of the
American Scientific Affiliation & Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation 

Volume 52, Number 4                                                                                                                                            JUL/AUG 2010 

Annual Meeting Update

DC_imageProgram chair Susan Daniels is pleased to announce Francis Collins, geneticist and author of Language of God, as a plenary speaker and Richard Potts, paleoanthropologist and curator of the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins in the Smithsonian, as a special guest lecturer at the 2010 Annual Meeting. They will give lectures on Saturday and Sunday nights, respectively. The full list of plenary speakers can be viewed on the ASA website. 

Annual Meeting Field Trips 

Executive Director Randy Isaac and Annual Meeting Local Arrangements Chair Paul Arveson recently visited the Catholic University of America. Larry Poos, dean of arts and sciences, and Ian Pegg, head of the physics department, took them to the vitreous state laboratory where radioactive waste is encapsulated in glass. Jennifer Wiseman gave them a tour of the Goddard Space Flight Center. These will be field trip options at the Annual Meeting as well as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Great Falls Gorge and C&O Canal Boat Ride, the Basilica of the National Shrine, and the National Arboretum. For more information about the meeting and to register, go to  

Ecumenical Roundtable 

The Ecumenical Roundtable on Faith, Science, and Technology (ERT) has had an exhibit at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting the past eighteen years. At this year’s meeting, Feb. 19–22 in San Diego, ASA Executive Director Randy Isaac and ASA members Jackie Allen and Rob Bridges staffed the exhibit. It provided an opportunity for Christian witness to the scientific community, stimulating many conversations. 

The ERT met for their Annual Meeting in Cleveland April 28–May 1 as guests of the United Church of Christ. We thank Sara Miles for the following summary: 

The ERT is composed of representatives from the Episcopal Church (EC), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), and the United Church of Christ (UCC) who are interested in issues of Christian faith, science, and technology. There were approximately 40 people in attendance. ASA members included Karl Evans and George Murphy both from the ELCA, and Sara Miles and Charlie Reece, who are Presbyterians. 

The denominational boards dealing with faith, science, and technology met the first day to deal with issues specific to their efforts and to discuss ecumenical matters. The next day, Deirdre Hainsworth from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary gave a presentation titled “Technology in a Transformed Context for Ministry,” and Eric Juengst from Case Western Reserve University gave a talk entitled “Living with the Grain: We Wanted the Genomic Code: We’ve Got it: Now … What Do We Do with It?” John Albright (ELCA), Christie Holland (UCC), Charlie Reece (PCUSA), and Joe O’Neil (EC) gave very informative presentations on “Breaking Science,” explaining the “cutting edge” of science in their respective fields. 

There was a worship service consisting of a liturgical service in jazz format. The comments on that service were overwhelmingly positive. 

Next year the Episcopalians will host the ERT at the Episcopal Church Center of Utah in Salt Lake City from April 27–30. The foci of the meeting will include climate change, biodiversity, food systems, and water systems. 

Using Science to Help the Poor 

Martin Price has completed the revised version of “Using Science to Help the Poor” and makes it available on the Website of ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization), a not-for-profit organization that he established. The new edition contains numerous navigation helps to get rapidly from one part of the large document to another. The best way to access it is via the Technical Notes page at

As senior agricultural scientist and founding CEO of ECHO, Martin also announces that the 17th annual ECHO Agriculture Conference will be held in Fort Myers, FL, December 7–9, followed by an optional workshop on December 10. Additional information is available by e-mailing or phoning 239-543-3246. 

The Executive Director’s Corner 

Randall D. Isaac 

Your response to the ASA Opinion Survey on origins was outstanding. With a 60% response rate from the 88% of members who were sent a survey request, 53% of you submitted a response. Many of you gave helpful suggestions for improving the survey and recommending clarification of certain terms. Despite the limitations, we can learn several things. 

First of all, we are indeed an organization of diverse opinions, drawn together by our unity in Christ. No one in the ASA should ever feel uncomfortable for holding to a minority opinion. This survey should never be used to try to consolidate opinions but only to understand the spectrum that exists. 

The first question indicates that about 85% believe there is credible scientific evidence for an old earth and nearly two-thirds find that the biological theory of evolution is scientifically credible. Only 40% feel there is evidence for the origin of life from nonliving sources and less than 30% see evidence that consciousness or human behavior can be explained on an evolutionary basis. Less than 7% acknowledge any evidence for multiverses. These results indicate that a majority of our members are reasonably comfortable with the mainstream scientific understanding of origins but that we have enough diversity to enable fruitful dialog. 

Responses to the second question show that there is no consensus on the interpretation of Adam and Eve in the biblical account. None of the provided responses received significantly more than 10% support while 30% indicated it was ambiguous and another 12% provided written comments of clarification. It is no wonder that integration of science with biblical perspectives is problematic when we aren’t sure what we are integrating. This is an area that warrants considerably more focus in the future. 

The demographic questions gave some insight into the ASA membership. Biology, physics, and chemistry understandably dominate the disciplines, but there is a reasonable representation from other areas. Some areas that are under-represented include anthropology/archeology, engineering, sociology, and theology. 

The age distribution indicates that we need to continue to focus on the needs of the younger generation, one of the founding goals of the ASA. It is understandable that our membership leans toward the later ages. One’s top priorities should be God, family, church, and career, not necessarily always in that order, before time spent with an organization like ASA. In early career, the time pressure of those four responsibilities is intensive, and often it isn’t until retirement and/or the empty nest syndrome before time can be devoted to ASA activities. Nevertheless, it is vital that we make a special effort to include students and early career scientists, and especially women, in our focus, to support them as Christians in science. 

We plan to conduct several more surveys in coming months on various topics. We will keep them very short. Your continued participation is important so that we can better focus our resources. 

Welcome, New Members!
April–May 2010 

Andersen, Ellie –Iowa City, IA 

Barber, Joshua –Farmington, CT 

Bergin, Aine M. –Riverside, CA 

Boyer, Leah S. –Harrisonburg, VA 

Bradley, James –Grand Rapids, MI 

Brandsma, Jordyn B. –Lacombe, AB, Canada 

Brannan, Daniel K. –Abilene, TX 

Breems, Nick –Sioux Center, IA 

Brown, Polly A. –Philadelphia, PA 

Bruulsema, Jody T. –Hamilton, ON, Canada 

Buchholz, James R. –Redlands, CA 

Bucklew, Tara –Shillington, PA 

Clark, Kelly J. –Grand Rapids, MI 

Cutherell, Caleb –Hayes, VA 

Duggan, Matt –Matthews, NC 

Etherington, Ben –Antioch, IL 

Funk, Cornelius J. –Siloam Springs, AR 

Gendy, Amir A. –Cairo, Egypt 

Graybeal Jr., Frank R. –Fuqua-Varina, NC 

Harper, Paul E. –Grand Rapids, MI 

Hellmann, Jennifer K. –Trappe, PA 

Hess, Peter M. –Berkeley, CA 

Hine, Jason N. –Yucaipa, CA 

Holdrich, Emma –Bethesda, MD 

Huddleston, Matthew M. –Nashville, TN 

Leckrone, David S. –Silver Spring, MD 

Lee, Benjamin R. –Minot, ND 

Lee, Benjamin G. –Golden, CO 

Lewis, Crystal A. –Mill Valley, CA 

Manley, Barry –Coventry, RI 

Matheson, Stephen F. –Grand Rapids, MI 

McLeod, Michael –Langley, BC, Canada 

Meade, Christopher –Wilmette, IL 

Milligan, Jonathan –Naperville, IL 

Moulton Sr., Richard W. –Maitland, FL 

Nelson, Edward H. –Houston, TX 

Neufeldt, Terrence W. –Langley, BC, Canada 

Niboh, Martin –Bransom, MO 

Noble, Sarah M. –Mobile, AL 

Richmond, Timothy A. –Hillsboro, KS 

Sansbury, Tim –Wellington, FL 

Schwager, Randall –Colorado Springs, CO 

Shay, Dan –Ormond Beach, FL 

Snow, Timothy C. –Lorton, VA 

Song, Joshua J. –Naperville, IL 

Stephens, Melinda R. –Beaver Falls, PA 

Swaim, Anne H. –Chappaqua, NY 

Taylor, James E. –Santa Barbara, CA 

Tolson, Joel D. –Dallas, TX 

Unterholzner, Stephan W. –Manteca, CA 

van Dijk, Wytse –Hamilton, ON, Canada 

Vos, Matthew S. –Chickamauga, GA 

Wargula, Anna –North East, PA 

Wessels, Katrina –Decatur, IL 

Whitney, Heather M. –Smyrna, TN 

Younkin, Morgan –St Louis, MD 

Futuristic Medicine 

“Don’t wait for an organ donation— grow your own.” That claim emerged from the Technology, Entertainment, Design Medicine conference held in San Diego in April. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, elaborates that cells from an organ to be replaced are put into nutrients, where they multiply and create a “soup.” The “soup” of cells is “painted” on a form or scaffolding in the shape of an organ and placed into an incubator. As one example, he claims a new bladder grows in about six weeks, a precursor to FDA approval. 

Jewish World Review says, “This could spell the end of transplant organ shortages and, because they use the patient’s own tissue, make organ rejection a thing of the past.” 

When we asked Francis Collins for his evaluation, he replied, “The article touches on some interesting areas of research advance, but little of this will be practical in less than a decade. And I believe the death rate will remain at one per person for the foreseeable future!” 

Robotic Nurses 

The iRobot Company, currently manufacturing robotic vacuum cleaners, is working on creating a robotic nurse. The goal is a helper strong enough to carry Grandma up stairs, but gentle enough to hand her medication at the right time. If Grandma doesn’t answer the phone, the robot could roam the house, looking for her. 

Empathy Heals 

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health have found that patients of doctors who expressed empathy had a cold one day less than those whose physicians deal just with the facts. They also found that the doctors’ empathy boosted the immune systems of patients (Harvey Black, Scientific American Mind (Nov/Dec 2009): 10). Apparently, it does help when others are concerned and give love and prayers! 

Shapiro Presents “A Third Way” 

Stating that the discovery of the double helix was to biology what quantum mechanics was to physics, University of Chicago biochemist and molecular biologist James A. Shapiro spoke to a capacity audience Jan. 22 at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL. He said, “Forget what your mother taught you about evolution. If she was a creationist, evolutionary science is far from exhausted. If she was a Darwinist who believed everything was basically solved by 1940, then you’re in for some surprises.” He proposed a “third way” between what he calls “neo-Darwinian orthodoxy” and creationism, calling it “natural genetic engineering.” 

Among other points, Shapiro said the genome has read/write memory, not read-only as was once thought. Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock had called the genome “a highly sensitive organ of the cell that monitors genomic activities and corrects common errors, senses unusual and unexpected events, and responds to them, often by restructuring the genome.” Such restructuring can be triggered by various stimuli or stresses—such as chromosome breaks, hormones, starvation, antibiotics, oxidants, pressure, temperature, and wounding. 

Sudden Surges 

Shapiro stressed that the resultant changes are not gradual and do not involve single genes, but need to be observed from a cognitive systems perspective. He sees four kinds of rapid, multicharacter changes Darwin could not have imagined: (1) There are more cell types and cell fusions in evolution than we knew before the 1970s; (2) DNA can be transferred horizontally in evolution, not only inherited vertically from parents; (3) Genome doublings occur at key steps of eukaryotic evolution; and (4) There is a built-in mechanism of genetic change, “natural genetic engineering.” 

He criticized prohibitions against teleological or anthropic explanations, implying that such restrictions hinder the search for deeper understanding of the issues. 

Micro v. Macro 

An audience member asked, “Isn’t macroevolution basically microevolution expanded onto a long time scale?” Shapiro answered no, “Macroevolution … refers to when we have a major change in the nature of the organism. So when a eukaryotic cell (a cell with a nucleus) appears, as clearly the fusion of something plus a bacterium, that’s macroevolution. When a chordate changes into a vertebrate, that’s macroevolution … When one kind of plant changes into a flowering plant and the genome doubles at the same time, that’s what I would consider a macroevolutionary change.” By contrast, “When a butterfly changes the pigment on its wings so it doesn’t get predated when it’s sitting on a city wall, that’s microevolution. So I think the two changes can be distinguished from each other.” 

He added, “… it turns out that … these are sudden events. They can’t occur over many cell generations and many organism generations. They must occur within a single generation. Big changes can happen suddenly. How that all works we don’t know yet, but we have to recognize that it must work suddenly and try and figure out what are the control processes and how does the complexity of the living cell allow these things to happen.” 

St. John’s Bible at Mayo Clinic 

People come to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, from around the world to seek help from medical experts. On April 28, this healing organization displayed copies of the Wisdom Books, Prophets, and Psalms of the recently handwritten St. John’s Bible (see the May/June ASA Newsletter for more details on this special calligraphed Bible). This was a first among healing organizations, but others have followed. 

Collins Receives Prize 

The 10th Annual Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research was given on April 23 to David Botstein, director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University; Eric Steven Lander, president and director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; and Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. This prize “serves to encourage and recognize extraordinary and sustained contributions to improving health care and promoting innovative biomedical research.” The three winners, who share the $500,000 prize, were recognized for their “profound insights that led to the mapping of the human genetic blueprint—a revolutionary development that dramatically expanded our knowledge of human disease” (Albany Medical Center press release, March 10, 2010). 

Collins is declining the cash for conflict-of-interest reasons. Science (March 19, 2010) quotes him saying, “… so you could say I’m a cheap date, but I’m having a great time” (p. 1433). 

Laser Anniversary 

A special May 8 issue of Science News celebrated the 50th anniversary of the laser. The ten-page article by Ron Cowen gave a deep historical overview titled “Inventing the Light Fantastic.” It included photos of those who led the research in this technology, including Charles Townes

In 1951, Townes described how ammonia gas can emit radio waves, laying the groundwork for the maser (the microwave version-counterpart of the laser). In 1958, he and his brother-in-law, Arthur Schawlow, published a paper describing the principles of the optical maser (now called the laser). In 1964 Townes, with Nikolai Basov and Aleksandr Prokhorov, won the Nobel Prize. 

The article included details of how lasers work, a time line of how they came to be, and a survey of the many ways they are used today. This issue also included a full-page interview (and additional photo) with Charles Townes. He shared information on his life, growing up on a small farm in Greenville, SC. He taught at Columbia University while working on this technology in the 1950s. Townes continues to be active in research at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Another Anniversary 

On May 5, 1925 (85 years ago), schoolteacher John T. Scopes was charged in Tennessee with violating a state law that prohibited teaching the theory of evolution. Scopes was found guilty, but his conviction was later set aside. The “Scopes Monkey Trial” was a major trial of the 20th century. 

God and Technology 

On May 24, 1844, Samuel F. B. Morse transmitted the message, “What hath God wrought,” from Washington, DC, to Baltimore as he opened America’s first telegraph line. 

Religion on the Moon! 

Many of us were not aware that on July 20, 1969, astronaut Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon. He and Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module 250,000 miles from Earth. Buzz, an elder at his Presbyterian Church in Texas, had his minister consecrate a communion wafer and a small vial of communion wine before he left Earth. Buzz said, 

I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). 

Buzz said it was interesting that the first liquid and first food consumed on the moon were the communion elements. Also, some of the first words spoken on the moon were the words of Jesus Christ, who created the Earth and moon! Some months after his return, Buzz wrote about this in Guideposts magazine. This was from an article by Eric Metaxas. 

Discord among Dawkins’ Disciples 

The Times of London reported, “Richard Dawkins is accustomed to provoking the wrath of religious communities, but now a schism seems to have opened up within the atheist community who make up his fan-base.” A February 26 article entitled “Outraged atheists lose faith in Dawkins as he censors website” reported, “The split occurred after he announced that a discussion section on his website … would in future be tightly moderated and ‘irrelevant postings and frivolous gossip’ would no longer be allowed.” 

Dawkins expressed irritation over criticism of his personal appearance, with critics using terms bordering on obscenity. Dawkins reacted, “Surely there has to be something wrong with people who can resort to such over-the-top language …” 

With 85,000 online fans, the website uses 15 moderators. A former moderator summarizes, “A lot of people have lost respect for Dawkins after this, although I do still support the work that he does.” Details are at

God Shares Insights through Science 

Twenty years ago the Hubble Space telescope was launched. It has opened a new view on the heavens and has triggered revisions of our conception of the cosmos. Many Christians in science marvel at the creation and feel they learn about the Creator from studying the creation. From Hubble’s observations we have learned that the universe’s age is 13.75 billion years. Tom Siegfried, Editor in Chief, Science News, observed in the April 10 issue,

Hubble provided key clues to a surprising acceleration in the cosmic expansion rate, leading astronomers to surmise the presence of a mysterious dark energy infusing every stitch of space. Astonished scientists had to rethink their views on the universe’s history and ultimate fate. 

This relates to Psalm 19:1–4. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”  

Faith/Science Symposium 

The Hill Country Institute for Contemporary Christianity ( is presenting a symposium “The Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science,” Oct. 26–28 in Austin, TX, to educate pastors, Christian leaders, scientists, and skeptics in “How Science Supports Christianity and Christianity Explains Science.” Scheduled speakers are Dan Heinze, Hugh Ross, Fazale Rana, Darrell Falk, Walter Bradley, Deborah Haarsma, Stephen Meyer, Ross Hastings, Rob Norris, Dinesh D’Souza, Andy Crouch, and Alister McGrath (via video). It is being held Tuesday–Thursday to make it more accessible to those working in churches. They expect 1,000–2,000 attendees. The ASA is one of the co-sponsors. See

Facebook Friends 

“Many Christians are among those eagerly embracing Facebook and other social media. Teched-up trendwatchers for Jesus see new ways to evangelize, to grow churches and link people within churches, to build community online; they don’t doubt that the Holy Spirit has an app for that. Pope Benedict XVI recently enthused, ‘The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more St. Paul’s proclamation: Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.’” Julie Polter, “Just Friends,” Sojourners (April 2010): 37. 

Ehlers’ Photo 

On May 9, The Las Vegas Review Journal had a photo of Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Michgan) taking part in a news conference on Capitol Hill, discussing the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act. This act grants rebates to people who renovate their homes to save energy including installing new insulation, windows, or doors, or other measures that reduce energy consumption. 

Religion and Health 

The 3rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Spirituality, Theology & Health was sponsored by the Duke University Medical Center, June 16–18, in Durham, NC. Titled “Religion and Health: Interdisciplinary Engagement and Interpretation,” it brought together multidisciplinary scholars and interested physicians, clergy, chaplains, nurses, and lay persons from all over the USA and many parts of the world. They discussed the latest research and entertained many questions. Keynote speaker Rabbi Marc A. Gellman spoke on “Walking the Mending Wall: Healing the Breaches between Religion and Medicine.” David Moberg, Berton H. Kaplan Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, presented “Expanding Horizons for Spirituality Research and Its Applications”; Tracy Balboni, “Reintegrating Care for the Dying, Body and Soul”; Neal Krause, “Religion, Humility and Health in Late Life”; and Veena Das, “Wounds on the Soul: Illness, Intimacy and Difficulty of Reality.” 

Collins Article 

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, authored an article in the May 23 Parade magazine titled “AIDS in 2010: How We’re Living With HIV.” They note that in the past two decades, more than two dozen transformative drugs have been developed that can give HIV-positive people life until 70 years or beyond. They maintain that 2.7 million people become infected around the world with HIV each year (56,000 in the USA), and prevention is the key to defeating this disease. It can be transmitted by sex, sharing needles and syringes, and from mother to child at birth or through breast milk, as well as by blood. 

Many people do not know they have HIV (one in five in the US) and can be inadvertently spreading it. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone between 13 and 64 be tested. There is still no cure for HIV, but researchers’ ultimate goal is to develop an effective vaccine. 

This Space Reserved … 

to report what you’re doing. Please send the information to either editor, using the contact information in the box on page 2. 

Houston Event 

Francisco Ayala (recent Templeton Award winner) and George V. Coyne, Jesuit priest and noted astronomer, were at the Museum of Natural Science in Houston, TX, on April 27 giving a talk sponsored by the Center for Faith and Culture at the University of St. Thomas. They covered items from cosmology to genetics. Ayala said that evolution and genetics show the handiwork of God. The audience was large, including university students, clergy (both Catholic and Protestant), and even children! 
* Scott Robinson, ASA OK-TX Section newsletter (May 7, 2010). 

Seminaries Sponsor Science/Religion Lectures 

Workshops included Zimmerman’s “The Scientific Foundations of Evolution,” law professor James Beattie’s “Creation, Evolution, Intelligent Design and the Courts,” and Old Testament professor Rodney Hutton’s “Dragons and Chaos: The Significance of Biblical Creation Accounts.” 

The seminary’s program is designed for 144 participants from 72 Christian faith communities. Each community will send a scientist and a theologian to participate in a five-day program focusing on questions of origins and human nature. Participants will then choose from a series of three-day and one-day events that focus on different facets of these questions, including topics such as evolution in both cosmology and biology, and cognitive science, neuroscience, and the human person. They then will return to their communities equipped to further the dialogue between science and theology. 

Benefits of Church 

The Nov/Dec issue of BBC Knowledge, p. 61, states that weekly attendance at religious services may be associated with two to three additional years of life, according to a 2002 study from the University of California, Berkeley. The study found that nonchurchgoers have a 21% risk of dying sooner than their pious peers. The authors suggest it may be their social networks at church, rather than spirituality as such, that is tipping the odds in their favor. See

This same journal, p. 61, states that studies have linked singing with a lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and reduced stress. A study from George Washington University in Washington, DC, showed that elderly people involved in a choir had significant health improvements, including fewer doctor visits, less depression, fewer falls, and the need for less medication than those in the control group. See

Ethical Concerns 

In its May 3, 2010 issue, Presbyterian Outlook included an article on p. 7 titled “Churches in Scotland concerned about human egg ‘auctions.’” It stated “A senior member of the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland, backed by a Roman Catholic counterpart, has raised strong concerns around the practice of ‘auctioning’ and selling human eggs for in vitro fertilization treatment. 

‘The sale of human eggs favors the commoditization of human parts—human eggs should not be in a shopping basket on the same level as a grocery item,’ said Ian Galloway, convener of the denomination’s Church and Society Council.” He said, “Just as it’s wrong to buy and sell human beings, it is wrong to buy and sell human eggs.” 

Holy Surgical Side Effect 

“People of many religious faiths share the belief that there is a reality that transcends their personal experience. Now, a study with brain cancer patients hints at brain regions that may regulate this aspect of spiritual thinking. The researchers found that some patients who had surgery to remove part of the parietal cortex became more prone to ‘self-transcendence.’” See Science (Feb. 19, 2010): 931. 

Heretic to Hero 

On May 22, 2010, nearly 500 years after he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave, astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was recognized as a hero. Polish soldiers stood beside his coffin in the cathedral in Frombork, northern Poland. Owen Gingerich attended the burial. In the 16th century, Copernicus’ findings were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical. Now the church recognizes his significant accomplishments and reburied him as a hero. Las Vegas Review Journal (May 23, 2010). 


The May/June newsletter had an article on page 4 titled “Nelson Debates an Atheist.” We stand corrected that Andrew Petto, who was with Paul Nelson at Waubonsee College in February, is not an atheist, and we apologize for this error. Petto does not deny the existence of God. A better title would have been: “Nelson and Petto Discuss ID,” and we have changed the May/June issue in the on-line archive, to reflect that title. 

Congratulations, Long-time ASA Members! 

Celebrating 35 years of membership 

Moorad Alexanian 

Wayne E. Baisley 

David T. Barnard 

Douglas A. Bulthuis 

Bruce E. Buttler 

Dorothy F. Chappell 

Heinrich E. Erbes 

Larry L. Funck 

Earl W. Godfrey 

Gerald D. Hess 

Donald H. Kobe 

Charles E. Melbye 

Sara J. Miles 

Steven R. Musterman 

Ronald T. Myers 

Richard M. Rodebaugh 

Willard H. Roundy Jr 

Jeff Schloss 

David G. Seiler 

Michael J. Sonnenberg 

Stuart Swenson 

Robert B. Taylor 

Alan E. Van Antwerp 

Kurt A. Wood 

With the Lord 

Jack Sparks died February 8 at age 82. He was born Dec. 3, 1928, growing up on a tenant farm in Indiana. He earned a BS and played football at Purdue and received his MA (1951) and PhD (1960) from the University of Iowa. In 1952 he was drafted into the Army. He was hired by the University of Northern Colorado as Professor of Applied Statistics and the Director of Research Design. In 1965 he became a Professor of Psychology at Penn State. He and his wife, Esther, had four children, Stephen, Robert, Ruth, and Jonathan. In 1967 he took an assignment with Campus Crusade for Christ in Arrowhead Springs, CA. His family began an eight-year ministry to students and street people at the University of California, Berkeley. A new body of believers was operating as the Christian World Liberation Front. In 1977 he and Esther moved to Santa Barbara and began the St. Anthanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology. He said, “From that time it has been the center around which my life and work has revolved.” He was ordained into the Orthodox Priesthood in 1987. 

Jack was the author of many books including Letters to Street Christians, God’s Forever Family, The Mind Benders, The Resurrection Letters, St. Irenaeus’ the Preaching of the Apostles, and Victory in the Unseen Warfare. He was the editor of The Apostolic Fathers and wrote many booklets, poems, articles, and short stories. One of his major projects was the Orthodox Study Bible. 

Jack and his wife moved to Alaska in 2004 to be near their children and grandchildren. He would get up at 5 a.m. to go to the church office. He never officially retired and was active until his death. 

Coming Events 

July 6–17. International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism & Human Rights, Strasbourg, France. A unique opportunity to defend historic biblical faith in an increasingly secular age devoid of a solid basis for human rights. Details at

July 7–11. “God and Physics” and celebration of John Polkinghorne’s 80th birthday. Oxford, UK. Sponsored by the Ian Ramsey Centre and the International Society for Science and Religion. Robert J. Russell will be among the speakers. Details at Contact:

July 11–17. “Stories, Scrolls and Archaeology: The Biblical World Brought to Life,” Summer Vacation Seminar on Bible Archaeology, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN. (507) 786-2222. Information at or call the Biblical Archaeology Society at 1-800-221-4644, ext. 208. 

July 15–17. “Beyond Therapy: Exploring Enhancement and Human Features.” Trinity International U. Deerfield, IL. William Cheshire Jr. and Michael Sleasman are among the plenary speakers. See or contact Jennifer McVey at or (847) 317-4095.

July 15–17. “Christ, Culture & the Academy,” a Christian worldview conference with a global vision, Kansas City, MO. Co-sponsored by International Institute for Christian Studies and Christian Studies International of Canada. Details at

July 19–23. Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health workshops. See or contact Harold Koenig at

July 30–Aug. 2. ASA Annual Meeting. “Science, Faith and Public Policy,” Catholic U. of America, Washington, DC. Details at

Aug. 5–8. “The Idea of a University: From John Henry Newman to the Multiversity and Beyond.” Symposium sponsored by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research led by Oskar Gruenwald, Hilton Hotel, Pasadena, CA.

Aug. 16–20. Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health workshops. See July 19–23 above. 

Aug. 25–28. Christian Veterinary Missions 9th Annual Short Course, Kansas City, MO. Sessions on enhancing Christian witness in the workplace, how to be effective on a short-term trip, sharing faith cross-culturally, how to discern if you are being called to long-term service, ethnographic research, etc. See or contact Kit Flowers at 

Sept. 20–Oct. 2. Biblical Archaeology Society tour: “Legendary Turkey: Following in the Footsteps of Paul.” Information at or call 1-800-221-4644, ext. 208. 

Oct. 4–Jan. 3. Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretative Center, Moorhead, MN. Parts of St. John’s Bible written by calligraphers. 

Oct. 18–Nov. 14. Avera McKennan Hospital, Cancer Institute, Sioux Falls, SD. St. John’s Bible. 

Oct. 17–19. KANUGA, an Episcopal Center, Hendersonville, NC, “Sustainability: A Matter of Faith.” Moral reasons for addressing climate change; link between faith and the environment. See or call (828) 692-9136. 

Oct. 21–Nov. 5. Biblical Archaeology Society tour “From Petra to Palmyra: Visiting Syria, Antioch and Jordan.” Where Paul traveled in Turkey. Information at

Oct. 26–28. “The Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science,” a symposium for pastors, Christian leaders, and scientists. Austin, TX. Contact Scott Robinson See article Faith/Science Symposium. 

Nov. 4. Princeton Theological Seminary, “The Lab and the Pew: The Place of Science in Pastoral Ministry.” Presented by Ted Peters, prof. of systematic theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. 

Nov. 19–21. Bible and Archaeology Fest XIII, Atlanta, GA. Information at

Dec. 7–9. The 17th annual ECHO Agriculture Conference, Fort Myers, FL, followed by an optional workshop on Dec. 10. Contact Martin Price, or phone 239-543-3246 or 239-567-3323. 

Jan. 23–30. Biblical Archaeology Society Seminar at Sea, “Jesus, Judaism and Jewish-Christian Relations: Ancient Misunderstandings and Modern Consequences.” 1-800-221-4644, ext. 208. Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, to Bahamas, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk. 

March 31–Apr. 2. Conference hosted by the Shenandoah Anabaptist Science Society and Eastern Mennonite University. “Conversations on Attachment: Integrating the Science of Love & Spirituality.” See

Braband Champions “Creation Care” 

As a Christian and a wildlife biologist at Cornell, Lynn Braband has often encountered the perspective, both professionally and in church, that Scripture and environmental concerns are at odds. He addressed this topic in a commentary, “The Genesis Mandate Revisited,” in The Wildlife Professional (Spring 2010), a publication of The Wildlife Society. Braband briefly discussed (1) the charge that our Judeo-Christian heritage is the root of environmental problems, (2) the response of the church, (3) current Christian environmental organizations and efforts, and (4) the challenging resurgence of the science vs. religion paradigm. 

LynnBrabandOne of the journal’s editors commented in the associated blog: 

Religion and environmental conservation are two subjects that traditionally have shared little common ground. But Lynn Braband, an extension educator at Cornell University, forces us to take another look at how the two have overlapped, both historically and in a contemporary movement to link religious groups with the conservation movement. From Adam and Eve to Carl Sagan, Braband considers how a statement in the Bible’s Book of Genesis—which calls for people to “have dominion over … every living thing”—has trickled down to our society’s views about nature. Can conservation benefit from the involvement of religious groups? 

Wildlife Professional subscribers may read the article at or

New ASA Chapter 

On April 10, the Southern California Christians in Science chapter of the ASA was organized at a meeting hosted by Steve Blake, who is the designated contact. The chair is Tom Ferko; secretary, Stephen Contakes. Other ASAers signing the charter were Ken Lincoln, Bill Roundy, and Leslie Wickman. The group looks forward to enabling in-depth discussions and events on science and Christian faith in the southern California area. 

If you would like to form a chapter in your area, the ASA office will help you. This can be a very edifying, enriching, and enjoyable organization. 


July 30–August 2, 2010
The Catholic University of America
Washington, DC

July 29–August 1, 2011
North Central College
Naperville, IL
Jointly hosted by North Central and Wheaton Colleges

Newsletter Disclaimer 

As a newsletter, this publication presents news spanning a spectrum of activities, reports, and publications in order to keep readers abreast of a variety of events and views. Just as newspapers report statements made by people of various viewpoints and opinions without endorsing them, inclusion in this newsletter does not constitute or imply official ASA endorsement.  


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