August 7, 2018

In New Documentary, a Top Scientist Shares Reasons for His Faith

Geoscience Research Institute, Trans-European Division, and Adventist Review

A new film featuring University of St. Andrews professor of chemistry John Walton highlights one top scientist’s view on the origins of life.

If you have ever heard of “free radicals,” then you know something about the work of Walton, a professor at the renowned university in Scotland. Walton’s work focuses not only on the destructive chemical reactions that come to mind when most people think of free radicals but also on their positive effects. He also studies the potential of free radicals in industrial and environmental chemistry.

What we know about free radicals because of the research of Walton and other chemists can also inform our understanding of how life came into being, experts said.

Based on his life as a scientist and the research he has done, what does Walton believe to be the most reasonable explanation of life’s origin? This is the subject of a new 22-minute episode of the Seeking Understanding series, which is available to stream from the Geoscience Research Institute webpage.

Trans-European Division communication director Victor Hulbert hosted a recent preview of this Seeking Understanding episode at Newbold College of Higher Education in Binfield, England.

“We had a challenging, inquisitive audience present,” said Hulbert at the end of the preview. “Christian youth today want to understand faith and origins and need to hear how top scientists like Walton have developed their sense of wonder in God’s creation.”

Hulbert said he believes a film like this one is crucial, especially for the young and educated. “In today’s modern world, where the pressures of secularism are immense — both in education and across the media — films like this one are essential to faith development for our young people.”

“I can’t think of a better film to mark three months until Creation Sabbath,” said Timothy Standish, senior scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California. Standish is the producer of the Seeking Understanding series. Creation Sabbath (Saturday) is an annual day for Seventh-day Adventists around the world to highlight their faith in the Bible story of origins and creation.

Adventists scientists like Standish and others believe that films like the one about Walton are powerfully faith-affirming. “In the hands of highly trained and dedicated Adventist pastors and lay people, films about Bible-believing scientists constitute a formidable tool for supporting the mission of the church wherever God has placed us as His witnesses,” they said.