Volume 43 Number 5
Executive Director's Corner
ASA01 on the Grasslands
The 2001 Annual Meeting of the ASA took place on July 20-23, at Kansas State U. in Manhattan, KS, a few miles north of the Konza Prairie Research area on the other side of the Kansas River.
With theme title, "Caring for God's Creation," about 150 attendees listened to plenary speaker Wes Jackson, founder and director of The Land Institute in Salina, KS, describe "The Changing Relationship Between the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life." In relating to the biblical account of the Fall and the Greek myth of Prometheus, Jackson noted that with agriculture, humanity became a participant in creation, doing the work of producing plants, while in hunter-gatherer times, the tree of life, as it were, was the support. The prospects of bioengineering animals bring us back again to the same ancient dilemma as agriculture.
The second plenary speaker was Ghillean T. Prance, former director of the Royal Botanic Garden of Great Britain, in Kew, England. He is temporarily living in Hawaii while doing research. Speaking on the topic, "Creation is Groaning," he made a case for the seriousness of the environmental crisis. As a world traveler, he cited examples that strain natural resources, such as human-caused climate change, increase in species loss in the tropics, urban pollution, and increasing world population. The problem has a moral dimension; Prance cited profit and short-term gain at any expense as gods of today and also noted the complacency of churches about creation stewardship. Prance then gave biblical reasons why Christians should be leading the effort to promote environmental stewardship and sustainable use of soil and water resources. * Jay Hollman, Tom & Barbara Hoshiko
In keeping with the ASA01 environmental theme, geologist Ken Van Dellen drove his new hybrid-powered vehicle to ASA01, which may depend less upon geological substances than his career. He spoke about ASA's joint project with AISRED and Daystar U. in Kenya, to promote science and its beneficial results in Africa. His other T-shirt says: "Reunite Gondwanaland."
ASA01 Tapes Available
A local Kansas organization is providing tapes of this year's Annual Meeting. Videotapes of the plenary talks are available for $12 each (Keynote 1, Wes Jackson; Keynote 2, Ghillean Prance; ASA/Templeton Lecture, Ed Larson). Audiotapes of each session are $6 each. Twenty-four tapes in six sessions are available. Contact: Florian Audio Visual, 811 24th St., Wilson, KS 67490; tel: 785-658-2375; firstname.lastname@example.org
Students on ACB and Special Gift Scholarships at ASA01
by Hessel Bouma III
Foremost amongst many outstanding highlights of the 2001 Annual Meeting at Kansas State U. in Manhattan, Kansas, were the presentations by numerous students. The students brought a high level of technical expertise and research rigor to the presentations, and were actively engaged in the many sessions and activities of the meetings. Conference fees for many of these students were covered as student scholarships by the Affiliation of Christian Biologists and a special, anonymous gift.
Among the scholarship recipients were Rolf Bouma (doctoral candidate, Boston U.) on "Genetic Engineering of Nature and a Theology of Nature," Jonathon Schramm (2001 B.A. & B.S. graduate, Calvin C.) on "Assessing Property for Conservation Value: Natural Areas Inventory," Jeri Stroad and Stan Freyenberger (doctoral students, Kansas State U.) on "The Struggle for Survival and Sustainability: Farming Households in Low-Income Economies," Celeste Rossmiller (Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO) on "The Natural World and Theories of Religion: A critique Whose Time Has Come," Mark Strand (Shanxi Evergreen Service, China) on "A Robust Theology Proves Able to Guide Community Development Work in China," David Assis (2001 B.S., Messiah C.) on "Selection of Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Clone Y-1 Escape Variants from Murine Fibroblasts Transformed by Simian Virus 40 Large Tumor Antigen," Randall DeJong (doctoral student, U. of New Mexico) on "Past and Present Relationship between Schistosoma mansoni, a Human Parasite, and its Intermediate Hosts, Snails of the Genus Biomphalaria: Insights from Molecular Phylogenetics," and Rebecca Hall (2001 B.S., Dordt U.) on "Stewardship Implications of Ecology of Costa Rica."
If these students reflect the quality of young Christians pursuing their advanced degrees in religion, theology, philosophy and the various sciences, we have much to look forward to in the years to come. As new students members in the American Scientific Affiliation, welcome and special thanks for your valuable contributions!
Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania received attention recently by introducing a nonbinding sci-ed resolution, which the Senate overwhelmingly approved. Santorum's amendment (No. 799) to the comprehensive education bill was succinct:
It is the sense of the Senate that-- (1) good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science; and (2) where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why this subject generates so much continuing controversy, and should prepare the students to be informed participants in public discussions regarding the subject.
Somewhat reminiscent of ASA's Science Education Commission resolution to teach the controversy, the amendment was intended to convey the "sense of the Senate" on the matter of teaching Darwinian evolution in state education, putting the Senate on record without the force of law. The vote was 91-8 in favor.
Last year, Intelligent Design advocates, supported by the Discovery Institute, a think-tank in Seattle, WA, were on Capitol Hill to hold a briefing for members of Congress and their staff regarding the effects of Darwinian teaching on the moral climate of society. A panel discussion was moderated by law professor David DeWolf of Gonzaga U. in Spokane. DeWolf, Mark DeForrest, and philosopher of science Stephen C. Meyer have co-authored a legal guidebook covering ID in state school curricula. (See "School Legal Guidebook," ASAN [MAR/APR 2000]: 1.) DeWolf also wrote a law review article covering the material in more depth, at: http://law.gonzaga.edu/people/dewolf/utah.pdf
Christian Environmental Council Call for Papers
The annual conference of the Christian Environmental Council (CEC) 2001, to be held at TimberLee Outdoor Center in southeastern Wisconsin from October 18-21, will feature an opportunity to present and discuss important issues dealing with creation care at a gathering of Christian academics, activists, and ministry workers. The conference's dual main themes are "Lifestyle" and "Reaching the Church with the Creation Care Message." Paper summaries/abstracts (approx. 350 words or less) are solicited for these general topics as well as any other applied topic involving environmental issues.
This year's themes are particularly suited to the work and interests of ethicists, theologians, economists, and educators. Time allocated for each presentation will be established when we know the total number of contributions. Please submit a note of interest or questions to Jeff Greenberg by e-mail or other medium. We need to have all contributions submitted by Sept. 10. A full conference agenda should soon be available to everyone interested.
The CEC conference has a seven- year history of providing fellowship, worship, "networking" contact among Christians in the broader areas of environmental concerns and strategic action in the form of resolutions and other documents to encourage the protection of God's good Earth. This should be an excellent follow-up to ASA01 in Kansas. Contact: Jeffrey K. Greenberg, Dept. of Geology and Environmental Science, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187; tel: (630)752-5866; email: email@example.com
ASAer Profile on Fritz Schaefer
Christianity and Modern Science seminar poster courtesy of Wai-yip Leung, FPGM Coordinator of HKCCC in Hong Kongwaiyip@hkccc.org and Fritz Schaefer
One of the world's leading theoretical chemists and a five-time Nobel Prize nominee is chemistry professor Henry "Fritz" Schaefer III. He directs the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the U. of Georgia in Athens (UGA). His lab develops methods of quantum mechanics (QM) that enable their fellow computational chemists sharing the building (in the Computational Center for Molecular Structure & Design) to increase the accuracy to which chemical quantities, such as reaction energies, can be computed from QM principles. Spectroscopic measurements produce far more accurate results, and to improve computed accuracy, it comes down to having better QM models.
While Schaefer does not see his work as a substitute for experimental chemistry, it has more usefulness than interpreting data. It can guide experimentation. Interacting with experimentalists on such topics as new inorganic compounds, combustion, and atmospheric and organosilicon chemistries is often the most enjoyable part of his work. Computational chemistry is increasing in importance. Schaefer predicts its increase at 1% per year from 10% of chemistry research in 1995, to where 60% of research chemists use QM methods routinely by 2010.
Schaefer is also an outspoken Christian professor. Along with university biochemist Russell Carlson, Schaefer's Christianity is integrated into his activities on campus. Both invite students home for a meal and an evening of discussion on faith and science. To colleague Barry Palevitz and other professors, this is viewed as a possible violation of the U.S. Constitution.
In 1987, the university had supported Schaefer under its previous president, when Palevitz and others sought an opinion from the administration on whether Schaefer was allowed to hold evening meetings with students. With a new school president, Michael Adams, Palevitz pressed the issue again late in 2000. A Christian and UGA speech communications professor who taught a course on the history of the relationship between science and Christianity said of Palevitz: "He's created a climate of hostility toward a minority group in the university community." So far, the UGA has sided with the Christian professors. In December 2000, President Adams said they have the freedom to discuss their religious beliefs and invite students to a voluntary discussion about religion, as long as their methods aren't considered coercive.
What Schaefer has been saying that is so controversial to some scientists are science-related aspects of the biblical worldview. At "The Nature of Nature" Conference at Baylor U., April 13, 2000, Schaefer interacted with renowned physicist, scientific materialist, and Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg, and also Michael Shermer of MIT. After Schaefer's talk, Schermer hit him with a litany of prove-God questions that would have rattled someone less rooted in practical apologetics. A high-school biology teacher who attended the conference wrote to Schaefer: "You seemed secure in who you were and did not feel the need to start listing the evidences ..."
At the Conference, Schaefer was juxtapositioned with Weinberg. He began his talk by praising Weinberg's scientific work. He then offered quotes from C. S. Lewis and Weinberg's book, Dreams of a Final Theory. Schaefer noted that the quotes from Weinberg illustrate that "all human beings experience the natural impulse that God exists and has created the universe for a purpose."
"I happen to believe that the religious conservatives are wrong in what they believe, but at least they have not forgotten what it means really to believe something. The religious liberals seem to me to be not even wrong." Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory
Furthermore, contemporary atheism has led to some "dubious pseudo-scientific conclusions" such as Francis Crick's directed panspermia, multiverse cosmology, and Frank Tipler's emergence of God at the end of history when the universe becomes a giant machine intelligence.
Schaefer presented more quotes, from Erwin Schr–dinger, about how science does not address what "is really near to our heart;" MIT prof Alan Lightman, fellow chemist Michael Polanyi ("... our belief in science should be regarded as a token of much wider convictions"), and Eugene Wigner's famous quote about the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" in its application to explaining the physical world.
Schaefer then raised the question of why a scientist might become a Christian: The intelligibility of the universe points to a sovereign creator God. Another quote, from Keith Ward this time, states in part that it is no accident that modern science began under the realization that the Creator is rational, not an arbitrary personal agent.
Next, Schaefer offered names of Christian scientists. Along with Newton, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, and Maxwell, a few ASAers made the list, a kind of ASA Hall of Fame: Robert Griffiths, Richard Bube, John Suppe, Donald Page, Francis Collins and CiSer John Polkinghorne. He then contrasted Weinberg's conclusion about the impersonal nature of the universe with the early scientists, "who made most of the discoveries." He quoted from Francis Bacon, about never being too well studied in either the books of God's word or works and from Johannes Kepler, about partaking in the joys of the Creator.
Moving to twentieth-century scientists, he quoted from William Thompson, that thinking strongly enough about science leads one to belief in God; then J. J. Thompson, discoverer of the electron, that advances in science reveal that great are the works of the Lord; and even CMU physicist Robert Griffiths, "If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn't much use." The 1964 Nobel Prize winner Charles Townes, who invented the laser, said that in view of the incomplete scientific story of origins, "I believe in the concept of God and in his existence." And 1981 Nobel Prize physicist Arthur Schawlow said: "We are fortunate to have the Bible, and especially the New Testament, which tells us so much about God in widely accessible human terms." Schaefer gave more quotes from Polkinghorne and from Allan Sandage, that the nature of God is found in the Scriptures, not science.
With this considerable testimonial set-up, Schaefer then asked: "Can a person be a scientist and also a Christian?" After quoting from Crick, about the origin of life being "almost a miracle," he asked: "Why might a scientist become a Christian?" He quoted from U. of Alberta physicist Donald Page, who has collaborated with Stephen Hawking on applications of quantum theory to gravitational physics and cosmology (quote in part): "Perhaps the mathematical simplicity of the universe is a reflection of the personal simplicity of the Gospel message." (To cosmologists, great simplicity in the form of symmetries falls out of what is otherwise very complicated math.)
With further quotes of Christian testimony from Chris Isham, "Britain's greatest quantum gravity expert" according to Paul Davies; William Phillips, 1997 Nobelist physicist and ASA99 keynote speaker; Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project; astrophysicist Hugh Ross; Freeman Dyson; and M. J. Rees, Schaefer returned to the question: "Why might a scientist become a Christian?" He answered: "The extraordinary fine tuning of the universe points to a sovereign creator God."
Anthropic-principle quotes from Davies, Hawking, and Hoyle led back to Weinberg, who concludes Dreams of a Final Theory by saying that the meaningfulness of human existence tempts him to believe in something beyond death. According to one attendee, Weinberg had a difficult time speaking about death in his talk.
Neither Weinberg nor Schermer were converted to Christianity by the event itself, though the tension in their present worldview was made evident. Perhaps it will have a decisive effect in the future. Is anyone praying for Weinberg? Schaefer probably is.
Schaefer has six talks about science and Christianity, which can be found at: www.leaderu.com/offices/schaefer/index.html
Schaefer was born in Grand Rapids, MI in 1944, got a degree in chemical physics from MIT in 1966, and a doctorate from Stanford U. in 1969. He taught chemistry at U.C. Berkeley for 18 years and was inaugural director of the Inst. for Theoretical Chemistry at the U. of Texas, in Austin. He also holds some academic appointments in France, Switzerland, and Australia. He is author of over 800 papers, mainly chemistry, of course, and has presented over 140 plenary lectures.
His other accomplishments and awards include the American Chemical Society 1979 award "for the development of computational quantum chemistry into a reliable quantitative field of chemistry and for prolific exemplary calculations of broad chemical interest." Another award, from the Royal Society of Chemistry was given to him as "the first theoretical chemist to successfully challenge the accepted conclusions of a distinguished experimental group for a polyatomic molecule, namely methylene."
* Walt Hearn, Fritz Schaefer
I think the fundamental question is what science is and what it is not. In a certain sense one can never divorce science from the notion of a Creator who created and who sustains the creation. The funny thing about His interaction with the physical universe, which interaction we will never be able to fathom, is that one can develop successful physical laws and theories that do not explicitly invoke the Creator. However, as we deal with deeper and more all-encompassing scientific questions, then the Creator will become more and more evident. I suppose that is when "every knee shall bow." Moorad Alexanian
ASA Local Section Eastern PA Active
by Alan McCarrick
Our first meeting of the rejuvenated Eastern PA section of the ASA was held at Eastern College last November. Edward Davis of Messiah College presented a two-part lecture on the historical relationships between theology and science. Sara Miles conducted a short business meeting. It was good to get to know some fellow Christians who take both science and their faith very seriously.
If you are interested in receiving updates on ASA Eastern PA meetings, making a presentation, or helping with the event, let me know. (See email address above.)
What ASAers Do
• And now for something really different: Loren and Debbie Haarsma write - or rather, re-write - New Testament parables, applying them to a contemporary, academic science setting. They can be found at: www.calvin.edu/~lhaarsma/parables.html
• Robert Rogland teaches science at Covenant High School in Tacoma, WA, the school of Faith Presbyterian Church, pastored by Rob Rayburn, whose father co-founded Covenant Seminary with Francis Schaeffer. He has written a paper titled "Pre-Programmed Descent with Modification: Functional Integrity, Intelligent Design, and Natural History." His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Mt. Vernon Nazarene C. psychology prof. Randy Cronk and Jim Skon of computer science took 17 students to the western highlands of Papua New Guinea, packing a lot of computer hardware into the hospital that the school's church (Church of the Nazarene) has operated since 1965.
• Also heading to the developing world with socio-technical intent were Dordt C. mechanical engineering students led by agriculture prof. Ron Vos and organized by engineering prof. Nolan Van Gaalen. In a mountain jungle of Honduras, their goal was to construct a gravity-fed irrigation system for the village of San Juan, home to 300 of the remaining 1,000 Tolpan Indians who had converted to Christianity in 1994 when Wycliff provided the New Testament in their language. "To the Tolpan people, our work was a practical demonstration of God's love, and they appreciated it," Van Gaalen noted. After laying 7,000 feet of pipe, it was exciting to see water coming from the sprinklers. The Tolpan can only grow food two of every three years due to drought, causing their health to be impaired. The engineering students' example and technical ability impressed everyone involved. The project was completed, and it operated within the design parameters. Ron has also been involved with another group of Dordt engineering students in building an oil extruder for farmers in the Ukraine.
• Howard Van Till is now published in Christianity Today (Aug. 6, 2001, pp. 52-6). His article is titled, "What Good Is Stardust?" and the theme is that the universe is remarkable for what God has equipped it to do. "Our universe is equipped not only with the resources to meet the needs of this day, but also with the capabilities to form the structures that characterize this day in its history." The article is well-written for a general Christian audience, drawing the reader in by opening with a description of the night sky during a desert drive.
• The July 2001 issue of the American Physical Society News has stories with photos of two ASA fellows who have been honored recently. Vernon Ehlers received the Public Service Award sponsored by APS (as well as AAAS & AMS) and Jennifer Wiseman has been selected by the APS to be its 2001-2002 Congressional Fellow. * George Murphy
• Francis Collins appeared in an article in the New Republic and made some on-target comments, like this closing paragraph:
In the end, we must acknowledge that we human beings have only scratched the surface of self-understanding. The structure of DNA does hold considerable interest for this line of inquiry; but it would be the purest form of hubris to take our rudimentary knowledge of our genetic code, craft theories about it with our puny minds, and declare that nature has once and for all trumped nurture and toppled God. This is the kind of arrogance that humans alone seem to possess, and that genes alone could never explain.
Collins directs the National Human Genome Research Institute. For the full article, see: www.thenewrepublic.com/062501/collins062501.html
• James Brian Pitts, recently defended his dissertation in physics at the University of Texas at Austin. The subject is gravitation with a flat background metric.
• Arizona ASAers: David F. Siemens, Jr. has been helping at Canyon Institute for Advanced Studies (CIAS), connected with Grand Canyon University. Hyung Choi is director of the Institute, and Bill Williams, the founder. A volume of papers, Naturalism: Its Impact on Science, Religion and Literature, which David helped edit, is at the printers. It consists mostly of topics presented at a day-long seminar in April 1999, which a number of ASA members attended. David contributed an introductory essay and Hyung Choi, an expanded version of his Perspectives (53, no. 2 [June 2001]: 96-101) paper.
CIAS is sponsoring a series of public lectures during the fall semester on various aspects of ethics. Tentative dates are Oct. 11, 25, Nov. 8, Dec. 6. Siemens expects to contribute "Ultimate Foundation of Ethics" on a date to be determined.
New ASA SciEd Web Site
Craig Rusbult has been taking the lead in establishing the new Science Education Commission web site, at:
Craig reports that so far, the "Thinking Skills" area is the most fully developed.
For those interested in the development of this site, there are two private pages (with no links to them) about how to develop the "Origins Theories" area of the web site, at:
and the whole web site is at:
Bill Cobern originally was involved in developing the ASA Science Education web site, and will continue to serve in an advisory role. [Ed note: This is a technically spiffy site.]
More and More Books
• Every once in a blue moon, an author will appear who significantly clarifies a confusing issue. Ex-ASAer Mark Ludwig has written the logical sequel to Francis A. Schaeffer's A Christian Manifesto. In his new book, True Christian Government, he argues that God has revealed the kind of community and family governments he wants in society, but that American Christians have been led to believe in democracies or republics instead, where the voice of the people (through the vote) is the voice of god.
Ludwig cites Deut. 4:2, where God says to follow his commands, neither adding nor taking away from them. Ludwig writes: "Deuteronomy 4:2 is the lynchpin for stability of man's government. ... Take this one scripture seriously, and you gain a whole new understanding of government ..." And how does Deut. 4:2 challenge existing government? "A godly country's laws are God's laws, period." If God has given us his laws to live by, then there is no place for legislatures, where humans' laws are added to, or substituted for, God's laws.
True Christian Government works out details for how God's government applies today. Without a clear, godly reference for government, Christians are left floundering in their attempts to interact with existing governments and to know what God expects and does not expect of them. Order True Christian Government from: www.ameaglepubs.com and download Ludwig's free book, The Third Paradigm, from the linked web site at: www.salem-project.org
• A relatively new publisher with the quaint name, Four Walls Eight Windows (www.4w8w.com), has put out two more books curiously relating to ASA subject-matter.
Visions of Spaceflight: Images from the Ordway Collection by Frederick I. Ordway III, with forward by Arthur C. Clarke, 2001, 176 pages (oversized), $50.
Beyond arguing the usual ASA controversies, ASAers can, in this book, encounter in both words and art, how humanity has historically imagined ascent to the heavens - with a little visual help from one of the premier historic space artists, whose illustrations of Werner von Braun's classic 1950s articles in Collier and This Week captured the imaginations of the public (and some future aerospace engineers). How do space and spirituality relate? Perhaps this dominantly visual masterpiece will help to shape the right questions.
How Wall Street Created a Nation: J. P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, and the Panama Canal, Ovidio Diaz Espino, 320 pages, $27.95.
One of the most ambitious feats of 20th-century technology - the building of the Panama Canal - was not without political, financial, and economic components which are woven together by historian and former J. P. Morgan & Co. lawyer Espino into a fascinating, historically revealing tale that provides content to the discussion of technology, society, and techno-morality. Engineers who are starting to look beyond the lab will have their eyes opened to how technical work is interconnected to society and its power structures, both the good and the bad.
• Mathematics in a Postmodern Age: A Christian Perspective by Russell W. Howell, W. James Bradley, editors, Eerdmans, 2001, 399 pages, paperback, $28.
This wider view of math addresses the question of whether math reveals relative truth or something more enduring. Quite readable by the nonmathematician (with very few equations, that is), it delves into the philosophy of mathematics, including some ancient history, relates it to modern science, culture, values, computers, and creativity, and even has a chapter (10) on "The Possibility of Detecting Intelligent Design," and irreducible complexity, for those interested in a quick introduction to current ID ideas. The book closes with a psychological and teaching perspective on math. This book looks like a keeper for anyone interested in math in a much wider perspective.
• The Work of Love: Creation as Kenosis by John Polkinghorne, editor, Eerdmans, 2001, 210 pages, paperback, $22.
This compendium of discussion sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation consists of chapters contributed by Ian Barbour, George Ellis, Malcolm Jeeves, J¸rgen Moltmann, Arthur Peacocke, Polkinghorne, and others. The title says it all. How God and the creation interrelate is a fundamental question; here are more efforts to address it.
With the Lord
• From Jerry Albert: I am sorry to report that on March 4, 2001 a friend, Craig Allen has died after a three-month's convalescence following a stroke last November which left him with right- side paralysis. He was an electronics engineer retired from San Diego's Naval Ocean Systems Center. Craig was a long-time ASA member, faithfully read the ASA journal, and attended many Annual Meetings with his wife Jackie. He is also survived by two sons and a daughter. Craig's inspirational memorial service was on his birth date, March 24, when he would have been 72. His pastor related the story of Craig talking to UCSD students about his faith, how he interprets Genesis, and the relationship to science. His pastor was pleased with Craig's integration of science and faith and respect for thinking Christians.
• Dr. Karl M. Busen of Deerfield, IL left this life April 21, 2001. He was born April 19, 1918. He was a chemist interested in the history and philosophy of science.
• From Jack Irvin: Paul McKowen died on Feb. 5, 2001, from Altzheimer's disease. Paul was a great supporter of ASA and put his services and his church behind many of San Francisco Bay ASA meetings and potlucks.
• From David Willis: Long-term friend and ASA member, Albert C. Strong, just passed away on July 4, 2001 in Salem, OR, at age 76. He was born in Oakland, CA, and graduated from U. C. Berkeley in mechanical engineering in 1947. He was subsequently in the first graduating class of Fuller Theological Seminary, receiving a M. Div. degree in 1950. Further postgraduate studies were done in the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the U. of Oklahoma, Haile Selassie I U., Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Al served for twenty-one years as a Presbyterian missionary in Ethiopia. Returning to the U.S. in 1972, he served as a Presbyterian pastor in Sanger, CA, and Dallas, OR. Subsequently he moved to Orange County, CA, where he was senior representative for the Presbyterian Ministers' Fund for eight years. After retiring, he returned to Oregon where he did volunteer pastoring and community service. He was an avid hiker and enjoyed gardening, golf, traveling, and watercolor painting.
Dave recounts that "Al was active in ASA affairs in Oregon and was vitally interested in issues concerning science and Christian faith. Personally, I will miss his friendship and the many fruitful conversations we had over the 50+ years I had known him."
The Executive Director's Corner
by Don Munro
The Kansas State U. ASA Annual Meeting has come and gone. It has added another exciting chapter to the organizational archives. I personally enjoyed the great fellowship with so many of you, the tour of the Konza Prairie (Those buffalo burgers were really tasty!), the singing at devotions and church, and the excellent papers that I heard. One sad note was that due to a temporary illness, Joseph Sheldon, our esteemed Program Chair, had to remain in Washington. Joe set up a tremendous program which ran smoothly thanks to his dedicated commitment to excellence. Fred Hickernell jumped in as acting Program Chair and did not miss a beat. We want to express our deep appreciation to both Joe and Fred. More kudos and thanks go to Keith and Ruth Miller, our outstanding Local Arrangements Chairs. They were very responsive, tying together all the loose ends and meeting the unexpected needs.
We learned much from plenary speakers, Sir Ghillean Prance and Wes Jackson, and ASA/Templeton lecturer Edward Larson. Ed presented me a signed copy of his new book, Evolution's Workshop: God and Science on the Gal·pagos Islands, which I shall always cherish and have begun to read. Thanks also to David Hartnett, Director of the Konza Prairie Biological Station, for his insightful presentation about the prairie. We are so happy to welcome him as a new ASA member.
Another highlight of the conference was the group of young scientists who came on scholarship. What a delightful, appreciative group and what excellent papers they presented! Let us hope that this scholarship program will be a yearly occurrence and that we will see these new, young members back again and again. They are part of the hope of ASA's future. The meeting closed with a panel featuring five young ASA members: Randall DeJong, Steven Hall, Johnny Lin, Ruth Miller and Pam Veltkamp. They intelligently bandied about the problems they face in present-day researching and teaching.
Thanks also to George Murphy and the Hessel Bouma III/John Woods duo who planned and carried out two excellent, high-caliber symposia. Finally, thanks to all those who presented papers and especially our very fine devotional speakers: Robert Newman, who preached the excellent Sunday morning sermon and Judith Toronchuk and Kenell Touryan, who led thoughtful devotions. We were privileged to have Larry and Susan Martin, our musically talented husband and wife team, lead the singing and accompany us on the piano. Jack Haas borrowed the key to the great organ in the chapel and added much to our Sunday morning service while Kevin Carnes from KSU sang and led us in singing.
Some of you who found yourselves unable to attend may wish to hear or see (Jackson, Prance and Larson only) the talks of the conference. You can receive any of the audio tapes ($6.00) or video tapes ($12.00) plus S & H from Florian Audio Visual, 811 24th Street, Wilson, KS 67490 or contact them by e-mail, email@example.com. They will explain how to order and let you know what is available, but you need to let them know soon. We also appreciated the Eighth Day Bookstore tables where many members browsed the books and then, in some cases, bought armfuls.
We are already at work on ASA 2002 to be held August 2-5, 2002 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Ted Davis and Sara Miles are putting speakers in place. The latest news flash is that Charles Townes, Nobel Prize winner in physics, has agreed to speak. Stan Moore, Local Arrangements Chair and I are putting together a Missions and Mountain trip in CA to follow the meeting. The missions are the old Spanish missions found up and down the coast of CA. There will be lots of other things to see as well. Symposia need to be in place soon and before you know it the call for papers will be in your mail box. Be thinking what you can contribute to the meeting. You will not want to miss this scenic meeting on the beautiful, rugged coast of CA.
Now it is time to honor those members who joined ASA in 1971 and thus are celebrating thirty years of membership. There are thirty of them (one for each year?): J. Richard Arnt, Joseph L. Aubel, Robert Bartholomew, W. Don Beaver, Russell V. Benson, Stanley T. Bristol, Robert Brown, John W. Burgeson, John E. Carey, Mildred V. Carlson, L. Roy Cornwell, Dennis L. Feucht, Patrick E. Guire, Charles E. Howard, David H. Ives, H. Newton Maloney, Alan W. Pense, Martin L. Price, Pattle Pun, Lindley J. Reimer, Dale Ritter, Herman R. Schoene, Walter B. Sinnamon, Arnold W. Sodergren, Robert E. Sundell, C. Richard Terman, Roger G. Vieth, Ronald J. Vos, Roy D. Walton, Jr. and Eugene F. Young. Congratulations to all of you and may you be able to help advance the ASA for many years to come.
Thanks for your continuing donations. We are praying for some strong donations between now and the end of the year to see us through. So many good things are happening and we do not want to lose the momentum. Your every dollar will be used as wisely as possible.