Asalogo3.JPGAsalogo5.JPG NEWSLETTER 
of the
American Scientific Affiliation & 
Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation 

Volume 50, Number 3                                                                                                                    MAY/JUNE 2008 

Annual Meeting Theme: “The Heart of Science” 

The Annual Meeting of the ASA and the CSCA will be held August 1–4 at George Fox University in Newberg, OR, near Portland. Conference organizers John VanZytveld and Arnold Sikkema have announced that the overall theme will be “The Heart of Science: Do Right, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly.” They elaborate this to mean “Doing and using science, domestically and abroad, in service to God, to God’s world, and to our human sisters and brothers.” 

Optional pre-meeting activities on Friday include six field trips and a workshop. The field trips are: (1) visit Mount St. Helens eruption sites, (2) go birding near Tillamook, (3) explore the geology of the Columbia Gorge, (4) tour the Evergreen Air Museum, (5) visit a local high-tech industry, and (6) learn Oregon Trail History as you visit Champoeg State Park and Oregon City. The workshop, “Teaching about the Origins Debate in Churches and Schools” will be led by Ted Davis. Details are included in the registration material on our website:

Plenary Speakers Announced 

  • DOUGLAS DIEKEMA is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, Clinical Director of Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Chair of the Bioethics Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and member of the Ethics Committee of the American Board of Pediatrics. 
  • C. DEAN FREUDENBERGER is Professor Emeritus at Luther Seminary, former Professor of International Development Studies, Missions, and Rural Church at Claremont School of Theology, and served with the United Methodist Church in agricultural development across six continents. 
  • W. KENT FUCHS is Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering at Cornell University, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a member of the Executive Board and Director of ASEE Engineering, and a member of the Joint Committee on Technology Transfer. 
  • TOM HEADLAND of Wycliffe Bible Translators is International Anthropology Consultant for Summer Institute of Linguistics, Adjunct Professor of Linguistics at the University of Texas-Arlington, and specializes in primitive societies and tropical forest human ecology. 
  • LARRY SCHWEIGER is President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation and former head of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. 
  • JENNIFER WISEMAN is Chief of NASA’s Laboratory for Exoplanet and Stellar Astrophysics, a Hubble program scientist, discoverer of periodic comet 114P/Wiseman-Skif, and former American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow. 

Insights on George Fox University 

GFU towerWe included some of the university’s history in our last newsletter. One remarkable program there today involves students participating in service projects. Hundreds of students each year participate in winter and spring “Serve Trips” throughout the Western United States, Mexico, and Canada. In groups of 8–20, students give a week to provide volunteer labor for missions, homeless shelters, nonprofits, and other charitable causes. They also volunteer at local churches, schools, and nonprofits. George Fox offers an extensive study program allowing students to attend other colleges in the US, and 68% of students study outside the country before graduation. 


Who was George Fox? 
George Fox (1624–1691) was an English itinerant preacher and missionary and founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers). Because of his denunciation of sin and hypocrisy, he and his associates were arrested and imprisoned many times. One biographer said the name Quaker was attached to Fox and his followers because he spoke with such powerful conviction that men quaked as they “came to scoff but stayed to pray.” Fox traveled to Ireland, North America, and Europe and believed in equality (including women and American Indians) and was against war and slavery. 

Executive Council Report 

The Executive Council and Executive Director Randy Isaac met to conduct ASA business on March 29, at the Ipswich office. With a new fiscal year beginning on April 1 (this change was approved by members last year), our officers prepared for new responsibilities. President Ruth Miller presided and past president Bud Bouma attended his final Council meeting. Incoming president Walter Bradley, new vice president Ted Davis, and the next secretary/treasurer, Jennifer Wiseman, came a day early to review our finances with our bookkeeper and our investment adviser. Gwen Schmidt, a nonvoting member representing students and early career scientists, also attended. 

Financial Challenges 
The Council was impressed with the clarity and integrity of our accounting procedures, and encouraged by our continued financial improvement and the slow but steady increase in membership that we are seeing. 

There are still challenges to be met, and the Council calls on our members to help us meet them. For long-term stability, another 500 members would be ideal. If you know someone who shares our mission and who would benefit from networking with others of like mind and spirit, please consider bringing them with you to the annual meeting at George Fox University or to one of our local or regional meetings. 

Service Opportunity 
One of the most interesting items of business involved a telephone conversation with David Stevens, the CEO of Christian Medical and Dental Associations. Stevens has approached us about the possibility of partnering with the ASA in recruiting people to teach basic science on short-term, self-funded missions. Council authorized Randy to explore this further. 

Outreach Challenge 
We also discussed how we might reach a new audience with a new ASA publication that would be intermediate between the present level of PSCF and the newsletter. Members will soon receive an electronic survey about our publications, and we ask that all members provide thoughtful responses to help us sort this out. * Ted Davis 

Election Results 

Susan Daniels has been elected to the Executive Council for a 5-yr. term that began April 1, 2008. She will be featured in the next newsletter. 

The Executive Director’s Corner 
Randy Isaac 

The ASA Executive Council met in Ipswich March 29 for its semi-annual meeting. A brief summary of this meeting begins on page 1. This column is a great opportunity to publicly thank the council members, past and present, for their dedication and service to the ASA. 

The stipulation that the Council be comprised of five members originally stemmed from the fact that there were five founders in 1941. For various personal reasons, one of the founding five resigned from the Council each year starting in 1943 and was replaced by another member. This practice of replacing one council member each year was formalized in the first constitution ratified in 1950. 

A total of 67 people have served on the Council since its founding. Each one has devoted personal time and effort to carry out the organization’s fiduciary responsibilities as well as to set the strategic directions of the organization. All of them deserve our gratitude for their contribution. Council members are elected from the pool of ASA Fellows. Are you interested in serving the ASA as a council member? Please send me a note if you would consider such a role. 

Council meetings are now structured to devote about half a day or less to operational issues and the rest of the time to strategic directions. At our latest meeting, operational issues included the transition to the new fiscal year approved through the change in the bylaws this past year. The finance/ audit committee reviewed the investment strategy for the endowment fund as well as ensuring proper controls for office procedures. 

The strategic directions of the ASA included several different areas. An important aspect of ASA is scholarship in the field of science and Christian faith. The quality of our peer-reviewed journal and articles on the website are key factors in our effectiveness. When ASA was founded, there were few, if any, professional programs in science and religion. The ASA was a unique contributor to assessing such issues. Today, it is possible to obtain a degree in science and religion, and many have carried out a thesis in this field. Our role continues to be to encourage such academic scholarship, to disseminate key concepts, and to foster the exchange of ideas among leading scholars and the ASA membership. 

Another key role of the ASA is the fellowship of Christians in science. Faculty and students in a Christian college or institution have opportunities for Christian fellowship. However, in secular institutions, such fellowship is less likely to be with other scientists. Our strategic focus is to provide a network of people in the sciences who have declared their commitment to Christ as found in our statement of faith. Joining the ASA is a step toward offering such fellowship as well as expressing the desire to receive it. Our thrust to organize more ASA chapters is an effort to encourage Christians in science to get to know each other and to support each other in their faith. 

The ASA has an important mission in providing resources and education to those in Christian ministry. Pastors and lay leaders need a basic understanding of issues relating to science and faith. It is important that they understand the resources that are available to them. We have an opportunity to prepare relevant material and to distribute it for their use. 

A large but difficult audience for ASA to reach is Christians in science who have little interest in discussing the relationship between science and Christian faith. They are more comfortable keeping their faith and their vocation as two separate realms with little interaction. They are often reluctant to engage in what could become controversial topics. Through ASA, they could effectively serve as a vital testimony for their faith just by joining us as a public statement of their faith. 

Carrying out these roles is not something that the ASA office can do by itself. These challenges can only be met by the work of our members throughout the world. Our goal is to equip each of you to be able to minister to the needs of your church, your scientific colleagues, and your community. We plan to provide materials that you can share with your pastors as well as your colleagues. We intend to invest in advertising to raise awareness in the communities of what we offer. Above all, we need your help. Nothing is as effective as the personal sharing with a friend. Please encourage your colleagues to join us as part of the broad network of Christians in science. With your help, we can make a difference. 

Welcome, New Members! February–March 2008 
Abendroth, Lori J. –Ames, IA
Anderson, Erik T. –Seattle, WA
Arnold, Thomas P. –Arlington Heights, IL
Buratovich, Michael A. –Spring Arbor, MI
Dillon, Kyle A. –Augusta, GA
Driesenga, Jessica  –Grand Rapids, MI
Dunion, Tom  –Lincoln, NE
Dykstra, David W. –Batavia, IL
Felch, Douglas A. –Grand Rapids, MI
Fruechting, Pamela  –Wichita, KS
Fuson, Ernest W. –Louisville, TN
Gavitt, Paul H. –Tucson, AZ
Henrich, Curtis J. –Rockville, MD
Holder, David  –Oklahoma City, OR
Jarvis, John F. –Augusta, GA
Joseph, Diana R. –Waco, TX
Labonte, Jason W. –Baltimore, MD
Leeds, William B. –Columbia, MO
Manley, Obadiah  –Baltimore, MD
McNew, J. T. L.  –College Station, TX
Perez-Marquez, Victor M. –Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico
Peterson, Michael  –Wilmore, KY
Prigel, Donald W. –Golden, CO
Rice, Andrew  –Riverside, CA
Runion, Donald F. –Glen Allen, VA
Salomon, Daniel A. –Rockville, MD
Savelli, Cindy  –Los Gatos, CA
Stefaniak, Chad M. –Duncanville, AL
Stenberg, Mark  –Ames, IA
Stevens, Syman O. –New York City, NY
Stewart, J. Patrick  –Edmonton, AB, Canada
Summers, Michael E. –Clifton, VA
Tandy, Jon P. –Independence, MO
Woodson, Robert D. –Madison, WI
Wright, Emmett G. –Blacksburg, VA 

Polish Cosmologist Receives Templeton Prize 

Michael Heller, professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Cracow, Poland, has been chosen as recipient of the MHELLER_WINNER_200s2008 Templeton Prize. Heller’s prolific production included more than 30 books and nearly 400 papers on topics such as unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics, multi-verse theories and their limitations, geometric methods in relativistic physics, and the philosophy and history of science. 

During much of his career, he worked in an environment hostile to his faith and to intellectual activity. His parents set an example of survival in difficult circumstances. Before the family fled the Nazis in 1939, Heller’s father sabotaged the chemical factory where he had worked to keep it out of the hands of the invaders. During the first ten years of his life, he had moved from Poland to present-day Ukraine, to Siberia, to southern Russia and back to Poland. He and other intellectuals met to discuss cross-disciplinary ideas in the residence of Karol Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II. 

His current work focuses on noncommutative geometry and groupoid theory, attempting to remove the problem of an initial cosmological singularity at the origin of the universe. He states on the Templeton website,
Various processes in the universe can be displayed as a succession of states in such a way that the preceding state is a cause of the succeeding one. If we look deeper at such processes, we see that there is always a dynamical law prescribing how one state should generate another state. But dynamical laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations, and if we ask about the cause of the universe we should ask about a cause of mathematical laws. By doing so we are back in the Great Blueprint of God’s thinking the universe. The question on ultimate causality is translated into another of Leibniz’s questions: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” When asking this question, we are not asking about a cause like all other causes. We are asking about the root of all possible causes

Heller and the John Templeton Foundation have launched an online discussion of the question “Does the universe need to have a cause?” at 

The 820,000-pound sterling (approximately $1.6 million) award will be presented at Buckingham Palace May 7. Heller plans to use it to further research and education in science and theology as an academic discipline. 

The Green Scene 

Time’s Dec. 24 issue included an item on the ten biggest religion stories of 2007. Number 6 was “Green Evangelicals. Global warming, along with poverty and torture, have become hot issues to a maturing conservative Christian movement.” 

Churches Going Green 
The Falls Church (VA) Presbyterian Church now prints its Sunday bulletins on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, using vegetable-based inks for the logo. Their printer was the first to be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The FSC is backed by 14 major environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and the Sierra Club. 

The church has formed an Environmental Ad Hoc Committee to help it be more environmentally conscious. A lighting audit resulted in initial steps to replace incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs and to install twelve motion sensors with timers and some solar-powered floodlights with built-in motion sensors. 

The church has an engagement of recycling and waste contract with a private sector recycling contractor. They have set up a five-year master environmental plan. They have posted reminder notes near light switches, are using reusable tableware, and are monitoring water usage. 

Vatican Declares Pollution a Sin 
The Vatican, wanting to show its concern for the planet, has added a new sin: pollution. Destroying the environment is an offense against God. Last summer, officials installed 1,000 solar-energy panels in the Paul VI Audience Hall, Vatican City’s main auditorium. The city-state has joined a reforestation program to offset its carbon emissions and prayer books are being made with recycled paper. Pope Benedict XVI said,
Before it’s too late, we need to make courageous choices that will recreate a strong alliance between man and Earth. We need a decisive “yes” to care for creation and a strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk making the situation of decay irreversible. Las Vegas Review Journal, March 15, 2008 

Southern Baptist Declaration 
A group of Southern Baptist leaders said their denomination has been “too timid” on environmental issues and has a biblical duty to stop global warming. A declaration, signed by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, among others, shows a growing urgency about climate change. This is the largest Protestant group in the United States. The leaders said that current evidence of global warming is “substantial” and the threat is too grave to wait for perfect knowledge about whether, or how much, people contribute to the trend. Jonathan Merritt, a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, rallied denominational leaders to become involved. He said he became inspired in a theology class where his professor compared destroying God’s creation to “tearing a page out of the Bible.” “That struck me,” Jonathan said. “It broke me.” Las Vegas Review Journal, March 10, 2008 

Affiliation of Christian Geologists 
Wheaton College
geologist Jeff Greenberg e-mailed the Affiliation of Christian Geologists that he has introduced a creation care seminar into his Baptist congregation. Main presenter Ed Brown is an ordained Baptist missionary with Pakistani field experience and current work in Kenya. He was director for the AuSable Institute in Michigan, and now lives in Madison, WI. Ed has a ministry website,, and has written a book on Christian environmental concerns. He will use Jeff’s church as a base for this “outreach” to the Wheaton-area evangelical community. Student environmental groups at Wheaton College will help organize and promote the seminar among local congregations. 

International Society for Science and Religion 

In Sigtuna, Sweden, April 30–May 5, the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) will be part of the XII European Conference on Science and Theology, arranged by the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology. Its theme is “How Do We Know? Understanding in Science and Theology.” There will be a symposium “Beyond Hedenius: Changing Conceptions of Knowledge.” 

ISSR was established in 2002 to promote education through the support of interdisciplinary learning and research in science and religion—conducted, where possible, in an international and multi-faith context. Arthur Peacocke said, “As we face the universal claims of science and confront its new challenges together, may we find a common spiritual ground among ourselves.” The ISSR office is at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, England. See 

ISSR recently adopted a statement on “Intelligent Design.” The several authors of the statement include Denis Alexander of Cambridge, and Jeffrey Schloss of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA

ASAers in Print 

  • Walt Hearn contributed a chapter to Darwin and the Bible: The Cultural Confrontation, a Penguin Academic paperback intended as a reader for students. It was put together by two secular anthropology professors at SUNY, Plattsburgh, Richard Robbins and Mark Cohen. Walter thinks the book could raise the intellectual level of the controversy by juxtaposing chapters expressing widely different views. His chapter, “Creation Matters,” is situated between an excerpt on Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NOMA) from the late Stephen Jay Gould and a summary of Intelligent Design (ID) by Phillip Johnson.

Other chapters include two historical presentations by Edward J. Larson, and a chapter by theologian Ted Peters of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) advocating theistic evolution. Walt’s involvement stems from Peters recommending him to editor Robbins as someone who could write sympathetically about Christians who read the Bible literally. Walt accepted the challenge, telling Robbins openly that he prayed about writing his chapter which he finished in record time just before receiving news of his son’s death. Hearn interpreted that timing as a sign of God’s concern for his chapter and for the whole project. Robbins added a tribute on the dedication page: “To thoughtful people everywhere … in memory of Russell Houston Hearn.”

Walt’s chapter includes multiple references to the ASA, including the story of Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy, a description of the ASA, the organization’s web address, and a picture of Francis S. Collins. * Walt Hearn 

  • John Wood and atmospheric scientist Geoff Strong co-authored “A Primer on Climate Change,” published in the January/February issue of Faith Today, the magazine of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. They state:

Most climate scientists point to two major processes at work setting planetary temperatures. First, … Earth is warmer overall than it would be without naturally occurring greenhouse gases, such as water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane … Without this natural warming, the typical surface temperature would be a chilly –18 degrees [C.] or so. We would be living with earthly conditions like those of … Mars, where the atmosphere no longer has these heat-trapping gases. Second, … humans are making additions of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide.

The article cites a statement by ASA fellow Jack Swearengen, in his new book Beyond Paradise: Technology and the Kingdom of God (Wipf & Stock, 2007): Our industrial civilization is “not physically sustainable in its present” way of operating. Wood and Strong interpret,

Atmospheric and Earth-systems scientists are still discovering basic and fundamental facts about how the world works. But waiting until we have all the information in hand would foolishly risk the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, not to mention creatures too. From our perspective the science is clear enough to begin taking action.

Referring to the Oscar and Nobel Peace Prize awarded to former vice president Al Gore for his film “An Inconvenient Truth,” the authors comment,

Word is getting around that some details in the movie are wrong or exaggerated, and some of us have decided we can safely ignore it. Frankly, Gore has overstated some details, but it would be a mistake to dismiss the entire question of climate change based on those flaws.

The article is available online at 

ASAers Lecturing 

  • Francis Collins appeared on the television program “The Protestant Reformation: The Protestant Movement Revolutionizes Christianity” in March. The two-hour overview of the history of the Protestant Reformation included subjects of interest to the modern world, including evolution.

Science (May 4, 2007, p. 676) noted (with a photo) that Francis was a strong supporter of the need for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the original version of which was introduced more than 12 years ago. This bill “bans group health plans and insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to healthy individuals based on genetic information.” It also prevents employers from using genetic information in hiring, firing, or job-placement decisions. Collins told a House of Representatives hearing, “Unless Americans are convinced that the information will not be used against them, the era of personalized medicine will never come to pass.”

On March 30, Francis discussed how he reconciles scientific knowledge and his Christian faith at the Adat Shalom Social Hall, Bethesda, MD. This is the Institute of Science and Judaism which stimulates scientists, rabbis, and other professional and lay leaders and members of the Jewish community in the Washington/Baltimore area to explore the interface between science and religion. His presentation was titled “Faith and Science: Two Paths to Truth.” 

  • Point Loma Nazarene University biologist Rebecca Flietstra spoke on the topic of “The Human Need for Love” on April 30 at Azusa Pacific University
  • Owen Gingerich, Prof. Emeritus of Astronomy and the History of Science, Harvard University, gave a lecture sponsored by Cornell United Religious Work, Religious Studies, Science and Technology Studies, and Chesterton House, a Center for Christian Studies at Cornell University. A video of this lecture, “The Divine Handiwork: Evolution and the Wonder of Life,” is available at 
  • Francis Collins was the keynote speaker at the C. S. Lewis Institute annual fundraiser dinner in Fairfax, VA, March 13. Paul Arveson reports:

Collins spoke as usual about his journey from unbelief to faith in Christ. A milestone in his journey was reading C. S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity. He said that the first three pages of this book refuted his prior skepticism, which was that of a schoolboy. Collins attended the Institute’s Fellows program in 2001–02 and reported that it was of great benefit to him.

He went on to describe the excitement of being a scientist and a doctor in the emerging new field of genomics; in fact he led the effort to sequence the human genome, an achievement that he predicted will shed light on practically every disease in 20–30 years. He repeated his conviction that there is no fundamental conflict between modern science and Christian faith. He affirmed both creation and evolution as works of God, although he rejected the reductionist claim that behaviors like altruism can be explained by natural causes.

The C. S. Lewis Institute began in 1975 as a project by five couples, encouraged by the leadership of James Houston. (My wife Kathy and I were one of those couples.) The intent was not to create a literary society but an endeavor to bring Christ and professions together, as exemplified by C. S. Lewis. It is gratifying to see how God has blessed the Institute; tonight they filled a ballroom with 500 people. The Fellows program now provides free (but demanding) discipleship training and mentoring to “fellows” of all ages. The Institute continues to grow; its Fellows are beginning to have an influence on Washington and hence on the world.

Their website is

  • Donald van Ostenburg recently presented a series of lectures on “Modern Science and Scripture” at Christ Community Church in Lemont, IL. Topics were based on Hugh Ross’ testable creation model. They included a concordist view of the creation events as depicted on a billion-year timeline, how Earth is fine-tuned for the existence of life, “Are We Alone in the Universe?” and the resolution of paradoxes in the Christian faith via concepts of extra space and time dimensions. He reports, “Participants were captivated by our awesome God and how near to us he really is.” 
  • On April 10–12, Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA, hosted a conference entitled “Open and Relational Theologies Engaging Science.” Keynote presenters and directors included geneticist Francis Collins, physicist Karl Giberson, and theologian Thomas Jay Oord

ASAer Researches the Grand Canyon 

Geologist Carol A. Hill, an ASA Fellow and adjunct professor in the geology department of the University of New Mexico, has researched many areas including the Grand Canyon, Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, Big Bend in Texas, and Carlsbad Caverns in CarolComingUpGrandCanyonCropNew Mexico. She has authored several books including Cave Minerals of the World, Geology of Carlsbad Cavern, and Geology of the Delaware Basin. She was featured in NOVA’s “Mysterious Life of Caves” in October 2002 and several other television programs about caves. 

Carol has published many articles, including several in ASA’s PSCF. Most deal with age issues on the planet. She also has given many presentations, including one at the University of Pittsburgh titled “Noah’s Flood, the Grand Canyon, and the Science of Geology.” 

Carol has been involved in research on the Grand Canyon in recent years. The March 7 issue of Science included a very interesting article by Carol and two colleagues titled “Age and Evolution of the Grand Canyon Revealed by U-Pb Dating of Water Table-Type Speleothems.” Carol and her colleagues had a National Science Foundation grant to determine the age of the Grand Canyon from the uranium/lead dating of speleothems (cave formations). Articles with photos also appeared in newspapers across the country about this significant research. It was big news! 

Using the uranium/lead dating evidence, they found that the western Grand Canyon yielded water table decline rates of 55–125 meters/million years over the past 17 million years, in contrast to eastern Grand Canyon samples that yielded much faster rates (166 to 411 meters per million years). The western half of the Grand Canyon began to open at least 17 million years ago and the eastern side about 5–6 million years ago. The research shows that two canyons formed and eventually joined. Hill and her colleagues culled the formations from protected caves in ten different spots along the Grand Canyon. They conclude that the Colorado River has taken about 20 million years in its downward course to cut through the one-mile depth of the canyon. Tectonic forces as well as erosion were involved. Because caves preserve and protect deposits from weathering, these researchers used cave deposits marking positions of the water table as indicators of the levels of the river bed. 

Carol’s husband is physicist Alan E. Hill, Distinguished Scientist of the Quantum Physics Institute at Texas A & M University. Together, they have taught “Science and the Bible” Sunday School classes at their church, Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in Albuquerque

Furthering the Dialogue 

As part of the mission of the new “Center for the Understanding of Origins” at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS, an undergraduate general education course titled “Origins: Humanity, Life and the Universe” was developed and implemented in Fall 2005. 

The objective of the course is to provide students with a truly interdisciplinary learning experience in which the conclusions of modern science are taught in their historical and cultural context. Its aim is to foster bold and scholarly interdisciplinary research addressing issues of origins, especially of the physical universe, the Earth, of life, of intelligence, and language. A major goal is to help students understand the nature and limitations of science, and the similarities and differences between scientific investigation and other ways of knowing. Faculty from the Departments of Biology, Geology, Physics, English and Philosophy are involved. 

The Center sponsors academic and public speakers with the aim of transforming the discussion of various topics such as evolution to become informed debate rather than hostile argument. Keith Miller, Research Assistant Professor, was one of the group which developed the syllabus and is on the team of faculty who teach the course. Keith says, 

The most challenging aspects of implementing the course were overcoming the inherent problems with a team-taught course (six teaching faculty), and helping students see connections between the diverse topics and ideas presented.


Of Interest 

  • For years, men have been abandoning pregnant women, shrugging, “That’s her problem. She can get an abortion.” But the January 7 Los Angeles Times points out that many men experience emotional pain and guilt, decades after the event. The article, “Changing Abortion’s Pronoun,” reveals that it’s also “his problem.” 
  • A new human evolution extravaganza exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, “Surviving: The Body of Evidence,” will run from April 19 to Nov. 30. It has five segments: “Fit for life,” “Our place in the natural world,” “Finding your human ancestors,” “Witnessing evolution,” and “We are not perfect, but we are OK.”  Details at 
  • The movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” opened in theaters in April. Featuring clips from a variety of viewpoints, ranging from Richard Dawkins to Michael Behe and Guillermo Gonzalez, it promotes the view that academic freedom is abridged for many academics who have espoused theistic viewpoints, especially if they involve either Intelligent Design or creationism. 
  • Yale University installed Sharon Kubler as its new University Chaplain on February 24. David Mahan, of the Rivendell ministry, comments, “Yale is privileged to have such an office, as many other colleges and universities relegate religious life to the status of extracurricular activity, whereas at Yale it is regarded as a crucial component in the health and flourishing of our community.” * David Mahan 
  • In July 2007, the First Conference on Creation Geology was held on the campus of Cedarville University in Ohio. Creationist geologists are now numerous enough to fill a large meeting room. They went on a field trip, organized by geologist John Whitmore, along one of Ohio’s richest fossil beds and found many fossils which they maintain are left from Noah’s flood. Conference participants tackled some questions such as how radioisotope dating is flawed, how the Grand Canyon was formed, and if all the animals died in one cataclysmic event, why their fossils appear in such distinct order. 
  • In January, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith featured Christopher J. Hogan at Montview Presbyterian Church in Denver, CO. Hogan is an associate professor in the Integrated Dept. of Immunology, University of Colorado Health Sciences, Aurora, CO. He presented the latest achievements in stem cell research and discussed moral as well as medical aspects of this research. He was quoted recently in the Denver Post on the use of human skin to generate stem cells. 

Special Anniversary 

My newsletter co-editor, Dave Fisher, joined Trans World Radio (TWR) as a missionary in June 1963. The organization presents Christian radio broadcasts in more than 200 languages across the world. TWR’s latest magazine, vol. 29, no. 1, contains the following text: 

Anniversary Milestones: Join us in thanking God for these TWR colleagues who celebrate an anniversary milestone. David & Doris Fisher, Aurora, IL, 45 years! 

As noted in the May/June 2007 Newsletter, Dave’s current assignment is writing the “Truth in the Test Tube” program, which TWR currently broadcasts in Mandarin Chinese and three other languages. Since that article was published, downloads of this Mandarin program have grown to 1.2 million per year, and 18 additional language departments have expressed at least tentative interest in using it. 

One of Dave’s prayer requests is “For discernment regarding subjects and angles to use in opening conversations with people who have no previous knowledge of God.” * Margaret Towne 

Call for Papers 

International Institute for Christian Studies (IICS) is accepting abstract submissions for papers to be presented at the “Engaging Our World: From the Ivory Tower to Global Impact” conference, July 17–19, at the Kansas City Airport Hilton. The conference features Paul Marshall, Elaine Storkey and David Naugle. 

Over 60 papers will be presented on the theme of a Christian worldview and its application. Papers receiving priority consideration will address the following tracks: (1) understanding and communicating a Christian worldview, (2) applying a Christian worldview and (3) the role and impact of a Christian worldview on specific disciplines. Submit a 300-word abstract and your C.V. to Deadline for abstract submission: May 23. For more information, visit or call 1-800-776-4427. 

Coming Events 

Apr.–Nov. 30. Human Evolution exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia. See page 6. 

May 2–4. Analysis & Interpretation in the Exact Sciences, U. of Western Ontario, London, ON. Keynote speaker: Mark Wilson, U. of Pittsburgh philosopher. Details at

May 13–28. “Israel at 60. Explore the Past, Celebrate the Present.” A trip to Israel featuring lectures and on-site tours with Bible scholars and archaeologists. Complete details and registration are available at 

June 20–21. The Biblical Archaeology Society will have a seminar in Charleston, SC, titled “God, the Bible and Human Suffering.” Bart Ehrman and Julia O’Brien are the speakers. See, email: or call 1-800-221-4644 for more information. 

June 21–27. “Spiritual Formation and the Academic Life,” InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Midwest Regional Faculty Conference, Cedarville, MI. Speakers: Dallas Willard, Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Mary Poplin, and Steve Simmons. See 

June 23–24. An International Interdisciplinary Conference on Natural Theology, “Beyond Paley: Renewing the Vision for Natural Theology” at the University of Oxford

June 25–27. First Annual Meeting of the Society of Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3825, Durham, NC. 

June 27–29. “The Heart of the University,” National Faculty Leadership Conference, Crystal City, near Washington, DC. Christians in academia are called to follow Christ into the heart of the contemporary university. Details at * Walter Bradley 

July 10–13. The Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion in the University of Oxford will have a Conference “God, Nature and Design: Historical and Contemporary.” Email 

July 6–12. St. Olaf College Seminar, Northfield, MN, Biblical Archaeology Society presents “Peasants, Widows, Bandits and Beggars: The Everyday World in which Jesus Lived” and “Dirt, Bones, Potsherds and Stones: Archaeologists Probe the Galilee in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods.” Call 1-800-221-4644, ext. 208 or email 

July 17–19. Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity’s 15th Annual International Conference on Bioethics, Chicago, IL. Details at 

July 17–19. “Engaging Our World,” International Institute of Christian Studies, Kansas City Airport Hilton Hotel. See “Call for Papers” above.  

Aug. 1–4. ASA/CSCA Annual Meeting, George Fox University, Newberg, OR. Visit for details. 

Sept. 26–27. The Biblical Archaeology Society will have a seminar in Dallas, TX. See for more information.


Oct. 19. Mini-Conference on “Faith, Integration and the Life of the Christian Scholar,” 1–5 p.m., Rivendell House, New Haven, CT. Information available from


Oct. 23–25. “Bottom-up Approaches to Global Poverty: Appropriate Technology, Social Entrepreneurship, and the Church,” Baylor University, Waco, TX. Contact Walter Bradley at


Nov. 21–13. The Biblical Archaeology Society will have “BibleFest XI” with dozens of scholars. See: for more information.


Dec. 27–31. “Human Flourishing through the Good News of the Gospel,” InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries’ third Following Christ Conference, Chicago. Details at

Summer Workshops 

There are still some spots left in Duke University’s Summer Research Workshops on Religion, Spirituality and Health. At press time, there were 5–10 spots left in the July 21–25 workshop and 15 in the August 11–15 one. Visit for more information and registration details. Questions should be directed to Harold G. Koenig,

With the Lord 

Donald LaClair Riggin died Feb. 2, 2008, at age 83. Don was a life member of ASA, having joined in 1969. At the time, he was a professor at Minnesota Bible College in Minneapolis (now Crossroads College in Rochester, MN), where he taught Greek, philosophy, logic, astronomy, and other sciences. He also served various churches as interim pastor, the longest ministry being with Bethel Baptist Church in Strandberg, SD. * Gwen Riggin 

ASA Sections Meet 

Rocky Mountain Section 
The ASA’s Rocky Mountain Section held its 22nd Annual Meeting at Colorado State University (CSU) on February 23. The theme of the conference was “Where is Technology Taking Us?” Two plenary lecturers answered that question: Jack Swearengen (ASA Fellow) spoke on “Technology and the Kingdom of God: Promise and Peril.” Prof. Edwin Chong of CSU spoke on “Technology: Control and Responsibility.” 

The plenary sessions were followed by four breakout sessions, seeking to apply the conference theme to specific technological issues. Discussion groups addressed the following topics: Energy and Climate Change; Food and Water; Cell Phones, Ipods and Internet; and Medical Technology and Ethics. Each discussion group was led by an expert in the field. Attendees included ASA members from the Rocky Mountain region, faculty from CSU, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Northern Colorado, and students. 

The conference ended with a brief business session with all the board members of the Rocky Mountain region attending. The general assessment of the conference was very positive with several of the attendees becoming new members. * Kenell J. Touryan, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Section Board 

Oklahoma-Texas Section 
The ASA’s OK-TX Section meets every two months. The March 8 meeting centered on two March 2008 PSCF items: Denis Lamoureux’s article on inerrancy (pp. 4–15) and the Isaac Exchange (pp. 35–9). 

Leader Scott Robinson is making progress in producing a Sunday school course  

to equip students to present an effective, credible apologetic defending Christianity and the Bible in the complex creation-evolution arena of the current culture wars; to help students define their own method of reconciling science and Scripture that is true to both; and to equip students with tools to refine their view as more information comes to light. 

Encouragement to complete it has come from homeschoolers who tell Scott “they think it’s God’s timing to give this course, because they’ve seen the curricula out there for homeschool science and they are looking for alternatives.”

Scott and a friend both have Masters degrees in geoscience, so the class will have academic credibility. * Scott Robinson 

Congratulations, Long-time ASAers! 
Celebrating 40 years of membership 

David S. Barnes
Stephen J. Barnhart
Paul F. Blattner, Jr.
Roger D. Griffioen
John S. Haverhals
Fred S. Hickernell
Christopher B. Kaiser
Yi Li Liu
Helen E. Martin
Ellen W. McLaughlin
Clarence Menninga
Donald V. Noren
Robert C. Olsen
John L. Orchanian
Evelina Orteza y Miranda
Walter Partenheimer
W. Thomas Schipper
Kenell J. Touryan
John B. Van Zytveld 

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 

Please send Canadian matters to: CSCA, P.O. Box 63082, University Plaza, Dundas, ON, Canada  L9H 4H0

Send address changes and other business items to the American Scientific Affiliation, P.O. Box 668, 55 Market St., Ipswich, MA 01938-0668. Phone: (978) 356-5656; FAX: (978) 356-4375; Email:; Website: 

©2008 American Scientific Affiliation (except previously published material). All rights reserved. 

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