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Adventist Review Online | A Chemical Missionary

Adventist professor shares how he’s learning to see God through Chemistry.

How can I be a chemical missionary? What can the chemicals that make up this world and universe tell us about the Creator?

These are some of the questions Andrews University (AU) Chemistry Professor Ryan Hayes asks himself time and again when reflecting on the intersections of his beliefs and the field of science he loves.

Hayes, an AU alumnus who returned to his alma mater to teach after a decade of further studies and work in the chemical industry, offered a hands-on one-size-fits-all seminar, during the 2017 Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASi) Convention in Houston, Texas, United States, on August 4. In it, he explored some of the unanswered questions for naturalists and shared a work-in-process initiative that he hopes will provide novel resources for integrating faith into Chemistry learning.

A Missing Link

Hayes notes that most scholarly discussions about origins have traditionally focused on either Physics—the depth of time—, or Biology—the complexity of life—, but not on Chemistry, which he called “the missing link.” “But how is this world put together?” he asks. “How did God make this world?”

In that regard, said Hayes, it is relevant to ask whether Chemistry can be a doorway or a barrier. “There are in fact a lot of barriers for life happening spontaneously,” he says. “It is the reason the scientific community is spending a lot of money on Chemical Origins of Life Initiatives—Chemistry is the current battleground in origin studies.”

  • Day 3 and Day 4 of the Creation story, according to Nathan Greene’s rendering. He is currently working on Day 5, hoping to finish the seven by next year. [Photo:…

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