each of you.
The Lay Education Committee will again meet prior to the Pepperdine U. meeting. They have ambitious plans to produce a book, a video, and a study guide on the age of the Earth. This is not an update or replacement of Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy. Instead its purpose is to reach out to church members and young people who struggle with Bible science. The book will be multi-authored. Please pray for the project as the committee seeks God's choices for the written portions, financial support, and so forth.
Recently, Jack Haas and I manned a booth for about twenty-five hours at Congress 2002 in Boston where approximately 10,000 mostly Christian people gathered. We randomly asked some of our booth visitors to fill out a multiple-choice questionnaire with eight questions about faith and creation issues just to learn what people were thinking and to help the Lay Education Committee.
We received seventy-one completed forms. I'll cover different questions in future corners. The first question was: How long did God take to create the things mentioned in Genesis chapter one? Twenty-five (35%) said six 24-hr. days, 11 (15.5%) said that there were six 24-hr. days with unspecified time in between, two (3%) said several thousand years, 13 (18.5%) said billions of years, and 20 (28%) said that they did not know. These are people who stopped by the booth because the idea of science must have interested them or they were scientists. We really enjoyed our conversations and picked up some new members.
We continue to depend on the faithful giving of so many of you. The dues are only a fraction (about 30%) of the annual budget and thus we depend heavily on your donations. We need donations filtering in all year to offset the unequal receipt of funds because the bills never stop coming, just like at your house.
I hope we are still on your prayer list and that you follow the ASA prayer card. Have a blessed rest of the winter.