Daniel K. Brannan, PhD.
Professor of Science & Religion Interfaces and Philosophy of Biology
Department of Biology; College of Arts and Sciences
Abilene Christian University

This is our inaugural issue of Dialogue & Nexus, an online science and religion interface journal. The goal is to permit undergraduates the opportunity to publish their capstone Senior Theses.

The competition was fierce. A twenty-four point rubric is used by a three-professor panel to judge the quality of the papers submitted. Only those earning at least a twenty point average go on to the editor for further work. At this time, we have only a 25-30% acceptance rate; it is a very selective journal even in its infancy.

This first issue has eight papers by ten authors which cover topics showing how Christianity may interact with the central organizing principle of biology, evolution. Ms. Shamblin discusses neuroscience and experiencing God’s presence; Mr. Porter and Mr. Guin cover altruistic behavior as contrasted with the Christian love command; Divine action and purpose in a physically deterministic world is discussed by Ms. Sparks and Mr. Moore writes about how theodicy issues are exacerbated by evolutionary considerations.

We also address ethics issues. Ms. Hulett and Ms. Peterson set down issues surrounded passive euthanasia; Ms. Daughtry sensitively writes about gender being far more complex than simple dichotomies allow and how to integrate Christ’s teachings regarding eunuchs. Finally, Ms. Acuff covers the complex interaction of food safety, environmentalism and world hunger in light of Christian perspectives regarding social justice.

All of these topics have elements of controversy; they may not be appreciated by all readers. ACU President and chancellor Dr. John Stevens once said that “there is nothing under the sun that can’t be discussed in this institution.” He was referring to controversial issues like these. The difference is that our students are far more sensitive and balanced than most secularists or fundamentalists in our society.



Passive Euthanasia
Jennifer Hulett and Madeline Peterson