A Scientist and Creationist by Christina R. Harris, Ph.D.

creationThe evolution-creation debate is an important topic, however, I am disappointed at Spectrum’s one-sided reporting of the current issue and the attempt to make of none effect the objections raised by Pastor Asscherick (and others) based on his being a “convert” and “unfamiliar with the Seventh-day Adventist higher educational system.”  A convert myself, perhaps that’s what it takes to see obvious—the “emperor is wearing no clothes” (http://www.detectingdesign. com/)!  I hold doctorate in chemistry from University of Colorado, Boulder, did post-doctoral studies at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, NY and was later a part of the inaugural ARISE class in 2003 with Pastor David Asscherick.  Having spent 10+ years in the centers of higher education, I can say that Pastor Asscherick is one of the best teachers that I have ever had and he is a brilliant student of both the Bible and science.  To say that he speaks with “disdain” at higher education is a gross overstatement.http://www.nadadventist.org/ article.php?id=17) held by the organization for which its name represents.  This would include belief (#6) on creation—I see no ambiguity in the written statement posted on our denominational websites.

As scientist and Creationist—according to the Genesis account, a literal creation week with 7-literal, contiguous, consecutive 24-hour days—I find it suspicious that Darwin’s proposed theory for evolution, that is reportedly so “overwhelmingly obvious” and “intellectually superior”, requires intimidation and ridicule to gain or maintain a following.  The point of controversy is not about whether science students should be informed about mainstream scientific beliefs.  Evolution (as a concept) should be taught.  Indeed, evolution on a micro-scale, as Darwin observed in finch beaks, is testable, observable and well documented in the scientific literature.  The point in this controversy is that a Seventh-day Adventist higher educational institution should, at minimum, be supportive of the 28-Fundamental Beliefs (

Thus, while it is possible to believe in God and hold to the idea of Darwinian-style evolution occurring over the course of billions of years, for a Seventh-day Adventist in a Seventh-day Adventist setting, these beliefs are untenable and irreconcilable.  Those professors finding themselves unable to accept any or part of these fundamental beliefs should naturally seek employment elsewhere, perhaps at a public or other non-SDA college or university—there are many options.  Having taught chemistry at the university level, I am acutely aware that young adults of college age are highly impressionable to the spoken thoughts and beliefs of their professors.  To present such material from a perspective wherein one vacillates between the two, will have a profound impact on students—as evidenced by recent LSU student reports and voiced concerns.  Those parents desiring a truly Adventist education for their students should obtain what their hard-earned dollars have paid for; otherwise, a public institution of higher learning would be more suitable and less expensive. 

As such, I challenge leadership of LSU and the leaders and laity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to hold to and support the truths that our name represents. 

I close with the following quote taken from the pen of inspiration:

 

“Since the book of nature and the book of revelation bear the impress of the same master mind, they cannot but speak in harmony….Inferences erroneously drawn from facts observed in nature have, however, led to supposed conflict between science and revelation; and in the effort to restore harmony, interpretations of Scripture have been adopted that undermine and destroy the force of the word of God. Geology has been thought to contradict the literal interpretation of the Mosaic record of the creation. Millions of years, it is claimed, were required for the evolution of the earth from chaos; and in order to accommodate the Bible to this supposed revelation of science, the days of creation are assumed to have been vast, indefinite periods, covering thousands or even millions of years….Such a conclusion is wholly uncalled for.  Education, p 128-130.

Christina R. Harris, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist

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