July 6 - 13, 2017
We are delighted to gather an esteemed group of presenters who will inspire and challenge you during the Faith & Science conference.
+ John Baumgardner
Dr. John Baumgardner has a Ph.D. in geophysics and space physics from UCLA. His Ph.D. research included development of the first software for modeling the 3D flow of rock within a planetary mantle, a program known as TERRA. After completing his Ph.D. John served for 20 years as a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory engaged in a variety of research projects in computational physics, including applying TERRA to investigate the physical aspects of the Genesis Flood. He is generally credited with the original research supporting the concept of runaway subduction and catastrophic plate tectonics in connection with the Flood. Between 1997 and 2005 he served on the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) team that documented multiple independent lines of radioisotope evidence that the earth is thousands, not billions, of years old. Between 2005 and 2010 he was part of a small team that developed Mendel’s Accountant, a computer model for exploring key topics population genetics relating to the origin and history of life. He is currently a senior research associate with Logos Research Associates based in Santa Ana, California.
+ Larry Blackmer
Larry and his wife, Sandy, have one daughter, Melissa. His education includes a bachelor of science in biology, a master of arts in teaching with an emphasis in biology/physics, and a master of arts in secondary educational administration. He has completed a doctorate in educational administration from Andrews University, where he also obtained his undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Larry has served at Grand Ledge Academy in Grand Ledge, Michigan, as both teacher and principal; at Adelphian Academy in Holly, Michigan, as vice principal and boys’ dean; and as principal at Mount Pisgah Academy in North Carolina and Takoma Academy in Takoma Park, Maryland. Larry also served for seven years as associate superintendent in the Michigan Conference. He also served as superintendent of schools in the Idaho Conference. Prior to serving as the vice president of education for the NAD, Larry served as associate director of education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. His duties include secondary education, marketing and technology.
Larry enjoys woodworking, both carving and cabinet making, and nature photography. He is actively involved with technology in many aspects across the division.
When asked for his philosophy on education, Larry said, “I believe strongly in Adventist Christian education! It is our responsibility to help young people grow and develop into well–rounded, healthy, happy, and Christlike adults. Our goal is not only to educate them as good citizens and help them to be productive in our society; it is also our mission to provide them with the training and tools to be committed Seventh–day Adventist Christians, sharing the love they have found in Jesus with those around them. Hope for the Homeland is the theme of our evangelistic thrust this fall, but I believe we need to go a step farther with our young people. We need to instill in their hearts not only the hope for our heavenly homeland but an assurance, through the grace of our Lord, that Christ has paid the price for each young person and that the hope they have is more than a hope for something that is possible in the future. It is a tangible hope, or assurance, in something that has already been purchased for us. Christ is central in all we do in Adventist education, and by His love and grace, our children will stand with us soon face to face with Jesus.”
+ Leonard Brand
Dr. Leonard R. Brand, is Professor of Biology and Paleontology and for many years was Chair of the Department of Earth and Biological Sciences at Loma Linda University (LLU) in Loma Linda, California. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, and has been teaching and conducting research at LLU for 45 years. He has numerous publications in the scientific literature and in church publications. Dr. Brand has published four books, which have been translated into one or more other languages. He has received a Zapara Award for Distinguished Teaching, a best student paper award at national meetings, and a Distinguished Service Award from LLU.
+ Art Chadwick
Dr. Arthur V. Chadwick is a research scientist and lecturer, recognized for his scholarly approach to the issues of origins. He has been invited to present programs across the United States and in several foreign countries, emphasizing his own research as well as his knowledge of geology and molecular biology. Dr. Chadwick is Research Professor of Geology and Biology at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, TX, USA. Dr. Chadwick is currently involved in a systematic analysis of the geologic column in the Colorado Basin with Dr. Leonard Brand of Loma Linda University. He also directs a taphonomic study at one of the largest dinosaur bonebeds in the world, and has been involved with Dr. Brand and others in taphonomic study of fossil whales in Peru. He also has conducted geological research in Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks, and has carried out long term studies on the global circulation patterns from the geologic record through the magic of computer reconstructions from the largest database of paleocurrent indicators in the world. Dr. Chadwick was born in California, where he received his undergraduate education at San Diego State University and La Sierra College. He earned his Ph.D. from University of Miami, followed by additional work in Geology at University of California He was Visiting Professor of Geology and Geophysics at University of Oklahoma prior to taking his present position. Dr. Chadwick is a cofounder of the Earth History Research Center, a global consortium of research scientists focused on issues of origins. He currently serves as Director of the Center.
+ Jo Ann Davidson
Daughter of missionary parents, Dr. Jo Ann Davidson is also a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist. She recalls her mother saying to her, "the blessings of being a Seventh-day Adventist have surely seeped into your genes and chromosomes by now!" Formerly a home schooling mom and music instructor, Jo Ann now teaches in the Andrews University Theological Seminary–the first woman to teach in the Theology department. She earned her Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL) in 2000. Articles she has written have appeared in the Adventist Review, Signs of the Times, and the Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, along with a column, "Let's Face It," in the journal Perspective Digest. She has also authored the books Jonah: The Inside Story (Review and Herald), Toward a Theology of Beauty: A Biblical Perspective (University Press of America), and Glimpses of Our God (Pacific Press). Jo Ann finds great fulfillment in her many roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, auntie, teacher, musician, student and Seventh-day Adventist Christian.
+ Elias Brasil de Souza
Dr. de Souza serves as an Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference World Headquarters. Previously he served as church pastor in the Southern Brazil Union and professor of Hebrew, biblical studies, and dean of the Theological Seminary at Northeast Brazil College in Bahia. He holds a BA and MA in theology from the Latin American Adventist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Old Testament exegesis and theology from Andrews University. His main areas of interest are Sanctuary, Hermeneutics, and Hebrew language. He has authored, co-authored, and published several academic publications in English and Portuguese. His is married to Magela Meire and they have two sons.
+ Raúl Esperante
Dr. Raul Esperante holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia in Spain, and a Doctorate in Paleontology from the Loma Linda University, California. Since 2001 he has been working at the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda in both research and teaching. He is interested in the processes of fossilization and how they relate to the rates of sedimentation and geologic time. Currently he is studying marine mammal fossils and sediments in Peru and Spain. Also he is interested in the interface between science and faith. He has given lectures at universities and museums in the United States, Europe, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand. He is a member of several scientific societies, including the Ichnological Association, the Geological Society of Spain, the Spanish Society of Paleontology, Society of Economic Paleontology and Mineralogy, and the International Palaeontological Association.
+ Jim Gibson
Dr. Jim Gibson is Director of the Geoscience Research Institute, in Loma Linda, California. After completing his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Pacific Union College, he taught academy science and mathematics in California and West Africa. Further graduate work led to the PhD from Loma Linda University in 1984, when he joined the Geoscience Research Institute. In 1994, he succeeded Dr. Ariel Roth as Director of the Institute. His main study interests are in historical biology and the relationship of faith and science. He has participated in conferences on the Bible and science in all of the Church’s Divisions. He and Humberto Rasi co-edited the book, Understanding Creation. He was also an editor of the book, Entrusted: Christians and Environmental Care, with Steven Dunbar and Humberto Rasi. He was the principal contributor to the Sabbath School lessons for first quarter, 2013, and the author of the companion book for the lessons, entitled Origins. He also contributed to the 2014 missionary book, Beyond Imagination. His hobbies include birding, gardening, and grandchildren. For more information about the Geoscience Research Institute, visit www.grisda.org.
+ Paul Giem
Dr. Paul Giem graduated from Loma Linda University with an M.A. in Religion in 1977 and an M.D. in 1977. He graduated from Union College with a B.A. in Religion with a major in chemistry in 1973. He has worked as an emergency physician, urgent care physician, and hospitalist at various hospitals and urgent care centers in southern California, and has been an Instructor in Medicine and Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at Loma Linda University. Currently he is teaching Advanced Cardiac Life Support at Loma Linda University. He has published in Andrews University Seminary Studies, Origins (including on carbon-14 dating), Neuroepidemiology, and the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, and authored a book, Scientific Theology, published by La Sierra University Press, and a research project inspired by him has been published in Radiocarbon. Most of his works are available at www.scientifictheology.com.
+ Ronald Nalin
Dr. Ronny Nalin (Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, University of Padova) works as Associate Scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute (CA, USA) and is Adjunct Professor of Geology at Loma Linda University. His interests focus on the sedimentology of non-tropical carbonates and sequence stratigraphy of shallow marine deposits. He has published several papers on these subjects on international journals of sedimentary geology. Ronny’s personal quest is to better understand the role faith and science should play in the construction of a biblical worldview.
+ Suzanne Philips
Dr. Suzanne Phillips is the chair of the Earth and Biological Sciences Department at Loma Linda University. She previously served as chair and professor in the Biology Department at Southwestern Adventist University (Texas) for nine years. She attended Sunnydale Academy in Missouri, then Union College where she received a BS in Biology. She graduated from Loma Linda University’s Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Department with a Ph.D. in 2003. She serves on the board of the Faith & Science Council and the Geoscience Research Institute. Her interests include bacterial signaling pathways, geology, and sharing the Good News with the world. She and her husband, David, have just moved to the mountains in California with their two children, Anna and Shane.
+ Marcus Ross
Dr. Marcus Ross, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Geology at Liberty University and the Assistant Director at the Center for Creation Studies. Marcus has loved paleontology (especially dinosaurs) since he was a kid growing up in Rhode Island. He has continued pursuing this passion, currently researching about a group of extinct marine reptiles called mosasaurs. He is greatly interested in issues surrounding the creation-evolution controversy and the intersection of geology with the Biblical events of creation and Noah's Flood. He and his wife Corinna live in Lynchburg, Virginia.
+ Thomas Shepherd
Dr. Tom Shepherd, PhD, DrPH is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Andrews University Theological Seminary and is Director of the PhD in Religion and ThD programs. He has been a member of the General Conference Biblical Research Institute Committee and the Faith and Science Council since 2005. His interest in the subject of Creation goes back to his childhood when his father taught him and his brothers astronomy along with family discussions of geology and other sciences. Dr. Shepherd holds degrees in both science and religion and appreciates the perspectives that scholars from both areas bring to the discussion of our Creator’s handiwork. Dr. Shepherd is married to his best friend, Sherry Shepherd, M.D. On September 8, 2014 they will celebrate 40 years of marriage. They have two grown children (Amy and Jonathan), and five grandchildren (Malachi, Nadia, Isaiah, Nathaniel and Samantha). Dr. Shepherd enjoys walking every day and is the cellist in the Seminary String Quartet. He speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish and is head elder of the Eau Claire Seventh- day Adventist Church.
+ Keith Snyder
Dr. Snyder graduated from Andrews University in 1979 with a B.S. in biology and finished an M.S. in animal behavior in 1982. He completed his doctorate at Washington State University with a degree in zoology focusing on neurophysiology. In 1986 Dr. Snyder and his wife accepted a teaching position at West Indonesian Union College (UNAI) in Indonesia. He chaired their Biology Department and helped develop a research program for both teachers and students. The time spent there laid the groundwork for the tropical biology class he now teaches through Southern Adventist University. The Snyders returned to the United States in 1995 to begin teaching at Southern. He has taught a wide variety of classes and occasionally teaches at Rosario Beach, Washington (a Southern Adventist University affiliated marine biology station). He enjoys most outdoor sports as well as volleyball and racquetball. He also enjoys scuba diving and insect collecting.
+ Lee Spencer
Dr. Lee Spencer is a vertebrate paleontologist who received his BS in PaleoBiology from University of California, Riverside, and his MS in Geology and Ph.D. in Paleontology from Loma Linda University. He was the State Paleontologist for the Bureau of Land Management in Utah, but went on to found the Earth History Research Center at Southwestern Adventist University and the Dino Dig at Hanson Research Station along with Art Chadwick. He was an Associate Professor of Biology at Southern Adventist University where he taught courses in Ecology, Mammalogy, Marine Biology and Origins until his retirement in 2011. He is now a retired research Professor and the director of the Origins Center at Southern Adventist University. Research projects have included ancient DNA from Banks Island and fossil horses.
Timothy G. Standish
+ Kurt Wise
Dr. Wise earned a Ph.D. in Geology from Harvard University, an M.A. in Geology from Harvard University, and a B.A. Geology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Wise has been described as influential on "modern creationism as it is practiced at its higher levels." Since the fall of 2009 he has been the director of Truett-McConnell College's Creation Research Center in Cleveland, Georgia. Between August 2006 and May 2009 he taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as director of the school's Center for Theology and Science. He had previously taught at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee where he served as Director of the Center for Origins Research and as an Associate Professor of Science for seventeen years. He served as consultant to the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum.
+ Ed Zinke
E. Edward Zinke, a theologian and businessman, was the son of missionary parents who served in Mexico. Ed has an MDiv and MA from Andrews University and doctoral candidate status at Catholic University of America in systematic theology. He has published various articles and books including the Sabbath School quarterly for the first quarter of 2010 and its accompanying book, “The Certainty of the Second Coming.” He was associate director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference from 1971 to 1986. He served as president of Ann’s House of Nuts, an international food company, until 2008, when he and his wife sold the company. He serves on the Boards of Trustees of Andrews and Oakwood Universities, on the Biblical Research Institute Committee, on the Sabbath School Lesson Committee, the Faith and Science Council, International Board of Ministerial and Theological Education, the advisory committee for the Institute of Archaeology at Southern Adventist University, the operating board of Geoscience Research Institute, the General Conference Executive Committee, and is Vice- Chair of the Ellen G. White Estate. He was co-founder, past president and current treasurer of the Adventist Theological Society. He is also active at Spencerville Adventist Church, teaching an adult Sabbath School class. Ed and His wife Ann have two sons and are the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren.