Introduction. This article continues our series on creationist personalities from the past. The term “creationist” is used here in its broadest sense in that the following naturalists represent a wide theological spectrum. The point is that they recognized their Creator and honored him through their work. These individuals were chosen because they have received little creationist publicity. Clearly, they demonstrate that a creation view of the world is not poor science, but instead leads to excellence. Thorough biographical studies of these naturalists would be rewarding projects.
Edgar Anderson (1897-1969) excelled in plant genetics. Two of his books were Introgressive Hybridization (1949) and Plants, Man and Life (1952), the latter book still popular. Living in Missouri, Anderson became a leading investigator of hybridization as a source of variation within plant species. He introduced many new and improved plants to the Midwest states from the Balkan countries, after realizing the similarity of the geographic climates. Anderson displayed a lifelong Christian faith and a strong desire to serve humanity. In later life he became a member of the Quaker Church.
Saint Francis of Assisi (ca.1181-1226) is known as the first ecologist. He spent many years in the Italian countryside studying the details of the Creation. Saint Francis wrote many poems and hymns of praise about the outdoors which are still instructive today, eight centuries later. The well-known hymn All Creatures of Our God and King contains the words and testimony of St. Francis. Verse five reads: Let all things their Creator bless, And worship Him in humbleness. Praise the Father, praise the Son, And praise the Spirit, three in one. A theologian as well as a pioneer naturalist, St. Francis founded the Franciscan religious order in 1209 A.D.
Henry Baker (1698-1774) was a British naturalist with many scientific interests. His two books about microscope studies went through many editions. Baker did original investigations of microscopic crystal forms. He regarded scientific instruments as a means to a deeper appreciation of God’s creation. Baker wrote, “Microscopes furnish us as it were with a new sense, unfold the amazing operations of Nature, [and give us a deeper sense of] the infinite Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of Nature’s Almighty Parent.” Microscopes and telescopes have indeed greatly expanded our view of the Creation.
John Hutton Balfour (1808-1884) was a British physician with an interest in botanical studies. He became director of the Royal Botanical Gardens in London and also was professor of botany at Glasgow University. Balfour was an outstanding teacher who authored several popular botany texts. A deeply religious Presbyterian, he saw in nature the confirmation of God’s existence. Significant books he authored include Plants of the Bible (1857) and Lessons From Bible Plants (1870)….
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