Asalogo3.JPG Asalogo5.JPGNEWSLETTER 

of the
American Scientific Affiliation
Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation 

Volume 50, Number 6                                                                                                                    NOV/DEC 2008

ASA Elects Five New Fellows

Each year the ASA recognizes several members who are active in the science and religion dialogue and elects them as Fellows. Those honored in 2008 are: 

FlietstraR crop Rebecca J. Flietstra has been a professor of biology since 1997 at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She earned a BA in biology from Calvin College and her PhD in physiology from Kansas University Medical Center. She joined the ASA in 1997 and is a book review editor for PSCF

Rebecca won a Templeton Science and Religion Course Award in 1999 and gave science and religion seminars at Oxford in 1999–2001. This year she spoke on “Rooting Evolution in Grace” at the Wesleyan Theological Society, Duke University. Other topics have been “Consciousness, Synaptic Plasticity, and the Means of Grace,” “Biology of Grace,” and “Evolution and the Golden Rule” (given at the ASA annual meeting at Pepperdine University in 2002). She has attended science and religion conferences at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley, CA. Rebecca says, 

I cannot remember a time that I was not a Christian. Although I have said yes to God many times in my life, I cannot recall an initial yes of conversion. For this reason (and because I’m a biologist), I tend to emphasize the sanctifying, transformative aspect of faith, rather than the initial moment of justification. Grace doesn’t merely save, but also enables us to change, to become increasingly more Christlike. This Christ-likeness doesn’t remove us from the world, but instead (like Christ’s incarnation) drives us deeper into creation. Here we honor God by serving neighbors, fellow creatures, and all of God’s creation. 

Jeffrey P. Schloss has been at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, since 1981 and is presently the Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Biology. He earned his BS in biology at Wheaton College, studied ecology at the University of Michigan, and received his PhD in ecology and evolutioSchlossJ cropnary biology from Washington University

Jeff joined the ASA in 1975, introduced by his faculty mentors; now he introduces students to the ASA. He has given plenary presentations at two ASA annual meetings, including Edinburgh. 

Jeff has had numerous articles or scholarly edited volumes published and has given over 60 invited presentations or endowed lectures. He co-directed six international conferences or faculty courses and has been on the editorial boards of five science/religion journals. He was a judge in seven international grant competitions. Among other honors, he has received three Templeton Distinguished Book in Science and Religion Awards and is a Senior Fellow, Emory University Center for Law and Religion and was a Charter Member in the International Society for Science and Religion. He is an editor for the forthcoming book The Praying Primate: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives on the Origin of Religion. Jeff says, 

I am a student and follower of Jesus Christ. Better still, and seemingly irreverent though I believe biblically sound, the reverse is also true: His goodness and mercy follow me, all the days of my life. Endeavoring to learn from and yield to Christ, in the (sometimes insecure) confidence that his mercy is larger than my lack of understanding or lapses of fidelity, is the core of both my experience of and commitment to the gospel. I find my own understanding of that gospel to be best articulated in the evangelical Christian tradition. 

Dean E. Arnold received his BA in anthropology from Wheaton College and his MA and PhD degrees in anthropology from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He taught at Pennsylvania State University for three years, was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico and Peru, and has taught at ArnoldDean cropWheaton College since 1973. He was a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge and joined the ASA in 1995. 

Dean teaches an annual course called “Human Origins” that integrates data on fossil humans with Christianity and the Bible. All his courses integrate anthropology and Christianity. He has written many articles including one titled “Why Are There So Few Christian Anthropologists? Reflections on the Tensions between Christianity and Anthropology,” published in PSCF. He also had a chapter published in Not Just Science titled “How Do Scientific Views on Human Origins Relate to the Bible?” He wrote a book Ecology of Ceramic Production in an Andean Community. His lectures include one recently at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Dean says, 

Raised in a Christian home and in the church, I didn’t really make a clear commitment to Christ until I was 18. I started out as a fundamentalist and gradually came to understand the deeper cultural, scientific, theological, and philosophical and character issues that derive from faith in Christ. One of these issues is a respect for the integrity of God’s creation. It is necessary to understand who God is, try to understand his written revelation, and humbly submit oneself to its authority … I have placed myself in God’s hands as my sovereign, and I subject myself to the kind of life Christians are to emulate as described in the Bible. I fail miserably, but Jesus is my Advocate and my Savior to cleanse me, empower me, guide me, and bring me to the throne of God in the life to come. 

Brian T. Greuel earned a BS in biology at Wheaton College, an MS in botany at Ohio State University and a PhD in molecular biology at Washington University. Since 1998 he has taught at John Brown University, and prior to that at the University of Scranton, Austin College, and ASA08#-1225GreuelSamuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. He joined the ASA in 1981 through a membership given as a graduation gift by the Wheaton biology department. 

Brian reviews manuscripts for PSCF and has been very active as a leader in workshops and in writing articles in the area of bioethics. He has moderated sessions and has presented several papers at ASA annual meetings, including one this past summer at George Fox University

Brian teaches, among other courses, cell biology, genetics, bioethics, and philosophy of science. He has received several grants including one from the National Institutes of Health. He leads discussion groups at churches, and is presently a member of the Education Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology. Brian says, 

I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at a Campus Life meeting during my sophomore year of high school. Since that time, I have dedicated myself to living in obedience and service to him. As an undergraduate at Wheaton College, I was challenged to integrate my Christian faith with the study of biology, and this has been a passion of mine ever since. I have consistently been an active member of Christ-honoring, evangelical churches where I have been privileged to serve in various leadership and teaching capacities. I believe I have a growing, vital relationship with Jesus Christ upon whom I depend daily for guidance through prayer and the reading of his Word. 

Karl Giberson received a BS in physics/math and a BA in philosophy from Eastern Nazarene College. He earned his PhD in physics from Rice University and has been a professor of physics at Eastern Nazarene College since 1984. For the last two years, Karl also has been the Director of GibersonK cropFaith/Science Forum and the Director of the Science-and-Religion Writing Program at Gordon College. He was editor of Science and Theology News for seven years and editor-in-chief of Science and Spirit for four years. He joined the ASA in 1991. 

Karl designed a course which won a Templeton Course Award in science and religion and has taught several other courses in science and religion. He has published many book reviews and articles in PSCF and has given lectures at Oxford University, in Sicily, and at the Vatican. This past summer he was a program director of a project in Venice. Karl has written so many articles and books on science and religion that he considers his professional field to be science and religion, not physics. His Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution was published this year by HarperOne. In addition, Karl is a contributing editor of Books and Culture, and he is involved with a variety of projects with the Templeton Foundation. Karl says, 

I have been a Christian all my life … my spiritual journey has been dominated by a steady and often challenging migration to a more intellectually oriented and theologically liberal expression of my faith. These struggles have created a career trajectory for me, and I have gradually become more and more professionally active in helping Christians find ways to come to peace with science, as my good friend Darrel Falk puts it. 

scan0016Robey Thomas faceStudents and Early Career Scientists Get New Leader 

Thomas E. Robey is our new executive council representative for students and early career scientists. He has bachelors degrees in the history and philosophy of science, bioengineering, and biology and earned a PhD at the University of Pittsburgh in bioengineering. He is at the University of Washington Medical School and is with the Center for Cardiovascular Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington. Thomas is the co-director of FOSEP (Forum on Science, Ethics and Policy: which promotes dialogue among scientists, policy experts, and the public. He is married to Susan, and we thank him so much for being willing to lead our students and early career scientists in the next two years. 


The Executive Director’s Corner 

Randall D. Isaac 

Diversity is a popular term in our society. In many aspects of our lives, it denotes the broad range of differences in a particular population. 

Biodiversity, for example, speaks to the immense variety of species in the world of living systems. We are increasingly aware of the importance of this diversity in our own lives. Ecosystems large and small have a critical dependence on the sustained viability of diverse species. Virtually nothing would survive in a homogeneous system of a single species. 

Cultural diversity reflects the rich range of ethnic heritage throughout the human population. While it may not be obvious that human survival is directly dependent on this diversity, it is easy to see that our experience is greatly enhanced by interaction with a spectrum of cultural perspectives. 

Diversity of thought and opinion is particularly noticeable in this time of political campaigns. The power of the freedom to express one’s opinion, particularly on political issues, is so strong that authoritarian regimes are quick to suppress it. We greatly value the freedom in democratic societies to express a variety of viewpoints. Yet it continually amazes us to find how people have radically different ways of interpreting and valuing the exact same incident or person. The sharp differences between adherents of various political parties belie the high degree of similarity in our values. 

Such differences have been especially notable in the response to the current economic crisis. Global in scope and unrelenting in its reach, our vast economy is trembling as the confidence on which it is built continues to erode. The sharp difference of opinions on the cause and the appropriate response is helpful as a check and balance but is also a source of delay that causes additional harm. It is an example of how the benefit of diversity can be offset by the damage done when differences are allowed to prevent or delay a path of action. 

It is not surprising that the Christian community also reflects diversity on all aspects from details of theology to styles of worship. Our common commitment to the central doctrines of Christianity unites us, but too often we allow that unity to be shattered by overemphasizing what divides us. 

The ASA is a special case of reflecting diversity in the realm of issues relating to science and Christian faith. In contrast to many other organizations, we are not advocates for any particular viewpoint but emphasize the freedom for honest differences of opinion within the framework of the most central doctrines of faith. It is our goal to leverage that diversity to draw us closer to the truth and to unity. 

Unfortunately diversity can also generate frustration and division within the body of Christ. This is hardly new and the Apostle Paul dealt explicitly with that problem in his letter to the Corinthians. In topics like the ethics of stem cell research or genetic engineering or creation/evolution, these differences can generate outright hostility. Last week, for example, a brother in Christ told me I was in a state of unbelief with a hardened heart and was suppressing the truth, all because of a difference in interpretation of a phrase in Genesis. Even so, we are united in Christ. 

One of the grand visions and goals of the ASA is not merely to tolerate diversity but to benefit from it. None of us has a complete view of truth. God’s revelation to us is vast and wonderful. In our diversity of humankind, we will perceive different aspects of that truth. Only as we celebrate that diversity of perspectives and learn from it, can we come to a broader knowledge of God. Let us work together in harmony, not aiming for agreement on all issues but for understanding and growth as we respect our diversity. 

Welcome New Members! August–September 2008 

Amato, Katherine –Cleveland, TN
Beers, Jane E. –Siloam Springs, AR
Bennett, Bruce –Grayson, GA
Bergwerff, Ken A. –Grand Rapids, MI
Berry, Anne C. –Kent, UK
Billman, Timothy E. –Azusa, CA
Blake, Stephen –Van Nuys, CA
Caudle, Kathryn –Veneta, OR
DeBoer, Gary D. –Longview, TX
Edman, Laird R. –Orange City, IA
Fish, Ted J. –Fayetteville, AR
Foster, Michael R. –Newberg, OR
Gass, David –Reisterstown, MD
Gibson, John S. –Smyrna, GA
Giles, Carol –Hoston, TX
Grace, Bradley W. –Leicester, UK
Guzman-Teipel, Elisa –Waco, TX
Hancock, Chris –Glendale, AZ
Harris, Tracey –Charleston, SC
Harwood, T. Mark –Wheaton, IL
Himma, Kenneth E. –Seattle, WA
Johnson, Wendy D. –Vancouver, WA
Jongsma, Calvin –Sioux Center, IA
Paul –Central, SC
Kort, Henry W. –Allen, TX
Kozlowski, Miroslaw –Warsaw, Poland
Lierman, John –Sioux Falls, SD
Lyn, Nadeau J. –Lanham, MD
Macway, Sarah A. –Stanford, CA
Martin, David C. –Ann Arbor, MI
Miner, Lee Ann H. –Mt Vernon, OH
Nicholson, Kristina –Shoreline, WA
Olena, Douglas F. –Springfield, MO
Patterson II, James C. –Shreveport, LA
Ray, Elizabeth A. –Jacksonville, FL
Reeve, Anne M. –Mechanicsburg, PA
Riivers, Joyce A. –Northfield, VT
Rispin, Karen L. –Longview, TX
Robbins III, Bryan T. –Starkville, MS
Schiedler, David –Woodburn, OR
Shelhamer, Mark –Reisterstown, MD
Smith, Phillip –Yarmouth, ME
Smith, James D. –Portland, OR
Sproul, George R. –Salt Lake City, UT
Stanton Greer, David –Waco, TX
Stearley, Ralph –Grand Rapids, MI
Taylor, Madison –Wheaton, IL
Vanderwel, Wendy S. –Edmonton, AB, Canada
Wade, Katherine –Houston, TX
Wheathersby, Robert T. –St Davids, PA
Williams, Raymond R. –Blairsville, GA 

Correction and Update on Biblical Archaeology 

In our July/August newsletter on page 5 under “Biblical/Archaeology News,” we included a quote by Ian Deitch found in the Associated Press (Dec. 24, 2007). Joseph Lechner, professor of chemistry at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, OH, pointed out that this quote was an error. It stated, 

Israeli scientists have inscribed the entire Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible onto a space less than half the size of a grain of sugar. The nanotechnology experts at the Technion Institute in Haifa say the book was etched on a surface that measures less than 0.01 x 1.3 x 0.4 inches. It weighed 0.4 ounces and contained l,514 pages. 

Joseph sent us the following: “Wow, that was some lollipop. If the chip was 1.3 inches long, it was much larger than a grain of sugar. Accepting Deitch’s reported measurements at face value and converting them to metric units, the chip weighed 11.2 grams, occupied 0.85 cm3, and had a density of 131 g/cm3. Obviously something is wrong here. Technion’s own press release dated Dec. 17, 2007 stated, 

Technion researchers have succeeded in putting a full version of the Hebrew Bible, with vowel points, on 0.5 square millimeters—an area smaller than the size of a pinhead. 

Joseph continued, “Dietch seems to have confused Technion’s nano-Bible with the smallest previously-known Bible, which measured 2.8 x 3.4 x 1 cm (1.1 x 1.3 x 0.4 in), weighed 11.75 g (0.4 oz) and contained 1,514 pages, according to Guinness World Records (cited by Fox news, Dec. 23, 2007). Even Fox bungled its metric-English conversions, stating that the Technion text occupied less than 0.5 square millimeter (0.01 square inch) of surface. Half of a square millimeter equals 0.00078 square inch.” 

The nano-Bible project is part of an educational program that asks: How small can the Bible be? The program uses this intriguing question in order to investigate modern methods of creating miniature structures and imaging on a nanometric scale, to present advanced technology for high-density information storage and to discuss future topics such as information storage using DNA molecules or other bio-molecules. The Technion researchers say, 

The fact that the Bible contains a lot of information (some 10 million bits)—is the main thing. We are aware of many ideas for high-density information storage, but almost always, an attempt to apply these ideas for large quantities of information exposes new challenges and, in the end, leads to deeper understanding of the proposed method and its limitations. 

* Joseph Lechner 

Excavating Bible Land 

In 1998, Old Testament scholar and Egyptologist James Hoffmeier (Trinity International University) invited Stephen Moshier, chairman of Wheaton College’s geology department, to join him on a trip to Egypt to explore four new archaeological sites in the northwest Sinai. That was the beginning of a 10-year collaboration between archaeologist and geologist to map the eastern frontier of the Egyptian New Kingdom, an area that today encompasses the Suez Canal to Gaza. The initial journey led to the excavation, starting in 2000, of Tell el-Borg, one of the forts protecting “The Ways of Horus,” the coastal byway between Egypt and Canaan ( 

Over several seasons Moshier mapped the extent of ancient environments related to the eastern delta, such as the defunct Pelusaic branch of the Nile River, and the ancient Mediterranean coast. The resulting paleographic reconstruction of the region sheds light on the route of the Ways of Horus and perhaps even the Exodus, as several dry, broad depressions in the region could easily have been the Red Sea of the Bible. They were featured in the 2006 National Geographic Channel documentary “Mysteries of the Bible: Exodus Revealed.” 

This past July, Moshier joined the Harvard University-Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, Israel. Ashkelon was occupied by Canaanites, Philistines, Byzantines, Romans, Muslims and Crusaders. The geological work included drilling shallow borings to find the lowest level of human occupation and interpret the formation history. Stephen’s technical paper was just published in Geoarchaeology: An International Journal. He plans to write a more extensive paper for the ACG newsletter and possibly a paper for PSCF. This is most interesting and we look forward to research by this group in the future! Stephen is making a profound contribution in this significant research. 

ASAers in Print 

  • A book by ASA Fellow, Bob VanderVennen, A University for the People: A History of the Institute for Christian Studies (Dordt College Press), has recently been published. It describes the 50-year history of the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS) in Toronto pioneering scripturally-directed teaching and graduate research. Its creative vision for Christian higher education sees all of reality as God’s creation, denying the possibility of secularity. 

The book identifies the base of the curriculum and research not to be theology but a special philosophy which is infused with biblical wisdom. ICS says that in philosophy one finds the defining issues of each discipline, and also the connections between all disciplines, reflecting the unity of creation. This viewpoint can lead the Christian community toward an effective ordering of its everyday experience. 

Bob has worked for ICS for 25 years, first as Executive Director and later as Director of Educational Services. He set up a series of adult education correspondence courses and organized and supervised the teaching of Christian perspective courses at public universities in southern Ontario. He arranged for the publishing of many books arising from ICS research and from papers given at its many conferences. 

Becoming an ASA member while in graduate school in 1952, Bob was active in starting local ASA chapters in Washington DC, and in Chicago. He chaired the board of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation for about ten years. 

  • ASA Fellow Jerry Bergman includes several ASA members in his new book, Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters (Southworth, WA: Leafcutter Press, 2008;

Former PSCF editor and Stanford professor (now emeritus) Richard Bube has an international reputation for solid-state electronics expertise. In addition to his usual teaching load, he taught a for-credit course titled “Issues in Science and Religion” for a quarter century. Then suddenly and without explanation, Stanford cancelled it. When explanations were finally given, they revolved around the idea that it had a “lack of balance” because it discussed the “relationship between only the Judeo-Christian tradition and science.” Meanwhile, other seminars were allowed to continue presenting single viewpoints, including “Hindu Mythology” and “Women’s Literature of the Holocaust.” 

Other chapters deal with additional individuals who, in Bergman’s judgment, were either dismissed, refused tenure, or otherwise denied the professional respect they deserved because of their religious or metaphysical viewpoints. Bergman concludes with suggestions on how to counter perceived viewpoint discrimination. 

A Valuable Resource 

Sociologist and ASA Fellow David O. Moberg established the Association for the Development of Religious Information Services (ADRIS) in 1971 to facilitate coordination and cooperation among information services that pertain to religion. Its website covers a wide range of items including “Expanding Africa’s Broadband Capacity”; “The Wired Scholar,” an item about missions to the deaf; and “Give me that online religion.” It aims to promote worldwide networking to foster organizational cooperation, to reduce unnecessary program duplication, and to share applicable research data and tasks among diverse religious groups and agencies. ADRIS publishes a blog and provides information services consulting, “to build a network of folks concerned about how computers and data might be used to better the missions of manifold religious organizations.” More information is at

National Faculty Leadership Conference 

“The Heart of the University” was the theme of the National Faculty Leadership Conference (NFLC), held in a Washington suburb June 27–29. NFLC is a biennial gathering for Christian professors and graduate students, sponsored by Faculty Commons (formerly Christian Leadership Ministries), the faculty ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. 

Plenary speakers were Talbot Philosopher J. P. Moreland speaking on “Addressing the Core of the Contemporary University,” Harvard Assistant Professor of African and African-American Studies Marla Frederick speaking on “Guarding Your Heart while Living the Life of the Mind,” and University of Virginia Economics Professor Robert C. Taylor speaking on “The Professor as Servant.” Several other sessions are available as MP3 downloads at

Science in the Big City 

For four days at the end of May the first-ever World Science Festival was held in New York City. It received major funding from the John Templeton Foundation and featured 46 lectures, debates, shows, and other events at 22 different venues, from Greenwich Village to Harlem. This special event was the brainchild of Brian Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and a leading string theorist, and his wife Tracy Day, a former broadcast journalist and ABC News producer. 

The Templeton Foundation sponsored the Festival’s Big Idea Series, which consisted of five panels: Echoes from the Beginning: A Journey through Space and Time; Invisible Reality: The Wonderful Weirdness of the Quantum World; Faith and Science; Beyond Einstein: In Search of the Ultimate Explanation; and What It Means to Be Human, including Francis Collins. Gary Rosen, the Templeton Foundation’s chief external affairs officer said that the festival was “a perfect complement to the scientific research we fund. It lets the public experience some of the excitement of exploring the biggest of Big Questions about our universe.” Templeton Report, Sept.18, 2008. 

ASAers Respond to Nature Article 

When the 17 July issue of Nature published an obituary and an editorial about Sir John Templeton, they provoked a “postbag bulging with response.” One reaction published in the 28 August issue was from University of Manchester biologist Matthew Cobb and University of Chicago ecologist and evolutionary theorist Jerry Coyne, who stated “the only contribution that science can make to the ideas of religion is atheism.” 

ASA Fellows Ted Davis, Francis Collins and Owen Gingerich were joint signatories in correspondence that pointed out: 

Cobb and Coyne seem completely unaware of the fact that many important aspects of modern science—above all the search for contingent order that lies at the heart of all scientific research—have historically been closely linked with and substantially shaped by monotheistic religion. In other words, religion of a specific type is partly responsible for making science such a highly successful enterprise. 

As for the many contributions of science to religion, perhaps the most important one is this. We live in a very special universe, not only one that is hospitable for life but also one that we can actually comprehend, sometimes even very deeply. This is a startling fact that cries out for a deeper explanation, and many of the finest scientists have found a satisfying answer in religion. Theism not only makes good sense of our good sense, it also provides a transcendent basis for morality and our sense of beauty, especially in mathematics—itself so extraordinarily effective for probing the depths of nature. If the universe is in fact the thoughtful construction of an intelligent and subtle creator whose mind is not entirely unlike our own minds, then it is not such a rude shock that we can comprehend its comprehensibility and subtlety. Cobb and Coyne, however, are apparently content with the answer that there is no answer, but surely it is wholly in keeping with the spirit of science to offer a better one. 

Nature has notified the ASA Fellows that their response will not be printed but invited them to submit it to the online response blog

Price Retires from ECHO 

ASA Fellow Martin Price was a co-founder and first CEO of ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization), starting in 1981. ECHO is in North Fort Myers, FL. Exactly 25 years later, on June 19, 2006, Martin turned the CEO part of his job over to Stan Doerr. He then served as head of the Agricultural Ministries Department until Aug. 31, 2008 when he officially retired. There was a huge celebration and recognition of his many years of faithful leadership including a gift of a cruise to Alaska for Martin and his wife, Bonnie. 

Martin continues to be active as an ECHO volunteer. ECHO’s vision is “to bring glory to God and a blessing to humankind by using science and technology to help the poor.” Its mission is “to network with community leaders in developing countries to seek hunger solutions for families growing food under difficult conditions.” 

There are many visitors to ECHO’s Global Demonstration Farm. A lot of people volunteer for various periods of time. The farm offers college students, agricultural development workers, and missionaries the opportunity to have experience in learning about tropical agriculture. It sends out thousands of trial packets of seeds across the planet each year to help missionaries and other organizations. 

New Chair in Theology and Science 

The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) announces a new professorship in theology and science, the Ian G. Barbour Chair, which honors Barbour for his intellectual contributions to the field. Barbour received the 1999 Templeton Prize for Progress in Science and Religion and donated the bulk of his award to CTNS. He is an unparalleled pioneer in the dialogue between these two fields. His 1966 classic, Issues in Science and Religion, triggered much discussion and launched the era of scholarly study in this interdisciplinary field. 

This position will be the cornerstone of the CTNS mission, ensuring the permanence of its central education program as a member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) core faculty in Berkeley, CA. The CTNS was established in 1981 and its mission is to foster dialogue and creative, mutual interaction between theology and the natural sciences through research, teaching and public service. 

The CTNS Board of Directors voted to appoint Robert John Russell, professor of science and theology in-residence at the GTU, and founding director of CTNS, as the first holder of the Chair. The Ian G. Barbour Professor teaches and advises MA, MDiv and PhD students of the GTU and its nine member seminaries. This scholar will also lead two annual CTNS programs, the J. K. Russell Research Fellowship in Religion and Science and the Charles H. Townes Graduate Student Fellowship, which annually awards a scholarship to two doctoral students studying theology and science at the GTU. 

More information is at or call CTNS: (510) 848-8152. Pledges and gifts are welcome. 

Rivendell Institute at Yale University 

With a vision to restore a viable Christian voice and witness to academia, five couples founded the Rivendell institute at Yale in 1995. Their mission involves, first, engaging students and faculty with a thoughtful and compelling Christianity. They seek not to conform the Christian gospel to the sensibilities of the age but to confirm its enduring significance as a vision of life and human flourishing. They also aim to equip others to integrate Christian faith and mission with all aspects of personal and professional life—targeting leaders to bring Christian commitments into the public squares of academia, politics, business and professional arenas, entertainment and media, and other spheres of societal influences. 

The Rivendell staff pursue their mission through public lectures and symposia that stimulate thinking in a variety of fields. Examples include lectures on the historical Jesus and a symposium on Intelligent Design. In 2004 they sponsored “The Nature of the Human Person” (with a grant from ASA and the John Templeton Foundation). They hold an annual lecture series called “Public Voices/Public Faith,” exploring the challenges and contributions of Christian faith to public discourse from the perspective of academic and cultural leaders. 

Many of the staff are trained academics, offering seminars connecting Christian faith and mission with scholarship and professional training. They aim to help Christian students inhabit their disciplines or professions with the mind and mission of Christ. Topics include academic subjects such as philosophy, literature, and political sociology, and more general studies in Christian worldview and faithful Christian living. Also on offer are more informal gatherings such as an artists’ salon and a discussion group of faith and politics. 

For more information and upcoming programs, go to or contact

Philadelphia and Darwin 

Nine academic, scientific and cultural institutions around Philadelphia are holding a series of exhibitions, seminars and lectures to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (Feb. 12, 2009). Events will include a talk by Judge John E. Jones III, who ruled in the 2005 Dover, PA, trial that teaching intelligent design in public schools is unconstitutional. The intent of the citywide event is to increase public understanding of evolution and science in general. Janet Monge, curator of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, said this is to encourage people to consider the evolutionary alternative to the biblical account of the origins of humans as represented by the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY, which opened last year. 

“Organizers of the Year of Evolution have no interest in picking a fight with Christians who do not accept evolution,” said William Y. Brown, president of the Academy of Natural Sciences, a participating institution. “We will try to find ways of persuading people that it’s not in conflict with their faith.” New York Times, June 23, 2008. 

The Darwin Project 

St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA, is presenting a year-long series of free public lectures, artistic performances and exhibits focusing on Darwin and evolution. The “Darwin Project” will include nationally recognized speakers and “will explore the effect of evolution on modern lives, discuss the scientific soundness of Darwin’s work and consider the question of whether one can be a Christian and an evolutionist.” There will be opportunities to see the play “Inherit the Wind” and a concert performance of Haydn’s “The Creation.” For a full listing of events, go to Des Moines, Sept. 4, 2008. 

Call for Papers 

Researchers and scholars from all disciplines are invited to submit papers addressing the impact of Darwin’s ideas in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Both disciplinary-specific and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. Papers accepted for the symposium at San Diego State University, Nov. 20–22, 2009, will be published by San Diego State University Press. Limit abstracts to 500 words and send to no later than Nov. 30, 2008. This symposium is in honor of the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. The International Studies Education Project of the College of Arts and Letters at San Diego State University is coordinating this event. For more information, contact Mark Wheeler, Chair, Department of Philosophy, at (619) 594-6706 or by his email above. 

Coming Events 

Present to Dec. 28. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh is hosting an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Information at

Oct. 30–Nov. 2. The International Christian Studies Association, under the leadership of Oskar Gruenwald, is having a conference in Pasadena, CA on “Christianity & Democracy: Jacques Maritain in Perspective.” Email: or call (626) 351-0419. Participants can contact Hilton Pasadena at 1-800-445-8667 and mention ICSA for the special group rate. 

Nov. 1. Oxford mathematician and philosopher John Lennox speaks at the C. S. Lewis Society Banquet in Clearwater, FL, 6:30 p.m. Admission is free; a love offering will be taken. Details at RSVP or (727) 738-2898 by Oct. 22. 

Nov. 1–3. American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Chicago Hilton Towers International Ballroom. One highlight will be atheist Daniel Dennett of Tufts University speaking on “Public Education, Knowledge, and Visions for Non-toxic Religion,” with responders including Martin Marty; details at For information go to:

Nov. 7–8. National Conference on Christian Apologetics, Charlotte, NC. Speakers include Chuck Colson, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel and William Dembski. See

Nov. 7–8. "Intelligent Design and the Existence of God," Fort Worth, TX. Speakers: Denis Alexander, David Berlinski, Lawrence Krauss, Bradley Monton, and James Tour. Details at

Nov. 9. Concert “The Creation” by Haydn, First Presbyterian Church, 1702 Iowa St., Davenport, IA, 6 p.m. Pre-concert chat at 5:15 p.m. 

Nov. 9. “Mind Your Morals” presentation by Susan Dwyer, Prof of Philosophy, Montgomery County Science and Religion Discussion Group at Grace United Methodist Church, Gaithersburg, MD. Email:

Nov. 12. Lecture: “Darwinism and Christianity: Can the Two be Reconciled?” St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA. See:

Nov. 12. “The Big Questions in Science and Religion: 2008–2009. Metanexus Senior Fellow Lecture Series with Keith Ward. Bryn Mawr, PA. Email: or call 1-484-592-0304 

Nov. 14. Laff Lecture. Part I: “The De-evolution of American Politics.” Part II: “Origins and Ends: Darwin and Natural Right.” See:

Nov. 15–30. Biblical Archaeology Society is having a trip to Israel, “Israel at 60,” with a master tour guide. Explore the past, celebrate the present. It includes Jerusalem, Gethsemane, Temple Mount, Qumram, Masada, and many other places. See Email:  or call 1-800-221-4644, ext. 208. 

Nov. 21. Martin Price will speak at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI

Nov. 21–23. The Biblical Archaeology Society is having Bible and Archaeology Fest XI, featuring twenty renowned Bible/archeology scholars in Boston, MA, at the Radisson Hotel (806) 221-4644, ext. 208; See  Email:

Nov. 23. “Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science,” Robert Park, 2:00 p.m., Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech. 

Dec. 14. “Black Holes Sing: Black Holes, Their Orbits and Gravitational Waves,” Janna Levin, 2:00 p.m., Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech. 

Dec. 27–31. InterVarsity is having their “Following Christ 2008” in Chicago at Marriott Magnificent Mile. It is titled “Human Flourishing.” Speakers include Jennifer Wiseman and Dwight Schwartz. For more information go to  Contact Dwight Schwartz at (410) 375-9645 or

Congratulations, Long-time ASAers

Celebrating 30 years of membership 

Bryce A. Babcock
Edward M. Blight, Jr.
Robert A. Boomsma
Lynn A. Braband
William W. Cobern
Laurence G. Cool
Del L. Coon
Georgia C. Eizenga
Harry H. Gibson, Jr.
Fred J. Hickernell
J. Todd Hoeksema
Jay L. Hollman
Bruce J. Hrivnak
Carey Johnson
Glenn C. Joy
Robert Kaita
David E. Laughlin
Richard J. Mawhorter, Jr.
Gary M. Michal
Ernst U. Monse
George L. Murphy
Rolf V. Myhrman
John E. Nees
Ronald J. Schooler
Alan C. Tjeltveit
Timothy S. Ungermann
Dennis A. Wagner
Bryan D. Webb
Chuk-lam Yuen 

Celebrating 25 years of membership 

Charles R. Boardman III
Juan A. Castro
David H. Chambers
Francis S. Collins
W. M. Coughran, Jr.
Randy L. Cronk
Bryan F. Ezard
Owen Gingerich
Hermann F. Hafner
Jack B. Irvine, Jr.
Mark A. Kalthoff
Frank A. Manola
Sandra Merryman
S. Scott Moor
J. David Nichols
Neill H. Nutter
James Postma
Gregory W. Terman
Pamela R. Veltkamp
Clarence J. Vos
Elden C. Whipple
John L. Wiester 

Origins Debate Workshop 

The ASA/CSCA Annual Meeting attendees had the option to attend an all day workshop or to go on a field trip prior to the meeting. The Friday workshop was “Tescan0021Ted discussion 600aching about the Origins Debate in Churches and Schools” taught by Ted Davis from Messiah College, an expert on the history of science. Ted’s goal was to help people think more critically about these issues, consider why they arrive at certain conclusions, and be open minded to new perspectives. Ted quoted Robert Boyle who said, “He whose faith is never doubted may justly doubt his faith.” He assured the class that it was okay to doubt. 

Ted shared a variety of theses on how to interpret Genesis, including perspectives from a number of Christian groups and scholars. He stressed the importance of asking exegetical questions and seeking a broader understanding of these issues. 

Ted passed around copies of dozens of books on these subjects throughout the day. The discussions and questions during the class were stimulating. Interchanges continued in depth during the breaks and over lunch. It was a very thought-provoking, dynamic, enjoyable and edifying experience. 

Mount St. Helens Visit 

A group of thirty attendees chose an all day excursion to Mount St. Helens. Ken Van Dellen introduced them en route to plate tectonics and volcanology and discussed how the young-Earth creationists deal with this. It rained most of the day and the top of the mountain was in clouds. However, they were able to see trees blown down by the lateral blast, landslide debris, lahar (mudflow) deposits, and other features. They viewed a spectacular video presentation on the Johnston Ridge Observatory, named after a volcanologist who lost his life in the 1980 eruption. Ken has now led eight trips prior to Annual Meetings, starting in 1978. He is working on one for next year prior to the Baylor University event. * Ken Van Dellen 

Future ASA Annual Meetings 

July 31–August 3, 2009 Baylor University, Waco, TX 

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

Newsletter Disclaimer 

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

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

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; E-mail:; Web site:  

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

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