BIO: Virginia Hearn

From: The Troll House (
Date: Sat Aug 10 2002 - 19:24:28 EDT

  • Next message: John W Burgeson: "Accurate Darwin site"

    I, too, am largely a daily lurker on this list, but read it (mostly) with
    interest. By attending ASA annual mtgs. with my husband Walt, as well as
    reading the ASA newsletter, both before and after his 24 years as its
    editor, I have gotten to know many ASA members and think they're as
    admirable as any men and women I know, both professionally and as

         I resonated with ASA member Janet Rice's recent description of herself
    as having grown up in the midwest, which in turn influences how she looks
    and behaves, as well as how she sees the world in general. I was born and
    grew up in southern Wisconsin, was a good student at my junior and senior
    high school--especially loved my two years each of Latin and Spanish--was
    very active in music, and graduated as one of two valedictorians in my
    class. I then won a music scholarship to the University of Wisconsin,
    Madison, but dropped out of music school because I didn't like my piano
    teacher. Partly because of spiritual concerns, I transferred as a sophomore
    to Otterbein College in Ohio, then the church school of my denomination, and
    soon became a Christian there when I came to understand the gospel through a
    dorm Bible study and began attending Inter-Varsity conferences. I took
    science courses in botany and ornithology, but not astronomy (in which I was
    interested), realizing that I didn't have the necessary math courses as

         I taught high school--Spanish/German/English--for four years, but
    realized that my hard work was not particularly reflected in the
    accomplishments of the majority of my students. I then wrote to Joe Bayly of
    Inter-Varsity Press about the possibility of working in IV's literature
    department and was soon added to the staff in Philadelphia both to work on
    books and as assistant editor of IV's student magazine, HIS. I came to
    understand that under Joe's mentorship, and because of my earlier study of
    Latin in h.s., I was essentially a "born editor"--and I have remained that
    professionally ever since. After seven years with Inter-Varsity, I became
    managing editor of all the publications of the Christian Medical Society,
    then in Oak Park, IL.
         I married Walt Hearn in 1966, whom I met through his writing for HIS,
    articles that I without fail regarded as works of genius. That was
    especially true of his somewhat humorous, gently satirical "Higher Critical
    Study," which we published in HIS, in which he "proved" that he was NOT the
    author of a long poem actually written by him ("Scientist's Psalm," very
    widely reprinted), which had appeared in the magazine a few months before.
         After his many years as a tenured professor of biochemistry at Iowa
    State University, and a year of "faculty leave" at the University of
    California in Berkeley, we together decided that he would make a major
    career change, we would return to Berkeley, and live a new life as writers
    and editors. Since then we have worked as editors on close to 200 books for
    a variety of publishers, the best known of which are Richard Foster's
    "Celebration of Discipline" and Josh McDowell's "More Than a Carpenter."
         Doing that kind of editing, I quickly sensed I could probably do as well
    as, if not better than, some of the books we had worked on behind the
    scenes, and eventually I had three books of my own published: one on family
    life ("What They Did Right," Tyndale), one on the role of women in the
    church ("Our Struggle to Serve," Word), and "Just As I Am: Journal Keeping
    for Spiritual Growth," Revell/Baker). All are now out of print, but still
    available at exorbitant prices through used booksellers on the internet. I
    was co-editor with Jon Buell on "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?"
    (Foundation for Thought and Ethics), which is still in print--although Walt
    is generally assumed to be the Hearn referred to on the spine and title page
    of that book! I was also the designer of ASA's "Teaching Science in a
    Climate of Controversy."
         In the mid '70s, Walt and I were both on the founding board of a small
    Christian study center, New College Berkeley, and have both taught various
    courses there. In particular, I have led some 70 journal-keeping workshops
    through NCB, its popularity a surprise to all concerned. Although we say we
    are semi-retired, it doesn't feel like it. We are both so busy.
         Since becoming a Christian, I have had a strong sense of my/our need for
    God's guidance, both short- and long-term, knowing that almost any decision
    or choice facing us must be made with only partial knowledge. We are
    overwhelmingly thankful for the Lord's leading and goodness in our lives--in
    which the ASA has played so significant a part.
    The Troll House

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Aug 10 2002 - 19:58:27 EDT