Re: [asa] personal introduction and a question about textbooks

From: <>
Date: Wed Apr 09 2008 - 15:55:42 EDT


Why would a "sound science (text) from a Christian perspective," be any different than just a sound sciend text?

On Wed Apr 9 15:34 , Dennis Venema sent:

Hello everyone,

As a recent subscriber to this mail list, I thought a brief introduction
might be in order before I begin to contribute.

My training is as a developmental biologist and Drosophila geneticist. I
study pattern formation during development using cell / molecular biology
techniques and confocal microscopy. I am in a tenure-track faculty position
at Trinity Western University (Langley, BC Canada) and currently filling the
role of biology department chair here.

I am also interested / engaged with teaching research, particularly with
respect to teaching genetics. More recently, I have been drawn into the
whole discussion of origins. The impetus for this was a request to edit a
book chapter on biology / faith issues. The "edit" became a major reworking
of the chapter and also forced me to read deeply / widely on this issue for
the first time.

My personal journey on this issue started with an ambiguous YEC stance as a
youth, although my particular church didn't focus on the issue. During my
undergrad and early graduate school days I was enamored with ID without
seriously investigating it or reading critiques of it. Once getting the job
at TWU I left the issue on the back burner as I focused on teaching and
getting my research program off the ground (no small feat at a small
institution). When the opportunity to edit/revise this chapter came along I
fell headlong into the debate - and emerged as a theistic evolutionist /
evolutionary creationist, despite my initial pro-ID leanings.

As I have read up on the history of this debate my hat is off to those who
have hoed this hard earth before me - Van Till, Lamoureux, Collins, Keith
Miller, Colling, the Haarsmas and many others whom I have yet to read.
Denis, as a newcomer I would like to hear more of your story - or, if it is
in print somewhere, perhaps you could direct me to it. I'm looking forward
to reading your new book, and your recent article in PSCF was excellent. I
have a colleague in OT studies here at TWU who introduced me to ANE
cosmology, but having your work in PSCF means I have an easy resource to
direct students to. Thank you.


One small question that has been brewing as I have engaged this debate is
that in terms of Christian biology textbooks / resources the only ones I
know of are explicitly YEC and present the YEC position as if it were (a)
scientific and (b) the only "Christian" option for understanding origins. I
also note that the interim ruling in ACSI vs Stearns may lead to more
universities taking a stand on this issue and barring students from
Christian schools based on their biology texts (note that UC accepted the
ACSI chemistry texts as well as those in other subjects). Yet the Christian
school market (and the homeschool market) has no other options that I know

Perhaps it is time for a high school biology text with sound science from a
Christian perspective? Has this issue been discussed here previously? Or do
resources exist that I do not know about?

Thanks all,



Dennis R. Venema, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Chair, Biology Dept.
Trinity Western University
7600 Glover Road
Langley, B.C. Canada
V2Y 1Y1

604-513-2121 ext. 3446

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To unsubscribe, send a message to with "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message. Received on Wed Apr 9 15:57:36 2008

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