If you were listening to NPR last week, you may have heard my friend Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, talking to Barbara Bradley Hagerty about genomic evidence that calls into question the literal existence of Adam and Eve.
Dennis, who I had the pleasure of meeting at a BioLogos Foundation event last year, said in the interview, “There's nothing to be scared of here. There is nothing to be alarmed about. It's actually an opportunity to have an increasingly accurate understanding of the world — and from a Christian perspective, that's an increasingly accurate understanding of how God brought us into existence."
Dennis has a PhD in genetics/developmental biology from the University of British Columbia and a special interest in studying pattern formation and cell-cell communication during tissue development using fruit flies as a model organism. He transitioned from an anti-evolutionary/pro-intelligent design view to anevolutionary creationist (sometimes called “theistic evolutionist”) view a few years ago, and blogs about that journey at Biologos.org. In 2008, Dennis won the College Biology Teaching Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers!
I like Dennis because he strikes me as both smart and wise, and I sense from him an intense desire to honor God with his work. He’s the perfect candidate for our interview series.
If you have questions for Dennis, leave them in the comment section. Remember that the point is not to debate or challenge, but to ask the sort of questions that will help us understand one another better. At the end of the day, I’ll pick the top seven or eight questions and send them to Dennis. (Please take advantage of the “like” feature so that we can get a sense of what questions are of most interest to readers.) Look for his responses next week.