• 37°

Science, religion collide for annual Hood Theological Seminary fall conference

By Carl Blankenship

SALISBURY – Returning for a second year with some pandemic-induced changes, Hood Theological Seminary on Friday took on the intersection of faith and science.

The International Center for Faith, Science and History hosted the annual conference in the seminary’s Aymer Center. The event drew a handful of in-person attendees spaced throughout the conference area, but most tuned in online. The seminary live streamed the entire event, which initially was established with a grant from the Science for Seminaries initiative of the Association of Theological Seminaries.

Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander introduced the event, and the keynote speaker was former Gov. James Martin. Martin was Governor from 1985 to 1993. He was the last Republican governor to serve to two full terms.

Martin spent his career as a chemist and educator. He’s the son of a Presbyterian minister. He’s also an author, having written the book “Revelation Through Science.” Martin described life as so complex it could have come from “unguided chance.”

Martin described the small selection of amino acids which form the proteins that serve as the basis for all life on the planet. While Martin said he believes the Bible is the word of God, it is not a science textbook.

“Science reveals God’s processes of evolution and his timeframe of creation,” Martin said, adding it should never be an impediment to faith.

Martin said science can tell people a lot about nature and, in that way, reveal, not who God is, but that God is.

Martin described the persecution of Galileo, who defied the belief the Earth is the center of the solar system and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life despite the fact the fact the other planets in the solar system orbit the Sun. He also described Charles Darwin’s theory about the process of evolution and species descending from a common ancestor through to the description by James Watson and Francis Crick of the double helix structure of DNA.

Martin described the specific way DNA and RNA connect and how they all have a right-hand thread pattern that’s synthesized from a combination of “left handed” amino acids and “right handed” ribose and deoxy-ribose.

Martin said all of the components needed to be present in the first living thing.

“We find realities of nature that point us to God,” Martin said.

Ted Campbell, professor of church history at Southern Methodist University, responded to Martin’s presentation.

Campbell described Martin’s work as working out the claim that you can see God through nature. For his part, Campbell described science and religion being viewed as at odds by historians until the 1930s, when sociologist Robert Merton’s thesis challenged the concept.

The other half of the program was dedicated a webinar by Goldman Environmental Prize recipient and ethnobotanist Nat Quansah, who presented about an integrated health care system approach. He described growing up in Ghana and seeing traditional and contemporary medicine being employed together.

He described his own study of plants and how they are used by humans in a number of ways, including health. Quansah described the use of plants in health care as manifesting in traditional medicine.

Quansah said traditional medicine occurs naturally in a place and is part of that culture. He said, by that definition, he infers allopathic, or modern medicine, is traditional as well.



Catawba College researchers say invasive beetle will kill significant portion of ecological preserve’s ash trees


Dr. Fauci, Kanye West, Jesus Christ among presidential write-in candidates in Rowan County


Salisbury Police receive grant for social justice, racial equity training


When weather turns cold, where do Rowan County wildlife go?


Blotter: Salisbury man charged faces marijuana charge after being served with unrelated warrant


Local health officials see record testing numbers ahead of Thanksgiving


State Board of Elections certifies results of 2020 election


Small business owners seek lifeline in new grant program offered by Rowan County


Blotter: Sheriff’s Office investigating arson at storage unit housing Royce Apparel Inc. merchandise


Sheriff’s Office looking for white pickup caught vandalizing schools, church


Salisbury city manager tests positive for COVID-19


Home sweet home: Families never tire of decorating Rowan Museum gingerbread houses


Former Salisbury High teacher faces additional sex offense charges


RSS planning drive-thru send-off for superintendent


Highway Patrol: Fatal I-85 crash occurred when one vehicle stopped in roadway


10 more counties found with ‘critical’ spread as Gov. Cooper tightens mask-wearing restrictions


Police: Several weekend overdoses possibly result of ‘bad batch’ of drugs


Davie County Social Services employee faces assault, child abuse charges


Political Notebook: State survey shows majority of voters confident in election process


Logistics, instructions for ‘Tis the Season Spectacular parade

Ask Us

Ask Us: How can people stop unwanted telemarketers, robocalls?


One reported dead after fiery interstate crash


Salisbury’s $35 million in water, wastewater upgrades on track for completion in 2022


Blotter: Man charged with stealing $600 in pallets, 10 boxes of clothing