On-line resources from the American Scientific Affiliation

Terry M. Gray (grayt@calvin.edu)
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 17:50:06 -0400

The ASA (http://www.calvin.edu/chemistry/ASA/) via its web site at Calvin
College will be making available on the Internet a series of papers on
basic science/faith themes designed for the lay reader and students. These
are meant to provide material relating aspects of science to the Christian
faith to a broad audience. These articles are not meant to be just for
scholars but for students, teachers, church leaders, and others who may be
interested in these faith/science questions. In general, these articles
further the aims of the ASA to educate readers in science and how to think
Christianly about science. The ASA does not have official detailed
positions on many issues and its membership holds a variety of viewpoints.
The Statement of Belief of the ASA can be found at

Some of these articles are reprints of already published materials--some of
them have been written especially for this electronic resource. The ASA
will continue its efforts to provide electronic versions of some articles
from Perspectives on Science and Christian Belief
(http://www.calvin.edu/chemistry/ASA/PSCF.html) An index of what is
presently available can be found at

The first one to be made available is a reprint from the May 1995 issue of
Christian Scholar's Review entitled The Antiquity and the Unity of the
Human Race Revisited written by Davis Young at Calvin College. The article
can be found at http://asa.calvin.edu/ASA/resources/CSRYoung.html

The abstract of the article is

If the data in Genesis 4 are correlated with the cultural setting of the
Neolithic Revolution in the ancient Near East about 8000 to 7500
B.C., then the biblical representation of Adam as Cain's immediate
father suggests that Adam and Eve lived only about 10,000 years ago.
The fossil record of anatomically modern humans, however, extends
at least 100,000 years before the present. There are at least three
solutions to this dilemma. All three alternative solutions pose
difficult exegetical or theological challenges that result either in a
refinement of the doctrine of original sin or a significant departure
from traditional historical readings of Genesis 2-4. Davis A.
Young, professor of geology at Calvin College, Grand Rapids,
Michigan, examines and evaluates these solutions from both a
scientific and biblical-theological perspective.

The second article will be posted shortly. It is especially written for
this electronic resource and is entitled Radiometric Dating: A Christian
Perspective by Roger Wiens of the Caltech Geological & Planetary Sciences

The abstract of this article is

Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from
the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use
for over half a century. There are over forty such techniques, each
using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring
them. It has become increasingly clear that these radiometric dating
techniques agree with each other and as a whole, present a coherent
picture in which the earth was created a very long time ago. Many
Christians are completely unaware of the great number of laboratory
measurements that have shown these methods to be consistent, and
they are also unaware that Bible-believing Christians are among
those actively involved in radiometric dating. This paper describes in
relatively simple terms how some dating techniques work, how
accurately the half-lives of the radioactive elements and the rock
dates themselves are known, and how dates are checked with one
another. In the process the paper refutes some misconceptions
prevalent among Christians today. God has called us to be "wise as
serpents" even in this scientific age. This paper is put out by the
American Scientific Affiliation and the Affiliation of Christian
Geologists to promote greater understanding and wisdom on this
issue within the Christian community.

Please pass the addresses of these articles on to interested parties far
and wide, especially to educators and church leaders who may not be hearing
a very representative set of viewpoints on these subjects. Of course, the
various email discussion groups receiving this message may want to use
these articles as an opportunity to discuss some of these topics (again!).
Feel free to forward this message to other groups interested in
faith/science issues.

Terry M. Gray

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Calvin College 3201 Burton SE Grand Rapids, MI 40546
Office: (616) 957-7187 FAX: (616) 957-6501
Email: grayt@calvin.edu http://www.calvin.edu/~grayt

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