of the
American Scientific Affiliation &
Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation 

Volume 51, Number 4                                                                                                        JUL/AUG 2009 

Faith and Darwin: Harmony, Conflict, or Confusion? 

Occasioned by the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, the John Templeton Foundation and the Theos think tank commissioned an in-depth study of British attitudes toward origins. Previous surveys had asked respondents merely to indicate whether they believed in the “evolution theory,” the “creationism theory” or the “intelligent design theory.” The researchers realized that such “either/or” questions produce simplistic answers by forcing respondents into distinct, pre-existing “pigeonholes”—and by assuming that everyone who ticks a category does so with the same degree of conviction and consistency. 

Beyond Pigeonholes 

To achieve a more nuanced understanding, the study asked over 2,000 respondents more than 25 questions about Darwin, Darwinism, creationism, intelligent design, science, science education, purpose, design, God, prayer, humanity, and a range of other topics. The goal was to probe respondents from multiple angles, exploring not only what they believed but how consistently they believed it and whether it correlated with their other beliefs. The study revealed that “people are not as consistent in their opinions as earlier single-question-based surveys had suggested.” 

Recognizing that Theos is well known for its advocacy of theistic evolution, arrangements were made for all of the analyses to be conducted by Caroline Lawes and her colleagues at ComRes, to assure objectivity in scrutinizing the figures and drawing conclusions from them. 

Stratification by Age 

The 116-page report summarizes its findings in what it terms “an overly simplistic illustration of the typical demographic profile …” In a multigenerational family, grandma believes in young earth creationism, mom and dad accept evolution (she in its theistic form, he in its atheistic guise), and the 25-year-old university-grad son believes in Intelligent Design—thinking human origins are best explained by “a combination of science and the intervention of a higher power.” It adds, “… the youngest generations and highest educated people show inclinations toward believing in Intelligent Design.” 

The report states, “… there is widespread cognitive dissonance and many people sit on the periphery of these established groups.” It projects, “… it would be fascinating to repeat this study to see what effect the next 200 years of debate has on the popular view of these vital questions!” Alert your posterity to stay tuned for that! Meanwhile, details of the present survey are at

Collins Forms BioLogos Foundation 

In his best-selling 2006 book, The Language of God, Francis Collins introduced the term BioLogos, a neologism coined from the Greek words for “life” and “word” as used in CollinsF motorchapter one of the Gospel of John. Its publication stimulated thousands of e-mails from readers seeking to explore the relationships between Scripture and science. Unable to respond to this deluge directly, Collins established the BioLogos Foundation to provide responses to these questions and to promote a view harmonizing science and faith. 

Its premise is that evolution is “how God created life,” a concept traditionally called theistic evolution. Their website,, explains, 

Because the term evolution is sometimes associated with atheism, a better term for the belief in a God who chose to create the world by way of evolution is BioLogos

Elsewhere it elaborates, “… BioLogos does not require that God miraculously intervened in the process of evolution in the sense of working outside the laws of nature …” 

An Ambitious Agenda 

The BioLogos website defines its “ambitious agenda” as “to change America’s conversation about origins from one in which science and religion are most often at odds, to one where science and religion are mutually supportive partners.” The organization’s goals include “a broad cross-section of interesting activities from conducting workshops to writing books.” The website explains, “We are involved in theological, scientific, biblical, and even political projects as we pursue this goal.” 

In addition to Collins as President, other officers are Karl Giberson as Executive Vice-President and Darrel Falk as Executive Director. Syman Stevens and Ralph Veerman are the other two members of the founding team. 


The Executive Director’s Corner 

Randall D. Isaac 

The Human Genome Project not only accomplished the grand feat of decoding the DNA sequence in human cells but stimulated the development of rapid, affordable processes for DNA sequencing. The power of these techniques is now bearing fruit in a rapidly growing number of research projects. One prominent project is sponsored by National Geographic and is known as the Genographic project. By analyzing DNA from a large number of indigenous populations, the project seeks to map the journey of our ancestors from the origin of modern humans to their dispersion throughout the world. Data generated from this project, as well as numerous others like it, are providing more quantitative insight into the earliest stages of human development.  

The topic of human origins is one of the most relevant issues for ASA and anyone interested in the integration of science and Christian faith. Charles Darwin understood the sensitivity to the topic and deferred discussion of human origins from On the Origin of Species to a book 12 years later called The Descent of Man. Much of the controversy surrounding evolution is fueled by the implications for human origins. Battles over the age of the earth and the origin of species pale in comparison to the arguments over human origins. 

Why is this topic of such intense interest? There are many reasons, not the least of which is that it affects our sense of what it means to be human. The search for our origins demands a careful study of the distinctiveness of being human. Biology can tell us about the remarkable similarities between our physical bodies and that of other organisms. Researchers find amazing examples of complex social structures and rudimentary forms of language and tool usage in other species. Yet no one disputes the vast gulf between humans and all other species, particularly in capability of reasoning. 

Did our unique capabilities come about instantaneously? Or perhaps in a series of ever-increasing leaps of improvement? Or in a gradual sequence of changes over a very long period of time? Did human qualities first appear in a single ancestral couple? Or did it take a village to develop that first blush of humanity? Or is humanness only vested in the spiritual connectedness that we have, undetectable in the fossil record or in the genetic code? 

Traditional interpretations of Scripture, most notably Genesis 2 and 3 and Romans 5 among many others, tend toward a single ancestral couple living in Mesopotamia at the onset of the Neolithic era. Scientifically, the fossil record seems to indicate qualitatively a longer, more gradual development of behaviorally modern humans in central or south-central Africa in the middle Paleolithic era. More recently, the forensic power of genetic analysis has provided a quantitative perspective, leading toward an ancestral population of 5–10,000 people living in Africa more than 60,000 years ago. 

How can these views be reconciled? Some prefer to question the scientific conclusions, seeking ways to interpret the data in the context of a single ancestral pair. Others prefer to reinterpret biblical passages in a way that would be compatible with the scientific perspective. Still others simply consider the conflict to be a category error, with each view representing a complementary perspective of our origins. Some consider the conflict irreconcilable and reject either science or Christianity. Library shelves can be stocked with a growing number of books touting one variation or another. 

No matter which approach is taken, heated debate is sure to follow. What should the ASA perspective be? Our goal is to foster dialog among all views, asking for adherence to the core doctrines in our statement of faith and to integrity in science. We insist on a civil interchange in a spirit of respect and Christian love, recognizing our unity in Christ above all else. 

With this in mind, we encourage continuing dialog on the topic of origins. Our annual meeting this year is sure to contain another stimulating round of discussions. Come join in the conversation and may we worship our Lord together as we jointly explore God’s world of endless wonders. See you there! 


Welcome, New Members! April–May 2009 

Bahorich, Mike –Houston, TX 

Bowman, Thomas A. –Sylvania, OH 

Brad, Jr., Joseph W. –Williamstown, NJ 

Carnes, Kevin –Manhattan, KS 

Farrar, Nathan R. –Hamilton, ON Canada 

Fisher, Debra A. –Glendale, AZ 

Gorsuch, Richard L. –Altadena, CA 

Granstedt, Andrea E. –Princeton, NJ 

Granstedt, Erik M. –Princeton, NJ 

Hasenmyer, Elizabeth –Anderson, IN 

Jarvis, Emily –Wenham, MA 

Lilley, Christopher –Saint Paul, MN 

Linenschmidt, Larry L. –Austin, TX 

Messenger, Ronald A. –Cooperstown, NY 

Robinson, Stephen J. –Whites Creek, TN 

Solberg, Leif I.Minneapolis, MN 

Spencer, Molly M. –Bozeman, MT 

Swanson, Lloyd –Corvallis, OR 

Vantassel, Stephen M. –Lincoln, NE 

Waugaman, Janet –Tucson, AZ 

Waugaman, Donald –Tucson, AZ 

Student Wins Case over Teacher’s Anti-Religious Comments 

After repeatedly hearing remarks like “When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth” and “When you pray for divine intervention, you’re hoping that the spaghetti monster will help you get what you want,” student Chad Farnan sued his teacher for violating his civil rights. In a May 1 ruling, US District Court Judge James Selna dismissed those remarks, but found that Capistrano Valley High School (Mission Viejo, CA) teacher James Corbett had violated Farnan’s rights when he told a history class that creationism was “religious, superstitious nonsense.” Access Resource Network sees the ruling as “significant for the relief it offers for students who suffer similar hostile encounters with their teachers,” including lower grades, loss of recommendations to schools, and in-class denigration. The judge also ruled that the school district was not liable for the teacher’s remarks. 

Do Science and Religion Conflict? 

  • Robert Lawrence Kuhn spoke with several scholars including Owen Gingerich in the 34th episode in the “Closer to Truth: Cosmos, Consciousness, God” TV series which airs on PBS World. Owen, an emeritus astronomer and historian of science at Harvard, said a major issue in science and religion is “God’s actions in the world. Did God plan it perfectly in the first instance and let it run without meddling, or is God continually nudging it?” Owen believes people have problems with evolution because they feel it eliminates God in the sense that they would like to have God in there each step of the way bringing it about. He says, “What I suspect is that many people feel that if they lose that (kind of Godly intervention), then they will equally lose the possibility of God interacting very strongly in the world.” For example, “much prayer assumes that God can be persuaded to do something that if you do not ask might not happen.” The scientific view is that God isn’t doing such intervening. Owen says, “Now that’s a metaphysical assumption on the part of the scientists because science can’t prove that this kind of interaction does not happen, particularly as 20th century science developed quantum theory, the uncertainty principle, chaos theory, and the like … Theology can be a very demanding and serious intellectual discipline, even though the general metaphysics of scientists doesn’t give it a place at the table.” Gingerich says that when scientists exclude theology it is their own “kind of leap of faith,” which scientists have made in their interpretive process, but which “is not fundamentally a part of science itself.” Science and Religion Today, May 1, 2009
  • Charles Bolden, former astronaut nominated to lead NASA, told Baylor College of Medicine graduates “Religion and science don’t conflict with each other—they are mutually supportive.” Science and Religion Today, May 28, 2009

Are Faith and Healing Linked? 

  • Scientists at institutions such as California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, Duke University in NC, and the George Washington University Institute for Spirituality and Health in Washington DC, are exploring the relationship of prayer and faith to healing. More than half of physicians surveyed by a group at the University of Chicago said that religion and spirituality significantly influence patients’ health. John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, CA, recently advertised for a supervising nurse with theological education. 

Religion can help those with chronic conditions. Yoga, reading religious texts and meditation have value, researchers concluded. James Duffy, President and CEO of the Institute of Religion and Health in Houston said “Health is a transformative process that involves healing the spirit.” 

There is much that cannot be clearly demonstrated, and some are concerned with the blurring of the line between faith and health care. It will be interesting to see what insights or data are revealed in future research. Contra Costa Times, Dec. 2007, Rebecca Rosen Lum 

  • The Feb. 23 Time magazine, in a Mind and Body Special Issue, discussed in depth “How Faith Can Heal.” Jeffrey Kluger said that “Science and religion argue all the time, but they increasingly agree on one thing: a little spirituality may be very good for your health.” Several scientific studies have dealt with the power of prayer and the spiritual component in healing. They say more than 85% of cancer patients would not be offended if their doctors asked about their spiritual needs, but doctors tend to not ask. Studies by Daniel Hall, an Episcopal priest and a surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, show that those who go to church regularly have two to three additional years of life. The article says, 

For most believers, the element of religious life that intersects most naturally with health is prayer. Very serious theologians believe in the power of so-called intercessory prayer to heal the sick, and some very serious scientists have looked at it too, with more than 6,000 published studies on the topic just since 2000. 

Scholarly Presentation 

Tren cropThaddeus Trenn, president of CSCA (Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation), specializes in the history and philosophy of science. In March he contributed to a series of talks on the theme “God and Us” for his council of the Knights of Columbus. Summarizing the vexed issue of human suffering, he said, 

Measured according to the merit way, suffering seems malicious. It is a personal wake-up call. Confused, we might walk away from Christ though we cannot save ourselves. Alienated and alone, we easily lose our way. Selfless reflection upon the Cross of Christ at Lent, upon the Suffering Servant of the Lord, could encourage us to consider sharing our personal suffering for the ongoing redemption of the world. It was painfully lonely on that Cross. Yet the greatest pain inflicted upon Christ, still continuing today, is caused by hardened hearts unwilling to accept Christ’s mercy. 

Christ surely accomplished this task alone on our behalf, for he said, “In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Nevertheless, a renewed appreciation of what it means to say of Christ that by your cross and resurrection, you have redeemed the world … that complete realization of world redemption entails a degree of participatory engagement, if only to express our gratitude, to offer consolation, to say how much we really care. Human suffering, mysterious and perplexing as it may be, allows us to respond with joyful thankfulness in spiritual solidarity with Christ our Redeemer in deeply caring recognition of what he has wrought (Ps. 22:31). 

Significant Article 

Keith Miller, research assistant professor of geology at Kansas State University, has an article in Reports of the National Center for Science Education (March/April 2009). It is titled “Communicating Evolutionary Science to a Religious Public” and is under their “Special Feature” section. Keith says that scientists who are Christians should articulate science to those faith communities of which they are a part. He states, 

The presumption of “warfare” between science and religious faith perpetuates erroneous understandings of the nature and content of science. Such misconceptions erect completely unnecessary barriers to the embrace of science by a substantial portion of the population, and turn public science education into a forum for cultural warfare. When people of faith reject the central theories of modern science because of a false perception that those theories conflict with their faith, they not only deprive science of vital public support, but also deprive it of many bright enquiring minds in the future (p. 34). 

Keith also informed us of a relatively new website, the PaleoPortal, which is an educational outreach on paleontological science. His bio is there and in it he includes a very insightful, detailed discussion of the integration of faith and science and some neat pictures. Go to and look under “PaleoPeople.” 

“Teaching Science, with Faith in Mind” 

Subjects discussed in science class have ramifications beyond science. A physicist teaching Big Bang cosmology, a chemist teaching radioactive decay, or a biologist teaching evolution can create conflicts for people who hold different beliefs. But traditional lecture-style presentations may exacerbate these provocative issues. The Chronicle of Higher Education addressed this fact in a May 1 article entitled “Teaching Science, with Faith in Mind.” In a study on teaching evolution to high school students, University of Wisconsin researchers taught a control group in traditional didactic fashion, while an experimental group read original work from Darwin, Lamarck, and Paley. Details at

Evolution Vs. Creationism in Texas 

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) moved from California to Dallas, TX, in 2007. They had offered a master’s degree in science education from their graduate school and wanted to get their online degree certified in Texas. On April 13, 2008, the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board unanimously voted to deny the ICR’s request. The ICR appealed the decision, and filed suit on April 16, 2009 in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas. ICR maintains that the Texas board had imposed an unconstitutional and prejudicial burden against their academic freedom and religious liberties. They say they were discriminated against because their program would be based on “creation science” rather than evolution. Texas Higher Education Commissioner, Raymond Paredes, said their program wouldn’t prepare graduates to teach the state’s public school science standards, which include the study of evolution. Documents from the case, are at

Collins Keeping Busy 

  • The Desert Research Institute presented the 22nd annual Nevada Medal Award, sponsored by AT&T, to Francis Collins on April 9 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Many political leaders, news broadcasters, as well as university regents and presidents attended. Collins received a minted 8-ounce silver medallion and a $20,000 prize recognizing outstanding international achievement in science, engineering and technology. The Las Vegas Review Journal on April 19 featured a half page of photos and text and the Las Vegas Sun had a full page. The latter included a 1/3-page photo of Francis playing his guitar at the national prayer breakfast which included then President George Bush and his wife Laura. Regarding the effects of recent advances in genetics research, Francis said, 

We are closer and closer to the point where each of us can find out what our future might hold—not that these are deterministic, hard-wired conclusions, but the glitches in DNA can skew your odds up or down for various conditions. 

  • Check out “Religion and Science: Pathways to Truth,” a DVD series, featuring lessons by well-known scientists and theologians and hosted by Francis Collins. In the introduction online, Collins discusses his personal faith as well as short clips of the rest of the program. 
  • The Trinity Forum is a Christ-centered organization that strengthens and connects leaders whose integrity and vision will help renew culture and promote human freedom and flourishing. They have programs and publications which consider many ideas that have shaped Western civilization and the faith that has animated its highest achievements. It is located in Washington DC, and they have an office in London. Senior Fellow Francis Collins and a group of Fellows will develop a new curriculum on the intersection of science and faith. The Trinity Forum Academy Class of 2010 will have the opportunity to study under very qualified scholars. Francis will serve as a key lecturer. The Academy offers twelve full fellowships to young leaders (22–26 years old) in any field, including the pastorate, theology, and science, who have a passion for following Christ and a vision for impacting their chosen career field. To learn more, call (202) 944-9881; email,; or check,


  • A license to create human/pig embryos has recently been granted in Great Britain. Mark Mostert of Regent University maintains that the moral and ethical implications of this were not thoroughly considered. He states that in this instance, technology “has outstripped our thinking.” British law requires that these embryos be killed after 14 days, but there is no way to be sure that some researchers will not violate that statute. Mostert says, “Species were created to procreate among those of like kind, and now this takes us a step closer to essentially saying, ‘well, whatever the Bible says or whatever a Christian perspective is doesn’t really matter.’” He says that we humans are taking on the role of being the creator, which is not God’s intention. OneNewsNow, July 19, 2008
  • The Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC) has selected Gilbert Meilaender to receive the 2009 Paul Ramsey Award, presented May 2 at a dinner in San Francisco. Meilaender is the Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg Professor of Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University, served on the President’s Council on Bioethics, and is an associate editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics. CBC Newsletter 
  • Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly, May 14, reports, 

A surprising number of religious groups preach faith healing based on a literal interpretation of the Bible and a fervent belief in the power of a loving God. And, in more than 30 states, this belief is protected as a religious freedom. But some faith-healing parents who have allowed their sick child to die because they believe in prayer, not medical treatment, are now being prosecuted in criminal court cases taking place in Wisconsin and Oregon

Norman Fost, a pediatrician and ethicist at the University of Wisconsin, comments, 

I think criminal prosecution is a way of the state saying we care about our children, we will protect them … there should be no criteria, no special criteria based on religious beliefs. 

University of Wisconsin Religion Professor Shawn Peters notes, 

There is no criminal intent … In all of the hundreds of these cases that I have looked at, part of what makes them so tragic is that the parents are doing what they think is best for their children. 

More Anniversaries 

  • We have mentioned previously that 2009 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 400th anniversary of the use of the telescope. July 10 will be the 500th anniversary of the birth of theologian John Calvin. Born in France in 1509, he lived until May 27, 1564. He studied theology and law and at some point between 1528 and 1533 had an experience he described as “God subdued my soul to docility by a sudden conversion.” In 1536 he published his Institutes of the Christian Religion, and in 1618–1619 the Synod of Dort codified his predestination doctrine. 
  • Louis Braille was three years old when an accident in his father’s harness workshop left him permanently blind. He was sent to a village priest for private tutoring. By age 15 he had developed a new reading and writing system for the blind, using raised dots to represent letters. Braille was born in 1809, and this anniversary will be commemorated around the world, especially in his birthplace of Coupvray, France. The American Bible Society has long supported Bible literacy for the blind through the translation and production of Braille Bibles and through innovations that provide the Bible in audio formats. Record, American Bible Society News, Winter 2009, p. 4. 

New Website 

Douglas Hayworth has started, a blog to discuss science-theology issues with friends and fellow scientists. His overall goal is to test and explore how best to put science compatible theological views into practice in daily Christian living. In addition to describing his current views about evolution and creation theology, he has posted poetry and song lyrics that contemplate the meaning of creation. In June, he interviewed Denis Lamoureux about his recently published books. 

HayworthDSCN6429Doug is also working with Randy Isaac to organize an ASA website of homeschool science resources. Since he and his wife, Kim, have homeschooled their three children, Doug has been frustrated by the lack of good science curricula. He invites comments and evaluation of his ideas so they might be refined and polished for more widespread use or used on the ASA website. 

Doug has degrees in botany (BS, University of Wisconsin), biology (MS, University of Texas-Arlington) and in population and evolutionary biology (PhD, Washington University in St. Louis). He lives in Rockford, IL, and works at a biotechnology company that makes reagents for protein research. When he was five years old, his family moved to Tehran, Iran, where his parents were missionaries until he was twelve. He has done mission work, spending a summer in the Philippines and another in Kenya. See

Of Interest 

  • “It’s incumbent for Christians, if they say that ending one’s own life is unsatisfactory, to provide alternatives. Is the conservative Christian community willing to step up, provide their own financial resources, and say, ‘We’re going to be the presence of Christ in the valley of the shadow of death?’” Calvin College biology professor Hessel Bouma, telling Christianity Today magazine that Christians should develop hospice programs for the terminally ill while they contest legalized assisted-suicide. Presbyterian Outlook, April 6, 2009, p. 22. (RNS) 
  • Owen Gingerich, Francis Collins and Sir John Templeton were mentioned as “major figures” in “The Theistic Evolutionists” section of The Real Evolution Debate in EnlightenNext magazine, April 2009. 
  • Walter Bradley spoke at Oral Roberts University (ORU) March 31–April 1. The invitation from ORU read: 

The Center for Faculty Excellence, in cooperation with the Philosophy of Science honors seminar class and the ORU School of Science and Engineering, invites you to talks by Dr. Walter L. Bradley, distinguished professor of Engineering at Baylor University, science and Christianity specialist, and co-author of the text that started the intelligent design movement and will be the special university guest speaker. 

Walter spoke on the topics: “On Being a Christian Professor in the Academy,” “Is There Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God?” and “Science and Engineering in Service of the Poor: How an We Possibly Make a Difference?”

  • Denis Lamoureux, of Edmonton, AB, also gave a presentation at Oral Roberts University on April 18. 
  • Attention All United Methodists: 

You, and members and friends of your congregation, are invited to connect with WesleyNexus, a newly formed, grassroots, on-line community dedicated to the promotion of sound information on science and religion in the United Methodist Church. WesleyNexus has been formed from a core group of dedicated clergy, academics and lay persons in the Washington, DC area who believe that there is a need to develop such a network of United Methodists. Our conviction is that science and religion are compatible domains of knowledge which compliment one’s faith and scientific understanding. If you are a United Methodist, interested in sound science, vibrant faith and sharing with others of like mind, please contact for more information. We at WesleyNexus look forward to hearing from you. * Rick Barr 

  • Ten journalists have been selected for the 2009 Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science and Religion. Journalists from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada received a $15,000 stipend, a book allowance, and travel expenses. Included, among others, are journalists from The Dallas Morning News, The Washington Post, BBC Radio 4, Time magazine, and Fox News. Fraser Watts, a reader in theology and science at the University of Cambridge and co-director of the fellowships, says, “With the deeper understanding they gain through the fellowship program, these journalists will be better able to promote a more informed public discussion of science and religion.” This is a two-month program in June and July. Kimberly Roots, Science and Religion Today, March 20, 2009
  • A statement released by the International Planetarium Society reads, 

Many independent lines of scientific evidence show that the Earth and universe are billions of years old. Current measurements yield an age of about 4.6 billion years for the Earth and about 14 billion years for the universe.  

They also explain how these ages are determined through diverse research, often from different measurements of different physical principles, and by competing research teams. The statement continues, 

These measurements of age are accepted by nearly all astronomers, including both research astronomers and planetarium educators. These astronomers come from nations and cultures around the world and from a very wide spectrum of religious beliefs. 

Science and Religion Today, Oct. 1, 2008

Dialogue at Templeton Book Forum 

At a Templeton Book Forum in November at the Harvard Club in New York City, Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and a columnist at Scientific American asked Karl Giberson, professor of physics at Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, MA, “How do you reconcile Christianity and evolution?” Giberson answered, 

It is not about reconciling them so much as recognizing that they don’t make as much contact as most people think. It’s only if we get distracted by the first couple of chapters in Genesis and elevate them in importance beyond what is appropriate that we have a conflict. 

Giberson has written Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. He stated 

Believing in God makes the world so much more interesting. The mystery of God’s existence is for me a more satisfying mystery than the mystery of how all this rich complexity can arise out of particles. 

Templeton Report, Dec. 10, 2008

Geologists Gather 

A regional meeting of the Geological Society of America met April 2–3 in Rockford, IL. Jeff Greenberg, active in the Affiliation of Christian Geologists (ACG), gave a talk “Geoscience at the Heart of the New Kosovo.” Mike Guebert presented on “Shallow Geophysical Investigations of Chinese Landfill Sites.” There were 25 or more Christian geologists present, including students from some Christian colleges and several ASAers. A session, “Geology in Global Outreach,” had eight presentations and six of them were made by Christians. An overall message of giving back our gifts to benefit humanity and creation was well conveyed. Some ACG members met for lunch. 

Coming Events 

July 5–9. The American Association for the Advancement of Science is a major sponsor of the Darwin 2009 Festival, Cambridge, UK. See  

July 5–11. Week-long seminar sponsored by the Biblical Archaeological Society, “Biblical Controversies, Conundrums and Characters: Sorting through All the Evidence,” St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN. Contact 1-800-221-4644, ext. 208. See  

July 10–11. Creation Research Society Conference on the campus of the University of North Carolina Lancaster. Details at  

July 10–18. Summer seminars on intelligent Design. Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, Seattle, WA. Designed for college-level juniors, seniors, and first-year graduate students who intend to pursue graduate studies in the natural or social sciences, philosophy of science, law or the humanities. Questions to Bruce Gordon, Research Director, at  

July 15–18. The Ian Ramsey Centre at the University of Oxford is having a conference, “Religious Responses to Darwinism 1859–2009.” E-mail: See:  

July 16–18. “True Significance in the Academy: The Legacy of Christian Scholarship,” International Institute for Christian Studies 2009 Vision Conference, Airport Hilton, Kansas City, MO. Details at  

July 18–21. “Cosmos, Nature, Culture: A Transdisciplinary Conference,” Tempe Mission Palms Hotel and Conference Center, Phoenix, AZ. Sponsored by Metanexus Institute, 28 Garrett Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA. Call 484-592-0304 or E-mail  Karl Giberson will be giving a presentation. 

July 20–24. Duke University workshop relating to religion, spirituality and health, how to do research and develop an academic career in this area; lead by Harold Koenig, Duke U. Medical Center. See:  Contact  

July 30–Aug. 2. The Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, coordinated by Oskar Gruenwald, is having a symposium on “Intelligent Design & Artificial Intelligence: The Ghost in the Machine” at the Hilton Hotel, Pasadena, CA. See  Web:  

July 31–Aug.3. ASA Annual Meeting, Baylor U., Waco, TX. Details at  

Aug. 13–16. Darwin’s Birthday Celebration, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. Details at  

Aug. 17–21. Duke University workshop relating to religion, spirituality and health. (see above, July 20–24). 

Sept. 10–12. Conference: “My Ways Are Not Your Ways: The Character of the God of the Hebrew Bible.” The Center for Philosophy of Religion, University of Notre Dame. Information: or E-mail:  

Sept. 21–Oct. 3. Biblical Archaeological Society will go on a tour “In the Footsteps of Paul in Turkey” with a scholar guide. After Israel, Turkey has more biblical sites than any other country. E-mail:  See  

Sept. 25–26. “Genetics and Religion: Prospects for Dialogue.” A conference held in honor of V. Elving Anderson’s legacy of Christian scholarship at U. of Minnesota. Keynote speaker: Francis Collins. Other speakers: Ruth Schwartz Cowan (University of Pennsylvania), M. Therese Lysaught (Marquette University), Ronald Cole-Turner (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) and Matt McGue (University of Minnesota). Registration: $30 ($10/student). Saturday evening banquet: $30/person. Contact Bob Osburn at  

With the Lord 

Peter E. Hodgson, lecturer in nuclear physics and Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, passed away on December 8, 2008, at age 80. After earning his PhD and DSc, he became head of the Nuclear Physics Theoretical Group and Fellow of Corpus Christi College in 1958. Known as a worldwide authority on the discipline of nuclear reactions, he wrote more than 20 books on nuclear physics and relativity theory, and more than 350 scientific papers on theoretical and experimental nuclear physics, nuclear energy, environmental problems, science and religion and the responsibilities of scientists. 

Peter promoted the impact of science on society and of its moral obligation. He was an active member of the Atomic Scientists’ Association, President of the Science Secretariat of Pax Romana, and consultant to the Pontifical Consilium for Culture. He encouraged Catholic scientists and priest-scientists to integrate their studies and belief and to publicize their work effectively, emphasizing the need for the church to be thorough and professional with regard to the use of scientific advice and comment. He worked with the Templeton Foundation, the Newman Association, and others to promote the integration of science and religion. * Louise Martine (nee Hodgson) 

Did Darwin Kill God? 

  • The Rev. Malcolm Brown, who heads the public affairs department of the Church of England, says the church owes Charles Darwin an apology. Darwin was born into the Church of England, was educated at a church boarding school, and trained to become an Anglican priest. However, his theory brought conflict with the church. At one public debate in 1860, the bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, asked scientist Thomas Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he was descended from a monkey. Others who criticized Darwin were the Rev. John Stevens Henslow and Adam Sedgwick, both scientists who had taught Darwin at Cambridge. Brown called for a “rapprochement” between Christianity and Darwinism. CNN, Sept. 15, 2008
  • The Church of England has produced a series of web pages discussing Darwin’s contributions and the compatibility of his ideas with religion. Look up
  • On May 12, 800 people packed Westminster Abbey, where Charles Darwin is buried, for a debate “Did Darwin Kill God?” Denis Alexander of Cambridge was among the panelists, along with a Jew, an atheist, and an agnostic, exploring. the compatibility of belief in God and Darwinian evolution. On May 13, the stated at the end of its text, “And in case you’re wondering, when polled, the audience believed the answer was a clear no. Neither Darwin nor his theory have God’s blood on their hands.” It further quoted Darwin in a letter in 1879 to John Fordyce, “It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist and an evolutionist … In my most extreme fluctuations, I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God.” Darwin told the author William Graham in one of his last letters, “You have expressed my inward conviction that the Universe is not the result of chance.” 

Congratulations, Long-time Members! 

Celebrating 35 years of membership 

Edward B. Allen 

June A. Arnold 

Paul T. Arveson 

Allan W. Bjerkaas 

Hessel Bouma III 

Lloyd J. Davis 

Jan de Koning 

Dennis L. Eggleston 

Karl V. Evan

Dillard W. Faries 

Paul G. Harms 

D. Gareth Jones 

Michael MacKenzie 

Kenneth A. Martin 

Ruth C. Miles 

Arthur E. Nelson 

Sidney Niemeyer 

Gordon D. Simons, Jr. 

Jack C. Swearengen 

Daniel R. Tucker 

Steven P. Wilson 

John R. Wood 

Uko Zylstra 

The Newsletter of the ASA and CSCA is published bimonthly for its membership by the American Scientific Affiliation. Send Newsletter information to the Editors: David Fisher, 285 Cane Garden Cir., Aurora, IL 60504-2064. E-mail: and Margaret Towne, 8505 Copper Mountain Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89129. E-mail: Both receive e-mail through  

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Editors: David Fisher, Margaret Towne
Managing Editor:
Lyn Berg