Reasons to Believe

Staying Connected 2005 September


 

* Due to copyrights, original graphics and tables do not appear in these articles


Math and Science Aren't My Cup of Tea!

Contributed by Michelle - Santa Rosa, California

Although I'm married to a nuclear/mechanical/metallurgical engineer, I understand hardly anything about the math and science aspects of life. The joke in our family is that if it's a machine, it won't work for Michelle. With a bachelor's degree in English literature from UCLA, I can usually understand the words used in describing technological and scientific phenomena, but the concepts never seem to make sense to me.

Several years ago, after listening to my husband wax lyrical over the information he was gleaning from Reasons to Believe, I decided to take the plunge and actually read one of Hugh Ross's books rather than wait for my patient husband to explain its contents in one-syllable words. My husband suggested The Creator and the Cosmos, which I picked up with some trepidation.

I cannot tell you how exciting it was to read through that book. I understood what Hugh was saying, and more importantly I felt as if my mind were expanding to the ends of the universe as I read! I was thrilled then, and still am, that the Lord I worship put everything into motion long ago to make my life what it is today. If He could put dinosaurs on the Earth many millennia ago so I can drive a car today, of course He can number all the hairs on my head! I've seldom read anything that satisfied my soul and mind so completely as that one book.

How grateful I am that RTB makes God's wondrous, scientifically-discernible work in the world comprehensible to a simple English major like me!


RTB's newest book, Who Was Adam? arrives September 15th. Don't miss it!

To order visit www.reasons.org, call 800-482-7836, or use the enclosed order form.


Introducing Reasons to Believes Newest Scholar: Jeff Zweerink

Reasons To Believe gladly announces the addition of Dr. Jeffrey Zweerink to our scholar team. The son of a chemistry professor, Jeff has been interested in science for as long as he can remember. His plan to pursue a career in science was formed at an early age.

During his fifth-grade year Jeff became a Christian through the Awana ministry of a local church. The summer after graduating from high school he went on a short-term missionary trip to Europe. He recalls that his personal walk with Christ really began to grow deeper then, especially as he spent time in devotions and in studying God's Word.

Jeff was a sophomore at Iowa State University when Hugh Ross came to speak there in 1988. As a result of hearing Hugh's talk, Jeff changed his major from physics to astrophysics. He realized how significantly science and theology overlap in the study of astronomy and saw that he could do both science and Christian work at the same time. After completing his undergraduate studies, Jeff earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics with a thesis on gamma-ray astrophysics.

For one year Jeff taught at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and then did three years of postdoctoral research in gamma-ray astronomy at UC Riverside. Just prior to joining the RTB scholar team, Jeff worked as a research physicist at UCLA using the STACEE and VERITAS gamma-ray telescopes. He will retain his post as a UCLA research physicist (part-time) while serving with RTB.

Convinced that God has led him here, Jeff looks forward to being part of a ministry that seeks to make best use of science for evangelistic purposes. Married 14 years, this native of Missouri met his wife, Lisa, during their freshman year in college. They now have two sons and one daughter and are expecting their fourth child in September.


Reasons Institute Update

"Does RTB have any material for home schoolers?"

One of the most common questions we get is whether anyone has written a science curriculum based on RTB's testable creation model. We are excited to announce that the answer to that question is finally, "Yes!"

RTB is launching a pilot program this fall, a new course designed specifically for 11th and 12th grade students. This interdisciplinary curriculum is not a science course per se, but it will give students a deep understanding of how the record of nature fits with the Bible.

Find out more information about our "Good Science, Good Faith" high school course at www.reasonsinstitute.com.


In The Mailbox

About 1950 I was in high school taking science courses for college. I remember so many times eating lunch and thinking that if God created the universe then there absolutely has to be evidence for His work in what He has done. I had to wait until your first book, The Fingerprint of God, in about 1990 (40 years) to find this information. The only other help was Lincoln Barnett's book, The Universe and Dr. Einstein. But yours was the real revelation. Romans 1:20 is really true: "Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse."

Troy - Bakersfield, CA


Should Intelligent Design Be Taught in Public Schools?

by Fazale "Fuz" R. Rana, Ph.D. and Hugh Ross, Ph.D.

George W. Bush ignited a fire storm of controversy last month when he responded to a reporter's question. Even though he never mentioned intelligent design, many in the media presumed that he endorsed teaching both evolution and intelligent design (ID) in public schools. We're often asked a similar question at outreach events and during radio interviews: Should ID be taught in public school?

As it currently stands, we believe ID should not be taught in biology class. This is not to say we think there's a lack of evidence in the record of nature for the work of an Intelligent Designer. Far from it! The scientific support for a Creator's direct involvement in bringing the universe and life into existence is overwhelming. So too are the problems for biological evolution. We agree with the ID community: the strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory should be discussed in public school.

However, at this juncture, ID isn't formulated as a scientific theory. Technically, the design inference isn't a scientific construct. Leaders in the "ID movement" (Michael Behe, Bill Dembski, Jay Richards, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Steve Meyer, to name a few) have done excellent work developing methods and approaches to detect intelligent causation in nature. Phil Johnson, Paul Nelson, and Jonathan Wells have identified and critiqued the materialistic underpinnings of modern-day science, highlighting serious problems facing biological evolution. We applaud and support these efforts. But ID hasn't yet matured to the point of being a scientific theory.

To date, ID has not developed an origins model with scientifically testable assertions and falsifiable predictions. No ID theory accounts for the history of the universe and of life. There are no ID predictions about what scientists should discover when they examine the record of nature. Without a testable model, ID cannot guide future scientific investigation. Model-building and model-refining activities are the hallmark features of science.

This need for a scientific theory is one reason RTB has been working to develop a testable creation model--a scientific theory of creation--derived from the biblical text and recast in the form of scientific propositions. Pieces of the RTB creation model appear in The Creator and the Cosmos, A Matter of Days, Origins of Life, and Who Was Adam? This creation model makes specific predictions of what scientists working in cosmology, origin-of-life research, and anthropology should discover¾predictions already fulfilled by the latest data. We continue to work on expanding the model to include specific predictions about life's history and to add more detail to those parts of the model currently in place.

We have publicly presented the RTB model to faculty and students at major universities. After our presentation, we invite a panel of scientists, typically those with expertise in cosmology, physics, and biology, to critique and discuss our model. We have yet to encounter any substantive scientific objections, only philosophical and theological protests. Respondents claim that ID isn't science, but their comments lose credibility once we've presented a list of detailed scientific predictions all with potential to falsify or verify our model.

We are encouraged at how these and other peer-review sessions have gone and are planning more such forums. The RTB creation model can only benefit from exposure to the scientific community. Our approach prompts skeptics to consider the truth claims of the Christian faith. We hope it will continue to transform the scientific enterprise. Our approach may someday serve as the framework to allow theistic considerations to influence the cutting-edge of scientific research. It may even provide the entrée for consideration of biblical creation in science education.

All this will take time. When it does happen, we hope that the President of the United States will advocate teaching all scientific theories supported by facts. Only those researchers­­-including advocates of biblical creation models-who produce working, successfully-predictive models should be granted public support and encouraged to further develop and promulgate their theories.


RTB Conference In Hawaii!

In partnership with Kauai Christian Fellowship, RTB will hold a regional conference in Kauai, Hawaii, October 21 and 22, 2005. Participants will hear how the latest scientific discoveries add to a growing list of evidence for the Creator of the universe. Cosmic Fingerprints: Evidence of Design shows that science and faith are allies, not enemies. As RTB scholars address questions that often bar skeptics from considering the Christian faith, they also provide Christians with valuable new tools for upholding the Word of God and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

On Friday, October 21, you'll have opportunity to play golf in a scramble with RTB staff and scholars, and on Monday, October 24, you can take a unique nature walk with Hugh Ross. The scholars will also be speaking at various churches on Sunday. If you don't live in Hawaii, why not plan to come and make a vacation of it?

For further information, costs, and registration visit our Web site, reasons.org, or call Ken Hultgren at (800) 482-7836.


RTB Calendar of Events

O - Local Outreach Appearance
R - Radio Interview
T - Television Appearance

September

  • O - Sierra Madre, CA 9/25
  • O - Boston, MA 9/29-10/2

October

  • O - Grand Rapids, MI 10/2-4
  • O - Regional Conference - Kauai, HI 10/21-22
  • O - Upland, CA 10/30
  • O - Sierra Madre, CA 10/30

November

  • O - Bellingham, WA 11/4-5
  • O - Vancouver, BC 11/6-7
  • O - Seattle, WA 11/6-9
  • O - Lakeland, FL 11/16
  • O - West Palm Beach, FL 11/18 - 20
  • O - Sierra Madre, CA 11/27-28

RTB Resources

Apologetics Hotline (626) 335-5282

Discuss your science-faith questions with a trained apologist. Available daily from 5:00 - 7:00 P.M. (PT)

RTB Chapters

To find an RTB chapter in your area or to get information about starting one, contact Ken Hultgren at chapters@reasons.org.

Creation Update Web cast

Listen live through our Web site each Tuesday, 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. (PT) Special "Prime Time" Web interviews to be announced.

Prayer Team

Prayer on behalf of Reasons To Believe is a precious gift. A hearty thank you to all who pray for us! If you'd like to join the RTB prayer team, please contact us at prayerpraise@reasons.org.

Science and Evangelism Training

Anyone longing for an in-depth study of science-and-faith issues will want to register for our new online training program, Reasons Institute. Classes may be taken for college credit. Please call Bob Stuart at our toll-free number for more information.