October 26, 2017

New Film on Notable Christian Scientist Released

Geoscience Research Institute & Adventist Review

Creation Sabbath is an annual day the Seventh-day Adventist Church has set apart to reflect on the biblical doctrine of creation. This year the commemorative day falls on Oct. 28 and in preparation the church’s Geoscience Research Institute (GRI) has released a new documentary. The 25-minute feature, which its producers have defined as “captivating,” delves into the life, research, and faith of scientist Isabel de Moraes.

Moraes is a leading scientist in the discipline of x-ray crystallography, a science that uses x-rays to image the three-dimensional structure of proteins, explained GRI senior scientist Timothy Standish. She doesn’t work with just any proteins, he said, but with proteins found embedded in cell membranes.

Standish explained the importance of Moraes’s work.

“These [proteins] are among the most important molecules in biology,” he said. “Many drugs work by binding to membrane proteins, and they are essential for the normal functions of cells, particularly in humans. But they are also extraordinarily difficult to work with. It is something that puts Dr. Moraes’s work on the extreme and fascinating cutting edge of science today.”

The documentary film sets out to answer some questions about Moraes, such as, how did she become one of the leading scientists living today? What challenges did she have to overcome? Why does she work inside a huge synchrotron facility on a former Royal Air Force base just outside of Oxford, England? How has her scientific education and research influenced her faith in the Creator God of the Bible? And how has her faith influenced her science? The film is now available free of charge.

The film about Moraes is the fourth in a series entitled Seeking Understanding, that explores the lives, research, and faith of scientists. According to the GRI, the stories are intriguing in their own right, and the science is amazing.

The Seeking Understanding series also addresses the myth that all scientists follow a strictly materialistic philosophy that denies the action of God in the past or present. The series emphasizes that a segment of scientists finds that research into how nature works reveals the brilliance of the Creator of the universe and life.

“I’m not sure which I find more intriguing when making these documentaries,” said Standish, the producer of the Seeking Understanding series. “As a scientist myself, I’m naturally drawn to the scientific discoveries of those whom we profile, but then the personal stories are mesmerizing. It turns out that scientists are human and the events and challenges they have faced in life can be remarkable.”

Standish also pointed out that he feels drawn to what he called God’s leading in the lives of many scientists.

“The way God has led in the lives of those we profile and how they have been brought to Christ in sometimes remarkable ways, adds a layer of meaning that transcends a dry litany of dates, experiments, and results,” he said. “For me, producing this series has made science and scientists come alive in a whole new way.”

The Isabel de Moraes episode of Seeking Understanding can be used as a companion to The Hole, the 5-minute 2017 Creation Sabbath film, explains the GRI. The rest of the series episodes can also be viewed free of charge.