In “A Tale of Two Scientists: What Really Happened ‘In the Beginning” (Christianity Today, 7/6/2012), Tim Stafford profiles Darrel Falk and Todd Wood,
How two evangelicals—one a young-earth creationist, the other an evolutionary creationist—have lived out their faith and professions.
In recent years, Falk has found a new role through interactions with Francis Collins, the world-famous geneticist who headed the human genome project and now leads the National Institutes for Health (NIH). After publishing the bestselling book The Language of God, Collins received so many e-mailed questions that he decided to create BioLogos, a small organization to help answer them. But when Collins was asked to head the NIH, Falk, already involved, took over as president of BioLogos.
Under Falk’s leadership, BioLogos has emerged as an important group of Christians advocating “evolutionary creation.” Falk has held to his plea for Christians to love and respect each other while advocating different points of view. In bearing this out, BioLogos recently invited a number of Southern Baptist biblical scholars to publish essays critical of the BioLogos perspective on the BioLogos website, in order to foster mutual understanding.
“If you look at all the flowering plants,” Wood says, “sunflowers to lilies to oak trees, very different plants, you find that their genes are almost the same. It’s challenging. How do we draw the line, and where do we draw it? If we’re ignoring 97 percent of the data, does the line mean anything? Evolutionists would say we are grasping at straws. But it’s possible that the differences may harbor a signal.” Wood discusses with Anna some of the statistical issues. For example, “the sample size could be a meaningful problem” as Anna zeroes in on particular families of flowers. “It’s good to be aware of these details so we don’t go off and prematurely claim that we have solved the problem of identifying the created kinds.”
Anna is doing serious scientific research, but it’s impossible to miss that Wood leads only handfuls of undergraduates like her without laboratory equipment or funding. Compared with thousands of high-tech research labs filled with scientists, it’s a pea shooter facing the U.S. Army.
Neither Falk nor Wood have much use for design theory. So they will have something to talk about.