of the
American Scientific Affiliation
Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation 

Volume 51, Number 2                                                                                                                    MAR/APR 2009 

Baylor University, Site of 2009 Annual Meeting 

Our Annual Meeting, “Exploring God’s World of Endless Wonder,” (Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord … 1 Chronicles 29:11b) will be at Baylor University in Waco, TX, July 31–Aug. 3. Baylor is the largest Baptist-affiliated research university in the world. 

BradleySchoolPictureFounded in 1845, it is the oldest, continually operating university in Texas. With almost 14,000 students, Baylor offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs. US News and World Report ranks Baylor tied for 75th place out of 248 national universities. Its students, faculty and staff volunteer more than 150,000 hours of local community service annually. Baylor’s motto is “Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana” (For Church, For Texas). 

The school mascot is the American black bear, and two bears live on campus! Baylor recently finished renovation of a bear habitat which includes a 13-foot waterfall, 3 pools, 2 dens, grass, and eye-level viewing so visitors can see the bears up close. This is a USDA licensed Class C Zoo. 

In 1841, 35 delegates to the Union Baptist Association accepted the suggestion of Rev. William Milton Tryon and District Judge R. E. B. Baylor (for whom the school was ultimately named) to establish a Baptist university in Texas. This was in Independence, TX. A few years later, Baylor became a male institution while women were educated at Baylor Female College. In 1885, Baylor moved to Waco and soon became co-educational once again. The university was desegregated in 1964. 

Although Baylor was founded as a teaching institution, research has long been an important part of its academic life. They recently completed construction of a 500,000 square foot science complex that will facilitate research on a variety of subjects. In 2005, the university joined the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) collaboration at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL, one of the world’s largest experimental physics collaborations. In 2006, the Carnegie Foundation upgraded Baylor’s classification to “Research University” status with “High Research Activity,” opening the door to many new research opportunities. 

We are pleased to have Walter Bradley (Mechanical Engineering) and Bill Jordan (Materials Engineering) making arrangements for our meeting. 

Kaita Elected to Executive Council 

Robert Kaita has been elected to the ASA Executive Council. As Principal Research Physicist in the Plasma Physics Laboratory and the Graduate kaita cropProgram in Plasma Physics at Princeton, he has authored or co-authored more than 300 publications. He is a Fellow of the American Physics Society and past president of the Princeton chapter of Sigma Xi. He has been research advisor for nearly two dozen doctoral students. 

Kaita joined the ASA in 1977 and has presented talks at several annual meetings and contributed to the ASA book Being a Christian in Science. He is active in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, including IVCF Faculty Ministries and Princeton IVCF Graduate Fellowship. He is a member of the Council of Academic and Educational Advisors for the Foundation for Thought and Ethics. 

Robert met his wife while singing in a church choir that she was conducting. He has served as deacon, Sunday school superintendent, and teacher of the college and career class. 

Vision for ASA 

Robert emphasizes the need for members to demonstrate the way they integrate their Christian belief with their careers. He wants to encourage partnerships between the ASA and organizations like IVCF and Faculty Commons of Campus Crusade for Christ, believing that this cooperation will be symbiotically beneficial to everyone involved. 

A 1995 issue of the ASA newsletter featured a more detailed article about Kaita and his research as of that date. It is available on-line at  

For Members Only—ASA Online 

We are pleased to announce our new ASA Online website for ASA and CSCA members. The website gives members access to the membership directory. Members can search the directory and update their own profile. Members who login can also view the current issue of PSCF online and peruse the results of the ASA survey that was done last summer. We plan to provide further features in the future. 

To get started, go to our website at and go to Members in the drop-down list under Home. Click on “Register Here” and use your email address, ASA ID number (from your address label or at the bottom of your email notice), and your last name. You will receive a password by email. Enter that password with your identification information on the ASA Member Verification page. Finally, you select your own secure password, and you are ready to proceed. 

If you don’t receive an email within a minute or two, it probably means spam filters have intercepted it. Send us a note at and we’ll provide it for you via another path. Next time you come to the login page, just enter your email address and password and you’ll be logged in. Sign up and let us know what you think! 

The Executive Director’s Corner

Randall D. Isaac

Networking! It’s the buzzword of today’s generation, a far cry from “plastics” in the middle of last century. Social networking software is one of the most popular segments of internet technology. Though our terminology has been a bit different, networking is also a primary goal of the ASA. The subtitle of our organization is a much clearer description of our function than our formal name. “Fellowship of Christians in science” indicates that a top priority for us is to facilitate networking among Christians with a vocation or interest in science. 

At the beginning of this year, the ASA took a significant step forward to enable networking among ASA members with the rollout of ASA Online. With this capability, all ASA and CSCA members can access the members-only features. Each member can update their own profile at My Profile which includes mailing address, contact information, and preferences for paper or electronic mailings. The current issue of our journal is available at the PSCF link before it is posted for the public. The results of our survey last year are also available for viewing. 

Of considerable value to our networking function is the membership directory. The ASA has published a membership directory every five years or so in the last few decades. Now the directory will be available only online. It will be updated daily so that addresses and contact information will be much more accurate than in the printed versions. The online directory, authorized for use solely by ASA members for networking purposes, gives you the opportunity to find other ASA members in your geographical region, in your discipline, your institution, or other common characteristic. The search results can be downloaded for you to use for ASA-related purposes, which is broadly interpreted to mean fellowship among Christians in science. 

The effectiveness of our database is only as good as the quality of the data. Much of our data regarding discipline or institution is out-of-date or missing. We have also added new fields to help us collect more useful information. To make this work, we need each of you to login and update your own profile, adding key information such as your discipline, your specialty, and your status at your current institution. See “For Members Only—ASA Online,” p. 1, for specifics on how to register. 

What else can you do at ASA Online? Three of our affiliates, ACG (Affiliation of Christians in Geology), ACB (Affiliation of Christians in Biology), and CEST (Christian Engineers and Scientists in Technology) have periodic newsletters and communications. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to these communications in the “My Profile” part of ASA Online. 

Do you prefer paper copies of the newsletter or ballots? You can select your preference on ASA Online. Other options will be made available as they are implemented. In the future, we plan to add more unique opportunities for you to contribute and participate in website communications. We also value your feedback. Let us know what you think about this capability and tell us what we can do to make it more useful. 

One of our goals at ASA is to encourage Christians in science to demonstrate the unity of the body of Christ while respecting our differences of opinion in how to relate our vocation with our faith. We need each other to help us grow and be a witness in our world. We want to provide you with the means of getting in touch with each other and sharing your ideas. See you online! 


Welcome, New Members!
December 2008–January 2009 

Bergman, Rolf S. –Cleveland Heights, OH 

Cantoni Ibarra, Felix A. –Cundinamarca, Colombia 

Crosby, Kevin L. –Friendswood, TX 

Decker, Jr., Edward E. –Tulsa, OK 

Dobson, Shannon H. –Simpsonville, SC 

Funk II, Kenneth G. –Corvallis, OR 

Haegert, Melissa J. –Muskegon, MI 

Hamre, Alyssa –Plymouth, MN 

Junker, Meredith S. –Baldwin, WI 

Kim, ChangkyuBrooklyn, NY 

Levine, Benjamin P. –Lexington, MA 

Lockridge, Jeffrey S. –Mesa, AZ 

Michonova-Alexova, Ekaterina –Due West, SC 

Nakamura, Morris K. –Northridge, CA 

Nave, Jessica L. –Oklahoma City, OK 

Phelps, Bruce H. –Clayton, CA 

Scherpelz, Kathryn –Chicago, IL 

Scherpelz, Peter –Chicago, IL 

Sorant, Alexa J. –Sparks, MD 

Sytsma, Louis F. –Palo Heights, IL 

Tallman, Frederick E. –Northfield Falls, VT 

Trainer, Neil –Shoreline, WA 

Wakefield, John K. –McGregor, TX 

Wood, David A. –Orlando, FL 

Yorgey, Brent A. –Philadelphia, PA 

Long-time Members! 

Celebrating 45 years of membership 

J. Philip Bays 

Sture R. Bengtson 

Graham D. Gutsche 

George W. Harrison 

D. Wayne Linn 

Harold F. Winters 

“OUT OF THIS WORLD” Plenary Speakers 

Former astronaut Charles Duke will be one of the plenary speakers at our Annual Meeting. As Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 16, he was the tenth man to walk on the moon. 

Baylor_Page_07Other plenary speakers include: 

  • Perla Manapol, president of a Philippine NGO that provides livelihood for more than 700 families by processing products from coconuts, 
  • Mario Beauregard, Associate Professor, Departments of Radiology and Psychology, Université de Montréal and author of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul, 
  • James Tour, Chao Professor of Chemistry, Rice University, 2008 NASA Space Act Award recipient, specialist in nanotechnology, 
  • Robin Collins, Professor of Philosophy, Messiah College, author of more than 25 articles on a spectrum of philosophical issues related to science, and 
  • Robert Mann, Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, and past president of the Canadian Christian and Scientific Affiliation. 

Details at

Following Christ Conference 

Last December 28–31, nine ASA members attended the Following Christ Conference in Chicago, InterVarsity’s triennial conference for graduate students, faculty, and professionals. Its purpose was to help those people flourish as followers of Christ and as leaders in their fields and to equip them to help others flourish. Robin Hayes, a chemistry post-doc at NYU oversaw the ASA booth. Jennifer Wiseman, Dwight Schwartz, Jack Swearengen, and Walter Bradley gave talks or hosted a session. Terry Morrison, David Vosberg, Gregory Hartman, and J. Phillip Bays also attended. The theme was “Human Flourishing: What it truly is, what’s wrong when it is absent, and how God is calling us to both model and multiply it.” 

Jack Swearengen’s presentation was “Human Flourishing: Technological Ministers of Reconciliation” based on his book, Beyond Paradise, with updates. He noted that technology is a gift from God—with responsibilities and limits. In the technological culture that we have developed, discipleship requires that we acknowledge the fall from grace and God’s reconciliation program. It is especially important to understand that the Fall occurred in four dimensions: spiritual, social, environmental, and psychological. Technology can help us respond to the scriptural mandates and pursue shalom; but we must prepare for outcomes that were not design objectives. With luck, the unintended outcomes will be serendipitous—happy surprises—but more often the surprises will be negative. However, neither rejecting technology (Luddism, technophobia), nor uncritical acceptance (technophilia) would be biblical. Scripture does provide guidelines for assessing and steering the enterprise. And while we are about it, the ultimate counter-project to the negative social and spiritual impacts of technology is that we be community. 

Walter Bradley talked on “How God Redirected My Career toward Science and Technology in Service of the Poor” in a track for Engineering and Technology. This showed the wonderful possibilities for Christians in science and engineering to minister to the physical and economic needs of poor people who are very underserved by technology as part of a holistic ministry in the name of Jesus Christ. He shared how God called and led him into this area in recent years and illustrated some of the exciting projects he is presently involved in with his students. 

Visit to China 

Wheaton physics prof. Joseph Spradley spent the month of October in Jinan, China, at the University of Shandong. He presented a lecture series on the history of science and religion at their Institute of Religion, Science and Social Studies, the first such institute in China. Visits from members of the institute faculty and electronic copies of his book, Visions That Shaped the Universe, provided a basis for the course. Six master’s degree students and six PhD students were in the class. They were very open to learning about relationships between Christianity and science. 

Joe went to China under Educational Resources and Referrals-China (, which assists with placements of Christian teachers in China. On a visit to Beijing, he lectured at the University of Peking and attended the Templeton-sponsored New Vision 400 Conference celebrating the 400th anniversary of the invention of the telescope. He met Robert Mann, Jennifer Wiseman, and Dorothy Chappell. See p. 5, “Telescope” to learn more about this special celebration. 

Presidential Address 

Michael Wanous, Chair, Natural Science Division, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD, was president of the South Dakota Academy of Science in 2007/08 and gave a presidential address “Evolution and Faith: Complementary or Conflicting Visions?” at SD State University in Brookings, SD, in April 2007. It can be downloaded at  

Michael juxtaposed statements such as Dawkins saying, “I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented,” contrasting it with Gould’s observation, “Science can work only with naturalistic explanations; it can neither affirm nor deny other types of actors (like God) in other spheres (the moral real, for example).” Michael concluded with a call for less conflict and confusion by seeing the “two books” of God’s revelation as complementary rather than conflicting. His address was inspired by Francis Collins’ book, The Language of God

Michael’s doctorate was in genetics. In 2004/05 he was on sabbatical in Norwich, England, doing research on wheat genetics at the John Innes Center. His wife works with refugee families and they have two children, 19 and 16. 

ASAer Wins Special Award 

MacwaySarahAssociate Prof. Charles Kankelborg, a solar physicist at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. It is the highest award the US government gives to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their careers. Charles and 66 other recipients received the award on Dec. 19, at a ceremony at the Old Executive Building on White House grounds. 

Charles has developed novel solar instruments and has mentored undergraduate and graduate students. John H. Marburger III, Science Advisor to President Bush, wrote: 

Your discoveries and intellectual leadership provide an example to your colleagues and to succeeding generations and will help shape the future. Our nation applauds your accomplishments and expectantly awards your future contributions. 

Kankelborg said, 

I should have known something was coming when the Office of Science and Technology Policy wrote me several months ago, informing me that they were performing an FBI background check. 

This award gives Charles a two-year extension on one of his research grants. He was one of three recipients nominated by NASA. Former astronaut Loren Acton brought Charles to Montana State University as a postdoc to work on a solar mission called TRACE (Transition Region and Coronal Explorer). Because of the impending TRACE launch, in 1998 Charles and his wife, Carol, moved to Maryland for an 8-month stint at Goddard Space Flight Center. While they were there, their daughter, Emma, was born. TRACE is still operational, returning the highest-resolution observations of the solar corona that are available on a regular basis. 

In recent years Charles has focused on a mission called MOSES (multi-order solar extreme ultraviolet spectrograph). He prepared optical instruments that were launched on a NASA rocket on Feb. 8, 2006, above New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range and ended in about 15 minutes. The rocket carried a 1,000-pound payload built at MSU, 175 miles into space. They gathered high-resolution images from a broad section of the sun. Another MOSES launch, with new instruments, is set for 2010. Charles is looking for ways to reveal what’s behind the sun’s magnetic and, at times, explosive personality. He teaches physics from introductory to graduate levels and is working on a film to encourage high school students to pursue rocket science. He has had an asteroid 269 million miles away named after him. 

Charles became a Christian when he was a high school senior. He was involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Puget Sound and attended IVCF’s “Marketplace ‘86” conference in Chicago where he met Robert Kaita. Charles says, 

I had all kinds of questions in my mind about the Bible and science at that time, and he helped me to understand that I could worship God with my whole heart and mind, allowing him to create and sustain the universe as he sees fit. 

During his graduate years at Stanford, Charles met his wife through the IVCF grad group. Also, while at Stanford, he became increasingly aware of the ASA because of occasional public events on campus and the participation of prominent faculty like Richard Bube. * Dwight Schwartz for informing us of this significant award. 

Telescope Celebrates 400 Years! 

  • Scientists from around the world convened in Paris January 15–16 for the opening ceremony of the International Year of Astronomy. 2009 is the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical use of a telescope, following its invention the previous year by Dutch glassmaker Hans Lipperhey. Participants contributed explanations, stories, and images to the Cosmic Diary, a blog about astronomy and what it’s like to be an astronomer. Pope Benedict XVI said during a late December speech, 

Among my predecessors of venerable memory there were some who studied this science, such as Sylvester II who taught it, Gregory XIII to whom we owe our calendar, and St. Pius X who knew how to build sundials. If the heavens, according to the Psalmist’s beautiful words, ‘are telling the glory of God’ (Ps. 19:18), the laws of nature, which over the course of centuries many men and women of science have enabled us to understand better, are a great incentive to contemplate the works of the Lord with gratitude. 

  • Last October in Beijing, John Templeton, Jr. opened the New Vision 400 Conference. With the support of the John Templeton Foundation, scientists and scholars from across the world met for four days in the Chinese capital to discuss the past and future of telescope technology, new challenges in astronomy, and the role that our vastly expanded knowledge of the universe has played in reshaping human beliefs and worldviews. The New Vision 400 Conference began with a public event at the Great Hall of the People, attracting more than 6,000 science and math students from Beijing high schools and universities. Templeton Report, Dec. 10, 2008
  • Recently the Vatican has been attempting to transform Galileo’s image from a symbol of the conflict between science and religion to a symbol of their collaboration and compatibility. In December Pope Benedict XVI said that Galileo helped believers “contemplate with gratitude the Lord’s work.” A month before, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said Galileo was an astronomer who “lovingly cultivated his faith and his profound religious conviction,” and Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, said that Galileo “could become for some the ideal patron for a dialogue between science and faith.” Science and Religion Today, Heather Wax, Dec. 24, 2008
  • In March 2008, Michal Heller, a Polish cosmologist and Catholic priest, won the Templeton Prize and gave all the money to endow the “Copernicus Center” in Krakow, Poland. The center would be dedicated to studying the relationship between science and religion as an academic discipline. This center is now officially open. Research will focus on interactions among theology, philosophy, and science (including astronomy, cosmology, biology, mathematics, physics, and the history of science). There will be lectures and public seminars and a yearbook called For Philosophy and Science (in English and Polish). Twelve research teams are already studying various topics related to science and religion. Science and Religion Today, Michele Calandra, Oct. 8, 2008
  • The first biography of Galileo, written 20 years after his death and thought to have been lost in the Great Fire of London, resurfaced long enough to be auctioned in London to a secretive collector who resists making it available to scholars. Thomas Salusbury’s Life of Galileo (also known as Galilaeus Galilaeus: His Life in Five Books) suggests that the trial was spurred not by a clash between science and religion, but by the Pope’s desire to punish the Duke of Medici, a personal friend of Galileo’s, because the duke refused to support Rome during the Thirty Years War. The discussion continues. Was it a rift between science and religion or did it have political overtones? Stanford University historian Paula Findlen told Smithsonian Magazine, “It’s interesting to see how people at that time, from outside Italy, are starting to reconstruct Galileo’s life.” She suggests that from the beginning, people assumed something political, rather than religious, lay at the root of the trial, and most modern Galileo scholars today agree with that thesis. Science and Religion Today, Stephen Mapes, Aug. 29, 2008
  • PBS will air “400 Years of the Telescope” on April 10 in many areas, but check local listings. Owen Gingerich is among the expert participants. He summarizes, 

The film swiftly traces the history of the telescope—that’s where I come in; without mentioning Danielson’s name, it does give favorable coverage to some of the ideas that Dennis mentioned in his plenary lecture at a recent ASA annual meeting; the film goes on to the current efforts to build even larger telescopes, and has some gorgeous images. 

Christians at AAS 

About 35 members of the Christian Astronomers listserv ( met for lunch at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) convention in Long Beach, CA, January 4–8. A feature of this AAS meeting was the kick-off of the International Year of Astronomy. Visit Attendees brainstormed how to use this occasion to reach out to Christians in the pew who don’t normally think about science or who think about it as an impediment to faith. The discussion included information about resources for doing presentations at local churches, with a show of hands indicating that nearly everyone present had done at least one such presentation. Relatively new DVDs include: 

  • “Indescribable,” a sermon by Louie Giglio with beautiful astronomical images on the glory of the heavens, which Deborah Haarsma describes as “a nice introduction for churches worried about controversy, because it does not focus on age issues.” 
  • “Religion and Science: Pathways to Truth,” hosted by Francis Collins, a 9-session course of videos and resources for small groups, featuring a more in-depth study on science and faith issues, featuring some of the leading academic experts. 

Deborah reports, “It is so encouraging to share our faith in the middle of a professional meeting, to know that we are not alone in seeking to walk with Christ while studying astronomy.” 

Join a Biblical Archaeology Dig! 

The Biblical Archaeology Society ( encourages folk to go on a dig. Their website provides descriptions of the possible sites, the excavations’ goals, important finds from past seasons, biblical connections, and much more. These digs are for just a few weeks and include Israel and Jordan

Active ASAer 

Fellow Stan Moore lives in the inner city of Los Angeles where he is the elected vice president of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, which represents 70,000 people and has an annual budget from the city of LA. He is also on two other local boards, Kiwanis Club and Chamber of Commerce. His wife, Nancy, is a Presbyterian pastor and is in charge of communications among the 81 individuals who are part of the Northeast Ministerial Association. She is presently helping to establish a clergy council with emergency response teams at the request of the LA Police Department Northeast Division’s captain. Stan says they have two spare bedrooms in their home and welcome visitors! 

Honoring Sir John Templeton 

Andreas Widmer, co-director of the Cambridge, MA, based Social Equity Venture (SEVEN) Fund, was on hand Nov. 19, for the presentation of the 2008 Pioneers of Prosperity awards in Kigali, Rwanda. The point of the competition is to “create role models—entrepreneurs who are building great companies, employing people, and eradicating poverty.” The goal is to expand business, not foreign aid, in Africa. The John Templeton Foundation provided the money for the inaugural round in 2007. Widmer explained, “Templeton was the first domino. Once they started to do this, other people joined in.” This year’s ceremony was dedicated to the late Sir John Templeton and was attended by both President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Templeton Report, Jan. 7, 2009

ASAers in Print 

  • Hope College social psychologist David G. Myers has written A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists, subtitled “Musings on why God is good and faith isn’t evil.” Motivated by the proliferation of books advocating “New Atheism” and dismissing all religion as toxic, Myers points out, “To lump together Mennonites, Reform Jews, and the Taliban—labeling them all as “religion”—is to gloss over some very important distinctions. Catholic liberation theology and the jihadist beheadings are, um, a little different.” 

Myers “friendliness” shows up as he establishes common ground with skeptics,  

We agree: let’s, with a spirit of humility, put testable ideas to the test and then let’s throw out religion’s dirty bathwater. And we differ: is there amid the bathwater a respect-worthy baby—a reasonable and beneficial faith? 

Regarding religion’s societal benefits, he quotes Voltaire saying, “I want my attorney, my tailor, my valets, and even my wife to believe in God, and I fancy that then I’ll be robbed and cuckolded less often.” Elsewhere Myers says, 

Although religion in some forms has indeed fed prejudice and atrocity, the available evidence is pretty compelling: In the Western world, at least, religiosity is more often associated with good—with happiness, health, generosity, and volunteering—than with evil. 

The publisher is Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint,

  • Properly understood, biblical creation is the foundation of theology, science, and evangelism in a skeptical yet seeking world. In ten chapters of Two Stage Biblical Creation, pastor and teacher Thomas Patrick Arnold analyzes ten major biblical creation theories—pre-creation chaos, title, gap, framework, initial chaos, day-age old Earth (OEC), young Earth (YEC), relativistic days, creation revealed in six days, and historical land creation. One chapter summarizes other theories—intelligent design, the Payne proposition, etc. 

One theory, young-Earth scientific creationism or 6,000-year-old-universe theory, especially claims “biblical authority.” In this chapter, the author gives due credit to YEC’s biblical claims such as ex nihilo creation, but he contends YEC’s unique claim is biblically flawed in misusing key Bible texts—Gen. l:1–2, Exod. 20:11, and Matt. 19:4. ASA members have shown from science how YEC errs. This book demonstrates from the original languages in laymen’s terms the biblical errors of YEC. Arnold says, “If YEC’s misuse of the Bible can be exposed widely to the Christian world, YEC may begin to fade like the once-popular gap theory.” 

After analyzing all ten major creation theories, he integrates their most biblically-supported claims into the two-stage biblical creation theory, bringing together many biblical insights, and matching the created universe. 

Two State Biblical Creation is a great reference book. It contains detailed diagrams of twelve creation theories, and has 67 pages indexing Bible references, theories, authors, subjects, and relevant Hebrew words. It is available at

Of Interest 

  • Gordon College (MA) had a week-long celebration the end of September leading up to the dedication of its new, environmentally-friendly Ken Olsen Science Center. Francis Collins spoke on “Genomics and the Human Condition.” Other events included art exhibits, performances of the play “A Number” (about cloning) and the comedic opera “The Doctor in Spite of Himself.” Panel discussions explored the relationship between science and faith. Ken Olsen, a computer science pioneer, said, “Gordon strives to graduate students who feel at ease with science, economics, and the humanities while holding on to their faith.” 
  • The Huntington: Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA, has opened a new permanent exhibit, “Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World.” More than 67,000 books and manuscripts, along with illustrations and scientific instruments, are divided into galleries: astronomy, natural history, medicine, and light. They showcase some of science’s greatest achievements from such figures as Ptolemy, Copernicus, Newton, and Einstein. The Dibner Hall of the History of Science focuses on the changing role of science over time and its influence on culture. The exhibit displays 250 copies of On the Origin of Species and will highlight many of the discoveries that broadened our imaginations, such as those that caused us to rethink Earth’s place in the heavens or how to understand the evolution of species. Senior curator Daniel Lewis says the goal is to get people to think about “the beauty of science in an historical context—the elegant breakthroughs, the remarkable discoveries, and the amazing people and stories behind them.” 

Fellowship/Workshop Opportunities 

  • The Library of Congress invites qualified scholars to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship in the field of health and spirituality, made possible by an endowment from the International Center for the Integration of Health and Spirituality (ICIHS). The fellowship is named in honor of the Center’s founder, David B. Larson, an epidemiologist and psychiatrist, who focused on potentially relevant but understudied factors which might help in prevention, coping, and recovering from illness. The fellowship seeks to encourage the pursuit of scholarly excellence in the scientific study of the relation of religiousness and spirituality to physical, mental, and social health. It provides an opportunity for a period of six to twelve months of concentrated use of the collections of the Library of Congress, through full-time residency in the Library’s John W. Kluge Center. For more information visit
  • The Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health offers an annual post-doctoral fellowship position that is designed to provide intensive training and mentoring for research leadership and faculty service. Contact Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Box 3825 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710 or 919-660-7556. 
  • Duke University’s Spirituality & Health program is offering two 5-day workshops (July 20–24 and Aug. 17–21), compressing a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship into five days. This is the only place in the world where specific training on religion, spirituality, and health research can be obtained from faculty active in the field for nearly 25 years. It is recommended for researchers early in their careers and those more seasoned who wish to shift work into this area. There are no degree requirements for participation. Many topics will be covered, including knowing and understanding research on spirituality and health (SH), highest priority studies for future SH research, theological considerations and concerns, designing and carrying out SH research projects, writing grants, where to obtain funding, etc. For more information visit Questions can be directed to Harold G. Koenig at

Coming Events 

Mar. 1–22. Dave Fisher will be speaking at several churches in PA and MD, telling about his “Truth in the Test Tube” broadcast and webcast outreach to China, Albania, and other countries (as reported on p. 8 of the May/June 2007 Newsletter). For locations and dates, email him at

Mar. 2. Brian Austin and Margaret Towne will give presentations at King C., Bristol, TN, one in the morning on “Religion and Science” and one in the evening on “Perspective on the Bible.” 

Mar. 5. “Religion, Self-Control, and Self-Regulation: Associations, Explanations, and Implications for Health and Health Behavior,” Michael McCullough, speaker. Duke U., Durham, NC at Duke Clinic, Medical Center, Board Room 1170B, noon–1:30 p.m. 

Mar. 12. William Witherspoon Lecture in Theology and the Natural Sciences, Center of Theological Inquiry, 50 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ, 6 p.m. Willem Drees, speaker. Call 609-683-4797 for advance free ticket. 

Mar. 12–14. Keith Miller of Kansas State will give a presentation “Acceptance of Biological Evolution Within the Evangelical Christian Community” at Hofstra U. in Hempstead, NY at a conference “Darwin's Reach: Celebrating Darwin's Legacy Across the Disciplines.”

Mar. 16–21. Metanexus is sponsoring a series of lectures in the Philadelphia area titled “The Big Questions in Science and Religion.” Keith Ward, a priest in the Church of England is the presenter. They are free and open to everyone. Mar. 16. 7:30 p.m., St. Thomas Church Whitemarsh, Fort Washington, PA, “Does Science Allow for Revelation and Divine Action?” Mar. 17. 7:00 p.m., Eastern U., St. Davids, “Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins.” Mar. 18. 7:00 p.m., West Chester U., “How Did the Universe Begin?” Mar. 19. 7:30 p.m., Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, “Is Science the Only Sure Path to Truth?” Mar. 20. 7:30 p.m., U. of Delaware, Arsht Hall, “Considering God 200 Years After Darwin.” Mar. 21. 2:00 p.m., St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Wayne, PA, “Do the Laws of Nature Exclude Miracles?” 

Mar. 18–21. Westar Institute in Santa Rosa, CA is hosting a seminar “Religion, Science & Education.” One of the speakers is Michael Zimmerman, Founder of the Clergy Letter Project. His presentation is “The Evolution/ Creation Controversy: Why it Matters.” See Register by calling 877-523-3545. 

Mar. 24. William J. Carl will speak on “Brains, Bodies, Beliefs and Behavior” at 3:30 p.m. and Stephen G. Post will speak at 7:00 p.m. on “Better to Give Than to Receive? Gift-Love, Happiness, and Health” at Pew Recital Hall at Grove City C., Grove City, PA. Both lectures are open to the public. 

Mar 26. Keith Miller will speak at the 2009 Emerson-Wier Symposium at the U. of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, OK, on “Obstacles to Science Literacy.” The symposium theme is “The Promise of Science and Challenges of Science Education.”

Mar. 27. St. Ambrose U. in Davenport, IA, will have the Laff Lecture, “Wordsworth, Darwin, and the End of Nature.” See 

April 2. Margaret Towne will give a presentation titled “Integrating Faith with Science” as part of the Stillpoint Center for Spiritual Development’s Lenten Series, 7:00–8:30 p.m., Las Vegas, NV

April 4–Sept. 7. The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia will host the show “Galileo, The Medici and The Age of Astronomy.” 

April 15. Owen Gingerich will lecture on “The Divine Handiwork: Evolution and the Wonder of Life” at Albion C. in MI. 

April 17. Metanexus is sponsoring “Recreate, Replace, Restore: Exploring the Intersections between Meanings and Environments,” Ohio Northern U., Ada, OH. Call 484-592-0304 or email 

May 2. “Banking on Life,” a conference on umbilical cord blood stem cell advances as an alternative to embryonic stem cells, San Francisco, CA, sponsored by Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Details at

May 13. Debate: “Grand Canyon: Evolution or Creation.” Steve Austin (creationist) and Steve Johnson (evolutionist). Northwestern C., Roseville, MN, 7:00 p.m. 

May 13–15. The National Pastors Conference on Creation Care. Cross Pointe Church, Duluth, GA.

May 16–26. The Biblical Archaeology Society is organizing a tour “Explore Jordan with the Biblical Archaeology Society.” This will focus on the biblical connections to this ancient area such as Mt. Nebo, Bethany, Lot’s Cave, Amman, and Petra. It is the land traveled by the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land and the place where Jesus was baptized. 

June 3–5. The Second Annual Meeting of the Society for Spirituality, Theology and Health, “Lifecourse Perspectives on Spirituality and Health in Diverse Religious Communities,” Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, Durham, NC. Email:  Call (919) 660-7556. See  or call 1-800-221-4644, ext. 208. 

July 5–9. The American Association for the Advancement of Science is a major sponsor of the Darwin 2009 Festival, Cambridge, UK 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. Application deadline April 17. Visit  or email Dr. Bruce Gordon, Research Director, at

July 15–18. The Ian Ramsey Centre at the U. of Oxford is having a conference, “Religious Responses to Darwinism 1959-2009.”
Email:  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,” Phoenix, AZ. Metanexus Institute, 28 Garrett Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA Call 484-592-0304. 

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. Abstracts can be sent to  See 

July 30. Metanexus is sponsoring “Intelligent Design & Artificial Intelligence: The Ghost in the Machine?” Pasadena, CA Call 484-592-0304 for more information or Email

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

Mitchell Challenges Wheaton ASA Chapter 

On January 22, C. Ben Mitchell addressed ASA’s Wheaton, IL, chapter on “Transhumanism: Transitional Humans on the Way to What?” He is associate professor of Bioethics and Contemporary Culture at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. He defined a post-human as “a human descendent who has been augmented to such a degree as to be no longer a human.” Many transhumanists want to become a post-human Homo super sapiens—smarter than any human genius, either without a body or with a body not susceptible to disease and the deterioration of age, with a greatly CBenMitchell cropexpanded capacity to feel pleasure, and not needing to feel tired, bored or irritated. 

He quoted Ben Bova, “Physical immortality is within sight … The first immortal human beings are probably living among us today. You might be one of them. There are men and women who may be able to live for centuries, perhaps even extend their life spans indefinitely. For them, death will not be inevitable.” 

Mitchell compared such motivation to the Tower of Babel. One advocate expressed it, “There is no ‘grand scheme of things’ into which each individual has her/his ‘place’ or ‘task’ to fulfill. A rejection of a pre determined ‘destiny’ lies at the very core of our movements.” He quoted Aldous Huxley, 

In 1931, when Brave New World was being written, I was convinced there was still plenty of time. The completely organized society, the scientific caste system, the abolition of free will by methodical conditioning, the servitude made acceptable by regular doses of chemically induced happiness, the orthodoxies drummed in by nightly courses of sleep-teaching—these things were coming all right, but not in my time, not even in the time of my grandchildren … Twenty-seven years later, in this third quarter of the twentieth century AD … I feel a good deal less optimistic than I did when I was writing Brave New World. The prophecies made in 1931 are coming true much sooner than I thought they would. 

Regarding Nietzsche’s penchant for omnipotence, Mitchell cited C. S. Lewis’ caveat, “What we call man’s power over nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with nature as its instrument.” He quoted Stephen Monsma’s statement, “When human beings set themselves up as masters of their fate, they set themselves up not for an ascent to freedom as they imagine, but for a descent into slavery.” 

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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©2009 American Scientific Affiliation (except previously published material). All rights reserved. 

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