Creation scientist Robert Carter, Ph.D., was the featured speaker for the January 24 E.O. Grundset Lecture that kicked off Origins Weekend, an annual event that increases the awareness of the importance of origins to our faith.
Carter is a senior scientist for Creation Ministries International (CMI), a group of non-profit, non-denominational ministries whose work is to proclaim and defend the Bible’s authority on creation.
“As a scientist, my goal is to demonstrate that the Book of Genesis is real history. This, however, does not mean that I bend my conclusions to fit a pre-conceived notion of history, for I am often testing the data to see if they point in an entirely different direction from my starting assumptions,” Carter said. “Yet, since I have a different starting point, I often entertain questions that a strict evolutionist would not consider.”
The special weekend also included an origins seminar with biology and religion faculty, and an Adventist Theological Society presentation, “Evolution and the Omega Apostasy,” by Lucinda Hall, associate professor in the Biology Department.
In addition to events like Origins Weekend, Southern’s faculty share the evidences of creation beyond campus through outside projects and activities. More recently, eight professors contributed to a series of elementary science textbooks called By Design.
The North American Division is publishing the books for Seventh-day Adventist elementary schools, though other Christian schools have also expressed interest. These textbooks are divided into four science sections, Life, Physical, Earth/Space, and Body, and are geared toward first through eighth graders.
The Southern faculty who participated in the project include four professors and one instructor from the Biology Department, two professors from the Physics Department, and one from the School of P.E., Health and Wellness. They each wrote chapter introductions for the teacher’s editions of the books, connecting the science topics of the chapter to principles on biblical creation. For instance, Rick Norskov, professor in the Biology Department, wrote an introduction that compared a complex cell’s creation of proteins to a restaurant’s creation of burritos, and how something so intricate is an outcome of design.
“I have an obvious interest in teaching and I like to use illustrations and stories to make a point,” Norskov said about his involvement.
Even though these introductions will only be printed in the teacher’s editions of the texts, teachers will be encouraged share these lessons with the students.
Carol Raney, origins curriculum coordinator for the Biology Department, also had the opportunity to write sections of the By Design books.
“I feel very privileged to be a part of this,” she said. “ It’s so important to help kids understand that there is scientific evidence pointing to the Creator.”
With the opening of the Biology Department’s Origins Exhibit last year, the Faith-Science interdisciplinary discussion group on campus, and the study of origins theories in the classroom, Southern continually shows a commitment to the Seventh-day Adventist belief on creation.
“So often, the world around us is very pro-evolution and we’re not exposed to alternative interpretations of research,” said Tim Trott, Biology Department professor. “There are good scientists who do not hold on to the theory of evolution. We want students to know there are two sides and we want to give them another viewpoint.”