American Scientific Affiliation &
Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation
Volume 53, Number 2 MAR/APR 2011
Our Annual Meeting, July 29–Aug. 1, will be at North Central College in Naperville, IL, hosted jointly by Wheaton College. North Central College (NCC) was founded in 1861 and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is a highly selective liberal arts college with approximately 2,400 undergraduates in over 55 majors and 300 enrolled in six graduate programs. The campus comprises 59 acres in Naperville, a western suburb of Chicago. They have students from 31 states and 23 foreign countries. NCC was founded as Plainfield College in Plainfield, IL, with classes starting in 1861. The name was changed to North-West College in 1864, and they moved to Naperville in 1870. In 1926 the name was changed to North Central College. This year marks its sesquicentennial, which will be celebrated on 11/11/11.
Wheaton College is a liberal arts college committed to evangelical Christianity, as reflected in its motto: “For Christ and His Kingdom.”
Founded in 1860, one year after the town of Wheaton was established, it is just north of Naperville. Approximately 2,400 undergraduate students study in 40 majors, and there are about 500 graduate students in more than a dozen programs. It celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2010, completing the new Science Center and inaugurating Philip Graham Ryken as its eighth president.
The Annual Meeting program chair is Rod Scott, Associate Prof. of Biology at Wheaton. He is a geneticist who has been on the Wheaton faculty since 1989 and teaches a variety of courses including introductory biology, research methods in biology, genetics, and the senior seminar capstone course. He and his student collaborators have conducted research on the genetics of the fern Ceratopteris and the threatened Blanding’s turtle. He has written about issues in bioethics, including the technologies involving stem cell therapies.
The local arrangements chair is Ray Lewis, Associate Prof. of Biology who joined the Wheaton faculty in 1996. He is a phycologist who teaches many of the plant biology courses, introductory biology courses for majors, research methods in biology, advanced plant biology courses, and courses for nonscience majors in environmental science and origins. His research, working with student researchers, has focused on factors involved in controlling gamete production in the kelps, large marine algae. He has published on exploring the ethical dimensions of species extinctions.
The ASA has elected Keith Miller as a council member to succeed Ted Davis, and Ashley Zauderer is succeeding Thomas Robey as representative for Student and Early Career Scientists. We thank Ted and Thomas for their wonderful support and service to the ASA.
Keith B. Miller is Research Assistant Professor at Kansas State University. He received his BS from Franklin and Marshall College, his MS from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and his PhD from the University of Rochester, all in geology. He has been at KSU since 1990 and has taught oceanography, paleobiology, environmental science, natural disasters, physical geology, and the Age of the Dinosaurs. He has also co-taught an interdisciplinary course on the Origins and Evolution of the Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity.
Keith was very active in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in college where he was challenged to understand his scientific interests as part of a vocational calling. His parents introduced him to the ASA when he was in graduate school after they heard an ASA member on the radio. As a consequence of these influences, Keith has come to strongly believe that our faith must be expressed in all aspects of our lives, and that we need to recognize the importance of vocational ministry.
In 1996, Keith married Ruth Douglas, having met her at the U. of Rochester. Ruth is on the faculty at KSU’s electrical engineering department. They have one son, Ian, age 15, who has been to ASA Annual Meetings since he was one year old!
Keith and Ruth belong to the Evangelical Free Church. He has published several articles in PSCF and was the local arrangements chair for the ASA meeting at KSU. He has been involved in a start-up local ASA chapter in Manhattan, KS, and is also active as a member of the Affiliation of Christian Geologists. He has written several articles on topics at the interface of science and Christian theology, including the paleontological evidence for common descent, the theological implications of an evolving creation, and understanding natural processes in the context of God’s providence and our role as God’s image bearers. He edited a book, Perspectives on an Evolving Creation, and has spoken widely on science/theology throughout the USA.
Ashley Zauderer grew up in Georgia, the second of four children. She attended a Christian school in the Atlanta suburbs through middle school. In high school she was aware of the concept of evolution and had quite a journey. She became motivated to learn and understand the reasons why people think differently than she does. She went to Agnes Scott College to play basketball and was led into the field of astronomy. She felt that astrophysics was a perfect blend of everything she enjoyed, and she knew she wanted to teach one day. Astronomy is analytical as a scientific discipline, but Ashley sees it as poetic, philosophical, and beautiful. After hearing a lecture by Sir John Polkinghorne at Agnes Scott, she was impressed with the possibility of studying science and maintaining a personal faith, two disciplines that were not at odds.
After college Ashley spent a semester at the Focus on the Family Institute in Colorado Springs and six months working at Caltech’s Owens Valley Radio Observatory. Then she went to the University of Maryland, focusing on observational radio astronomy and the study of merging/interacting systems of galaxies, bright in infrared emission. She spent three months at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, while in graduate school and completed her dissertation in December 2010 and then began work as a postdoctoral research scientist at Harvard. Ashley says,
In my profession of astronomy, one of the difficult questions for me to reconcile was the age of the Earth. My personal struggle with this impressed upon me the need to work on an astronomy curriculum for Christian and home schools that neglects neither academic rigor nor a clear profession of belief in our Creator. It was through this passion for teaching that I met Gladys Kober, the astronomer who introduced me to ASA and its unique mission. I became involved with the ASA because I have found it to be a refreshing organization of men and women sincere in their faith, yet not afraid to ask hard, challenging questions. I often felt alone in my journey to reconcile the seemingly mutually exclusive realms of science and faith.
Ashley hopes her story will encourage ASA members to reach out to students and younger scientists, to fund faith- based lecture series at their alma mater, and to discuss science with members of their church community. She says,
Never cease pursuit of Truth, especially when the pursuit is uncomfortable.
Randall D. Isaac
As I write this column, unrest in Egypt is escalating rapidly, causing significant global concern for stability and peace. We cannot predict what might happen by the time you read this, but we can ponder the situation for some insight into human conflicts.
Modern countries span the spectrum of governing systems from totalitarian dictatorships to thriving democracies and every shade in between. History is filled with accounts of transitions from one regime to another, ranging from extremely violent to peaceful change. Each system takes a somewhat different approach to resolving differences of opinion among their citizens.
Neither dictatorships nor democracies provide a good model for dealing with conflicts in science and Christian faith. Science is not an authoritarian methodology in which scientific conclusions are determined by fiat from the leadership. Nor is it a democracy in which the popular vote decides what the conclusions ought to be. Rather, there is a methodology, honed over centuries of experience, of what works and what doesn’t, by which any skilled practitioner of science can determine what accurately portrays the natural world.
Christian faith is also neither a democracy nor a dictatorship. Christians do not vote to determine articles of faith, though individual groups can and do agree on how to express their confession of faith. Leaders of particular movements do proclaim and teach a particular method of interpretation of the Scriptures which serve as the ultimate criteria for spiritual truth. In contrast to science, in which there is broad agreement on the methodology, the methods of interpretation of the Bible vary considerably from one group to another. Perhaps it is only the orthodox creeds that are truly broadly accepted by all Christians.
What does this tell us about resolving conflicts of ideas and concepts? In science, the process involves close scrutiny for adherence to standard scientific methodology. This is most easily done by those who are very familiar with that methodology but often not very helpful for the nonscientific public. In Christianity, people typically turn to the leaders they respect and study their method of interpretation and its consistency and applicability to the issue at hand. Convergence to a single opinion is far less likely in Christianity than in science.
It is a significant challenge for the ASA to address issues in science and Christian faith in the light of the spectrum of differences of opinion. In general, we respect integrity in the practice of science which means that we deal with mainstream scientific opinion, recognizing that it changes over time as new information is obtained. There is a strong and unfortunate tendency for Christians to attempt to reconcile differences by offering alternatives to mainstream scientific thought. However, such alternatives need to be vetted by the scientific community in the normal technical channels before they can be of significant value in reconciling science and faith.
Regarding Christian faith, the ASA maintains a statement of faith built on the orthodox creeds which provides ample flexibility for a variety of hermeneutics. Our tendency is to lean toward those methods that minimize the tension with mainstream scientific thought.
The primary concern for the ASA is that any members with differences of opinion must be treated with civility and respect. We encourage dialogue among those with differing opinions and seek opportunities for those with differing ideas to worship together. This becomes a challenge when people do not deal honestly with each other or misrepresent each other’s position. Though we cannot avoid all such situations and we earnestly seek to be fair to everyone, not all ideas merit equal consideration.
The standards of the orthodox creeds and of mainstream scientific methodology are useful reference points for assessing credibility of new ideas. We must continue to work together to seek the truth and to worship our Creator in a spirit of unity and grace.
Allen, David M. –Plateville, WI
Blyth, Mike J. –Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
Davis, W. M. –Spartanburg, SC
Garber, Cynthia A. –Washington, DC
Hoferer, David W. –Denver, PA
Kirchhof, Danielle M. –Denver, CO
Love, Robert A. –Springfield, MO
Mathias, Clinton –Worcester, MA
Mease, Jon M. –Beltsville, MD
Mullen, John T. –Shawnee, OK
Ness, Bryan –Angwin, CA
Reed, C. Michael –Tuscaloosa, AL
Rice, Tim –Epworth, GA
Roose, Thomas R. –Downers Grove, IL
Ruit, Kenneth G. –Grand Forks, ND
Suriano, William P. –Riverside, IL
Winslow, Mark –Edmont, OK
Celebrating 45 years of membership
Epiphanes K. Balian
Rodger K. Bufford
Richard E. Carlson
Bryan L. Duncan
Vernon J. Ehlers
Peter D. Esser
Richard L. Humphrey
Kenneth E. Kinnamon
Vernon P. Magnuson
J. Terence Morrison
Robert C. Newman
Daniel H. Osmond
Sir Ghillean Prance
Randy Isaac has announced the launching of a new ASA publication called God and Nature (G&N), positioned in complexity between PSCF and the newsletter. G&N will be electronic-only and a new article will be published online twice a month. The initial focus will be describing innovative research by Christians in science, primarily ASA members. It will also include human-interest stories, such as being a Christian in academia, balancing work and life responsibilities, and mentoring undergraduates. It will be accessible to a broad audience with articles engaging to students and the younger generation of Christians in science, which could lead to an increase in ASA membership within that group. Randy says,
For us to succeed in this goal, we need your help. All ASA members will receive an electronic notice of each article we publish, and we would love for you to pass them on to your students, friends, family, and anyone else who is curious about the compatibility of science and religion. If you are a Facebook user, we also encourage you to become a “fan” of the American Scientific Affiliation. This fan page makes it easy to receive and share God and Nature articles with your friends. To find our fan page, just scroll to the bottom of the G&N page and click on the “Like” button. You can also log into Facebook and type “American Scientific Affiliation” into the search field. The correct page will display our logo in blue.
The first article published in G&N covered the work of ASA Fellow Owen Gingerich. Go to www.asa3.org/godandnature.
The year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the publishing of the King James Bible. In January 1604, King James I of England convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new version was conceived in response to some perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a group within the Church of England. The task of translation was undertaken by 47 scholars, all members of the Church of England and all except Sir Henry Savile were clergy. They worked in six communities, two based in the University of Oxford, two at the University of Cambridge, and two at Westminster. The committees worked on certain parts separately and the drafts were compared and revised by all of them. For much more history on the English Bible, go to (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorized_King_James_Version)
Trenn Gives Lecture
On Jan. 5, 2011, Thaddeus Trenn, President of the Executive Council, Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation (CSCA) and lecturer for the local council of the Knights of Columbus (KC), gave a presentation at the KC in Colborne, Ontario. His main points were that “now is the time of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2) concerns transformation in Christ. Even voluntary conversion depends upon Christ’s grace and mercy. No one can be saved until freely converted to Christ. So the spiritual interplay, formally identified as justification, ensues which ‘establishes cooperation between God’s grace and man’s freedom’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1993). Ever respecting human free will, Christ the Savior bears forgiveness with infinite compassion. Could any soul freely and finally reject this grace of God? Thus ‘justification is the most excellent work of God’s love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit’ (CCC, 1994): the very epitome of Christ’s role as Savior!”
On Jan. 15, Paul Arveson, a physicist from Rockville, MD, joined a Jew, a Hindu, and a Muslim in a multifaith discussion on religion and science. It was sponsored by a Muslim group in northern Virginia called Muslims for Peace. There were about 120 in attendance, and it was hosted by the Clifton Presbyterian Church. For over two hours, the speakers took turns explaining their faith and its relationship to science.
Paul gave a brief history of his spiritual journey, saying he was an atheist until he joined a Bible study and learned about Jesus. He described the Christian gospel briefly and mentioned that modern science arose in the Christian west. He noted that all of the group said, in one way or another, that their religion is scientific, that it is consistent with modern science. That assumes that science is the benchmark for “truth” and our faith is based on it. Do we really mean to assume this?
Paul encourages ASAers to organize such dialogues in our communities but suggests that just two religions be presented at any one time, not four! There was not enough time for deep discussion and the answering of many questions.
Leonard John Bond has been elected a Fellow of AAAS. We congratulate him for receiving this honor. He is a Laboratory Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a Department of Energy Office of Science National Laboratory, in Richland, WA. He manages programs and projects, the focus being on challenges relating to ensuring the safety of nuclear power, both in the USA and internationally. The citation for his AAAS Fellow is for “contributions to the field of ultrasonics, particularly for numerical modeling, the analysis of both high- and low- power interactions and development of novel sensing schemes.”
Leonard received a BS (1974) in applied physics and a PhD (1978) in physical acoustics (ultrasonics) from The City University, London. Throughout his career, the core of his work has been built on the analysis, theory and application of ultrasound, mostly engineering problems with some medical physics such as the physics of phacoemulsification (cataract removal). Currently, the focus of his research is characterization of aging and degradation of materials using ultrasound and other sensing methods, starting from solid rocket motors and aging aircraft. This has evolved into advanced diagnostics, on-line monitoring and prognostics (prediction of remaining safe life) applied to energy systems, in particular nuclear power plants. He gave a presentation at the ASA Annual Meeting at George Fox University on energy and global sustainability issues.
Michael Dowd is an itinerant evolutionary evangelist who, since 2002, has addressed more than 1,100 religious and secular audiences. He has a BA from Evangel University and an MDiv from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been a pastor at congregations in the United Church of Christ. From 1995–2002, he worked with Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant leaders on environmental issues coming before Congress.
In December 2010, he began an hour-long internet project called “Evolutionary Christianity” featuring interviews with 38 scholars active in the science and religion dialogue. The following ASAers and their topics are: Ian Barbour, “God and Evolution”; Karl Giberson, “The Heart and the Soul of the Evolution Controversy”; Charles Townes, “The Convergence of Science and Religion”; Owen Gingerich, “Evolutionary Creationism”; Ted Davis, “A History of the Creation-Evolution Conflict”; and Denis Lamoureux, “Beyond the Evolution vs. Creation Debate.” The conversations focused on the relationship between faith and reason and how a science-informed worldview can enrich our lives, deepen our thought, and bless our world. Thousands of Christians from all denominations listened to these online. The many interviews are available at http://evolutionarychristianity.com/blog/audio-downloads/
In 2007, astrophysicist Martin Gaskell applied for the position as head of the University of Kentucky’s (UK) new observatory. He was chosen as one of three finalists. The search committee chair described him as “superbly qualified,” “breathtakingly above the other applicants,” and someone “who has already done everything we would want the Observatory Director to do.” However, a member of the search committee called Gaskell “potentially evangelical” and pointed out that he had given talks about the relationship between science and the Bible. Although the observatory position had no connection with biology, the department, with UK administration authorization, asked members of the biology department to comment on the appropriateness of hiring Gaskell. Some of his statements were perceived as critical of evolution, and some professors called him “something close to a creationist.”
After the discussion of Gaskell’s beliefs, the position was given to another applicant. The head of the search committee wrote in an email to the chair of the UK physics and astronomy department that “no objective observer could possibly believe that we excluded Martin [Gaskell] on any basis other than religious …” A department faculty member filed an internal religious discrimination complaint with the university’s equal opportunity office. After Gaskell learned of the role his religious beliefs had played in the search process, he filed a federal religious discrimination lawsuit claiming that he had lost the job because of his religious beliefs.
“Almost Knee-Jerk Reaction”
His attorney, Francis Manion of the American Center for Law and Justice, said, “What I do think this case disclosed is a kind of endemic, almost knee-jerk reaction in academia towards people, especially scientists, of a strong religious faith.” The university maintains that it is not guilty of wrongdoing, but in January it paid Gaskell $125,000 in exchange for him dropping the federal religious discrimination suit which he had filed in 2009. The case received extensive national and international coverage.
Gaskell said he is a theistic evolutionist, not a creationist. He does not believe the Bible’s origin story requires an age of the universe of only a few thousand years. While he does not work in biology, his views of evolution are in line with standard biological science. The Dec. 24 issue of Science says Jennifer Wiseman, an astrophysicist who has known Gaskell professionally for 20 years, doesn’t consider him a creationist. She said, “He doesn’t discount or disbelieve evolution.” Science said that Wiseman believes “a religious scientist who cites ongoing puzzles in evolution sets off more alarms than when an atheist makes the same point …”
Gaskell begins work in March as a professor at the University of Valparaiso in Chile. He adds, “Chile is where a large fraction of the world’s largest telescopes are, so it’s an exciting place for astronomy!”
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Swiss microbiologist Werner Arber to be the new president of the Vatican’s scientific advisory body, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Arber is the first non-Catholic to head this organization which has roots dating back to the early 17th century.
The academy is designed to keep the church up-to-date with the latest scientific advances. Presently it consists of 80 distinguished scientists from a variety of religious and nonreligious affiliations including a significant number of Nobel Prize winners. Arber, 81, of the University of Basel, shared the Nobel Prize in 1978 for his discovery of restriction enzymes, proteins that cut genes into fragments and whose understanding could help combat hereditary diseases and cancer. He has been a member of the academy for 30 years, and was on the council the past 15 years.
Werner says the organization succeeds in influencing the Pope’s views on science and is most effective when members discuss the big scientific questions that most interest the Vatican, particularly in cosmology and biological evolution. Science Insider from Science, Jan. 11, 2011.
The Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) is an international network of churches and Christian organizations promoting people’s access to water around the world. The Secretariat of the EWN is at the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland. This began in 2006 when the WCC met in Brazil. They strive to promote the preservation, responsible management and the equitable distribution of water for all, based on the understanding that water is a gift of God and a fundamental human right. They have weekly meditations for the seven weeks of Lent (see www.oikoumene.org/7-weeks-for-water) and celebrate World Water Day held annually on March 22, which is a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Churches and groups are encouraged to plan an activity for World Water Day. For more information go to http://water.oikoumene.org
Morality of Evolution
A conference, “The Evolution of Morality and the Morality of Evolution” will be held July 8–11 at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. Its organizers say, “In recent decades, new work on kin selection, altruism, and co-operation has reopened the debate on whether and how the theory of evolution explains and justifies moral behavior. In addition, questions have been raised about the moral status of evolution itself, especially given its past association with what might loosely be termed ‘Social Darwinism’ and the raising of moral issues in anti-evolutionary rhetoric.” Jeff Schloss of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, will be one of several plenary speakers.
Duke University’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health is having identical workshops, July 18–22 and August 15–19. They compress material presented in a 12-month post-doctoral fellowship into five days, giving specific training on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality and health from researchers active in the field for over 25 years. These are open to undergraduates, graduates and seasoned researchers wishing skills in these areas. If you are interested, contact Harold Koenig at email@example.com.
An exhibit at Calgary’s Glenbow Museum allows the public to view the use of embryonic stem cells, regenerative medicine and therapeutic cloning with an artistic eye. Titled “Perceptions of Promise: Biotechnology, Society and Art,” the show is aimed at advancing the discussions on stem-cell research. One exhibit is a sculpture made from scans of human embryos, a tent with images of human cells and drawings of one of the artists’ chromosomes. Officials say this exhibition is not offering opinions or judgments but creates a place for reflection and engaging the subject matter. President and CEO of the museum Kirstin Evenden said, “The artists have really spent a lot of time interacting with the scientists, learning about some of the challenges around the science of stem-cell research and what it actually involves, scientifically, biologically, and what the implications for research are long term.” It will be in Calgary until March 20 and will probably be on the road in other cities in the future. CBC News, Calgary, Jan. 12, 2011.
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Denis Alexander, director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmond’s College, Cambridge, England, had an article in the Huffington Post, Jan. 2, 2011, titled “Made in the Image of God: The Theological Implications of Human Genomics—Part l.” He noted that the 10th anniversary of the completion of mapping the human genome has been marked by new genetic insights into human evolution and diversity, and asks, “Do these new discoveries have any significance for the dialogue between science and religion in general, or for our sense of human uniqueness in particular?”
Other findings also have him ask the question as to whether they have theological significance. He says,
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, humankind uniquely is made “in the image of God.” The suite of capabilities that emerged during human evolution is necessary but not sufficient to do justice to this much discussed theological insight. Our particular genetic instruction manual generates large frontal lobes, advanced cognitive abilities, rationality, language, consciousness and the ability to choose between right and wrong. It is this suite that gives us the ability to pray, worship and engage in communal religious practices …
But the idea of being made “in the image of God” is not encompassed simply within a static list of such human qualities. Theologians have drawn attention to the dynamic, relational aspects of the concept. It is humanity-in-relation-to-God, together with God-given responsibilities to humans in relationship with each other, that are thought to be more central to the idea. When did such spiritual capabilities and responsibilities first come into being? It is really difficult to know, but the answer certainly seems more rooted in God’s intentions and purposes for humankind than in genetic change per se.
A lady reads books to her two-year- old grandson. She is in Michigan and he is in Nigeria where his father works for Wycliffe Bible Translators. Connecting them is Skype, the free online telephone and video service that has made costly phone calls and periods of no contact a distant memory for many missionaries and their families. Missionaries say this new technology bridges the thousands of miles and has been a real blessing from God.
Wycliffe’s president, Bob Creson, remembers when he was a missionary in Cameroon in the 1980s, when a staff of 200 would sign up to use the one landline to call home on weekends. Now texting, Facebook and Twitter, and internet are available to all their employees.
In a recent survey of more than 800 of its missionaries, Wycliffe found that about one-third use e-mail daily to communicate with family and friends back home. More than half said the internet connections have made it possible for them to stay in the field longer. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Jan. 4, 2011.
Last spring the United Nations had a month-long conference in New York to contain the spread of nuclear weapons. Prior to the conference, leaders from several religious traditions met at an interfaith chapel near the UN to pray for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and others offered prayers, chants, songs, and special readings. Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, Japan, a survivor of the 1946 atomic bombing, brought a scorched piece of a statue of Mary from the cathedral that was destroyed in the attack. Other participants included Buddhist peace activists; a Shinto leader; Rev. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches; a Native American prayer-song leader; Buddhist and Muslim readers; and Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.
The Oct. 10, 2010, Baltimore Sun stated, “For St. James Episcopal Church, environmental activism is a religion.” This church has received a Maryland Energy Administration grant to install a wind-speed indicator, the first step in what church leaders hope will lead to a wind turbine on its premises. They had an environmental sustainability open house in October and hope to work with the University of Maryland to create a program that uses its buildings as working models for green design. Elizabeth Orens, who leads the almost 100-year-old church, said that looking outside her office window at the tree-lined sky reminds her to spread the gospel of environmental awareness. “This is something that comes from Genesis, the whole idea of being good stewards of the earth.”
Answers in Genesis is building a full-scale ark in Grant County, KY, south of Cincinnati, OH. Constructed completely out of wood according to the biblical account in Genesis 6, it will be the largest timber-frame structure in the USA and will be 40 minutes from the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY, which opened three years ago. The Ark Encounter will include not only the ark but also a large complex of exhibits, theaters, animal shows, a petting zoo, an aviary, a replica of the Tower of Babel, a first-century village, restaurants, etc. on 800 acres. The Ark Encounter will cost over $150 million and construction will begin this year with a grand opening in spring 2014. National Center for Science Education, Dec. 17, 2010.
The Dec. 6, 2010, issue of TIME interviewed author and futurist Ray Kurzweil.
Q How will science affect the religious and ethnic differences in the world?
A I think we are evolving rapidly into one world culture. It’s certainly one world economy. With billions of people on-line, I think we’ll appreciate the wisdom in many different traditions as we learn more about them. People were very isolated and didn’t know anything about other religions 100 years ago.
Q How will our technological progress make us feel about God?
A I believe our civilization is going to be vastly more intelligent and more spiritual in the decades ahead. You can argue how we got here, but we are the species that goes beyond our limitations. We didn’t stay on the ground. We didn’t stay on the planet. Our species always transcends.
Oskar Gruenwald is the editor of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies (JIS), an International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Interfaith Dialogue published by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (IIR). The latest journal (vol. XXII, 2010) titled, “Intelligent Design & Artificial Intelligence: The Ghost in the Machine?” challenges Darwinism as a scientific paradigm and materialistic worldview while affirming scientific findings concerning evolution.
Oskar encourages folk to recommend this journal to college libraries as it would benefit students and faculty in the social sciences and humanities as well as the science/theology dialogue. Acquisition details are at www.JIS3.org/invoice.htm. This refereed Christian academic journal also makes a great gift. For a free sample article, go to www.JIS3.org/samplearticle.htm.
IIR is sponsoring a symposium at Hilton Pasadena, CA, Aug. 4–7, titled “The First Freedoms: Mihajlov’s Quest for Democracy and Human Rights.” Abstracts are due June 1 and should be sent to Oskar Gruenwald, 1065 Pine Bluff Dr., Pasadena, CA 91107 or via email to info@JIS3.org. The conference web site is www.JIS3.org/symposium2011.htm.
Larry was a philosophy of science editor at Encyclopedia Britannica. A University of Southern California web site says he was listed in 2000 Outstanding Academics of the 21st Century. He retired in Milwaukee, WI.
Jeff described his initial encounters with the concept as a graduate student. He unpacked the science behind it and explained the difference between Level I, II, and III multiverse concepts. This hypothesis cannot obviate cosmological arguments for faith, since multiverse cosmologies still postulate a beginning. Instead, the concept simply changes the nature of the design argument, introducing questions which Christianity can address theologically.
From the Philistine era (1175–604 BC), Ashkelon prospered as a member of the Philistine pentapolis. On-going excavations focus on the 10th/11th centuries, the days of Samson and Delilah. In 604 BC, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar sacked and burned the city, leaving us a snapshot of the city’s busy marketplace, one of the only commercial quarters uncovered in the Iron Age.
Traditional methods of archeological excavation have been supplemented by modern methods of surveying, Geographic Information Science, remote sensing, subsurface geological and geophysical investigations, botanical, zoological and chemical analyses, radiocarbon dating and internet connectivity to databases directly from the field for real-time exchange of information among researchers.
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Editors: David Fisher, Margaret Towne
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