He is looking at testimonials from scientists who view creation very differently. First, from that of an evolutionist, Professor Barry Richardson.
Professor Barry Richardson, an evolutionist view
Mark Tronson says he read a book by Professor Barry Richardson, an acclaimed biologist and a Christian.
He accepts the scientific evidence for Evolution but sees no conflict with the Scriptures.
Now retired, Prof Richardson continues as an honorary researcher with CSIRO and a member of the General Synod Environmental Working Group of the Anglican Church of Australia. (www.environment.perth.anglican.org)
The book is: BJ Richardson. 2001. “Christianity, Evolution and the Environment: Fitting it together.” UNSW Press.
Another scientist, Dr Janice Petherick holds a creationist view, an equally strong Christian belief with commitment to Jesus Christ.
Dr Janice Petherick a creationist view
Mark Tronson says that Dr Janice Petherick's has a very different interpretation of the Scriptures from that of Professor Richardson.
Dr Petherick believes in the literal interpretation of Creation but sees no conflict with science. Yet, like Professor Richardson, is also a respected University scientist and has a very strong Christian faith.
In Part II tomorrow, two more, very different scientists will present their views in Part II, and will promote an even wider-ranging discussion about science, God and Christianity.
Note that these are the scientists' own words.
Questionnaire sent to three scientists who are Christians.
1. What are your scientific and any theological qualifications; and what job do you do now?
2. Please describe your religious affiliation, and/or attitudes to your faith, and/or some other comment about Christianity in your life.
3. Why did you decide to become a scientist? Have you had any previous jobs, in the area of science.
4. (a) If you have any conflicts between your faith and your science, how do you resolve them or deal with them
(b) If you see no conflicts between your faith and your science, can you please explain why not.
Dr Janice Petherick. BSc (Hons)& PhD (UWS); Grad Dip Secondary Ed (Sci)
I was born into a Christian home; my father was a Pastor of the local Pentecostal Church. I now fellowship at Imagine Nations Church, Penrith, NSW (part of the Australian Christian Churches, formerly Assemblies of God, Australia) where I 'sign' the services in AUSLAN for those who are deaf.
Over 15 years, I have worked part-time in chemistry research, university teaching and educational research while raising my family. I currently teach a 'Foundation Chemistry' course for students wishing to enter university.
Personally, I believe that science and religion agree with each other. Some of my students, both Christians and Muslims, think that science contradicts their beliefs about Creation, but I think there is no conflict.
I believe the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God, as in John 1:1-3, which ends “... and the Word was God”. I believe in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (NKJV)... and everything that is in it... in the six days of creation with a seventh day of rest, and I believe that the Earth is only thousands of years old.
Genesis chapters 7 – 9 describe how the flood changed that initial world to the one we know today, with the high mountains and the deep seas. It is responsible for the fossils of dinosaurs, for the organic matter that is found ‘deep’ within the earth that supplies us with coal and other minerals.
Precision of biological molecules
As a chemist, I imagine the interactions between molecules and atoms which until now have been far too tiny for us to see even with microscopes, needing us to rely on results from experiments, theory and computer animations. But recently I saw a video from Harvard University, which shows the precision of the biological molecules working together inside a living cell in real time.
Watching the motor proteins, the speed that the molecules are moving at and the way they were interacting with each other, made me realise how wonderful is God’s creation, and how perfect it is. Scattered throughout the Bible are many references to this perfection, a selection being: Psalms 139, Hebrews 11:3, 1 Chronicles 29:11.
As in life, I see science through 'God’s Creation Glasses'. Some people say ‘This’ evolved because... ; but I say “God created ‘This’ and it is just perfect.”
These ideas are echoed by other Australian scientists: The Answers Book: Answers to the 12 most-asked questions on Genesis and Creation/Evolution (Ham et. al. 1997) Master Books.
Mark Tronson suggests you 'watch this space' for Part II tomorrow, in which two other quite different Christian personalities will outline their ideas about science and Faith, without either of them mentioning the topics of 'Creation' or 'Evolution'.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html