November 7–8, 2012
by Walter R. Thorson, edited by Emily Ruppel
with foreward by Robert L. Herrmann
Center for Faith and Inquiry, 2014
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After receiving a B.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Walter R. Thorson moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where, for two years, he was a research fellow at the National Science Foundation at Harvard University. Following his time at Harvard, Thorson began his teaching career, first as an instructor of Chemistry at Tufts University and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an associate professor of chemistry. He spent the next twenty-six years at the University of Alberta as a professor of Theoretical Chemistry and twenty-five years as adjunct professor of the philosophy of science at Regent College in Vancouver.
During his distinguished career, Thorson has published numerous articles in prestigious scientific journals, including the Journal of Chemical Physics, the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy and the Canadian Journal of Physics and has been a part of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) for more than 50 years. He was elected a Fellow of the ASA and CSCA (Canadian American Scientific Affiliation) in the 1990’s.
In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Thorson is a committed, evangelical Christian and has published numerous articles on topics relating to issues in theology, science and faith, many of which appeared in Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith (PSCF). He was a visiting scholar at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey and has written extensively on issues relating to the “Intelligent Design” hypothesis.
Walter and Mary, his wife of 49 years, currently reside in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and are the proud parents of two children and four grandchildren.
November 7 | "'Fourth Day' Things: Naturalism and the Physical Sciences"
Marv Wilson has taught Old Testament and Jewish-Christian studies at Gordon since 1971. Dr. Wilson's widely used textbook, Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, has been translated into Italian, Chinese, Korean and other languages. For a number of years, Marv worked as a translator and editor of the New International Version of the Bible. Recently, he contributed a major article to the ESV Study Bible. Marv is married to Polly, a Gordon graduate and an accomplished pianist.
November 7 | "Intelligent Design: Contemporary Culture and Evangelical Sub-Culture"
Greg Carmer has been serving at Gordon College since 1998. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in theology from Boston College. He lives in Beverly with his wife Laura and their three sons.
November 8 | "Biological Complexity and Biological Function"
Randy Isaac is a solid-state physics research scientist and executive director of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), where he has been a member since 1976 and a fellow since 1996. Isaac received his bachelor's degree from Wheaton College in Illinois and his doctorate in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined IBM to work at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in 1977 and most recently served as the vice=president of systems technology and science for the company.
November 7 | "'First Day' Things: Naturalism and the Physical Sciences"
Craig Story received a B.S. from Gordon College, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Brandeis University and did his Post-Doc at MIT and Harvard Medical School under Hidde L. Ploegh. Story's research interests have focused on molecular immunology. His graduate and post-doctoral work involved work on the mechanism of antibody transport across the human placenta, and the ways viruses trick the immune system to escape detection. He also worked in the biotechnology industry in the area of drug delivery using the body's own antibody transport system. Most recently, his research has focused on generating antibodies for diagnostic tools that can be used by the world's poor. Since his 2006 sabbatical, Dr. Story has been exploring the use of new micro-scale tools to greatly speed up the process of antibody discovery. He continues this research, collaborating with the laboratory of JC Love at MIT's new Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.
November 7 | "Contemporary Culture and Evangelical Sub-Culture"
Karl Giberson is an internationally known science-and-religion scholar, speaker, and writer. He has lectured at the Vatican, Oxford University, London’s Thomas Moore Institute, the Ettore Majorana center in Sicily, the Venice Institute of Arts and Letters, the University of Navarre in Spain and at many American venues, including MIT, Brigham Young, Xavier, Stonehill, Wheaton, Gordon, the Harvard Club of New York and others. He has published more than 150 articles, reviews, and essays, both technical and popular, in outlets that include USA Today, LA Times, Salon.com, Discover, Weekly Standard, Quarterly Review of Biology, Perspectives on Science & Faith, The Edge.org, and Books & Culture. He has written or co-authored seven books, and contributed to many edited volumes.
November 8 | "Biological Complexity and Biological Function"
David C. Lahti is an Assistant Professor of Biology and the Undergraduate Research Coordinator at Queens College, City University of New York, where he runs a Behavior and Evolution laboratory focusing mainly on learned behavior in birds and humans.
Professor Lahti received a B.S. in biology and history from Gordon College. He received a Ph.D. in moral philosophy and the philosophy of biology at the Whitefield Institute, Oxford, for a study of the contributions science can and cannot make to an understanding of the foundations of morality. He then received a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan for a study of rapid evolution in an introduced bird.
He has been a Darwin Fellow at the University of Massachusetts and a Kirschstein NRSA Research Fellow with the U.S. National Institute of Health, where he studied the development and evolution of bird song. His current research projects involve co-evolution between avian brood parasites and their hosts in Africa, the genetic and cultural divergence of the house finch, the diversification of moral beliefs among African peoples, and the evolution of our capacity for morality and religion.