• SimonSimon November 2011
    Hi there,

    Contrary to popular opinion I am not a cheeky two-year-old with an eye patch, although that picture does exhibit just under 50% of my genes (depending on how you count such things).

    I am a scientist with a PhD in Biochemistry and a research interest in the use of protein X-ray crystallography for rational drug design. I also have a pathological interest in philosophy and whilst working as a full-time scientist have completed a BA with the Open University and am currently studying for a MA in research ethics.

    I have been a Christian most of my life although have swung from the highly pentecostal/charismatic wing to a left-of-centre position, although do loosely still associate with the label 'evangelical'.

    I sit on the CiS committee with a responsibility for all things web-based, however am keen to point out that the views I express on this forum (unless I state otherwise) are entirely my own.

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith November 2011
    Is there a plugin for doing polls on this discussion forum? If so, could we gauge popular opinion on the following:

    1. Is Simon cheeky?
    2. Is Simon a two-year-old? [Answers should be justified with reference to whether "Simon" is an emergent property of a particular arrangement of atoms and molecules, and by explaining in what sense the "Simon" of two - or twenty - years ago is the same as the "Simon" of today.]
    3. Is Simon wearing an eye patch?

  • SimonSimon November 2011
    Good to see I am not the only person with a "pathological" interest in philosophy!

    As part of continuing the introductions thing here is my background regarding the creation topic (copied from an earlier thread):

    My journey with the whole origins question dates back to November 1985 when I received an issue of the National Geographic magazine with a holographic image of a million year old skull on the front. This issue became my prize possession and one week I took it into the Sunday school at my American Southern Baptist church. What followed was an altercation with the Sunday school teacher and a visit to the pastor who convinced me of the theological "truth" of 6-day creationism. This was a view I held until 1996 (including taking part in a debate at my school where I represented the YEC position) when I read Philip Johnson's book "Darwin on Trial" and became convinced of old earth ID. I was then a loud supporter of ID throughout my undergraduate years studying Biochemistry (again taking part in debates as I rather like confrontation) until about 2002 by which time I was doing a PhD. I remember vividly being in the shower one morning and suddenly having the epiphany that it didn't matter how God created, the important thing was that God did create. This was a huge relief to me as I was continually coming across evidence in my studies that suggested ID was wrong, but thought that if I gave up ID I would have to give up Christianity. After this epiphany I came across Christians in Science and met some of the brightest people I know, and (like Gavin above) was relieved to find that many Christians had walked this road before and were able to happily reconcile their faith with evolution.
    This is probably one of the reasons why I view YEC and ID supporters as being a bit naive, because these were both positions I adopted at periods in my life when I knew a lot less about biology, philosophy and theology. Similarly I am well versed in most of the arguments as I myself used to use them! I do accept that in some ways it is more intellectually challenging to hold the theistic evolution position, but then again life is complicated. I have found theistic evolution places my faith on a far securer footing than either of my previous positions. As such I do think both YEC and ID are simplistic world views that are just not adequate enough to account for the scientific and theological marvels that we see around us. I can see why people who don't spend much time thinking about science or theology may adopt them, but I cannot understand how anyone who has spent any time studying these things can hold to either YEC or ID.
  • GavinM December 2011
    I don't think opinion polls are the way to properly answer genuine scientific questions about Simon. Only rigorous checks and observations (and experimentation?) can help us here.
  • emmeline September 2013
    Thanks for sharing about your journey across that spectrum from YEC to TE, Simon. I guess it's a shame many people may come across the difficulties you describe and choose to give up Christianity along with YEC. I do find exploration into topics of theology, philosophy and nature brings a kind of richness and meaning to my intellectual life.